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78 Posts authored by: susanmckelvey Employee


 

New and emerging consumer technologies are popping up everywhere, with the goal of making our lives easier, healthier and more efficient than ever before. A segment on +The Today Show+ covered many of them at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which kicked off yesterday.


Overall, it’s exciting to see what’s on the horizon for our homes and lifestyles. Meanwhile, an app showing how people can preheat their ovens or turn off a burner when they’re away from home, which may sound like a true convenience to the average consumer, presents concerns that need to be carefully considered and addressed. Moreover, it underscores that while some technologies may make life more convenient for consumers, they may inadvertently compromise safety in the process.


 

Understanding that “smart” technologies will be increasingly used in homes in the years ahead, NFPA hosted its first-ever “Smart Homes Summit” in Palo Alto, CA, this past fall. The summit brought together emergency responders and fire safety professionals with the home building and technology communities in an effort to guide technology developers (i.e., Nest) in effectively addressing the home fire problem.


On a broader level, as new technologies begin to shift and change the way people live and function at home, we’ll continue to work collaboratively to ensure that we remain at the forefront of emerging technologies, and are fully ready to address and respond to them.


How do you think our lives will be impacted by emerging consumer technologies? Do you think they're cool, exciting, a bit scary? Let us know your thoughts!

 

Eight-year-old Isaija Hodge helped his 86-year-old great grandmother and four-year-old Chihuahua safely escape a home fire this week, thanks to working smoke alarms and fire safety lessons he learned at school.

Isaija grandmother and dog

In October, smoke alarms were installed in the home by the Covington, VA, Fire Department and Rescue Squad in coordination with the American Red Cross’ smoke alarm installation program. Around the same time, Isaija and his classmates were visited by Sparky the Fire Dog and the fire department, who taught fire safety lessons to students, including how to call 911 and get outside safely.

Isaija was clearly paying attention: When he heard a crash in the front of the house, he went to see what happened and saw flames and smoke coming from the porch. Then the smoke alarms began to sound. Isaija found his great-grandmother and dog, grabbed a cellphone on their way out and dialed 911.

“The prevention part is the key to any fire department,” said Kevin Pettitt, fire chief of the Covington Fire Department and Rescue Squad, who spearheaded the school visits and the smoke alarm installation program. “Education of kids is critical.”

Sadly, a series of deadly fires in Worcester, MA, this year, including one that occurred earlier this week, reinforces the consequences of not having basic fire safety measures like working smoke alarms in place.

Deputy Chief John Sullivan of the Worcester Fire Department noted that they’re doing all they can to remind residents about the extreme importance of working smoke alarms. “It is frustrating when we have these cases of no working smoke detectors or, in this case, none at all,” said Deputy Chief Sullivan. “We’re trying to do everything we know within budget constraints to get that message out.”

Photo courtesy of Amy Friedenberger/The Roanoke Times

The devastating damage Christmas tree fires can inflict on people and property – and just how quickly it can happen - were vividly demonstrated during a live burn event on Monday at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) research lab in Rockville, MD. The footage (above) underscores just how fast a dried out Christmas tree burns, with flashover occurring in about 30 seconds, while a well-watered tree burns at a far slower rate.

 

National news outlets covered the event, including The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, NBC, Univision and ABC News. Watch the ABC News featuring NFPA President Jim Pauley, who addressed the potential risks posed by Christmas tree and candle fires, while reminding everyone about the life-saving value of working smoke alarms in the home and a having a home fire escape plan.

 

Of course, the goal of the burn event isn't to scare people away from enjoying the holidays. It's to remind everyone about the importance of taking simple safety precautions that can ensure a festive and fire-safe season.

 

For a wealth of information, videos, tip sheets and other resources addressing the safe use of Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations, visit www.nfpa.org/winterholidaysafety.

When most of us think about Thanksgiving, images of turkey, stuffing and time spent with loved ones typically come to mind, not fire hazards. However, an increased risk of fire is, in fact, a reality of Thanksgiving. Three times as many home cooking fires occurring on Thanksgiving as on a typical day.

