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2016

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1a5e782970c-320wi.jpgOn a cold winter Saturday in New England, I discovered that there’s no better way to spend the evening than at a 24-hour bowling and fun center. The venue my husband, Alex, and I picked, is a popular spot for kiddie birthday parties, league tournaments, corporate events, candlepin bowling, and billiards.

 

When Alex and I got there, the bowling lanes were packed. We squeezed past screaming kids, couples on first dates, bachelorettes, and parents with babies in carriers. After a 30-minute wait, we ended up in the slightly quieter billiard room, reacquainting ourselves with 8-ball, a game we both excelled at when we were teenagers.

 

I’m proud to say that I bested my husband, winning three games out of three. But what made the evening even more special was the announcement made over the speakers, interrupting the pulsating, nearly eardrum-splitting music. We were told that in the case of an emergency to exit by tables 8 and 11 and then to go to our left to the exit.

 

I was glad to know that management was conscious of escape planning and wanted the patrons to know what to do in an emergency. NFPA’s escape planning materials–the safety tip sheet in English and those available in other languages, as well as the tip sheet on safety in places of public assembly, are great tools for reminding the public that safety is an important part of having fun.

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Every year, World Read Aloud Day calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories. Today is that day!

 

World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries thanks to people who participate and spread the word across the globe!

 

Sparky has some great storybook apps that would be great to use while celebrating this important day.

 

"Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes and Science Facts" includes 4 stories and a poem about fire safety. "The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms" is a fun story where Sparky and his friends set out to solve a mystery. "Sparky's Birthday Surprise" also teaches kids about fire safety with stories, games and a sing-a-long! Check all three out and read aloud to someone today on World Read Aloud Day.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c819b81a970b-250wi.pngHelp us celebrate Sparky's 65th birthday by joining us for a special 'Happy Birthday' Thunderclap!

 

Sparky the Fire Dog was created for NFPA in 1951 and has been our official mascot and spokesdog ever since. He is a widely recognized fire safety icon that is beloved by children and adults alike. Millions have learned about fire safety through Sparky's educational lessons and materials. We think it is therefore only fitting, that we plan something special. Sparky deserves a big celebration to honor his 65th birthday on March 18th.

 

If you have not yet heard about Thunderclap - it's simple and fun! Just visit our Thunderclap site, and register with your Twitter or Facebook account. That's all! Then, on March 18th, on every account that has been registered, an automatic "Happy Birthday" message will post, so that we can all share our birthday wishes at the same time.

 

We hope you will join in on the fun, and make Sparky's 65th (or 455th in dog years!) a special day!

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08be39d5970d-120wi.jpgThe Spanish version of the Learn Not to Burn® Preschool program is now available at

Sparky School House,

which provides a number of educational resource. By going to the “download” icon on&#0160;Learn Not to Burn,&#0160;you can access both the Spanish and English versions. The program, which integrates literacy, movement, music, and dramatic play to provide a developmentally appropriate learning experience for preschool-aged children, is also still available on the <a href="http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-public-educators/education-programs/learn-not-to-burn/learn-not-to-burn-preschool-program" target="_blank" title="Learn Not to Burn">NFPA website</a>

, making the program easier to find and use.

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Having just recently visited the Trump Tower in New York City, the headlines of “Fire Controlled in the Chicago Trump Tower” caught my attention. Perusing just the lower floors of the Tower in New York provided a sense of the size and magnitude of these tremendous buildings and what it would take to respond to a fire on an upper floor.  And though evacuation plans and emergency systems may be in place, in the event of a fire, nothing “trumps” fire sprinklers when it comes to protecting lives and property.

 

The recent press release by the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board points out the glaring difference in outcomes of fires that have recently occurred in Chicago high rise buildings that had sprinklers and those that did not.  And while many cities, like Chicago, are trying to catch up to national model codes, in some cases it may not be fast enough.

 

As customers, buyers, and tenants, we must take the responsibility to protect ourselves through education.  It is vital to know the facts about fire sprinklers and also to investigate if they are installed in the places where we choose to live and stay.  Whether it’s a long term residence or an overnight stay in a hotel, we have the power to choose the level of life-safety protection that we are willing to accept.

 

Take a moment to read and share the educational resources that NFPA provides on high rise safety, fire sprinklers, and hotel/motel safety!

