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Quarter_Pg_Sparky_Install(1)Did you know there are two types of smoke alarms?

  • An ionization smoke alarm is  generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke  alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best  protection, both types of alarms or a combination alarm (photoelectric  and ionization) should be installed in homes.

    Listen to NFPA's Chris Dubay talk about the different kinds of smoke alarms and why it is important to have both in your home.

    Koslowski Cropped PhotoTracy Koslowski, public education/information
    manager and fire marshal for the Drexel Heights Fire District in Tucson, Arizona, has been named the 2013 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year.

    A third generation firefighter, Koslowski began
    using NFPA’s Learn Not to Burn Preschool Program in 1993 when she was a volunteer at the Tucson Fire Department. She continues to teach it. She has also taught Risk Watch and Remembering When for many years and has expanded Fire Prevention Week in Tucson into Fire Prevention Month. During the past 10 years, she has taken the campaign to all of the schools in the district, visiting more than
    40,000 students.

    In response to safety concerns in the community, Koslowski implemented a babysitter training course, which teaches kitchen safety, fire safety, CPR, first aid, poison  prevention, and other life safety skills. In addition, she developed the Fire Fit Cadet Program, which includes basic firefighting skills, fire and life safety training, physical fitness, and nutrition classes. Drawing guidance from NFPA’s Remembering When program, Koslowski created the Senior Citizen Fire Academy. She also created the Public Education Volunteer Team to keep the district’s public education programs operating in the face of budget constraints.

    Koslowski will receive a $1,000 honorarium and will be flown to Chicago in June for an award presentation at the Opening General Session of the annual NFPA Conference & Expo. Drexel Heights Fire District will receive a $1,000 donation to support public education activities.



    Although it might not feel quite like it here in New England, !|src=|alt=Spring-cleaning1|style=width: 250px; margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Spring-cleaning1|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee9ce5cb1970d!it is officially spring.  With the arrival of spring come blue skies, blooming flowers and spring cleaning.  This is the perfect time for a refresher on fire safety tips that should be followed year-round.  Keeping fire safety in mind when doing things around the house, like cleaning dryer’s lint filter after each load of laundry, will help prevent fires. 



    Important spring cleaning home fire safety tips from the NFPA:

    Fact: The leading cause of [home clothes dryer fires |] is failure to clean them.

      • Clean the
        lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has
        collected around the drum.

      • Keep the
        area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning
        supplies and clothing.


    Fact: Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.

      1. Ensure
        smoke alarms are installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping
        area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

      2. Test them
        at least once a month by pushing the test button.

      3. Replace
        batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,”
        warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

    Fact: Most [cooking fires |] in the home involve the stovetop.

      1. Keep
        anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food
        packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

      2. Always
        stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.

    Fact: [Extension cord fires |] outnumbered fires beginning with
    permanent or detachable power cords by two-to-one.

      1. Check
        electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or
        under carpets. Extension cords are intended for temporary use.

      2. Have a
        qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets so you don’t have to use
        extension cords.


    For more fire safety tips, visit .</p>

    Roslindale EventThe Roslindale Firehouse in Boston, Massachusetts, recently hosted Community Day for residents of the neighborhood diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, their families, and caregivers. The Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition (ALEC) partnered with City Councilor Rob Consalvo to implement the program. Funding was provided by a grant from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. Boston Police, Fire, and EMS were all involved in Community Day, as was Bill Cannata, ALEC statewide coordinator and a member of NFPA’s Fire Safety for People with Disabilities Task Force.

    The firehouse is one of many hosting Community Day with ALEC as the lead organization. Families are advised about the importance of developing safety plans. Social stories and picture exchange systems (PECS) are among the tools provided to help persons with ASD or other developmental disabilities prepare for emergencies and for responders trained through ALEC to know how to use PECS with individuals during an emergency.

    NFPA’s “I Know My Fire Safety Plan” social story is another tool that can be used during open houses such as the one in Roslindale or at home. The online story is designed to teach children with ASD or other developmental disabilities what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Parents and caregivers are advised to practice their fire safety plan with their children, then read the story with them.
    Organizers say that Community Day at Roslindale Firehouse was a success. More than 400 people “liked” the event on Facebook, and a number of attendees expressed their gratitude to organizers through Facebook and Twitter.

