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50 Posts authored by: ryan.quinn Employee

  Campus safety

The start of autumn sees falling leaves, amber skies and pumpkin pies. But the end of summer also signals, for students across the country, the beginning of fall semester. While trying to navigate living in their new dorms and off-campus apartment, there are a lot of students who set off the fire alarm. And with an estimated average of 3,810 structure fires in college housing between 2007 and 2011, September and October are essentially peak months for fires in college housing.  

The Center for Campus Safety, with the intention of educating incoming students on fire safety, has marked September of every year as Campus Fire Safety Month.

The following are fire safety tips from the NFPA that can help college students living on their own:

  1. Try to find a fully sprinklered house when looking for a dorm or off-campus housing
  2. Double check that the building has interconnected smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom, and on every floor.
  3. Learn your building’s evacuation plan and practice all fire drills

The NFPA has published a report, “Structure Fires in Dormitories, Fraternities, Sororities and Barracks” that essentially says that 70 percent of fires begin in the cooking area and that fires are most common in the evening between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m...

A significant number of fires usually happen when a hot stove is left unattended. Students are advised to stay in the kitchen and be alert while preparing meals and to remember to test their smoke alarms every month.

Speaking of which, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!” is the theme for NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week 2014! The annual awareness campaign will be held this year on October 5-11. So information and resources that can help students learn about fire safety can be found of the Fire Prevention Week website.

The results for the annual NFPA Fire Safety Educational Memorial Fund Committee awarded scholarships are in! These awards are given to students who have demonstrated strong leadership potential, exhibited academic achievement and who have contributed to fire safety activities. So without further ado, let’s meet our four extraordinary winners!

MeredithHawesMeredith Hawes, who is pursuing a master’s of science degree in public administration at Central Michigan University, has won the coveted George D. Miller Scholarship. She is the Fire and Safety Educator at Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department and is currently aiding her department in a study to determine the feasibility of merging their at-will, combination department with their city’s full time, professional and unionized department.

She embarked on a mission to create a Risk Watch Coalition for youth in her area and received the Michigan Public Educator of the Year Award for that program. And with that success in her back pocket, she was offered and accepted the role of Education Advisor for the NFPA.

Hawes future goal is the pursuit of a City Manager or Assistant City Manager position.

The George D. Miller Scholarship was established in honor of the former NFPA president and CEO and is awarded to students in fire service or public administration programs.

A new study conducted by the Cintas Corporation has revealed that more than half (55 percent) of adults have never used or received training on the proper operation of a fire extinguisher.

“Our survey findings suggest that this is a real issue unless more people receive proper training on how Fire extinguisher to use a fire extinguisher,” says Tommy Thompson, Vice President of Cintas Fire Protection, a corporation dedicated to providing specialized services to businesses of all types throughout the country. “Whether you’re at home or at work, knowing how to properly operate a fire extinguisher can mean the difference between life and death.” A fire extinguisher is a crucial tool in fire prevention, often used to cease the spread of fire before it reaches dangerous levels in a variety of environments. Unlike some fire prevention tools, fire extinguishers are readily available and sold commercially throughout the country.

Improper use of a fire extinguisher can potentially make a fire much worse, allowing it to spread and cause more damage. Thankfully, NFPA has assembled a comprehensive list of safety tips and instructions surrounding fire extinguishers that can help you learn the proper techniques and necessary safety precautions you should take when using an extinguisher. NFPA urges you to use portable fire extinguishers only when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.

Be sure to check out NFPA’s fire extinguisher information so you’re better prepared!

The NFPA has recently released two fun and exciting music videos for kids featuring Public Broadcasting System (PBS) personality Steve Rosnolek of “SteveSongs” fame and the top-ranked Seattle children’s band, Recess Monkey. The videos, which focus on the importance of smoke alarms, are currently available on its Sparky School House website. The videos, “Little Rosalie” and “What’s That Sound?”, teach young children the importance of fire safety and help children remember what they should do in the event of a fire.

To learn more about these new music videos, check out the full press release here!




Music videos for kids

Coalition for fire safe cigarettes

According to a new study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, the six-year-old Massachusetts law that requires that only “fire-safe” cigarettes be sold in the state has resulted in a 28 percent decrease in unintentional residential fires. The results support a study conducted by the National Fire Protection Association back in October 2013, which showed a 30 percent drop in smoking Capture material fire deaths since the full implementation of fire-safe cigarette laws throughout the country. The studies reveal the efficiency of fire-safe cigarettes in the prevention of both smoking material fires and deaths caused by these fires.

NFPA established the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, a group of organizations who shared the goal of getting cigarette manufacturers to produce only cigarettes that adhere to an established safety performance standard. As of 2011, all 50 US state laws were in effect.

NFPA has also developed a wide range of safety information and tips to prevent smoking material fires and fatalities caused by them.

