MADISON, WI (MAY 28, 2019) – What do you get when you mix a Memorial Day weekend with 80-degree weather in Madison, Wisconsin along with the World’s Largest Brat Fest? A great opportunity for the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA WI) to participate in hosting a side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstration as a part of National Home Fire Sprinkler Week, and to show off the Chapter’s newest mobile side-by-side demonstration trailer.

The Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition (WFSC), with assistance from the City of Madison and Town of Madison Fire Departments, performed the side-by-side fire sprinkler burn presentations to onlookers at the festival. The WFSC is comprised of the Wisconsin State Fire Chief’s Association, Wisconsin State Fire Inspector’s Association, Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Firefighter’s Association and NFSA WI. The trailer was set up by the City of Madison Fire Department and reset by the Town of Madison Fire Department.

The two demonstrations were held at 12:30 and 3:00 PM on Saturday, May 25, showing the intensity of a home fire which quickly spread in the non-protected side, destroying everything in the room; in contrast to the benefits of home fire sprinklers quickly controlling the fire in the protected side. The presentations worked as usual with the smoke detector sounding at about 18 seconds from first flame, fire sprinkler activation at 25 seconds and flashover in the unprotected space at 1 minute 42 seconds.

Madison’s WMTV-NBC-15 covered the first demonstration and interviewed Guy Santelli, Kenosha Fire Department, who provided “live” narrative to the crowd, estimated at more than 250 at each presentation. Some onlookers were also interviewed for their reactions.

Saturday also wrapped up National Home Fire Sprinkler Week, a campaign established by the Fire Sprinkler Initiative, a project of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) to raise awareness of the dangers of home fires and the life-saving benefits of installing home fire sprinklers in new homes. The demonstrations were partially funded through a stipend from the HFSC. Many people came forward after the demonstrations to pick up fire safety and fire sprinkler information, also provided by the HFSC.

Local Contractor Members of NFSA assisted with sponsorship of this event. H. J. Pertzborn Plumbing and Fire Protection Corporation was one of the major sponsors for Brat Fest. The J. F. Ahern Company sponsored the exhibit space for the event.

Brat Fest, established in 1983, is the world’s largest festival of its kind, with an estimated 100,000+ people attendance each year. This free event benefits more than 100 Madison area charities, raising close to $4 million over the past 35 years. The event features music, food, a carnival, and other family activities.

Guy Santelli with the Kenosha Fire Department narrating the demonstration.

Approximately 250 – 300 people watched the side-by-side demonstrations

Firefighter prepared to put out the fire in the unit without a fire sprinkler

Firefighters extinguishing the fire in the unit with a fire sprinkler

A fire has started in the unit protected with a fire sprinkler seconds before the fire sprinkler activated

The fire sprinkler activated putting out the fire in the fire sprinkler protected unit

Firefighter checks unit after demonstration