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Monthly Archives

October 2015

NFPA continues the conversation about hoarding

By | Fire Safety, NFPA | No Comments

Dangers of Too Much Stuff

In February of 2012 NFPA published a journal article on hoarding – The Dangers of Too Much Stuff.  It remains one of the top Journal stories, as it featured a topic that had long been a known threat in the fire service, but had recently captured the interest and fascination of Americans through popular television programs that took the public into very private situations of hoarding.

As a Regional Public Education Specialist, I have presented on this topic for several years, and the interest from the fire service has not yet waned.  In fact, the interest has increased.  In-depth questions now take up a large percentage of the presentation time as fire service professionals delve deeper into their leadership and commitment to hoarding task forces in their communities.  Recently at the Michigan Fire Inspector Society's Conference, it was standing room only in 2 separate presentations, and lengthy conversations followed both sessions.  News of those presentations and a similar one for the Michigan Fire Instructor Association’s Conference caught the media’s attention in Michigan as well.  Both The Grand Rapids Press, and National Public Radio’s program host Cynthia Canty reached out to NFPA for more information.

The question is no longer “where do we go from here”?  It is “how do we keep going from here?”  In relation to hoarding task forces, dedicated staff, funding, and privacy issues are just a few of the topics that are up for discussion. Thankfully NFPA continues to keep a pulse on this complex, challenging and important topic.  Educational material and resources continue to be available on the NFPA website and the Public Education Division remains devoted to help.

NPFA continues the conversation about hoarding

By | Fire Safety, NFPA | No Comments

Dangers of Too Much Stuff

In February of 2012 NFPA published a journal article on hoarding – The Dangers of Too Much Stuff.  It remains one of the top Journal stories, as it featured a topic that had long been a known threat in the fire service, but had recently captured the interest and fascination of Americans through popular television programs that took the public into very private situations of hoarding.

As a Regional Public Education Specialist, I have presented on this topic for several years, and the interest from the fire service has not yet waned.  In fact, the interest has increased.  In-depth questions now take up a large percentage of the presentation time as fire service professionals delve deeper into their leadership and commitment to hoarding task forces in their communities.  Recently at the Michigan Fire Inspector Society's Conference, it was standing room only in 2 separate presentations, and lengthy conversations followed both sessions.  News of those presentations and a similar one for the Michigan Fire Instructor Association’s Conference caught the media’s attention in Michigan as well.  Both The Grand Rapids Press, and National Public Radio’s program host Cynthia Canty reached out to NFPA for more information.

The question is no longer “where do we go from here”?  It is “how do we keep going from here?”  In relation to hoarding task forces, dedicated staff, funding, and privacy issues are just a few of the topics that are up for discussion. Thankfully NFPA continues to keep a pulse on this complex, challenging and important topic.  Educational material and resources continue to be available on the NFPA website and the Public Education Division remains devoted to help.

Ensure that the Halloween holiday is safe

By | Fire Safety, NFPA | No Comments

Halloween is a fun and spooky time of the year for kids who love to dress up and get lots of treats to eat. It’s also the perfect time to remind everyone about trick-or-treating safely. For anyone wanting to raise safety awareness before the big event, NFPA’s Halloween Safety tip sheet offers simple fire safety precautions about costumes, decorative materials, and Halloween parties. Porchpumpkins

The Halloween Safety Tips for Children video offers safety precautions as well, and you can review the latest “creepy-crawly” Halloween fire safety tips from NFPA on the Martha Stewart Living website. While you’re at it, check out NFPA’s Halloween safety web page.

Just installed smoke alarms credited with alerting family to fire

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Smoke alarms installed in a South Lubbock, Texas, home are credited with saving the family inside when a fire damaged the home last week.

According to KAMC News, officials with the American Red Cross say that the home was one of about 160 residences visited by the Red Cross as part of an initiative to decrease fire-related deaths nationwide by 25 percent.

Family members say they were sleeping when the smoke alarms alerted them to get out.

The home was fitted with three smoke alarms a week and a half before the fire.

The Red Cross, partnering with the South Plains Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, installed Smoke Alarm toolkit314 smoke alarms in the Lubbock County area.

NFPA offers tools for fire departments and community organizations interested in initiating a smoke alarm campaign. Tips for installing and maintaining smoke alarms are provided in the document, “Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program.”

In addition, NFPA’s toolkit on smoke alarms includes everything needed to launch a smoke alarm awareness campaign.

Comment period is now open on NFPA educational messages

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Desk ReferenceThe messages contained in the NFPA Educational Messages Desk Reference are used throughout NFPA’s educational programs, curricula, and handouts and provide fire and life safety educators with accurate and consistent language for use when providing safety information to the public.

The Educational Messages Advisory Committee, a group of fire and life safety experts, will be meeting next spring to update and revise the messages.

The comment period is now open for submitting comments for revision to the Desk Reference. The electronic submission form is for individuals who want to provide substantiated comments on the current message document. The deadline for submissions is February 26, 2016.

Campaign increases awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide exposure

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Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is underway in many communities. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness that carbon monoxide (CO) can kill. More than 400 people die each year in the United States from CO poisoning.

NFPA provides free materials that can be used to raise awareness about this invisible killer and help prevent CO poisoning. The “Keeping Your Community Safe with Carbon Monoxide Alarms” toolkit public educators can use to conduct successful community education campaigns, includes safety tip sheets, easy-to-read handouts, talking points, news releases, a video, and public service announcements. In addition, the CO safety information page on the NFPA website provides facts and figures and reports about the dangers of CO exposure.

It’s not too late to get FPW materials

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FPW_banner_2015

“Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” The 2015 Fire Prevention Week theme is a great reminder about smoke alarm safety and the importance of location. It’s also a message that never gets old.

In many communities, Fire Prevention Week doesn’t end in October, but continues in November and December and into the New Year. If you’re looking for “must haves,” banners, brochures, posters, and other items, now is the perfect time to make purchases. Many items are available at reduced prices.

NFPA’s spooky fire safety tips featured on Martha Stewart Living

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Halloween Post
As I have mentioned in past posts, NFPA has been working with the folks at Martha Stewart Living to provide important fire safety tips for all of the projects and activities we do at home and with our families.

And now, we're excited to share our newest post with you! If you're like me, you probably can't even believe we're talking about Halloween (wasn't it just summer??) but it's just around the corner. So, you'll want to check out our latest "creepy crawl-y" Halloween fire safety tips on Martha's site. There are some great ideas for costumes, decorations and candles that are easy to implement in your own home and can really help keep your family, trick-or-treaters and others who visit your house over the next few weeks and on October 31, fire safe.

Find other great resources for Halloween fire safety on our updated Halloween webpage. You'll discover activities for kids and families, a video, tips sheet and much more.

Remember to stay fire safe this Halloween holiday, everyone, and have a fun and festive All Hallows Eve!