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36 Posts authored by: kellyransdell Employee


With Covid-19 dominating the headlines, there have been some surprising trends below the surface. One of those is the buy out of chicks across the United States. According to a recent New York Times article, for the next few weeks, baby chickens will be nearly impossible to find. Each spring, feed stores and farm supply stores stock baby chicks around Easter. This year, families are purchasing chicks to set up their own supply chain for eggs. With lines around the corner at feed stores, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind if you are planning to build a chicken coop or already have one:


  • Make sure that heat lamps are properly secured to keep them from being knocked over
  • Keep heat lamps at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Place space heaters on a sturdy surface so they won’t be knocked over and keep them at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Regularly brush cobwebs and dust from light fixtures and outlets.
  • Choose light bulbs that have covers to protect them from dirt, moisture, and breaking.
  • Do not use extension cords in the coop.
  • Choose electrical equipment designed for agricultural or commercial use.
  • Be careful with electrically heated poultry waterers. Make sure the cord and plug are properly grounded.
  • Check all wiring for damage.
  • Have electrical work done by a qualified electrician
  • Choose outlets and switch boxes designed to keep out dust and water.


Download NFPA’s safety tip sheet for these and other tips to help protect your family, your property and your flock from the tragedy of fire.

With COVID-19 dominating the headlines, it is still a daily occurrence for fires to happen and with more people at home, fire safety can’t wait. Recently, our team has received many questions about how to handle the continued need for smoke alarm installations.


National organizations and their partners, have stopped canvassing efforts in light of the coronavirus risk, and in accordance with state and local quarantines. One fire chief stated he had lost more lives in a recent home fire than they have lost, to date, in this pandemic. He has challenged the fire marshal to figure out how we (as the fire service) can make sure that people have working smoke alarms, in spite of the pandemic.


Every community is different - so unfortunately, one size does not fit all. 


We know that working smoke alarms are key to early notification during a home fire. How can the fire service make sure homes have working smoke alarms without canvassing or directly installing? Consider these options, but also resist some shortcuts that might cause liability issues:


  • During emergency calls have the duty crew check the smoke alarms in the home. A battery replacement or alarm replacement may be needed. Advertise that smoke alarms are available through the usual media channels.
  • If there is a high-risk area, or following an incident, use door hangers to give instructions on what to do if you need a smoke alarm, as well as best practices for testing them  here are some tips from FEMA
  • If someone needs an alarm immediately, consider delivering it to their porch along with instructions on how to install it.
  • Set up a pick-up area outside your fire station – similar to what restaurants and grocery stores are currently doing for pickups. With many manufacturers posting videos, it is easier to give residents guidance on how to install the alarms properly. They also have a quick guide for each:  First Alert smoke alarms and Kidde smoke alarms.
  • Ask the resident if there are family members or a caretaker that can help install the alarms, once they have them.
  • Here are just a couple of YOU TUBE videos from manufacturers that you can also use.


First Alert Smoke Alarm Installation Tutorial - YouTube 


How to Install Kidde Worry Free Smoke Alarms - YouTube


As with any safety device, it is important to communicate to residents to follow manufacturer’s instructions. As fire and life safety educators, we need to get creative and figure out safe and effective ways to save lives during this difficult time. 



With the month of June roaring like a lion through the nation with severe storms, it is the perfect time to prepare for hurricanes and other natural disasters.  Thanksgiving in June: Be Hurricane Ready was designed by Life Safety Education Systems to be an easy and effective program for families to manage the food portion of their hurricane supply kit. Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 1st making Thanksgiving a perfectly timed opportunity to utilize the food component of their hurricane supply kit if not used during hurricane season. The program follows a micro-learning approach, which focuses on one key component of an overall topic. In this case our focus is on the food supply component for hurricane preparedness. While the program can be a standalone community outreach activity, it can also be added into a more comprehensive program which covers all the recommendations for a hurricane supply kit. 

