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21 Posts authored by: freddurso Employee


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Looking to give a simple yet stellar educational pitch for home fire sprinklers in your community but don't know where to start? NFPA's new mini lesson will leave audiences with a clearer picture on the role these devices play in saving lives.

Using a three-step process, the new lesson taps into practices once deemed safe (smoking on planes, hockey players on ice without helmets) and gives audiences a chance to ponder safety advances made since then. The lesson then hits home advances in fire safety, particularly the use of home fire sprinklers. The instructor can engage the audience with discussion questions on these devices and facts about their operation. 


Download the free lesson plan and spend 10 minutes instructing your community about the necessity of home fire sprinklers. 

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter highlights essay receiving national attention for its strong stance on home fire sprinklers

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Free money for fire sprinkler advocacy! Apply today for NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative Bringing Safety Home Grant

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Illinois fire and building officials enlightened on home fire sprinklers during kickoff event at NFPA Conference and Expo


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[NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative |] team constantly hears comments from the fire service and other safety advocates that in order to create tomorrow's safer homes, we need to better educate our children today. As future homeowners, children can play a crucial role in bolstering demand for home fire sprinklers. The more educated a child gets on home fire sprinklers, the more likely they are to demand this safety feature as adults. 


The creative minds at the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition have developed an entire website,, crammed with interactive videos, games, and lesson plans on home fire sprinklers. Whether you're a member of the fire service, teacher, or parent (or perhaps all of the above), there are materials and activities catered to your group. The resources are also broken up into two age brackets: Kindergarten to grade 5 & grades 6 to 8. There are informative, "Sprinkler 101" lessons for the younger group and tutorials on the engineering behind sprinklers for the older children that are explained in layman's terms. Having played the games myself, I can attest that they are addictive and informative.   


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Please do your part to make 2016 The Year of the Fire Sprinkler. Visit and incorporate lessons on home fire sprinklers into your outreach and educational endeavors this year. Also, watch this video that gives you an overview of the materials on






!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition's Peg Paul named Advocate of the Year

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!If you think the U.S. is the only country advocating for home fire sprinklers, think again

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA's Canadian rep outlines sprinkler efforts for the next three years

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!If you are looking for a succinct article underscoring the necessity of home fire sprinklers, this is it

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!How does the insurance industry view home fire sprinklers?

No, this isn't NFPA staff
Sick and tired of singing or hearing "Jingle Bells" for the umpteenth time this year? Don't fret: the ingenious minds at NFPA have placed its stamp on the holiday classic. For those looking to add something new to the family's holiday singalong, or if you're simply looking to impress Aunt Edna, try the following song on for size. 

Sung in the same fashion as "Jingle Bells," NFPA's version, "Sprinkler Save," adds a little levity to a proven, life-saving device. And for those wondering: "Who the heck is Dude the Cat?" Read this. 

Kudos to NFPA's Marty Ahrens for crafting the lyrics.


Dinner’s on the stove

Fried chicken on its way

Kids get in a row;

It’s just another day

I go back around

To break up their darn fight

When the smoke alarm starts to sound

The flaming pan’s a sight.


Oh, sprinklers save, sprinklers save

Sprinklers save the day

Sprinklers keep the fire small

While help is on the way, Hey!

Sprinklers save, sprinklers save

Sprinklers save the day

Sprinklers keep the fire small

While help is on the way.


Apartment fire call

Smoke and screams inside

Firefighters kick in door

Search for those who cried 

Couch had been on fire

Sprinkler on it rained

Dude the cat was good and mad

But the fire was contained.


Oh, sprinklers save, sprinklers save

Sprinklers save the day

Sprinklers keep the fire small

While help is on the way, Hey!

Sprinklers save, sprinklers save

Sprinklers save the day

Sprinklers keep the fire small

While help is on the way!


Happy Holidays from NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team! Here's to a safer 2015! 


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More than 70 students were packed into a Kansas fraternity house this week when a fire erupted on the third-floor living area. More than 30 firefighters responded to the blaze, which was initiated by the improper disposal of smoking materials, according to a story on All occupants escaped safely.

The structure is no stranger to fire; construction on the bulding's interior two years earlier initiated a previous blaze. The residents escaped injury, but others who have encountered fire have not been as fortunate.

[The Center for Campus Fire Safety (CCFS) |] notes that there have been 86 fatal fires documented in Greek housing, college campuses, and off-campus housing since 2000 that have claimed more than 120 lives. The majority of those deaths occurred in off-campus settings. 


