The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) have awarded Kyle Kittrell with the 2023 Bringing Safety Home Award. This award honors fire safety advocates in North America who diligently promote the importance of home fire sprinklers and use HFSC educational material, NFPA data, and Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources to educate decision-makers about the importance of home fire sprinklers. Kittrell is the first award recipient who is not a member of the fire service. He spent his career working as a civil engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Jason Turner, division chief of prevention, Jefferson City Fire Department, nominated Kittrell because he was instrumental in convincing Habitat for Humanity to protect the 100th-built home with fire sprinklers in 2016 when he was a volunteer with the organization. Since then, 25 additional Habitat for Humanity homes are protected. Kittrell continued his mission in his current role as director at Transformational Housing. He educated about the life-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers, had the overwhelming support of local contractors, and worked hard to see sprinklers installed in projects completed by both organizations.
According to Turner, Kittrell had gone down to Springfield, Missouri with Fire Chief Matthew Schofield and witnessed a live side-by-side fire and sprinkler demonstration. “Kyle said that convinced him of the crucial need for home fire sprinklers. When we dedicated the house, we all stepped back and thought what an accomplishment. It’s a small impact that we see today but hopefully an impact that will continue to grow within the community and save lives,” Turner said.
“It is very powerful when someone who is not a member of the fire service hears about what they can do and becomes a true advocate,” said Lorraine Carli, HFSC president and NFPA VP of outreach and advocacy. “Kyle learned about sprinklers and used our educational resources to educate others from the organization. Now both occupants and firefighters are protected thanks to Kyle.”
As the Bringing Safety Home Award recipient, Kittrell was awarded a $1000 stipend to further fire sprinkler advocacy and educational efforts. Schofield and Turner presented Kittrell with the award during the City of Jefferson council meeting.