Thanksgiving_hand_turkey

NFPA’s latest cooking estimates show that there were 1,550 cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2013, reflecting a 230 percent increase over the daily average. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of these fires. 

Here are NFPA’s top five tips for cooking safely this Thanksgiving:

  • Remain in the kitchen while you’re cooking, and keep a close eye on what you fry! Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Regularly check on food that’s simmering, baking or roasting, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the cooking area. 
  • If you have a small (grease) cooking fire on the stovetop and decide to fight the fire: Smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If you’re cooking a turkey using a disposable aluminum pan, consider doubling up and using two pans to avoid a puncture, as dripping turkey juices can cause an oven fire.
  • Be alert when cooking. If you're sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

Check out our Thanksgiving fire safety tips and recommendations for safe cooking all year long.

NFPA and Safe Kids Worldwide are officially teaming up to promote fire safety through the Safe Kids Worldwide network. This partnership presents a great opportunity 6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7daad99970b-320wi.jpgfor NFPA to expand its fire safety education outreach through Safe Kids Worldwide’s local coalitions - many of which include fire departments - and have an established track record for effectively communicating safety messages to children and families. In addition, a Safe Kids Worldwide representative will begin serving on NFPA’s Educational Messages Advisory Committee (EMAC).

 

To kick off the partnership, NFPA and Safe Kids Worldwide are working together to promote Fire Prevention Week.

 

We strongly encourage fire departments and fire safety educators to join forces with their local Safe Kids Worldwide coalition when and where possible. It’s a great way to make new connections with others doing similar work in your community, and who are likely eager to support your fire safety outreach efforts.

 

We’ll make sure to keep you posted on events and programs we’re jointly supporting in the months ahead. To learn more about how you can work in coordination with a local Safe Kids Worldwide coalition, contact Judy Comoletti, NFPA’s divisional manager for public education, at jcomoletti@nfpa.org.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb087e2a26970d-320wi.jpg

Each October, The Home Depot runs a month-long fire safety campaign at all its stores (nearly 2,000 across the U.S.) to educate customers about ways to protect their homes and families from potential fire risks. As part of the effort, The Home Depot actively supports Fire Prevention Week by hosting a fire safety day in coordination with the local fire department. They also hold two in-store workshops - one involving a craft for kids and another that specifically targets adults.

 

These pictures taken at an event hosted by The Home Depot in Natick, MA, and the Natick Fire Department show how successful these events are, and how well the partnership works.

 

To find out details about fire safety day plans in your area, contact The Home Depot nearest you.

 

For more information about this year's campaign, "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm", visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

Now that Fire Prevention Week is officially here, we’re launching the fourth and final “Smoke Alarm Smarts” video, where Sparky the Fire Dog® asks people to name three places smoke alarms should be installed in the home.

While this year's campaign theme, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”, promotes that you need a smoke alarm in every bedroom, this clearly isn’t common knowledge to many people. So please share this video wherever you can (Facebook, email, websites, etc.) and help spread the word!

Judy presenting 2
Judy Comoletti, manager of NFPA's public education division, is attended by Detroit Fire Department's Captain Christopher Dixon (left) and Detroit Fire Commissioner Edsel Jenkins (right) as she teaches students about smoke alarms.

NFPA's 8th annual Fire Prevention Week campaign with Domino’s officially kicked off yesterday at the Detroit Fire Department’s Fire Engine 27, where 75 second graders from Detroit’s Mayberry Elementary School were treated to fire safety lessons supporting this year’s theme, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”, along with a visit from Sparky the Fire Dog® and a pizza party. The event culminated in a send-off of the Detroit Fire Department and Domino’s, who made the first smoke alarm check and pizza delivery to a local family.

The festivities received quite a bit of local media attention, too, including live interviews with Detroit’s FOX news affiliate throughout the morning.

