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2014

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Image via Scott Wolfson



 

As temperatures drop and consumers begin cranking up their heating systems, NFPA and the [U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission | http://www.cpsc.gov/] (CPSC) have launched a new online toolkit to help local fire departments educate the public about the associated risks of carbon monoxide (CO) in the months ahead. November through February represent the leading months for CO poisoning in the U.S., with a peak in December. 


 

NFPA and CPSC announced the toolkit at a press conference today at a Philadelphia fire station with Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick J.V. Sawyer, NFPA President Jim Pauley, and CPSC Vice Chairman Robert Adler. The event highlighted CO safety, prior to the upcoming winter season, and included a local resident who spoke about how his CO alarm recently saved his life from CO traced to a faulty hot water heater.  


Carbon monoxide is created when fuel burns incompletely, and is often called the ‘invisible killer’ because it’s a poisonous gas that’s invisible and odorless. When home heating equipment isn’t installed or working properly, the risk of higher levels of CO increases significantly. 


In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire incidents in which CO was found. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 1999-2010, an average of 430 people were killed by unintentional CO poisoning per year. 


NFPA and CPSC’s online toolkit provides a wealth of resources, safety tips and advice for properly maintaining heating systems to prevent the buildup of CO in the home, while strongly advocating for the installation of CO alarms.


 

Fire departments can access all toolkit materials from NFPA&#0160;at&#0160;www.nfpa.org/carbonmonoxidekit &#0160;or CPSC at&#0160;[www.cpsc.gov | http://www.cpsc.gov/]. For more information on carbon monoxide in the home, visit&#0160;NFPA’s carbon monoxide web page&#0160;and&#0160;CPSC’s carbon monoxide information center. &#0160;</p>

It’s hard to believe we’ll be turning back our clocks this weekend, and that the days will be getting noticeably shorter. If that idea doesn’t thrill you (and really, who’s happy about this?!), here’s a significant benefit to the day: the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program. Energizer

For 27 years, Energizer® has partnered with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to help keep families safe by reminding people to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks back on November 2.

As part of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery campaign, Energizer® and IAFC will be hosting fire safety events in 20 cities around the country, with the Energizer Bunny making special appearance in select markets. Click here to see where these events will be held.

And, of course, remember to test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they’re working.

I came across this cool little article in Modern Farmer, "Let's All Fry the Friendly Skies," which highlights cooking oil and its seemingly new role - that of becoming biofuel for planes. From the sound of it, cooking oil will not only be a staple in our recipes, but it may just play a larger role in the movement towards using more sustainable energy to fuel our planet. Food

And okay, I admit that most of us won't be flying on planes powered by fruits or seeds in the very near future, but we will still be cooking with oil in our kitchens. So, take the time to play it safe. Learn the do's and don'ts of cooking with oil on our Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage, and consider the following:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.

Keeping these and other tips top of mind as you cook ensures you and your family can greatly reduce the risk of a cooking fire. And who knows, that next plane you hear flying overhead may just get its power from the stirfry you're preparing for tonight's dinner!

Learn more about cooking safely with oil at www.nfpa.org/cooking.

During this, the last week of October, we're continuing our conversastion about fire safety on college campuses, specifically in dorm rooms and apartments. Our topic today:  fire extinguishers. Fire

According to NFPA, portable fire extinguishers can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives, but NFPA also reminds people that portable extinguishers have their limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, we recommend you don't spend time deciding whether you should put the fire out yourself. Leave the firefighting up to the professionals and get out of the building as quickly as possible, and stay out. Consider this:

* Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and most importantly, it is not growing. In the same vein, call the fire department immediately and alert your roomates and neighors; help make sure everyone exits quickly. 

* Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Having a fire extinguisher handy helps us feel safer, but at the same time, our concentration should be focused on already having an escape plan and working smoke alarms in place.

If you don't have an alarm or a plan, now's the time to put one together and contact your landlord or RA (resident assistant) for help. Not sure where to start? NFPA has some great information about the best way to create a plan, and how to practice it, so make it a point to check out our Smoke Alarm Central webpage.

Need more info about campus fire safety? NFPA's got that covered, too. Our campus fire safety webpage includes an infographic, tips sheet and more that will surely move you to action. Our friends at the The Center for Campus Fire Safety are also involved in some amazing projects and activities to help keep students, staff and faculty safe. The Center is a non-profit, membership-based organization devoted to reducing the loss of life from fire at our nation's campuses, and is the voice of over 4,000 campuses across the country. Check out their website today!

