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Fire Prevention Week (FPW) is almost here. If you haven’t already, now is a perfect time to get your  campaign organized. Did you know that you can download the FPW logo for your outreach materials? WeFPW2011%20logo%20120%20x%20240 have versions for web and print in all differnt sizes. We have also made it easy to send a FPW press release to your local media with our fill-in-the-blank news releases. Contact local newspapers to find out how far in advance you need to submit the news release before your activities. All you need to do is fill in the blanks where noted and send it to your media contacts. Don't forget to follow up with a telephone call to make sure each contact received the release and to answer any questions they may have.

If you have media interviews lined up already, our Fast Facts About Fire sheet is a great print out to have on hand. It outlines all the facts behind the fire problems facing communities today. These are just a few tips to help with your campaign. Let us know if you have any tips to share that have worked for you in the past.
- Amy Lebeau

Camera Time is running out for submissions to NFPA’s College Fire Safety Video Contest, which closes for preliminary judging September 30th.  Sparky the Fire Dog and the Center for Campus Fire Safety are asking college students to submit 30- to 60-second video public service announcements highlighting the importance of fire safety.  Finalists will receive prizes of $500, $250, and $100, respectively.  The contest runs in accordance with Campus Fire Safety Month (September), and Sparky wants all college students to take a new look at fire prevention as they live on their own in on- or off-campus housing.

In 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 3,840 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks. These fires caused an annual average of 3 civilian deaths, 38 civilian fire injuries, and $20.9 million in direct property damage.  Fire safety is every student’s responsibility regardless of their housing’s vicinity to campus.  For more information on campus fire safety, read NFPA’s fact sheet.

For more information on the contest, including how to enter, please visit Sparky's Birthday website

-Courtney Flynn 
NFPA's Sharon Gamache and Judy Comoletti host the "Getting to Know Fire Prevention Week" webinar.

Grab your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the “Emmy Award” (hee, hee) winning 2011 "Getting to Know Fire Prevention Week" webinar. Sharon Gamache, Amy LeBeau and I conducted this informative session for nearly 200 educators on September 14. We highlighted exciting new information on the FPW website including classroom lesson plans, kids and families activities and materials for high-risk populations.

WATCH NOW! If you missed the training or just want a refresher course, the entire webinar is available for you to watch. Learning all about the FPW website and what makes an effective FPW team is just a click away.

Let us know if you have any ideas for future webinars you would like the NFPA public education team to present. Just click on the “comments” link to talk to us.

-Judy Comoletti


Sparky the Fire Dog

Posted by ryan.quinn Employee Sep 22, 2011

My five year old son Alex loves Sparky the Fire Dog. NFPA recently released a new Sparky storybook that Lauren Backstrom posted about on Monday. As a special birthday gift for Alex this month, I obtained a hot-off-the-press copy and had Sparky autograph the inside cover.

Today when Alex arrived at his preschool, the first thing he did was announce to his friends and teacher that he received a special Sparky the Fire Dog® story and that it was signed by "Sparky" himself! The teacher recommended he share the book next week during their weekly "Sharing Day." He was also proud to say that he would be coming to NFPA soon to see Sparky during the annual Fire Prevention Week™ activities for staff and their families.

Do you have any anecdotes you can share about kids loving Sparky the Fire Dog? Check out the website for cool games and activities, or a great selection of Sparky the Fire Dog products such as brochures, coloring/activity books, fire hats, stickers, crayons and more! He's a great pal to keep around

 “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!”. The fire service gets inundated by requests for presentations, fire truck demonstrations, and station house tours. Are you prepared?

FPW2011_Catalogorder Ordering your official Fire Prevention Week (FPW) products ensures that you are able to have the tools to educate the people of your community and empower them “to have a hand in preventing home fires and protecting their families with life-saving technologies and planning.”

FPW2011FireService The FPW website provides a fire service section where you will be able to obtain the tools you will need for a successful campaign, including: media materials, how-to guides and more!  And don’t forget to add home fire sprinkler messages to your toolbox too.

If your interest goes beyond education about home fire sprinklers and want to advocate for requirements in your local community or state visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Initative: Bringing Safety Home website. You will obtain all the advocacy tools you need and you may take action to receive FSI's e-newsletter.