    “The next step in our program is to connect the ASD and developmental disability communities to first responders in a non-emergency situation so that they can better understand each other,” said Cannata. “The goal is to teach children and adults that first responders are there to help.”

    0322-ashley-greene-fire-tmz-3I use candles in my home. However, I have one candle, it is in a sturdy container, I keep it on top of my stovetop and blow it out when I leave the room. Candles bring a positive, cozy mood to my home. I use them, but I understand that a candle is an open flame and extra precautions need to be taken.

    I was saddened to learn of the fire last Friday morning in the West Hollywood apartment of Ashley Greene. Everyone knows Ashley from “Twilight”.  A USA Today article indicated the cause of the fire was a candle left burning which ignited a sofa. Fortunately Ashley, her boyfriend and brother were able to get out of the apartment safely. However, Ashley lost one of her dogs in the blaze.

    Help me spread the important candle safety information NFPA has created to help consumers use candles safely.  Our candle Ashley Greene Apartmentsafety tips sheet has the information you need to prevent candle fires. Once you find our safety tips page, scroll down to the second line of tip sheets where you will find candle safety.

    I imagine the outcome of this fire would have been different if the condominium had a fire sprinkler system. A home fire sprinkler system responds quickly to a nearby fire. In fact, sprinklers may contain and even extinguish a home fire in less time than it typically takes the fire department to arrive. If you are building or remodeling your home or choosing an apartment or condominium, consider a home fire sprinkler system for your safety.

    National Poison Prevention Week is March 17-23, 2013? I recieved an important e-mail from the Neighborhood Safety Network yesterday, that I have to share with our readers.

    Poison Prevention is a Simple Equation: Proper Packaging + Proper Storage = Happy Parents and Babies
    Unintentional poisoning is one of the leading causes of injury to children. Thousands of children in the U.S. and around the globe are treated each year in emergency departments after consuming poisonous substances. Often those substances are products commonly found in the home, such as vitamins with iron, personal care products and button batteries. An emerging hazard is the colorful single-use laundry packet.
    Yet, preventing poisoning is a simple equation, and thousands of poisonings are prevented each year. Child-resistant packaging, critical safety messaging and education efforts by consumer safety and protection agencies, poison prevention hotline workers, health care professionals and consumer advocacy groups have contributed greatly to a decline in injuries and deaths.
    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges parents and caregivers to remain vigilant in preventing unintentional  poisonings by following these safety tips:
    ·        Keep medicines and household chemicals in their original, child-resistant containers
    ·        Store the potentially hazardous substances locked up and out of a child’s sight and reach
    ·        Keep the national Poison Help hotline number, 800-222-1222, handy in case of a poison emergency
    More tools you can use are at CPSC’s Poison Prevention Information Center, where you will find news releases and other materials, such as safety alerts, safety guides, posters, videos and recalls, all with critical poison prevention information. Visit the center and share the lifesaving resources with your community.

    Spotlight 2The NFPA Education Section is in the spotlight. An interview with section Chair Pat Mieszala is featured in the March/April NFPA Journal “Section Spotlight” column. Code activity of special interest to the section, upcoming board elections, and ways in which members can become more involved in section activities are among the topics covered.

    Mieszala also appears on the NFPA Insider, a members-only live bimonthly program that expands on her NFPA Journal interview in real-time streaming video.

    “Getting the word out about the importance of public education in fire and life safety through these avenues is very exciting and meaningful,” she said. “Giving our members the opportunity to network at the annual conference and contribute throughout the year with their articles, ideas, and suggestions for our section web pages and future conference education sessions is the lifeline of this very active and dynamic group.”

    If you need to access the registration page for NFPA Insider, use promotion code EDGUEST.

    Dictionary closeup on word communicateHow do you know if the fire and life safety messages you provide to the public are effective? When should messages be reviewed and updated? Is it important to provide messaging that is positive?

    “Fire and Life Safety Messaging: What to Say and How to Say It,” an education session on the public education track of this year’s NFPA Conference & Expo, answers those and other questions. A panel of experts will review the results of a study done for NFPA by Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy on the impact of positive and negative fire and life safety messages on children.