I know, I know, it's easy to get distracted by the day-to-day craziness of classes, homework and activities during the school year. But that doesn't mean you can't make safety one of your top priorities, right? It only takes a few minutes a day, it's easy to do, and I promise, practicing fire safety throughout the year will be one of the best educational choices you will ever make. So what are you waiting for? Start making a difference today!

WFDSmokeAlarmsMembers of the Wilmington Fire Department, in Wilmington, North Carolina, went door-to-door last week, hoping to prevent fires like the one that took the life of 54-year-old Steven Worsham earlier in the week. According to the Associated Press, by the time fire crews arrived at the blaze, the home was collapsing and firefighters couldn’t get inside.

WWAY NewsChannel 3 reports that later, firefighters walked the neighborhood, installing smoke alarms in homes that needed them. In addition, residents have been encouraged to contact the fire department if they need a smoke alarm and can’t afford one. Firefighters will come out and install it.                                  

Fire departments looking to raise awareness among residents or launch a smoke alarm installation program can download free tools from NFPA, including the guide: Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program, the Smoke Alarm Community Toolkit, and smoke alarm safety tips sheets in English and Spanish.

Scald Burns BlogThese days, food and lifestyle magazines and websites are filled with recipes for an all-time favorite comfort food–soup. There’s nothing like a hot, hearty bowl of chicken noodle, tomato basil, or any number of other kinds of soup to warm us up and fill us up on a crisp, fall day.

But as soup is prepared, precautions should be taken. NFPA’s Scald Prevention Safety Tips sheet tells us that prepackaged microwavable soups are a frequent cause of scald burn injuries–especially noodle soups–because they can easily tip over, pouring hot liquid and noodles on the person.

If you're preparing prepackaged soups, choose ones that come in containers that have a wide base, or to avoid the possibility of a spill, pour soup into a traditional bowl after heating.

If an accident does occur, treat the burn right away. Cool the burn with cool water for three to five minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help if needed. More scald prevention safety tips and NFPA’s other safety tips sheets are available on the website.

I happened upon the Penobscot Bay (Maine) Pilot yesterday that highlighted a blog about turkey fryer safety. According to the blog, Rankin's Hardware & Building Supplies in Camden has named October as Safety Month at the store and thus, has highlighted NFPA and the reasons why we discourage the use of this dangerous cooking "appliance."

To speak plainly, turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns and other injuries because of the amount, and the temperature, of the oil used. Not sure what I mean? Consider this:

* In deep frying, oil is heated to temperatures of 350° Fahrenheit or more. Cooking oil is combustible. If it is heated above its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite.

* Propane-fired turkey fryers must be used outdoors. Many parts of the country may have rain or snow at this time of year, which if precipitation hits the hot cooking oil, the oil
may splatter or turn to steam, leading to burns.

* The fryers use a lot of oil, about five gallons. Considering the size and weight of the turkey, extreme caution must be taken when placing and removing the turkey from the fryer to be sure its is not dropped back into the fryer, splattering the oil on the chef.

Find more information on our turkey fryer safety tips sheet or safety tips web page.

Turkey 2With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, people may overlook this important safety information in an enthusiastic effort to buy into this popular food craze using the holiday's signature bird. But if you take a look at our turkey fryer safety tips sheet, I'm hoping you will quickly see just how dangerous fryers really are. 

So, if you've been contemplating using a turkey fryer in the coming weeks or for Thanksgiving, please consider the alternatives for a safer, risk-free holiday, including looking at grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants that sell deep fried turkeys.

NFPA gives Rankin's a shout out for informing the public about the dangers of turkey fryers and our concern for people's safety. Stay tuned to this blog for more cooking safety tips as the holidays approach.

 


 

Glowing jack-o-lanterns, festive decorations, spooky costumes – Halloween offers so much fun, but it does come with hidden fire dangers that can be truly scary. Fortunately, by following some simple safety precautions from NFPA , you can ensure a day of safe fun for your family and trick-or-treaters.


 

NFPA’s most recent statistics show that&#0160;decorations&#0160;were the first items to be ignited in 920 reported home structure fires on average each year.&#0160;In addition, nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source. 41% of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den.&#0160;


The [Sparky the Fire Dog® website | http://www.sparky.org/] features tip sheets, kids' activities, an e-card, and a Sparky pumpkin-carving template. For parents and teachers, NFPA also created a simple Halloween [fire safety tip graphic | http://sparky.org/parentpage/parents.htm].  


