Justin Smith, chair of the Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition, was recently interviewed by an NBC affiliate following the deaths of two people from a home fire. Watch the clip, and notice how Smith used this tragedy to delicately underscore important points on home fire sprinklers:
- "Since we had two fatalities so close to home, [the tragedy] reinforces the fact that it can happen to anyone and can happen in our state." Smith eloquently underscores the frequency of home fires and reality that nobody in his community is immune to its wrath. Delicately promoting these points following a local home fire is one way of getting sprinklers, a key solution to this problem, on the media's radar.
- "Most of our home's furnishings are made of synthetic materials. They burn faster [than older furnishings]. That's why we only have three minutes to get out safely." Smith notes how rapidly today's fire spreads due to what's currently found in homes. Working smoke alarms in conjunction with fire sprinklers, he notes, can dramatically cut the risk of dying or being injured from fire.
- "The installation process isn't complicated. There are myths and barriers about sprinklers that we're trying to remove." When discussing sprinklers with the media (or anyone unfamiliar with this technology, for that matter), simplicity is key. Smith makes a point to mention that sprinklers in new homes do not equate to a burdensome, installation process.
Follow Smith's lead and highlight these and other points found in the Fire Sprinkler Initiative's new guide, "Tips on Communicating Home Fire Sprinklers to the Media" (under the section "Talking Home Fire Sprinklers").
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