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In honor of Fire Prevention Week, we wanted to share this fun video! At the North Star Volunteer Fire Department's Open House, North Pole, Alaska on June 9th, 2012 Sparky the Fire Dog and Smokey the Bear had a Big Dance Off. While Smokey did the most dancing Sparky had some good moves of his own. You be the judge, who do you think won the dance off?


Cooking SafetyAccording to a new report released by NFPA, cooking remains top cause of home structure fires.  U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 371,700 home structure fires annually between 2006 and 2010. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,590 civilian deaths and $7.2 billion in direct property damage yearly.

Based on research by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the report also cited that cooking was the number one cause of home structure fires.  CPSC found that in 2004-2005, for every household cooking fire reported to the fire department, U.S. households experienced 50 cooking equipment fires that they did not report.

Forty-two percent of reported home fires started in the kitchen or cooking area. These fires were the third leading cause of home fire deaths (15 percent) and leading cause of home fire injuries (37 percent).

Other notable findings from the report include:

  • Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths followed by heating equipment and then cooking equipment.
  • 25 percent of all home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom; another 24 percent resulted from fires originating in the living room, family room, or den.
  • Home fires accounted for 73 percent of all reported structure fires between 2006 and 2010.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, on average one of every 310 households per year had a reported home fire.
  • Home structure fires peaked around the dinner hours between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Stay safe in your home with more fire safety tips from NFPA.

Betty approach
Betty White makes her way to the end of the red carpet, where Sparky the Fire Dog anxiously awaits to meet her.

The issue of fire safety got a little dose of Hollywood glamour over the weekend at the American Humane Association's annual "Hero Dog Award" ceremonies in Los Angeles. Sparky the Fire Dog® was asked to be the "official spokesdog" of the event, and in that role, he got to walk the red carpet, chat with the throng of national media in attendance, and hobnob with some celebrities, including Betty White.

Betty White and Sparky2

Betty White and Sparky
Betty White was on hand to receive the American Humane Association's "Legacy Award" for her lifelong commitment to protecting the welfare of animals. She poses here with Sparky and Lorraine Carli, NFPA's Vice President of Communications.

Sparky chewed up the red carpet (well, not literally) and said hello to his many admirers. He also took the opportunity to remind them that it's Fire Prevention Week -- and that this year's theme focuses on the importance of home escape planning. "Always have two ways out," he advised.

Greet 1

Greet 2

Sparky and Steve Dornbusch
Sparky and Steve Dornbusch, NFPA Senior Project Manager.

Sparky media

Naomi judd and sparky2
Sparky and singer/songwriter Naomi Judd.

Mike Hazell and Naomi Judd
Mike Hazell, NFPA's Web Publisher, also snagged a photo opportunity with Naomi Judd.

Sparky and Pauley Perrette
Sparky with Pauley Perrette, of TV's "NCIS" and her cousin, a firefighter from Tennessee, who was very familiar with Sparky's fire safety education efforts.

PR and Sparky
Sparky with Mark Stubis, head of public relations for the American Humane Association.

Sparky the Edie McClurg
Actress Edie McClurg strikes a pose with Sparky.

Sparky with Robin Ganzert
Sparky sandwiches in between NFPA's Lorraine Carli and Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of the American Humane Assocaition. “Sparky has been a hero to children, adults, and firefighters for more than 60 years,” said Dr. Ganzert. “He is a natural choice to help us celebrate the amazing things dogs do to help us every day that warrant recognition.”

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