The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) announces a new stipend program for U.S. and Canadian fire departments looking to conduct home fire sprinkler demonstrations within their communities. HFSC will offer $1,000 stipends to fire departments to conduct live home fire sprinkler demonstrations.
The stipends will pay for materials to build the side-by-side fire and sprinkler burn demonstration units and other costs to host the events. HFSC provides guidance for building the units and conducting a public education event through its free Fire and Sprinkler Burn Demonstration Kit.
Each demonstration will feature two similarly furnished rooms — one protected with fire sprinklers and the other without fire sprinklers — to illustrate the dangers of home fires and, more importantly, the lifesaving benefits of home fire sprinklers.
“These demonstrations showcase the effectiveness of home fire sprinklers at a time when consumers are made to falsely believe that modern homes are built safer,” says Peg Paul, communications manager for HFSC. “In reality, fires in today’s homes are burning hotter and faster than in homes of the past.”
Research from both Underwriters Laboratories and the National Institute of Standards & Technology proves Paul’s statement. When exposed to fire, the unprotected lightweight materials in new homes can create more dangerous conditions faster and fail sooner compared to older dimensional lumber systems. Also, airtight construction, energy-conserving building materials make for faster spreading fires, and modern synthetic furnishings create poisonous, billowing smoke.
Only fire departments that are members of HFSC’s free Built For Life Fire Department (BFLFD) Program can apply for the stipend. Fire departments can sign up to become a BFLFD here. Currently, over 2,500 fire departments have committed to making home fire sprinklers a focus of their community outreach as members of the BFLFD Program.