Free Stuff? Got It.
For free outreach materials, you just need to know where to look.
NFPA Journal®, July/August 2009
Myths can produce fear, excitement, curiosity, or intrigue. Remember the excitement of a visit from the tooth fairy and awaking to money under your pillow? How about reading about the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot and fearing a close encounter? Have you ever been curious as to why Noah was never able to find any unicorns for his ark?
Then there’s the myth that NFPA doesn’t offer any free resources—and that’s the one I find intriguing. I’m not sure how that myth began. I’ve been here for many years and have heard through a variety of channels—emails, letters, what people tell me at conferences—that NFPA has no resources to give away. In fact, NFPA is your best source for the valuable fire and life safety information you need. We work hard to provide the best possible information for you and your communities, and much of this material can be found—free—at www.nfpa.org.
As part of our public education outreach effort, which you can find in the “Safety Information” section of www.nfpa.org, we’ve created comprehensive community campaign kits over the past year to help you reach out to residents with information on the leading causes of fires: cooking, heating, and electrical problems. We’ve distributed those kits to every fire department in the United States. We’ve also created a kit about home fire sprinklers, and this fall, fire departments will receive a kit about smoke alarms. The kits, which include short videos, educational flyers, statistics, media materials, and more, are all available at www.nfpa.org/education. There, you’ll also find our newly designed safety tips flyers on fire, disaster, and injuries, which can be downloaded and printed as handouts.
The website for our annual Fire Prevention Week (FPW), www.firepreventionweek.org, provides you with everything you need to conduct a community-wide campaign. The most popular items on the FPW website are our lesson plans. Each year, we create new lesson plans to reach out to children in kindergarten through grade four. You’ll also find ready-to-use media materials, fund-raising ideas, print ads, and more. Join in the official FPW blog to share what you have planned in your community. On nfpa.org, you’ll find short videos and ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations available for use in your community. If you’re looking for lesson plans to use in schools, handout materials in languages other than English, materials to reach people with disabilities, or Sparky’s safety games for kids, we’ve got you covered. Stay up-to-date on NFPA public education activities through our monthly e-newsletter, Safety Source, which arrives each month with the latest information on new safety tip sheets, additions to Sparky’s website, press releases, public education products, and research reports.
If you’re looking for information from NFPA’s high-risk outreach program, we have that, too. You’ll find information on topics ranging from programs of interest to America’s biggest cities to safety issues for older adults and people with disabilities. Our people-with-disabilities topic area includes e-Access, an e-newsletter focusing on the quality of life for people with disabilities; lesson plans; an emergency planning guide; and a student planning guide ready to download and print. We have specific safety tips for older adults and a fact sheet and PowerPoint presentation on intentional fires, all just a click away at www.nfpa.org.
While we provide a wealth of information free, we know you have a choice when you decide to buy materials. The sale of our public education materials allows us to provide an extensive amount of free material online. While I encourage the use of our online information, I hope you will look to NFPA as your first choice when you can buy materials.
Judy Comoletti is division manager-Public Education at NFPA.