Since everyone’s Thanksgiving meal can be different, this program allows the community to create their own hurricane food shopping list tailored to their own tastes and traditions. To begin with, brainstorm recipes one may typically make during the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. These recipes can include traditional meals as well as some non-traditional favorites. Then, identify the ingredients in those recipes that are non-perishable items for the hurricane food shopping list. Lastly, evaluate the shopping list to ensure the quantities of all the items will provide enough food for all family members to last at least 7 days. Remember to include water (1 gallon per person per day) and a can opener for the kit!

In the event of a Hurricane, the Thanksgiving in June kit that was assembled can be used. If the kit is not used, the non-perishable items can be enjoyed as part of the holiday recipes or donated to a food bank to assist the community.

The Thanksgiving in June: Be Hurricane Ready Program can be delivered to the community in a variety of different formats such as a social media campaign, part of a community hurricane forum, or even hosted by a local supermarket. We are excited to partner with our local South Florida Wal-Mart locations which will be providing a table display of sample non-perishable items and a sample shopping list handout. We hope to grow the program nationwide and look forward to assisting other communities with implementing the program.  To gather more tips on how to prepare before, during and after a disaster download the Get Ready Community Kit which includes lesson plans, training tips and more. 


As the old saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas! In December, Operation Save a Life worked with Dallas Fire and Rescue to reach at-risk homes with smoke alarm installations. At the after-school event held in the Dallas area, families were able to sign up to have their smoke alarms checked and new ones installed if they needed them. As always, Sparky entertained the kids with his many music videos and
educational videos.
This event was a great ending to 2018 but more so a big beginning for the
Public Education Division at Dallas Fire and Rescue. This year the educatorsOperation Save a Life event held in Dallas Texas at the end of the year was a great way to wrap up the year but also boost work for 2019.
are out getting training, redesigning plans, and reaching more audiences. Fire marshals and educators across Texas will be attending the
North Texas FireMarshal Association Conferencein the coming weeks. They
will be learning about
educational messaging,the latest technology
updates, and how to stay current. It might only be January but Texas is heating up with all the fire prevention activities that are kicking off 2019.

At a recent NFPA update for new fire and life safety educators, I gave the challenge to conduct a home fire drill with your family at night. With the busyness of the holidays and a to do list a mile long, we talked about the importance of having an escape plan for your entire family.  We had a lively discussion about family that will be visiting, road trips staying inhotels and motels as well as holiday food which led to cooking safety. Winter holiday safety can include decorating and entertaining with safety in mind. Two days after the class I got an email with the photo from this local fire marshals family. He made sure that his wife and baby were safe by practicing one cold night. His email simply said thanks for MAKING us do the plan.  Now onto the presents and holiday fun this Christmas season. 

Fire Departments in six states received Fire Prevention Week kits from State Farm Community outreach grants this October.  Thanks to the generosity of State Farm, agents delivered kits to fire departments to expand their fire prevention activities.  Fire Departments that attended fire safety summits in three states and other trainings in Michigan and Ohio were surprised by resources for their community.  State Farm has funded Fire Safety summits across the nation this year and continue to support the Wildfire Preparedness Day and Arson Dog programs.  Its true that Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm IS THERE!

Monroe Fire Department and State Farm Agent Brent Harris show off donated Fire Prevention Week kit

Operation Save a Life launched in Georgia yesterday with fire departments from the surrounding areas attending this media event and smoke alarm distribution.  WSB-TV has teamed up with local fire departments, Kidde, The Home Depot and attorney Ken Nugent for the 2018 Operation Save a Life fire safety awareness campaign. Five thousand smoke alarms donated by Kidde were made available in the Atlanta area for residents who can’t afford to buy them.

Through Operation Save a Life, Kidde has donated more than 1.3 million smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to fire departments. NFPA, the Georgia Office of State Fire Marshal Educator Karla Richter and many fire departments connected on how to expand education, smoke alarm installation and outreach during Fire Prevention Week. With Hurricane Michael on its way into Florida and then into Georgia, there were lots of conversations about generator safety and how to prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning. 





