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2015

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On a winter day there’s nothing better than enjoying a good story. Sparky the Fire Dog® has a great tale on Sparky.org that kids will love to read about a boy, a dog, a snitch, and a smoke alarm that needs some attention.

Jack and Firework: The Case of the Missing Battery” includes well-placed clues and will have readers guessing “whodunnit” until the very end, while being reminded of the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home.

If you're like most of us this winter, the endless snow storms and frigid temperatures have kept you inside more than you would like. This cold has also turned us to the kitchen where creating and indulging in plates of "comfort food" feels like the best remedy for beating out the winter blues.

But for those of us who are a little worse for wear (at least here in New England, shoveling has become a daily task, and getting around is a test in sheer nerves and patience), it's easy to forget the "little things" meant to keep us safe in the kitchen. So, if you'll allow us to indulge (no pun intended!) you just a bit, NFPA wants to remind everyone about the action steps you can take when that fabulous mac and cheese recipe starts calling your name! Watch our latest cooking fire safety video below (and share it with family and friends!) and remember to put safety first this winter season

 

For more information about winter fire safety, check out USFA and NFPA's Put a Freeze on Winter Fires campaign. Additional cooking information is always available on NFPA's Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage. While you're at it, if you've got a great winter recipe to share, we want to hear from you. And don't forget to tell us how you've added safety to your favorite recipe. Thanks!

Campus Fire Safety photo
We all know the importance of fire prevention; it's something fire safety educators and fire officials think about daily. But what about today's youth? What are their thoughts on fire safety? Are we doing enough to raise awareness of the dangers, and have we provided them with enough tools and resources to get involved and share information with their friends?

With these questions in mind, The Center for Campus Fire Safety (The Center) has announced, "Campus Fire Safety for Students," a collaborative campaign that actively works to raise fire and life safety awareness among college students nationwide. The initiative is being spearheaded by the University of New Haven's Fire Science Club, with active support from The Center and NFPA.

"We believe the "student to student" approach, combined with our existing efforts to provide training and tools to fire safety educators and campus fire officials, will help to expand The Center's programs to effectively reach the younger audience," said The Center's president, Paul D. Martin.

While the initiative is in its infancy, the group has already been working on ideas to promote fire and life safety in 2015 on campuses across the country through social media platforms and the web. The group has also been working out the details for an online event that will be launched in September to coincide with Campus Fire Safety Month

"Young adults, many of whom are living away from home for the first time, are suddenly participating in activities that pose fire risks, whether they live on- or off-campus," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president for Outreach and Advocacy. "By working with The Center and the University of New Haven's Fire Science Club, we can collaboratively encourage and empower students to actively get involved in fire safety, with the ultimate goal of reducing campus fire deaths across the country."

Campus 2NFPA is excited to be working together with the members of the Fire Science Club at the University of New Haven and The Center, and look forward to working on projects and developing materials for college students and their parents. Stay tuned over the next few months for additional information about the Campus Fire Safety for Students initiative and the event in September! 

 


 


 March is National Reading Month, which is devoted to creating opportunities for children to fall in love with reading and discover new ways to celebrate the joys of reading. Sparky the Fire Dog® can be a great resource as plans get underway. 


 

The Sparky School House website offers exciting ways to kick off the month. The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms is a free app that teaches kids fire-safety skills with a compelling story, standards-aligned materials, and fun animations. Sparky’s Birthday Surprise free storybook app centers on a surprise party for Sparky. Sparky’s friend prepare for a big crowd at the firehouse while learning to stay safe in a fire.


 

Through a combination of nonfiction, fictional stories, scientific diagrams, and poetry, Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes, and Science Facts, a free eBook, helps students build skills in reading comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary.


All of these materials make for compelling reading while reinforcing fire-safety themes.


!http://i.zemanta.com/326590718_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/326590718_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Guest blogger says National Burn Awareness Week is a call to action

!http://i.zemanta.com/328136475_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/328136475_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA task force member is chosen excellent educator

!http://i.zemanta.com/328701218_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/328701218_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Kindergarten student helps his family safely escape home fire after learning NFPA's Learn Not to Burn program

A Cumberland, Maryland, family is crediting a carefully formulated

home escape plan

with helping them quickly leave without injury when their home caught on fire recently. According to the

Cumberland Times-News

, the Miller family–parents Eugene and Jeanne and their children–had often talked about what they should do if a fire happened in their home.

