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2016

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d198ee08970c-800wi.jpgAbout 3,000 lives continue to be lost each year to fire in the U.S., and the majority of those deaths occur in homes, where people feel they are the safest.  More than one-third (37%) of U.S. home fire deaths happen in homes where there are no working smoke alarms, or no smoke alarms at all.  

 

Recently an event was held to target this very issue, and it marked the 24th year of a project called Operation-Save-a-Life in Philadelphia.   It was one of a handful of events that NFPA has recently been invited to, thanks to a partnership that links NFPA with Kidde, Home Depot, ABC News, and other local partners.  This particular collaboration provided over 200 fire departments with 10,000 donated smoke alarms!  The line of fire vehicles waiting to receive their smoke alarms at the Philadelphia Fire Academy demonstrated the huge need that still exists for these important home safety devices.

 

NFPA is a proud supporter of Operation-Save-a-Life and other similar smoke alarm installation programs, and as such, we are making free resources available to enhance these programs. Our Smoke Alarm Installation Guide, and a vast selection of smoke alarm resources can all be found on the NFPA website and can be downloaded as often as needed.  Operation-Save-a-Life puts working smoke alarms in homes that need them, and by doing so this project does just what it claims, it saves lives.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08b2ce33970d-800wi.jpgBurn Awareness Week, which begins Monday, February 1, is an opportunity for burn, and fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message. The National Scald Prevention Campaign Steering Committee Partners–a group of national and international fire, burn, and life safety organizations–have launched “It Can Happen in a Flash with a Splash: Liquid and Steam Burn Like Fire,” acampaign providing statistics on burn injuries, infographics, and a toolkit for public educators.

NFPA’s Educational Messages Desk Reference includes a chapter on burns, with information on preventing scalds and burns in the kitchen, hot tap water and scald burns, and treatment of burns. In addition, the scald prevention tips sheet lists safety precautions and advises on burn treatment.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08b2b4bb970d-800wi.jpgOne more week remains before the deadline to apply for the Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant.

Named in honor of Rolf H. Jensen, a leading authority on fire protection engineering, the grant is awarded annually to a local fire department to support a fire and life safety education community-wide program or campaign.

Funded by the RJA Group, now Jensen Hughes, the grant is open to any fire department–career or volunteer–in the United States or Canada.

Here’s why you should apply:

  • The grant provides $5,000 to support the implementation and evaluation of the department’s fire and life safety education program or campaign.
  • Recipient receives a commemorative plaque.
  • Opportunities for media coverage will bring attention in your community to the good work that the department is doing.
  • You have nothing to lose.

The downloadable application is available through February 5.

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At least six people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the wake of a massive blizzard that pounded the Eastern portion of the U.S. The deaths have many fire departments, including some in the Washington, D.C. area, reminding residents to clear their home and car exhausts of snow. According to 4 NBC Washington, many of the deaths happened as the victims worked to clear snow from a vehicle.

In New Jersey, 23-year-old Sashalynn Rosa, of Passaic, and her 1-year-old son, Messiah Bonilla, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a running car that had its tailpipe covered in snow. Rosa's 3-year-old daughter, Saniyah Bonilla, remains hospitalized in critical condition. The father of the children was just steps away shoveling snow from around the car.

Angel Ginel of New York died in a similar way Monday afternoon. Police say Ginel was found inside his running, plowed-in car in Brooklyn. His relatives believe he got inside the car to warm up Sunday, and the car got buried.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches.

Fire officials are reminding residents that a car's exhaust pipe should be cleared before starting the vehicle and of the dangers of sitting inside the car to stay warm. NFPA'scommunity toolkit on carbon monoxide alarms provides materials public educators can use to conduct a community education campaign on the topic. In addition, the carbon monoxide safety tips sheet, customizable and available in English and Spanish, offers quick tips about safety.

NFPA introduces new checklist on barn fire.jpgSeveral devastating barn fires have occurred in Canada during the past two weeks, resulting in a massive loss of animal life and millions of dollars’ worth of property damage. Two separate fires claimed the lives of 56 horses, another killed around 500 goats and 30 cattle, while yet another killed approximately 2,000 pigs.

 

In response, NFPA is introducing a new barn fire safety checklist as a resource to prevent more tragedies.

 

Here are some tips included in the checklist:

  • Make sure electrical equipment is kept clean and free of damage
  • Secure heaters to prevent them from falling over
  • Store oily rags in a closed, metal container away from the heat
  • Ensure that everyone who uses barns participates in barn fire drills

 

In addition, NFPA offers a collection of rural fire safety tips and NFPA 150,Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities.

