DC children learn fire safety from NFPA and firefighters

Published on October 10, 2003
Fire Prevention Week draws to a close with story of child who saved his family
Thomas Coates 
Thomas Coates of Florida was honored during the Fire Prevention Week activities in Washington, DC. He was greeted by Sparky the Fire Dog®, NFPA Executive Vice President Arthur Cote, PE, and Bruce Young of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue 
Washington, October 10, 2003 — As part of Fire Prevention Week 2003, a Florida youngster who helped to save his family from fire last year is encouraging other students to prepare and practice a home-fire escape plan. Eight-year-old Thomas Coates joined firefighters and representatives from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) to share fire safety lessons at Engine Company No. 3 with the fourth-grade class from M.V. Leckie Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Last year, as part of Fire Prevention Week activities, Thomas Coates learned about the importance of preparing a home fire escape plan from Lt. Bruce Young of Palm Beach County, Fla. Fire and Rescue. Days later, fire started in the Coates' home. Using the knowledge gained during Fire Prevention Week, Thomas was able to quickly alert his family and guide them to safety.

By the time firefighters arrived, the Coates family was safe at Thomas' pre-arranged meeting place. One of those firefighters was Lt. Young.

"The time that Lt. Young took to go to Thomas' school probably helped to save the entire Coates family," said Arthur E. Cote, executive vice president and chief engineer at NFPA. "All of us who are involved in Fire Prevention Week are working toward having that same kind of life-saving impact all across North America."

Every year, students across the U.S. and Canada learn life-saving fire safety information and visit local fire departments as part of Fire Prevention Week. For more than 80 years, NFPA has sponsored this public education program. Since eight out of 10 fire deaths take place in the home, many of Fire Prevention Week's activities focus on developing escape plans for families and educating children about fire safety. This year, Fire Prevention Week is October 5-11, and the theme is "When Fire Strikes:  Get Out!  Stay Out!"

Pella Corporation and the Home Safety Council are funders for this year's Fire Prevention Week.

About NFPA
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922.

About Pella Corporation
Founded in 1925, Pella Corporation has long been recognized in the window and door industry for its technology and innovation. In 2003, Pella Corporation launched a continuing effort to raise awareness and educate homeowners, communities and its own team members about the need for home fire safety preparedness.

About the Home Safety Council
The Home Safety Council was founded in 1993 to help prevent the waste, pain, and cost of preventable home injuries. Members of the council include national safety-related organizations, manufacturers, and individuals who care about home safety and want to work collaboratively to educate families and communities.