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0ddb37e970c-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0ddb37e970c-320wi|alt=Miller family|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Miller family|class=asset  asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0ddb37e970c img-responsive!

 

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“We had set up our plan, what we would do, where we would meet, what not to do, like if one of the dogs ran back into the house,” said Jeanne.

 

 

She said her son discovered the fire when he was in the shower. The entire family got out of their three-story brick house and to the designated meeting place before the

smoke alarms

sounded.

 

 

 

The NFPA

Escape Planning safety tips sheet

advises knowing at least two ways out of every room if possible, making a home escape plan, practicing home fire drills, and having a safe meeting place a safe distance from the home.

 

 

In less than four minutes, the Miller house was engulfed in flames. A team from Cumberland and volunteer firefighters quickly controlled the fire.

 

“We were upset and scared and this is devastating. But it could have been much worse,” Jeanne said. “We could have been planning funerals now. We are so grateful.”

 

!http://i.zemanta.com/328136475_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/328136475_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!

NFPA task force member is chosen excellent educator

Come October 2016, Queens (NY) residents could become more "green" with the help from an unexpected source:  cooking oil. An article in the Queens Chronicle last week states that City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) introduced a bill that would require five percent of the heating oil used in homes to be biodiesel, derived from used cooking or soybean oil, a more renewable alternative to crude oil. Cooking oil

The article went on to say that more than 20,000 restaurants in New York City already supply used cooking oil that is then converted and blended into fuel. That's pretty amazing, if you ask me!

But while using cooking oil to heat homes is an interesting idea, until the day this energy alternative comes full circle, let's make sure we are steadfast in our commitment to safety when cooking with oil in our kitchens, and are mindful of the dangers heating equipment can pose if not properly used. 

Find great tips on heating safety this season on NFPA and USFA's Put a Freeze on Winter Fires campaign webpage, including a checklist that you can download and post on your fridge for easy access.

Safety considerations for cooking with oil can also be found on NFPA's Cooking Fire Safety Central web pages. Learn more today and help keep you and your family safe this cold and snowy winter season.

!http://a6.typepad.com/6a01a73dad0bd2970d01b7c7504cde970b-450wi|src=http://a6.typepad.com/6a01a73dad0bd2970d01b7c7504cde970b-450wi|alt=LNTB Hayden|style=width: 450px;|title=LNTB Hayden|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a01a73dad0bd2970d01b7c7504cde970b img-responsive!

Hayden Sather, 6, with Grande Prairie Fire Prevention Officer Trevor Schwabe, who'd taught the Learn Not to Burn program to Hayden and his Kindergarten classmates.

 

Six-year-old Hayden Sather and his family were sitting down to lunch at his grandparents’ Alberta, Canada, home when the smoke alarms started to sound and they saw smoke at the front of the house. That’s when Hayden promptly directed his twelve-year-old sister outside, a behavior he’d learned through NFPA’s +Learn Not to Burn+ program.


“I just saw smoke coming at the front door window and I didn’t know what happened. Then I…quickly got my boots on and stayed outside with my sister,” said Hayden.


The fire department was called and Hayden’s father ran outside to try to put out the fire, which reportedly started when a cigarette was discarded in an outside garbage can; the other adults rushed to round up the two cats and the dog. Hayden, meanwhile, snapped into action.


“I put on my boots and went outside and stayed calm,” he said. After meeting up with his mom outside, he told her that she shouldn’t go back in the house.


 

Hayden's family was proud of him and impressed by his ability to stay cool under pressure. When they asked him how he knew what to do in a fire, he told them about Grande Prairie Fire Prevention Officer Trevor Schwabe, who’d spent a day with his Kindergarten class to teach +Learn Not to Burn+.


 

Each year, Grande Prairie Fire Prevention hosts the program in partnership with the local Burn Society, targeting students in Kindergarten and Grade 2, with Officer Schwabe at the helm.


