My husband, Alex, and I are writers. We both worked for years as newspaper reporters and
taught journalism on the college level. Before coming to NFPA I ventured into
television broadcasting. Alex made the transition to public relations for a
research university, writing hard science. Yet, a few months ago we found
ourselves–at least momentarily–in a line of work that required us to put aside
all of our training and say absolutely nothing in order to get our message
We agreed to be models for a new NFPA 30-minute lesson plan on the topic “Smoke Alarm Basics–Rental Housing.” The lesson plan is designed to be used for presentations with adult renters and landlords in a casual setting, such as a coffee shop, library, fire station, or town hall. It provides a lesson objective and steps for conducting a presentation. A list of educational messages is also included.
For the lesson plan, Alex and I spent a morning being photographed as we stood on step ladders testing smoke alarms, disposed of a smoke alarm that was 10 years old, and checked the date on the back of a smoke alarm to see if it needed replacement. I doubt if our experience will provide a springboard to the runways at New York Fashion Week, a reality television show, or a fat contract with a posh modeling agency, but that’s okay. We've accomplished something more rewarding. We’ve done our part to reinforce the importance of having and maintaining working smoke alarms.
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