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186 Posts authored by: laurenbackstrom Employee

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Every year, World Read Aloud Day calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories. Today is that day!

 

World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries thanks to people who participate and spread the word across the globe!

 

Sparky has some great storybook apps that would be great to use while celebrating this important day.

 

"Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes and Science Facts" includes 4 stories and a poem about fire safety. "The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms" is a fun story where Sparky and his friends set out to solve a mystery. "Sparky's Birthday Surprise" also teaches kids about fire safety with stories, games and a sing-a-long! Check all three out and read aloud to someone today on World Read Aloud Day.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c819b81a970b-250wi.pngHelp us celebrate Sparky's 65th birthday by joining us for a special 'Happy Birthday' Thunderclap!

 

Sparky the Fire Dog was created for NFPA in 1951 and has been our official mascot and spokesdog ever since. He is a widely recognized fire safety icon that is beloved by children and adults alike. Millions have learned about fire safety through Sparky's educational lessons and materials. We think it is therefore only fitting, that we plan something special. Sparky deserves a big celebration to honor his 65th birthday on March 18th.

 

If you have not yet heard about Thunderclap - it's simple and fun! Just visit our Thunderclap site, and register with your Twitter or Facebook account. That's all! Then, on March 18th, on every account that has been registered, an automatic "Happy Birthday" message will post, so that we can all share our birthday wishes at the same time.

 

We hope you will join in on the fun, and make Sparky's 65th (or 455th in dog years!) a special day!

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d19fec0b970c-250wi.jpgThe February issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;

  • New checklist on barn fire safety
  • NFPA and CPSC co-sponsor carbon monoxide toolkit for fire departments
  • “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” infographic highlights electrical safety
  • Video helps children identify hot items
  • E-book highlights three steps to a safer Firewise new home

 

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be 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.

Safety sourceThe January issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;

  • Guidelines on hoverboard safety
  • Safety recommendations for electric portable space heaters
  • A new infographic detailing the process of creating NFPA’s education messages 
  • Lorraine Carli talks about NFPA’s advocacy work

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be 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.

Winter-05With the winter months upon us, we want to remind homeowners about the fire dangers associated with heating equipment. Improper use of such equipment like portable or stationary space heaters, wood burning stoves and fireplaces can be incredibly dangerous, and their misuse is a leading cause of U.S. home fire deaths.

Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. More than half of the home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that started when something that could burn, like upholstered furniture, clothing, blankets and bedding, was too close to heating equipment.

During the colder months there is also an increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Fuel-burning equipment, including vehicles and generators running in an attached garage, can produce dangerous levels of CO and should be vented to the outside to avoid it from building up in your home. In a 2012 NFPA report, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of 9 such calls per hour in 2010. The number of incidents jumped 96 percent from 40,900 incidents reported in 2003. This surge, according to NFPA, is most likely due to the increased use of CO detectors, which alert people to the presence of CO.

Installing and maintaining CO alarms can also help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater or other appliance, do not light it. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.

To ensure a safe and cozy winter this year, NFPA offers some easy tips to follow:

  • Use your oven to cook food only. Never use it to heat your home.
  • Hire a qualified professional to clean and inspect heating equipment and chimneys every year.
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Place a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from flying into the room, and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing them in a metal container, and ensure that they are kept a safe distance from the home.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • Test smoke alarms and CO alarms monthly. Properly maintained alarms can save lives in the event of a fire.

Find additional resources including tips sheets, videos, reports and more about heating safety and carbon monoxide by visiting NFPA’s website. 

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EMAC Process

Have you ever wondered where NFPA gets their educational safety messages? Or how often they are updated? Well, we have a new infographic that details out the whole process! It's just in time too, because we are looking for your input! Accurate messaging is the heart of safety education. NFPA and life safety experts in the field work together to build strong messages that can be shared. 

We are currently looking for input and feedback on the 2015 Educational Desk Reference as we work to produce the new 2016 edition. After you have looked through the 2015 edition, please download the form and submit any thoughts you have for changes, updates, or additions by February 26, 2016!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and assistance!

TreeWith the holiday now behind us, O Christmas tree, how saggy are your branches? The gifts have been removed from under the pine, the tree is swiftly losing its coat of green, and the needles are piling up on the floor, which means it’s time to remove the tree from your home.

Christmas trees are very flammable, dry out the longer they remain in the home, and can be consumed by fire in a matter of seconds.” All trees can burn, though dry ones can be engulfed by flames significantly more quickly.

