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80 Posts authored by: susanmckelvey Employee

 

The public at large has been urged to stay at home, restaurants and bars are closed, and grocery stores are working diligently to keep shelves stocked. All this points to a lot more cooking in homes than usual in the weeks (or maybe even months) ahead, and that could mean an increase in home cooking fires and burns.

 

Cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires year-round, with 49 percent of all reported home fires involving cooking equipment. Moreover, unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires, meaning that home cooking fires occur most often when people aren’t keeping a close eye on what they’re cooking.

 

As many households are now dealing with unusual routines and out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, such as kids home from school and parents working from home, the potential for distracted cooking may increase.

 

All these factors make it critically important to remind communities about best practices for cooking safely.

 

Fortunately, by following some simple safety precautions and guidelines in the kitchen, people can continue to cook safely while doing their part to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
  • Make sure all handles are turned inward, away from where someone can grab a hot handle or tip a pan over.
  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, refrain from using the stove or stovetop.
  • If you have young children in your home, create a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

 

NFPA offers a wealth of additional information and resources on home cooking safety, including safety tip sheets and other materials that can be shared online and through social media. We encourage you to use these messages to help reduce the risk of cooking fires in your community, and/or feel free to share our social media content posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

March is here, the days are getting longer, and spring is in our sights. Still, as many of us continue to heat our homes in the final weeks of winter and even into early spring, it’s important to remember that home heating presents potential hazards, including the risk of carbon monoxide.

 

Carbon monoxide is created when fuel (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane) from heating and cooking equipment doesn’t burn properly. It’s often called the silent killer because there are no obvious signs of its presence; CO is invisible, odorless, and colorless, and it can be deadly.

 

In 2016, local fire departments responded to an estimated 79,600 carbon monoxide incidents, or an average of nine such calls per hour. Data from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Health Statistics shows that in 2017, 399 people died of unintentional non-fire carbon monoxide poisoning.

The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim's health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body's ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.

 

A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.

 

One of the best ways to prevent carbon monoxide during the heating season it to have your home heating systems inspected and cleaned, if needed, each year - ideally before the start of the heating season - to make sure they’re working properly.

 

Also, make sure CO alarms are installed in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where needed. Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

Following are additional CO safety tips and recommendations:

  • If you have been exposed to CO, move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel.
  • 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.
  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Only use gas or charcoal grills outside.

 

For additional information and resources on CO, as well as a wealth of fire and life safety safety issues, visit www.nfpa.org/public-education

 

NFPA teamed up with Domino’s yesterday to kick off our joint Fire Prevention Week program in coordination with the Flint Fire Department. Sixty-five first graders from a local elementary school in Flint, Michigan were invited to the station, where they learned about key home escape planning and practice messages highlighted in this year’s campaign, "Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape.”  The students were also treated to a visit from Sparky the Fire Dog and a pizza party.

 

A huge thanks to the Flint Fire Department for all their help and enthusiasm in support of this year’s program – as always, they did an amazing job helping make the event a true success. Also, thank you to all the local Domino's and fire departments nationwide teaming up to bring the program to life in their communities. Participation continues to grow each year, which reflects its fun, engaging approach to educating people about basic but critical home fire safety messages.

 

Here's how Domino's Fire Prevention Week program works: Customers who place an order from participating Domino's stores during Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12, are randomly selected to receive their delivery from the local fire department, who will conduct a smoke alarm check in the customer's home. If the smoke alarms in the home are working, the delivery is free. If they're not working, the firefighters will replace the batteries or install fully-functioning

alarms.

 

Thanks to all the fire departments that signed up this August to participate in Domino’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape!," October 6 - 12, 2019. All departments were automatically entered into a sweepstakes to receive an “FPW in a Box 300” package. Domino’s, who annually sponsors the contest, has officially announced the three randomly selected winners. Here they are:

 

Kimberly Cisneros

San Marcos Fire Department

San Marcos, TX

 

Caroline Kusher

Green Acres Station #10

Spokane Valley, WA

 

Janet Harty

Longmont Fire Station 5

Longmont, CO 

 

Congratulations to all of you, and best of luck implementing Fire Prevention Week in your communities this October! You will be receiving your FPW in a Box packages shortly.

 

To all fire departments: Even though the contest is over, you can still sign up to participate in the Domino’s Fire Prevention Week programhttps://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Outreach/Partners-in-safety/Dominos-Pizza. Please contact Danielle Bulger at to get started and for more information.

As I was driving home last night, I was a little surprised to see how many homes still have Christmas trees inside. I get it – it’s tough to say goodbye to the season and pack away the decorations. But there’s good reason to part ways with your Christmas tree once the holidays are over: One-third (33 percent) of U.S. home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January.


Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasingly flammable as they continue to dry. The longer a tree is in the home, the more of a fire hazard it becomes. Sure, all Christmas trees can burn, but a dried out tree can become engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds. The tragic Christmas tree fires that have occurred in recent years, which have resulted in deadly consequences for multiple family members, including young children, gravely bare this out.


NFPA statistics show that Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they do occur, they’re much more likely to be serious. On annual average, one of every 45 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to one death per 139 total reported home structure fires.

 

NFPA recommends using the local community’s recycling program for tree disposal, if possible; trees should not be put in the garage or left outside. We also offer these tips for safely removing lighting and decorations and storing them properly to ensure that they’re in good condition the following season:

 

  • 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 more information on home fire safety all winter long, visit “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” a winter safety campaign NFPA promotes annually with the U.S. Fire Administration.

 

How do the public's beliefs and attitudes toward health shape their behaviors? This recent webinar hosted by Andrea Vastis, senior director of public education at NFPA, reviews the basics of how people perceive their risk to fire and other health and safety issues, and how they take action (or not) based on those perceptions.

 

In particular, the webinar addresses:

  • how people assess and navigate risk
  • how you can engage audiences in ways that motivate them to make healthy/safe choices
  • how to manage frustration that sometimes comes from trying to motivate people to change their ways

 

The full webinar also addresses how fire and community service personnel can use simple motivational interviewing techniques to support positive change. It will be available to registered Xchange users at no cost for the next 30 days. Make sure to watch it!

 

Thanks to all the fire departments that signed up this August to participate in Domino’s Fire Prevention Week program. All departments were automatically entered into a sweepstakes to receive an “FPW in a Box 300” package. Domino’s, who annually sponsors the contest, has officially announced the three randomly selected winners:

 

Texarkana Fire Department
Chris Black
Texarkana, TX 

Salisbury Fire Department
Kimberly Boling
Salisbury, NC 

South Elgin Fire District
Rich Stumbaugh
South Elgin, IL 

 

Congratulations to all of you, and best of luck implementing Fire Prevention Week in your communities this October! You will be receiving your FPW in a Box packages shortly.

 

To all fire departments: Even though the contest is over, you can still sign up to participate in the Domino’s Fire Prevention Week program. Please contact Danielle Bulger at dani.bulger@dominos.com to get started and for more information.

 

Great communication requires great tools: a message; a sender; a receiver; the ability to code and encode information; and a response. How do fire departments fit all that into a tweet, an infographic, a press release, or an ad?


Meredith Hawes, a regional education specialist at NFPA, explains how in the “ABCs of Educational Messages,” a webinar she recently hosted. During the presentation, Hawes walks through the communication process, providing strategies for targeting specific audiences and refining messaging based on community risk reduction, demographics, cultural factors, and local needs and circumstances.


This webinar is an extremely helpful tool for promoting Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, and the messages behind this year's theme, "Look. Listen Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere." As the campaign fast approaches, we encourage you to check the webinar out – it’s available to NFPA Xchange users at no cost for the next 30 days!

 

If you’re looking to weave fire safety into your holiday celebrations, consider “Sparky, Our Favorite Fire Dog”! Sung to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the song was created by Marty Ahrens, NFPA's senior manager of data and analytics. She sang the jingle earlier this week with her fellow NFPA “Fire Choir” members - a group of NFPA staff that performs holiday songs at our Quincy headquarters each year.

 

Here are the lyrics for your holiday singing pleasure:

 

Sparky, our favorite fire dog

Has a cold and wet black nose.
To keep us safe from fire
We should learn the things he knows.

 

Smoke alarms in the bedroom
Wake you up if there’s a fire.
Without that early warning,
Consequences could be dire.

 

“Have to have an escape plan.”
Sparky went on to say,
“Two ways out of every room
Can prevent a terrible doom.”

 

Put his words into practice.
Find a meeting place by a tree.
With Sparky, our favorite fire dog,
We make fire history!

 

Congratulations to the Kirkville Fire Company, a volunteer fire department in Kirkville, NY - they're the winners of our first-ever "Get Ready for Your Close-Up" catalog contest! Along with being featured on the cover of next year's Fire Prevention Week catalog, photos and stories highlighting the Kirville Fire Company's year-round efforts will be included throughout. The catalog will be distributed to fire departments, safety advocates educators and other groups nationwide in May 2017. So get ready for your close-up, Kirville Fire Company!

 

Also, a tremendous thanks to First Alert, which is actively supporting the contest by donating 500 smoke alarms to the department.

Inaugural pizza delivery.jpg

A Detroit mom and daughter receive the first smoke alarm check and pizza delivery

from Domino's in celebration of this year's Fire Prevention Week program

 

NFPA teamed up with Domino's yesterday to officially kick off our joint, 9th annual Fire Prevention Week program promoting the importance of working smoke alarms. Seventy-five second graders from Detroit's Amelia Earhart Elementary-Middle School were invited to the Detroit Fire Department's Engine 27, where they actively participated in fire safety lessons supporting this year's theme, "Don't Wait - Check the Date: Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years". The kids were also treated to a visit from Sparky the Fire Dog and a pizza party. The event culminated in a send-off of Detroit firefighters and Domino's, who made the inaugural smoke alarm check and pizza delivery to a local family, reflecting Domino's nationwide effort to support Fire Prevention Week.