Fire Prevention Week is all about partnerships and how we all reach the community. This years theme:  Look. Listen. Learn. Fire can Happen Anywhere is a great theme to share with families.  Nationwide through the Make Safe Happen campaign has joined NFPA to help promote Fire Prevention Week.   Nationwide and partner agents are sharing social media posts this week to bring awareness to the importance of working smoke alarms and drawing a home escape plan.  Agents shared the NFPA “Simon” social posts with more than 3000 consumers with more than 425 agents have posted one or more of the filmstrip-type posts.


Make Safe Happen media outreach features Dale Earnhardt Jr. and His Sister Kelley talking about their childhood home fire experience. These videos are great tools to enhance your fire safety campaign.  At the end of Fire Prevention Week. on Saturday October 13th we are encouraging families to participate in Home Fire Drill Day.  For more information visit

The Nevada State Fire Marshal, in coordination with the Fire Prevention Association of Nevada
(FPAN) and participating Fire Departments statewide, are excited to announce the winners of the second
annual State of Nevada Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest.
This year’s National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen.
Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate 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. National Fire Prevention
Week is October 7 - 13, 2018. Applicants statewide in three grade categories submitted their artwork based on the campaign theme. The posters of the first place winners of each of the categories will be featured on billboards in the Elko, Reno/Sparks, Carson City and Las Vegas areas. Each winner will also receive a plaque from the Nevada State Fire Marshal, a certificate from FPAN, and recognition from the NFPA. Artwork may also be used in publications, exhibits, displays and on websites to promote fire safety and education.  “We are excited to have received so many creative posters from across Nevada,” said State Fire Marshal Chief Bart Chambers, “Contests like these help to promote fire safety education with students who will take information from the classroom to their homes and help keep their community fire safe. Congratulations to the winners, to all students and schools, and the local Fire Departments for the outstanding artwork and for helping to promote such an important message.” To learn more about the winners visit the Nevada State Fire Marshal website.

Thomasville Fire Department and local agencies kick off FPW 2018 in NC

Kids are usually the target of Fire Prevention Week in communities during the month of October.  But with Sparky's new friend Simon alongside him, we are reaching all audiences with this years theme: Look, Listen, Learn: Fire can happen anywhere. At the beginning of October, Thomasville Fire Department  teamed up with Thomasville Medical Center's "Connection Link" to bring 18 area agencies together for a Fire Prevention Week Celebration geared toward senior adults. This marked the Fifth Annual Senior Fire Safety Day with each year the attendance growing. For more resources and ideas on how to make Fire Prevention Week exciting visit our campaign website

91 fire fatalities to date?  Yes officials in NC are distressed with the fact that more reported fire deaths have occurred through June of this year than for the whole year of 2017.  90 fire departments participated in the first statewide canvass event held last Saturday to bring awareness to the importance of working smoke alarms.  With over 3100 smoke alarms installed in the 1100 homes with non-working smoke alarms and 517 homes with no smoke alarms, many people could sleep better after this past weekend.   Fire department personnel, Red Cross volunteers and other organizations from across the state joined forces with the State Fire Marshals Office to go door to door in high risk areas of towns, cities and counties.  Firefighters could not believe the number of homes that did not have working smoke alarms and hope to continue with smoke alarm canvasses in the coming weeks and months in order to make sure people are protected.  Great job NC!

One family learned first hand that working smoke alarms save lives a few months ago.  A brave 8 year old heard the sound of the smoke alarm and woke her family up.  Since the fire had spread, they used their second way out.  According to Rachel Moreno, Public information officer with the Harris County Fire Marshals office, " This family practiced Know Your Way Out- an outreach campaign her office works on all year!"   With escape planning and having a meeting place at the heart of their community outreach- it was so awesome that a family was saved by the sound of a working smoke alarm.  To make sure families are safe all year round, the Harris County Fire Marshals office has seasonal safety messages that match the season. To help families prepare this spring, Harris County Fire Marshals office developed a Spring Cleaning Checklist. Grilling is a year round activity in Texas but with the warm weather across the US this week, its a good time to check your grill and follow these safety tips.  All this safety tips and more are what fire safety is about! Hi Five to our Texas buddies for your great work and congratulations on this smoke alarm save!

