EducationEditThe New York City Fire Museum has a great education program. They have an hour and 15 minute program in which they show an age appropriate video about fire safety. There is also a mock apartment demonstrating various fire hazards. An FDNY member teaches how each potential hazard can cause a fire and how a fire could be prevented. On their website, a visitor can see photos of the rooms in the mock apartment. There is also information on their hours and the cost of the program. Teachers can download an activity guide as a PDF, with lessons for grades K through 6.
Social MediaEditThe New York City Fire Museum's website currently links to their Facebook page and Twitter account. The two socil media sites essentially mirror each other. Their Facebook page currently has 2,085 "likes", with 92 talking about it and 1,120 check ins. Their Twitter account has 247 tweets with 2,039 followers. The content on these accounts appears to be mostly updates on their exhibits, announcements of fundraisers, and information related to FDNY activity around the city. When current news is slow, they like to post about historical fires on that particular date. They do not allow posts on their Facebook page; visitors to the Facebook page can only comment on posted materials or provide recommendations.
Currently, there are no blogs or community led newsletters related to the New York City Fire Museum. There is a "Friends of the New York City Fire Museum, Inc." group, but no information on how to join. There is information on how you can donate money or become a member of the museum. It states that once a member, you will receive the museum's quarterly newsletter, The Housewatch, but casual visitors cannot access this.
A brief survey of other fire museums in the United States reveals that fire museums tend to be small and do not generally use much in the way of social media. Most fire museums at least have a Facebook page, but many do not have Twitter or anything else. Therefore, the New York City Fire Museum is actually fairly progressive in its use of social media in the world of fire museums.
SuggestionsEditEducation: I think an activity guide for children, as well as for teachers, would be a great addition to the website. This way, children who wish to learn more about fire safety, but are not visiting the museum with their class, can also enjoy the museum's educational program and learn from it.
Social Media: It might be interesting to allow Facebook users to post to their page. They could hold periodic contests posting pictures or something along those lines. As of now, the Facebook and Twitter pages are almost identical to each other and not very interesting. I think it would also be great to provide access to the quarterly newsletter, The Housewatch," online to casual visitors. Even a preview would be great; just to generate interest in the museum and to perhaps entice people to become members.