Codes and standards
NFPA Impact June 2017: Sprinkler stipend program comes to Canada
By Shayne Mintz
By Shayne Mintz
After several months of planning and preparation, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition has bridged the border. In March, the United States-based non-profit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition announced a new Canadian website, with important educational information for a broad range of stakeholders.
HomeFireSprinklerCanada.ca provides timely resources to increase interest in the life-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers in newly constructed homes.
In partnership with The Co-operators and Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association (CASA), this new, comprehensive website presents videos, fact sheets and answers to frequently asked questions provide key information about residential sprinkler systems and their life-saving benefits. Many of these resources will help fire departments that want to incorporate fire sprinkler information in their education programs.
In recognition of these efforts and the growing awareness, Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Canada has announced a grant program that will provide stipends to fire departments for conducting burn-cell demonstrations at public education presentations, open houses and community events.
Ten fire departments will be selected to receive a $1,000 stipend to conduct side-by-side fire and sprinkler burn demonstrations as part of their public education program.
To be eligible, departments must become a BUILT FOR LIFE Fire Department by submitting an application and commit to incorporating home fire sprinklers into their public education and outreach activities. This could be as simple as adding information about home sprinklers to existing public education initiatives, or as comprehensive as establishing a local outreach program. Already, more than 2,500 fire departments across Canada and the United States have committed to the cause.
To qualify, departments must, at the minimum, agree to implement a local home fire sprinkler demonstration by the end of 2017; ensure the event contains home fire sprinkler educational outreach; endeavour to extend the educational benefits beyond the actual event (such as through local media or placement of photos or video on the fire department’s website and social media outlets, if any); evaluate the educational effectiveness of the event; and file an event summary and evaluation to Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Canada.
Departments can apply for the stipend program, by visiting homefiresprinklercanada.ca/2017-stipend-canada. Simply complete the applications by answering a few questions and submit.
At almost every event I attend these days, there are discussions about getting involved in the residential sprinkler movement and questions arise about residential fire sprinklers, and NFPA 13D: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes.
I have noticed what seems to be a growing interest in residential fire sprinklers, and not just from the fire services but also from municipal building officials and homebuilders alike. Their questions often focus on the growing awareness of the lethal effects of smoke and fire. I emphasize that home fire sprinklers can play a significant role in saving lives and preventing injuries.
The goal of Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Canada is to enlist as many stakeholders as possible to engage with their communities and develop regional or provincial coalitions in Canada.
There will soon be recognized Home Fire Sprinkler Coalitions in both British Columbia and Ontario. There are also very strong pockets of interest in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Canada believes that with the right information and tools, more fire departments can teach their communities about residential sprinklers. The coalition has developed many resources to simplify any department’s residential fire sprinkler outreach program — and they’re all free of charge. Aside from the stipend program, every ‘BUILT FOR LIFE Fire Department’ will receive a fire and sprinkler burn demonstration kit, educational outreach materials, certificate of participation and much more.
For more information about how to get involved and participate in the program visit homefiresprinklercanada.ca/2017-stipend-canada or call 1-877-550-HFSC (4372)
Shayne Mintz has more than 35 years of experience in the fire service, completing his career as chief of the Burlington Fire Department in Ontario. He is now the Canadian regional director for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Contact Shayne at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter at @ShayneMintz