“It’s exciting to know Hayden did the right things,” said Schwabe. “Hayden kept his sister calm, Hayden told his mom not to go back inside – all the things that we’re teaching.”


 

+Learn Not to Burn+&#0160;has served as the pillar of NFPA  educational programs for more than 40 years, reaching children with proven educational strategies that incorporate NFPA’s philosophy of teaching positive, practical fire safety messaging.</p>

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07f34ba7970d-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07f34ba7970d-120wi|alt=Sparky0688 (2)|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Sparky0688 (2)|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07f34ba7970d img-responsive! This Sunday, members of the film industry will gather for the Academy Awards Ceremony. Actors, directors, writers, musicians, and others who&#0160;are chosen the best in their nomination category will be invited onstage to receive the Oscar, a !http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74fa183970b-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74fa183970b-120wi|alt=Oscar 1|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Oscar 1|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74fa183970b img-responsive!statuette depicting a knight holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film.The award is a symbol of distinction, noting high achievement in motion picture production and performance.


 

The NFPA Public Education Division also bestows an honor for high achievement. The Fire and Life Safety  Educator of the Year Award. It includes a $1,000 honorarium for the recipient, travel to NFPA Conference for an award presentation, and a $1,000 donation to the local fire department to support public education activities.


Educators who use NFPA materials in a consistent and creative way, demonstrate excellence and innovation, reaching out to the community with NFPA materials, and view NFPA as the source for safety information are encouraged to apply.


 

There’s not much time left. The application deadline is Friday, February 20th.


Like the Oscars, the winner is honored onstage with a lovely statuette. In the case of the Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award, it’s a Sparky the Fire Dog® statuette with the recipient’s name engraved on the base.


!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_95_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_95_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA task force member is chosen excellent educator

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_104_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_104_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!A gift with a safety theme this Valentine's Day

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_97_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_97_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA launches Learn Not to Burn Kindergarten

+I am pleased to introduce Monica Colby as the newest contributor to the Safety Source blog. Monica is a fire and life safety specialist with the Rapid City Fire Department in South Dakota, and former Northwest Regional Advisor to the NFPA Public Education Division. She has been a fire and life safety educator since 1998 serving as a city, district, state, and regional educator. She serves on the NFPA Education Section Board of Directors. +

 

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<a class="asset-img-link" href="http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d5b2bf970c-popup" onclick="window.open( this.href, &#39;_blank&#39;, &#39;width=640,height=480,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0&#39; ); return false" style="float: left;">!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d5b2bf970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d5b2bf970c-800wi|alt=Monicacolby|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Monicacolby|class=asset  asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d5b2bf970c img-responsive!</a>

I use the NFPA

<a href="http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Public%20educators/Educational%20messaging/EMAC/EducationalMessagesDeskReference.pdf" target="_blank" title="Educational Messages Desk Reference">Educational Messages Desk Reference</a>

because I know a group of trusted experts already worked through the statements to find the most concise, and clear way to say what I want to say. For example, explaining to a class about the different types of batteries in

<a href="http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/fire-and-safety-equipment/smoke-alarms" target="_blank" title="Smoke alarm central">smoke alarms</a>

and when to change the batteries used to be difficult for me. When the

<a href="http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-public-educators/educational-messaging/educational-messages-advisory-committee" target="_blank" title="Educational Messages Advisory Committee">Educational Messages Advisory Committee</a>

came out with messages that explained about nonreplaceable batteries and traditional batteries, my life was made much easier.

 

 

Utilizing the proven messages of NFPA’s Educational Messages Desk Reference means I have a tool I can trust that will have an impact on the community.