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c815e3c4970b-320wi.jpgAs frigid temperatures have reached several regions of the U.S. this past week, frozen pipes have become a real concern for homeowners. Unfortunately, news reports over the past few days have featured home fire incidents caused by people using open flames to thaw frozen pipes in their homes.

 

Clearly, no one should ever use an open flame to thaw pipes, as this presents serious risks to people and property. The American Red Cross offers a wealth of tips and recommendations to prevent frozen pipes and safely thaw them.

 

Also, take a look at our safety tips for safely heating your home during the winter months.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d19fec0b970c-250wi.jpgThe February issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;

  • New checklist on barn fire safety
  • NFPA and CPSC co-sponsor carbon monoxide toolkit for fire departments
  • “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” infographic highlights electrical safety
  • Video helps children identify hot items
  • E-book highlights three steps to a safer Firewise new home

 

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.

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NFPA has added to its online library of easy-to-read safety tips sheets in multiple languages and cultures. The tips sheets can be used to reach people in your community with important safety information. New tips sheets are now available on cooking, electrical, and heating safety, and escape planning, in Hmong, Haitian Creole, and Somali (pictured above). In addition, NFPA has tips sheets covering numerous fire and life safety concerns.

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To commemorate National Burn Awareness Week, patients at the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Springfield Massachusetts were visited by local firefighters, Sparky the Fire Dog, Springfield Falcon’s mascot Screech, as well as representatives from the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal. Firefighters from Hatfield and Hadley did not come to the hospital empty-handed. The Hatfield firefighters brought in $750 that they raised for the hospital, while the Hadley firefighters brought in a large box of donated toys for the children.

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During the visit to the hospital, Sparky had many photo opts with parents and children while firefighters gave safety tips on preventing burns. NFPA works with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors to provide resources and outreach on fire and burns. The Scald Prevention Safety tip sheet is a great item to have in your toolkit while doing outreach in your community. A big thanks to the Firefighters in Massachusetts for this wonderful event.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08b6174a970d-800wi.pngThe Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office announced this week that fewer structure fire fatalities occurred in 2015 than in any year in recorded Tennessee history, including a milestone year achieved last year.

 

Seventy-two people died in accidental home fires across the state in 2015 - down from 76 fatalities in 2014. Both years were record-breaking improvements compared to 2013's fire fatality total of 100.

 

The three leading causes of 2015's fire fatalities were smoking, electrical distribution (wiring, outlets) and heating, according to the Tennessee Fire Incident Reporting System, which indicates that nearly 80 percent of last year's state fire deaths took place in homes where no smoke alarm was known to have been present.

 

"The loss of life in a fire is a tragic event that we are committed to stopping," Tennessee Commerce & Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak said. "Our partners in the Tennessee fire service community have worked diligently to prevent loss of life, and our teamwork is paying off."

 

“The Tennessee fire service is on a mission to reduce fire deaths and injuries," added Claire Marsalis, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator for the Department of Commerce and Insurance for the Fire Prevention Division of the Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office and NFPA public education network representative. "We’re very excited to see documented success as a result of our collaborative efforts, but we can’t stop here. The cold weather always brings an increase in fire fatalities to our state, so we’re ramping up our fire safety awareness campaigns as we move forward into 2016.”

 

Tennessee has seen a 28 percent reduction in fire fatalities during the past five years (2011-2015) from the previous five-year average (2006-2010).

 

Launched in November 2012, the "Get Alarmed Tennessee" program is responsible for more than 100,000 smoke alarms being distributed by the state fire marshal's office. More than 450 fire service partners work to install the 10-year battery alarms in homes statewide. This program, along with focused fire prevention in high-risk areas of the state, has helped increase awareness about the dangers of fire.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c811202b970b-800wi.pngThe Charlotte, North Carolina, and Denver, Colorado, fire chiefs are in a friendly Super Bowl challenge that could save lives.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the chief of the winning team’s city will receive 200 Kidde Worry-Free 10-year sealed battery smoke-carbon monoxide alarms to install in homes in need throughout the city.

 

The losing city’s chief will receive 50 of the same alarms and must install them while wearing the other team’s jersey.

“I’m happy to participate in a friendly challenge where both Charlotte and Denver residents are the big winners,” Charlotte Fire Chief Jon Hannan said. “I’m also confident our Carolina Panthers will bring home the trophy, and Chief (Eric) Tade will look great wearing our blue and black.”