Looking for some fun hands-on activities to do with your kids this Valentines Day? Valentines day pic blog post

Sparky has you covered with a print-outs for your own customizable winter scene featuring everyone’s favorite Dalmatian, a unique Valentine’s Day card, and a math challenge that reminds kids the importance of recognizing a fire alarm and acting accordingly. 

Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. Cool to do pic
With this in mind, show your family and friends how you feel
with Sparky the Fire Dog’s new Cool to Do activity, featuring
instructions on how to make your very own Valentine’s Day fortune cookie. Yum!

During [Fire Prevention Week |], participating Domino’s Pizza stores in the U.S. delivered important fire safety messages on top of pizza boxes featuring Sparky the Fire Dog®. The messages on the boxes supported the theme for the Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Prevent Kitchen Fires!” and were a key element in NFPA and Domino’s efforts to work together to promote fire safety. 


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Domino's Pizza boxtopper

In addition, select customers who ordered from participating Domino’s Pizza stores throughout the U.S. during Fire Prevention Week were surprised when their delivery arrived aboard a fire truck. If all the[ smoke alarms |]in the home were working, the pizza order was free. If smoke alarms were not working, firefighters replaced the batteries or installed a fully-functioning fire safety device in the home.

NFPA, Domino’s and the Detroit Fire Department teamed up to kick-off the 2013 campaign. They surprised the Toliver family with the inaugural pizza delivery of the year on a fire truck.  Detroit firefighters and Sparky the Fire Dog worked together to test the smoke alarms in the home, and to everyone’s surprise they were not working and needed new batteries.  The group quickly recognized the seriousness of the situation knowing that, according to NFPA statistics, two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Firefighters quickly remedied the problem by installing new batteries and when tested, the alarms were beeping once again. 

The next time you are ordering pizza, remember to test your smoke alarms (they should be tested monthly) to make sure they are working because you could be rewarded with free pizza or better yet, you may find yourself replacing the batteries and that may just save your life.  

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Sparky the Fire Dog, Detroit Fire Department and Domino's surprised the Toliver family with pizza delivered on a fire truck


LEGO team members join Sparky the Fire Dog and Boston Fire Museum volunteers to pose for a quick photo at community event.  Can you find the firefighter made of bricks?

Hundreds visited the Boston Fire Museum in Massachusetts on the eve of Fire Prevention Week (October 6-12) to build on their fire safety knowledge.  The event, hosted by NFPA and LEGO CITY®, featured a life-size firefighter made of LEGO bricks and the opportunity to work with a LEGO master builder to create a giant fire department shield.  Sparky the Fire Dog® delighted children and adults alike and the Boston Fire Department parked trucks outside and offered tours.  Massachusetts Department of Fire Services displayed a stovetop fire scenario and showcased their special operations rehabilitation vehicle, which is used by firefighters at incident scenes. Guests toured the museum sporting red fire helmets and gathering handfuls of fire safety information.  Joe Molis, NFPA employee and Lieutenant with the Providence Fire Department (Rhode Island) and others participated in interviews that will be used in the fire safety campaign that NFPA and LEGO is collaborating on to capture attention for fire safety this FPW and beyond.  Visit to download safety tips sheets that were co-developed by LEGO and NFPA and stay tuned to the page and the blog for updates on this campaign. 

New Yorkers making their way to work this morning were seen rubbing their eyes to be sure they were fully awake and that what they were seeing wasn’t a bizarre dream. It was a sight to behold – Sparky the Fire Dog in the company of more than a dozen of his fellow icons, including such favorites as M&Ms, Twinkie the Kid, Charlie the Tuna, Smokey Bear and others. The mascots, riding Mini Cooper convertibles and a double-decker tour bus, paraded through the streets of the city much to the delight of onlookers. This “dream team” of advertising characters made a quick stop on Madison Avenue where Matt Scheckner, executive director of AdWeek posed with them for a for a photo. Icons are also on tap to mingle with ad execs at a luncheon and make an appearance at the closing of NASDAQ.



Journey with Flat Sparky

Posted by ryan.quinn Employee May 17, 2013

Everyone once in a while, most of us roam beyond the confines of our homes and offices and out into the world. NFPA's mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog is asking you to bring him along with Flat Sparky. These paper cutouts can be colored in, photographed and posted at Sparky's Facebook or Twitter (@Sparky_Fire_Dog), or by tagging NFPA on Pinterest. Bring Sparky with you to show off your favorite restaurants, parks, bookstores, modern art installations or just a great view.


Download, cut out, color in, and wander freely with Sparky by clicking here. Happy travels!

The Korean Fire Protection Association (KFPA) sent Seung-Li Ahn to the National Fire Protection Association in 2011 on an international fellowship to work with the Public Education Division to learn about successful public education programs and effective education techniques.  Ahn shared the knowledge and experience that he gained from the public education staff with his colleagues in South Korea when he returned home.  Here are a few of the accomplishments of KFPA in the past year that resulted from the fellowship: 
• Participation in a campaign for health and safety for older adults called “Love to Senior Citizens Living Alone.”   This campaign led to ongoing work with the ministry of welfare and health to increase safety education among older adults.
• Launching of a safety education program for children. Educators hired by KFPA led the educational activities.
• Creation of a partnership with Safe Living Citizens Alliance, an organization of volunteer educators. KFPA trains their volunteer educators and provides them with educational materials.
 “It's just the first year, and I believe we will prevail in public education, in (South) Korea, thanks to your help,”  Ahn said in reference to NFPA.

