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April 2016

Firefighters say a carbon monoxide alarm saved the lives of an Arizona family

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Officials with the Peoria Fire Department, in Peoria, Arizona, say a crew responded to a home Thursday night when a family's carbon monoxide (CO) alarm was sounding. According to FOX 10, Firefighters at the scene found high concentrations of carbon monoxide at the home. Two children in the home were transported to a hospital in serious condition with high concentrations of CO.

A work vehicle with a generator was parked in the driveway and the generator had been running throughout the day. While it CO Tip sheetwas running, CO vented into the garage and when the garage door was closed, the CO became trapped inside the garage and vented into the home.

The children's bedrooms are above the garage. Fortunately, a CO alarm installed in the home sounded and saved the lives of the family.

Often called the invisible killer, CO is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels–such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane–burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of CO.

The carbon monoxide safety page on the NFPA website, the portable generator safety tip sheet, along with the carbon monoxide alarm community toolkit are chock-full of information for staying safe and encouraging the public to stay safe as well.

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Sparky checks off bucket list item #12: Visit Hershey’s Chocolate World

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#12 - Hershey Park
Sparky got to spend a day eating his way through Hersheypark and Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. Hersheypark, which opened in 1906, was founded by Milton Hershey as a leisure park for the employees of his chocolate company. Chocolate World, the accompanying visitors’ center, opened in 1973 and offers visitors a look into how chocolate is made.

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

Celebrate Earth Day with Sparky the Fire Dog by completing our Earth Smarts checklist

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EarthDay Cool to Do
It's Earth Day, and Sparky loves to celebrate with fun activities that help the environment. His Cool-to-Do activity this month, 'Earth Smarts,' had some help from our friends on the Firewise team here at NFPA. The Firewise team helps teach people how to be safe from wildfires, and so they have worked with Sparky to create a checklist you can do with your kids to make sure you are helping animals, trees, plants and your home!

Visit our cool to do website, print out your checklist, and celebrate Earth Day with Sparky and Firewise!

Providence firefighters offer fire safety tips to college students

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Providence Fire

Photo is part of a video produced by WPRI/Providence

Providence, Rhode Island firefighters are urging college students who live in the city to practice fire safety as the school term comes to a close, according to WPRI Eyewitness News. Sources state that Providence has experienced a series of fires recently that have displaced students who are living in dorms and in off-campus housing. The leading cause of all fires? Cooking.

In a recent U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) report, from 2000 through 2015, 85 fatal fires occurred in dormitories, fraternities, sororities and off-campus housing, resulting in 118 student fatalities, an average of approximately seven per school year. More than nine out of 10 (94 percent) fatal campus fires took place in off-campus housing.

The good news is, according to Providence Fire Department Acting Fire Marshal, Peter McMichael, most of the campus housing in Rhode Island is up to code, and colleges and universities have contributed increased resources and funding to keep buildings safe for students. 

Still, the biggest concern for the fire service now is off-campus housing. As the spring terms comes to a close and students leave their dorms to move off campus in apartments that are not overseen by colleges, safeguards may not always be in place. McMichael strongly urges students and their parents to ask more questions before moving into such residences. Questions like:

  • Are there two ways out of the house?
  • Is there a smoke detector outside of the bedroom(s)? 

This fire safety news out of Providence is heartening, and timely as NFPA is partnering with Campus Firewatch, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and USFA to promote a campaign called "See it Before You Sign it" that encourages parents to take a more active role in helping their loved ones choose secure, fire-safe housing in apartments or houses that are not on campus. 

Learn more about the campaign and take a look at the checklists, infographics, social media messages and more that can help students and parents make better informed decisions when looking for that perfect “home away from home” for the fall semester. And don't forget, you can download the resources for free and share them with friends and neighbors, too!

Kix Brooks Steps Up to Support Volunteer Firefighters

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Kix BrooksThe Step Up and Stand Out campaign has just released a radio public service announcement (psa) featuring Kix Brooks, nationally recognized country music artist, actor and film producer. The psa will air throughout the month of May 2016. Mr. Brooks encourages residents in volunteer fire service communities to step up and support volunteerism by becoming a volunteer fire fighter.

NFPA has teamed up with Firehouse, KiddeInternational Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC),  National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section to support the Step Up and Stand Out campaign. The campaign will increase awareness of the need for volunteer firefighters, encourage volunteer fire departments to conduct community fire and life safety education events and support contest to recognize volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their community.

A webinar is available providing an overview of the campaign, recruiting strategies, resources to support community events and how to use local media as a communication tool.

Sparky checks of bucket list items #10 and #11: Visit Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial

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#10 - Mt Rushmore (002) #11 - Crazy Horse (002)

Sparky checked off two items when he visited Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, both in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Construction on the Crazy Horse Memorial, a tribute to Native Americans, was started in 1948. While it’s still far from completion, the memorial is already the world's largest mountain carving! Mount Rushmore took 14 years to complete, and now attracts over 2 million visitors every year.

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!