Sparky, The Fire Dog
In the beginning …
It was 1951, and a loaf of bread cost 16 cents. The population of the United States was around 155 million. Smokey Bear was just seven years old. Harry S. Truman was in the White House and….it was the year Sparky the Fire Dog was born.
He was conceived at the 1950 NFPA Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where the association announced that the Advertising Council had approved a national fire-prevention campaign to be launched in 1951, with NFPA as sponsor. The new initiative needed a symbol, and it was a no-brainer. Inspired by the success of Smokey Bear, the burly ursine symbol of the U.S. Forest Service, NFPA decided to create a Dalmatian character, using the dog traditionally associated with the fire service. The rest, as they say, is history, as Sparky has become a national figure and a beloved advocate for fire safety.
Sparky teaches about fire safety, including escape routes and smoke alarms. Sparky features games and coloring pages and has his own song. You can learn more about him at Sparky.org