After three years of research and testing, Vision 20/20 has completed the Fire Safety Materials Generator with funding from AFG. The Materials Generator allows fire departments to design their own public education materials based on the latest social marketing research, and customize them to reflect the demographics and fire risks of their community. This exciting online tool makes it easy to brand the materials with your own logo and contact information, and to select text and images that have been proven through testing to have the greatest impact on audiences, especially those at high fire risk.
The messages you’ll find in the Materials Generator focus on smoke alarms for now, but we’ll be adding new content on cooking safety in the near future. This reflects the priorities established for Vision 20/20 at a strategic planning symposium back in 2008. We know the need increase the number of working smoke alarms across America is huge. NFPA estimates that almost five million households in our country do not have any smoke alarms, and many more don’t have enough of them. Extrapolating from Vision 20/20 field data, TriData estimates a need for between 100 and 150 million smoke alarms in the U.S., excluding multi-family occupancies, to bring homes closer to current code (NFPA 72) requirements. That number is based on informal risk assessments and is most likely underestimated.
We believe the new Materials Generator will make it easier for fire departments to reach their diverse communities with well-researched materials and methods. By expanding the availability of customized outreach tools designed to educate the public (especially high risk audiences) about the value of and need for working smoke alarms, Vision 20/20 hopes to help create a national in-kind marketing strategy that reaches millions of people nationally. To do so we must rally hundreds of fire departments across the nation, making it easy and affordable to deliver their message locally. Such an effort will take years execute but it must begin somewhere and there is no time like the present to start.
To access the Materials Generator and other Vision 20/20 resources, visit www.strategicfire.org.