Brooklyn Park Side By Side Demo Reaches 4,000 People!

The Brooklyn Park (MN) Fire Department held several virtual public education sessions as part of National Fire Prevention Week 2020. One of the sessions was a side by side demonstration streamed live to the City of Brooklyn Park Facebook page. That demonstration has reached over 4,000 viewers! The incredible ease at which a department can reach so many audience members is exactly what makes social media such a powerful influence in today’s society.

The burn took place on October 8th at the Brooklyn Park Central Fire Station, using a side by side demonstration trailer built by the fire department from plans and partial grant funding from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. The October 8th burn was the second burn conducted using this trailer. NFSA staff was on hand to witness the demonstration and to provide technical advice and assistance. The burn was conducted by the department’s Fire Marshal Dan Krier (NFSA member) and Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff St. Martin.

Audience members were treated to a very comprehensive show! In addition to the sprinkler demonstration, the presentation included great fire prevention and home fire safety information as well as very informative details about fire propagation and fire department staffing, response times, and operations.

The side by side demonstration was a complete success. Smoke alarms activated in six seconds. The fire sprinkler activated just 21 seconds after ignition, and flashover took place in just over 1 minute! The final side by side comparison between “sprinkler-protected” and “unprotected” living rooms provided a graphic lesson to the thousands of audience members. Watch the Video Below (Ignition starts at 8 minutes and 20 minutes into the video).

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition was founded by a joint venture of the NFSA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA). The Coalition provides plans for side by side demonstration “pods,” sprinkler props, and other training aids useful to public education efforts, as well as great information on fire sprinklers for homeowners and builders. Media kits and informational brochures are also provided for public education and media outreach.

NFSA field staff is working hard to leverage social media to greatly extend the “reach” of side by side demonstrations and training events this year. COVID-19 has forced us to be creative and adapt to new technology – or in the case of social media – to get far more familiar with the tools already available to us. With a simple tripod, lapel mic, and mobile phone, NFSA field staff are armed with the capability of streaming live demonstrations to our national and chapter Facebook and Twitter accounts, and allows us to be “cub reporters” at events like the Fire Prevention Week virtual event at Brooklyn Park Fire. Expanding our social media impact is one more powerful way of working towards the mission to “Protect lives and property from fire through the widespread acceptance of the fire sprinkler concept!”