Well, another successful Fire Prevention Week is in the rear view mirror. We have a lot to be proud of – most notably that we made America a little bit safer in the course of seven days. Thank you for getting the message of “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs A Working Smoke Alarm” out. By creatively, collaboratively, and proactively sharing fire prevention safety tips via marketing efforts, outreach initiatives and educational campaigns – we have once again ensured that our communities are well informed about fire safety and the importance of working smoke alarms.
We often say that we don’t create NFPA codes and standards in a vacuum. We stress that we rely heavily on more than 6,000 volunteers who sit on our technical committees, 65,000 members and other stakeholders who use our material and carry the messages to help save lives. The same “strength in numbers” philosophy rings true when it comes to Fire Prevention Week.
We are very fortunate to have corporate sponsors that help us deliver fire safety tips, often year-round, to men, women and children across the country. Our Fire Prevention Week mantra is amplified because of partners like Domino’s who promote Fire Prevention Week and the importance of smoke alarms while delivering pizza to customers. LEGOLAND honors our first responders and engages families visiting their popular theme parks in California and Florida during October with fun contests, discounts, giveaways, safety tips and NFPA swag. Then there’s the United States Fire Administration who ensure that the President signed a National Fire Prevention Week proclamation, continuing a proud tradition that stems back to 1922. Kudos to Safe Kids, too, for hosting a webinar to educate its coalition members and for encouraging participants to spread the word to their audiences. We are also thankful that Home Depot shared our smoke alarm infographic with 2,000 stores and hosted educational events across the country; and that CVS shared tips with thousands of their employees. Newcomer Cardi’s Furniture promoted Fire Prevention Week in seventeen showrooms throughout Southern New England, in their full page Providence Journal ads, during an interview with Lorraine Carli on the Fox News Rhode Show and via their community calendar. Billboards donated by Carroll Advertising in the Greater Boston area, our friends at the Wollaston School near our corporate headquarters in Quincy, Mass., FEMA’s Colorado office, and fire departments and educators across the country also generated buzz for NFPA’s annual awareness campaign.
The media played an important role, too, in promoting Fire Prevention Week. During just one 5-hour block on October 6th, twenty-five broadcast media companies scheduled back-to-back, English and Spanish, live and taped interviews with NFPA Public Education team member Lisa Braxton and Lieutenant Maria Pelchar of the Holyoke Fire Department so that they could share fire safety tips with their viewers and listeners. This media coverage doesn’t begin to tell the story of the vast penetration that Fire Prevention Week enjoys via other news outlets and bloggers that simply access information from our website or share details from NFPA press releases.
And then there’s you. WOW, as a new Fire Prevention Week disciple, I am impressed. The NFPA team is really passionate about fire prevention – and rightfully so. Employee enthusiasm was evident in the weeks leading up to Fire Prevention Week – and was downright palpable as we celebrated NFPA’s hallmark educational campaign with outreach, food, contests, trivia and festivities from October 4th-10th.
My mother used to advise, “There’s safety in numbers.” And as I look back on this year’s Fire Prevention Week efforts, I have to say that I couldn’t agree more.