CCFS is urging students, particularly those moving out of the dorms and into a house for the first time, to exercise caution and heed the lessons of previous tragedies. Learn how by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Valiant effort by college student fails to save his friend from a house fire

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Dynamic duo: Smoke alarms and residential sprinklers credited for saving a teen's life


An investigative report from an ABC affiliate in Chicago provides some harrowing accounts of fires that have occurred in the operating room (OR). One of the incidents highlighted in the story is of a firefighter who claims he was burned while having a catheter implanted in his chest.


These incidents, while few in number, exemplify potential dangers found in the OR. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that some or all aspects of the fire trianglea heat source (electrosurgical units or lasers), fuel (flammable drapery or antiseptics), and oxygenmight be present during surgical procedures. In response, the FDA has developed the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative to educate health care professionals on the root cause of OR fires and highlights risk-reduction practices and safety procedures in line with provisions in NFPA 99, +Health Care Facilities,+ and NFPA 101®, +Life Safety Code+®<br />


Read the +NFPA Journal+ feature story highlighting the FDA initiative and how to develop a fire-risk assessment to safeguard hospital workers and patients. Also, check out the video of NFPA&#39;s Rich Bielen explaining how NFPA 99 mitigates these fire risks.


!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Fire safety issues in the operating room

RememberingWhenJeffrey McNeel, deputy chief/fire marshal for Beaumont Fire-Rescue in Texas has a problem. His department responds to 10 times as many calls from its older citizens regarding falls or slips than it does for structure fires. Looking for assistance with this issue, he attended NFPA's Remembering WhenTM: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults training conference.

NFPA Journal columnist Lisa Braxton recently chatted with McNeel, who received a handful of useful materials during the conference as well as peer advice. “We have been traditionally focused on getting the smoke alarms in and teaching children how to react to fire, but there’s so much more that affects a family’s safety," McNeel told Braxton at the event. "People can fall and have a life changing, life-ending injury. We have to become proactive.”

Read the rest of Braxton's conversation in the January/February issue of Journal.

While investigating social media use during emergencies for my NFPA Journal feature, "#AreYouPrepared?," my research kept pointing me to zombies. Yes, zombies--those ghoulish creatures that refuse to rest in peace and have successfully invaded all forms of popular culture in recent years. They've also managed to grab the attention of social media users.

Let me explain: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a social media campaign in 2011 promoting emergency preparedness tactics helpful during a zombie takeover and other disasters. (NFPA has developed similar tips for emergencies.) Their philosophy was if you were prepared for the "dawn of the dead" (stellar zombie flick, by the way), you were prepared for tornadoes, fires, and other events. The CDC disseminated these tools and tips via its social media channels. What was the response? Check out the following video where I give an overview of the campaign:



For a recent example of social media's effectiveness, check out a recent Atlanta-Journal Constitution article on its use during the recent snow storm that sidelined Atlanta.

An eight-year-old boy from upstate New York suffered a tragic end after alerting eight family members of a fire.

CNN reports that Tyler J. Doohan of East Rochester was spending the night with relatives when a fire erupted inside their mobile home. Doohan woke six people, including two more children, who were able to exit the home. Knowing that his disabled grandfather was still in the home, Doohan went back inside in an attempt to save him. "By that time, the fire had traveled to the back of the trailer," Fire Chief Chris Ebmeyer told CNN. "Unfortunately they both succumbed to heat and smoke." Their bodies were found in the same bedroom. Doohan's uncle also died in the blaze.

Ebmeyer believes there were no working smoke alarms in the home. Following the tragedy, his department is planning a public service initiative tied to smoke alarms. Watch the CNN report for more information.


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Credit: Facebook

Daniel McClung, a Manhattan playwright and fiction writer, died this week after attempting to flee his high-rise apartment during a fire. He was 27.


News reports state that McClung was trying to exit the 42-story building via one of its stairwells, but was overcome by smoke. According to +The New York Times,+ McClung&#39;s husband was also found in the stairwell. He is in serious but stable condition, stated the Times. The newlyweds were married this past summer.


The New York City Fire Department told the +New York Daily News+ that the blaze began on a 20th floor apartment and was sparked by a &quot;power strip with multiple low-grade extension cords plugged into it.&quot; The apartment&#39;s tenant wasn&#39;t home at the time of the fire, according to reports.

The couple may have avoided tragedy if they stayed in their apartment, James Esposito, FDNY chief of operations, told the +New York Daily News. +"Ninety-nine percent of the time you're safer in your apartment," said Esposito. "If you do smell some smoke coming underneath your door, put some wet towels down and call the fire department."


