April 20, 2021 – In celebration of Sparky the Fire Dog’s® 70th birthday, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced the launch of Sparky’s Fire Safety Club and badging system on Sparky.org, the association’s award-winning website for kids. These new online features teach kids basic but critical elements of fire safety while rewarding them for their efforts as they go.
“Making fire safety fun is critical to capturing kids’ attention and maintaining their ongoing interest,” said Andrea Vastis, senior director of NFPA’s Public Education division. “Sparky’s Fire Safety Club delivers a broad range of digital experiences that help children learn about fire safety in entertaining, age-appropriate ways and keep them coming back for more.”
Sparky’s Fire Safety Club allows kids to create a user profile and earn badges each time they complete a video, game, or activity. Kids have the freedom to earn all three badges at their own pace over time. The user profile and achievements pages help kids track their progress. Once kids receive all three badges, they become an official member of club and can download a certificate.
The fire and life safety information communicated through the badges reflects age-appropriate messages addressed in the NFPA Learn Not to Burn® educational curricula, including the importance of working smoke alarms, how to create a home fire escape plan and practice it with all members of the household, as well as guidance around staying away from things that get hot, among other associated messages.
“While Sparky’s Fire Safety Club is fun for kids, what they’re learning in the process are fundamentals of fire safety that can have life-long impact,” said Vastis. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure that kids have the skill set needed to identify potential fire hazards and how to protect themselves from those risks. These messages will serve them well for years to come.”
Vastis notes that children are powerful ambassadors of the information they learn and are often quite effective at encouraging their households to become active participants in home fire safety, resulting in broader levels of fire safety among multiple age groups.
Sparky.org is visited by approximately 100,000 users each year. Primarily geared for kids in grades pre-K through 3, the website serves as a valued, trustworthy online resource for children and their parents, as well as fire and life safety educators. Teachers can also use the site to incorporate fire safety education into their curricula, while Sparky’s School House continues to serve as a resource for teaching fire safety in the classroom.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
NFPA®: 125 Years of Protecting People and Property
The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. The association began its work to solve the fire problem in a young, industrialized nation in 1896 and is recognized around the globe as a leader in advocating for safety. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 325 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. In celebration of its 125th Anniversary, NFPA will be hosting a Conference Series and other initiatives that reflect the steadfast commitment to advancing fire and life safety by the association for the next 125 years and beyond. For more information or to view NFPA codes and standards for free, visit www.nfpa.org.
About Sparky the Fire Dog®
Sparky the Fire Dog® was created for the NFPA in 1951 and has been the organization’s official mascot and spokesdog ever since. He is a widely recognized fire safety icon who is beloved by children and adults alike. In addition to connecting with the public through educational programs, he has a very active website, , which allows kids to explore and learn about fire safety in a trusted, interactive environment. Sparky the Fire Dog® is a registered trademark of NFPA.