Dollar Bill GraphicIf you were given $1,000 toward public education activities for your fire department or fire marshal's office, how would you spend it? The question isn’t academic. If you meet the eligibility requirements for NFPA’s Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award, your agency could receive this donation. What’s more, as a public educator, you could receive a $1,000 honorarium, travel to the upcoming NFPA Conference & Expo, free Conference registration, and the bronze Sparky the Fire Dog® statuette presented to you during the Conference general session by the NFPA chairman of the board.

It only takes a few minutes to complete the application. Don’t wait. The deadline is February 12.

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

  • Guidelines on hoverboard safety
  • Safety recommendations for electric portable space heaters
  • A new infographic detailing the process of creating NFPA’s education messages 
  • Lorraine Carli talks about NFPA’s advocacy work

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.

  PrepDay 5.7.16

Plan a wildfire awareness, risk reduction, or post-fire project to be implemented during NFPA's third national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 7, and your activity could receive one of 125 project funding awards in the amount of $500 each to cover expenses related to grassroots efforts. The project funding awards opportunity along with additional outreach components is being generously provided by State Farm.

Applying for a project funding award is easy and takes only a few minutes to complete. Submit a brief description of the project you or your group will complete on May 7 and include who will be participating. Get family and friends to vote for the project on the official site or on Facebook as a way to demonstrate local support. To be considered applications must be submitted by February 28.

Find easy-to-do project ideas to get you started in planning an activity, or customize one to specifically meet local needs. Take a look at projects from the 2015 campaign and see what others have accomplished. Your actions will contribute to increasing the safety of both residents and wildland firefighters. Commit a couple of hours or an entire day to helping your community and accomplish something great!

Activities can be coordinated by a wide-range of stakeholders: individuals, neighborhoods, recognized Firewise Communities, civic groups, fire departments or forestry agencies working to reduce wildfire risks, advance general wildfire preparedness, or minimize post-fire impacts from a recent wildfire.

Funding awards can be applied for by anyone 13 years or older. Read the Official Rules for complete details and join individuals and groups of all ages on Saturday, May 7 as they participate in national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and make where they live safer.

Once your project details become finalized add them to the Put Your Project on the Map. Include your information and help demonstrate the efforts taking place in communities everywhere. Together we will illustrate the magnitude of risk reduction activities occurring throughout the U.S. during the first Saturday in May.

Promoting your activity is simple when you use free customizable flyers, the official logo, an email signature or web banner, postcard and social media cover photos. Let everyone know what you have planned and encourage them to get involved too!

Share your efforts through social media on Facebook and Twitter using #WildfirePrepDay.

 

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[NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative | http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org] team constantly hears comments from the fire service and other safety advocates that in order to create tomorrow's safer homes, we need to better educate our children today. As future homeowners, children can play a crucial role in bolstering demand for home fire sprinklers. The more educated a child gets on home fire sprinklers, the more likely they are to demand this safety feature as adults. 


 

The creative minds at the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition have developed an entire website, SprinklerSmarts.org, crammed with interactive videos, games, and lesson plans on home fire sprinklers. Whether you're a member of the fire service, teacher, or parent (or perhaps all of the above), there are materials and activities catered to your group. The resources are also broken up into two age brackets: Kindergarten to grade 5 & grades 6 to 8. There are informative, "Sprinkler 101" lessons for the younger group and tutorials on the engineering behind sprinklers for the older children that are explained in layman's terms. Having played the games myself, I can attest that they are addictive and informative.   


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08ac2876970d-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08ac2876970d-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08ac2876970d img-responsive!


 


 

Please do your part to make 2016 The Year of the Fire Sprinkler. Visit SprinklerSmarts.org and incorporate lessons on home fire sprinklers into your outreach and educational endeavors this year. Also, watch this video that gives you an overview of the materials on SprinklerSmarts.org:


 


 


 


 


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/297664079_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/297664079_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition's Peg Paul named Advocate of the Year

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_103_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_103_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!If you think the U.S. is the only country advocating for home fire sprinklers, think again

!http://i.zemanta.com/279250466_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/279250466_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA's Canadian rep outlines sprinkler efforts for the next three years

!http://i.zemanta.com/331151935_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/331151935_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!If you are looking for a succinct article underscoring the necessity of home fire sprinklers, this is it

!http://i.zemanta.com/347915583_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/347915583_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!How does the insurance industry view home fire sprinklers?