NFPA statistics indicate that nearly 40 percent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although these fires are not common, they are much more likely to be serious when they do occur. On average, one of every 31 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death. Compare that to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires.

Christmas trees are decorations, and people may want to continue the festive spirit and leave up their ever-drying pines long after the last of the gifts have been opened. It’s good to remember, however, that the longer the tree remains in the home, the greater the fire risk becomes.

We hope that by educating people about the extreme fire hazards, people will be prompted to remove their trees in a timely manner, giving their families the gift of fire safety as the season winds down!

If available, NFPA recommends using the local community’s recycling program for tree disposal. Trees should not be put in the garage or left outside.

NFPA also offers tips on removing lighting and decorations from trees to ensure they are taken down safely this year and in the right condition for Christmas 2016:

  • Use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet, as this can harm the wire and insulation of the cord, increasing the risk for shock or electrical fire.
  • As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
  • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap them around a piece of cardboard.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children and pets where they will not be damaged by water or dampness.

For additional resources and information for a fire-safe winter season, visit “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires.” 

Dec SSThe December issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;

  • NFPA’s annual holiday fire-safety campaign, “Project Holiday” 
  • New Dan Doofus video, Yule Light Up My Life
  • Live burn video shows how quickly Christmas tree fires can turn deadly
  • Deck the Halls with Fire Safety video 
  • The James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be 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.

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Let this be your formal invitation! We are hosting a Twitter chat, tomorrow (December 9th) at 2:00pm ET along with our friends U.S. Fire Administration, Electrical Safety Foundation International, SafeKids and Consumer Product Safety Commission (plus, many other safety groups around the country!) We will be talking about all sorts of winter fire safety issues and providing tips and resources to make sure you and your family 'put a freeze on winter fires' this year.

 

Follow along with the chat using #WinterSafety on Twitter. Feel free to submit your own questions related to fire safety topics as well. We hope to see you there!

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Today is a big day. Fire Prevention Week kicks off, and will continue all the way through Saturday the 10th!

 

Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep?

 

Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half! That's why, this year's Fire Prevention Week theme aims to keep your family safe with working smoke alarms in every bedroom. The official theme is "Hear the Beep where you Sleep. Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm."

 

We hope everyone will install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms.

 

NFPA is excited to share this important information so everyone better understands the life-saving value of home smoke alarms. Visit NFPA's "Smoke Alarm Central" and Fire Prevention Week website for more information, resources, messages, videos and a fun, interactive quiz to test your knowledge.

 

Also, be sure to join the conversation on social media using #FirePreventionWeek.

Safety SourceThe September issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;  

  • Sparky’s Brain Busters, a free trivia–based app launched for Fire Prevention Week
  • New video featuring Casey Grant, Lessons from History: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871
  • Tip sheet highlights pets and fire safety
  • Lab safety tip sheet for teachers and students
  • NFPA’s educator web site gets redesign for Fire Prevention Week
  • Sparky hits the streets to find out about smoke alarms 

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be 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.

Safety Source AugustThe August issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;  

  • New campus fire-safety page
  • Sparky video: All sketched out for Fire Prevention Week
  • Local fire departments can take the Fire Prevention Week Challenge
  • Firefighter fatalities in 2014
  • NFPA tools help with disaster preparedness

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be 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.

Cool to Do

Sparky the Fire Dog’s new Cool-to-Do activity has been posted to sparky.org! It's August, and that means the summer is coming to a close. You've probably heard from your kids once or twice that they "are bored" after growing tired of all of their summer activities and games. We have a solution that will keep them entertained, and help them get ready to go back to school in the coming weeks!

Sparky's Perfect Plastic Pencil Pouch is an easy way to make a fun, colorful pencil pouch for all those pencils they’re going to need. Have your kids give it a try, and send pictures of your finished product in to Sparky's Facebook page, so we can admire them!

Cool to Do

Your kids will love this month's Cool to Do activity! It's finally summer and so Sparky has a fun and useful craft project this month that involves shells. Learn how to make magnets to hang your beautiful artwork - which could include your very own home fire escape plan. Have fun!

Safety SourceThe July issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;  

  • Clothes dryer safety and electrical safety tip sheets now in Spanish
  • Fire Prevention Week printables for kids
  • Infographic highlights smoke alarm placement
  • Ten-minute lesson covers smoke alarms in less traditional sleeping areas
  • Domino’s Fire Prevention Week sweepstakes
  • Jeff Donahue joins Public Education Division

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be 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.

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