NFPA: Firewise Communities Program Releases New DVD

Safer From the Start:  Developing a Firewise ® Community

 
July 5, 2011Firewise Communities®, a program of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), has released a new complimentary DVD entitled Safer From the Start:  Developing a Firewise® Community. The video focuses on cost-effective measures and proven Firewise principles, which developers and planners can adopt when building communities in wildfire-prone areas.
 
Safer From the Start follows a local developer from Washington committed to incorporating Firewise principles into a new subdivision. The video highlights his partnerships with local agencies, changes he made to his original plan based on their meetings, types of construction implemented, and materials used. It demonstrates that as a result of early planning, a community built in a wildfire-prone area can be safer – while costs are kept at a minimum and homeowners can enjoy their surroundings. Throughout the video, clips from recent wildland fires remind viewers of the risks involved to property and people when located in a wildland urban interface, and reinforces the positive impact Firewise principles can have in protecting their homes when a wildfire threatens their area.
 
If you are a builder, developer, fire and emergency professional, landscape architect, resident or homeowner, the information in this video is extremely valuable. To order a free copy of Safer From the Start:  Developing a Firewise Community, visit www.nfpa.org/catalog

It is also available to view or share here through YouTube.

 
The DVD was produced in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, US Department of the Interior and the National Association of State Foresters.
 
About Firewise
The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire. The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.
 
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.

NFPA Firewise Communities Program Hits Milestone

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The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities Program today reached a milestone in announcing the 700th community to earn recognition as a Firewise Communities/USA site. 

Robin Hood Loop in Forks, Washington is the latest neighborhood to take action to improve residents’ safety from threats posed by brush, grass and forest fires.

Initiated in 2002 with 12 pilot neighborhoods, the national Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program now boasts active member communities in 40 states, as well as a participation retention rate of 80 percent over the past decade.
 
“Robin Hood Loop is a great example of a neighborhood that is committed to playing a role in their own wildfire safety. Folks made the choice to live in the deep forest and becoming a Firewise Community is a major step in being better prepared for wildfire,” said Bryan Suslick, Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Training and Prevention Coordinator.
 
“This is also an important message to other residents:  you don’t have to live in a gravel parking lot to add defensible space to your property. The changes we’ve made are subtle but impactful, replacing shake roofs with asphalt shingles and clearing forest debris. We’ve maintained the community aesthetic but improved our readiness for the day we have to defend the community from wildfire,” said Suslick.
 
Robin Hood Loop is a five acre community nestled in a heavily forested and actively harvested setting adjacent to private timberlands.  The closed canopy of Douglas fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, red alder and big leaf maple makes the community especially vulnerable to wildfires that may spread through tree-tops. There are also substantial loads of dense brush and downed forest material that can act as tinder for wildfire.
 
“Firewise teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire,” said Michele Steinberg, manager of the NFPA Firewise Communities program. “Using the voluntary Firewise Communities/USA process, everyone in the community can play a role in protecting themselves and others. It provides people with real steps they can take to reduce potential damage.”
 
In addition to Robin Hood Loop,more than 180 new Firewise Communities have been added in the past year in the following states: 
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
Find a complete list of Firewise Communities on our website.
 
Steps to Firewise Certification:
  • Enlist a wildland/urban interface specialist to complete a community assessment and create a plan that identifies agreed-upon achievable solutions to be implemented by the community. A local Firewise liaison can help with identifying a specialist in your area.
  • Sponsor a local Firewise Task Force Committee, Commission or Department, which maintains the Firewise Communities/USA program and tracks its progress.
  • Observe a Firewise Communities/USA Day each year that is dedicated to a local Firewise project.
  • Invest a minimum of $2.00 per capita (through volunteer hours, in-kind services or grants) annually in local Firewise projects.
  • Submit an annual report to Firewise Communities/USA that documents continuing compliance with the program.
 
Visit the Firewise Communities/USA website to find out more about how local communities can begin the assessment process. For more information, contact Michele Steinberg at +1 617 984-7487.
 
About Firewise
The Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters and others in creating fire-adapted communities – places where people and property are safer from the risk of brush, grass and forest fires. The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior and the National Association of State Foresters. For more information, visit
www.firewise.org.
 
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.