House on fire

HFSC and NFSA Team up to Show the Effectiveness of Home Fire Sprinklers Using Virtual Reality

Last week in Ashland City, Tennessee, the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) teamed up to record a live fire video shoot at a single family home. But this shoot was unique from any other live fire video shoot. HFSC conducted the shoot to produce an unprecedented, virtual reality, 360-degree house fire and sprinkler educational video.

The video, which is scheduled to be completed later this year, will allow people to experience firsthand a fire with and without fire sprinklers, right in their own living room. The viewer will be able to see flashover as the flames and smoke spread and better understand how the high heat from fires activates a sprinkler and how the sprinkler controls the blaze. Viewers will ultimately be able to compare the damage in the two rooms after the fire is put out. A 2D version of the video will be created for free, on-demand access via Internet.

To help ensure HFSC captured the footage, NFSA teamed up with the Ashland City Fire Department. Together they secured a single-family house earmarked for demolition and obtained permission to use it for live fires. The home was ideal because it had two rooms that could be set up as identical living rooms.  The shoot was a major success.

This live fire video shoot further demonstrates the need for every home to have a fire sprinkler system installed. According to NFPA's "U.S. Experience with Sprinklers" report

  • the civilian death rate was 81 percent lower in homes with fire sprinklers than in homes without them.
  • the average firefighter injury rate was nearly 80 percent lower when fire sprinklers were present during fires.
  • when sprinklers were present, fires were kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time.
  • the home fire death rate was 90 percent lower when fire sprinklers and hardwired smoke alarms were present. By comparison, this death rate is only 18 percent lower when battery-powered smoke alarms are present but automatic extinguishing systems weren't.

Learn more about HFSC’s virtual reality education kit through this short video.

Photos with captions are also available.


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Matt Levin
Matthew Levin
NFPA Public Affairs Intern

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