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Headshot of Denise HynesDenise Hynes, public educator for Toronto Fire Services, has been named the 2018 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. Hynes will be recognized at NFPA’s 122nd Conference & Expo, the premier event in fire and life safety, this June in Las Vegas. Each year, NFPA bestows the Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year award on an educator who works for a local fire department or fire marshal’s office in the U.S. or Canada and uses NFPA's materials in consistent and creative ways. The recipient demonstrates excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community, and views NFPA as the leading source for fire safety information. Hynes has been using NFPA programs and materials since 2002. She works in the fifth largest fire department in North America, in one of the most diverse cities in the world, and serves a population of nearly three million residents. Her colleagues describe her as a tireless educator who has an unbelievable passion and enthusiasm for her job. Hynes has developed teacher workshops, prop kits, and safety events using NFPA programs. An NFPA Remembering When Scholarship winner, she has coordinated the training of more than 700 home health staff at 15 separate training sessions. During Toronto Fire Services Safety Awareness Week activities, she coordinated the delivery of 24 Remembering When/High Rise presentations.

Hynes has worked with the “Famous People Players,” a world-renowned theater company, to co-design a fire safety week theatrical presentation. Fire safety messages come alive in the black light show and Sparky is now one of the stars of the fire safety segment.

She coordinated a partnership with COSTI Immigration Services to design fire and life safety sessions translated into Arabic for Syrians who had recently come to Canada. She delivered presentations to help the newcomers learn how to stay fire safe, using NFPA’s handouts in Arabic on the topics of electrical, heating, and cooking safety and home fire drills.

Both the program for Syrian immigrants and the theater presentation were acknowledged with fire safety awards from the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council.

Image of front of Kidde dual sensor alarm

Kidde is recalling its dual-sensor (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms – models PI2010 and PI9010. “KIDDE” is printed on the front center of the smoke alarm. The model number and date code are printed on the back of the alarm. A yellow cap left on during the manufacturing process can cover one of the two smoke sensors and compromise the smoke alarm’s ability to detect smoke, posing a risk of consumers not being alerted to a fire in their home.

Side view of smoke alarm showing yellow capConsumers should remove the alarm from the wall/ceiling and visually inspect it through the opening on the side of the alarm for the presence of a yellow cap. Consumers should not attempt to take apart the alarm, open the casing, or otherwise remove the yellow cap themselves. If a yellow cap is present, the consumer should immediately contact Kidde to receive instructions and request a free replacement smoke alarm.

Image of the back of the alarmThey should remove and discard the recalled smoke alarm only after they receive and install the replacement alarm. If no yellow cap is present, consumers should reinstall the smoke alarm and no further action is needed. About 452,000 were sold in the U.S. and about 40,000 were sold in Canada. Consumers can contact Kidde toll-free at 833-551-7739 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, from 9 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, or online at and click on “Product Safety Recall” for more information.

When a fatal fire occurs, the whole community feels it.  From responding firefighters, grieving family members, to neighbors and local citizens.  There is often a heighten sense of anxiety while a cause is determined, and questions swirl as to “what could we have done to prevent this”. 

This scenario is all too familiar to me right now as my local community has recently experiences the 5th fatality in just a few short months.  The most recent happening just blocks from my home.  This time an electric space heater was the culprit, leaving a 94 year old, retired teacher, to be overcome by smoke before our City firefighters could arrive in just minutes. 

And while my “territory” encompasses a vast 16 states in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic portions of the US, my heart and home are in this little town nestled in Northern Michigan.  As I read my morning paper with emerging details of the fatality, I couldn’t help but jump on my computer and pull up some resources to share following the fire. 

NFPA’s Community Took Kits are a fantastic resource for outreach initiatives and include helpful tools such as templates for letters to the editor, op eds, talking points, and press releases.  The information is up-to-date and targeted at fire causes including electrical, smoking, and heating.  They also cover topics such as carbon monoxide, smoke alarms, and home escape planning.  For this most recent fire, the letter to the editor on space heaters was packaged perfectly for me to add in my personal information and customize around the season.  In minutes my letter was off to the local newspaper, and information, education, and hope is in the hands of readers.  We often use the phrase that “fire is everyone’s fight”, and if we truly believe that, then we all can, and should, take advantage of the easy-to-access resources available through NFPA to help keep everyone safe.

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