Judy interviewed by FOX

As a quick reminder, here’s how the campaign works: Customers who order from participating Domino’s stores during Fire Prevention Week will be randomly selected to have their delivery arrive from the local fire aboard a fire engine. If the smoke alarms in the home are working, the pizza is free. If they’re not working, the firefighters will replace the batteries or install fully-functioning alarms.

Pizza delivered to family

A huge thanks to all the fire departments that work with local Domino’s to locally implement the campaign each year. It’s a fun, engaging way to educate residents about smoke alarm safety and make families safer from fire, and we truly appreciate your participation!

 

In anticipation of Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, today we’re launching the third video in our “Smoke Alarm Smarts” series, which addresses smoke alarm replacement. As you’ll see, when Sparky the Fire Dog® randomly asked people how often they think smoke alarms in the home need to be replaced, he gets a lot of guesses in response.

We encourage all fire departments, fire safety educators and others to share this video on their social media platforms, websites and via email – it’s a quick, engaging way to reinforce a basic but vital message about smoke alarm safety: smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years.

(Tip: To figure out when the smoke alarms in your home need to be replaced, look on the back of the smoke alarm for the date of manufacture. Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from that date. Immediately replace any smoke alarm that does not respond properly when tested.)

For more information on Fire Prevention Week 2015 and this year’s theme, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”, visit www.firepreventionweek.org

Local fire departments are critical to the success of Fire Prevention Week - we count on their participation and support each year to reach local communities with the campaign's fire safety messages.

FPW Challenge 2015

In appreciation of those efforts, we’re kicking off the Fire Prevention Week 2015 Challenge, which works to recognize the hard work and creativity of fire departments that are actively promoting Fire Prevention Week in their communities this fall.

Here’s how the Fire Prevention Week 2015 Challenge works: All U.S. fire departments are invited to send NFPA a picture of an event they’ve hosted in support of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm.” Pictures can be submitted for an event a fire department has held anytime between now and October 31, 2015. The application is available online at www.nfpa.org/firepreventionweek.

Participating in the Challenge activity also fulfills the requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Association’s (FEMA) Preparathon!® campaign, which works to increase the number of Americans who understand the disasters most relevant their community, while educating them on ways to be safer and mitigate damage.

A total of 10 winners will be randomly selected to receive a free NFPA Fire Safety Sports Box (valued at $420), which includes:

  • Sparky®'s Team Up For Fire Safety Flag (4' x 6')
  • 1 Fire Safety Activities for your Team Sports Brochure (11" x 17" folds to 8.5" x 11", 4-color)
  • 100 All-Star Fire Safety Brochures
  • 100 Sparky's Team Up for Fire Safety Soft Slap Bracelets
  • 100 Sparky's Team Up for Fire Safety Drawstring Sports Bags
  • 100 Sparky's Team Up for Fire Safety Tattoos
  • 100 Sparky's Team Up for Fire Safety Water Bottles (not intended for children under the age of five)

All winners will be notified and announced in November, and their events will be promoted on Safety Source, NFPA’s public education newsletter; NFPA’s social media platforms and website; and featured in a blog highlighting their efforts.

 

People may have as little as one to two minutes to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s information everyone should know. Unfortunately, not everyone does. As you’ll see in this "Smoke Alarm Smarts” video – the second in our weekly series of four leading up to Fire Prevention Week – when Sparky the Fire Dog® asks people how long they have to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds, he gets lots of different answers.

As Fire Prevention Week fast-approaches, we’re working to promote basic but vital smoke alarm messages. Please help us spread the word by sharing this video on your website and/or social media.

For more information on Fire Prevention Week 2015, October 4-10, and this year’s theme, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

 

How smart is the general public about smoke alarms? That’s what we wanted to find out!

In support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”, we sent Sparky the Fire Dog® out on the street to ask people basic questions about smoke alarms.

In this “Smoke Alarm Smarts” video - the first in a series of four - see what people know (and don’t) about smoke alarms. This clip addresses how often smoke alarms should be tested; the upcoming videos will be posted weekly in anticipation of Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, 2015, each focusing on a specific smoke alarm message. 

