In celebration of Sparky the Fire Dog’s® 70th birthday, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced the launch of Sparky’s Fire Safety Club and badging system on Sparky.org, the association’s award-winning website for kids. These new online features teach kids basic but critical elements of fire safety while rewarding them for their efforts as they go.
“Making fire safety fun is critical to capturing kids’ attention and maintaining their ongoing interest,” said Andrea Vastis, senior director of NFPA’s Public Education division. “Sparky’s Fire Safety Club delivers a broad range of digital experiences that help children learn about fire safety in entertaining, age-appropriate ways and keep them coming back for more.”
Sparky’s Fire Safety Club allows kids to create a user profile and earn badges each time they complete a video, game, or activity. Kids have the freedom to earn all three badges at their own pace over time. The user profile and achievements pages help kids track their progress. Once kids receive all three badges, they become an official member of club and can download a certificate.
The fire and life safety information communicated through the badges reflects age-appropriate messages addressed in the NFPA Learn Not to Burn® educational curricula, including the importance of working smoke alarms, how to create a home fire escape plan and practice it with all members of the household, as well as guidance around staying away from things that get hot, among other associated messages.
home fire safety
“While Sparky’s Fire Safety Club is fun for kids, what they’re learning in the process are fundamentals of fire safety that can have life-long impact,” said Vastis. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure that kids have the skill set needed to identify potential fire hazards and how to protect themselves from those risks. These messages will serve them well for years to come.”
Vastis notes that children are powerful ambassadors of the information they learn and are often quite effective at encouraging their households to become active participants in home fire safety, resulting in broader levels of fire safety among multiple age groups.
Sparky.org is visited by approximately 100,000 users each year. Primarily geared for kids in grades pre-K through 3, the website serves as a valued, trustworthy online resource for children and their parents, as well as fire and life safety educators. Teachers can also use the site to incorporate fire safety education into their curricula, while Sparky’s School House continues to serve as a resource for teaching fire safety in the classroom.