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July 5, 2016 Previous day Next day

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In less than six hours, Barrie Fire and Emergency Services and other key players in Ontario built a new home--only to intentionally set it on fire.

 

The new structure, built with support from the Simcoe County Home Builders' Association and aid from the local Habitat for Humanity, serves as a "training home" used by local firefighters. According to an online story of the build, "the house represents the typical type of structure firefighters will encounter...[and adds] to the realism of fighting fires in a training environment." Firefighters will be able to practice survival training, radio communications, and coordinated fire attacks in the home. The structure also has a sliding, interior wall used to modify the home's layout, states the story.


Another component of the training home is fire sprinklers. Firefighters will witness firsthand how sprinklers aid their job by keeping fires under control or (in many cases) extinguishing fires before their arrival. The sprinklers inside the home may also serve as a public education endeavor by local fire departments.

 

"[Sprinklers] are good education for our staff, on how they're used and how they can control a fire," Tony Weir, chief training officer for Barrie Fire and Emergency Service, told NFPA. "Second, I thought this would be a good tool for our fire prevention staff. They can see a sprinkler in use, they can create some public service announcements on sprinklers in the home. And it’s a training tool we can use for pump operators...and incident command training."

 

Check out the photos from the event (used with permission by Barrie Fire and Emergency Services):

 

 

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Sparky joined a team of volunteers that aided the construction of the new fire training home

 

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A necessity in all new homes, fire sprinklers were proudly displayed

 

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Want to know why sprinklers are a must in all new homes (not just fire training homes)? Visit our newly revamped page underscoring the fire concerns of modern homes.

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(From left: NFPA Regional Director Randy Safer; Florida Fire Sprinkler Coalition Chairs Wendy Niles and Kingman Schuldt; and NFPA Regional Sprinkler Specialist Tim Travers)

 

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative awarded the newly formed Florida Fire Sprinkler Coalition $10,000 aimed at furthering state education on home fire sprinklers. The funding is part of the initiative's Bringing Safety Home Grant, awarded to 15 recipients this year to further education and advocacy efforts that support home fire sprinklers.

 

Local  safety advocates point to fire sprinklers as the technology that can directly impact the state’s home fire problem. Between 2005 and 2014, there were approximately 230,000 home fires in Florida that resulted in $2.5 billion in property damage. Home fires were also responsible for more than 70 percent of all civilian fire deaths in Florida during this period. (National statistics on home fires are just as dire.)

 

“These figures prove that Florida’s home fires have devastating consequences,” says Wendy Niles, fire marshal for the Lake Mary Fire Department and co-chair of the Florida Fire Sprinkler Coalition. “The solution to this problem exists. The coalition will educate the public on the necessity of fire sprinklers in new homes and combat the many myths surrounding sprinkler performance. For instance, if a fire occurs in a sprinklered home, only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate. All of them do not go off at once.”

 

The Florida coalition received its grant check on behalf of NFPA and announced its official formation at the recent Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

 

The coalition now joins nearly 30 other state coalitions championing for increased use and education of fire sprinklers in new homes. Join one of these coalitions today, or reach out to NFPA about starting one in your state. Here's more information on this grassroots movement sweeping North America:

 

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