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All Places > Safety Source > Blog > 2018 > July


The Maranda's Park Parties are a familiar and treasured summer event in West Michigan, bringing 24 years of fun in the form or entertainment, attractions, food, and tons of prizes to local communities.  One of the greatest assets in the line-up are the resources available from local non-profits, including fire safety information from nearby fire departments.


This year 5 events took place in July, and recently the Dutton Fire Department participated in Gaines, Michigan serving over 9,000 people up with a chance to learn how to keep their families safe, while also sharing what it means to be a firefighter . . . and that means a chance to spray the hose!

The July issue of Safety Source, NFPA’s public education newsletter, is now available. In this issue you will find:

  • A new Fire Prevention Week home fire escape gridCover image of July 2018 Safety Source
  • Safety tips on electrical hazards around swimming pools, hot tubs and spas
  • Sparky the Fire Dog® e-card on staying cool all summer long
  • Hurricane season safety tips
  • A new fire safety lesson plan to help keep teens safe at home

And there’s much more. Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be among 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!

Vision 20/20 just launched their  Fire Safety Materials Generator, created with funding from AFG. The Materials Generator allows fire departments to design their own public education materials based on the latest social marketing research, and customize them to reflect the demographics and fire risks of their community. This online tool makes it easy to brand the materials with your own logo and contact information, and to select text and images that have been proven through testing to have the greatest impact on audiences, especially those at high fire risk.

The messages you’ll find in the Materials Generator focus on smoke alarms for now, but Vision 20/20 will be adding new content on cooking safety in the near future. 

Vision 20/20 believes (and we agree!) that the new Materials Generator will make it easier for fire departments to reach their diverse communities with well-researched materials and methods. By expanding the availability of customized outreach tools designed to educate the public (especially high risk audiences) about the value of and need for working smoke alarms, Vision 20/20 hopes to help create a national in-kind marketing strategy that reaches millions of people nationally. Rallying fire departments across the nation by making it easy and affordable to deliver their message locally is a great start.  

To access the Materials Generator and other Vision 20/20 resources, visit

It brightens the day to hear great stories about fire prevention and public education. Here’s one, from Jeff Corriveau, division chief of public education in Springwater, Ontario.


“Just wanted to let you know about a very successful fire-prevention undertaking here in Springwater, and it couldn’t have happened without the NFPA and Sparky.


“We ran a program called Ask Sparky, with the Grade 1 and 2 students in our township. This program gave the students the opportunity to write a letter to Sparky. Questions could be about the fire service, Sparky the Fire Dog, fire trucks, fire safety, firefighters, or anything fire-related. This increased students’ knowledge of fire safety, and it’s also a fun way to practise literacy skills. We got a huge buy-in from the schools, as this fit perfectly into the Grade 1 and 2 curriculums.”


Essentially, the fire department arranged to visit the classes with Sparky, and explained to students that they could write letters to Sparky, and Sparky would write back; there were prizes too! Teachers collected the letters and contacted the department.


“We answered the letters and returned with Sparky. Sparky handed out the replies and the prizes. The kids and the teachers loved it,” Corriveau said.


Firefighters visited 12 classes, answered 248 letters (Sparky’s typing skills improved greatly over the course of the program!), and teachers have asked that the program run next year. 


“The NFPA,” Corriveau said, “was invaluable in supplying the persona of Sparky and the licensed gifts we got from our Canadian suppliers. Keep up the great work!!”




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