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FPW2011_PreK_Activity_Sheet Have you checked out the lesson plans we’ve created for FPW? It’s time to download the lesson plans  and activity sheets for teachers in your community. Create a packet for each teacher including the lesson plan and enough handouts for 30 students. Ask teachers in your community to help spread fire safety during Fire Prevention Week. Reward those classrooms participating with a visit from the fire department or lunch with the firefighters. It’s easy and fun to do.

We have three levels – Pre-k/K, Grades 1-2, and Grades 3-5. These lesson plans are created by teachers currently working in the classroom. The Pre-k/K plan focuses on smoke alarms – identifying the sound and responding to the alarm.  You’ll find prerecorded sounds to use as students learn how to differentiate the sound of a smoke alarm and a car horn. We’ve also created an activity sheet for letter recognition that includes information for parents to reinforce the important smoke alarm messaging.

Grades 1-2 has students reading or listening to No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids and learning about testing smoke alarms and escape planning. Students will take home a smoke alarm calendar and work in the classroom to identify and sort the different elements of a home fire escape plan.

Finally, grades 3-5 students learn more information on smoke alarms, escape planning and home fire sprinklers. Students will discuss fire safety questions, read a fire safety poem and become teachers at home sharing what they learned at school.

Let us know what you have planned for reaching classrooms in your community. Just click on the “comments” link to get started.

- Judy Comoletti

Older adults photos 
Reaching out to older adults during Fire Prevention Week (FPW) is extremely crucial. I previously blogged about the importance of fire sprinklers in all new homes and the importance of including the fire sprinkler message in your FPW activities, and throughout the year. I want to share important facts about aging in place and the reasons why fire sprinkler protection is so important.

According to the Aging in Place Initiative, based on the Aging in America Report, only 46 percent of American communities have planned to “address the needs of the exploding population of aging Baby Boomers.” They tell us that “when this trend hits its peak in 2030, the number of people over age 65 in the United States will soar to 71.5 million – twice their number in the year 2000- or one in every five Americans.”

Statistics reveal that older adults over 65 are at high risk of home fire death. According to the State of Aging and Health in America Report by the Center for Disease Control, over 33% of the over 65 year old population is disabled. When you add aging and disability together, the risk of home fire death increases exponentially for this group. The homes built today are expected to last at least fifty years. Unless home fire sprinklers are installed to protect the homes of these seniors as they “age in place” we can expect that death in the home will increase along with this group’s expected population increase. The installation of home fire sprinklers in all new homes is critical so that this growing population will be protected.

It is essential to reach out to this group with the fire sprinkler message. A great way to do this is to hold special activities for them. Visit this section of the FPW website to learn how to hold open houses for older adults. Get creative and share your own ideas about how you plan to reach out to older adults with the home fire sprinkler message during FPW.

Maria Figueroa

Stop Drop and Roll 
Photo: Andrea Melendez/The Register

During a special event at the Iowa State Fair this past Sunday, there was an attempt to set a record for the most people simultaneously performing "Stop, Drop, and Roll". And according to a report in the Des Moines Register, the attempt unofficially exceeded the current world record by almost 1,000 participants.

According to the paper, people stopped along the Grand Concourse as they watched 1,519 fairgoers stop, drop and roll. The State Fire Marshal’s office sponsored the event to celebrate its 100th anniversary and promote fire safety education. The paper reported that back in 2003, the Bedford (IN) Fire Department set the world record for the most people stopping, dropping and rolling at 602.

As you may know, "Stop, Drop, and Roll" is the process you should follow if your clothes catch on fire. Here's the official word from NFPA:

  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll. Stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.
  • If you cannot stop, drop, and roll, keep a fire-retardant blanket nearby to help you or others smother flames. Cover the person with a blanket to smother the fire. If you use a wheelchair, scooter, or other device and are able to get to the floor, lock the device first to stay in place before getting on the floor to roll until the flames are out.
  • Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help right away. As part of this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, we've got lots of information designed specifically for kids and families.

We've even got some free materials you can download from our site, including an escape grid and detailed instructions on how to make a home fire escape plan.

Drop us a comment if you find these materials helpful!

- Mike Hazell

PS: What's the most number of people you've ever seen "Stop, Drop and Roll" at the same time?

