Author(s): Jesse Roman. Published on May 1, 2015.


Educator of the Year announced

NFPA has named Annmarie Picket of the Worcester (Massachusetts) Fire Department the 2015 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. The award recognizes a fire and life safety educator who demonstrates excellence and innovation in their work.

Under Picket’s leadership, Worcester’s public education division held more than 700 workshops in 2014, reaching 40,000 residents. Among other initiatives, Picket formed a partnership between the city’s senior center and a nearby elementary school, where older adults worked with third-grade students to create home escape plans using NFPA materials. She also organized visits to each of the 37 Worcester Head Start classrooms to present lessons on the Learn Not to Burn program to more than 600 children.

Along with the award, Picket receives a $1,000 honorarium and free travel to Chicago for an award presentation at the annual NFPA Conference & Expo in June. The Worcester Fire Department will also receive a $1,000 donation to support public education activities.

Jensen Grant honors Wisconsin fire department

NFPA has awarded the 2015 Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant to Wisconsin’s North Shore Fire Department. The $5,000 grant is awarded annually to a fire department to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign.

The grant will support the North Shore department’s “Prevent, Prepare, and React” campaign, which will conduct home assessments and install new smoke alarms.

The initiative was launched after a risk analysis revealed that the percentage of adults 65 and over on the North Shore of Wisconsin was above the national average. After receiving training from NFPA through its Remembering When program, the department conducted 28 initial home assessments and found none of the homes had properly fitted smoke alarms. The grant money will allow for 125 additional home assessments and the purchase of close to 300 smoke alarms.

Fire Protection Research Foundation hosts free webinars

The Fire Protection Research Foundation will host a series of free webinars in 2015 that will explore a range of new research and emerging issues. Each webinar will be taught by an expert or scholar on the topic being discussed.

The first two webinars of the year, held in March and April, explored hazardous voltage in marinas and boatyards, and wildland fire ignition pathways.

Four more webinars are scheduled. In June, the topic is sources of nuisance smoke alarms; August’s webinar is about photovoltaic systems from an insurer’s perspective; October’s subject is to be determined; and the December webinar is on early suppression, fast response sprinklers and obstructions.

See the full schedule, and to register for these free programs.

May is electrical safety month

According to a 2013 NFPA study, fire departments respond to nearly 48,000 home structure fires each year involving electrical failure or malfunction. From 2007 to 2011, these fires resulted in, on average, 455 civilian fire deaths annually, as well as 1,518 civilian fire injuries and $1.5 billion in direct property damage, according to the study.

To bring awareness to this issue, President Obama has designated May as electrical safety month. NFPA, which publishes the National Electrical Code®, has a wide array of resources, electrical safety tips, and videos available to help people stay safe and educate others. 

For more information, visit NFPA’s electrical safety page.

In addition, NFPA’s partner, Electrical Safety Foundation International, also has a number of resources available, including two publications printed specifically for electrical safety month: the Electrical Safety Month Electrical Safety Advocate Guide, and a magazine, Electrical Safety Illustrated. That information and more can be found at the Electrical Safety Foundation International website.

JESSE ROMAN is staff writer for NFPA Journal.