Fire Prevention Week 2012 launches this Sunday and has a special new component this year - Sparky’s Wish List.
The program allows fire departments to create a free, online registry for fire safety education materials, so that businesses and the public can help fulfill their needs. This can provide critical assistance to departments facing budget pressure, as many struggle to fund fire safety education.
“That’s new this year and going very well,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for the National Fire Protection Association. “We have over 600 fire departments that have signed up.”
The program kicked off April 19, and one of the first departments to sign up was the Indianapolis Fire Department.
“Every year, we see fire-related injuries that might have been prevented if the victims had received fire safety tips, installed functioning smoke alarms or practiced an escape plan,” said Indianapolis Fire Chief Brian Sanford in a prepared statement. “Our first line of protection is educating the community. Sparky’s Wish List will allow us to work with community members to provide these critical educational resources.”
The online registry shows that the Indianapolis Fire Department has received one request so far – packages of the Fire Prevention Week Adult Campaign Brochure. Numerous other departments also show some requests fulfilled, including the Detroit (Mich.) Fire Department, the Sacramento (Calif.) Fire Department and the Bowie (Md.) Volunteer Fire Department.
Fire departments create a wish list at the Sparky's Wish List web site by creating a profile and clicking the boxes to indicate the materials they need. Donors can purchase those materials by searching for their hometowns and opening their department’s registry. The materials are then sent directly to the fire department.
Resources are also provided to help departments learn how to spread the word to their community to engage potential donors.
Also of note for Fire Prevention Week 2012 is this year’s theme - “Have 2 Ways Out!”
The NFPA notes that this is a key part of any fire escape plan and focuses on it this year along with the general importance of fire escape planning and practice.
“Just by making small changes families can really improve on their fire safety,” Carli said.
Look for more Fire Prevention Week coverage next week on Firehouse.com.