 

NFPA provides&#0160;safety tips to keep everyone safe this Halloween, including:




    • When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can clearly see out of them.






    • Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.






    • It is safest to use a glow stick or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times.






    • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes. 




Safety SourceThe October issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find; 

  • New Halloween tip sheet graphic
  • Electrical safety during Homecoming Weekend
  • Fire-safety fashion show for older adults -- video and Powerpoint
  • Red Cross campaign focuses on smoke alarms
  • Fire escapes: safety feature/safety hazard
  • Fire-safey songs now for sale on iTunes

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be the first to get the latest information on happenings in the public education division, activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, Sparky the Fire Dog® and more.

Sparky's Cool to Do this month is all about Halloween, and is a spooky craft for a spooky month! Your friends will scream with surprise when they pull the string! All you'll need is a few basic supplies, including a birthday hat, some Halloween goodies, tape and scissors. Check out the full list of supplies and step by step directions for putting together your Halloween hats with your kids on Sparky's Cool to Do website. 

Halloween Cool to Do

During the months of September and October, we’ve been highlighting weekly tips and resources around campus fire safety. As you know, September is Campus Fire Safety Month, according to The Center for Campus Fire Safety, who also state that the months of August and September are typically the worst time of year for fatal campus-related housing fires. But just by reading the papers or watching the evening news, we know that on- and off-campus housing fires are a problem year-round. Dorm

According to NFPA, most fires in dormitories happen during the evening hours from 5 pm – 11 pm and on weekends, and most people don’t even realize how quickly a fire can start and spread. Did you know that most students (and including adults) have not received fire safety education since elementary school!? How easy it is to forget what we learned all those years ago. So while we tend to ignore fire safety because we think we know it all or because we’re too busy, it’s imperative that we all take a moment to stop and reflect, and take action to absolutely make sure we’re living in a fire-safe environment.

When a fire occurs, it’s important to have a plan to get yourself, your roommates and friends out of the building as quickly as possible. Do you know your building’s evacuation plan? Have you practiced the plan with your roommates? A few minutes on any given day is all you need. If you’re not sure what the evacuation plan is, ask your landlord or resident assistant (RA) for help.

Smoke from a fire can also block the most widely-used exit out of the building, so always have an alternative route out. In your apartment or dorm room, keep exit doors clear and free from clutter so you can easily leave when an alarm sounds. Once you’re outside, never go back in to retrieve your computer or phone, or any other item you left behind. Smoke and fire spread fast so it’s important to get out quickly and stay out for your own safety and for the safety of firefighters.

Take advantage of NFPA resources to refresh your memory. Our newest infographic is a great way to learn about fire safety along with some very eye-opening statistics that will surely move you to action. The safety tips sheet, too, touches on a number of great steps you can take to ensure a safe living environment. From smoke alarms to evacuation, candles to cooking, the tips sheet puts all of this information in an easy-to-read sheet that you can download and share with friends.  As always, you can visit the Safety Source blog for current, informative news and resources and/or subscribe to the Safety Source newsletter where you’ll get monthly highlights of news you can use.

Lastly, our friends at The Center for Campus Fire Safety have a great website with resources, training, activities and more for both fire professionals and students. Check it out today! In the end, whatever route you take, you’ll feel better knowing that you've planned ahead to make your place of residence as fire safe as possible, and that can make all the difference. 

Like many of you know, as soon as the leaves change color here in New England, it's time to pull out the sweaters, pack up the patio furniture and store the grill. But more and more it seems, people are taking advantage of the cool nights and even the warm days that autumn often brings, to fire up the grill. In fact, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, 60 percent of grillers are now cooking outdoors year-round.  Grilling

Having said that, it's still really important to remember safety when cooking up those burgers and chops, especially as tailgating parties and harvest bonfires fill up your calendar. So before your next outing, remind yourself to stay alert, keep to your "post" when cooking, and store anything flammable as far away from the grill as possible.

NFPA has other great tips you can use when grilling, including an infographic, fact sheet, videos and more. All of the resources you need are available on our Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage. Check it out today and share this information with your friends and family before you fire up your grill at home or at the football stadium.

