Marvel Entertainment Helps Siemens Increase Fire Safety and Awareness

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 9:30 am EDT


Dave Hopping, President, Siemens Building Technologies Division – North America

This week marks National Fire Prevention Week, which commemorates the Great Chicago Fire that started on October 8, 1871, and tragically killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed more than 17,000 structures. Sadly, it’s disasters of this magnitude that help to bring about change and better prepare us for the future.

The Great Chicago Fire sparked a movement in fire safety, and further advancements to smoke detection, fire sprinklers, and fire safety codes have saved some 90,000 lives since the 1970s. Most recently, fire alarm systems now equipped with emergency voice communications instruct building occupants which actions should be taken to help expedite an evacuation and to ensure their safety.

In order to raise awareness about this critical fire safety technology, Siemens has teamed with Marvel Entertainment to create a campaign that illustrates the power of these technological advancements. Readers will be able to see in the resulting comic poster how the Avengers and an emergency voice communication system all helped save the day for several office workers.

Our goal is to take a unique approach to engaging our audience on the benefits of advanced technology. Working with Marvel, we were able to take a very serious topic and illustrate how such an important fire safety technology – emergency voice communications – can help save lives and prevent extensive property damage.

Using Their Voice

Voice communication can be used to deliver not just fire-related messages, but also every day and emergency life safety messages about dangerous weather conditions, threat of unauthorized persons, or other scenarios that require immediate action be taken.

Although emergency voice communication systems are now available for buildings of all sizes, small to mid-size buildings such as retail, dormitories, movie theaters, and religious assembly buildings are not as likely to have installed them. In fact, hotels and mid-rise office buildings that may be as high as five stories are not yet required by code to have emergency voice. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the majority of fires in communal living areas such as hotels and dormitories tend to occur during the overnight hours, making voice instruction on what to do even more essential. This also goes hand in hand with the industry finding that occupants in buildings with emergency voice are three times more likely to evacuate immediately.

Bearing this and other safety statistics in mind, K-12 schools are fast adopting emergency voice communication systems, incorporating the technology into their fire alarm systems. Similar building occupancies such as hotels and high-rise structures are expected to follow suit.

Fifty-two Weeks of Fire Safety

Without a doubt, technology helps protect us and thwart fires. But fire safety and awareness are also our collective responsibility – whether we’re at work, school, home, or on vacation. We should talk about fire safety with our family, friends, and colleagues – in terms of prevention but also planning in case of a fire. And, we should also take a moment to thank our fire service – who are the true fire super heroes – while we’re at it.

Fire and life safety should be more than just a passing thought during only one week per year; it needs to be a constant mindset. 


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