NFPA celebrates Sparky the Fire Dogs 60th birthday

Published on June 14, 2011
Highlights included safety-themed birthday party with local kids and cake from “Cake Boss”

June 14, 2011 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) celebrated Sparky the Fire Dog’s® 60th birthday at the 2011 NFPA Conference & Expo as part of a year-long celebration. A costumed six-foot Sparky participated in several special activities planned in his honor.

Jim Shannon cutting the cake
Local school kids talk about fire safety with NFPA President Jim Shannon as they gather with Sparky to cut his birthday cake.
Sparky poses with the cake from the Cake Boss
Phil Corsillo from Carlo’s Bake Shop and a volunteer firefighter from Ho-Ho-Kus Fire Department in New Jersey presenting Sparky with a “Cake Boss” cake which featured a three-foot figure of Sparky.

Sparky was presented with a three-foot tall cake, created in his likeness, by Carlo’s Bake Shop of Hoboken, N.J. – made famous in the TV reality show “Cake Boss.” When the cake was delivered, Sparky was pleased to learn that a member of the delivery team from Carlo’s Bake Shop shared his passion for fire safety and is a volunteer firefighter in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey

NFPA Vice President of Communications Lorraine Carli provides some back-story to the delicious surprise unveiled at this year's NFPA Conference & Expo.

Highlights of the fire-safety themed birthday party included a smoke alarm lesson by NFPA’s Division Manager of Public Education Judy Comoletti and a reading of the soon-to-be released Sparky the Fire Dog children’s book by its author, Don Hoffman.

“By celebrating Sparky the Fire Dog’s 60th birthday with children, we are recognizing six decades of our commitment to educating children and their parents about fire safety,” said James M. Shannon, president & CEO of the National Fire Protection Association. “We believe that one of our most important tasks is to make sure that children and their families are aware of how to prevent fires and protect themselves in case of a fire, Sparky the Fire Dog and the educational materials featuring him, are important tools in our work.”

Since Sparky’s inception in 1951, the number of fires and fire injuries in the United States has declined, which is due in part to enhanced public education efforts. Today, approximately 3,000 people die each year because of fires and thousands are injured. Sparky’s work continues and is more important than ever because most fires can be prevented when people take personal responsibility and follow a few safety guidelines.

As part of Sparky’s year-long birthday celebration, NFPA is also working with Scholastic to expand curriculum to pre-school students in the fall and developing programs for high school volunteers to implement, thus reaching more elementary school children who may not have already been introduced to Sparky.

About Sparky the Fire Dog®
Sparky the Fire Dog was created for the National Fire Protection Association in 1951 and has been the organization’s official mascot and spokesdog ever since. He is a widely recognized fire safety icon that is beloved by children and adults alike. Millions have learned about fire safety through educational lessons and materials featuring his image and he is more active than ever today. Sparky frequently visits schools and participates in community events to spread fire safety messages, often accompanied by his firefighter friends. In addition to connecting with the public through public service announcements and his featured role in Fire Prevention Week campaigns each October, he has a very active website, and a Facebook page that was launched in 2011 as part of his 60th anniversary celebration.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275 

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