Looking for a fun and easy way to help spread important Fire Prevention Week safety messages in your community? Check out these short public service announcements featuring Sparky the Fire Dog, brought to life through our Voice of Sparky contest winner, Barry Brickey!


Why is a home escape plan important? Sparky the Fire Dog explains in this brief public service announcement.


In this 30 second PSA, NFPA's mascot Sparky the Fire Dog explains how to escape a home during a fire by staying under the smoke.


In this 15 second PSA, NFPA's Sparky the Fire Dog explains the importance of smoke alarms throughout your house and in testing the batteries regularly. 

Download all of these PSAs on our Fire Prevention Week website and use them in your community today!

Hulu The PSAs are also being featured on Hulu - so be sure to let us know if you see one while you are watching your favorite show or movie!

-Lauren Backstrom

Gas Burner

When little ones enter your life, whether they belong to you or enter the picture when a friend or family member visits your home from time to time, it’s usually a good idea to do a fire safety review as they reach different milestones.

Admittedly, as a parent of two young children and someone who works for a fire safety organization I might be a little sensitive to fire-safety issues in general, but I am still amazed at how many situations call for special attention to keep little ones safe from fire.  Lately, it seems like we are cooking more than ever with two extra mouths to feed and I often think back to when my daughter began crawling and walking - we were mindful about keeping a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried. I often think of how glad I am that we established this “rule” when she was very young because it has really paid off now that she’s a fast-moving two-and-a-half year old with little hands exploring everywhere. Children have all sorts of different needs at differnt stages of development. I'm quickly learning first-hand that taking a fresh look at fire safety tips and how they apply to your kids at differnet stages can be valuable.  

Learn more about keeping your community and family cooking safely. For older kids that might be interested in helping out with cooking, check out the learning link on for cooking age recommendations.   

-Eileen Scafidi Webinar Are you looking for ways to promote Fire Prevention Week (FPW) in your community? Do you want to learn how to navigate through the Fire Prevention Week web site?

Join us on September 14 at 12:00 pm (EST) as NFPA public education staff share Fire Prevention Week resources and strategies in a free webinar called "Getting to Know Fire Prevention Week". Register now!

Participants will get a guided tour through the Fire Prevention Week web site, get ideas for fun activities, tools for reaching high-risk audiences, and learn what makes an effective FPW team. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and share your thoughts on Fire Prevention Week.

Your NFPA webinar presenters:

FPW webinar presenters 

Register now box 


Party on!

Posted by amylebeau Employee Aug 16, 2011

 My youngest sCollage_1on just turned 1. His big birthday bash was this weekend.   
It was filled with family and friends, lots of love and a great big cake that ended up all over him. Birthday parties are fun for everyone but they are hard work for the moms (and dads). All the details  - invitations, party hats, games, activities  - the list goes on and on. We are here to help! If your little one loves firetrucks and Sparky the Fire Dog (and who doesn't) you have come to the right place.

Check out our Sparky the Fire Dog party kit! These free DIY party plans are downloadable PDFs a include pages of tutorials and party instructions.

We have even provided photos to give you ideas on how to bring your party to life. We’ve been working on this party for so long and we can’t wait for you to create a special day for your little firefighter. One of our favorite children’s illustrators, Karen Lee, did the art work for the party kit. The way she draws Sparky and his parade of kids is sweet and loveable.

These materials are also great for fire department open houses and visits to schools. We have created a new learning station for Fire Prevention Week using the party kit. 

Plan on throwing a Sparky party? Let us know how it goes.
- Amy LeBeau

NFPA teams up with Scholastic Inc 
has teamed up with Scholastic, Inc. to create Fire Prevention Week classroom kits for preschool through grade 5 teachers and students. Scholastic has mailed the kits to 325,000 teachers throughout the United States.

NFPA is also providing all the program materials for you to download free to reach classrooms in your community!