Lynn Fire Department headquarters in Lynn, Massachusetts, will be the site of an awards ceremony next week featuring the mayor, the state fire marshal, and nine students being honored for their creativity in promoting fire safety awareness. Students participated in a “Poster to Billboard” contest, drawing pictures fitting in with this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”

The ceremony will cap off a year-long smoke alarm installation campaign. Lt. Israel Gonzalez says that with funding from a FEMA grant, the fire department surpassed its goal of reaching 1,000 families in areas that included high-risk neighborhoods and multilingual families by nearly 20 percent. The department created multilingual pamphlets as part of the effort to let residents know about the Lynn Smoke Alarm Campaign Photocampaign and created multilingual television shows on the local cable station to talk about the importance of cooking safety, space heaters, and proper disposal of cigarettes. Community outreach partnerships were formed and fire prevention presentations were conducted.

The fire department collected more than 1,200 old smoke alarms, as shown in the photo, and replaced them and installed additional alarms in homes.

Red Cross
The American Red Cross Home Fire campaign aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years. Along with installing smoke alarms, the Red Cross is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to canvass neighborhoods and teach people all over the U.S. about fire safety.

Red Cross 2Red Cross teams started canvassing across the country to help install smoke alarms, check existing smoke alarms and sometimes help families create fire escape plans.

Some communities developed creative ways to implement their fire campaign and interact with community members. In Greenville, South Carolina, firefighters worked with the Red Cross to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires. They delivered pizza through the local Domino’s Pizza last week, checking customers smoke alarms while at the home. 

The Red Cross fire prevention campaign comes at a time when a new national survey shows many Americans have a false sense of security about surviving a fire. The survey, conducted for the Red Cross, shows that people mistakenly believe they have more time than they really do to escape a burning home. Fire experts agree that people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home, but most Americans (62%) mistakenly believe they have at least five minutes to escape.

Please visit the NFPA website to learn more about smoke alarms, escape plans, and other fire safety topics.

Starting today, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are required in nearly all Ontario homes. According to Cofactheetthe Toronto Sun, Bill 77 updates the Ontario Fire Code to mandate the use of carbon monoxide warning devices in houses, condos, apartments, hotels and university residences that have a fuel-burning device such as a fireplace, gas stove, water heater or furnace–or if the home is attached to a garage.

According to the Ottowa Citizen, up until now only homes and other residential buildings constructed after 2001 were required to have CO alarms.

The new law is named the Hawkins-Gignac Act in honor of Ontario Provincial Police Constable Laurie Hawkins and her family, who died in 2008 of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a blocked chimney in their home.

The province will holds its first Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, starting November 1.

NFPA recommends that CO alarms be installed in a central location outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations as required by laws, codes, or standards. For the best protection, have CO alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. When one sounds they all sound.

You can read more about CO safety and review the carbon monoxide safety tip sheet on the NFPA website.

We're into October now and for many of you, that means Homecoming Weekend is right around the corner. This particular weekend is definitely one of the most fun for college students because of the many parties and get togethers with friends, the big football game and other sporting events. It's also a time when fire safety couldn't be more important especially when we bring the festivities, and our many friends, indoors after a day of being out in the cold. So this week, we're talking about electrical fire safety.  Electrical

If you plan on hosting a party at your house or in your dorm room or apartment, consider the following when it comes to "plugging in":

* Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.

* Follow the manufacturer's instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.

* Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.

* Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp's recommended wattage. 

And don't ever be afraid to contact your landlord or resident assistant (RA) immediately if you notice such things as:

* Discolored or warm wall outlets

* A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance

* Flickering or dimming lights

* Sparks from an outlet

These can be signs of a serious problem with the electrical system in your building.

NFPA has a great many other tips to help you plan a safe event as well as keep you safe year round. Check out our "electrical safety in the home" webpage for additional information and a downloadable tips sheet you can share with your roommates. Wherever your plans may take you this Homecoming Weekend, when it comes to campus fire safety, you can never be too careful. So remember, put safety first, and enjoy the weekend!

 

Fire officials with Gig Harbor Fire &amp; Medic One in Washington State are pleased with the public’s response to this week’s Fire Prevention Week activities. The department teamed up with Domino’s Pizza to deliver fire safety messages and pizza.


 

In addition, officials attended the annual Scarecrow Festival, using the FPW theme for the department’s display. As families came by to check out the display they were handed FPW stickers and brochures and reminded to check their smoke alarms and replace them if they are 10 years old or older. More than 500 families were reached.


