Advocacy Group Promotes Fire Sprinklers With Introduction of PSAs Featuring People Who Lost Family Members in Fires

November 1, 2010

PLEASANT VIEW, Tenn., Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Common Voices, an advocates’ coalition determined to create a Fire Safe America, released a series of six new Public Service Announcements (PSA) that tell the stories of women who have lost family members in fires and explain the need for fire sprinklers in homes. Each PSA has a personal message from Common Voices advocates, but many with a twist.

Advocate Vina Drennan’s husband was a firefighter who lost his life fighting a house fire. She stresses how fire sprinklers can be “like having firefighters in your home that work 24/7, 365 days a year.” Drennan’s goal is to get people talking about fire sprinklers in homes.

“Vina is a different kind of advocate, working tirelessly to raise awareness about firefighter safety since her husband’s death in 1994,” explains Vickie Pritchett, facilitator of the coalition. “Her somber reminder about losing her husband highlights the important role that firefighter safety has on the nation’s fire service.”

Donna Henson lost her son in an off-campus house fire. She relates fire sprinklers in homes to air bags in cars. The main point being that once technology is proven to save lives, it must be incorporated into governing codes and manufacturing requirements.

Justina Page, who lost her son in a house fire and who is a burn survivor, shows her emotion as she gazes out a window, watching neighborhood children playing and discussing how she will never again be able to see her son play outside. Her direct plea to the viewer to install fire sprinklers and her genuine account of “if I had only known…” makes the issue and solution obvious and simple.

Amy Acton, Executive Director of The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, reminds viewers that fire does not discriminate. “It happens to the rich, it happens to the poor, it could happen to you,” she says. Acton, who is also a burn survivor, notes that many times we focus only on those who die, forgetting the impact to society and to the survivors themselves. Burn injuries occur every 57 minutes, and are a significant part of our nation’s fire problem.

Gail Minger explains how her son went away to college, but was never able to graduate due to a deadly fire that took his life. The “deadly mistake” that she made in the numerous safety checks before her son left for college was that she did not check if his campus residence had fire sprinklers.

Bonnie Woodruff tells the story of her son bringing home a turtle when he was a child. She tells viewers that the turtle is still alive while her son is not. He died in a fraternity house fire on Mother’s Day. She describes it as a senseless death that could have been prevented with fire sprinklers. Woodruff highlights her current efforts as an advocate challenging those who work to defeat code requirements that include fire sprinklers.

According to Pritchett, state and local battles are currently occurring across the nation. Through these women’s advocacy efforts, they hope that their stories and the statistics proving the need for residential fire sprinklers can make a difference and encourage people to get involved with residential fire sprinkler advocacy.

The complete media kit, which is free thanks to the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Act fire prevention grant, is available by visiting www.fireadvocates.org and will also be mailed to fire safety advocacy organizations nationwide to help promote the use of residential fire sprinklers.

SOURCE Common Voices

Source: newswire

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