Soup pictureJanuary is National Soup Month, a time when the joys of this hearty comfort food are celebrated. Restaurants are serving everything from thick and creamy concoctions, to water-based broth or consommé, to vegetable-laden chili as their "soup of the day."

Churches and organizations are sponsoring "soup swaps" in which everyone goes  home with a soup different from the one they brought to the gathering. I'm sure Scald tips sheeton somebody's menu my all-time favorite, chickarina, is among them.

As we celebrate soup, let's do so with care. Prepackaged microwavable soups are a frequent cause of scald burn injuries–especially noodle soups–because they can easily tip over, spilling hot liquid and noodles and potentially causing devastating injuries.

NFPA's Scald Prevention Safety Tips sheet offers precautions about soup, and the handling of other hot liquids, as well as tips on burn treatment.

HoverboardAs investigations continue into numerous house fires caused by hover boards, authorities are now looking into an incident in California in which a hoverboard apparently caught fire and destroyed a woman's car.

News reports state that the incident occurred in Rialto, California, while Maria Gomez was driving with her cousin and father. According to Gomez, the hoverboard, which was sitting on a floorboard in the car, began smoking.

Speaking to KCAL, Gomez said, “[My cousin] had it between his legs, and he started to go ‘Hey, it’s smoking, it’s smoking.' And my dad said, ‘What?’ And then my cousin said ‘Pull over.'" The three got out of the car, which then caught fire, apparently from the smoking hoverboard, pictured above.

While the Rialto Fire Department has yet to confirm the cause of the fire, Gomez's account aligns with several others around the Hover Board Tips Sheet world, including multiple reports of hoverboards catching fire and damaging homes and catching fire in malls.

The danger has now grown to the point that hover boards have been banned from several airlines and college campuses. And at least one lawmaker in Australia has said she plans to call on the federal government there to ban hover boards as safety hazards.

NFPA has issued a fire safety warning about hoverboards and has produced a customizable tips sheet outlining precautions consumers should take if they purchase a hover board, signs of problems with the self-balancing scooters and what to do in an emergency.

Electric Portable Heater

When I returned home last week after my travels during the holiday season, I turned up the thermostat and also plugged in the portable space heater to get rid of the chill. I wasn’t alone. As the temperature drops, many people are turning to electric portable space heaters to supplement central heat or to heat one room.

NFPA’s new Electric Portable Space Heater safety tips sheet provides safety recommendations for using this type of heater.

  • Purchase a heater with the seal of an independent testing laboratory
  • Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection
  • Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.

Additional tips and information about different types of space heaters are also included. The tips sheet is customizable. Organizations can include their name and contact information. NFPA has more than 100 safety tips sheets on a number of topics.

9590765_GRinging in the New Year took on new meaning in Hickory, NC when a family was saved by their working smoke alarm. For all the fire safety personnel that sometimes wonder if all the hours of smoke alarm canvassing and home visits are worth it- Hickory Fire Department just got the answer- A resounding YES. On Wednesday morning, a family of four was awakened during the night to the sound of their smoke alarm. Little did they know that their chimney had ignited and set the whole house on fire.

Smoke alarm installation in your community may be a thankless job but each week I see news clips from across the United States about lives that are saved by these smoke alarm programs. NFPA has great materials to help you start or enhance the program you are doing. For more information on Smoke Alarms, videos, and free educational materials you can visit our free online Community Toolkits.

WinterfreezeinfographicIn order to "Put a Freeze on Winter Fires" we have teamed up with the US Fire Administration  to highlight the leading causes of fires during the winter season. You can use the infographic in your social media campaigns  in addition to all the cool tools.  Congratulations to Thomas Raper of the Hickory Fire Department for your tireless work for over 24 years with smoke alarm installation. You are making a difference in the New Year and beyond.

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c8049523970b-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c8049523970b-800wi|alt=Weymouth Fire|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Weymouth Fire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c8049523970b img-responsive!If a two-story house in Weymouth, Massachusetts, had not had working smoke alarms, the outcome of a recent fire could have been far different. Smoke alarms alerted the people living in the home to a fire in the attic. Everyone was able to escape safely.


 

According to the Weymouth News , the fire department got the 911 call at about 4 in the morning. Fire crews located the fire in the walls and ceiling of the attic. The blaze appears to have been caused by faulty electrical work.


Fire officials say the blaze is a reminder about the importance of checking smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms regularly.


 

NFPA provides community toolkits on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms that public educators can use to help them conduct successful community education campaigns.