Visit Scholastic to access whiteboard-ready lesson plans, activities, printables and on-line games for your schools. Fairy Tale Trivia with Sparky

English program

Spanish program

Kids can also play games with Sparky - including Fairy tale trivia and Sound swap

Reaching new cultures & communities Reaching out to immigrant populations during Fire Prevention Week provides a great opportunity to experience new cultures and foster trust within the community.  Recent increases in urban and rural immigrant populations pose unique challenges for fire departments trying to acclimate the nation’s newcomers with fire safety.  Language barriers and cultural differences may make it especially difficult to communicate important safety information.  How is an American firefighter supposed to teach an immigrant about smoke alarms who only speaks Mandarin?  Fortunately, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has helpful hints and resources for anyone looking to reach out to local immigrant communities during Fire Prevention Week.

-Courtney Flynn

Sleeping-audience Many times we resort to the stand up and deliver fire safety presentation that causes students and adults to tune out. Sometimes we try to add some fun – like the beach ball scenario. The presenter throws the beach ball to one attendee who provides feedback. With this type of presentation, too many learners sit passively, unengaged in the presentation. Active participation by all members of the audience allows them to demonstrate learning, interact with each and have a good time.

A recent book that I read, “Total Participation Techniques”, had some good information to share with fire safety educators. Techniques presented included on the spot discussions, hold-up cards and movement activities. We’ve created our version of techniques we think will work with your audiences, discussion and prompt questions, and how to create an active participation kit. Check out our interactive ideas to incorporate in your next FPW presentation.

Share your own ideas and prompts with other educators. Just click on the “comments” link to get started.

-Judy Comoletti

Flat concealed Fire sprinklers are included in all model safety codes for new one- and two-family dwellings. The age of the home issue has been brought up by opponents of residential fire sprinkler systems who boast that newer homes are safer homes and that the fire and death problem is limited to older homes.

Age of housing is a poor predictor of fire death rates.  When older housing is associated with higher rates, it usually is because older housing tends to have a disproportionate share of poorer, less educated households.  Statistically, the only fire safety issue that is relevant to the age of home is outdated electrical wiring.  Beyond that, age of the home has little to nothing to do with fire safety.  A fire is just as deadly in a newer home at 2:00 a.m. than it is in a 30 year old home.

A study conducted by Underwriter Laboratories in 2008 reveals that new  methods of construction negatively impact occupant and firefighter life safety under fire conditions. The findings of the report, Structural Stability of Engineered Lumber in Fire Conditions, point to the failure of lightweight engineered wood systems when exposed to fire. These structure are prone to catastrophic collapse as early a six minutes from the onet of fire.

11EL008_netzero_house_cutaway_CS The same UL study found that the synthetic construction of today’s home furnishings add to the increased risk by providing a greater fuel load.

Larger homes, open spaces, increased fuel loads, void spaces, and changing building materials contribute to:

  • Faster fire propagation
  • Shorter time to flashover
  • Rapid changes in fire dynamics
  • Shorter escape time
  •  Shorter time to collapse

Fire sprinklers can offset the increased dangers posed by lightweight construction and create a safer fire environment for occupants and for firefighters to operate in.

When buying a new home consider a fire sprinkler system, even if not required in your area, to protect your family and home from the devastation of fire.

 Maria Figueroa

Looking for kid-friendly locations in your community to spread the Fire Prevention Week™ (FPW™) word? Banners, posters, stickers, coloring/activity books, brochures, magnets, and much more -- are great ways to keep the slogan "Protect Your Family From Fire" at the front of mind.

  • Pizza shops
  • Ice cream shops
  • Daycare centers
  • Youth/civic centers
  • Shopping malls
  • Indoor play spaces/sports centers
  • Arcades
  • Restaurants
  • Parades

Wherever the kids go in your town, there are sure to be local hangouts that provide an easy way to teach lifesaving fire prevention messages. Be creative and have fun!

-- Elizabeth Hyde

Fire Prevention Week award presented by NFPA
Tom Fangmann (left), Corporate Director Insurance/Risk Management, for the Sara Lee Corporation, presents the Fire Prevention Week Award to Fred Knipper, Director of the Fire and Safety Division and Jason Shepherd, Fire Safety Specialist, both with the Office of Occupational and Environmental Safety. At right is NFPA Chair Thomas Jaeger.

The Fire & Life Safety Division at Duke University/Duke Health System in Durham, NC, was recently honored by NFPA for promoting fire and related safety messages for employees and their communities during last year's Fire Prevention Week campaign.