 

<a href="http://safety.blog.nfpa.org/2015/01/in-januarys-issue-of-safety-source-new-dan-doofus-video-on-smoke-alarms-updated-emac-messages-more.html" style="padding: 2px; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none; display: block; box-shadow: 0px 0px 4px #999;" target="_blank">!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_21_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_21_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!</a>

In January's issue of Safety Source; new Dan Doofus video on smoke alarms, updated EMAC messages & more

<a href="http://safety.blog.nfpa.org/2015/01/sprinklers-kept-fire-in-check-at-washington-state-apartment-complex.html" style="padding: 2px; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none; display: block; box-shadow: 0px 0px 4px #999;" target="_blank">!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_126_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_126_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!</a>

Sprinklers kept fire in check at Washington State apartment complex

<a href="http://safety.blog.nfpa.org/2015/02/family-member-of-fire-victims-says-house-had-no-smoke-alarms.html" style="padding: 2px; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none; display: block; box-shadow: 0px 0px 4px #999;" target="_blank">!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_99_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_99_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!</a>

Family member of fire victims says house had no smoke alarms

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74cb036970b-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74cb036970b-320wi|alt=Casidy-johnson|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Casidy-johnson|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74cb036970b img-responsive!A member of NFPA’s Public Education Division Urban Fire and Life Safety Task Force has been chosen this week’s Excellent Educator by WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. The station says that Minneapolis firefighter Casidy Anderson’s passion for teaching residents in high-risk communities about fire safety made her an outstanding choice for the honor.


Anderson makes fire prevention education fun and engaging using props, costumes, coloring books and dynamic activities. She not only brings safety messages to the schools across Minneapolis but also English as a Second Language groups at churches and community centers. In addition, she teaches people who are deaf or hard of hearing.


For a number of years she has served on the Urban Fire and Life Safety Task Force, which is composed of public fire safety educators/community risk reduction officers from North American cities with populations of 250,000 or more. The purpose of the Task Force is to examine the unique challenges facing fire and life safety educators in large cities. The task force develops strategies to address those challenges and shares them with large city fire departments.


Anderson joined the Minneapolis Fire Department 16 years ago and moved into fire safety and prevention after eight years. “It’s a lot of fun,” she is quoted as saying. “I just love working with the community. I have the best job.”


!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_49_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_49_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Slow cookers, crockpots and (small) appliance fire safety, oh, my!

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_55_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_55_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Share burn and fire prevention tips during Burn Awareness Week

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_38_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_38_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Guest blogger says National Burn Awareness Week is a call to action

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

  • The launch of Learn Not to Burn Kindergarten
  • Downton Abbey episode includes cautionary tale on fire safety
  • Jim Pauley takes a look at the year past and priorities for the year ahead
  • Tip sheet on portable generators
  • Sparky makes a Love Mug for Valentine's Day
  • Educator of the Year deadline February 20

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.

 

Learn Not to Burn® (LNTB) Kindergarten teaches six fire safety behaviors using classroom lessons, !http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74bd5ff970b-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74bd5ff970b-120wi|alt=LNTBk|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=LNTBk|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74bd5ff970b img-responsive!activities and home connections. The free online program can be taught as a stand-alone fire safety unit or easily integrated in language arts core curriculum lessons. The fire department can be invited to the classroom throughout the program to support the fire safety messages taught. LNTB is an easy-to-use flexible guide for teachers to respond to the needs of the classroom. Make time for fire safety in your classroom. This is a great addition to LNTB Preschool and Grade 1.


!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_97_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_97_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Hot off the press! Updated fire and life safety educational messages

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_104_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_104_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!A gift with a safety theme this Valentine's Day

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_21_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_21_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!In January's issue of Safety Source; new Dan Doofus video on smoke alarms, updated EMAC messages & more

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d52c9f970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d52c9f970c-800wi|alt=Ohio Photo|title=Ohio Photo|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d52c9f970c image-full img-responsive!


 

Residents of an Ohio community are grieving the loss of a mother and her three children in a fire this week. Fire officials say that Ashley Mays and her children–a five-year-old and 11-month-old twins–died in the Wednesday morning blaze in their South Point mobile home. The twins were to celebrate their first birthday in a couple of weeks. According to WYMT-TV, Ashley’s sister, Breanna Brown, said the home had no smoke alarms.


 

Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported home fire in half. The smoke alarm page on the NFPA website and safety tips sheets, available in English and Spanish, provide what you need to know about smoke alarms and smoke alarm safety messaging.


