A concentrated public awareness campaign to increase support for home fire sprinkler requirements is taking place in the State of Alabama. The catchy title of the project should sound very familiar and was aptly named with the song "Sweet Home Alabama" in mind.
Jerri Ayers, Public Education Specialist, Jefferson State Community College has written an article outlining the project. It is a model to be emulated. The following is an excerpt from an article written by Jerri:
+In the past few years the fire service in Alabama has taken on the Home Fire Sprinkler Initiative. As Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk stepped into the issue of home fire sprinklers the Fire Chiefs Association of Alabama, Fire Marshal’s Association of Alabama and the Alabama Fire Sprinkler Association quickly joined him at the state capitol in Montgomery. As the initiative began to grow throughout the state it wasn’t long before the Fire Marshals Association of Alabama along with the Alabama Fire & Life Safety Educators Association stepped up to the plate to bring the initiative to the front door of communities throughout the state with home fire sprinkler statistical information and facts being taught in educational workshops and at conference training tracts to firefighters across the state. +
+Realizing that there were still many questions and misconceptions among fire service personnel concerning home fire sprinklers the Safe Home Alabama Project was put into place to not only educate fire fighters with the statistical information but to dispel the myths surrounding the topic and assist the fire departments with understanding of the NFPA 13-D sprinkler systems. The class also includes constructing the side-by-side live fire demonstration units as well as how to use the units to educate local officials and the members of their communities about the advantages that home fire sprinklers can provide for home builders, insurance companies, realtors and most of all the citizens of the communities which they protect. +
+At a time when many fire departments are experiencing cut backs and layoffs the Alabama Risk Watch Program of Jefferson State Community College teamed up with the Fire Marshals Association of Alabama to provide resources and training to get the facts about home fire sprinklers to local officials and community members as many local municipalities are beginning to update local fire codes. “Our goal is to empower our firefighters with the tools and resources needed for them to reach their public with the truth about the safety of what they value most…their families and homes” says Dallis Johnson, President of the Fire Marshal’s Association of Alabama and Assistant Chief of Prattville Fire Department. +
+At the recent Alabama Fire Chiefs Association/Fire Marshals Association of Alabama Summer Conference Safe Home Alabama hosted training with speakers from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative, NFPA Education Division and Fire Team USA to “Bring Safety Home” to Alabama fire departments. The end of the training included a local live burn demonstration hosted by Orange Beach Fire Department with assistance from Jeff State Community College, Prattville, Gulf Shores, and Foley Fire Departments. The event which drew over 100 attendees was a successful tool used to show fire chiefs and fire marshals just how powerful the live burn demonstration is as a public training tool to show the effectiveness of having fire sprinklers installed in homes in their communities. +
+Remarkably, just a few short days after the class and demonstration the city of Gulf Shores Alabama was the first to adopt the 2009 IRC as a complete document, a victory for not only Gulf Shores Fire Department but for all those who have contributed to the statewide effort to push for long overdue change but also a life saving benefit for all who reside and visit the beautiful coastal city of Gulf Shores, Alabama. +
+To date the Safe Home Alabama Project has trained 143 fire fighters from 33 fire departments which has resulted in 6 live fire burn demonstrations in Alabama and many more looming on the horizon. One home builder who recently attended a live fire burn demonstration with the intent of “seeing what you guys are up to” left after stating to fire service personnel the question: “What is it the homebuilders association is fighting… this is common sense”. +
I believe in a safer future for you and your families. For firefighters I believe that you deserve to be protected to the highest measure that those you work for hold the power to provide that protection for you and for your families I believe they should have confidence that you are coming home to them after each shift. For children, the elderly and the disabled I believe that it is our place to educate your communities that you are most at risk to die a preventable fire death.  For everyone reading this I believe that if you stand united in agreement that home fire sprinklers save lives that you can be a part of a safer future for generations to come and the US can give up the ranking of highest fire deaths per year for an industrialized nation. For me I believe in you and the power you hold given the correct and current information concerning issues that surround your profession.
Jerri Ayers<br />Public Education Specialist<br />Jeff State Community College<br />& most importantly - Mom of 2
The latest Safe Home Alabama demonstration was held at the to NASCAR races in Talledega last weekend in the parking lot of the Pell City Home Depot hosted by Lincoln and Pell City Fire Departments.
Thank you to Fire Marshal Ed Paulk for his commitment to this life safety initiative. Hats off to the awesome trio of Jerri Ayers, Dallis Johnson, and Mike Brayman. Their passion for life safety is demonstrated in this incredible project. Thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of the people in the State of Alabama.
+!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef0120a64be7b7970b-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef0120a64be7b7970b-800wi|alt=DSC_0929|style=WIDTH: 58.8%; HEIGHT: 223px|title=DSC_0929|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0120a64be7b7970b |height=285!+http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef0120a64bec85970b-pi<span>!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef0120a64bec85970b-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef0120a64bec85970b-800wi|alt=DSC_0821|width=207|style=WIDTH: 133px; HEIGHT: 224px|title=DSC_0821|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0120a64bec85970b |height=338!</span></a><span> <br /><span style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Calibri','sans-serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: ES-TRAD; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 11px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: ">In the picture above Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk speaks to State Farm Insurance Employees at State Farm Corporate Office during live fire burn held by Homewood Fire Department</span></span></span></span></span>
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