Sparky the Fire Dog Competes for Most Popular Icon and Slogan in U.S.

September 19, 2011 Fire educators and professionals all know and love Sparky the Fire Dog®, and now he is being recognized as one of the country’s top-notch mascots in the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in New York City on October 4.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is encouraging fans to vote for Sparky as their favorite icon in a contest Advertising Week is running to generate buzz before the big day. Votes can be cast at  through September 30th at 12:00 a.m. EST.

The winners will be hoisted as permanent banners on the ad industry’s version of Hollywood & Vine: New York’s Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame, and above all else will have the ultimate seal of approval from consumers.

“With it being Sparky’s 60th anniversary, we are thrilled that he is getting this kind of recognition and was chosen to be part of the parade,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “We hope that all the public educators, families, firefighters and friends of Sparky will cast their votes so that he can have the extra special honor of being the top icon for 2011.”

Sparky was created in 1951 as part of an Advertising Council campaign. Two years later his fire prevention campaign reached more than 68 million people through radio public service announcements and another three million through television. As an influential figure in fire prevention, his success can be attributed to collaboration with firefighters and others to educate the public on important prevention and safety messages.

Since Sparky’s inception in the 1950’s, the number of fires and fire injuries in the United States has declined, which is due in part to enhanced public education efforts. Today, approximately 3,000 people die each year because of fires and thousands are injured. Sparky’s work continues and is more important than ever because most fires can be prevented when people take personal responsibility and follow a few safety guidelines.

About Sparky the Fire Dog®

Sparky the Fire Dog® was created for the National Fire Protection Association in 1951 and has been the organization’s official mascot and spokesdog ever since. He is a widely recognized fire safety icon that is beloved by children and adults alike. Millions have learned about fire safety through educational lessons and materials featuring his image and he is more active than ever today. Sparky frequently visits schools and participates in community events to spread fire safety messages, often accompanied by his firefighter friends. In addition to connecting with the public through public service announcements and his featured role in Fire Prevention Week campaigns each October, he has a very active website and a Facebook page that was launched in 2011 as part of his 60th anniversary celebration.

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.

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