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Educators in KFPA training session

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Seung_il Ahn, KFPA; Deputy Chief Derrick Sawyer, Philadelphia Fire Department, and Sharon Gamache, Program Director, High-Risk Outreach Programs, Public Education, NFPA, strategize with public education staff at KFPA offices in Seoul, South Korea



To learn the best way to reach residents of Memphis neighborhoods with the highest risk to fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries, NFPA hired the Harvest Research Group, LLC to conduct focus groups with a variety of groups. The goal of the research was to explore perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors about fires and fire prevention that the Memphis Fire Department could use to help design public education programs.
 The Memphis Fire Department and NFPA staff chose individual groups that consisted of mothers with children ages 8 and younger; pastors of churches in South Memphis; adults 66 and over living independently or with a relative; adults ages 21 to 34; adults ages 35 to 49; and adults ages 50 to 64.
For the majority of participants, crime was a more salient threat to their quality of life and sense of safety than fire. However, respondents spoke of neighbors or relatives who had lost everything to fire. When they learned of the numbers of fire deaths and injuries in their neighborhoods, they were more eager to do something to prevent those fires.
Among the participants’ comments were:
“Make people aware of the facts. If people were more aware, they’d be more conscious.”
“If you know better, you do better.”
“I have an uncle who’s in a chair in a rental (apartment), and it should be condemned. He can’t afford to go anywhere else, and the owners don’t even care.”
“It would have to be something major to make me take time out of my day. You’ll have to tell me, “This is going to save you and your kids.”
Read the complete report,
“Fire Safety Education and Outreach Programs: Memphis, Tennessee,” online.<br />

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Pictured are some of the team members: Left to right Ben Evarts, NFPA; Director Alvin Benson, Memphis Fire Department;Sharon Gamache, NFPA; Daryl Payton, Deputy Chief of Operations, Memphis Fire Department, Chief Derrick Sawyer, Philadelphia Fire Department and consultant to NFPA Urban Project

On Monday, some areas of the country that usually have warm weather were experiencing unusually cold weather this week: in El Paso, it was 250F (-1.600C); in Los Angeles, it was 350F (1.60C); and in Phoenix, it was 250F (-3.80C). Homes in these areas may not have central heating, so people may rely on space heaters or other ways to warm their homes.

Photo by Dicky Bain, Navajo Nation
Some important safety messages to share with those using space heaters include following:  •     Keep heaters at least 3 feet ( 1 meter) away from anything that can burn •     Use heating equipment that has a label of a recognized testing laboratory. •     Never use your stove or oven to heat you home. They are not designed for that purpose. •     Have a 3-foot (1-meter) “kid-free zone” around a heater or open fire. Teach them to stay away from heaters and other hot things.

You can download a free heating safety free tip sheet with more messages as well as a free copy of the NFPA’s Learn Not to Burn Preschool Program “Stay Away from Hot Things” lesson plan for preschool age children and kindergarteners. The program includes many activities and the lively “Don’t Touch Hot Things songs” by Jim Post. You can also download a free “Stay Away from Hot Things” lesson plan for children in the first grade.For a comprehensive program on staying safe this winter, you can access the United States Fire Administration and NFPA’s “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” campaign program materials.

In 2012 and 2013, NFPA Public Education Division has been working with the Memphis Fire Department on a urban project to develop strategies to reduce deaths and injuries in Memphis, particularly in high-risk-to-fire neighborhoods. Some of the partnership activities include using data to determine the highest-risk populations, conducting discussion groups among firefighters serving the communities with the most fire runs, conducting focus groups among residents of the high-risk communities and ministers and faith-based leaders serving those communities, Fire Prevention Week outreach, and training Memphis public education staff on NFPA public education programs.
Daryl Payton, chief of Operations for the Memphis Fire Department, said that he appreciates that NFPA is working with the fire department on strategies to reduce fire deaths in high-risk communities. He said that Memphis Fire Department personnel think that working with the faith-based communities will be particularly important to Memphis residents.

Pictured below are the Memphis public education staff and firefighters from Station one who participated in a train-the-trainer session for Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults conducted by Sharon Gamache and Judy Comoletti at the Memphis Fire Museum.

Firefighters role play Remembering When cooking behaviors.

Pictured are firefighters from Engines 10 and 14 at Station 14 who participated in discussions about serving the people of their community conducted by NFPA. 

Deputy Chief Operations Daryl Payton and fire safety educators Marion Nance and Patrice Lester participate in an educational session on using NFPA’s website

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