From NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog
Antiliano Estrella has been a public educator and a member of the Providence Fire Department for twenty-two years. In this post, he shares his passion for educating the community and talks about public awareness of residential fire sprinklers.
The statement; “an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure,” is part of the ongoing recipe to keep our homes safe. One key ingredient that cannot be overlooked is to provide public awareness of residential fire sprinklers.
Our home provides shelter from the elements, keeps us warm, safe, gives us lasting memories, a place of celebration. It is one of the biggest investments we make in our lives; a unique place we call home. The place we feel the safest can also be dangerous.
Fire sprinklers respond quickly and effectively to a home fire. It makes sense to install home fire sprinklers; they save lives and property. Fire sprinklers will help you survive a fire and significantly reduce property damage so that you can keep your home and continue living there as you did before.
Our focus is placed on preventing the fire from starting in first place and then surviving a fire. One of the biggest challenges we face in keeping our community safe in their homes is changing human behaviors around their living environment.
For example; if someone has a kitchen fire, this traumatic experience can be a catalyst to changing behaviors. After the fire they may consider buying fire extinguishers, making sure smoke alarms work around the home, and never leaving food unattended.
Educators need to make sure that part of this behavioral change is the consideration of residential sprinklers. As educators we strive to make people aware of the fire problems around the home and hope we are influential enough to change behaviors.
I know that I am “preaching to the choir.” We, as educators, need to make sure that residential fire sprinklers become another key ingredient in the messages we deliver.
We have been so successful with smoke alarms, fire escape planning, cooking safety, and seasonal fire safety, among others. This has created a new generation of safer children and adults.
Fire and life safety education has drastically reduced fires in the last forty years. With your passion, I
know that we will continue to reduce the world wide burden of fire.
Residential fire sprinklers are nothing new. They have been around since the early 70’s. As we speak as one voice, we need to make sure that the home fire sprinkler message is one of those key ingredients in our presentations, outreach and campaigns.
As a public fire and life safety educator and twenty-two year veteran of the Providence Fire Department, I am available to assist in answering questions regarding public awareness of home fire sprinklers; an ounce to add to your recipe of public education outreach.
NFPA provides a free home fire sprinkler educational tool kit to assist educators in their public education outreach campaigns.