Author(s): Scott Sutherland. Published on July 1, 2015.

Sleepin’ ’N’ Beepin’
A look ahead at FPW 2015—and how you can get involved. 

DID YOU KNOW that smoke alarms should be installed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home?

If you did, you’re in the minority. In last year’s Fire Prevention Week Quiz, only 42 percent of respondents answered that question correctly. That’s why NFPA’s Public Education Division chose the topic to build its 2015 Fire Prevention Week campaign around. This years’ theme: “Hear the beep where you sleep: Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm.” FPW will be held October 4–10.

“When we talked to our staff liaison for NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, he would say that one of the most valuable things people could do was add more smoke alarms in their homes,” says Amy Lebeau, senior project manager for Public Education at NFPA. “Knowing where to put those smoke alarms, including bedrooms, is an important part of any home fire protection plan.”

According to NFPA statistics, half of all home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when people are sleeping.

This year’s FPW features a variety of new products of interest to the fire service, educators, and other important partners. Newly designed products include Sparky’s Coloring Book and Activity Book, a kids’ interactive poster, brochures, and a package of materials to promote fire safety at kids’ sporting events. FPW materials available for purchase have been produced without the event’s dates to help extend their use throughout the year.

In addition, the official Fire Prevention Week website includes a variety of free materials. A new info-graphic, created with the help of the U.S. Fire Administration, highlights where smoke alarms should be located throughout a home. A variety of ready-made social media messages have been created for Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. FPW tip sheets are customizable so that fire departments can put their own names on the sheets.

Teachers have a great new resource in a short video (available by the end of the summer) featuring Lauren Tarshis, author of a new book, I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871, and Casey Grant, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, discussing lessons learned from the Great Fire. The video can be paired with I Survived for grades 3–5 with lesson plans and historical discussion points. (FPW was founded to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred October 8–10, 1871.) A new trivia-based app for grades 3–5 will be released in September.

To help promote community involvement and smoke alarm use, NFPA is again partnering with Dominos. Partnerships will also take place with Home Depot, CVS, and Legoland.

For more information, visit the Fire Prevention Week website.

SCOTT SUTHERLAND is executive editor for NFPA Journal.