 

Here's how Domino's Fire Prevention Week program works: Customers who place an order from participating Domino's stores during Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15, are randomly selected to receive their delivery from the local fire department, who will conduct a smoke alarm check in the customer's home. If the smoke alarms in the home are working, the delivery is free. If they're not working, the firefighters will replace the batteries or install fully-functioning alarms.

 

A huge thanks to the Detroit Fire Department for all their support and enthusiasm in helping kicking off the Domino's program once again. And thank you to all the local Domino's and fire departments that team up each year to make this campaign an annual success. It's a fun, engaging way to educate residents about smoke alarm safety, and we truly appreciate your participation!

Domino's logo.jpg
The five winners of Domino's Fire Prevention Week sweepstakes have been announced!

 

Between July 21 and August 6, fire departments that signed up to participate in Domino's Fire Prevention Week campaign this October were automatically entered into a drawing; five were randomly selected to win NFPA's "FPW in a Box 300" package. Here are the winners:

 

Pocatello Fire Department

Pocatello, ID

Attn: Kim Stouse

 

Mehlville Fire Protection District

St. Louis, MO

Attn: Kevin Reis

 

Kenedy Volunteer Fire Department

Kenedy, TX

Attn: Austin Bryan

 

CC Camp Volunteer Fire Department

Elkin, NC

Attn: Jonathan Young

 

Surf City Fire Department

Surf City, NC

Attn: Timothy VanPelt

 

Congratulations to all of you, and best of luck implementing Fire Prevention Week your communities this October!

 

While the sweepstakes is over, fire departments can still sign up to participate in Domino's program. Please contact Danielle Bulger to get started and for more information.

NFPA and Domino's are joining forces for the 9th year in a row to deliver fire safety messages and pizza during Fire Prevention Week. This program presents a fun, engaging opportunity to educate people about the importance of working smoke alarms. That's why we're encouraging as many fire departments as possible to team up with their local Domino's store and implement this easy-to-execute campaign in their communities.

Sample FPW visit.jpg

Here's how it works:

  • Call or visit your local Domino's store and ask the owner/manager to participate.
  • Select a day and time-period (usually two to three hours) to randomly choose one to three pizza orders to deliver aboard a fire engine. The participating Domino's delivery expert will follow the fire engine in his or her car.
  • When the pizza delivery arrives to the customer's home, firefighters will check the home for working smoke alarms. If the smoke alarms work, the customer's order is free (cost absorbed by the Domino's store). If the smoke alarms aren't working, the fire department will replace the batteries or install fully functioning alarms (cost absorbed by the fire department).

 

FPW in a Box image.pngFire departments that sign up to participate between July 21 and August 6 will be entered automatically into Domino's Fire Prevention Week Sweepstakes. Domino's will randomly select five winners to receive NFPA's "Fire Prevention Week in a Box 300," valued at $325. The package includes: a banner (super-sized 10' x 4'); posters (now two-sided, with one side in English and the other in Spanish); adult brochures; kids activity posters; stickers; magnets; Fire Prevention Week News; and goodie bags.

 

Sign Up to Participate!

Sparky holding Dominos pizza box.jpgIf your fire department plans to participate in this year's program, please email Danielle Bulger at dani.bulger@dominos.com. The winners will be announced approximately two weeks after the August 6 closing date. Good luck!

Smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years - that was the key message behind a news story that aired yesterday on KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh's CBS news affiliate. It also happens to be the theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Don't Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years", October 9-15.

 

While smoke alarms can make the difference between life and death in a home fire, they need to be working properly, and that means replacing them every 10 years. To find out how old a smoke alarm is, check the date on the back of the alarm. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

 

Kudos to KDKA-TV for covering this important message in a compelling, accurate manner. We encourage fire departments planning to promote Fire Prevention Week in their communities to consider this news story as a great example of how local news outlets can cover this year's theme. Our Fire Prevention Week website offers a wealth of related resources and information - make sure to check them out!

NFPA has officially announced “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” as the theme for Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15, 2016. The focus on smoke alarm replacement comes as the result of a recent survey conducted by NFPA, which showed that many people don't know how old their smoke alarms are or how often they need to be replaced.

 

NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes likely have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk in the event of a home fire.

 

“Smoke alarms play an essential role in home fire safety, but they have to be working properly in order to protect people,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy division. “This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign represents the final year of a three-year effort to better educate the public about the importance of smoke alarms, and what it takes to make sure they’re in working order.”

NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years.

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