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A coloring sheet featuring eye-catching geometric shapes and a clever word- and phrase-find activity with a fire safety theme.

There’s been a surge of interest among adults in putting crayon to paper and coloring between the lines. In communities across North America, coloring book clubs, parties, and meetings for mature audiences have been launched at libraries, Look. Listen. Learn in big letters. Sparky looks on as the character Simon holds an i-pad with an escape plan on centers, and in private homes. Imagine a coloring sheet featuring eye-catching geometric shapes and a clever word- and phrase-find activity with a fire safety theme. NFPA’s coloring sheet fits the bill and is a great tool for enhancing Fire Prevention Week presentations with adults and young adults. Bring along the kids' coloring sheet for added fun with younger artists.


How do the public's beliefs and attitudes toward health shape their behaviors? This recent webinar hosted by Andrea Vastis, senior director of public education at NFPA, reviews the basics of how people perceive their risk to fire and other health and safety issues, and how they take action (or not) based on those perceptions.


In particular, the webinar addresses:

  • how people assess and navigate risk
  • how you can engage audiences in ways that motivate them to make healthy/safe choices
  • how to manage frustration that sometimes comes from trying to motivate people to change their ways


The full webinar also addresses how fire and community service personnel can use simple motivational interviewing techniques to support positive change. It will be available to registered Xchange users at no cost for the next 30 days. Make sure to watch it!


An interview with Simon!

Posted by meredithhawes Employee Sep 27, 2018

As Fire Prevention Week draws closer and closer, the calls and emails are pouring in to NFPA’s Regional Education Specialists for assistance and direction on the tools and resources available to share this year’s theme “Look.  Listen.  Learn.  Be aware.  Fire can happen anywhere”!  It should have come of no surprise that our newest Fire Prevention Week champion and character, Simon, also received a request!  The Fire Marshals Association of Minnesota reached out the NFPA with a few key questions for Simon.  And of course, the smart and resourceful friend of Sparky the Fire Dog®, was happy to offer an interview to inform the public on the fundamentals of reducing the likelihood of fires and how to respond in the case of an emergency.


FMAM:  What is your role at NFPA?

Simon:  I am a new pal of Sparky the Fire Dog, and a spokes-character for NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week theme this year, “Look.  Listen.  Learn.  Be aware.  Fire can happen anywhere.”   

FMAM:  What intrigues you the most about fire prevention? 

Simon: This year’s FPW campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:

“LOOK” for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

“LISTEN” for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

“LEARN” two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

And as Sparky’s friend, I am helping teach this year’s FPW messages by spreading fire-safety messages to adults and children alike.

FMAM:  How does this year’s fire prevention theme, “Look. Listen. Learn.” speak to you?

Simon:  Well it speaks to me because it speaks directly to grown-ups and kids about the things that they need to do to be safe!  No matter where you are, it’s important to think about your safety from fire. Home is the place people are at greatest risk to fire, but it’s important to be aware and prepared no matter where you go.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” highlights critical ways to ensure your safety from fire, and I would like to share some ways to stay safe outside of your home:

Out and About

When you’re out and about, situational awareness is key! Remember to be aware of your surroundings and make a plan for how you would escape a building in the event of a fire or other emergency.

  • When you’re preparing to enter a building, ask yourself if it looks safe and well-maintained.
  • Check to see that doors aren’t locked or blocked from the inside.
  • Look for the two closest exits and identify the path you would take to reach them.
  • If you hear the fire alarm system sound, take it seriously and exit the building calmly but quickly. This is particularly important in larger occupancies like malls and movie theaters, where it may be too late to escape if you wait to see evidence of fire.

You can find more information, tips, and talking points on being safe inside and outside your home, here

Thanks for the interview! I hope everyone has a great Fire Prevention Week Campaign! And for my full interview click here!





