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2015

 

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Fire officials are blaming the careless disposal of smoking materials for causing three fires recently in neighboring Massachusetts communities in a one-week span. The fires resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. One fire occurred in Weymouth and the others in Braintree.


 

The Braintree Forum quotes Weymouth Fire Prevention Coordinator Justin Meyers as stating that the fire in that community (pictured above, right) originated in the kitchen of one of the units of an apartment building. He said that smoking materials had been carelessly discarded.                                                          


In a fire in Braintree, the back of a house was fully engulfed. Fire officials say smoking materials were improperly disposed of on a rear deck or under a porch.  In another fire in the same town, the improper disposal of smoking materials is being blamed for a three-alarm fire that destroyed a house.


 

Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. These fires are preventable. NFPA’s smoking safety information and Smoking and Home Safety tips sheet offers these reminders:


    • If you smoke, use a deep, sturdy ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn.

    • Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.

    • Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out, and dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.


 

These fire incidents highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms to give you the early warning you need to get out quickly.


!http://i.zemanta.com/334679727_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/334679727_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Community hits one-day record in smoke alarm installations

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

  • New tip sheet on Shabbat fire safety
  • Public Education Division welcomes regional specialists
  • CO educational resources
  • Earth Day activities on sparky.org
  • Grant helps boost home fire sprinkler advocacy and education 
  • Some measures designed to address school shooting may adversely affect fire safety

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.

Change

We mentioned to you previously the Paradigm Challenge campaign, which NFPA supports, designed to get kids ages 7 to 18 involved in reducing deaths and injuries due to home fires by contributing their own fire safety ideas. 

This month, there is a great contest underway: Make or Bake for Change. Because almost half of all home fires start in the kitchen and unattended cooking is the primary cause, kids were asked to submit a photo that showed something they made or baked spelling out the word 'change.' The 10 entries with the most votes by the end of the month will receive cash prizes of up to $1000.

Some great entries were uploaded - so take a look! You can vote once a day for as many entries as you like. Good luck to all of the entrants!

Campus Fire SG02
Over the last five years, 27 college students died in a fire within three miles of their school. Lots more were injured and many were left without a place to live.

In September, NFPA, The Center for Campus Fire Safety and the students of the University of New Haven Fire Science Club will be launching an online contest as part of our national Campus Fire Safety for Students campaign to increase awareness of the seriousness of campus fires, and to encourage students to take action and share information with their peers. 

Last week, Cathy Tabor from The Center, my NFPA colleague, Kyle, and I traveled to New Haven to meet with the students and shoot a video as part of the campaign. Together with tips sheets and infographics, an updated website and more, the students are pointing to the contest in the hopes that it will play a key role in the start of a fire safety conversation between students and their parents, and between friends.  

Kyle, Cathy and I had a great time shooting the video with the students. They are an incredibly passionate, intelligent group who care deeply about this subject, and they are determined to spread this campus fire safety message far and wide. As you can imagine, The Center and NFPA are equally excited to help them achieve this goal.

So please check back at our website this summer for more information about the campaign and our contest. We look forward to hearing what you think about our newest initiative, and we definitely want to hear what actions you as a parent, and your sons and daughters will take to help prevent fires on college campuses across American and beyond. We hope you'll join us. Stay tuned!

Earth Day
Sparky the Fire Dog
is celebrating Earth Day today and throughout the month of April. He's partnered with NFPA's Firewise Communities Program to develop a great checklist that parents and kids can do together to help protect their homes from wildfire. By checking off everything on the list you will be helping to protect animals, trees, plants and your home! Green

To get started, you'll need a(n):

Next, grab your family members and head outside to work on your checklist! If you can, ask your neighbors and friends to get involved, too. And don't forget, take a picture of yourself in action! Share with our Firewise audience how you and your family are working together to help reduce your risk of wildfire damage in your neighborhood and keeping the earth clean and safe for all of us!

A wildfire in Southern California has burned over 1,020 acres and caused evacuations of both homeowners (on Bluff Road, Stagecoach Road, Homestead Road) and livestock at an equestrian area  located at Ingalls Park, 100 6th Street in Norco was caused by an unattended cooking fire according to a CAL FIRE incident report.  The fire located near the Prado Basin between Highway 71 and Highway 91 was 35% contained.

Highway Fire Horses
Highway Fire image from Fox News

 

 

According to a local television report, the fire spread through the area rapidly due to drought conditions and dense dry vegetation. The Basin which usually has water in it this time of year is dry due to the extended drought.  The station reported that CAL FIRE Captain Liz Brown said, “About 500 firefighters were working the front lines. So were two helicopters, though fixed-wing aircraft were not being used," she said.

Because of the type of vegetation burning a lot of smoke has been created causing a dangerous air quality warning to be declared.  Residents in the area are encouraged to stay indoors.

Highway Fire Picture by Daniel Cole AP
Highway Fire image from Daniel Cole AP

 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has some great information about safe grilling practices that homeowners can observe during the coming summer season. According to the NFPA blog, “In 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,800 home and outside fires. These 8,800 fires caused an annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 140 civilian injuries and $96 million in direct property damage.”  As we enjoy the outdoors after the winter season, it is wise to take precautions to avoid causing unwanted damage. The NFPA has also created a grilling infographic (PDF,1 MB) for you to use on your website, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Just download the graphic and place wherever you want to use it.  Have a happy and safe outdoor grilling experience.