“Thank you, NFPA, for the materials and motivation,” says Prevention Specialist, Nannette Tatom.


 

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!http://i.zemanta.com/300971702_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/300971702_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Spread the word about FPW through social media

!http://i.zemanta.com/301665220_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/301665220_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Fire Prevention Week October 5 - 11

 

 The event of the season was held at NFPA headquarters this week, a fashion show called “Safety Style Down the Aisle.” As part of Fire Prevention Week, NFPA worked with the Quincy Council on Aging to invite older adults in the community to have lunch and enjoy an injury prevention fashion show. Family and friends of NFPA employees attended as well.

As guests cheered them on, NFPA employees strutted down the runway in costume to showcase safety messages from NFPA’s Remembering When program and this year’s FPW theme: "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month." Attendees were invited to join the models “on stage” and some did.

In a nod to the glitz and glamour fashion shows are famous for, the cameras rolled and pictures were snapped to capture every moment.

NFPA staff also volunteered as greeters and servers. And, of course, Sparky the Fire Dog got into the act, delighting the crowd.

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Owen Davis, NFPA’s senior communications manager (left) with Mike Vendetti and Cathy St. Onge, CVS pharmacy corporate safety managers, at CVS pharmacy on 6th Avenue in New York City.



 

In support of Fire Prevention Week, CVS pharmacy is donating 500 smoke alarms to customers&#0160;at five of its stores in New York City over a two-day period. Yesterday, they donated 100 smoke alarms at three locations; another two stores are handing out smoke alarms this afternoon. Meanwhile, Sparky the Fire Dog® has been sharing basic smoke alarm tips on monitors at each of the stores, while fire safety educators from the New York Fire Department (FDNY) have been on site as well, talking with customers and answering their questions.


 


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb079581e9970d-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb079581e9970d-320wi|alt=Sparky laptop|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Sparky laptop|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb079581e9970d img-responsive!Partnering with CVS pharmacy during FPW has been a great way to connect directly with New York City residents, and to educate them about the importance of smoke alarms.


 

To learn more about our partnership with CVS pharmacy, read our news release.


                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

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Owen Davis, NFPA's senior communications manager (left) with Mike Vendetti and Cathy St. Onge, CVS corporate safety managers, at CVS pharmacy on 6th Avenue in New York City.



 

In support of Fire Prevention Week, CVS pharmacy is donating 500 smoke alarms to customers&#0160;at five of its stores in New York City over a two-day period. Yesterday, they donated 100 smoke alarms at three locations; another two stores are handing out smoke alarms this afternoon.


Sparky the Fire Dog® has been sharing basic smoke alarm tips on monitors at each of the stores, while fire safety educators from the New York Fire Department (FDNY) have been on site as well, talking with customers and answering their questions.


 

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Partnering with CVS pharmacy during FPW has been a great way to connect directly with New York City residents, and to educate them about the importance of smoke alarms.


 

To learn more about our partnership with CVS pharmacy, read our news release.


                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

One of the most rewarding parts of promoting Fire Prevention Week is seeing just how far and wide its messages spread. Check out this picture of our FPW banner, which was taken in Dripping Springs, TX (pop. 1,788). Happy FPW, Dripping Springs!

Dripping Springs TX

Candletips(1)According to The Clarion Ledger, a fire in a Mississippi State University women's residence hall displaced 198 students Sunday night. No injuries were reported.The fire on the third floor of the four-story residence hall was apparently caused by a candle burning in one of the rooms, a violation of the university housing policy. In addition to fire and smoke damage, the residence hall has extensive water damage.

NFPA’s Candle Safety tip sheet reminds us that flameless candles are a safe alternative. They look and smell like real candles. The College Campus Fire Safety tip sheet offers a number of important reminders as well. 

You can review all of our safety tips on the NFPA website.

 

Sparky the Fire Dog® and Judy Comoletti, manager of our public education division, appeared on FOX & Friends in New York City yesterday morning to spread the word about Fire Prevention Week and the importance of monthly smoke alarm testing. Check it out!

 

 

 

&#0160;The President of the United States has proclaimed October 5 through October 11, 2014, as Fire Prevention Week. On Sunday, October 12, the United States flag will be flown at half staff at all federal office buildings in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. President Barack Obama is calling on all Americans to participate in FPW with appropriate programs and activities.


 

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It’s National Fire Prevention Week. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its partner organizations want to raise awareness about the risks of surgical fires and promote the adoption of risk reduction practices throughout the healthcare community with the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative .


Surgical fires are fires that occur in, on, or around a patient undergoing a medical or surgical procedure. An estimated 550 to 650 surgical fires occur in the United States each year. Despite the fact that the root causes of surgical fires are well understood, they still occur. The initiative provides information on surgical fires, videos, checklists, and resources and tools for preventing surgical fires. The initiative is celebrating its third anniversary.


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FPWThis week (October 5 - 11), NFPA celebrates Fire Prevention Week with this year's theme, Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month. As someone who lives in a dorm or in off-campus housing such as an apartment, did you know that you can play a key role in keeping yourself and your friends safe wherever you may reside? Here are some things to consider when it comes to smoke alarms:

  • Make sure your dormitory or apartment has smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on each level
  • Test all smoke alarms at least monthly
  • Never remove batteries or disable the alarm
  • Learn your building’s evacuation plan and practice all drills as if they were the real thing 
  • If you live off campus, have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room (try and practice this with friends before your next drill)
  • When the smoke alarm or fire alarm sounds, get out of the building quickly and stay out

If you live on campus and have any questions about the smoke alarms in your living quarters, check with your RA (resident assistant) who can direct you to the right people able to address your concerns and fix any problems you may have. If you live in an off-campus apartment, your landlord can and should also address any of your safety concerns.

During Fire Prevention Week, learn more about fire safety with the help of some key resources from NFPA, like our Smoke Alarm quiz that will give you a chance to see how much you know, and what you still need to do. The quiz runs through the end of October.

How about taking our Smoke Alarm pledge, which states that you will test each of your home’s smoke alarms each month to ensure they are working. This works great if you live in a sorority or fraternity house. But keep in mind you can still take the pledge even if you don't live in a house - your dorm room or apartment is just as important. Visit our Smoke Alarm pledge webpage for more information.

As always, NFPA provides an updated campus and dorm fire safety checklist that you can easily download and keep nearby for quick reference. Our smoke alarm safety tips sheet and other resources provide additional opportunities to give you the best and latest information on smoke alarms and general fire safety.

If you haven't already, use Fire Prevention Week this fall to kickstart your campus and dorm fire safety plan into place. And let us know how you did. We're always happy to hear from you!

In recognition of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) recently commissioned a study to determine how often Americans test their household smoke alarms. The survey revealed that 90 percent of U.S adults don’t test them monthly. Survey image

“According to the NFPA, roughly two out of every three fire-related deaths happen in homes where a smoke detector isn't present or working properly,” said John Amann, Vice President of Operations, Cintas Corporation. “Testing a smoke alarm is as easy as pushing a button, and yet, our survey findings suggest most of us still neglect to test these devices each month. This puts us and our families in danger.”

The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll in September among 2,013 adults ages 18 and older, revealed that:

  • Some adults (10 percent) test their smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Nearly half of adults (48 percent) only test their alarms once or twice a year.
  • Almost a quarter of adults (23 percent) don’t have alarms present in their home, don’t test their alarms or don’t know how often their alarms are tested.

These findings reinforce the importance of this year's FPW campaign and the fact that we still have a long way to go in educating the public about montly smoke alarm testing.

Fore more information on Cintas fire protection services, visit www.cintas.com/fire.

Home DepotNFPA and The Home Depot are working together to promote the importance of working smoke alarms in support of Fire Prevention Week’s 2014 campaign, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”. 

“Teaming up with NFPA to promote Fire Prevention Week helps reinforce important fire safety messages among the thousands of customers who enter our stores nationwide each day,” says Hila Roberts, merchant, fire safety, for The Home Depot. “Where smoke alarms play a key role in home fire safety, NFPA’s information and resources help educate the public about the extreme importance of smoke alarms in the home. Partnering with them enables us to educate our customers to buy the right alarms to keep their families safe.” 

Each fall, The Home Depot helps educate customers about ways to protect their homes and families from potential fire risks with a month-long safety campaign. This year, that campaign includes the following two in-store workshops: 

  • On Saturday, October 4, The Home Depot stores all across the country are hosting a kids’ fire safety workshop, where kids can build their very own emergency medical truck. Plus, a fire engine or EMT truck will be outside most stores, where kids can check them out.
  • On Saturday, October 18, The Home Depot’s U.S. stores will host a workshop for adults to learn how to install and maintain smoke alarms.  

