Scuttlebutt 11/11

Teach, Sparky, Teach!

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has teamed up with Emmy-award winning and best-selling author Don Hoffman and illustrator Todd Dakins to create Sparky the Fire Dog®, a picture book in celebration of the NFPA mascot’s 60th birthday. The story, based on the life of America’s favorite fire-safety dog, offers an entertaining and educational adventure filled with lessons and fire-safety messages for youngsters. In the book, Sparky takes a group of young animals through the neighborhood, pointing out hazards, giving basic fire prevention and safety tips and showing them how to be prepared in case of an emergency.

Sparky the Fire Dog was created for the NFPA in 1951 and has been the organization’s official mascot ever since. Millions have learned about fire safety through educational lessons and materials featuring his image. “Sparky plays an important role in communicating fire safety to kids and families,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “This book is the perfect addition to the Sparky-themed website, games and other children’s activities that are currently being utilized to help children and their caretakers learn important safety messages in a fun and entertaining way.”

For more information, contact


IFE-USA Elects New Officers

Scott D. Kerwood, Harry Carter and Chris P. Riley have been elected officers of the Institution of Fire Engineers – United States of America (IFE-USA). Kerwood was elected president, Carter was chosen as vice president and Riley will serve as secretary. The new officers join the established leadership of Immediate Past-President James M. Broman, Treasurer William W. Kehoe and Member-At-Large William E. Peterson.

The new leadership team will continue the ongoing operations of the Vision 20/20 project. With funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Fire Fighters Fire Prevention and Safety Grant program, the IFE-USA has established a steering committee comprised of noted fire service and related agency leaders to guide a national strategic planning process for the fire loss prevention that results in a national plan that will coordinate activities and fire prevention efforts.

For more information about the activities of the IFE-USA and membership in the branch please go to


Cooking Up Trouble

Cooking is the leading cause of residential building fires, according to a new report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). The report, “Residential Building Fires,” was developed by USFA’s National Fire Data Center and focuses on the causes and characteristics of fires in residential buildings. Residential buildings include what are commonly referred to as homes, whether they are one- or two-family dwellings or multifamily buildings. It also includes manufactured housing, hotels and motels, residential hotels, dormitories, assisted-living facilities, and halfway houses.

According to the report:

  • Approximately 374,900 residential building fires are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 2,630 deaths, 13,075 injuries and $7.6 billion in property loss.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of residential building fires (44 percent). Nearly all residential building cooking fires are small, confined fires (94 percent).
  • Residential building fires occur most frequently in the early evening hours, peaking during the dinner hours from 5 P.M. to 8 P.M., when cooking fires are high.

    “Residential Building Fires” is part of the Topical Fire Report Series and is based on 2007 through 2009 National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data. For further information regarding other topical reports or any programs and training available at the United States Fire Administration, visit


    Fire & Life Safety Conference

    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s Fire & Life Safety Conference will take place December 12-14 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. The conference will include three days of educational sessions, as well as two days of post-conference seminars.

    More than 60 education sessions will be presented for attendees to learn the latest on fire and life safety code topics and receive continuing education units (CEUs). Presentations will be led by NFPA staff experts and technical committee members and will be organized in four tracks – building and life safety, detection and alarm, fire suppression, and codes and standards.

    The conference program includes lunchtime presentations on recent Fire Protection Research Foundation projects, how September 11th and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire affected high-rise design and a panel discussion on emerging code issues.

    The following post-conference seminars will include: Water Supply Analysis and Hydraulic Calculations (formerly known as Sprinkler Hydraulics); 2012 NFPA 1, Fire Code; 2012 NFPA 101, Life Safety Code Changes; and 2012 NFPA 99, Standard for Health Care Facilities Update.

    More information on the conference can be found at 


    Appy Days Are Here At Last!

    Ever wish you could see content from the current issue of Firehouse® on your iPad? Starting this month, you can. Firehouse is proud to announce the Firehouse App, available beginning in late November. Get selected stories and images from the current issue of Firehouse, plus top news stories and videos from, all at the tap of an app. November content will include:

    • University of Extrication featuring video
    • Apparatus Showcase with links to new deliveries
    • Rapid Intervention Reality with accompanying podcast

    The Firehouse App; bring it to the station, bring it on the train, bring it anywhere you go.