Get Ready logoOn this final week of National Preparedness Month, the Department of Homeland Security encourages everyone to save for an emergency, stating that maintaining emergency savings, financial planning, and completing an emergency financial first aid kit are important for protection from a financially devastating disaster. A number of web resources, social media content, graphics, and worksheets are provided. In addition, NFPAs Get Ready toolkit provides strategies for first responders and local residents to work together to prepare for potential disasters. In addition to a presenter’s guide and PowerPoint presentation, fact sheets on numerous disaster-related topics are provided that can be downloaded and printed.

Cover image of Safety Source

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

  • A new Fire Prevention Week™ video to add to your toolkit for presentations.
  • A Fire Prevention Week safety checklist to help your community identify potential hazards around the home.
  • A webinar for fire departments looking for tips on effective communication to targeted audiences.
  • Ideas for encouraging best safety practices throughout September’s Campus Fire Safety Month campaign.

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!

Graphic of Get Ready logoOn this third week of National Preparedness Month, the Department of Homeland Security encourages everyone to check their insurance coverage. Testimonial videos, flood insurance graphics and guidelines are provided to help people learn more about how to protect their home or business. In addition, NFPA’s Get Ready community toolkit provides a fact sheet on floods that advises having flood insurance coverage. The fact sheet is available in both English and Spanish.


Thanks to all the fire departments that signed up this August to participate in Domino’s Fire Prevention Week program. All departments were automatically entered into a sweepstakes to receive an “FPW in a Box 300” package. Domino’s, who annually sponsors the contest, has officially announced the three randomly selected winners:


Texarkana Fire Department
Chris Black
Texarkana, TX 

Salisbury Fire Department
Kimberly Boling
Salisbury, NC 

South Elgin Fire District
Rich Stumbaugh
South Elgin, IL 


Congratulations to all of you, and best of luck implementing Fire Prevention Week in your communities this October! You will be receiving your FPW in a Box packages shortly.


To all fire departments: Even though the contest is over, you can still sign up to participate in the Domino’s Fire Prevention Week program. Please contact Danielle Bulger at to get started and for more information.

Get Ready logoOn this second week of National Preparedness Month, the Department of Homeland Security encourages everyone to learn lifesaving skills. The week’s focus is on individuals protecting themselves and their homes from flooding, earthquakes, and fires. NFPAs Get Ready community toolkit provides materials fire departments and fire and life safety educators can use during presentations to reinforce these potentially lifesaving measures.

The Floods fact sheet provides tips on how to prepare the home from floods, evacuation tips, and pointers on how to stay safe if caught in the midst of a flood.

The Earthquakes fact sheet explains what residents can do before, during and after an earthquake to increase their chances of survival.

The Home Fires fact sheet, encourages installing and maintaining smoke alarms and gives safety tips for what to do if a fire occurs in the home.

All materials are available in English and Spanish.


Great communication requires great tools: a message; a sender; a receiver; the ability to code and encode information; and a response. How do fire departments fit all that into a tweet, an infographic, a press release, or an ad?

Meredith Hawes, a regional education specialist at NFPA, explains how in the “ABCs of Educational Messages,” a webinar she recently hosted. During the presentation, Hawes walks through the communication process, providing strategies for targeting specific audiences and refining messaging based on community risk reduction, demographics, cultural factors, and local needs and circumstances.

This webinar is an extremely helpful tool for promoting Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, and the messages behind this year's theme, "Look. Listen Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere." As the campaign fast approaches, we encourage you to check the webinar out – it’s available to NFPA Xchange users at no cost for the next 30 days!

Get Ready LogoDuring this first week of National Preparedness Month, the Department of Homeland Security is encouraging the public to make and practice an emergency plan. NFPAs Get Ready community toolkit provides materials fire departments and fire and life safety educators can use to reinforce with the public the importance of addressing this potentially life-saving task. The Get Ready kit contains emergency plan cards and emergency plan forms in English and Spanish. The plan form helps individuals plan how they will contact each other if they happen to be separated when a disaster happens. The emergency plan cards are for individuals to fill in with their emergency contact information and keep on them in case of emergency.

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