!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_21_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_21_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!In January's issue of Safety Source; new Dan Doofus video on smoke alarms, updated EMAC messages & more

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_53_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_53_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Sparky leads the way to safety for Valentine's Day

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_38_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_38_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Guest blogger says National Burn Awareness Week is a call to action

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d48e10970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d48e10970c-800wi|alt=Love Mug|title=Love Mug|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0d48e10970c image-full img-responsive!
Sparky the Fire Dog® has lots of ideas for making Valentine’s Day fun-filled. Make a Love Mug for that special someone. This month&#39;s Sparky activity would be perfect for a friend, teacher or someone in your family. It combines a sweet treat with a reminder to test smoke alarms.


 

Need something for your sweetheart? Sparky has you covered with a printable Valentine&#39;s Day card or you can color your own . Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this new printable challenges kids to use their math skills to find the missing number in each smoke alarm. The activity also reminds kids, grades 1-3, what the sound of the smoke alarm is and what to do when they hear it.


 

And e-cards are as popular as ever. Wish your friends and family a happy Valentine&#39;s Day with a Sparky e-card.


!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_21_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_21_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!In January's issue of Safety Source; new Dan Doofus video on smoke alarms, updated EMAC messages & more

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_101_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_101_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Fire safety center is an attention getter

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_38_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_38_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Guest blogger says National Burn Awareness Week is a call to action

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74af417970b-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74af417970b-800wi|alt=VALENTINE'S DAY|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=VALENTINE'S DAY|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c74af417970b img-responsive!Weeks ago, my 18-year-old step-daughter Elizabeth let my husband and me know what she wanted for Valentine’s Day: flowers, a fruit bouquet, chocolates, and candles.


 

I volunteered to go shopping for the candles. I selected a set of ivory pillar candles, laced with the sweet aroma of vanilla.&#0160; They’re elegant and eye catching and come with a decorative rock garden. They also have an on/off switch and remote keypad. Their flickering flame effect is powered by batteries.Elizabeth is away at college, halfway across the country, living in a dorm. I wanted to help complete her gift list while keeping her safety in mind. NFPA’s Candle Safety tips sheet, in addition to advising on how to use candles with care, encourages the public to think about using flameless candles in the home, which look and smell like traditional candles.


 

The College Campus Fire Safety tips sheet advises burning candles only if the school permits their use, placing candles away from anything that can burn, never leaving a candle unattended, and blowing out candles before bedtime or when leaving the room.


Over the weekend we shipped packages of chocolates and the candles to Elizabeth. They should arrive just in time for Valentine’s Day. Each item is wrapped in paper decorated with big red hearts. My husband will wire the flowers and fruit bouquet. I have no idea what her reaction will be when she unwraps the box of flameless candles. But I believe she will smile when she thinks about the love and care that went into choosing the gift.


!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_104_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_104_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!February, the month of love ... and kitchen safety!

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_101_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_101_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Fire safety center is an attention getter

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_97_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_97_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Hot off the press! Updated fire and life safety educational messages

I came across a great little article today in the Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser (out of England) called "Make sure you guard against fire this Valentine's Day." It caught my eye because of its focus on kitchen fire safety in the month of February. So, okay, maybe we don't celebrate Pancake Day or National Chip Week here in the States this month, but we do celebrate Valentine's Day which beckons plenty of bakers and would-be home chefs to take a stab at putting together creative and tasteful dishes for the ones they love. 

Valentine's dayAccording to the article, the Brits love their fish and chips so it stands to reason that during National Chip Week (February 16 - 22 for those who want to partake), the risk of a cooking fire accident increases because of the many hot, oily pans used. Well, the same can be said for those of us doing a bit of frying here in our own homes. Let's face it, cooking with hot oil can be dangerous any time, anywhere, if you don't follow a few important rules:

  • 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.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. 

So no matter what kitchen you find yourself in this month, and especially on Valentine's Day, if you plan on creating a meal that includes hot oil, please play it safe and focus on the task at hand (ahem, cooking!). Save the gifts and kisses for after the dishes are done! Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

For more information about cooking fire safety, check out NFPA's Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage today.