How did Duke University/Duke Health System snag top honors? They reached out to students in a number of ways, including radio station broadcasts and Facebook messages to spread fire safety information. Each student received safety literature, and participated in campus-wide fire drills and testing of battery-operated dormitory smoke alarms. Learn more about their creative efforts to spread the word about fire safety.

Watch a video of the Fire Prevention Week award presentation during NFPA's recent Conference & Expo in Boston.

If you are a member of NFPA's Industrial Fire Protection Member Section, learn how you can nominate your company's Fire Prevention Week efforts for an award.

- Mike Hazell

Sparky the Fire Dog Facebook In honor of Sparky the Fire Dog's 60th birthday this year, we started a new Facebook fan page for our favorite dog! (If you're not yet a fan, login and "like" his page today!)

Each week, Sparky shares fire prevention and safety information in a fun way. Each "Trivia Tuesday" question relates to a statistic or safety tip. Sparky accepts guesses all day and then shares the correct answer along with more information on the topic as the day winds to a close. the Fire Dog Trivia Tuesday 
Get involved and play along with Sparky each week to test your knowledge, and share the tips and information with your loved ones!

Check out the other ways we have celebrated Sparky's 60th birthday this year.

-Lauren Backstrom


NFPA’s Marty Ahrens talks about the Home Structure Fires report and shares safety tips

How many people do you think died in U.S. home fires every day?

NFPA's Home Structure Fires report by Marty Ahrens tells the story of home fires and the devastation they cause, by the numbers.  During the five-year period covered by the report, roughly one in every 310 households per year had a reported home fire. Each year, these fires caused an estimated average of 2,650 deaths, 12,890 injuries, and $7.1 billion in direct property damage. On average, seven people died in U.S. home fires every day. 

What number did you guess?  Was it higher or lower than the actual number?


Okay class, pencils down. Test-pencil   
It has been years since I have heard those words. Today I challenge you take our Fire Prevention Week fire safety quiz - no pencils needed. This one is an easy to use, online quiz that will test your safety smarts. You can even share your results on Facebook or Twitter when you are done (if you pass)! Get the whole family involved. Have each person take the quiz and see who gets the best score.

Here is just a sampling of what you can expect. 

Question: Where do most home fires start?
  • Basement
  • Bedroom
  • Kitchen
  • Living/Family Room

If you want to see if you got the right answer,take the quiz. I bet you will get 100%!
- Amy LeBeau 

As you probably know, our Fire Prevention Week campaign is in full swing. This year, our theme is "Protect Your Family From Fire", and our web site has all of the information and resources you need to keep you, your family, and community safer from fire.

Take a peek at the video we've created for the campaign. It's called "Sparky and the Runaway Robot!" and tells the story of the madcap adventures of a Safe-T-Bot who short circuits, races out of the fire station, and becomes an uninvited ''guest'' at the home of a family getting ready for a birthday party.

Incidentally, the voice of Sparky in this video is none other than Barry Brickey, a public education officer for the Kingsport (TN) Fire Department, who won our "Voice of Sparky" contest earlier this year.

The dog days of summer are here and soon enough the nation’s undergrads will be descending upon college campuses by the thousands. For many young students, it will be their first time living on their own. Though this new found independence is undoubtedly sweet, it does come with certain responsibilities such as groceries, bills, and perhaps most important – safety. Fire Prevention Week provides a great opportunity to reach out to students with life saving information.

http://www.nfpa.orgCollege - Animal House NFPA has some simple steps college students can take towards making their off-campus housing safe from fire.  Here are a few:

    - Look for a complete sprinkler system when choosing housing.  If you have a fire in your home, sprinklers can cut the risk of dying by 80 percent.

    - Make sure smoke alarms are installed in each sleeping room, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the apartment unit or house.

    - Get the roommates together and create a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.

    - Stay in the kitchen when cooking (this includes Ramen noodles) and cook only when alert – never sleepy.

To get more fire safety information on campus dormitories or apartments, check out NFPA’s safety tip sheets.

Pizza parties, football games, and interactive challenges are a few activities you can use to get college students together for some fun and safety.  Let us know what ideas you have to reach students at your local colleges and universities.  Just click on the “Comments” link to get started.

-Courtney Flynn

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