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January 2016

How Operation-Save-a-Life, Saves Lives

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Philly OSAL

About 3,000 lives continue to be lost each year to fire in the U.S., and the majority of those deaths occur in homes, where people feel they are the safest.  More than one-third (37%) of U.S. home fire deaths happen in homes where there are no working smoke alarms, or no smoke alarms at all.   

Recently an event was held to target this very issue, and it marked the 24th year of a project called Operation-Save-a-Life in Philadelphia.   It was one of a handful of events that NFPA has recently been invited to, thanks to a partnership that links NFPA with Kidde, Home Depot, ABC News, and other local partners.  This particular collaboration provided over 200 fire departments with 10,000 donated smoke alarms!  The line of fire vehicles waiting to receive their smoke alarms at the Philadelphia Fire Academy demonstrated the huge need that still exists for these important home safety devices.

NFPA is a proud supporter of Operation-Save-a-Life and other similar smoke alarm installation programs, and as such, we are making free resources available to enhance these programs. Our Smoke Alarm Installation Guide, and a vast selection of smoke alarm resources can all be found on the NFPA website and can be downloaded as often as needed.  Operation-Save-a-Life puts working smoke alarms in homes that need them, and by doing so this project does just what it claims, it saves lives. 

Burn awareness campaign gets underway

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Burn Awareness CampaignBurn Awareness Week, which begins Monday, February 1, is an opportunity for burn, and fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message. The National Scald Prevention Campaign Steering Committee Partners–a group of national and international fire, burn, and life safety organizations–have launched “It Can Happen in a Flash with a Splash: Liquid and Steam Burn Like Fire,” a campaign providing statistics on burn injuries, infographics, and a toolkit for public educators.

NFPA’s Educational Messages Desk Reference includes a chapter on burns, with information on preventing scalds and burns in the kitchen, hot tap water and scald burns, and treatment of burns. In addition, the scald prevention tips sheet lists safety precautions and advises on burn treatment.

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You have only one more week to apply for NFPA’s public education grant

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Calendar pagesOne more week remains before the deadline to apply for the Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant.

Named in honor of Rolf H. Jensen, a leading authority on fire protection engineering, the grant is awarded annually to a local fire department to support a fire and life safety education community-wide program or campaign.

Funded by the RJA Group, now Jensen Hughes, the grant is open to any fire department–career or volunteer–in the United States or Canada.

Here’s why you should apply:

  • The grant provides $5,000 to support the implementation and evaluation of the department’s fire and life safety education program or campaign.
  • Recipient receives a commemorative plaque.
  • Opportunities for media coverage will bring attention in your community to the good work that the department is doing.
  • You have nothing to lose.

The downloadable application is available through February 5.

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At Least 6 Die of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After Massive Snowstorm

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Carbon Monoxide deaths

At least six people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the wake of a massive blizzard that pounded the Eastern portion of the U.S. The deaths have many fire departments, including some in the Washington, D.C. area, reminding residents to clear their home and car exhausts of snow.

According to 4 NBC Washington, many of the deaths happened as the victims worked to clear snow from a vehicle.

In New Jersey, 23-year-old Sashalynn Rosa, of Passaic, and her 1-year-old son, Messiah Bonilla, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a running car that had its tailpipe covered in snow. Rosa's 3-year-old daughter, Saniyah Bonilla, remains hospitalized in critical condition. The father of the children was just steps away shoveling snow from around the car.

Angel Ginel of New York died in a similar way Monday afternoon. Police say Ginel was found inside his running, plowed-in car in Brooklyn. His relatives believe he got inside the car to warm up Sunday, and the car got buried.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches.

Fire officials are reminding residents that a car's exhaust pipe should be cleared before starting the vehicle and of the dangers of sitting inside the car to stay warm. NFPA's community toolkit on carbon monoxide alarms provides materials public educators can use to conduct a community education campaign on the topic. In addition, the carbon monoxide safety tips sheet, customizable and available in English and Spanish, offers quick tips about safety.

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NFPA introduces new checklist on barn fire safety

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Checklist visual

Several devastating barn fires have occurred in Canada during the past two weeks, resulting in a massive loss of animal life and millions of dollars’ worth of property damage. Two separate fires claimed the lives of 56 horses, another killed around 500 goats and 30 cattle, while yet another killed approximately 2,000 pigs.

In response, NFPA is introducing a new barn fire safety checklist as a resource to prevent more tragedies.

Here are some tips included in the checklist:

  • Make sure electrical equipment is kept clean and free of damage
  • Secure heaters to prevent them from falling over
  • Store oily rags in a closed, metal container away from the heat
  • Ensure that everyone who uses barns participates in barn fire drills

In addition, NFPA offers a collection of rural fire safety tips and NFPA 150,Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities.