Slow cookers, crockpots.jpgNo matter where you look these days, the use of slow cookers and crockpots are on the rise. From stews to soups and even desserts, there’s nothing better than applying that “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to preparing meals for families on the go. But did you know that while slow cookers are generally safe, we still need to be mindful of the dangers they pose.

 

According to NFPA, slow cookers were involved in an estimated average of 150 reported home structure fires per year from 2007 - 2011, resulting in an average of 10 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage annually. In terms of accidents, it ranks up there with other smaller household appliances you may not ever think of like your coffee maker or teapot, food warmer and hotplates, and kettles.

 

While the chance of an accident happening while using a slow cooker or crockpot is somewhat low, our fire safety experts here at NFPA suggest some great tips to consider whenever you’re using some of these smaller appliances:

  • Inspect plugs and cords to make sure they are not frayed or broken (replace if necessary), which will help keep electrical fires at bay
  • Keep the crockpot and slow cooker (or other small appliance) away from the edge of the counter so hands and elbows don’t push it off the edge causing burns or scalds from the hot liquid and food inside
  • Follow instructions for recipes carefully using the right amount of liquid and heat when preparing your meal to prevent overheating

So the next time you find yourself using your slow cooker (and if you’re like most of us here in New England these days, you’re probably using it regularly to ward off the cold!) follow these simple tips above to keep yourself and your family safe.

 

Learn more about kitchen fire safety on NFPA’s Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage. Interested to learn about this and other cooking equipment fires? NFPA’s Home Structure Fires by Equipment Involved in Ignition report can be found in our research/reports section of the website.

Patricia Mieszala, RN, is president of Burn Concerns, National Consultant and Education Services. She is past chair of the executive board of NFPA’s Education Member Section and formerly NFPA’s lead public education and Southwest regional advisor. Pat is nationally and internationally recognized in the areas of psychiatry, burn care, rehabilitation, fire and life safety, youth firesetting, and injury prevention.

As a charter member of the multi-disciplined group to establish the first full week of February as Pat Photo 1 (2)National Burn Awareness Week, an opportunity for all burn, fire, and life safety educators to unite and share burn awareness and prevention messages in communities throughout the U.S., I’d like to share with you the evolution of this commemorative week.

While many professionals committed to burn care, rehabilitation, and prevention felt a need for burn survivors to have a stronger voice, efforts were scattered and sporadic.  In 1985 Burn Awareness Week was proclaimed in Los Angeles and in the state of Nevada through the efforts of the Institute for Fire & Burn Education and Burn Care International.

A movement for a national focus gained momentum. In 1986, a press conference was held in Washington, D.C., where the first National Burn Awareness Week was proclaimed.

Even today, the burn death and injury problem is still not as well known to the general public as it should be, although burn survivors have made their challenges and successes better known through organizations such as The Phoenix Society, and the American Burn Association. Government leaders, the medical community, the fire service, private industry, and the public at large can work together to heighten awareness.

Here’s what the fire safety and burn prevention communities can do:

Together, leaders in the fire safety and burn prevention fields can increase understanding of the physical, psychological, and emotional trauma of burn injuries and increase awareness of fire and burn prevention.

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c744966a970b-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c744966a970b-320wi|alt=Scald Tip Sheet|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Scald Tip Sheet|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c744966a970b img-responsive!Burn Awareness Week is being observed this first full week of February. It’s designed to provide an opportunity for burn, and fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing burn prevention information with the public.


 

Scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries. In addition to explaining how to treat a burn, NFPA’s Scald Prevention Safety Tips sheet provides a list of safety behaviors to be used while running bath water for a child, using a microwave oven, and heating liquids on the stove.


 

The community toolkit on cooking safety has a number of resources safety educators can use to reach the public, including a PowerPoint presentation on how to prevent cooking fires, scalds, and burns; an easy-to-read handout on how to be fire safe in the kitchen; talking points; fact sheets; videos; and community outreach ideas.


 

NFPA’s consumer cooking safety information also provides another excellent resource to help with sharing the fire and burn prevention message with the public.


!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_97_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_97_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Hot off the press! Updated fire and life safety educational messages

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_25_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_25_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Dan Doofus reminds us to replace old smoke alarms in new video

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