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Teaching public education is sometimes like coaching very young hockey players; you never know quite how much information is getting through until little Johnny puts the puck deep, gives chase, then passes to his teammate in front of the net to score – just as practised!


Capt. Robert Taylor, a paid on-call firefighter for the City of Maple Ridge Fire Department in British Columbia, led a kindergarten-to-Grade 3 fire safety program in the city’s elementary schools a few weeks ago.Capt. Robert Taylor with the Maple Ridge Fire Department in British Columbia scored a public-education victory when he encountered a young student at an incident (no injuries!) whose mom made it clear that a school fire-safety program led the family to check alarms and make an escape plan..


“Later that week, he was doing some driver training with another member,” said Maple Ridge Assistant Chief Timo Juurakko, “and had an experience that I asked him to put into writing.”


 Capt. Taylor takes it from here:


“The other day I was working in school doing K-3 pub-ed. As you know, the thought is always in your head – are we making a difference?


“Later that evening I was out doing a new driver training lesson when we came across a stranded vehicle in the middle of an intersection. We pulled to the side of the road and went to try and help, along with another female who had also stopped to help.


“We got the vehicle to a safe spot, and the second female returned to her vehicle.


“Just as we were returning to our lesson I heard the second female say, ‘So you are Capt. Taylor. Thanks to you, we have now checked our smoke alarms, and are working on our escape plans. I cannot even leave the kitchen unless I turn off the pans!’


“As I looked in the back of her vehicle, I saw a young boy waving. He was one of the students we had been with in school.


“Guess we can make a difference!”


He shoots. He scores!


Mark your calendars! NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition are initiating Home Fire Sprinkler Day on Saturday, May 19, 2018. The event's goal is to raise national awareness of this life-saving technology by having advocates host events simultaneously. Taking action on this day is easy. Some ideas include: 


  • Host a side-by-side live burn/fire sprinkler demonstration
  • Conduct a fire department open house featuring fire sprinkler information and sprinkler riser display
  • Initiate a media event/walk-through of a sprinklered home in your community


The event webpage has more information. Please help spread the word among fire and life safety educators on this important event. And take steps now to start planning an activity for the event. We recommend you first check in with your state fire sprinkler coalition (if you state has one) to see how you can coordinate efforts with them. 

Here's another tool you can use to promote to the public just how quickly home fires can become deadly and the effects home fire sprinklers have in controlling them.


The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition has animated its popular home fire timeline via a new video. The new video can be a great accompaniment to your public education endeavors and social media outreach. Check out the new video, and let us know by replying to this blog how you anticipate using it. Feedback on the video is also greatly appreciated.  

Have you listened to our five-part podcast series, "The Survivors"? It humanizes NFPA's statistics on home fires by underscoring the ordeal and aftermath of one family after they lost two children to home fire. 


Please reply to this blog and let us know if you've listened to all or any of the episodes. Were you moved by the family's story? Did you learn something new? Do you like the podcast format when it comes to listening to stories? Please share your feedback with us.