A Brief History of
National Fire Safety Council, Inc.
National Fire Safety Council, Inc. (NFSC) — a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization — is the largest distributor of comprehensive fire & burn prevention and life safety materials in the United States.
NFSC was formed in 1979 in response to the overwhelming need for fire safety materials. NFSC directs a concentrated effort toward creating a special fire safety educational program of materials and services for all ages, including children, adults, and seniors, which assist fire departments in helping save lives through education.
NFSC provides local fire departments with the most comprehensive resource of fire safety educational materials in the world. The Council’s in-house Research and Development Department is the only one of its kind in the country. Experienced educators, artists, writers, and technicians create hundreds of original materials designed for all age groups, including: folders, placemats, color / activity sheets, books, games, stickers, and other educational tools.
Efforts are made to compile and provide current and authoritative information that is educationally correct, age appropriate, and appealing to children, adults, and seniors alike.
A Fire Service Partner since 1979, NFSC is the only fire safety organization with a network of fire safety coordinators working to support fire service agencies nationwide in their fire prevention education efforts. These materials are distributed through community programs and events, as well as schools.
NFSC has also created an efficient inventory, warehouse, and shipping system to deliver the high quality and timely service required by individual fire departments. The 45,000 square foot National Headquarters, located in Michigan Center, Michigan, is where this process takes place. Our building houses offices, a mailroom & shipping department, a copy layout department, a printing department, direct mail, archives, and research & development department. Our staff takes pride in assuring that local fire departments across the nation have their programs processed in a timely manner.
NFSC leads the industry by providing thousands of public fire safety organizations across the U.S. with millions of pieces of safety material annually. Many of NFSC’s materials feature our child-friendly and non-threatening mascot, Firepup®.
Fire Safety Coordinators
NFSC, Fire Safety Coordinators provide local fire departments nationwide with the tools they need to help save lives through their customized programs & services. NFSC Fire Safety Coordinators also attend international, national, state, and local conventions to familiarize departments with Firepup® and the fire safety materials he represents.
Some departments receive awards to recognize their dedication to fire safety education. Many are presented with an engraved plaque displaying their time partnering with NFSC, (5 years, 10 years, etc.). You can find these awards proudly displayed on department office walls and lobbies.
Our Fire Safety Mascot, Firepup®
In 1986, National Fire Safety Council, Inc. (NFSC) developed Firepup®, a friendly dalmatian cartoon character, in an effort to make learning about fire and burn prevention and life safety issues, fun, entertaining, and non-threatening. Firepup® was developed to be a friendly and positive role model for children. He has proven to be a successful learning tool used by fire prevention officers and teachers across the country.
- Firepup® has joined the ranks of many firefighting agencies throughout the nation. Fire prevention officers have used Firepup® in fire safety presentations to children in thousands of schools.
- Firepup® appears in NFSC fire and burn prevention education programs and materials used by fire prevention officers and teachers. This adds continuity to the programs and identity to the organization.
- Firepup®’s image is also portrayed in a life-size, costumed character. The character is treated as an auxiliary fire prevention officer by many fire departments.
- Firepup® has become familiar to hundreds of thousands of children from all over the country who view Firepup® as a role model and trusted friend.
Firepup® is a registered trademark of National Fire Safety Council, Inc.
The Firepup® Mascot Costume
The Firepup® Mascot Costume was created by the Research and Development Department and patented by National Fire Safety Council, Inc. The Firepup® costume includes pants, a shirt, a fire coat, boot spats, paw gloves, and a fan-cooled head. It’s designed to allow free movement.
Children respond to the costume in a positive manner and recognize Firepup® wherever he goes.
The Firepup® mascot costume is a must-have for programs and events that further public information, education, and awareness in fire & burn prevention and life safety.
The Firepup® mascot costume can be seen at many public functions across the country, including school assemblies, classroom discussions, grand openings, parades, promotions, hospitals, festivals, fairs, & community events.
The Firepup® Puppet
Makes a Great Teaching Tool
The Firepup® Puppet was created in the Research and Development Department of National Fire Safety Council, Inc. During development, NFSC contacted Jim Hensen of Children’s Television Workshop (Sesame Street, Muppets, etc.). Mr. Hensen offered the services of his head designer, Bonnie Erikson, who spent several days at NFSC helping us fine-tune mouth construction and character development.
Newspaper articles showing how departments are utilizing the Firepup® puppet in their fire safety programs appear locally and nationwide.
The Firepup® puppet has been distributed throughout the United States through schools and fire departments. Our goal was to place a Firepup® puppet in every grade of every school, especially Kindergarten and First Grade.
Evaluation sheets are mailed along with every fire safety educational program. These evaluation sheets, completed by local firefighters, principals, and teachers, help show us how effective our Firepup® fire safety educational materials are. Any suggestions, constructive criticism, or comments about the materials are greatly appreciated. These help the Council prepare future educational program materials on fire and burn prevention and life safety. Here are some comments from teachers across the country.
“Easy, fun, well-written directions, activities reinforcing the rules well.” The students like Firepup’s spots.
– Teacher Grade 3, Louisiana
“They (the children) really enjoyed the entire book. It has many activities they enjoyed.”
– Teacher Grade 2, Missouri
“(Firepup is a) friendly character for a scary topic.”
– Teacher Grade 1, Indiana
“They loved them and learned a lot!”
– Teacher Grade 5, Illinois
“Great as is. Thanks!”
– Teacher Preschool, Iowa
“Good & Fun. Firepup is cute.”
– Teacher Grade 5, Michigan
– Teacher Grade 1, Kansas
Chase’s Calendar of Events
Firepup®‘s Birthday is October 1st
Chase’s Calendar of Events is the standard reference for event and observance information in the U.S. Thousands of libraries, broadcasters & print media, websites, and more look to Chase’s for interesting facts every day.
Firepup®’s birthday and the anniversary of the founding of NFSC have appeared in Chase’s Calendar of Events since 1993, generating hundreds of calls a year requesting information on Firepup®, his birthday, and the general fire safety materials.
Black & Decker
Arvin Alert™ Heater Endorsement
NFSC was approached by Arvin Industries to seek out an endorsement of their latest product with a fire safety feature, a safety alarm and alert light that alerts the consumer if the heater is bumped, tipped over, or overheats. NFSC was included in the packaging and advertising of this product.
Automatic Shut-Off™ Iron
Black & Decker Automatic Shut-Off™ Iron
In 1987, NFSC was asked by Black & Decker to endorse their latest product, their Automatic Shut-Off™ Iron. This product beeped to warn you it was left on, then shut itself off and stayed off even if knocked over, preventing needless accidental fires. NFSC was included in the packaging and advertising of this product.