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November 17, 2011 Previous day Next day

Cigarettebandingwords030906Illustration: John Roman

Joining the United States, Canada, Australia and Finland, the European Commission is requiring that all cigarettes sold in the European Union will have to meet a specific fire safety standard effective November 17, 2011. According to the press release, the new standards have been drawn up under the General Product Safety Directive and require producers to place only safe products on the market.

In 2008 the European Commission defined the safety requirements, following discussion with Member States, the tobacco and paper industries and NGOs, and then asked the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) to develop the relevant standards, which national authorities will use to measure compliance with fire safety rules. The EU estimates that this move will reduce the number of fire fatalities in Europe by about 40 percent.

The press release cited the success of the requirement in Finland where they have seen the number of victims of cigarette-ignited fires fall by 43 percent.

NFPA established the Fire-Safe Cigarette Coalition  2006 to get passage of consistent fire-safe cigarette legislation in all 50 states. When the coalition began, there were only two states with such legislation. By July of 2011, all 50 state laws were in effect. New York, which was the first state to pass legislation, has seen a reduction in fires and fire deaths related to cigarettes.

Cigarettes are the leading cause of home fire fatalities in the United States.

Lorraine Carli

Jay and rocco

Photo courtesy of Scott Dalrymple, EFD

As head of communications for the National Fire Protection Association, I spend a considerable amount of time scanning the news, both traditional media outlets as well as the social media channels. This is one way to keep up with daily events and trends and enhance NFPA's ability to put out information that hopefully is of value to the many people interested in fire safety.

The other night, while quickly scrolling through facebook, I was struck by this photo -- the yellow tape, the smokey haze, the intensity on both men's faces. It wasn't on one of the many facebook pages devoted to some aspect of the fire service, it was on the page of one of my best friends from high school. The picture is of her father and brother at the scene of a three alarm fire in Everett Monday that left six families homeless.Thankfully no one was injured in the blaze. It is a poignant portrayal of the rich tradition that you often see in the fire service -- generation after generation choosing a career where they put their lives on the line every day for those in their community.

Prv. Joseph A. Andreotti joined the Everett Fire Department on in December of 1960 and retired in January of 1996 with just over 35 years with the department. Prv. Rocco Andreotti joined the EFD on in March of 1986, 25 years and counting!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I agree but I wonder what the words were between the two.

Lorraine Carli

Jeff HudsonJeff Hudson of Shawnee, KS, has joined the staff at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to promote the adoption of fire sprinkler legislation across the United States.

Jeff comes to NFPA with 36 years of experience in the fire service. Starting his career as a volunteer firefighter for the city of Shawnee, KS, he worked his way up the ranks to Fire Chief, a position he held for the past ten years.

He attended the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD, and holds an associate’s degree in fire science, a bachelor’s in management and a master’s in public administration. He has served in high-ranking leadership roles for a number of reputable fire associations and committees including the Kansas Association of Fire Chiefs, the Johnson County (KS) Fire Chief’s Association, the Fire Marshal’s Association of Kansas and the Eastern Kansas Multi-County Task Force.

Recently, Jeff was featured in NFPA's "Faces of Fire" campaign, an effort designed to put a face on the life-saving impact of home sprinklers. While Fire Chief in Shawnee, KS, one of his firefighters was the first in the community to die in the line of duty.

Boston Business JournalLisa van der Pool chatted recently with NFPA's Lorraine Carli about NFPA's use of social media to help spread the organizations messages. Lisa praises NFPA's great success on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInYou Tube and various blogs

Lorraine explained, “People who are engaged with the NFPA are ... are very passionate about this issue,” said Carli. “And we’re committed to giving them the kind of material they need.”

Surprised by one video with soaring view numbers, Lisa highlights NFPA’s top YouTube video, with nearly 200,000 hits, showing how fast a dry Christmas tree burns, compared to one that’s been watered. Watch it below.


Lisa also commented that NFPA’s social media success is not all that surprising. A new report from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, who examined which nonprofit issues were the most talked about on social media sites, discovered that disaster relief is one of the most-talked about subjects on social media.

Thanks to Lisa for her encouragement and support! Check out her complete article here

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