This is the first in a series of articles that discuss the importance of measuring the effectiveness of fire prevention and public education programs. This process of evaluation will provide the stakeholders with information regarding a program’s (or project’s) effectiveness. This first article will discuss the reasons we incorporate evaluation as part of our programs and the resources available in the area of program evaluation. At the end of the article, the reader will be able to identify the need to incorporate program evaluation and available resources.
This month on Fire Marshal’s Corner, Ed Comeau talks with acting California State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover about the outcome of the smoke alarm task group that she had convened. The group was looking at the current smoke alarm regulations and some of the issues surrounding the photoelectric and ionization issues that are being discussed across the nation.
Following that, Ed talks with Gail Minger, president of the Michael H. Minger Foundation, about the foundation’s project to develop tools for teaching fire safety to students with disabilities. Developed under a DHS Fire Prevention and Safety Grant, the foundation has produced a series of videos featuring students with disabilities talking about fire safety. In addition, a comprehensive “Guide to Teaching Fire Safety to Students with Disabilities” is also available, online.
The Arizona Fire and Burn Educators’ Association recently launched a redesigned website to answer the growing need for online resources for safety education programs as well as training opportunities for educators.
“AFBEA is the go-to organization for fire and life safety educators across the state. We needed a website that showed we had not only kept up with the times but is on the leading edge,” says AFBEA President Tanja Tanner. “We have top-of-the-line safety programs; we should also have website that reflects that image.”
The new site was built by Focus Web Technologies, www.FocusWebTech.com, which has also built sites for the Drowning Prevention Coalition, Jan D’Atri and MyBabyPajamas.com. Using WordPress, the company was able to offer the non-profit organization a low-cost content management system.
Mona Moore, President of Focus Web Technologies, worked closely with Arizona Fire and Burn Educators’ Association to redesign their website with the features they needed.
“It was clear that AFBEA wanted more capabilities than their old website could offer. When we analyzed their specific needs, we determined the best system for them needed to be easy to update and still allow for new features in the future. They needed flexibility and ease-of-use. They also had quite a bit of content that needed to be easy for the user to find. We were able to meet all these requirements with a customized WordPress website,” Moore explains.
The new system helps keep members up-to-date on life safety-related news stories, local and national training classes and resources for educators to use in the classroom to teach a broad range of safety topics.
In addition to the website, members and friends can join in on conversations and network by connecting with the organization’s Facebook page.
“We like the ability to connect with our members and friends through multiple means – our website, quarterly meetings, newsletters and Facebook,” says Tanner. “We have limited personnel resources to manage social media but we determined this was a great place to start.”
The new site officially launched in September. Upgrades are already in the process with photo galleries and the online registration for AFBEA’s premiere training conferences: Characterization Through Clowning & Puppetry Camp, and the Desert Southwest Fire and Life Safety Conference.
A Tulane University fraternity house was damaged in a fire Sunday morning. The Zeta Psi Fraternity house was decorated for a party, making it difficult for firefighters to maneuver inside the house, and one fire captain was injured when he fell through the floor, the New Orleans Fire Department said.
A Worthing firefighter said smoke alarms had prevented two house fires from being much more serious. Watch manager Darren Wickings said if it had not been for the alarms being in place, then people could have been seriously injured or could even have died.
The Provo Fire Department is kicking off Fire Prevention Week by trying to get smoke alarms in every rental sleeping area and hallway in the city. Fire Prevention Week runs from Oct. 9-15 and is a long-running national event.
IRONTON — A smoke detector installed as part of the Project Safe program helped save the life of a man during a fire at 6:15 a.m. in the 1900 block of S. 4th Street, said Ironton Fire Chief Tom Runyon.
The smoke alarm woke up Mike Clarence Markin at 1917 S. 4th St., Runyon said. Markin was able to get his dog and get out safely before calling 911, he said. Markin was asleep when he heard the smoke alarm in the other section of the duplex at 1919 S. 4th St., Markin said.
A mother of three young children got them safely out of her apartment when a cooking fire broke out. Fire officials said a properly working fire sprinkler system rapidly extinguished the fire, preventing a potential disaster.
Alachua County Fire Rescue sent crews to a second-floor apartment in a three-story building at the Bellamy Grand apartments off Southwest 75th Street just before 8 p.m.