A Brief History of

National Fire Safety Council, Inc.

National Fire Safety Council, Inc. (NFSC) — a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization — is the largest distributor of comprehensive fire & burn prevention and life safety materials in the United States.

NFSC was formed in 1979 in response to the overwhelming need for fire safety materials. NFSC directs a concentrated effort toward creating a special fire safety educational program of materials and services for all ages, including children, adults, and seniors, which assist fire departments in helping save lives through education.

NFSC provides local fire departments with the most comprehensive resource of fire safety educational materials in the world. The Council’s in-house Research and Development Department is the only one of its kind in the country. Experienced educators, artists, writers, and technicians create hundreds of original materials designed for all age groups, including: folders, placemats, color / activity sheets, books, games, stickers, and other educational tools.

Efforts are made to compile and provide current and authoritative information that is educationally correct, age appropriate, and appealing to children, adults, and seniors alike.

A Fire Service Partner since 1979, NFSC is the only fire safety organization with a network of fire safety coordinators working to support fire service agencies nationwide in their fire prevention education efforts. These materials are distributed through community programs and events, as well as schools.

NFSC has also created an efficient inventory, warehouse, and shipping system to deliver the high quality and timely service required by individual fire departments. The 45,000 square foot National Headquarters, located in Michigan Center, Michigan, is where this process takes place. Our building houses offices, a mailroom & shipping department, a copy layout department, a printing department, direct mail, archives, and research & development department. Our staff takes pride in assuring that local fire departments across the nation have their programs processed in a timely manner.

NFSC leads the industry by providing thousands of public fire safety organizations across the U.S. with millions of pieces of safety material annually. Many of NFSC’s materials feature our child-friendly and non-threatening mascot, Firepup®.

NFSC Promo for Fire Departments

Introduction to NFSC, Inc.

Fire Safety Coordinators

NFSC, Fire Safety Coordinators provide local fire departments nationwide with the tools they need to help save lives through their customized programs & services. NFSC Fire Safety Coordinators also attend international, national, state, and local conventions to familiarize departments with Firepup® and the fire safety materials he represents.

Some departments receive awards to recognize their dedication to fire safety education. Many are presented with an engraved plaque displaying their time partnering with NFSC, (5 years, 10 years, etc.). You can find these awards proudly displayed on department office walls and lobbies.

Awards Presented to NFSC

Michigan Fire Chief’s Association

Michigan Fire Chief’s Association Honorary Membership to Glennis D. Wilkinson (founder of NFSC) in recognition of 43 years of contributions to fire prevention, life safety education, injury prevention, and public safety in the U.S.

All American City

This resolution was presented to NFSC by the City of Jackson (Michigan) for undertaking the challenge of fire prevention and for making a difference in their All American City.

Michigan State Firemen’s Association

Michigan State Firemen’s Association in appreciation of NFSC’s continued support.

Illinois State Fire Marshal
Office of Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance recognize Firepup® for his contribution and participation to promote statewide fire service.
New York State Association of Fire Chiefs

New York State Association of Fire Chiefs declares NFSC a sustaining member.

Our Fire Safety Mascot, Firepup®

In 1986, National Fire Safety Council, Inc. (NFSC) developed Firepup®, a friendly dalmatian cartoon character, in an effort to make learning about fire and burn prevention and life safety issues, fun, entertaining, and non-threatening. Firepup® was developed to be a friendly and positive role model for children. He has proven to be a successful learning tool used by fire prevention officers and teachers across the country.

  • Firepup® has joined the ranks of many firefighting agencies throughout the nation. Fire prevention officers have used Firepup® in fire safety presentations to children in thousands of schools.
  • Firepup® appears in NFSC fire and burn prevention education programs and materials used by fire prevention officers and teachers. This adds continuity to the programs and identity to the organization.
  • Firepup®’s image is also portrayed in a life-size, costumed character. The character is treated as an auxiliary fire prevention officer by many fire departments.
  • Firepup® has become familiar to hundreds of thousands of children from all over the country who view Firepup® as a role model and trusted friend.

Firepup® is a registered trademark of National Fire Safety Council, Inc.

The Firepup® Mascot Costume

The Firepup® Mascot Costume was created by the Research and Development Department and patented by National Fire Safety Council, Inc. The Firepup® costume includes pants, a shirt, a fire coat, boot spats, paw gloves, and a fan-cooled head. It’s designed to allow free movement.

Children respond to the costume in a positive manner and recognize Firepup® wherever he goes.

The Firepup® mascot costume is a must-have for programs and events that further public information, education, and awareness in fire & burn prevention and life safety.

The Firepup® mascot costume can be seen at many public functions across the country, including school assemblies, classroom discussions, grand openings, parades, promotions, hospitals, festivals, fairs, & community events.

Program Evaluations

Evaluation sheets are mailed along with every fire safety educational program. These evaluation sheets, completed by local firefighters, principals, and teachers, help show us how effective our Firepup® fire safety educational materials are. Any suggestions, constructive criticism, or comments about the materials are greatly appreciated. These help the Council prepare future educational program materials on fire and burn prevention and life safety. Here are some comments from teachers across the country.

“Easy, fun, well-written directions, activities reinforcing the rules well.” The students like Firepup’s spots.

– Teacher Grade 3, Louisiana

“They (the children) really enjoyed the entire book. It has many activities they enjoyed.”