Please keep safety in mind if you live in or visit a high-rise apartment or condominium. Review NFPA&#39;s high-rise safety tips and information on escape planning.</p>

ThermometerTemperatures in certain regions of the U.S. aren't just frigid, they're dangerous. Some midwestern states are reporting temperatures well below zero, with the wind chill below -60 degrees in some areas. Some locations haven't been this chilly in nearly two decades, reports USA Today.

An unfortunate consequence of this cold snap is the rise of house fires in certain cities. "We've had an increasing number of fires because of the cold weather," Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan told The Boston Globe. "Most are related to heating." The paper reports that the Red Cross has assisted more than 100 people displaced by fires since New Year's Eve.

As the temps continue to plummet, keep in mind these heating safety tips highlighted in the Put a Freeze on Winter Fires Campaign developed by NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration.

Also, let us know how cold it is in your neck of the woods and how you're safely keeping warm.


The Huffington Post recently interviewed a Washington State resident whose home was damaged from a fire initiated by a Christmas tree. Check out the following video, which includes before- and after-fire photos of his house. And don&#39;t let this happen to you—please read all of NFPA's Christmas tree safety tips.


Space heatersAn ABC affiliate serving Knoxville, Tennesee, reported that a portable heater started a fire at a two-story home that injured two people, including a firefighter.

According to the news report, two adults in the home escaped the burning building before firefighters arrived at the scene. One had suffered minor burns on his head, and a firefighter was treated for charred debris that came in contact with his eye.

The cause, per investigators at the scene, was a portable, electric heater placed near combustible materials in a bedroom. NFPA recommends keeping anything that can burn at least three feet away from portable heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, and other types of heating equipment. Also, turn portable heaters off when leaving a room or going to bed. Review all of NFPA's heating safety tips.

Scott NotaryScott Notary was nearing the end of collegiate life. A Building and Construction Management major at Purdue University, the senior was just weeks away from receiving his diploma and relocating to Tennessee--most likely with his dog, Griffin, in tow--to start his career.

His dream was cut short on November 16, when Notary, 23, and his dog died in a house fire, according to a story in The Exponent. Two others were injured in the fire. The cause hasn't been confirmed.

Notary spent the evening with his friends and girlfriend before the couple retired for the evening at Notary's home in West Lafayette, Indiana, that he shared with others. His dog was locked in a crate at the foot of Notary's bed.

"The next thing I knew, I was standing outside," Notary's girlfriend told The Exponent. "I tried to wake up [Scott] but he wouldn't wake up. I had stopped breathing from the smoke." She was treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries. One of Notary's housemates escaped the fire by jumping from a window, according to the story.

Notary loved the outdoors in all its forms--fishing and hunting were some of his favorite activities, per his obituary. He was president of Purdue's student chapter of the Restoration Industry Association and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. "His good nature won him many friends and endeared him to all who knew him," states the obituary.

This incident serves as an unfortunate reminder that tragedies in residential settings can happen at anytime. Please make sure you have an escape plan in place and that it's practiced regularly. Review NFPA's Fire Safety Checklist for more information.

Gas pumpsAuthorities recently arrested a Georgia man who unintentionally set his wife on fire after flicking a lighter at a gas station.

According to a story on, fire officials allege that the man, who has been charged with reckless conduct, ignited a cigarette lighter while filling his pickup truck with gas last month. A fuel vapor explosion occurred, resulting in second- and third-degree injuries on his wife's legs, arms, back, and head. The man suffered minor injuries to his hand, according to the story. 

NFPA urges drivers to exercise caution while filling their tanks. For instance, don't smoke, light matches, or use lighters while refueling. Also, don't get in and out of your car while refueling, as this action could cause static electricity and spark a fire.

Read all of NFPA's service station safety tips.

CNN reports that a 31-year-old man died and two others were injured this week from a lightning strike that occurred while the men were pressure-washing a rig.

The incident follows a string of lightning strikes this year that have resulted in deaths and injuries. Last month, two farmers died after lightning struck a barn, and 12 soldiers were injured from lightning during a training procedure, according to CNN.

"One in 3,000 people has a chance of being hit by lightning (in a  lifetime)," said CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  "Thankfully, very few people die, but it happens a lot more than people realize."

Fires initiated by lightning can also wreak havoc; NFPA estimates that fire departments responded to more than 24,000 lightning-initiated fires each year during 2006-2010.

Download NFPA's lightning safety tip sheet, and watch NFPA's Lisa Braxton discuss some of these tips in the following video:

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