NFPA's Take: Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned!

Testing the water before putting a child in the bath or wearing short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking on the stovetop may sound like common sense. But these and other simple actions may be all it takes to prevent devastating burns. Fire Prevention Week (FPW) 2009, focuses on burn awareness and prevention, as well as keeping homes safe from the leading causes of home fires; cooking, heating, electrical and smoking.

From October 4-10, fire and life safety educators across the country will bring these important safety messages to their communities, showing them simple ways they can: "Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned."
NFPA has put together a comprehensive website that is not only easy to navigate but is chock full of information. We have tools for firefighters and educators who plan on doing a full-blown Fire Prevention Week campaign and also kids and families that want to do some fire-safety activities in the home.

Here are just some of the things you will find:

  • Most recent statics
  • Planning calendar for firefighters
  • Safety tips for kids and adults
  • Ready-to-use press releases and letters to the editor
  • Lesson plans and handouts
  • Caregiver letters in English and Spanish
  • Official Fire Prevention Week logo and camera-ready art work
  • Web banners
  • Escape planning grid

And the list goes on. We know times are tough, so we have created a fill-in-the-blank funding letter. All fire departments need to do is fill in their information and send it to local businesses.

The site also offers a "How-to" section that takes you step by step through doing a smoke alarm installation program, learning stations for schools and ideas you can use for your department's open house.

The section "For Teachers" is packed with lesson plans and handouts, including a fun Sparky origami project. Listen to the new "I Am Safety Smart" song sung by a first grade class in Illinois.

Zoom to the moon with Sparky the Fire Dog. NFPA and Scholastic are sending Sparky on a mission to the moon for Fire Prevention Week. The program will teach important fire-safety lessons and improve core reading and science skills at the same time. All Scholastic program materials will be available in September on in English and Spanish.

Let's not forget the kids -- big and small. Sparky has been busy creating all new Sparky-e-cards on These cards are fun for all ages. They can be sent for a special occasion like a birthday or just to say "Hi." Take a tour of a fire truck, or play a fun safety game (for both readers and non-readers). Need coloring sheets in English and Spanish? These and much more can all be found on!

Need some Fire Prevention Week products? We have those, too. Visit our "Must Have" page to get your official FPW products, including a new super-sized banner for your firehouse, fun fire-safety comics for kids and the ever popular FPW t-shirt. NFPA members get a discount on products ordered.

Don't forget to blog, blog, blog... with NFPA's Public Education Division. The blog is a great place to find out about new materials posted on the site and to share with other educators what you are doing in your communities for FPW.

Let's work together to make this the best Fire Prevention Week yet! As heroes and role models in your communities, NFPA depends on you to promote important messages that will keep your friends, family and constituents safe from the devastating effects of fire.

Hats off to a great Fire Prevention Week! Remember to check the site regularly for new updates and materials leading up to Fire Prevention Week.

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AMY LeBEAU, NFPA's public education communication manager, oversees the division's websites, including developing educational messages and content on the Fire Prevention Week and Sparky the Fire Dog websites. Amy is the editor of Safety Source, NFPA's public education e-newsletter. She is the lead educational expert for the Association's public education materials including content and design. She is also responsible for promotion of public education activities.