The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF) hired a consultant to conduct expert interviews and a literary search on “Stop, Drop and Roll” in April 2020. The research addressed the history of “Stop, Drop and Roll” as well as its benefits and concerns surrounding its practice in fire and burn situations.
In the expert interviews conducted, many experts cited “Stop, Drop and Roll” as an educational tool, but none cited its history. Some experts cited the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation as the organization that coined the term “Stop, Drop and Roll”, while some cited the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Many did not know the origins of “Stop, Drop and Roll.”
There were no references to the history of “Stop, Drop and Roll” in textbooks, the Cochrane database, or published literature reviewed. Google searches yielded a few interesting results about the history of the practice, including a National Fire Academy white paper, Dick Van Dyke Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and public search database.
Through our research, we have determined that the concept of “Stop, Drop and Roll” was first mentioned in America Burning 1, published by the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control in 1973. As early as 1974, “Stop, Drop and Roll” was becoming better known in outreach fire prevention education through programs such as the NFPA’s “Learn Not to Burn” school program and PSAs starring actor Dick Van Dyke. The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation was able to popularize the life-saving message with the development of a simple graphic in 1979.