Fire safety in your home away from home

NFPA’s Educational Messages Desk Reference, now in its updated 2020 edition, offers Fire and Life Safety (FLS) educators and those involved in injury prevention and public education, a compendium of accurate, relevant and up to date messaging for a multitude fire and burn prevention topics.  Chapter Five, formerly Hotel/Motel Safety, has been updated as Fire Safety Away from Home, to include safety messages for hotel/motel, peer to peer hospitality, motor home/camper/RV, car fire safety, and safety in places of public assembly.

Since fire safety code requirements vary by state for such occupancies as hotel/motel, peer to peer hospitality and RV’s, it is vitally important to educate the public to empower them to assure their own and their family’s safety. Chapter Five now includes updated messaging directing people to choose hotel/motels that are protected by smoke and CO alarms, as well as sprinklers, and recommends the use of travel CO alarms for locations without.  Messaging regarding renting peer to peer hospitality homes, which often have fewer rules and codes for fire safety, offers the public considerations for choosing a rental, and key actions to take when staying in these types of properties. 

Motor Home, Camper, and RV Safety is another section within Chapter Five to receive updated messaging.  As more people choose motor homes as a vacation option, and these vehicles are increasingly being used as a remote home/work environment, it is critical to remind people to treat these spaces as homes when it comes to fire safety.  New messaging includes assuring everyone knows two ways out/meeting place, safe use of heaters and lanterns, safe cooking practices, assuring smoke and CO alarms are in place and working, and the safe use of nearby campfires.

Another key addition to Chapter Five is the inclusion of messaging for Safety in Places of Public Assembly, formerly only found in our related tip sheet.  These messages include assuring everyone has a plan for being separated, an agreed upon meeting place, and situational awareness of all exits.

As NFPA enters its 125th anniversary year, we need to remind ourselves of the amazing work done toward our goal of eliminating the loss of life and property from fire, electrical and related hazards.  We also need to assure that we, as fire and life safety professionals, stay up to date with the changing fire safety problems and solutions, and work across our organizations to provide consistent, accurate, and behavior centered messaging for our communities.  Next week I’ll highlight the updates to the Educational Messages Desk Reference as relates to grilling and microwave cooking topics.

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Andrea Vastis
Senior Director, Public Education, public health promotion & education professional passionate about eliminating disparities in access, education and resources.

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