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and smoke alarms, visit www.fpw.org

Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm safety will be among the primary topics of discussion as SmokeAlarmsSafetyTipsfirefighters in Portland, Oregon, conduct home visits in a pilot program launched this week. According to the Portland Tribune, Portland Fire and Rescue crews will conduct home safety inspections for residents requesting them.

Firefighters will fan out in neighborhoods and post door hangers, inviting residents to call the bureau to make appointments for firefighters to return later to do an inspection. Safety tips will be discussed at that time.

In a second pilot program, crews will teach weekly safety, health, and fitness lessons in after-school programs.

Cartoon Car 2October is Fall Car Care Month, when the Car Care Council, AAA motor club, and Car Fire Safety Tip Sheetothers remind motorists to have routine maintenance done on their vehicles to help avoid being stranded during harsh winter months. Fall Car Care Month is also a great time to remind motorists that servicing their vehicles can help prevent a fire. The Car Fire Safety Tip Sheet says that a well-maintained car is less likely to have a fire. Vehicles should be serviced regularly by a professionally trained mechanic.

More preventive measures and vehicle warning signs are provided on the tip sheet. Safety tip sheets on a variety of topics are available on the NFPA website.

The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office and ten area high school football programs are teaming up Smoke Alarm TN 3to save lives in The Volunteer State this fall.  Football teams are partnering with their local fire departments to install smoke alarms in high-risk areas in their communities.

“We are excited about the partnership with high school football teams across the state,” said Gary West, state fire marshal.  “These athletes are taking their leadership role off the field, and showing their leadership to the people of their communities. We are grateful to our local fire departments for supporting these efforts.” One such partnership was between members of the Henry County High School football team (pictured right) and the Paris Fire Department.

The pilot program is coordinated in conjunction with the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s “Get Alarmed” program. Get Alarmed provides free 10-year battery smoke alarms to Tennessee fire departments to install in homes in need throughout their communities. In addition to the smoke alarm installations, citizens also receive fire safety education and educational materials.

“We hope to involve more teams across the state in this vital program, as well as increase awareness of the importance of having a working smoke alarm in your home,” said West.

NFPA’s Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program provides pointers for launching a smoke alarm installation program in your community.

  Smoke Alarm TN 5
Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department, with the assistance of Blackman Blaze football players and Coach Philip Shadowens, canvassed three high-risk areas in Murfreesboro and installed smoke alarms.

Now that we’ve headed into October, you’ve probably noticed the days getting shorter, the air a little chillier, and the leaves changing their colors right before your eyes. Candle 2

These darker, cooler days also trigger our desire to dig into the mantel drawer and pull out a pair or two of those beautiful decorative candles bought at a recent crafts or school fair. We all love the fact that candles help to create a warm and homey glow to any gloomy day, but it’s also important to consider the dangers that candles pose.

FACT: Roughly one-third of home candle fires start in the bedroom.*

FACT: More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.*

So, while the idea of being surrounded by candlelight as you do your homework or entertain guests sounds romantic, we should always remember that a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn.

If you do burn candles, make sure that you:

* Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

* Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

* Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily, and put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.

What else can you do? As an alternative to real candles, consider using flameless candles in your dorm room or at home. They look and smell like the real deal. (And if you don’t believe me, the next time you’re in a restaurant, check out the candle at your table … chances are, it’s flameless!)  

You can also check out NFPA’s candle safety tips sheets. There’s great advice to help keep you safe if there is a candle in the room, and additional safety information for candle use during religious ceremonies. Read NFPA's candle safety fact sheet and watch a video for an "at a glance" look at home fire safety and candle use. 

We all know that candles are really pretty, but they are also a major cause of home fires and home fire deaths. So play it safe, everyone, and thank you!

*Source: NFPA's "Home Candle Fires" report by Marty Ahrens, December 2012.

New Hampshire ProclamationNew Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, at the request of State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan, has declared October 5-11 Fire Prevention Week.  Governor Hassan will be signing the proclamation on Monday, October 6th at 3:00 p.m. at the State House. 

Fire Marshal Degnan, Chief David Parenti, President of the Association of New Hampshire Fire Chiefs, and The New Hampshire Fire Prevention Society are all joining forces with NFPA during FPW to remind local residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home and testing them monthly.

Template governor and mayor proclamations are available on the Fire Service section of the FPW page of the NFPA website. Other media materials on the site include sample news releases, social media messages, and letters to the editor.

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