Satisfying the goal of any good headline, this one grabbed my attention: "Sprinklers could have helped knock down home fire."
I was immediately impressed by the journalist's approach to this story. He/she could have easily followed the format seen many times before: "Fire ravages home" or "Fire leaves family homeless" or "Blaze injures dozens." Rather than focusing solely on the aftermath, the journalist weaved in the solution that might have impacted the outcome.
Appearing in The Reflector, a newspaper serving a handful of Washington towns, the story's first sentence also informs readers that fire wasn't the only reason for the home's destruction. "Lack of fire sprinklers aided in the damage to a large home just south of Battle Ground in an early Sunday morning blaze," it read. By the time crews arrived, the fire had spread from the basement to the attic. Fortunately, nobody was injured from the fire.
The reporter finalizes the story with a stellar quote from Clark County, Washington, Fire & Rescue Division Chief Tim Dawdy: "We hope people learn a lesson from this. When building a ... residence, it needs to be sprinklered." Let's hope more reporters spotlight sprinklers in this manner.
You can help the media promote fire sprinklers. Use the Fire Sprinkler Initiative's new sprinkler media guide and learn how to craft key sprinkler messages.