Comparing Fires: A Side-by-Side Demonstration
NFPA Journal®, November/Decemberber 2007
You know you have the right formula for fire safety education when you can attract a big crowd in 90˚F heat and high humidity, despite competing attractions nearby that include a live band, barbeque food and helicopter rides.
That was the setting in
Coordinated jointly by the Brookfield Fire Department and the National Fire Sprinkler Association’s
With the admiration of everyone in the audience, three
The sprinkler operated quickly and fully doused the flames in one side, while thick smoke billowed out of the unsprinklered side. As the room on this side went to flashover, most everyone in the audience instinctively took a step or two back. With one fire fully extinguished, the firefighters stepped in to suppress the unsprinklered fire. The results were clear—the sprinklered room had all of its contents intact with minimal damage, while the unsprinklered side was destroyed except for the shell of the room. It was all over in only a few minutes, but the impact on the audience will last much longer.
Looking back on that day in
The key point—that the sprinklered fire is the “preferred fire” is self-evident. There’s no need to lecture.
Consider adding this type of demonstration to your community educational outreach. The HFSC offers the fire service a wide range of free educational and presentation materials, including a brand new education kit. The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition can help supplement that experience. For more information and to obtain these materials, visit the HFSC’s website at homefiresprinkler.org .
Gary Keith is NFPA’s Vice President, Field Operations & Education. He also serves as chair of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition.