Sparky the Fire Dog has been a mascot of the National Fire Protection Association for 60 years. The NFPA advocates for proper codes and standards in buildings — like smoke detectors and sprinklers — as well as educating the public about how to reduce fires in the home and at work.
Sparky teaches kids what to do in case of a fire and how to help prevent them at home. But I stumbled upon another aspect of fire safety I hadn’t thought about: Fire safety in college dorms. The NFPA is sponsoring a video contest for college students. The organization is looking for a few effective public safety announcements to prevent fires in dorms. First prize is a $500 gift card at Amazon.com.
There were 3,740 dorm fires in 2009. This includes fraternities, sororities and barracks.
Between 2004 and 2009, 81 percent of the fires involved cooking equipment between 5 and 11pm and on weekends. Not surprising, really, because college kids might forget something on the stove or use a hotplate in their rooms.
Sparky’s website has games and activities to help younger kids learn fire safety.