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2016

rocky.jpgSparky got to spend a day in Philadelphia, where he checked off two of his bucket list items by running the famous “Rocky steps” and visiting the Liberty Bell. The 1976 film Rocky made the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art almost as much of a cultural landmark as the art inside the museum. The Liberty Bell was cast in 1752 and has since become a Philadelphia landmark and an iconic symbol of American independence. Through the window behind the bell, you can see Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were both signed. 

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Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

clothesDryerSafety.jpgFor many of us, now that the spring season is well underway, our thoughts are turning to the lengthy to-do lists we’ve made of spring cleaning and repair projects we have yet to tackle. But as we’re pulling out the mop bucket, sponges, screw drivers and hammers, let’s also carve out time to address home safety.

Smoke Alarms-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to keep smoke alarms working. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the internet.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms-Test carbon monoxide (CO) alarms at least once a month and replace them if they fail to respond when tested. The sensors in CO alarms have a limited life. Replace the CO alarm according to manufacturer’s instructions or when the end-of-life signal sounds.

Escape Planning-Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of each level of the home. Show all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your household, including visitors. Go to each room and point to the two ways out. Practice the plan with everyone in your household, including visitors.

Clothes Dryer Safety-Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum. Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a qualified professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.

NFPA has more safety tips that can help you through your spring cleaning tasks and safety checks. Once you’re done, you’ll have the satisfaction of a tidier home, and you’ll also feel safer.

lightningSafety.jpgIn Glen Rock, New Jersey, this week a lightning strike sparked a fire at a house and a neighbor is being hailed as a hero for his quick response.

Police say lightning struck a tree next to the house, stripping off the bark, before traveling underground and making contact with the house's sprinkler system. From there, it entered the house and hit an electric panel, causing the fire.

The residents escaped safely.

According to WABC-TV Eyewitness News, Art Zanotti, a neighbor who also happens to be a volunteer fire chief, was on his way out of his house headed to another call when he saw the lightning strike. He then spotted a glow from the fire coming from the basement of the home. He grabbed a fire extinguisher and knocked down the flames.

NFPA’s Lighting Safety tip sheet provides information on what to do to keep safe in typical situations when storms strike.

  • If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Look for shelter inside a home, large building, or a hard-topped vehicle right way.
  • Do not go under trees for shelter. There is no place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder before leaving your shelter.

The bizarre nature of the New Jersey lightning strike is a reminder of the importance of having working smoke alarms. NFPA’s Smoke Alarm tip sheet and Smoke Alarm Central provide comprehensive smoke alarm information.

Carbon Monoxide.JPGOfficials with the Peoria Fire Department, in Peoria, Arizona, say a crew responded to a home Thursday night when a family's carbon monoxide (CO) alarm was sounding. According to

FOX 10

, Firefighters at the scene found high concentrations of carbon monoxide at the home. Two children in the home were transported to a hospital in serious condition with high concentrations of CO.

 

A work vehicle with a generator was parked in the driveway and the generator had been running throughout the day. While it was running, CO vented into the garage and when the garage door was closed, the CO became trapped inside the garage and vented into the home.

 

The children's bedrooms are above the garage. Fortunately, a CO alarm installed in the home sounded and saved the lives of the family.

 

Often called the invisible killer, CO is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels–such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane–burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of CO.

 

The

carbon monoxide safety page on the NFPA website

, the

portable generator safety tip sheet

, along with the

carbon monoxide alarm community toolkit

are chock-full of information for staying safe and encouraging the public to stay safe as well.

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Sparky got to spend a day eating his way through Hersheypark and Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. Hersheypark, which opened in 1906, was founded by Milton Hershey as a leisure park for the employees of his chocolate company. Chocolate World, the accompanying visitors’ center, opened in 1973 and offers visitors a look into how chocolate is made.

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

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It's Earth Day, and Sparky loves to celebrate with fun activities that help the environment. His Cool-to-Do activity this month, 'Earth Smarts,' had some help from our friends on the Firewise team here at NFPA. The Firewise team helps teach people how to be safe from wildfires, and so they have worked with Sparky to create a checklist you can do with your kids to make sure you are helping animals, trees, plants and your home!

Visit our cool to do website, print out your checklist, and celebrate Earth Day with Sparky and Firewise!

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Photo is part of a video produced by WPRI/Providence

 

Providence, Rhode Island firefighters are

urging college students who live in the city to practice fire safety

as the school term comes to a close, according to WPRI Eyewitness News. Sources state that Providence has experienced a series of fires recently that have displaced students who are living in dorms and in off-campus housing. The leading cause of all fires? Cooking.

