NFPA Releases Electrical Safety Initiative With Cartoon

May 8, 2008
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) kicked off National Electrical Safety Month with the debut of a new safety initiative that includes a public service announcement starring a cartoon character demonstrating exactly what not to do.

Throughout the video, the cartoon character Dan Doofus makes foolish mistakes that could turn into serious electrical hazards. For example, Dan is seen plugging his air conditioner into an extension cord. At another point in the video, he tosses a scarf onto a hot lamp.

At the end of the 60-second public service announcement, the announcer warns, “Life isn’t a cartoon. There are thousands of electrical fires each year. Don’t be a doofus.”

The Dan Doofus video is part of a collection of educational resource materials called “Keeping Your Community Safe and Energized” for area fire departments on electrical safety.

“You could say that electricity practically runs our lives when you think of all the modern day necessities that need it, yet most people are unaware that electrical problems are factors in nearly 150 home fires each day,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of communications. “Electricity is a leading cause of home fires, but there are things that people can do to avoid these fires. The information in this toolkit can help individuals learn how to protect themselves and their property.”

According to NFPA’s newly released report on electrical fires, electrical failures or malfunctions result in an average of 53,600 home fires each year. These fires cause more than 500 deaths, injure 1,400 people and account for $1.4 billion in property damage.

A copy of the resource toolkit in CD format was distributed to 30,000 fire departments nationwide and materials are available at no cost at NFPA’s Web site at Printable materials in the toolkit include facts and figures on electrical fires, handouts, public service print ads, the Dan Doofus public service announcement and a variety of other communications tools.

To view the Dan Doofus video on Youtube, visit

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