Sparky the Fire Dog, the official mascot of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), is teaming up with The Center for Campus Fire Safety and asking college students to submit 30- or 60-second video public service announcements highlighting the importance of fire safety.

Video submissions will be accepted throughout Campus Fire Safety Month, through Sept. 30.

Ten finalists will be selected by a committee. The public will be asked to vote for their favorite video beginning on Oct. 7.

The contest is part of Sparky’s expanded public outreach efforts during the year-long celebration of his 60th birthday.

The winner will receive a $500 gift card.

For contest rules and to learn how to submit a video, visit

 Sparky the Fire Dog was created in 1951 to educate children, their parents and educators on fire prevention and public safety.

Many college students learned fire-safety lessons from Sparky as children.

In celebration of his six decades as a fire safety icon, Sparky is asking college students to brush up on lessons they may have learned as children and to take a fresh look at fire prevention and safety information that will help them prevent fires and protect themselves as they live independently from their parents in on- or off-campus housing.

“The move to college often comes with a list of new personal responsibilities and it’s a good idea for students to be sure that fire safety is on the top of that list,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “Learning about what can be done to prevent fires is vital. This effort lets college kids be creative, learn about fire safety and get rewarded for their work.”

According to research released by NFPA, in 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,840 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities and barracks.

Cooking equipment was involved in 81 percent of these fires.

“College students need to be proactive in seeking out college fire safety information and make it a point to participate in safety-themed events like fire drills to learn what they should do if a fire occurs,” said Paul D. Martin, president of CCFS and chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention with the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.


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