OFM Public Education Matters

Issue 200, February 22, 2021

Best Practices in Public Fire Safety Education

 

Dear Fire Chief, Public Educator, Fire Prevention Officer

As fire departments plan public fire safety education activities for the coming year, the following best practices will help you to focus on the fire safety concerns in your community so your public education initiatives are effective and impactful.

  1. Use your community risk assessment to determine the fire risks and the type of public fire safety education activities required to address fire risks. As you know, the types of activities you can implement will be affected by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
  2. Develop policies and standard operating guidelines outlining the process to develop, deliver and track public fire safety education activities.
  3. Develop an annual plan for public fire safety education activities. Include:

a) activities that address the fire risks identified in the current community risk assessment;
b) goals and objectives of the activities;
c) activities that raise fire safety awareness across all demographic groups identified in the
municipality’s demographic profile;
d) activities, resources and tools that best reach target audiences;
e) tracking of activities conducted; and
f) resources, messages and information distributed.

4. Routinely evaluate all public fire safety education activities to ensure they address:
a) fire risks identified in the current community risk assessment; and
b) demographic groups identified in the municipality’s demographic profile.

5. Focus on fire prevention, detection and escape.

a) Prevention:

  • Develop, deliver and track public fire safety education activities that address the leading causes of fire, high-risk demographic groups and high-risk occupancies identified in the current community risk assessment.
  • Develop, deliver and track public fire safety education activities that raise fire safety awareness across all demographic groups identified in the municipality’s demographic profile.

b. Detection:

  • Develop, deliver and track public fire safety education activities and enforcement strategies regarding the installation and maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

c. Escape:

  • Develop, deliver and track public fire safety education activities regarding how to develop and practice a home fire escape plan.
  • Develop, deliver and track public fire safety education activities that address appropriate actions in the event of a fire in high-risk occupancies identified in the current community risk assessment (i.e. staff training in vulnerable occupancies).

 

6. When determining how best to deliver public fire safety education activities, identify:

a) community partners that can assist in the delivery of public education activities;

b) identify influencers and/or caregivers of target audiences that can help educate audiences;

and

c) identify organizations, agencies, media and social media frequently attended/used by target
audiences that can provide avenues to educate audiences.

7. Track and evaluate all public fire safety education activities to:

a) determine their reach and impact; and

b) ensure they address

  • fire risks identified in the current community risk assessment; and
  • demographic groups identified in the municipality’s demographic profile.

 

If you have any questions, please contact the OFM Public Education and Communications section. Please share this notice with your colleagues. If you want to be added to our subscription list please do so here.