Don’t be shy about using these videos! Share them on your social media platforms, post them on your website, or wherever you think you’ll reach the most people with their smoke alarm messages.

For more information on Fire Prevention Week or to find a wealth of resources for promoting the campaign in your community, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

Red Cross

Smoke alarms save lives, and the American Red Cross home fire campaign - launched less than one year ago - is actively reinforcing that message.

Over the past 10 months, the Red Cross has installed more than 100,000 smoke alarms in almost 2,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, and has documented 15 lives saved ranging from a 3-year-old child to a 73-year-old grandmother. 

Working with fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross is targeting neighborhoods at high risk for fires, teaching residents about fire prevention and preparedness in coordination with smoke alarm installations. The ultimate goal of the multi-year campaign is to reduce U.S. home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

With more than 1,800 local community partners and more than 40 national partner organizations, key supporters include:

 To learn about the location of local smoke alarm installation events, visit redcross.org.

Last month, Domino’s sponsored its annual Fire Prevention Week Sweepstakes for fire departments that signed up between July 15 and August 1 to participate in its fire safety program this October. Domino's logo

More than 60 fire departments signed on and were automatically entered into the sweepstakes. On Friday, August 7, five departments were randomly drawn. The winners are:

  • McKinney Fire Department-Central Fire Station, McKinney, TX (Stacie Durham)
  • Palm Bay Fire-Rescue, Palm Bay, FL (Jim Poulos)
  • Mehlville Fire Protection District, St. Louis, MO (Kevin Reis)
  • Rochelle Park Township Fire Department, Rochelle Park, NJ (Darryl De Mott)
  • Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One, Gig Harbor, WA (Nanette Tatom)

Congratulations to all of you! Courtesy of Domino’s, each of you will receive NFPA’s “Fire Prevention Week in a Box 300,” which includes:

FPW in a Box artwork

  •  1 FPW banner (super-sized 10' x 4')
  • 45 FPW posters (17" x 24")
  • 300 adult FPW brochures
  • 300 kids FPW activity posters
  • 300 FPW stickers
  • 300 FPW magnets
  • 300 copies of FPW news
  • 300 FPW bags

Of course, thanks to all the fire departments that have signed on to participate in this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign with Domino's. If you haven’t yet, fear not! There's still time to get involved. Simply email Dani Nicholl at dani.nicholl@dominos.com and learn how you and your local Domino’s can team up to implement the campaign in your community.

This year's Fire Prevention Week theme is "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm". To learn more, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

 

FPW theme artwork

Each year when we promote fireworks safety, we get a lot of flak from people who think our stance is downright absurd. In response to yesterday’s Facebook post, which stated that there’s no safe way to use consumer fireworks, one person commented, “That is the dumbest statement I’ve read today, I’ve never met one person injured by fireworks.”

Ban on fireworks image

Anyone who tracks fireworks injuries knows that thousands of people are, in fact, injured from fireworks each year. Many of those injuries are serious or even fatal. Just this past weekend in Michigan, a 47-year-old man died when a large mortar fireworks shell he was holding next to his head exploded.

According to Walled Lake, MI, Police Chief Paul Shakinas, when first responders arrived, they found the man unresponsive, not breathing, and suffering from severe trauma to the back of his head.

“Hands down, the worst I’ve ever seen,” Shakinas said. “I’ve seen (fireworks) accidents, but never causing a fatality. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Firefighters and first responders can attest to the damage fireworks cause each year. An article in today's Boston Globe today reinforced that message. According to Rick DeLorie, Wellesley, MA, fire chief and president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, firefighters respond “to all types of fires and medical emergencies” over the holiday because of fireworks. “In fact, July 4 is the busiest day for fires after Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Massachusetts officials also noted that over the past year, rescuers have responded to several fireworks incidents resulting in car and home damage, serious burns, and, in one case, the amputation of a person’s hand.

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