Looking Forward to Spring Cleanup Campaigns
Although most of us now are concentrating on plans for Fire Prevention Week, it is never too early to think about the next big effort to reduce fire incidence in our communities.
Spring provides a natural tie-in for fire departments across the country to institute a cleanup campaign. Housewives and homeowners are motivated by the time-honored seasonal urge to houseclean, and spruce up a bit in keeping with tradition. Spring then is the opportune time to urge a little additional effort on the part of the public to eradicate a substantial number of fire hazards which cause many needless fires.
Eliminating the cause is a sure way to prevention, and it can be accom-. plished by an educational campaign to remind those guilty of forgetful negligence and to inform those unaware of the danger fire hazards represent.
The campaign can take many forms. However, it should certainly begin with the formation of a clean-up, paint-up, fix-up committee comprised of representatives from the community’s business, civic, school and religious groups, as well as fire officials. In addition to the fire service, other governmental agencies which have a natural relationship to the problem, such as the sanitation and street departments, should be enlisted.
The committee should then design the campaign to utilize as many available methods as possible to reach the entire community. These include:
- A cleanup parade
- In-service courtesy inspections of private homes by the fire department.
- A special trash collection for removal of unwanted accumulations.
- Fire department lectures and demonstrations.
- Publicity through articles and editorials in the local newspapers. Local advertisers should be urged to indicate their support. Radio and TV stations should be encouraged to provide public service spot announcements and programs to highlight the campaign.
- Distribution of folders, brochures and leaflets through school, youth, civic, business and religious groups.
The effectiveness of the campaign can be enhanced by competing where practical, in some nationally recognized contest, such as the National Congress on Beautification, sponsored by the National Clean-up, Paint-up, Fix-up Bureau in Washington, D. C. Also, the campaign can be made part of your year-round fire prevention activity and submitted in the National Fire Protection Association’s annual contest.
Needless to say, whatever the objectives, a fire department can spearhead a campaign which will provide a vital public service. It will reduce fire hazards, beautify the community and improve the image of the fire service.