For the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Alabama National Fair, which begins in October, is the ideal place to showcase Fire Prevention Week. The fire marshal’s office rents three booths and turns them into one large exhibition area. Space is set aside for a screen which shows Sparky and other fire prevention videos. The gubernatorial proclamation and the FPW poster are displayed. Tables are filled with FPW brochures, coloring books, stickers, magnets and other items.
State Fire Marshal's Office Public Information Officer Steve Holmes says the days set aside at the fair to highlight different audiences help his office get the attention of attendees with fire prevention materials.
“One specific day is for elementary-age school children,” he said. “That day we provide bags for the teachers filled with state and NFPA fire prevention materials. Sparky visits with the kids and poses for photos. One day is Special Friends Day. Sparky is again a big hit for our folks with varying abilities. They enjoy the ‘live’ Sparky and his giveaways and viewing the DVD’s of Sparky and friends. One day and night are devoted to senior citizens and we tailor the items on the table to their interests, while interacting and engaging with as many of them as we can in conversations about saving lives through fire prevention.”
Holmes says throughout the entire fair the Fire Prevention Week banner is the backdrop, helping to establish the FPW theme in the minds of everyone who happens to stop by the exhibit.