– Teacher Grade 2, Missouri

“(Firepup is a) friendly character for a scary topic.”

– Teacher Grade 1, Indiana

“They loved them and learned a lot!”

– Teacher Grade 5, Illinois

“Great as is. Thanks!”

– Teacher Preschool, Iowa

“Good & Fun. Firepup is cute.”

– Teacher Grade 5, Michigan

“Love it.”

– Teacher Grade 1, Kansas


Fire Safety Messages Save Lives

Duck Lake, Michigan

Five-year-old Cherie Kendall of Duck Lake, Michigan, paid close attention during Holton Elementary School’s fire safety classes. The firefighters’ lessons of “Stop, Drop and Roll” and “Go tell somebody if you see a fire” came in handy when a fire broke out at the home of Cherie’s babysitter.

“I wasn’t scared because I knew what to do,” said Cherie, who awakened her sleeping babysitter and carried her 1-year-old sister out of the burning house.

Fire Chief of Holton Township, Art Stevens, praised Cherie for her bravery and composure during the fire, which was caused when the babysitter’s 3-year-old son set his bedding on fire while playing with a lighter. No one was hurt in the blaze. “This little girl showed outstanding heroism and stayed calm,” said Stevens. “Kids that age sometimes panic and go and hide in a bedroom where they feel safe. Cherie did not do that, and it shows us our program is working.”

Owosso, Michigan

Shawn Hall, 7, of Owosso, Michigan, received second- and third-degree burns over 18 percent of his body when a fire resulted from his playing with a cigarette lighter in the upstairs bathroom of a friend’s apartment. However, it could have been much worse.

Twelve-year-old Eric Rogers was watching television downstairs in his family’s apartment where he and Shawn stayed after school while their mothers were at work. Eric heard the smoke alarm go off. He ran upstairs and saw Shawn running toward him with his clothes on fire, the bathroom behind him also in flames.

“All I could think of was to get the flames out,” said Eric. “I remembered this fire safety book I got when I was in the first or second grade.” “I got him on the floor and made him roll until the flames were out,” he said. “I’m just glad he wasn’t burned as bad as he could have been.”

Ville Platte, Louisiana

The Ville Platte, Louisiana Fire Department got a fire call one morning and arrived on the scene to find three houses ablaze. Anna Mae Jones, an 11-year-old student at James Stephens Elementary School, helped rescue 11 people from the burning homes.

Louisiana State Fire Marshal Robert LaBorde said, “With the help of God, Anna led these people to safety. So many times I have seen people die in terrible ways. We have had to carry out big and little bodies. Thanks to Anna, this story has a happy ending.” “Anna’s bravery sends us a strong message,” said Ronnie Smith, Ville Platte Fire Chief. “Children must know escape routes in case of fires. We also need to continue our fire safety education programs.”

National Programs

Sharing the Message of Fire Safety

National Fire Safety Council, Inc. is approached by various organizations, public relations firms, and corporations to enlist its help in spreading the message of fire safety. Many times, the Firepup® name and character has been used in a national program. Some of the more successful arrangements with organizations can be found here.

Although NFSC endorsed these products in the past, it should be noted that we no longer participate in product endorsement campaigns.

Chase’s Calendar of Events

Firepup®‘s Birthday is October 1st

Chase’s Calendar of Events is the standard reference for event and observance information in the U.S. Thousands of libraries, broadcasters & print media, websites, and more look to Chase’s for interesting facts every day.

Firepup®’s birthday and the anniversary of the founding of NFSC have appeared in Chase’s Calendar of Events since 1993, generating hundreds of calls a year requesting information on Firepup®, his birthday, and the general fire safety materials.

Black & Decker

Arvin Alert™

Arvin Alert™ Heater Endorsement

NFSC was approached by Arvin Industries to seek out an endorsement of their latest product with a fire safety feature, a safety alarm and alert light that alerts the consumer if the heater is bumped, tipped over, or overheats. NFSC was included in the packaging and advertising of this product.

Automatic Shut-Off™ Iron

Black & Decker Automatic Shut-Off™ Iron

In 1987, NFSC was asked by Black & Decker to endorse their latest product, their Automatic Shut-Off™ Iron. This product beeped to warn you it was left on, then shut itself off and stayed off even if knocked over, preventing needless accidental fires. NFSC was included in the packaging and advertising of this product.

Proctor & Gamble

Hawaiian Punch Colorsheet and Punchy® Telephones aid in teaching children 9-1-1.

In 1991, NFSC teamed up with Hawaiian Punch to distribute thousands of Punchy (character) phones as instructional props for classrooms to teach children how to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.

As a part of this promotion, Punchy was featured in various layouts with Firepup®, which were printed on the inside of fire safety manuals.

Red Robin® Restaurants

National Fire Safety Council, Inc. and Red Robin® Restaurants Fire Prevention Activity Sheets

NFSC teamed up with Red Robin® restaurants to provide free fire prevention activity sheets to all guests who purchased a kid’s meal. The activities included fire prevention games, puzzles, and mazes featuring Firepup® & Red® that made learning about fire prevention fun.

Red Robin® donated .50¢ to NFSC, Inc. for every kid’s meal sold from October 5-10, 2009 for a total of $50,000 to help support the Council’s fire prevention education efforts. This was the second year Red Robin® provided materials during Fire Prevention Week to their customers through NFSC, Inc.