 

In a recent U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) report , from 2000 through 2015, 85 fatal fires occurred in dormitories, fraternities, sororities and off-campus housing, resulting in 118 student fatalities, an average of approximately seven per school year. More than nine out of 10 (94 percent) fatal campus fires took place in off-campus housing.

 

The good news is, according to Providence Fire Department Acting Fire Marshal, Peter McMichael, most of the campus housing in Rhode Island is up to code, and colleges and universities have contributed increased resources and funding to keep buildings safe for students.

 

Still, the biggest concern for the fire service now is off-campus housing. As the spring terms comes to a close and students leave their dorms to move off campus in apartments that are not overseen by colleges, safeguards may not always be in place. McMichael strongly urges students and their parents to ask more questions before moving into such residences. Questions like:

 

    • Are there two ways out of the house?
    • Is there a smoke detector outside of the bedroom(s)?

 

This fire safety news out of Providence is heartening, and timely as [NFPA | http://www.nfpa.org/campus] is partnering with Campus Firewatch, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and USFA to promote a campaign called

"See it Before You Sign it"

 that encourages parents to take a more active role in helping their loved ones choose secure, fire-safe housing in apartments or houses that are not on campus. 

 

Learn more about the campaign and take a look at the checklists, infographics, social media messages and more that can help students and parents make better informed decisions when looking for that perfect “home away from home” for the fall semester. And don't forget, you can download the resources for free and share them with friends and neighbors, too!

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08e4824f970d-800wi.jpgThe Step Up and Stand Out campaign has just released a radio public service announcement (psa) featuring Kix Brooks, nationally recognized country music artist, actor and film producer. The psa will air throughout the month of May 2016. Mr. Brooks encourages residents in volunteer fire service communities to step up and support volunteerism by becoming a volunteer fire fighter.

NFPA has teamed up with Firehouse, Kidde, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section to support the Step Up and Stand Out campaign. The campaign will increase awareness of the need for volunteer firefighters, encourage volunteer fire departments to conduct community fire and life safety education events and support contest to recognize volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their community.

A webinar is available providing an overview of the campaign, recruiting strategies, resources to support community events and how to use local media as a communication tool.

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#11 - Crazy Horse.jpg

Sparky checked off two items when he visited Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, both in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Construction on the Crazy Horse Memorial, a tribute to Native Americans, was started in 1948. While it’s still far from completion, the memorial is already the world's largest mountain carving! Mount Rushmore took 14 years to complete, and now attracts over 2 million visitors every year.

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1c8c3d5970c-250wi.jpgThe 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 security bars
  • Campaign prompts putting safety first when looking for off-campus housing
  • Upcoming Remembering When Conference
  • Sparky goes green for Earth Day
  • Augusta’s great fire of 1916
  • Report: U.S. trends and patterns of fire losses

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.

Security Bars.JPGSome years ago, when I was looking to rent the first floor of a three-family house in New Britain, Connecticut, I noticed that the apartment came with security bars on the interior windows.

I didn’t understand the importance of the quick release mechanism on the bars–this was before I came to NFPA. I was simply glad to have protection from burglars, especially because I was living on my own.

The quick release mechanism provided me with safety from crime and a quick way to release the bars and access the windows should I become trapped.

Some security bars, also called burglar bars, can trap people in a fire and keep firefighters from rescuing them. NFPA’s new customizable tip sheet on security bar safety, available in English and Spanish,  provides information on the different types of security bar quick release devices available and tips for home escape.

#9 - Join Army.jpg

Sparky checked of yet another bucket list item by joining members of the National Guard at the McCrady Training Center in South Carolina. Sparky got to participate in training exercises and even ride in a tank!

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1bf68ed970c-320wi.jpgThe Champaign Fire Department in Central Illinois is teaming up with the city’s Neighborhood Services Department and volunteers to install smoke alarms Saturday in high-risk areas.

According to WAND-TV, firefighters and volunteers will meet with residents from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., offering free smoke alarm inspections and installations. Officials say they plan to install approximately 800 smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

If you’re considering conducting a smoke alarm campaign in your community, NFPA’s Planning & Implementing a Smoke Alarm Installation Program is an excellent resource for getting started. It’s a comprehensive guide that includes tips on how to select volunteers, pointers on soliciting donations, and strategies for publicizing your program.

