NFPA's Take: Fire Prevention Week 2008

June 20, 2008
From October 5-11, fire departments and safety advocates will spread the word to make home fire safe.

It is that time of year again. Fire departments across the country have begun planning and preparing for Fire Prevention Week. NFPA announced the 2008 theme on June 1 - and it is an exciting one!

Your home should be a safe haven. But do you regularly check for home fire hazards? If not, there is the potential for danger. Fire departments responded to nearly 400,000 home fires in 2006. That's why the theme of Fire Prevention Week (FPW) 2008 is "It's Fire Prevention Week: Prevent Home Fires!"

From October 5-11 (or for most fire departments, the entire month of October), fire safety advocates will spread the word to their communities that, with a little extra caution, preventing the leading causes of home fires - cooking, heating, electrical and smoking materials - is within their power.

Website Resources
Whether you are in the fire service, a life safety educator or a classroom teacher, NFPA's website,, has everything you need for a successful campaign. And, it's free! Here are just some of the things you will find:

  • Most recent statics
  • 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. The site also offers a comprehensive "How-to" section that takes you, step-by-step, through doing a smoke alarm installation program (this includes downloadable forms), 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 home hazard checklist, which can be used independently from the lessons by teachers and fire departments. Listen to the new "Be-Safe" song and get the lyrics for the kids in your community. Who knows, you may even discover the next American Idol!

NFPA and Scholastic Team Up
Did you know that in its 208-year history, the White House has had two major, and a handful of minor fires? Kids across the U.S. will be learning about these fires along with a handful of other classroom activities through NFPA's Scholastic program. In conjunction with the upcoming presidential elections and Fire Prevention Week, Sparky the Fire Dog is on a campaign to teach families about prevention home fires. All Scholastic program materials will be available in September on in English and Spanish.

Some fun additions to the site include a blog with NFPA's Assistant Vice President of Public Education Judy Comoletti; take the online FPW quiz and see how safety savvy you are; and coming this summer a video PSA featuring NFPA's loveable new character, Dan Doofus.

The Great American Fire Drill is back this year! Kids, families, schools and businesses can go to and participate in the "biggest fire drill ever." Here's how it works: create a home escape plan, practice the plan and then go to in October to be counted.

Don't Forget Your Products
Need a banner for your firehouse or some stickers for your classroom visits? Get all your FPW products online at We have created an "Open House" product checklist to make it easy to order. NFPA members get a discount on products ordered.

Our Fire Prevention Week in a Box is the easiest way to get your campaign off to a great start. We've made it easy for you to choose the package that fits your outreach - 100, 300 or 500 people. Each box includes the official FPW banner and poster. You'll also get Fire Facts which highlights the leading causes of fire, gives a history of Fire Prevention Week, the latest fire statistics and a checklist to help make homes fire safe. Stickers and brochures for adults and kids as well as FPW magnets complete the package. We even offer an option to upgrade your FPW in A Box to include our newest video How to Prevent Home Fires.

The History of Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925. The website features past FPW themes dating back to 1957.

Hats off to the fire service for making FPW a success every year and providing your community the tools to stay safe.

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

Related Links

AMY LeBEAU is the communications manager for the National Fire Protection's (NFPA) Public Education.

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