 

Departments considering conducting smoke alarm public awareness campaigns and installations can refer to NFPA’s Planning & Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program for guidance. NFPA’s community toolkits on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms provide resources to help motivate residents to install and maintain alarms.

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After the national Remembering When™ conference last year, the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office headed back to Texas on a mission. It was not Mission Impossible but rather Mission Accomplished as their first training took place today.  More than 70 participants attended the first Remembering When training held in Texas.

 

This senior adult fire and fall prevention program equips fire departments and home visiting agencies with the tools to help senior adults live in their homes longer and more safely. Today’s training was the first of a series of outreach projects geared at the most vulnerable group of citizens when it comes to fires.

 

6a01b8d10ec381970c01bb08b58c7d970d-800wi.pngRemembering When™ is a free online educational program that includes a how to guide for educators and home visitors to learn about group presentations, home visits, and smoke alarm installations. The training today concentrated on the 8 fire and 8 fall prevention safety tips, a home safety checklist, and other resources for home visitors and their fire service colleagues. This team approach brings the credibility and sustainability that is needed to create and maintain this exciting program.

 

According to Mathew Hodges of the Texas State Fire Marshal’s office “ This is the first step in helping aging Texans live in safe homes by giving them fire and fall prevention safety tips”. So far in 2016, at least 5 senior adults have died in home fires and last year more than 35 senior adults died in Texas. Through partnerships like this, lives will be saved across the great state of Texas. Mission Accomplished!

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With a winter storm behind us and about 2 months of cold temperatures still to come, carbon monoxide is a major concern all year but especially now. Last week, Charlotte Fire Department, Kidde Fire Safety and NFPA teamed up to educate the public on carbon monoxide safety. On the heels of the two family members that lost their life in South Carolina when a generator was closed in a garage and a carbon monoxide alarm that sounded after a faulty heater in Marion NC, safety advocates worked with the media to let the citizens of the two states know about what carbon monoxide is, the signs and symptoms of CO, and safety tips.

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Having a working carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home can save your life. The Medical Director of the Carolinas Poison Center was on site to discuss the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. NFPA has a Carbon Monoxide Community Toolkit that has free resources at your fingertips. Whether you need information on generator safety with our partners the Consumer Product Safety Commission or a 10 minute mini lesson- we are here to help.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c811202b970b-800wi.pngDid you know that Super Bowl Sunday ranked #6 behind Thanksgiving, Christmas and Memorial Day in 2013 as having the largest numbers of estimated reported home fires on a holiday? According to NFPA’s 2015 Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment report, an annual average of 590 home cooking fires occurred on Super Bowl Sunday in 2013. That’s a 25% increase over the average number of fires on a typical day! 

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) tells us that Super Bowl Sunday is also the second biggest day of the year for food consumption! So if you’re planning to whip up some tasty snacks for this year’s game, make sure you add kitchen fire safety “plays” to your line up.

What’s the best way to do that? The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) offers a handful of great tips below that are easy to follow:

1. Kitchen Huddle
Prepare your cooking area. Use back burners or turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Keep a timer handy and use it when you’re roasting or baking.

2. Penalty Flag
Frying poses the greatest risk of fire. Keep an eye on what you fry. Start with a small amount of oil and heat it slowly. If you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire.

3. Defense
Stay awake and alert while you’re cooking. Stand by your pan. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet nearby in case you need to smother a pan fire.

4. Illegal Contact
Prevent burns when you’re cooking. Wear short sleeves, or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot or steaming cookware.

5. Defensive Linemen
Children need constant adult supervision. If you have young children in the home, keep them three feet from anything that can get hot, including the stove. Put hot objects and liquids beyond a child’s reach so they can’t touch or pull them down. Never hold a child when you cook.

6. Touchdown!
Keep safety in mind when serving on game day, too. If you burn candles, position them out of reach of children and away from anything that can burn. Consider using flameless candles that are lit by battery power instead. Food warmers and slow cookers get hot. Place them toward the back of the serving table so they won’t get knocked off. Provide hot pads to prevent burns. Light the chafing dish fuel can after it is placed under the warmer. Make sure nothing comes in contact with the flame. If young children are in your home, supervise them and keep matches and lighters locked away.

 

For more fire safety information, visit USFA's webpage. Additional resources can also be found on NFPA's Cooking Fire Safety web pages.

Enjoy the game, everyone, and please stay safe!

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