 

In addition, Smoke Alarm Central is a complete source of smoke alarm information. The carbon monoxide safety page provides facts, figures, reports and safety tips regarding what has been called the invisible killer.


!http://i.zemanta.com/316478757_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/316478757_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Door-to-door campaign reveals lack of smoke alarms in South Carolina community

!http://i.zemanta.com/273252315_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/273252315_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA provides new safety tip sheets en Espanol!

Winter-05With the winter months upon us, we want to remind homeowners about the fire dangers associated with heating equipment. Improper use of such equipment like portable or stationary space heaters, wood burning stoves and fireplaces can be incredibly dangerous, and their misuse is a leading cause of U.S. home fire deaths.

Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. More than half of the home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that started when something that could burn, like upholstered furniture, clothing, blankets and bedding, was too close to heating equipment.

During the colder months there is also an increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Fuel-burning equipment, including vehicles and generators running in an attached garage, can produce dangerous levels of CO and should be vented to the outside to avoid it from building up in your home. In a 2012 NFPA report, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of 9 such calls per hour in 2010. The number of incidents jumped 96 percent from 40,900 incidents reported in 2003. This surge, according to NFPA, is most likely due to the increased use of CO detectors, which alert people to the presence of CO.

Installing and maintaining CO alarms can also help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater or other appliance, do not light it. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.

To ensure a safe and cozy winter this year, NFPA offers some easy tips to follow:

  • Use your oven to cook food only. Never use it to heat your home.
  • Hire a qualified professional to clean and inspect heating equipment and chimneys every year.
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Place a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from flying into the room, and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing them in a metal container, and ensure that they are kept a safe distance from the home.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • Test smoke alarms and CO alarms monthly. Properly maintained alarms can save lives in the event of a fire.

Find additional resources including tips sheets, videos, reports and more about heating safety and carbon monoxide by visiting NFPA’s website. 

Put-a-Freeze-on-Winter-Fires_Photshopped


 

New and emerging consumer technologies are popping up everywhere, with the goal of making our lives easier, healthier and more efficient than ever before. A segment on +The Today Show+ covered many of them at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which kicked off yesterday.


Overall, it’s exciting to see what’s on the horizon for our homes and lifestyles. Meanwhile, an app showing how people can preheat their ovens or turn off a burner when they’re away from home, which may sound like a true convenience to the average consumer, presents concerns that need to be carefully considered and addressed. Moreover, it underscores that while some technologies may make life more convenient for consumers, they may inadvertently compromise safety in the process.


 

Understanding that “smart” technologies will be increasingly used in homes in the years ahead, NFPA hosted its first-ever “Smart Homes Summit” in Palo Alto, CA, this past fall. The summit brought together emergency responders and fire safety professionals with the home building and technology communities in an effort to guide technology developers (i.e., Nest) in effectively addressing the home fire problem.


On a broader level, as new technologies begin to shift and change the way people live and function at home, we’ll continue to work collaboratively to ensure that we remain at the forefront of emerging technologies, and are fully ready to address and respond to them.


How do you think our lives will be impacted by emerging consumer technologies? Do you think they're cool, exciting, a bit scary? Let us know your thoughts!

 

EMAC Process

Have you ever wondered where NFPA gets their educational safety messages? Or how often they are updated? Well, we have a new infographic that details out the whole process! It's just in time too, because we are looking for your input! Accurate messaging is the heart of safety education. NFPA and life safety experts in the field work together to build strong messages that can be shared. 

We are currently looking for input and feedback on the 2015 Educational Desk Reference as we work to produce the new 2016 edition. After you have looked through the 2015 edition, please download the form and submit any thoughts you have for changes, updates, or additions by February 26, 2016!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and assistance!

120 displacedOn New Year’s Eve I was back in Bridgeport, Connecticut, my hometown, with my family, looking forward to watching the television broadcast of the ball dropping at Times Square. We had no idea of the misfortune that was unfolding across town that day.

About 120 people were forced from their homes as a two-alarm fire ripped through a condo building and raged for hours. According to NBC Connecticut, part of the building collapsed, several units were destroyed, and people lost Christmas gifts and the rest of their possessions. The fire appears to have started in the garage, where several cars were burning under the building. Firefighters used aerial ladders to rescue people trapped inside. No residents were hurt. Toddler dies in fire

As the community reeled over this tragedy, more was to come. Days later, a three-year-old girl died in an apparent stove fire that ravaged a condo unit, hospitalizing five others, including her mother, the condo owner, and three children. According to news reports, Bridgeport authorities say smoke alarms were disabled. They want to know why. The fire remains under investigation.

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