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It came as no surprise to me to learn that Ron Farr had been recently bestowed with the high honor of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Volunteer Fire Council.  In my mind the only thing that prevented him from receiving it much sooner, would simply be the "lifetime" qualification.  


While I have only known Ron for the past 10 years, he had dedicated over 50 to the fire service, and undoubtedly made a huge impact on a great many lives.  As the former State Fire Marshal in Michigan, Ron was one of the first people to reach out and provide support for fire & life safety education initiatives I was spearheading, and he was quick to offer hands-on assistance delivering training and information alongside me to our school administrators and educators.  His guidance helped to develop vital safety programs offered in our local area, and his mentoring was influential in shaping the direction of my work.  And still today, Ron is a trusted resource and good friend.  I am proud to give a shout-out for a well deserved award to a rock-solid guy.  Congratulations Ron Farr!

A page from the NFPA smoke alarm installation guide giving tips on how to start a programThe Grand Rapids Fire Department celebrated a milestone recently that it has been working toward for the past 5 years. According to Fox17 West Michigan, the firefighters of Ladder 1 installed their 50,000th smoke alarm on April 14th. The department celebrated the occasion with an event featuring the fire chief and mayor. The fire prevention division installed the alarms in more than 8,200 owner-occupied homes as part of a Residential Safety Program that began in 2013. As part of a free program, in addition to the installations, home safety assessments are done and home fire prevention education is provided. Carbon monoxide alarms are also installed with the help of grant funding. NFPA’s “Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program” is a comprehensive guidebook to help you get an installation program started in your community.

Arkansas Fire Safety Summit in conjunction with Arkansas Fire Marshal Association


April showers brought more than May flowers in Arkansas this month. Over 60 fire marshals from across Arkansas attended the second Fire Safety Summit hosted in Jacksonville, AR.  With a high rate of fire deaths in this rural state, fire marshals gathered to talk about hot topics affecting fire prevention ahead of their annual Fire Marshal Association conference. National speakers from NFPA, Nationwide: Make Safe Happen, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission gave updates and new innovative ways to reach consumers about the dangers of fire, importance of smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers, wildfire and carbon monoxide. The focus of the summit was how we protect the work with our knowledge. A special thanks to Nationwide Insurance for sponsoring the event.  Thanks to everyone that took time to attend this fire safety event to help save lives in Arkansas.

Image of a carbon monoxide alarmSaginaw firefighters are working to make the city safer, one home at a time. According to television station ABC12, FEMA recently awarded the fire department a grant to purchase 1,300 carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Firefighters have been installing them. Already at least four of them have alerted families to the potentially deadly gas. CO alarms should be installed outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations as required by laws, codes, or standards. For the best protection, have CO alarms that are interconnected throughout the home, so when one sounds, they all sounds. The Carbon Monoxide page of the NFPA website has additional safety information.

Image of smoke alarm, followed by bulleted list of safety tipsThe Boulder County Sheriff’s office in Colorado is crediting “Sam,” a 14-year-old dachshund, with saving a family from what could have been a tragedy. Problems started for the family on a recent evening when the power shut off in the home and wouldn’t reset at the breaker box. The family was unable to reach an electrician. According to The Denver Channel, after the family went to sleep later that night, Sam began barking to get their attention. Upon waking, the owners of the home realized smoke was coming from somewhere inside the house as well as “significant heat” in the ceiling, according to the sheriff’s office. The family called 911 and got out of the home uninjured. While the home did sustain some damage, it will be repairable, the sheriff’s office said. The home had no working smoke alarms, so if it were not for Sam, “the fire might not have been detected until it was too late,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Working smoke alarms save lives, cutting the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Smoke alarms should be installed and maintained in every home. NFPA’s smoke alarm safety tip sheet and smoke alarm page have recommendations regarding smoke alarms.

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