An important and sometimes overlooked part of a firefighter’s job is hitting the streets and hosting community events that educate on fire safety. Fires kill as many as 4,000 people each year, and nearly 20% of those deaths are caused by carelessness due to a lack of fire safety knowledge.
But how to promote fire safety and the work of your fire department isn’t a simple task. It requires careful planning, an engaging setup, and a bevy of resources and freebies to hand out to the public in order to be successful.
Use these tips to make your fire department’s next fire safety community event a success.
The Importance of Promoting Fire Safety
If the stats above weren’t enough to shed light on the importance of educating the public on fire safety, here are some more:
- One home fire is reported every 90 seconds in the U.S.
- About 60% of house fires occur in homes with no smoke detectors
- Smoke alarms decrease the risk of dying in a house fire by 50%
- About ⅓ of all house fires start in the kitchen
- About 50,000 house fires each year are started by children.
That last statistic should really grab your attention. Of those house fires, 43% of them are started by children under the age of 6, many of whom don’t know any better. That’s why it’s critically important for a local fire department to continuously promote fire safety - especially to younger children.
When is the Best Time to Promote Fire Safety?
Promoting fire safety should be a year-round effort to make sure you reach as many people as possible. That being said, there are a few weeks your fire department should target for events:
- National Fire Prevention Week. Held the week leading up to Oct. 9, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, National Fire Prevention Week is one of the longest-running public health observances in the U.S. Most fire departments use this first week of October for their main fire safety community engagement event.
- During county fairs and other large events. Determine what the largest community event is in your town and find out how you can set up a pop-up tent and table to promote fire safety at it.
- At the end of the school year. When school wraps up for the summer, kids start spending more time at home, sometimes without parental supervision. Look to host a school assembly in April or May on fire safety in the home.
Tips for a Successful Fire Safety Event
The fact that you’re searching for ways to host a successful fire safety event is a good sign. A successful event requires a dedicated individual who’s committed to engaging with the public and finding unique ways to attract the public to their events.
Here are some tips to make the most of your next fire safety event:
Team Up With Other Organizations
Don’t think you need to go this alone. You can take advantage of existing events by partnering with organizations and tapping into their audience. For fire departments, that could mean partnering with a county health department at a flu shot clinic, or a library at a summer open house event.
Hand Out Freebies
Everyone, especially children, loves freebies. Bring T-shirts, little toys, plastic firefighter hats, and fire department badge stickers to hand out, along with your one-pagers and other resources on fire safety. Plenty of this material already exists from organizations like the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association.
Educate on Fire Protection Installation Services
Many members of the public don’t know that their local fire department offers installation services of new fire alarm systems, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Use your events to promote those services. You may even want to invest in smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide alarm to hand out at the event.
Have Fire Protection Gear On Hand
From fire extinguishers to a working smoke alarm, bring as much fire prevention gear as possible. Demo that equipment so those in attendance know how to use it when they're dealing with a fire.
Pop-Up Tents for Fire Departments
One way to stand out at your next fire safety event is by investing in a custom pop-up tents that serves as the main point of distribution of your fire prevention education materials. While you can go with a stock-colored tent, adding your department’s branding is a great way to be noticed.
TentCraft has worked with dozens of fire departments and other emergency organizations to come up with custom pop-up tents and structures that allow their departments to stand out at community events and draw in members of the public. We recommend one of the following pop-up tents:
As TentCraft’s heavy-duty pop-up, the MONARCHTENT comes with a lifetime warranty, certified wind rating, and the durability fire departments can trust to withstand inclement weather. MONARCHTENT also includes a peak flag for additional branding opportunities.
When fire departments are looking for a high-quality pop-up tent, but don’t need the top-of-the-line solution, they turn to mightyTENT , the medium-duty pop-up from TentCraft. mightyTENT still uses a robust aluminum frame, but the legs are slightly thinner than the legs found on MONARCHTENT.
Fire Safety Can Save Lives
Any form of community engagement between a town’s fire department and the citizens it serves is important, but when there’s a specific focus on fire safety, it can save lives. TentCraft can help make your setup look good at your next community event, but it's on you to be engaging with the public and offer handy tips that can help save lives.