Maria Figueroa

Dr. John Hall, who heads up NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research division, recently took a break from crunching numbers and did some fun research for our Fire Prevention Week campaign. The result? He's come up with a list of the 100 or so highest-charting popular songs with "Fire", "Flame", or "Smoke" in the title, going back to the late 19th century.

Some of the songs include:

  • "We Didn't Start the Fire" (Billy Joel)
  • "Smokin' in the Boy's Room (Brownsville Station)
  • "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (which The Platters took to #1 on the charts in 1959 and another musical act took to #1 decades earlier)

And now John has issued this challenge: how many more songs can you come up with that feature "Fire", "Flame", or "Smoke" in the title". And if you really want to show off, which musical acts performed those songs? (Note: some songs were hits for several acts.)

We'll post John's entire list during Fire Prevention Week, but we'd like to hear from you.

It's easy to repond. Just click on the "Comments" link below, enter your name (just your first name is fine), and your e-mail address (this will NOT show in your post). Then just type your comments in the white box and select "Post".

- Mike Hazell

Enjoy the Platters singing one of their biggest hits...Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Sparky the Fire Dog Book NFPA recently teamed up with Emmy-award winning and best-selling author Don Hoffman and illustrator Todd Dakins to create Sparky the Fire Dog®, a picture book to be released on October 1, 2011, in celebration of the NFPA mascot’s 60th birthday.

The story, based on the life of Sparky, offers an entertaining and educational adventure filled with lessons and fire safety messages for youngsters. This adorable Dalmatian puppy is an important member of the fire station team. He’s rescued a little girl and her family, and now he’s helping kids become junior fire inspectors right in their own homes. In colorful, appealing illustrations, Sparky takes a group of young animals through the neighborhood, pointing out hazards, giving basic fire prevention and safety tips, and showing them how to be prepared in case of an emergency. From having a working smoke alarm to being careful with candles and knowing where your exits are, Sparky’s advice may be the most important thing children—and their parents—ever learn.

Fore more information on the book, including how you can now pre-order, visit Sparky's Birthday web page

-Lauren Backstrom


Can you top this?

Posted by amylebeau Employee Sep 13, 2011

I am always on the lookout for fun activities to do with the kids after school. Check out our "Cool to Tire_Swing" craft for the month of September. Sparky pencil toppers, complete safety messages.

These pencil toppers are easy to do and fun for all ages. Kids can pick from different images of Sparky with different safety messages. A great activity for open houses, class visits and after school programs too.
-- Amy LeBeau

Ad Week Walk of Fame

We all know and love Sparky the Fire Dog, and now he is being recognized as one of the country’s top-notch mascots in the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in NYC. Before he marches down the famous street on October 4, you can vote for him as your favorite icon!

Sparky Voting starts today and will be open through September 30th. Established during the inaugural Advertising Week, the inductees are voted on by the general public and the winners are announced during Ad Week, October 3-7th. Two icons will be chosen as winners this year.

Help Sparky out by spreading the word! What a great way to round out his 60th birthday celebration this Fall!

Vote for Sparky now!

-Lauren Backstrom arts and crafts station will be a delight for kids at your next Fire Prevention Week (FPW) open house, but who wants to deal with cleaning the mess?  Sparky the Fire Dog® origami is the perfect solution for art fun without the hassle. All that’s needed are square pieces of paper and colored pencils.  The adorable origami only takes several steps to complete, and in no time you’ll have a litter of paper Sparky’s!  See if you can make a Sparky® origami of your own by following these simple instructions:

Sparky the Fire Dog Origami
To find more ideas for fun FPW learning stations, click here.  

-Courtney Flynn 

We will never forget. NFPA joins in the remembrance of all that was lost on September 11, 2001. 

9.11 Slide

The September/October issue of NFPA Journal includes a cover story titled, "9/11: A Special 10th Anniversary Report" highlighting fire and life safety improvements and NFPA’s effort to strengthen codes and standards since that day. 


Sit Back and Listen

Posted by judycomoletti Employee Sep 9, 2011

Old  time radio The annual FPW audio files are up and waiting for you to take five minutes to learn about FPW 2011. Amy  LeBeau and I look forward to this promotion every year. You’ll learn about all the new support we have on the website including video and radio public service ads, the Scholastic project, classroom lesson plans and more. The interview is relaxed and informative. Last year we had 716 clicks on the podcast – let’s exceed that number.

So, what are you waiting for? Just click, sit back and listen.

