Kannapolis Fire Department joins Sparky’s Wish List

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 9, 2013

KANNAPOLIS — To protect lives through community-based fire safety education, Kannapolis Fire Department invites its neighbors to join in support of Sparky’s Wish List. Sparky’s Wish List: Partnering for Fire-Safe Communities, a project of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), brings Kannapolis-area businesses and the community together with local fire departments to fund life-saving fire safety educational materials.
“Every year, we see significant fires that might have been prevented with fire safety education, functioning smoke alarms or practiced an escape plan,” said Chief Ernie Hiers of the Kannapolis Fire Department. “Our first line of protection is educating the community. Sparky’s Wish List will allow us to work with the citizens of Kannapolis to provide these critical educational resources.”
The wish list website allows fire departments to create a tailored profile page, identifying the specific materials needed for local fire education programs. Residents, businesses and others can then find the pages by searching sparkyswishlist.org/Give by city and/or state to choose items to purchase from the list. Materials will be sent directly to the fire department.
“Fire safety education saves lives, but with current budget pressures, it’s hard for many departments to pay for a range of educational materials,” said Jim Shannon, president of NFPA, the coordinator of the program. “Sparky’s Wish List: Partnering for Fire-Safe Communities is designed to help close the gap between what fire departments can afford and what they need to educate on fire safety.”
Every year, fire departments in the United States respond to more than 350,000 home fires resulting in at least 2,500 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries. As a result of the effectiveness of Kannapolis Fire Department’s public education efforts the department has seen a decline in fires and fire loss. The department’s 2012 annual report listed 40 counts of fires with loss; down from 75 fires from 2011. Total dollar loss listed in 2012 was $638,270; down from $1,201,335 in 2011.