6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d106231b970c-320wi.pngThe largest literary celebration in the world is taking place this month in schools, libraries, and bookstores, and Sparky the Fire Dog® can help kids be part of it.

Organized by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month, which takes place every April, is designed to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry. It’s been celebrated in the United States and Canada since the 1990s.

The Sparky School House has the free eBook, Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes, and Science Facts, which includes the poem, Sparky the Fire Dog Says Stay Fire-Safe!” The poem reminds children in a fun and entertaining way about escape    planning, what to do when the smoke alarm sounds, and the importance of waiting outside at the designated meeting place.

Kids and adults who want to create their own fire safety poems during National Poetry Month or any other time of the year can send one to the parent page of the Sparky web site.

Firefighters across Durham, Ontario, are launching a three-week campaign on Monday to educate residents about fire safety using an approach they haven’t tried before.6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb081e5c55970d-800wi.jpg

“You have a better chance of having a fire in your home than winning the lottery, but people are buying lottery tickets and not installing smoke alarms,” Pickerington Fire Inspector Julie Ineson is quoted as saying in Durham Region Daily.

Officials say that residents underestimate the frequency and causes of fire. They tend to hear about large loss, but are unaware of smaller events and near misses. Officials hope local fire statistics will get their attention.

As part of “Get Real Durham” select households will receive an automated telephone message from the local fire chief, who will identify fire statistics and what residents can do to protect their family from fire. Firefighters will go door-to-door educating residents about the reality of fire and install smoke alarms where needed.

NFPA’s community toolkits–a resource for fire service members conducting education campaigns–and safety tips sheets include statistics on injury, and loss of life and property from fire.

Full reports and statistics are available from NFPA´s Fire Analysis and Research division.


6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb081aa77d970d-800wi.jpgA centerpiece of Jewish life, Shabbat is observed every week by families throughout the world. Planning is required for the day of rest and celebration. Fire safety should be an important element of the preparation. The Shabbat Fire Safety tips sheet includes messages on smoke alarms, escape planning and the warming of food.

Particular attention is given to candles and how to use them safely during Shabbat. Details on the effectiveness of home fire sprinklers in suppressing and extinguishing a fire before the fire department arrives are also included. The safety tips sheet can be customized with the fire department’s or an organization’s name and contact information.

All of NFPA’s safety tips sheets can be reviewed on the website.

A father and his seven children–six years old to the teens–were found dead in their one-story home in Maryland this week. Relatives said the father had been trying to keep the family warm with a generator after the power was cut because of an outstanding bill.

 

According to WISH-TV, Lloyd Edwards told The Associated Press that his stepson, 36-year-old Rodney Todd, had bought the generator after the power was shut off to the home in Princess Anne, about 60 miles southeast of Annapolis on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

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Authorities would not confirm any information about possible carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, but Princess Anne Police Chief Scott Keller told The AP that there was no foul play and that a generator with no gasoline was found in the kitchen. He confirmed that the electricity to the home was turned off.

 

Todd, a single dad, was a utility worker at a nearby university. The cause of the deaths remains under investigation.

 

Members of the fire service, looking to launch an awareness campaign about the dangers of carbon monoxide can download NFPA’s “Keeping your Community Safe with Carbon Monoxide Alarms" toolkit. The CO Safety tips sheet, available in English, and Spanish - explains the dangers of CO, installation and use of CO alarms and how to prevent CO poisoning.

NFPA has been promoting fall and fire prevention for older adults through its Remembering When program since 1998. Over the past 17 years, we've trained approximately 300 local coalitions nationwide on how to implement the program locally. In turn, those coalitions have worked diligently to educate older adults in their communities about falls and fire prevention.

Remembering When

An recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Program dedicated to educating seniors reduces rate of falls and fires”, highlighted the efforts and impact of one such coalition in Blaine, Minnesota.

Becky Booker of the Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds Fire Department, and Brian McDonald, an owner of Synergy Home Care, have completed 15 presentations that have reached some 300 people since they were trained by NFPA, with more presentations planned this spring.

According to the article, when Booker and McDonald visit a facility for the first time, about 90 percent of seniors usually ask for a walk-through of their home, where simple changes can make big differences in increasing their safety from falls and fires.

NFPA’s public education division will be hosting a Remembering When scholarship conference in Orlando, FL, this November. Details about the conference will be posted online later this month; visit www.nfpa.org/rememberingwhen for more information. 

NFPA has two new employees in the Public Education Division serving as regional education specialists. Meredith Hawes (left) will cover the central region and Mid-Atlantic States. Kelly Ransdell will cover the southern United States and New England region.

 

NFPA’s Public Education Division is expanding1.jpg

Meredith was an NFPA public education advisor for the central region of the country and was the fire and life safety public educator for the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department of Northern Michigan.

 

NFPA’s Public Education Division is expanding2.pngKelly (right) was the NFPA public education advisor for the southern region and deputy director of the Prevention and Programs Division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Office of the State Fire Marshal.

 

The Public Education Regional Specialists will work remotely and be responsible for promoting the use of NFPA fire-safety education materials at the state and local levels. They will serve in an ambassadorial role for the association on a regional level by being spokespersons for all NFPA public education and advocacy initiatives, and will provide an NFPA presence for fire departments in the region while coordinating field activities with Association staff.

 

The search continues for a third regional education specialist to cover the western United States.

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