Advocates Initiate Day of Action to Address America’s Home Fire Problem
Home fires claim the lives of seven people each day. Home fire sprinklers can help eliminate these tragedies, but legislative barriers and a general unawareness of this technology have prevented its use in new homes. America’s fire service and safety advocates will be able to take action in unison to raise national awareness of these challenges and a fire sprinkler’s life-saving ability.
NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) are initiating Home Fire Sprinkler Day on May 19, 2018, along with representatives from several fire safety organizations.
AFSA’s Director of Communications Nicole Duvall is one of the members on the Home Fire Sprinkler Day Steering Committee. “With prevention and educational efforts, such as Home Fire Sprinkler Day, we are changing the conversation, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding fire sprinklers,” says Duvall. “The more that the community is educated and public awareness is heightened, then the more people will ask for fire sprinklers in their homes.”
This project tasks safety advocates across the U.S. with hosting simultaneous events promoting home fire sprinklers. While raising awareness of the home fire problem, these events will also underscore the life-saving impact of fire sprinklers and legislative barriers to its use. The aim is to have the fire service and other safety advocates host at least one sprinkler-related event on the same day in all 50 states.
“The alarming number of home fire deaths and injuries each year should be on the radar of every decision maker and member of the media,” says Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy and HFSC’s president. “Through this event, we hope to illuminate the fire problem and its solution on a national scale. Fire sprinklers have been a U.S. model building code requirement since 2009, yet challenges to its adoption still exist. Taking action collectively will send a powerful message that fire sprinklers are widely accepted and must be embraced in every state.”
Taking action is easy. Some possible activities 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.
- Dedicate a training session to your fire department staff on the myths and facts of home fire sprinklers.
- Advocate for a “Home Fire Sprinkler Day” proclamation in your town.
- Spearhead a social media campaign demanding local legislators and decision makers address local fire problem/support sprinklers.
- Write letters to the editor or op-eds underscoring your local fire problem and fire sprinkler laws or lack thereof.
Home Fire Sprinkler Day resources are provided online to help convince the media and others on the necessity of fire sprinklers. Some make great handouts, while others are shareable on social media:
- Fire sprinkler talking points for the media
- Fire sprinkler myths vs. facts
- State-by-state fire sprinkler requirements
- Fire sprinkler infographics
- Fire sprinkler online quiz
For more details, ideas, resources, and assistance planning National Home Fire Sprinkler Day in your area, visit nfpa.org/FireSprinklerDay for more information. And share your events with AFSA and NFPA! Together, we can make a difference in reducing the number of home fires and increasing awareness about home fire sprinklers.