Speed Reads

safety first

The nonprofit that brought you Smokey Bear wants to prevent unintentional gun deaths

We've all learned that only you can prevent forest fires. Now, it's time to learn that only you can prevent family fire.

The nonprofit Ad Council, responsible for America's biggest public service announcements, wants to stop unintentional shooting deaths caused by unsecured guns in family homes. So it's teaming with a gun control group to craft a campaign that's hopefully as catchy as "friends don't let friends drive drunk," The New York Times reports.

The Ad Council has spent 80 years creating Smokey Bear and other memorable public service announcements, relying on volunteers from advertising agencies and donated air time to spread its messages. This new campaign coins the term "family fire" to describe accidental injuries and deaths from improperly stored guns, says the Times. It's an epidemic that kills eight children every day, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

With ad agency Droga5, the Ad Council and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence created a website dramatically reenacting how a child might find a gun in their home. There are also traditional poster and TV ads, all sharing tips for securing firearms and keeping families safer.

Watch the Ad Council's moving first TV ad for the new campaign below. Kathryn Krawczyk