How do you get your home fire safety message out to the general public and makes sure it packs a punch?
You can try carnival barker-type ads, screaming ads, or ads that mimic ones from car dealerships (no offense, Dad). Or you can try a fact-filled, technical ad that would only be appreciated by fire protection engineers (no offense, FPEs). One of my favorites is this video produced by the Fresno, California, Fire Department, which humorously compares fire sprinklers to an at-the ready firefighter:
Missouri-based Virtual Media Group recently alerted us to a new way to spread the sprinkler message. They create “whiteboard” videos, which are hand-drawn illustrations with audio. We recently worked with them to create a residential high-rise public service announcements on fire sprinklers. Since we were pleased with the outcome, we asked them to create one for home fire sprinklers.
The idea was to let the company use their creative talents to highlight the fire sprinkler message without tainting their creative process. That was the hard part —allowing them to look at the problem in their own way. At the beginning of the project, we filled out forms listing our objectives and provided facts on today’s home fires. I feel that we came pretty close to allowing them free reign while at the same time making slight changes that underscore the reality of fires and the fire service culture.
Though we initially created a version of the video for the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition, we decided to also create something more generic for use by all safety advocates and state sprinkler coalitions. (If you’d like a version of this video with your state coalition logo, contact NFPA.)
We want to help you with your efforts to educate the general public! Please help promote the following video--place on social media (if you're logged into Xchange, use the social media buttons below) and share with all of your contacts and anyone that could use some sprinkler education.
This post was written by Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting legislation, raising public awareness, and educating code officials and government policymakers on home fire sprinklers. Lia regularly offers his perspective on sprinkler activities taking place in his state and elsewhere.