    The panel will also discuss the NFPA Public Education Division’s Educational Messages Advisory Committee and its annual review and update of educational messages, which includes input from the public.

    In addition, session participants will be able to select the messages of greatest interest to them and hear from the panel how and why the messages were developed.

    The NFPA public education division is looking for an outstanding senior project manager. Are you a great communicator, problem solver, and trainer? Do you consider yourself a creative person, customer oriented, ready to move forward, fast and together? Have you developed educational programs and training materials? Do you have an interest in reaching out to those at highest risk? You may be the right person for NFPA. If interested, apply today!

    Restoration HardwareI just read an article in this morning’s Boston Globe about a grand opening celebration for Restoration Hardware (RH) in Boston. The beautiful building on Berkeley Street has been totally remodeled. A packed grand opening party on March 6th over crowded the store with invitations sent to 5,000 people. People on the first floor of the building could hardly move. Invited guests were entering through the main entrances as well as the catering entrance. Fortunately, by 7:30 pm, the Boston police and fire officials were at the store closing down the event before a tragedy happened. This is a reminder for everyone: when you enter a public building, if it feels overcrowded and you do not feel safe, leave immediately.

    Check out our Safety in Places of Public Assembly safety tips sheet which has reminders for people to consider when entering any public assembly building – including stores.

    Today, we celebrate Sparky the Fire Dog's birthday! Of course, Sparky likes to remind us (as shown in the video) that it is a good time to brush up on our fire safety tips, and he is correct! 

    Sparky cake bossOn a lighter note, birthdays are a great time for fun and celebration! Remember Sparky's 60th birthday two years ago when we had Carlo's Bakery (home of TLC's The Cake Boss) make an amazing cake just for his special day?! 

    Also, our Sparky the Fire Dog party kit provides everything you need to create a special day for your own little firefighter! We have even provided photos to give you ideas on how to bring your party to life. These free DIY party plans are downloadable pdfs and include pages of tutorials and party instructions. You will find everything from the party to-do list, invitations, thank you cards, birthday banner, cupcake toppers, name tags, water bottle wrappers, games and more. 

    Sparky party kit

    See more fun ways we have celebrated Sparky's birthday in the past, and be sure to wish Sparky a happy birthday on his Facebook page!

    Safety Source newsletterThe March 2013 issue of "Safety Source", NFPA’s monthly public education e-newsletter, is now available. This issue includes information on NFPA's partnership with Cupcake Digital, the creators of the new Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! app to offer fire safety tips to kids and families. The app, Wubbzy's Fire Engine Adventure, is based on episodes of the Emmy-winning Nick Jr. TV series “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!”

    The issue also includes a new safety tip sheet - this time, on outdoor electrical safety. And we also offer tips on how to make emergency evacuation planning a part of every student's Individual Education Program (IEP).

    Sign up today to receive our free monthly e-newsletter. "Safety Source" will give you the latest information on happenings in the public education division, Ready for Risk Watch® news, Remembering When™ activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, life saves, and more.

    NFPA_134_copyLooking for something fun to do with the kids? Check out Sparky's cootie catcher. Print, fold and play. It is that easy.

    Get your fortune, jokes and since it is Sparky's cootie catcher, you might just find some fire-safety messages included. The cootie catcher is great for getting kids engaged. You can use for school visits, open houses, scout troops, after school programs and even parties.

    Let us know what you think and how you use the game.

    Boston FireLast weekend I celebrated my birthday with my family at my favorite Italian restaurant in the North End of Boston – Ristorante Limoncello. While eating some wonderful bread with olive oil and parmesan cheese, I heard sirens and saw red lights flashing against the buildings on the narrow street. Two engines arrived and stopped right in front of the restaurant. Of course, I was interested in what was going on. I excused myself from the table and went outside to speak to a couple of the fire fighters. They told me it was in an apartment and probably something on the stovetop.

    From the response of the fire fighters, it seemed like this was a routine occurrence. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires. Please keep an eye on what you fry. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Check out our cooking safety tips sheet. It has good information that just might keep you fire safe in the kitchen.

    The fire department left the scene and my dinner celebration continued.

