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Fire Alarm Lesson Plan Boy_Page_1“When You Hear a Smoke Alarm, Get Out and Stay Out” is the name of the NFPA’s new Learn Not to Burn Preschool lesson. It includes objectives, background information for the teacher, three lesson plans that teach the behavior in different ways, two newly recorded upbeat smoke alarm songs in MP3 files, new art for coloring to go with the songs, and a letter to send home to the parents. This lesson includes many activities that will engage the children while they learn.

- Sharon Gamache

Photo from the Food and Drug AdministrationRelated tragedies in Massachusetts have raised awareness on the hazards surrounding medical oxygen in residential settings.

The Boston Globe reports that bottled oxygen was a "major contributor" to a February fire that killed a 64-year-old smoker. The blaze, which began in the woman's bedroom, was hot enough to melt the woman's ashtray adjacent to her bed. This week, another fire still under investigation and apparently fueled by medical oxygen killed an 84-year-old woman. The Globe states that neighbors could hear the sound of the canister erupting.  

Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan recently announced a new public education campaign that touts safety tips on oxygen usage well as NFPA statistics on this issue.“Oxygen soaks into bedding, clothes, hair, furniture, and the air,  creating an oxygen-enriched environment,’’ said Coan. “This makes things  catch fire more easily, fire spread faster and burn hotter. As more and  more people are bringing medical oxygen into the home, they need to  understand the new fire risks they also bring into the home.”

Download NFPA's smoking and home fire safety tip sheet for more information on safeguarding residences against medical oxygen fires.

-Fred Durso, Jr. 

Kim Fontes
The changes that have occurred in the publishing industry over the last several years are enough to make your head spin. E-book sales in 2011 have surged, surpassing most industry expert’s predictions. Technology has offered us Kindles, Nooks, IPADs, tablets, smart phones, the list goes on and on.  The way that we purchase, customize and consume content is remarkably different than it was even 12 months ago. 

NFPA, more so than many organizations is dramatically affected by these changes and has an enormous opportunity to use technology to further our reach and provide customers with more enhanced content. Our most constant questions are, “How can we ensure greater access to our codes and standards,and how can we meet our customer needs by providing timely, relevant content in various formats for consumption on different devices?”

Well, we start with an ambitious and innovative vision about how we will develop and distribute content. It is NFPA’s Vision for Content Strategy. Our goal  is to be a leader in wider and easier access to our basic codes and standards content while providing solution based products that help meet your needs and job requirements. We add some guiding principles about how and what we develop as products.

If we are successful in providing greater access to our codes and standards we not only fulfill our mission but expand it.  If we give customers better tools, we are also successful.

We would love to hear your thoughts. Take a look at the content strategy and share your thoughts with us. Tell us if you think this vision will help meet your needs and expectations in the future. Tell us if you think we are on the right track. Our aspiration is that we can harness new technology to do what we do best -- to protect and save lives.

It's easy to give feedback: Just click on the "COMMENTS" link below to get started.

Kim Fontes
Division Director, NFPA Product Development

On March 9, 1984, a fire occurred in a crew cabin of a ship on a daily cruise approximately 5 miles off the coast of central Florida.  The fire was discovered at approximately 7:30 p.m. and officers on the bridge immediately mobilized the ship’s fire brigade.  Crew members attempted unsuccessfully to extinguish the fire; while the attempts were being made, the captain alerted the passengers and returned the ship to a terminal at Port Canaveral.  When the ship reached land, the ship’s crew assisted all 744 passengers in safely disembarking the ship, meanwhile, land-based fire crews boarded the ship and began fire suppression operations. 

Fire suppression operations took 40 hours, and caused 90 firefighter injuries.  Six of the injured were transported to local hospitals for treatment.  Six factors were identified during the investigation which contributed significantly to the magnitude of this incident.

  • The failure to extinguish the fire in its incipient stage
  • The fuel loading of the cabins in the area of initial fire involvement
  • The failure of fire station hoses onboard the ship when fire crews attempted to place these lines in service
  • The incompatibility of the ship’s fire station (standpipe) hose connections with land-based fire department hose couplings
  • The lack of a detailed contingency plan for firefighting operations onboard ships docked at Port Canaveral
  • The lack of training of the land-based fire department units in shipboard firefighting tactics

NFPA members can download the full investigation report

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