8. The Media Serve as Valuable Communication Vehicles to Increase Public Awareness of Fire Safety and Prevention Measures

Key Messages

  • Those who speak with the news media about residential fires in their community play a pivotal role in communicating timely fire safety and prevention information to the public.
  • Media interviews following a home fire offer a perfect opportunity not only to provide the facts about the fire but also to share messages that could save the life of a reader.
  • The messages provided during this type of interview should be closely linked and tailored to the current fire story and include the following components:
    • Safety and prevention tips and facts related to the specific cause of the fire.
    • Information on the benefit of smoke alarms, including whether or not the home had working smoke alarms.
    • Compelling national or local statistics that both portray the gravity of residential fires and influence the reader to take preventive actions.
    • Clear, concrete steps the reader can take to reduce the risk of home fire-related deaths and injuries and resources for additional information.
    • Sources of additional information and resources for the reporter to use when completing the story.
  • The U. S. Fire Administration offers fire prevention campaign materials related to the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms; fire safety for babies and toddlers; fire safety for people over age 50; and smoking and home fires as well as fire safety public service announcements covering a variety of fire safety topics.
  • The New York State Department of Health has developed a series of media-ready news releases and corresponding public service announcements on general fire safety, summertime fire safety, fire-free holiday season, and home heating safety.