    !|src=|alt=Clock|title=Clock|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0167639ac5dc970b!


    To kick off Daylight Savings Time, clocks “sprang forward” at 2am Sunday morning. NFPA wants to remind everyone that this might also be a good time to change the batteries in all of your home's smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. 

    To stay safe, replacing batteries in all smoke alarms should be done at least once a year, but changing them while changing all of your clocks serves as a great reminder. In addition, smoke alarms should be tested once a month and if an alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

    [For more smoke alarm safety tips, check out our downloadable tip sheet |]. 

    !|src=|alt=Smoke Alarm Tip Sheet|style=width: 450px;|title=Smoke Alarm Tip Sheet|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0168e89bd6ee970c!























    I have two dogs and they love any kind of treats.  As a matter of fact, they go bonkers for them.  Sparky the Fire Dog loves treats too and it's his birthday so we're celebrating all month long.  For Sparky’s party, we made some easy dog treats.  So why not throw a party for your dog? 

    Check out for the cool-to-dos and check out Sparky the Fire Dog’s party kit that provides everything you need to create a special day for your little firefighter!


    !|src=|alt=Springfield Mass Patch|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Springfield Mass Patch|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8cf39f9970d!


    Springfield Fire Department, Springfield, Massachusetts, is the winner of the 2013 Rolf H.Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant . The $5,000 grant will support the department’s “Multi-Language Public Education Fire Safety Initiative”concentrating on Springfield’s growing population of Somali, Russian, Nepali,Vietnamese, and Latino immigrants. The initiative will also reach out to residents over the age of 65.

    Springfield has experienced a sharp decline in industry, jobs, and population over the past few decades and has one of the highest rates of concentrated poverty in the United States. In 2010, 88 percent of building fires took place in residential properties, with unattended cooking or unsafe cooking practices accounting for 61 percent. English is spoken as a second language in 34 percent of households, compared with 21 percent statewide.

    Fire safety programs will be conducted primarily at cultural and community centers. The program will be evaluated using a three-part approach: a before-and-after comparison of volume of emergency responses, instructor evaluations, and a10-question survey completed by residents.


    HeroThe public education division is busy creating more materials for you to use in your community. Some of the resources you will find on include our educational programs. The Learn Not to Burn® Preschool Program, Learn Not to Burn® Grade 1 and Remembering When™: a fire and fall prevention program for older adults provide you with everything you need to implement a formal educational program. Our safety tips sheets have been so successful, we keep adding more. The community kits provide everything you need to do an outreach program including media materials, print ads, talking points and safety tips sheets. If you plan to reach people with disabilities, we have created resources for you to use. And, Sparky® the Fire Dog’s website is updated monthly with new fun things to do.

    With all these great resources available, we hope you are using them. Has your use of the materials helped save a life in your community or family? Did a family practice their home fire drill and have to use it in an actual emergency situation? Did someone learn about fall prevention in a Remembering When presentation and have grab bars installed in their shower? Did someone install smoke alarms in their home because you provided them with our smoke alarm safety tips sheet? Did a game on Sparky’s website get your family to test their smoke alarms? We want to hear from you. Let us know how our materials made a difference. You can be a safety hero!

    Outdoor electricalWe've just published a brand new safety tip sheet on outdoor electrical safety!It's important to remember that lighting to improve the look and safety of our homes, electric tools to make our outdoor work easier, and power lines to our home, all need to be handled with care. Here are some examples of the safety tips:

    Outside electrical work:

    • Have a qualified electrician do all electrical work.
    • To prevent an electrical shock, make sure all your outside electrical receptacles are GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected.

    Equipment safety:

    • Use lighting and power tools that have the label of an independent test laboratory and made for outdoor use.
    • Keep electric tools away from children.
    • Check lighting and extension cords for damage before using. Replace any damaged cords right away. 

    Power lines:

    • Have a professional tree cutting service trim branches that might fall on electric woring. 
    • Keep the ladder at least 10 feet away from power lines. 
    • Never touch anyone or anything in contact with a downed wire. Power lines may be live, stay a safe distance away. 

    Download the full safety tip sheet with NFPA safety tips on outdoor electricity.

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