- Judy Comoletti

Sprinkler smarts Are you a fire service life safety educator, a teacher, or a parent looking for specific home fire sprinkler education for kids for your Fire Prevention Week (FPW) activities?

In addition to all the kids and families materials that you are able to obtain from the FPW website, you can also visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition to access the Sprinkler Smarts for Kids home fire sprinkler education page.

With Sprinkler Smarts for Kids, HFSC provide "a great place for kids to learn about fire safety and fire sprinklers. Sprinkler Smarts introduces children to fire sprinkler technology. The focus is on the basics of fire safety for young children, while older students also learn the engineering behind sprinklers."

Visit HFSC and get Sprinkler Smart for Kids, another tool for your toolbox; and it's free!

Maria Figueroa 2011 Fire Prevention Week™ (FPW™) theme, "Protect Your Family From Fire," is a broad topic with which to plan your fire safety messages and open house activities. NFPA® supports your efforts in keeping your community safe and suggests focusing on Smoke Alarms, Escape Planning, and Home Fire Sprinklers. Judy Comoletti, Division Manager for NFPA's Public Education division, talks about using the theme and highlighting those key areas in your FPW campaigns:

FPW topics and highlights with Judy Comoletti

Looking for products that help support these FPW themes? FPW In A Box is the most visible and dynamic option with a banner, posters, brochures, stickers, bags, magnets, and more. Or, check out the Home Smoke Alarms brochure, the Exit Drills in the Home (E.D.I.T.H.) brochure, and the brand new Home Fire Sprinklers Save Lives brochure. Each brochure comes in a package of 100 for convenient distribution. Other key causes that are important in fire safety lessons include cooking and candles. Did you know cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries? FPW Magnets are a "sticky" way to remind people to be careful in the kitchen. Or hand out Kitchen Fire Safety brochures for a true educational impact.

Candles are another serious fire hazard and yet are used widely in homes. Give people the knowledge they need to understand the risks of using candles. On average 42 candle fires are reported each day and more than 1/3 (36%) of candle fires started in bedrooms. NFPA's Candle with Care brochure is a great way to keep those crucial safety tips when using candles front of mind. FPW may happen in October, but candle fires peak in December.

No matter how you use your FPW products to support your Fire Prevention Week activities -- NFPA has a wide assortment of items that help you prevent fires and keep people safe.

--Elizabeth Hyde

Visit the Fire Prevention Week catalog for more.

Fire safety book covers Firefighters in Maryland want students in two Prince George's County schools to start learning before they even crack open their books.

According to a report in the Washington Examiner, members of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Station are passing out book covers that are adorned with fire prevention and safety tips.

The news report, by Emily Babay, says the book covers provide safety messages such as reminders about checking smoke detectors and creating escape plans.

"We're targeting the elementary schools because we want to get people at an early age so they can start learning about fire safety early on," says Chief James McClelland.

According to the report, Chief McClelland said the book covers are part of an effort to get the fire station more involved in the schools. The covers are being paid for in part through a grant from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office and Maryland State Fireman's Association.

If you’re a member of the fire service and are looking to conduct some special Fire Prevention Week activities, we’ve got some ideas to inspire you.

  • Sparky birthday kitHere are some tips on how to hold a successful fire station open house for your community.
  • If your open house includes visits from young children, here are some great ideas on interactive learning stations.
  • How about holding a community-wide fire drill? It’s a great way to motivate positive behavior change, and can help raise your department’s profile during Fire Prevention Week.
  • Lastly, why not throw a party (who doesn’t love a party, especially when there’s cake?) for Sparky the Fire Dog. In honor of Sparky’s 60th birthday, we’ve put together a downloadable party kit with everything you need: to-do lists, invitations, thank you cards, birthday banners, cupcake toppers, name tags, water bottle wrappers, games and more. Best of all, the birthday kit is free!

What special events are you planning for Fire Prevention Week? Share your ideas in the Comments section below.

- Mike Hazell

How many people will be spending part of the last long weekend of summer cooking at a grill or eating food prepared on one?  Hundreds?  Hundreds of thousands?  C’mon, I know you’re out there!  

Just because the peak months for grilling are like fading images in a rearview mirror – clearly behind us – fire safety at the grill is as important as ever.  And while everyone deserves a break in honor of Labor Day weekend, this is not the time to take a break from fire safety - in fact, it’s the perfect time to put your fire safety knowledge to work!  NFPA has a great page of resources on grilling safety that’s worth a look. 

