Topic: Public Education

Fireworks

Fireworks education remains a priority all summer long

NFPA’s stance on fireworks is clear and to the point – “Leave fireworks in the hands of the professionals.” Whether or not your state/province allows the use of consumer fireworks, fireworks pose too significant a risk to use them “safely.” Many people will ask, “but what about Sparklers – they’re safe aren’t they?”  And the qualified answer is “No.” Consider that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), and that Sparklers reach nearly six times that - 1200 degrees Fahrenheit (649 degrees C)! A new report from fireworks-related incidents in 2020, compared to 2019. Highlights from this 2020 special report include: At least 18 people died from fireworks-related incidents in 2020, compared to 12 reported for the previous year. About 15,600 people were treated in hospital emergency departments for fireworks injuries in 2020. There were about 10,000 ER-treated fireworks injuries in 2019. Firecrackers were the biggest source of Emergency Room treated fireworks injuries (1,600) followed by sparklers (900). Approximately 75 percent of the victims were treated at the hospital emergency department and then released. An estimated 21 percent of patients were treated and transferred to another hospital or admitted to the hospital. What does that mean for 2021?  As the month of July wraps up, it is important for Fire & Life Safety (FLS) educators to continue to educate on the dangers of consumer fireworks and promote alternatives that are safe and fun to enjoy the summer months that won’t cause burns, injuries, and trips to the hospital. NFPA’s Fireworks Safety Education page contains infographics, social media cards, videos, and relevant messaging to support your fire and burn prevention efforts and promote safe and healthy communities. Follow me on Twitter @AndreaVastis and NFPA on Twitter,  Facebook, and Instagram to keep up with the latest from the Public Education Division.

There’s a lot to learn from our peers for how to have a successful Fire Prevention Week!

Join us for the free Fire Prevention Week (FPW):  Kickstart your 2021 campaign! Webinar, Thursday, July 29th from 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. Eastern Time to learn all about this year’s FPW theme “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” and how you can engage your community in fire & burn prevention.  Learn from the experts – your peers in Fire & Life Safety (FLS) education - the keys to a great social media campaign, and how you can plan for transitioning back to in person/hybrid learning. Get updates on smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm technology, proper messaging, free resources, and how to assure inclusion of people who are deaf and hard of hearing into this year’s FPW efforts. The webinar features: Andrea Vastis and Kelly Ransdell with NFPA Monica Colby, Fire & Life Safety Educator, Rapid City Fire Department, SD Brene Duggins, Fire Prevention Coordinator, Holly Grove, NC Fire Department and media coordinator of the Oak Grove High School in Davidson County, NC Ashley Rodrigue, Public Affairs Director, Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office This year’s FPW campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” works to educate people about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make and to insure they know what to do when an alarm makes a “chirp,” or alarm sound.  Check out www.fpw.org to download our toolkit with pre-formatted social media cards, innovative ideas, FPW logos, and so much more! Register Today! for this valuable, free webinar to support your Fire Prevention Week efforts! Follow me on Twitter @AndreaVastis and NFPA on Twitter,  Facebook, and Instagram to keep up with the latest from the Public Education Division.
Fire extinguisher on the wall

