First Alert, NVFC Partner on Fire Extinguisher Training for Volunteer Fire Departments

Partnership includes online course and donation of hundreds of fire extinguishers to
increase community safety nationwide

When a fire starts, every second counts. Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet an astonishing 70 percent of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research.* For this reason, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have developed a new fire extinguisher training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an extinguisher donation program for community outreach initiatives.

Called Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices, the course educates volunteer fire department personnel about the role fire extinguishers can play in fire safety, and how proper extinguisher placement and maintenance can help reduce the risk of severe fire incidents.

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires, with ranges or cooktops accounting for 63 percent of home fire incidents according to the National Fire Protection Association. Many small kitchen fires could likely be resolved with a fire extinguisher if caught early. However, research* revealed 50 percent of fire extinguisher owners have never operated one, while 60 percent of respondents stated they would very likely use one in the event of a fire.

“Operating a fire extinguisher can make people feel uneasy, which is why First Alert provides tools to help educate the community through local fire departments,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert, the most trusted brand in home safety.** “Fire extinguishers are an integral part of a home safety plan, along with smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and having – and practicing – an escape plan.”

The training provides insight about the different types of fire extinguishers, when and how to use them, and detailed information on proper maintenance and appropriate placement of fire extinguishers. Participants will also learn the importance of knowing when not to use an extinguisher, but to instead call 911 and exit the home safely. This training will enable volunteer firefighters to educate their community on how to properly and safely use this important line of defense.

In the home, a simple way to remember how to operate a fire extinguisher is with the acronym PASS:

  • Pull the pin on the extinguisher
  • Aim the nozzle low toward the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the trigger
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side

To complement the training, First Alert donated 500 rechargeable 1-A:10-B:C fire extinguishers to volunteer fire departments to help them make an immediate impact in their communities. Departments that receive the extinguishers are part of the NVFC’s Fire Corps program, which utilizes community volunteers to assist resource-constrained fire departments with non-operational tasks such as community education and smoke and CO alarm installations.

“The education provided in this fire extinguisher course, combined with First Alert’s donation, helps our volunteer departments keep communities safe,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We are thankful for the commitment our volunteer firefighters make to keep their own neighbors safe from threats of fire and carbon monoxide.”

The Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices course is now available in the NVFC Virtual Classroom. Login or create a free account here, or click here for more information on accessing the Virtual Classroom. The course will be free for the first 500 participants, compliments of First Alert. For more information on home safety, go to

*Source: Fire Extinguisher Category Research, Survata, 2016

**First Alert Brand Trust Survey, February 2018 – Results are based on the responses of 1,000 adults, ages 25 and older, living in the United States who completed an online survey, February 15-19, 2018. Results are statistically significant at a 95 percent confidence level and can be generalized to the entire adult population in the United States within those statistical parameters. For more information or a copy of the complete survey results, contact Tim Young at LCWA: 312/565-4628 or

About BRK Brands, Inc.
BRK Brands, Inc. (Aurora, IL), is a fully owned subsidiary of Newell Brands. For 60 years, BRK Brands, Inc. has been the manufacturer of First Alert®-branded home-safety products, the most trusted and recognized safety brand in America. BRK® Brands designs and develops innovative safety solutions including Tundra™ Fire Extinguishing Spray, Onelink by First Alert smart home products, a comprehensive line of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and escape ladders to protect what matters most. Such products are also marketed under the BRK Electronics® brand, The Professional Standard for the builder and contractor audiences. BRK Brands, Inc. products are found in more than 30 countries worldwide. For more information, visit,, or

About Newell Brands
Newell Brands (NASDAQ: NWL) is a leading global consumer goods company with a strong portfolio of well-known brands, including Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Dymo®, EXPO®, Parker®, Elmer’s®, Coleman®, Marmot®, Oster®, Sunbeam®, FoodSaver®, Mr. Coffee®, Graco®, Baby Jogger®, NUK®, Calphalon®, Rubbermaid®, Contigo®, First Alert®, and Yankee Candle®. For hundreds of millions of consumers, Newell Brands makes life better every day, where they live, learn, work and play.

Additional information about Newell Brands is available on the company’s website,

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About the NVFC
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at