Fire Prevention Week is coming up soon.
In fact, with September nearly over it is just right around the corner – October 7 – 13. With small kids in the house, I feel that it is so important to highlight fire safety education. In fact, when I was a child I remember it being a really big deal in the schools. I remember fire fighters coming in to speak with us, watching films, getting coloring books… My guys are still fairly new to the whole school thing being in just Kindergarten and First Grade so I’m not really sure how it is handled in school now.
I do know that depending on where you live, as municipal budgets tighten, fire departments are finding it harder and harder to pay for the educational materials they need. Which means they are not reaching as many kids and parents through the programs as they used to be able to. Having an especially difficult time right now are volunteer fire departments, smaller departments and those located in more rural areas of the country.
In fact, in 2009, 22 states and the District of Columbia had state fire death rates above the national average of 11 deaths per million. 22 states. That is not acceptable.
Fire prevention education saves lives and young children are at greatest risk.
So what do we do? We start by helping to spread the word! The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has created an online tool to help community members, businesses and others fund local departments’ fire education programs. How cool is that! It’s called Sparky’s Wish List™ and it works much like a modern bridal registry. Through Sparky’s Wish List™, fire departments register for the Fire Prevention Week materials that they need and invite others to purchase them.
Sparky, who is NFPA’s official spokes-dog, is well-recognized among children and the fire service community in connection with Fire Prevention Week activities. Here he is to tell you himself about Sparky’s Wish List:
I think this is an amazing idea and I would love to help fire departments continue their fire safety education programs. It is so important children know what to do in case of a fire. Even if you are not able to help out financially, you can still help just by spreading the word through social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Just by letting more people know, we can work together to make sure the fire departments get what they need to keep talking fire safety with our children and save lives.
If you are able to help financially, you can do so by clicking here.