In addition, Smoke Alarm Central is a complete source of information on smoke alarms. NFPA’s smoke alarm toolkit includes everything you’ll need to motivate residents to install and maintain smoke alarms.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c83569e9970b-800wi.jpgIt’s called the Fire Spray Challenge, a viral trend in which teens use aerosols and lighters to create streams of fire, and record their reactions for Snapchat or Instagram videos. According to the New York Daily News, there have thus far been more than 4,000 Instagram posts using the hashtag #firespraychallenge. The first known Fire Spray Challenge video was uploaded in mid-March.

 

Fire and Life Safety Educators looking to make presentations to parents and caretakers to help curtail this highly dangerous activity can turn to NFPA’s 60-minute lesson plan on the Fire Challenge, another extremely dangerous activity popular among some teens. The lesson plan, The Fire Challenge: A Conversation with Parents & Caretakers, provides step-by-step guidance for making a 60-minute presentation, including a list of suggestions for exciting, yet safe activities as an alternative, information on addressing teen risk-taking in the age of social media, an explanation of biological characteristics that impede responsible decision making, and ways to open the lines of communication.

NFPA+prohibits+the+use+of+sky+lanterns.jpgFor centuries, in many parts of the world, sky lanterns have been launched for play or as part of long-established festivals. That tradition continues; their popularity has increased in recent years. However, sky lanterns pose a serious fire safety hazard and their use is prohibited by NFPA code requirement. The NFPA 1: Fire Code, 2015 Edition states the following: The use of unmanned, free-floating sky lanterns and similar devices utilizing an open flame shall be prohibited.

 

Sky lanterns are made of oiled rice paper with a bamboo frame, materials that can easily catch on fire. A candle or wax fuel cell is used with the device. The lit flame heats the inside of the lantern, causing it to rise into the air. Once lit and airborne, the lantern can travel more than a mile. Wind can affect it, blowing the sides, forcing hot air out and sending the flaming lantern to the ground. These lanterns have the potential to start a fire. In late February, a sky lantern released during a park event in Wisconsin, burned more than 15 acres in about an hour.

 

NFPA’s Sky Lanterns Safety tip sheets provide more information on the hazards of sky lanterns and their prohibition.

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Remembering When Conference 2015

NFPA will select up to 30 teams to participate in the expenses-paid Remembering When™ Scholarship Conference, which will take place in San Antonio, Texas, November 14-16. Those who are interested in building local fire and fall prevention programs for older adults are encouraged to get their teams organized. The application period opens on Monday, June 20th. For the first time, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Participants will receive training to reach older adults through group presentations and home visits. NFPA is looking to train 2- or 3-person teams who are:

  • excited to help older adults reduce injuries from fires and falls.
  • committed to building a community outreach program.
  • enthusiastic about strengthening partnerships to support older adults.

Each Remembering When scholarship is valued at more than $4,000 and includes in addition to the training workshop for each team:

  • airfare to and from San Antonio & shuttle transportation to and from the hotel.
  • lodging at the Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk on November 14 and 15, 2016.
  • a networking reception on the evening of November 14, 2016.
  • breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the training.
  • ongoing support from NFPA for program implementation.

The application period will close at noon on Monday, August 15, 2016. Teams should submit one complete application packet. Application packets will be reviewed as they are received. Submission date will be considered when choosing between similarly rated applicants.

#8 - Tulip Festival.jpg
Sparky spent a day at Oregon’s Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, just in time for their annual Tulip Fest. Every year, a stunning expanse of colorful tulips stretch across the farm’s 40 acres of land, a spectacle that draws families (and dogs!) from around the country.

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c831be5f970b-320wi.jpgIf you’ve thought about reading a fire safety story at school or at a community event, now is as fitting a time as any to consider doing so. D.E.A.R.–Drop Everything and Read–is a national, month-long celebration designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority. D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary, one of the most popular and honored authors of all time. She wrote about D.E.A.R. in the timeless children’s classic, Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

 

At Sparky School House, you can access Sparky’s Birthday Surprise, a fun story that includes games, activities, coloring pages and even a sing-a-long. Kids can learn fire safety skills in this app, which is aligned to Common Core State Standards in English, Language Arts, and Math. In addition, The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms teaches kids fire safety skills with a compelling story, standards-aligned materials and loads of fun animations. Both apps are free.

 

Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes, and Science Facts is a free ebook ideal for reinforcing fire safety messages while building critical education skills and meets Common Core State Standards in English, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science.

