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All Places > Safety Source > Blog > 2020 > February

Front page of Safety SourceBeginning next month the Safety Source newsletter will a different look and feel. NFPA is merging all of its newsletters into one monthly email—NFPA Network. You’ll receive information based on your areas of interest. We will continue to bring you timely resources each month to support your educational efforts. We hope you’ll like out fresh, new approach. The February issue of Safety Source includes details on how to be nominated or self-nominate for the Fire and Life Safety Educator Award, registration information for Spotlight on Public Education, the two-day NFPA Conference & Expo session, and tools at your disposal for raising awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

The NFPA Public Education Division would like to express best wishes for a happy retirement to three leaders in the fire and life safety community who have significantly impacted lives and contributed their time and passion to the work of NFPA.

Marsha Giesler—Downers Grove (IL) Fire Department Public Education Officer Giesler has been a tireless advocate for fire safety education. She is known for her creativity in developing best practices and an ability to mentor and inspire others. She is the author of Fire and Life Safety Educator, published by Delmar Cengage Learning, which has been called a comprehensive and reader-friendly guide. In 2012 Giesler was chosen the NFPA Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. She implemented fire safety education programs using NFPA materials for more than 25 years.

Sandy Facinoli—Chief of Prevention and Information/National Fire Programs, U.S. Fire Administration/FEMA/DHS, Facinoli headed a branch that is responsible for leading the Fire is Everyone’s Fight national initiative involving partners from across the United States. Her team managed the USFA website and social media program, the National Emergency Training Center Library, the Publications and Media Production Centers, and the national network of fire marshals PARADE. Under Facinoli, USFA has worked closely with NFPA for years, co-branding social media messaging, and participating on NFPA’s Educational Messages Advisory Committee.

Dana Catts—For Seattle Fire Department Public Education Program Specialist Dana Catts, her passion for community outreach, youth engagement and education, and vulnerable or at-risk youth spans more than 30 years. Youth firesetting intervention, Seattle school fire safety programs, 4-H Youth Challenge course facilitation, youth forest restoration and education projects with Seattle Parks & Green Seattle Partnership, and camp direction for Earthkeepers Day Camp at Carkeek Park are several recent examples of her commitment towards youth in Seattle. With a belief in strong community partners, Dana strove to connect with others in helping provide important services and education to all members of the community. She served on the NFPA Urban Advisory Group.

Barry holding Sparky Statue at awards ceremonyHave you ever gotten a phone call with news so exciting that you had to sit down after listening to what the caller had to say? That’s what happened last year when Kingsport (TN) Fire Department Public Education Officer Barry Brickey got the call that he’d been chosen the 2019 NFPA Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year.

“I knew there might be a chance of being chosen, but I wasn’t sure,” he says. “When I received the call, I was very excited. I quickly told our fire marshal.”

He didn’t stop there. He got on the phone with his biggest cheerleaders.

Barry and daughter“My wife had me on speaker phone; my daughter yelled, ‘We’re going to San Antonio!’ Of course they were all excited for me. I even got a quick monotone “yeah” from my teenage son.”

At the time, Brickey had no idea that the awards gala at NFPA Conference in San Antonio, Texas, the honorarium, and a donation to his fire department to support public education activities, was only the beginning of the recognition he would receive for his work in the community.

“There were so many emails, messages and in-person congratulations, I lost count,” he says. “I was recognized at the City of Kingsport’s Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting and received a proclamation from the Governor of Tennessee that was presented by the state fire marshal’s office and many of our elected state officials. All of Barry and family and NFPA CEO Jim Pauleythe local media outlets came to do stories. But some of the best [acknowledgments] were the notes and congratulations from kids and parents who have taken part in our fire and life safety presentations.”

Brickey adds that becoming Educator of the Year has helped to enhance his work in public education. He encourages all public educators to apply for the award.

“I have been able to speak to groups in more places and have learned a lot from others in the Community Risk Reduction [arena]. Being able to attend the NFPA Conference and other conferences has increased my knowledge and encouraged me to look for new ways to reach the public.”

The application deadline is March 6th.

Flames Graphic and textBurn Awareness Week is being observed this first full week of February. It’s designed to provide an opportunity for burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing burn prevention information in their communities. NFPA has joined forces with the American Burn Association to increase awareness among the general population of the frequency and causes of burn injury and advances in and sources of burn care available these days.

The theme for the 2020 National Burn Awareness Week is Contact Burns – Hot Surfaces Damage Skin! The American Burn Association and NFPA provide tips for avoiding contact burns.

  • Always use oven mitts to remove hot items from the stove or microwave
  • Have a kid-free zone of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Never hold a child while you cook, drink a hot liquid or carry foods or liquids.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops
  • Supervise children when using a wood or oil stove or other space heater.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Always use a metal or heat-tempered glass screen on a fireplace and keep it in place.
  • Never leave a lit fire pot, personal fireplace, or torch unattended.

Cooking toolkit coverSkin making contact with hair appliance tools, such as curling irons, and hot pavement or sand can also lead to contact burns. 

The NFPA community toolkit on cooking safety has a number of resources safety educators can use to reach the public, including a PowerPoint presentation on how to prevent cooking fires, scalds, and burns; an easy-to-read handout on how to be fire safe in the kitchen; talking points; fact sheets; videos; and community outreach ideas.


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