AUTHOR: LisaMarie Sinatra

A row of homes

Help Spread the Word About the Life-Saving Benefits of Home Fire Sprinklers During Home Fire Sprinkler Week May 16 – 22, 2021

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! To commemorate this great milestone, HFSC is developing new innovative tools and materials to support community outreach. One example is the popular Home Fire Sprinkler Week campaign set to launch on May 16 – 22, 2021. A project of HFSC and the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative, this week-long campaign is the perfect opportunity to get the tools you need to help further the life-saving educational message of home fire sprinklers. Building on the great success of last year’s event, Home Fire Sprinkler Week will again go digital in 2021. The campaign is designed to help you virtually share messages and resources every day of the week on both a website and social platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you’re a member of the fire service, take advantage of materials and more social media graphics to share during the week or at any time of the year. Additional assets you will be able to use during the Week include: A brand new HFSW digital campaign to reach younger homebuyers to help emphasize the need for home fire sprinklers in communities A new video to highlight the green benefits of installing home fire sprinklers With each day of the campaign, you will find a different theme and related content like videos and graphics with posts, to share. You can choose one message or share all messages on any given day. The daily themes are: Monday, May 17: Fire is Fast Tuesday, May 18: Fire Sprinklers Are Part of Fire-Safe Communities Wednesday, May 19: It’s Easy to Live with Home Fire Sprinklers Thursday, May 20: Fire Sprinklers are Smart and Green Friday, May 21: Protect What You Value Most As we ramp up to Home Fire Sprinkler Week, stay tuned to the HFSC website for more campaign information and resources. We look forward to you joining us on May 16!  
National Wildfire Preparedness Day
Scene from Florida

Arc Flash the Subject of Additional Interview for Faces of Fire/Electrical Hazard Awareness Video Series

In August 2004, Don Johnson, an electrician from Florida, was at work connecting a client’s backup generator for use during an impending hurricane when a failure of his rotation tester or a loose clip shorted out in a 4,000 amp/480-volt switchgear section he was working on, creating an arc flash event that destroyed much of the equipment and blew him against a wall nearly killing him. Johnson survived but suffered third-degree burns on his face, neck and arms, and spent years recovering from his injuries.  Don’s story is the latest, and final interview of Faces of Fire/Electrical, a campaign series from NFPA and the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors that features personal stories of people impacted by electrical incidents, and provides information about electrical safety in the workplace and at home. Arc flash, also known as flashover, is the light and heat produced as part of an arc fault, and a type of electrical explosion or discharge that results from an unintended electrical connection through the air to ground or another phase of the electrical system. An arc flash is one of the most devastating and deadly electrical hazards present in today’s workplace; it can produce temperatures as high as 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit and cause severe burns, hearing loss, eye injuries, skin damage from blasts of molten metal, lung damage, and blast injuries. An NFPA report estimates that five to 10 arc flash incidents occur every day, and more than 2,000 people are treated annually in burn centers with arc flash injuries. Both shock and arc flash, in addition to other electrical hazards have been the focus of NFPA 70E®, Standard for Workplace Electrical Safety® and OSHA standards since the late 1970s. NFPA 70E emphasizes the importance of performing a solid risk assessment that examines all aspects of the hazards to which employees are exposed and provides a valuable tool to determine how best to mitigate the potential danger. Faces of Fire/Electrical features personal stories of electrical burn survivors whose lives have been forever altered and how more understanding, training, and a change in work culture could have significantly impacted these outcomes. Through interviews, written profiles, and related information, Faces of Fire/Electrical is a resource for electrical and non-electrical workers, and the general public to learn more about the importance of electrical safety. We are grateful to Don and his wife, Kelly, for sharing their story with us. Hear Don’s conversation with NFPA and learn how he is advocating for electrical workplace safety. Visit www.nfpa.org/facesoffire to watch all the videos from the series. Free resources are also available to download and share, including a recent NFPA Podcast, The Mysteries of Electrical Injuries, that takes an in-depth look at what a powerful electrical shock can do to the body, and how it’s treated. Find this information and more at nfpa.org/facesoffire.
A wildfire burning at night

Burn Survivor Shares Her Story About Importance of Being Prepared for and Living Safely with Wildfire

In just the past few years, the U.S. has seen the average number of acres burned in wildfires rise exponentially. The country has watched as 40,000 structures have been destroyed, 100 lives were lost, and countless families were impacted as a result of a wildfire event in their community. Allyson Watson knows first-hand what it means to suffer at the hands of a wildfire. Forced to evacuate her home during one of the worst wildfire seasons in the history of southern California, Allyson was involved in two separate car accidents trying to flee her family home when a wildfire engulfed her community. Suffering 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 85 percent of her body as a result of the accidents, Allyson spent years recovering from her injuries. The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors recently shared Allyson’s story on their website. As a burn survivor her journey is one of perseverance and resilience, and she credits her family and friends with helping her through the emotional and physical aspects of her recovery. As she grew stronger, Allyson’s bravery and passion spurred her on to advocate for wildfire safety, raising awareness and educating others in wildfire-prone areas about the importance of being prepared for a fire including having an evacuation plan and initiating retrofits and maintaining ignition-resistant properties. Allyson’s story is a powerful reminder about the need for better policies if we want to lower community wildfire risk. NFPA recently launched Outthink Wildfire™, an initiative that aims to drive more policy change across all levels of government to stem the tide of losses from wildfire. With so much loss, it is time for the country to take a stand, demand a new approach, and pursue a better course of action that will help us live more safety with wildfire. NFPA believes if the policy actions laid out in Outthink Wildfire are followed, we can end the destruction of communities from wildfire in the next 30 years. We are grateful to Allyson for sharing her story with us.  Read more about her journey and Outthink Wildfire on the Phoenix Society’s website.
Alan Bresleau

Remembering Alan Breslau Advocate and Founder of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors

As the National Burn Awareness Week campaign comes to a close, we remember and honor Alan Breslau, the founder of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, who passed away in New Zealand over the holidays at the age of 94. Alan was a remarkable man, and he understood what it meant to suffer burn injuries. In 1963, when he was 37, Alan was in a plane crash while on a business trip. Of the 43 people onboard, seven died and 36 were injured, Alan lost his nose, an ear, an eye, the top of his head, a thumb, and some of his fingers to severe burns. The lack of support and isolation during his early recovery drove him to change the world for burn survivors and create a community of survivors, caretakers, first responders, medical professionals, researchers, and others that now spans the globe. In 1977, Alan created the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, inspired by the mythical bird that rises out of flames in a more beautiful form. He worked to establish the first burn camp for children in Pennsylvania, and he created a program to bring people with burn injuries from developing countries to the US for care at no cost. Family, friends, and colleagues of Alan knew that a plane crash would not stop him from doing all the things he loved. In addition to his training as a chemical engineer, Alan was an accomplished musician. He not only inspired a whole new way of living for burn survivors, they say, but he did so while continuing to play the piano, write books, play tennis, and pursue all the other passions he enjoyed. Alan strongly believed that some good would come of his tragedy. Today, the Phoenix Society is recognized around the world as the leading organization for burn support, prevention, and advocacy. NFPA supports the Phoenix Society and its wonderful work, including its annual World Burn Congress, which Alan established in 1988. If you weren’t aware, NFPA collaborated with the Phoenix Society on the launch of the Faces of Fire public awareness and advocacy campaigns, aimed at reducing loss from fire and electrical injuries. We remember Alan for his amazing strength and compassion, and for his tireless efforts on behalf of burn survivors around the world. We will honor him by continuing to carry forward the work he began. Learn more about Alan Breslau and the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors on their website.    
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