Fire Extinguisher Types

In the hands of a trained person, portable fire extinguishers are great tools to protect people and property from fire during early stages. When using an extinguisher or selecting an extinguisher to install, it’s important to know the characteristics of different fire extinguishers. This blog will address the different types of fire extinguishers by breaking them down by their extinguishing agent, which is the material inside the extinguisher that gets applied to the fire. Class of Fire Description Class A Fires Fires in ordinary combustible materials, such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics. Class B Fires Fires in flammable liquids, combustible liquids, petroleum greases, tars, oils, oil-based paints, solvents, lacquers, alcohols, and flammable gases. Class C Fires Fires that involve energized electrical equipment. Class D Fires Fires in combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium, and potassium. Class K Fires Fires in cooking appliances that involve combustible cooking media (vegetable or animal oils and fats). Water Water is the primary liquid used in these extinguishers, although sometimes other additives are also included. A drawback for pure water fire extinguishers is that it is not suitable for use in freezing conditions since the water inside will freeze and render the extinguisher unusable. Certain types of water fire extinguishers contain antifreeze which will allow the extinguisher to be used in freezing conditions. Water type fire extinguishers can also sometimes contain wetting agents which are designed to help increase its effectiveness against fire. These extinguishers are intended primarily for use on Class A fires.  Water mist extinguishers are a type of water fire extinguisher that uses distilled water and discharges it as a fine spray instead of a solid stream. Water mist extinguishers are used where contaminants in unregulated water sources can cause excessive damage to personnel or equipment. Typical applications include operating rooms, museums, and book collections. Film-forming foam type AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam) and FFFP (film-forming fluoroprotein) fire extinguishers are rated for use on both Class A and Class B fires. As the name implies, they discharge a foam material rather than a liquid or powder. They are not suitable for use in freezing temperatures. An advantage of this type of extinguisher when used on Class B flammable liquid fires of appreciable depth is the ability of the agent to float on and secure the liquid surface, which helps to prevent reignition. Carbon Dioxide type The principal advantage of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) fire extinguishers is that the agent does not leave a residue after use. This can be a significant factor where protection is needed for delicate and costly electronic equipment. Other typical applications are food preparation areas, laboratories, and printing or duplicating areas. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are listed for use on Class B and Class C fires. Because the agent is discharged in the form of a gas/snow cloud, it has a relatively short range of 3 ft to 8 ft (1 m to 2.4 m). This type of fire extinguisher is not recommended for outdoor use where windy conditions prevail or for indoor use in locations that are subject to strong air currents, because the agent can rapidly dissipate and prevent extinguishment. The concentration needed for fire extinguishment reduces the amount of oxygen in the vicinity of the fire and should be used with caution when discharged in confined spaces. Halogenated agent types Halon The bromochlorodifluoromethane (Halon 1211) fire extinguisher has an agent that is similar to carbon dioxide in that it is suitable for cold weather installation and leaves no residue. It is important to note that the production of Halon has been phased out because of the environmental damage it causes to the earth’s ozone.  Some larger models of Halon 1211 fire extinguishers are listed for use on Class A as well as Class B and Class C fires. Compared to carbon dioxide on a weight-of-agent basis, bromochlorodifluoromethane (Halon 1211) is at least twice as effective. When discharged, the agent is in the combined form of a gas/mist with about twice the range of carbon dioxide. To some extent, windy conditions or strong air currents could make extinguishment difficult by causing the rapid dispersal of the agent. Halon Alternative Clean Agents There are several clean agents that are similar to halon agents in that they are nonconductive, noncorrosive, and evaporate after use, leaving no residue. Larger models of these fire extinguishers are listed for Class A as well as Class B and Class C fires, which makes them quite suitable for use on fires in electronic equipment. When discharged, these agents are in the combined form of a gas/mist or a liquid, which rapidly evaporates after discharge with about twice the range of carbon dioxide. To some extent, windy conditions or strong air currents could make extinguishing difficult by causing a rapid dispersal of agent. Clean agent type extinguishers don’t have a detrimental effect on the earth’s ozone so these are more widely available than Halon type extinguishers. Dry chemical types Ordinary Dry Chemical The fire extinguishing agent used in these devices is a powder composed of very small particulates. Types of agents available include sodium bicarbonate base and potassium bicarbonate base. Dry chemical type extinguishers have special treatments that ensure proper flow capabilities by providing resistance to packing and moisture absorption (caking). Multipurpose Dry Chemical Fire extinguishers of this type contain an ammonium phosphate base agent. Multipurpose agents are used in exactly the same manner as ordinary dry chemical agents on Class B fires. For use on Class A fires, the multipurpose agent has the additional characteristic of softening and sticking when in contact with hot surfaces. In this way, it adheres to burning materials and forms a coating that smothers and isolates the fuel from air. The agent itself has little cooling effect, and, because of its surface coating characteristic, it cannot penetrate below the burning surface. For this reason, extinguishment of deep-seated fires might not be accomplished unless the agent is discharged below the surface or the material is broken apart and spread out. Wet chemical The extinguishing agent can be comprised of, but is not limited to, solutions of water and potassium acetate, potassium carbonate, potassium citrate, or a combination of these chemicals (which are conductors of electricity). The liquid agent typically has a pH of 9.0 or less. On Class A fires, the agent works as a coolant. On Class K fires (cooking oil fires), the agent forms a foam blanket to prevent reignition. The water content of the agent aids in cooling and reducing the temperature of the hot oils and fats below their autoignition point. The agent, when discharged as a fine spray directly at cooking appliances, reduces the possibility of splashing hot grease and does not present a shock hazard to the operator. Wet chemical extinguishers also offer improved visibility during firefighting as well as minimizing cleanup afterward. Dry powder types These fire extinguishers and agents are intended for use on Class D fires and specific metals, following special techniques and manufacturer’s recommendations for use. The extinguishing agent can be applied from a fire extinguisher or by scoop and shovel. Using a scoop or shovel is often referred to as a hand propelled fire extinguisher. Conclusion & resources While there are many different types of fire extinguishers used for different applications it is also important to know the rating of each extinguisher which will let you know the types of fires it is meant to be applied to. For more information on portable fire extinguishers take a look at the following blogs, as well as our portable fire extinguisher fact sheet. Related blogs Guide to Extinguisher ITM Guide to Extinguisher Placement
Sparky and woman in her home with pizza

Partner with NFPA and Domino’s to promote smoke alarm safety during Fire Prevention Week

