Live burn demonstrations to show how 'Fire Won't Wait. Plan Your Escape'

  • Last October, the St. Charles Fire Department hosted live burn demonstration showing how quickly a room can be engulfed in flames if not protected by a fire sprinkler.

    Last October, the St. Charles Fire Department hosted live burn demonstration showing how quickly a room can be engulfed in flames if not protected by a fire sprinkler. Courtesy of Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board

Submitted by Peg Paul & Associates
Posted9/22/2022 12:34 PM

The Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board is partnering with local fire departments throughout the Chicago area to conduct live burn demonstrations at their open house events. The burn demonstrations will educate the public about how quickly fires can become deadly, as well as the important life- and property-saving benefits of fire sprinklers. The events are centered around national Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 9-15. This year's theme is: "Fire Won't Wait. Plan Your Escape."

The demonstrations provide a side-by-side comparison with two similarly furnished rooms; one room has a single fire sprinkler installed, while the other does not. Both have smoke alarms. Attendees will be able to feel the extreme heat and view the quick growth of fire in the room without the sprinkler 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 typical fire department response times, the importance of working smoke alarms for early warning, and well-practiced escape plans.


"A house fire can become deadly in as little as two to three minutes because the furniture and other contents in today's homes are made out of petroleum-based plastics and synthetic materials, which produce toxic black smoke and burn hotter and faster than ever before," NIFSAB Executive Director Erik Hoffer said. "With these live demonstrations, people can see how quickly everything in the room can burst into flames. They can also see how heat from the fire activates the fire sprinkler, stopping the fire from becoming deadly, so people have time to escape."

More than 110 Illinois communities require fire sprinklers in new construction homes -- and many more require them in new multifamily and commercial buildings. Fire sprinklers not only protect occupants and property, but they also protect the lives of first responders arriving on the scene. Below is a list of upcoming fire and sprinkler burn demonstrations. Contact NIFSAB or the fire departments for more details.

Saturday, Sept. 24:

• Lake Villa Fire Protection District

• Plainfield Fire Protection District

• Pleasantview Fire Protection District

Saturday, Oct. 1:

• Aurora Regional Fire Museum

• Berwyn Fire Department

• Clarendon Hills Fire Department

• Des Plaines Fire Department

• Fox River Grove Fire Protection District

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• Hammond Fire Department (Indiana)

• La Grange Park Fire Department

• Palatine Fire Department

Sunday, Oct. 2:

• Norwood Park Fire Protection District

• Roberts Park Fire Protection District

Monday, Oct. 3:

• Moraine Valley Community College

Wednesday, Oct. 5:

• Warrenville Fire Protection District

Saturday, Oct. 8:

• Elk Grove Village Fire Department

• Hinsdale Fire Department

• Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District

• Rolling Meadows Fire Department

• Roselle Fire Department (Founders Day Festival)

• Wauconda Fire Protection District

Sunday, Oct. 9:

• Countryside Fire Protection District

• McHenry Township Fire Protection District

Monday, Oct. 10:

• Western Springs Fire Department


Tuesday, Oct. 11:

• La Grange Fire Department

Wednesday, Oct. 12:

• Westchester Fire Department

Saturday, Oct. 15:

• Beecher Fire Protection District

• Hillside Fire Department

• Itasca Fire Protection District

• Lansing Fire Department

• Northbrook Fire Department

• Romeoville Fire Department

• St. Charles Fire Department

• Streamwood Fire Department

Wednesday, Oct. 19:

• Harper College

Saturday, Oct. 22:

• Bloomingdale Fire Protection District

The Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting progressive legislation, raising public awareness, and educating code officials and governmental policymakers by demonstrating the proven performance of fire sprinklers in saving both lives and property. For information, visit