A new federal grant awarded to the nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) will help the educational organization work with the fire service to increase awareness of home fire sprinkler facts at the local level. The grant also supports HFSC outreach and interaction with the homebuilding industry in order to underscore the life-saving benefits of building new houses with installed fire sprinkler protection.
The funding was awarded through a 2009 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“HFSC is eager to put this generous grant to work, continuing our comprehensive support of grassroots fire sprinkler education,” says HFSC Chair Gary Keith. “This new funding will allow us to encourage, inform and equip more local fire department educators so they can help their communities learn about home fire sprinkler systems.”
As a centerpiece of the grant-funded program, HFSC will undertake a national effort to advance the use of side-by-side fire sprinkler and flashover demonstrations as part of local fire department outreach. HFSC will host demonstrations and educational events in partnership with 12 fire departments and provide stipends to 100 additional departments that can implement the events on their own.
HFSC featured these dramatic live fire burns in its grant program because they are proven to be highly effective at attracting local crowds. Their “up close and personal” experience gives civilians a genuine appreciation for the speed and danger of a home fire and an understanding of how a home fire sprinkler system’s fast response controls heat and smoke, saving lives and preventing injuries.
This program will help HFSC inform more fire departments about its free Built for Life Fire Department Program (BFLFD), which has more than 1,500 members to date. U.S. fire departments that agree to make home fire sprinkler education a focus of their public safety outreach, or increase existing efforts, will receive recognition and priority access to HFSC’s new educational tools and materials. Last year, HFSC introduced its comprehensive Fire and Sprinkler Burn Demonstration Kit to BFLFDs. The free Kit guides departments through every step of a live educational burn, with print and video instruction. It is available on HFSC’s Web site.
“We can’t overstate the importance of the local fire service role in home fire sprinkler education,” Keith adds. “Fire departments are the very core of local fire safety, and their public educators are the first point of contact for everyone from consumers to homebuilders to local officials and the media. HFSC works hard to put our noncommercial, turnkey educational materials in their hands.”
Details about the national program to support local implementation of side-by-side burns will be announced through HFSC’s fire service blog “Focus”. Visit HomeFireSprinkler.org to learn more and to sign up for the Built for Life Fire Department Program.
HFSC was formed in 1996 to inform the public about the life-saving value of sprinkler protection in one- and two-family homes. HFSC is a purely educational 501(c)(3) charitable organization and the leading resource for independent, noncommercial information about residential fire sprinklers. For more information about HFSC and residential fire sprinkler systems, log on to www.homefiresprinkler.org.