Fire Departments Set Fires To Teach About Fire Prevention

The Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) is assisting local fire departments to conduct live burn demonstrations to educate the public about how quickly fires can become deadly and the important life- and property-saving benefits of fire sprinklers.

The demonstrations provide a side-by-side-comparison with two similarly furnished rooms — one with a fire sprinkler installed in the room. Audiences will be able to feel the extreme heat and view the quick growth of fire in the unprotected room and compare it with the quick response and cooling action of the fire sprinkler in the other room. The demonstrations also allow fire departments to talk to attendees about pre-fire planning, smoke alarms and escape planning.


Illinois fire official Mike Figolah (ret.) narrates a fire and sprinkler burn demonstration.


“Today’s fires can become deadly in less than threeminutes because of the contents we have in our homes,” says fire safety advocate and NIFSAB Executive Director Tom Lia. “These demonstrations allow people to see how quickly everything in the room can burst into flames. It also allows fire departments to show how fire sprinklers truly work, how heat from the fire cause the sprinkler to activate and control or extinguish fires.”

By the end of the year, NIFSAB will have assisted with 48 side-by-side fire and sprinkler burn demonstrations, along with 27 fire sprinkler trailer demonstrations. That would bring NIFSAB’s total side-by-side demos in the last decade to 657.

Over 100 Illinois communities now require fire sprinklers in new construction homes — and many more require them in new multifamily and commercial buildings — because they not only protect occupants and property, but also the lives of first responders.

Below is a list of fire and sprinkler burn demonstrations:


September 23:

Mount Prospect Fire Department (Trailer demonstration)

Buffalo Grove Fire Department

Wauconda Fire District

 September 24:

Riverside Fire Department (Trailer demonstration)

 September 28:

Broadview Fire Department

 September 30:

Lemont Fire Protection District

Plainfield Fire Protection District

Algonquin Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District

 Oct. 2:
Moraine Valley Community College (Palos Hills)

 Oct. 4:
Warrenville FPD

 Oct. 7:
Niles Fire Department/Home Depot

Palatine Municipality

Carol Stream Fire District

Norwood Park Fire Protection District (Trailer Demonstration)

Alsip Fire Department

Hazel Crest Fire Department (Trailer Demonstration)

Minooka Fire Protection District (Trailer Demonstration)

Streamwood Fire Department

Westmont Fire Department

Clarendon Hills Fire Department

 Oct. 8:

Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District

Lake Zurich Fire Department

 Oct. 9:

Western Springs Fire Department (Trailer Demonstration)

 Oct 11:

Downers Grove Fire Department

Westchester Fire Department

 October 13:

Beecher Fire Protection District

 October 14:

Park Forest Fire Department

St. Charles Fire Department

Darien/Woodridge Fire Protection District

Hinsdale Fire Department

River Forest Fire Department (Trailer Demonstration)

Rolling Meadows Fire Department

Highland (Indiana) Fire Department

Romeoville Fire Department

LaGrange Park Fire Department

Elgin Fire Department (Trailer Demonstration)

Bartlett Fire Department

Tri-State Fire Protection District

 October 15:

Elk Grove Fire Department (Trailer Demonstration)

October 22:

Round Lake Fire Department (Trailer Demonstration)

 November 1:

Stickney Fire Department (Trailer Demonstration)

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