Palatine’s Inspector

Left to Right: Palatine’s Inspector Randy Dowell, Fire Marshal Jay Atherton and Tom Lia.

ORLAND PARK, IL (July 8, 2019) — The Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition, in conjunction with the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB), has launched the Save-A-Day Challenge Coin campaign to recognize fire departments and districts that report successful fire sprinkler activations. Each fire department that reports an incident where a fire sprinkler controls or extinguishes a fire will receive a collector coin.

Fire Chief Scott Anderson, Deputy Chief Scott Mackeben and Fire Marshal Jay Atherton of the Palatine Fire Department are the first to receive the official Challenge Coin. Atherton completed the Save-A-Day form after a fire sprinkler extinguished a fire in an apartment kitchen. In addition to completing the form, Atherton submitted a press release promoting the life-and property-saving benefits that resulted from the apartment being protected with fire sprinklers. An American Flag coin holder will also be presented along with the first coin.

NIFSAB has kept a record of successful activations for almost 20 years based on information from fire departments and media reports. According to NIFSAB Executive Director Tom Lia, this information plays a vital role in supporting the need for upgrading fire and building codes that require fire sprinklers.

“When the fire service has information about fire sprinkler saves from their own or neighboring communities, it defends the need for codes that require sprinklers and supports codes that require sprinklers in all commercial and residential buildings,” Lia said.

“Successful activation information is also important to share with the media. Often, these stories are not covered. Quotes from fire leaders that talk about what would have happened without sprinklers or how sprinklers resulted in lives saved, no injuries and less damage, allowing business to stay open and people to return to their homes, can result in effective media coverage,” Lia added. “When a member of the fire service shares successful activation information, they are helping the entire fire safety community. That is why we are recognizing fire departments with this Save-A-Day Challenge Coin.”

Members of the fire service are encouraged to report all successful activations, commercial and residential, using the Save-A-Day online form. Those who complete the form will receive the Challenge Coin. The information must be submitted by a member of the fire service within the state of Illinois.

Each fire sprinkler success story should contain the following:

  • Date, time, and location of the fire, including location’s name and town
  • Number of sprinklers activated
  • Details of the incident, including origin and cause if available
  • Original value of the structure and an estimated restoration value, if applicable.
  • Sprinkler-related quote(s) from local fire official(s).
  • Any news sources that might have reported on the fire online, with URL link(s)

Success stories can be submitted on the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s website. All verified “Saves” will be posted in the next edition of the Fire Sprinkler Times Newsletter and added to the “Saves” document, which is available on the website and to all municipal and interested officials.

ample of the support from NIFSAB for our students and for the fire service in our joint quest for the protection of the public through the use of sprinklers,” Norlin added.

Palatine's fire inspector

Left to Right: Palatine’s Inspector Randy Dowell, Fire Marshal Jay Atherton and Tom Lia.