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 www.nfpa.org/fpw
Thanks for the interview! I hope everyone has a great Fire Prevention Week Campaign! And for my full interview click here!