Michael Hazell

Back in class, fire safety experts get a lesson in terminology

Blog Post created by Michael Hazell Employee on Sep 19, 2014

Terminology ChallengeThere’s a new twist on the “swear jar” this week at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Fire officials and fire and life safety educators participating in the Urban Fire and Life Safety–Issues and Solutions class aren’t putting money in a jar every time they swear, they’re putting money in a tray every time they use the term “smoke detector” when they mean “smoke alarm.”

Lieutenant Derrick Ready of the Baltimore Fire Department led the charge in requiring that proper terminology be used when referring to smoke alarms. The exercise is a great reminder that the term “smoke detector” is generally used to describe an interconnected system sometimes monitored remotely that is commonly found in hotels, hospitals, and other commercial or industrial settings.

Lt. Ready’s 27 classmates, including NFPA Senior Project Manager Karen Berard-Reed, members of NFPA’s Urban Fire and Life Safety Task Force, and instructor Sharon Gamache, formerly of NFPA, all agreed to the challenge.

The penalty for each verbal slip was 25 cents the first day. The fine was increased to 50 cents the second day. By day three, $7.25 had been collected. The money will go toward the purchase of a brick on The Walk of Honor® of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

By NFPA's Lisa Braxton

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