Public educators: What could you do with $1,000?

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Dollar Bill GraphicIf you were given $1,000 toward public education activities for your fire department or fire marshal's office, how would you spend it? The question isn’t academic. If you meet the eligibility requirements for NFPA’s Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award, your agency could receive this donation. What’s more, as a public educator, you could receive a $1,000 honorarium, travel to the upcoming NFPA Conference & Expo, free Conference registration, and the bronze Sparky the Fire Dog® statuette presented to you during the Conference general session by the NFPA chairman of the board.

It only takes a few minutes to complete the application. Don’t wait. The deadline is February 12.

In the January issue of Safety Source: space heater safety tips, hoverboard safety, and more!

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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.

Apply for one of 125 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Project Funding Awards

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  PrepDay 5.7.16

Plan a wildfire awareness, risk reduction, or post-fire project to be implemented during NFPA's third national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 7, and your activity could receive one of 125 project funding awards in the amount of $500 each to cover expenses related to grassroots efforts. The project funding awards opportunity along with additional outreach components is being generously provided by State Farm.

Applying for a project funding award is easy and takes only a few minutes to complete. Submit a brief description of the project you or your group will complete on May 7 and include who will be participating. Get family and friends to vote for the project on the official site or on Facebook as a way to demonstrate local support. To be considered applications must be submitted by February 28.

Find easy-to-do project ideas to get you started in planning an activity, or customize one to specifically meet local needs. Take a look at projects from the 2015 campaign and see what others have accomplished. Your actions will contribute to increasing the safety of both residents and wildland firefighters. Commit a couple of hours or an entire day to helping your community and accomplish something great!

Activities can be coordinated by a wide-range of stakeholders: individuals, neighborhoods, recognized Firewise Communities, civic groups, fire departments or forestry agencies working to reduce wildfire risks, advance general wildfire preparedness, or minimize post-fire impacts from a recent wildfire.

Funding awards can be applied for by anyone 13 years or older. Read the Official Rules for complete details and join individuals and groups of all ages on Saturday, May 7 as they participate in national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and make where they live safer.

Once your project details become finalized add them to the Put Your Project on the Map. Include your information and help demonstrate the efforts taking place in communities everywhere. Together we will illustrate the magnitude of risk reduction activities occurring throughout the U.S. during the first Saturday in May.

Promoting your activity is simple when you use free customizable flyers, the official logo, an email signature or web banner, postcard and social media cover photos. Let everyone know what you have planned and encourage them to get involved too!

Share your efforts through social media on Facebook and Twitter using #WildfirePrepDay.

If you’re looking to educate children on home fire sprinklers, there’s a website for that

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Sprinkler smarts

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team constantly hears comments from the fire service and other safety advocates that in order to create tomorrow's safer homes, we need to better educate our children today. As future homeowners, children can play a crucial role in bolstering demand for home fire sprinklers. The more educated a child gets on home fire sprinklers, the more likely they are to demand this safety feature as adults. 

The creative minds at the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition have developed an entire website, SprinklerSmarts.org, crammed with interactive videos, games, and lesson plans on home fire sprinklers. Whether you're a member of the fire service, teacher, or parent (or perhaps all of the above), there are materials and activities catered to your group. The resources are also broken up into two age brackets: Kindergarten to grade 5 & grades 6 to 8. There are informative, "Sprinkler 101" lessons for the younger group and tutorials on the engineering behind sprinklers for the older children that are explained in layman's terms. Having played the games myself, I can attest that they are addictive and informative.   

Act-Now-small

 

Please do your part to make 2016 The Year of the Fire Sprinkler. Visit SprinklerSmarts.org and incorporate lessons on home fire sprinklers into your outreach and educational endeavors this year. Also, watch this video that gives you an overview of the materials on SprinklerSmarts.org:

 

 

 

 

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Practice care during National Soup Month

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Soup pictureJanuary is National Soup Month, a time when the joys of this hearty comfort food are celebrated. Restaurants are serving everything from thick and creamy concoctions, to water-based broth or consommé, to vegetable-laden chili as their "soup of the day."

Churches and organizations are sponsoring "soup swaps" in which everyone goes  home with a soup different from the one they brought to the gathering. I'm sure Scald tips sheeton somebody's menu my all-time favorite, chickarina, is among them.

As we celebrate soup, let's do so with care. Prepackaged microwavable soups are a frequent cause of scald burn injuries–especially noodle soups–because they can easily tip over, spilling hot liquid and noodles and potentially causing devastating injuries.

NFPA's Scald Prevention Safety Tips sheet offers precautions about soup, and the handling of other hot liquids, as well as tips on burn treatment.