Fire it up! As grillers prepare their cooking equipment, they can also take steps to be sure the house or wildlands don’t get fired up along with it.  And if you are thinking that you will not experience a fire because you have been grilling for months and havent' had any issues, think again.  News reports are full of stories about fires involving grilling and most could have been prevented by following a few safety tips.  In Indiana, a grill was recently blamed for a fire that destroyed several condos and fire officials there are reminding residents and landlords to follow state guidelines. In parts of Texas, fire officials are urging caution for grilling this weekend  due to weather conditions.  And in Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper and state forester Jeff Jahnke are urging Coloradans and visitors to the state to take precautions to prevent wildfires over the Labor Day weekend and specifically mention grilling.

Is grilling a Labor Day tradition for your family or in your town? 

Wherever you are celebrating this long weekend, enjoy what your grill has to offer… safely! 


I live and work in Quincy, Massachusetts, a city with a population of a little over 92,000 that has seen considerable growth in its immigrant population. According to the 2010 Census, Quincy’s Asian population jumped to 22,174 in 2010 from 13,546 in 2000 and 5,577 in 1990. Asians currently make up 24 percent of the city’s population, and North Quincy, where I live, has the largest number of immigrants.

Many fire departments have seen a similar growth in immigrants in their communities, be they large cities or small towns. Fire and life safety educators, who must ensure that they reach everyone with their safety information and smoke alarm installation programs, often find that language and cultural differences between these populations and the fire department and other responders present challenges in communication and in responding to emergencies. For instance, immigrant populations may not be knowledgeable about fire prevention practices, such as the use of smoke alarms and home fire drills.

This Fire Prevention Week, we have posted materials detailing how to reach high-risk populations including immigrants. “Reaching Immigrants During FPW” provides resources for identifying immigrant populations in your community, whether through community leaders or websites such as the U.S. Census Bureau or Statistics Canada. It also includes ideas for activities that will help responders reach immigrants with fire safety information, such as working with local grocery stores and shops that specialize in food or clothing for specific ethnic groups or using NFPA’s easy-to-read cooking, electrical safety, and escape planning handouts in 14 languages.

What have you done in your community to reach immigrant populations?

Pictured are youth performing at a Quincy August Moon Festival.

- Sharon Gamache

Photos_August_Moon_Festival 022 

Easy Button Don’t you wish everything in life had an easy button?  Well, if you’re thinking of planning a Fire Prevention Week (FPW) open house, you’re in luck.  NFPA's 2011 FPW In A Box™ has all the fire safety materials you’ll need to run a successful FPW open house without breaking a sweat.  Perfect for an event at your local fire station or community center, FPW In A Box ™ is a great way to promote this year’s FPW theme – ''Protect Your Family From Fire.''  From informative brochures to colorful posters and bags, FPW In A Box™ is sure to reach any audience no matter how sizable or diverse.  It’ll have you saying, “That was easy.”   

NFPA’s official FPW In A Box™ includes:

-       FPW Banner (Super-sized 10' x 4') FPW in a Box

-          FPW Posters

-          Adult FPW Brochures

-          Kids FPW Brochures

-          FPW Stickers

-          FPW Magnets

-          Fire Facts Newsletters

-          FPW Bags

Purchases made from the FPW catalog help NFPA continue its community outreach through quality resources and guides. If you’re planning on a budget, be sure to take advantage of all the free materials NFPA created for Fire Prevention Week

-Courtney Flynn

Sparky the Fire Dog is teaming up with The Center for Campus Fire Safety (CCFS) and asking college students to submit 30- or 60-second video public service announcements (PSAs) highlighting the importance of fire safety. 

Video submissions will be accepted throughout Campus Fire Safety Month, September 1-30. The winner of this contest will receive a $500 gift card!

The contest is part of Sparky’s expanded public outreach efforts during the year-long observance of his 60th birthday. In celebration of his six decades as a fire safety icon, Sparky is asking college students to brush up on lessons they may have learned as children and to take a fresh look at fire prevention and safety information that will help them prevent fires and protect themselves as they live independently from their parents in on- or off-campus housing. Read NFPA's fact sheet on campus fire safety.

For more information on the contest, including how to enter, please visit Sparky's Birthday website

-Lauren Backstrom

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