What do crawfish, pepper jelly, alligator bites and fire safety have in common?  They are all part of the offering you might get in Louisiana this spring. The Louisiana State Fire Marshals office in conjunction with NFPA sponsored the first Fire safety summit with 86 firefighters and fire personnel in Zachary.  This exciting educational event focused on the fire safety issues that are causes fires and injuring LA residents.  Firefighters, fire marshals and educators from across the state attended this inaugural event to focus on fire safety in the Bayou.  American Red Cross and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission were just two of the many partners that helped with this day long event. The day included information on smoke alarms, carbon monoxide safety and how to reach senior adults through programs like Remembering When. Click here to find out more about fire safety in Louisiana!

Arkansas Fire Safety Summit in conjunction with Arkansas Fire Marshal Association


April showers brought more than May flowers in Arkansas this month. Over 60 fire marshals from across Arkansas attended the second Fire Safety Summit hosted in Jacksonville, AR.  With a high rate of fire deaths in this rural state, fire marshals gathered to talk about hot topics affecting fire prevention ahead of their annual Fire Marshal Association conference. National speakers from NFPA, Nationwide: Make Safe Happen, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission gave updates and new innovative ways to reach consumers about the dangers of fire, importance of smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers, wildfire and carbon monoxide. The focus of the summit was how we protect the work with our knowledge. A special thanks to Nationwide Insurance for sponsoring the event.  Thanks to everyone that took time to attend this fire safety event to help save lives in Arkansas.

Tom Hufford- Firefighter and Safe Kids Member from Oklahoma- Stop Gas Fires

I have always been a connoisseur of food growing up in a family of cooks who owned a local diner.  At home we would always have a hamburger as a weekend treat fresh off the grill. This week a new commercial started circulating that talks about the difference in flat top burgers and flame grilled but it says they are blowing up the competition.  Working and volunteering with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors for the last 16 years has given me a new perspective on why burns can be so devastating.  I have met many survivors that decided to add gasoline to a burn pile or had a gas can too close when they start a fire.  The results have been fatal sometimes but many more people have a lifetime of surgeries and skin grafts from the explosive nature of gasoline.  In spite of the fact we gas up our cars a couple times a week, and there are warning signs at the gas pumps, many people don't realize the dangers of gasoline.  This fast food commercial dramatizes a gasoline explosion which in too many cases ends badly. To keep your family safe anytime you are using gasoline, follow these safety tips;

  • Keep gasoline out of children's sight and reach. Children should never handle gasoline.
  • If fire does start while handling gasoline, do not attempt to extinguish the fire or stop the flow of gasoline. Leave the area immediately, and call for help.
  • Do not use or store gasoline near possible ignition sources (i.e., electrical devices, oil- or gas-fired appliances, or any other device that contains a pilot flame or a spark).
  • Store gasoline outside the home (i.e., in a garage or lawn shed) in a tightly closed metal or plastic container approved by an independent testing laboratory or the local or state fire authorities. Never store gasoline in glass containers or non-reusable plastic containers (i.e., milk jugs).
  • Store only enough gasoline necessary to power equipment and let machinery cool before refueling it.
  • Never use gasoline inside the home or as a cleaning agent.
  • Clean up spills promptly and discard clean-up materials properly.
  • Do not smoke when handling gasoline.
  • Never use gasoline in place of kerosene.
  • Use caution when fueling automobiles. Do not get in and out of the automobile when fueling. Although rare, an electrical charge on your body could spark a fire, especially during the dry winter months.
  • Only fill portable gasoline containers outdoors. Place the container on the ground before filling and never fill containers inside a vehicle or in the bed of a pick-up truck.
  • Follow all manufacturers instructions when using electronic devices (those with batteries or connected to an electrical outlet) near gasoline.

For more safety tips and information visit or

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