Author(s): Jesse Roman. Published on September 4, 2014.

EVERYONE KNOWS THAT A smoke alarm won’t work without batteries. However, not checking that smoke alarms have working batteries has resulted in countless preventable deaths and injuries over the years.

To combat the problem, NFPA is spreading the word about the importance of working alarms during its 2014 Fire Prevention Week, October 5–11, with its theme of “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”

As part of that focus, NFPA has launched an online interactive quiz that enables people to test their knowledge of smoke alarm safety. The quiz, which includes 12 questions about smoke alarms and what to do in an emergency, will be available to take through October 25 at In addition to helping families see how well-prepared they are for an emergency, quiz-takers can review their results and compare them with others via Twitter and Facebook.

More than 1,700 people have taken the quiz since it was posted to the NFPA website August 1.

To learn more about NFPA’s 2014 Fire Prevention Week, visit

Sparky’s birthday app wins praise from parents

NFPA’s famous mascot, Sparky® the Firedog, has for years been the face of Fire Prevention Week—now he’s also a Parents’ Choice Award winner.

The Parents’ Choice Foundation, the nation’s oldest nonprofit consumer guide to children’s media, selected the storybook app, “Sparky’s Birthday Surprise,” for the award. The app teaches kids ages 3 to 6 the importance of fire safety through games, activities, coloring pages, and a sing-a-long.
The Parents’ Choice Awards is designed to help parents and caregivers make informed decisions about which new products are right for their children. A committee of educators, performing artists, parents, children, and librarians select the winners. Fewer than 20 percent of the products submitted to the awards program receive recognition.

The app is available in English and Spanish and can be found on the iTunes App Store, Amazon App Store for Android, Google Play, the Barnes & Noble App Store for NOOK TM, or at