#7 - Wright Brothers Memorial.jpg
This week, Sparky got to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Located in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the memorial commemorates Wilbur and Orville Wright’s historic experiments in aviation, including the “first flight” of 1903. This summer, the National Parks Service will also celebrate an important anniversary- 100 years of looking after America's national parks.

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

#6 - Alamo.jpg
Sparky got to visit the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. Built in 1744 by Spanish missionaries, the Alamo was converted to a military fortification in the late 1800s. In 1836, it was the site of the famous Battle of the Alamo, which has since been immortalized in movies and books.

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c82ecf17970b-800wi.pngIt wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to turn on the radio and hear Kix Brooks, best known for having been one half of the award-winning country music duo, Brooks and Dunn. But these days you’re as likely to hear him talking as singing. And what he has to say could have a significant impact on volunteer fire departments.

 

As part of Step Up and Stand Out, a national campaign to recognize and recruit volunteer firefighters, Brooks has recorded a public service announcement encouraging people to become volunteer firefighters or to nominate a volunteer firefighter for the first national Step Up and Stand Out Award. Nominations are being accepted through May 21, 2016.

 

“These men and women are often the first line of defense in an emergency,” he says in the PSA, “but their numbers have declined.”

 

NFPA has teamed up with Firehouse, Kidde, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section to support the campaign, along with country music star Craig Morgan. NFPA is encouraging volunteer fire departments to engage their communities by conducting fire safety events.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08d1842a970d-800wi.jpgOn Saturday, April 30, FEMA is encouraging individuals and communities across the U.S. to take action to prepare for emergencies on National PrepareAthon! Day. Won’t you join us and others around the country to plan and practice your preparedness! There are several ways you can take action including:

 

Leading up to and directly after National PrepareAthon! Day, FEMA will be promoting hazard-specific weeks and provide tools and resources you can use to help prepare for these natural disasters. Check out the hazards and the assigned week below:

  • April 10 – 16:     Flood Awareness Week
  • April 17 – 23:     Tornado Awareness Week
  • April 24 – 30:     Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day
  • May 1 – 7:         Wildfire Awareness Week and lead up to NFPA’s national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (May 7)
  • May 15 – 21:     Hurricane Awareness Week
  • May 22 – 28:     Extreme Heat Week

 

Start organizing today and participate in April and May no matter what hazard you’re most at risk for in your area. Find out where preparedness events are happening in your area, connect with other communities, find customizable resources, and add your own activities to the PrepareAthon activity map to demonstrate how you are taking action to prepare.

 

Get all this and more at ready.gov/prepare.

 

Then stay tuned for more information from FEMA about Wildfire Awareness Week starting May 1 and NFPA’s Community Wildfire Preparedness Day on May 7! For those considering wildfire projects, you'll see just how easy it is to apply your PrepareAthon! project to the Prep Day event! Can't wait to hear what you have planned!

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Talk to any college student in the spring and you’ll quickly realize it’s an important time of year for them. In the midst of hair-raising finals, students are also frantically looking for off-campus housing for the upcoming fall term. This got organizations such as Campus Firewatch, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) thinking … so just how many parents actually visit these locations with their sons and daughters? Do students and parents know what to ask prospective landlords to ensure the place they lease addresses fire and life safety?

 

As part of an effort to raise awareness about off-campus housing fire hazards and provide information and action steps to ensure families choose a safe place to live for the school year, our organizations have teamed up to promote a great campaign called, See It Before You Sign It. The See It Before You Sign It campaign encourages parents to take a more active role in helping their loved ones choose secure, fire-safe housing including:

  • Visiting locations before any lease is signed
  • Taking a virtual tour of the apartment or house when you can’t physically be there
  • Asking landlords pointed questions about fire and life safety

 

In a recent USFA report, from 2000 through 2015, 85 fatal fires occurred in dormitories, fraternities, sororities and off-campus housing, resulting in 118 student fatalities, an average of approximately seven per school year. More than nine out of 10 (94 percent) fatal campus fires took place in off-campus housing.

 

While the numbers are scary, there is something we can do to lower the risk. Whether its social media messages, images, checklists or information sheets, resources available from the See It Before You Sign It campaign can help guide both students and parents when choosing a place that is fire safe, and one that your daughters and sons can proudly call their home away from home! Check out the webpage today before you head out apartment hunting with your family.

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Sparky checked off yet another bucket list item when he got to ride in Alaska’s Helo-2 search and rescue helicopter. Purchased in 2013, Helo-2 helps Alaska State Troopers cover the state’s vast expanses that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

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