NFPA and Domino’s are teaming up for the 14th year in a row to deliver fire safety messages and pizza during Fire Prevention Week™ (FPW), October 3 -9, 2021. To make this year’s campaign a success, we’re encouraging fire departments to join forces with their local Domino’s store to implement the campaign in their communities. Here’s how the program works: Partner with your local Domino’s store to participate in an easy-to-execute program that will promote fire safety during FPW. Select a day and time period (usually 2-3 hours) to randomly choose one to three pizza orders to deliver aboard a fire engine. The participating Domino’s delivery expert will follow the fire engine in his or her car. When the pizza delivery arrives, the firefighters will check the home for working smoke alarms. If the smoke alarms work, the customer’s order is free (cost absorbed by the Domino’s store). If the smoke alarms aren’t working, the fire department will replace the batteries or install fully functioning smoke alarms (cost absorbed by the fire department). As you’ve likely heard by now, this year’s FPW campaign theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety™.” It works to educate everyone about the sounds smoke alarms make, what those sounds mean, and how to respond to them. Partnering with Domino’s presents a fun and powerful way to reinforce this messaging. Domino’s Fire Prevention Week Sweepstakes Fire departments that sign up (from August 12-30) to participate in this program will automatically be entered into Domino’s FPW Sweepstakes. Domino’s will randomly select three winners who will receive the NFPA’s “Fire Prevention Week in a Box 300” which includes: FPW news booklets Kids' activity booklets Magnets Stickers Brochures Posters Banners Two-sided goodie bags Sign up to participate If your fire department would like to participate in the NFPA and Domino’s FPW program, please email Chantele Telegadas. Signup emails that are sent August 12-30 will be entered into the Sweepstakes. The FPW Sweepstakes winners will be drawn on or around Monday, September 9.
People putting their hands together

FINAL REMINDER: Register to attend “Community Risk Reduction: Insights into Action,” a one-day online program highlighting tools, solutions and strategies for mitigating community risks

Next Tuesday, July 20, NFPA is hosting “Community Risk Reduction: Insights into Action,” a one-day online program that addresses issues fire departments and other public safety officials often face in mitigating safety risks, along with solutions, tools, and strategies to address those challenges. The program is part of the association’s virtual 125th Anniversary Conference Series, which replaces the traditional in-person 2021 NFPA Conference & Expo and runs from May 2021 through March 2022. Featuring in-depth educational sessions, networking events, and live chats with CRR experts, “Community Risk Reduction: Insights into Action” will reinforce the critical importance of conducting a community risk assessment (CRA) as the first step in creating a community risk reduction (CRR) plan, the invaluable contributions partners and stakeholders bring to the CRR table, and the value of leveraging NFPA 1300, Standard on Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction Plan Development as a unifying framework, among other issues. Whether you are new to CRR, getting knee-deep into the CRR waters, or are a savvy influencer in the CRR space, attendees will gain vital insights that advance their local prevention initiatives in actionable ways. Many of the day’s presenters are safety advocates and officials who are actively working to develop and implement CRR plans in their communities. Almost all of them have faced challenges, but their efforts to tackle and overcome those obstacles reinforce the positive impact that can be made with the right tools, resources, and know-how.  Attendees can tune in live to earn up to five credit hours (0.5 CEU) and earn an additional five credit hours on-demand for a total of 10 credit hours (1.0 CEU). Alternatively, the content can all be viewed on-demand for a total of 10 credit hours (1.0 CEU). All programs will be available on-demand for up to a year starting on July 20. Check out the full list of sessions to review all the presentations offered and register for “Community Risk Reduction: Insights into Action” today! Also, find more information about the NFPA 125th Anniversary Conference Series at www.nfpa.org/conferenceseries.
A firefighter a child

Get a jump on your Fire Prevention Week planning with this free webinar

What are your plans for Fire Prevention Week™ this year? Join us for the free Fire Prevention Week Webinar: Kickstart your 2021 campaign! Thursday, July 29th from 2 – 3:15 pm Eastern Time to learn all about this year’s FPW theme and how you can engage your community in fire & burn prevention.  This webinar offers insights into our free resources, keys to a great social media campaign, and how you can plan for transitioning back to in person/hybrid learning. Get key updates on smoke and CO alarm technology, proper messaging, and learn new ideas on how to reach the deaf and hard of hearing community with this year’s key messages. Featured speakers: Andrea Vastis and Kelly Ransdell with NFPA Monica Colby, Fire & Life Safety Educator, Rapid City Fire Department, SD Brene Duggins, Fire Prevention Coordinator, Holly Grove, NC Fire Department and media coordinator of the Oak Grove High School in Davidson County, NC Ashley Rodrigue, Public Affairs Director, Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office This year’s FPW campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” works to educate people about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make and to insure they know what to do when an alarm makes a “chirp,” or alarm sound. This webinar will be recorded and available on the Fire Prevention Week site on which you can access our FPW toolkit, catalog, and resources for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Register today to kickstart your Fire Prevention Week efforts! Follow me on Twitter @AndreaVastis and NFPA on Twitter,  Facebook, and Instagram to keep up with the latest from the Public Education Division.
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