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When Chief Mike Figolah signed on with the Mount Prospect Fire Department, he became a strong supporter of their NFPA 13D, +Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes,+ ordinance passed in 2003, as well as the village’s requirements for sprinklers in all townhomes and low-level multifamily structures. A tear-down-and-rebuild community, Mount Prospect now has over 150 single-family homes protected with sprinklers.
As fire chief, Figolah regularly hosted Fire Prevention Week open house events. Each year, the "grand finale" included a live burn and sprinkler demonstration for large audiences that demonstrated the difference between sprinklered and unsprinklered fires in similarly furnished rooms. Figolah took the demonstration a step further by presenting the response timeline of firefighters, which allowed audiences to witness the time needed for firefighters to don fire gear and set up hose lines. As the fire in the unsprinklered structure raged on, sprinklers in the protected structure doused the flames. He is the model example of a sprinkler advocate effectively using educational materials produced by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition .
As sprinkler advocates developed theIllinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition (IFSC), it became readily apparent that a spokesperson was needed to willingly speak as the IFSC voice without fear of retribution. Figolah became that voice. Learn how Figolah further advocated for home fire sprinklers by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.