Search The Internet For The Answer...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery

As part of the "Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery" annual home fire safety campaign, your local fire departments, urge you to adopt a simple, potentially life saving habit: Change the batteries in your smoke alarms when you change your clocks ahead to daylight saving time this November 1st.


• Each day, an average of three children die in home fires - 1,100 children each year. About 3,600 children are injured in house fires each year. 90 percent of child fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

• Although smoke alarms are in 92 percent of American homes, nearly one-third don't work because of old or missing batteries.

• The hours between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. are the peak alarm times for home fire deaths – when people tend to be asleep and the house is likely to be dark.

• About 65 percent of home-fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms or the smoke alarms that are present are not working

• Only 23 percent of U.S. families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan to ensure they could escape quickly and safely. Developing a family emergency escape plan can be crucial to everyone's safety.

• Smoke alarms don't last forever. They should be replaced at least every 10 years.

• A working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half.

• The "Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery" campaign encourages you to arm yourself against home fires by taking some basic home fire safety precautions, including installing fresh batteries in smoke alarms.

Here's NFPA's Sharon Gamache discusses, in the following YouTube video, the latest information on types of smoke alarms you need, their placement and special features. Working smoke alarms give you early warning to help you escape a fire.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Safety Tips for a Fun Halloween

Paying attention to a few safety tips during Halloween activities can be the difference between a night of fun and a night of tragedy.

Remembering simple safety tips can go a long way in keeping kids safe.

Decorations were the first item ignited in an estimated average of more than 1,000 home structure fires per year during 2002-2005, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report Home Structure Fires that Began with Decorations (PDF, 80 KB). More than half of these fires were started by candles.

“There are many things that parents, kids, and adults can do to make sure that Halloween remains a very safe holiday,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “Make sure costumes purchased are labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant, choose materials that will not easily ignite, and keep fire safety in mind when decorating your home, both inside and out.”

Halloween is a fun and memorable experience for children and their parents. Ensure that costumes are flame-resistant or flame-retardant, and keep safety in mind when using decoration in the home.

Fire safety concerns are often unique at haunted houses and other spooky venues typically visited during this time of year.

“It is important to know how to get out of a room or a building in case of emergency no matter where you are, and to teach kids to do the same,” said Carli. “A haunted house is a unique venue and with other things competing for your attention, it may take a little extra effort to identify exits and plan your escape; however, if there is an actual emergency or the ghosts and goblins simply get too scary, you’ll be glad you did!”

Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.

Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. If children are attending a Halloween party at another home, have them look for exits and know how they would exit in an emergency.

Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes could brush against the lighting.

NFPA has been a leader in providing fire, electrical, building and life-safety information to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. Visit NFPA’s Web site at .

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fire Prevention: Proper Escape Plan Becomes Essential

The fire prevention saying of “Play it safe, Plan your escape” has a lot of meaning for everyone’s daily routine. It’s usually during the month of October that schools and places of work hold yearly fire evacuation drills.

Usually we walk into a building the way we leave, through the main entrance. “No big deal,” most will say, “we do this when entering any building, even our homes.”

What if, and it has happened, this path of travel through the main entrance is blocked because of a fire? What do you do then?

A proper plan of escape now becomes essential. Preplanning maximizes a safe escape and is part of everyone’s daily fire prevention duties.

It only takes a moment to do a quick survey, upon entering a building, and plan an escape. Knowing two exits out of a building requires nothing more than a glance around. You can also try getting in the habit of taking an exit other than the normal entry.

A facility may have the maximum occupancy allowed. If something should happen, most people will head for the main entrance automatically. This action could result in injury or loss of life in a fire situation. Everyone should be aware of an alternate exit out.

In our homes we all have a feeling of security that nothing bad will happen. Seventy percent or so of fatal fires in homes occur between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.. This fact makes it even more important to have a home escape plan. Exit Drills in the Home, otherwise known as E.D.T.H. plan is a good way to begin.

Have a diagram or floor plan of your home showing locations of all doors and windows. Each family member should know two routes out, from every room. Bedroom doors should always be kept close at night to keep fire away if one should start. In a fire situation, check doors by touching the upper part first. If it’s hot do not open in. Exit out another door to the outside or a window. If the home is a multi-story building, open a window and wait for the fire department’s assistance. It’s a good idea to have smoke detectors installed on every level of the home. Test them monthly and change the batteries each year.

If a fire occurs, all family members should leave the home quickly, closing doors behind them to help confine smoke and fire. Do not stop to take possessions along. Report the fire immediately.

No one should ever go back into the house that’s on fire. People die or are injured because fire intensify and can get worse in a matter of seconds. Have a pre-arrange meeting place outside the home.

Your local fire department can answer questions concerning the establishing a fire escape plan.

Learn Not to Burn, Be fire Safe.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fire Protection Training: Hose Loads

Picture this scenario, we have a fire, a fire truck, and water. We need a way to get the water from the fire truck to the fire. The best method found is by using a flexible tube we refer to as fire hose. Fire hose has been one of the most important tools for firefighters for many of years. It replaced the aging bucket brigades and aided the firefighters in a rapid method of getting the water to where it needs to be, “on the fire.”

Fire hoses are a type of flexible tube used by firefighters to carry water under pressure from the source of supply to a point where it is discharged. A fire hose is the most used item in the fire service.

Fire hoses are manufactured in different configurations such as: Single jacket, Double jacket, Rubber single jacket, or Hard rubber non-collapsing types. There are various “Fire Hose Sizes.” Each hose is designed for a specific purpose. Diameter of fire hose refers to the dimensions of the inside of the hose. Fire hose is most commonly cut and coupled into lengths of 50 or 100 feet. Intake hose is used to connect a fire department pumper or a portable pump to a near-by water source. There are also two groups of intake hose: Soft Sleeve – transfer water from a pressurized source, and Hard Suction – used primarily to draft water from an open water source.

There are many causes and prevention of fire hose damage. The fire hose is a tool that is subjected to many sources of damage. The most important factor is the care that is given after fires, in storage, and on the apparatus. A fire hose can not endure: mechanical injury, heat, mildew, mold, or chemical contacts to list a few.

There are some general hose loading guidelines related the fire hoses. These guidelines should be followed regardless of the type of hose load being used.

Check gaskets and swivel before connecting any coupling. Keep flat sides of the hose in the same plane when two sections of hose are connected. Tighten the couplings hand tight when two sections of hose are connected. Never use wrenches or undue force. Remove wrinkles from fire hose when it must be bent to form a loop in the hose bed by pressing with the fingers so the inside of the bend is smoothly folded.

Make a short fold (Dutchman) in the hose during the loading process so that couplings do not have to be turned around to be pulled out of the bed.

The loading of large diameter hoses (3 ½ inch or larger), all couplings need to be placed at the front of the bed. This procedure saves space and allows the hose to lie flat. Couplings should be laid in a manner that does not require them to turn over when the hose pays out of the bed. Do not pack hose to tight because this puts excess pressure on the folds of the hose, and causes couplings to snag when hose pays out of the bed. General rule is to allow enough room for the hand to be easily inserted between the folds.

On a fire truck there can be different types of loads and setups depending what is best for your department:

“The Accordion Hose Load,” derives its name from the appearance after loading. The first coupling is placed in the bed located to the rear of the bed. Simple design it requires only two or three people to load the hose on to the vehicle. When deployed an accordion load, you can pick up a number of folds and placing them on the shoulder.

“The Horseshoe Load,” is named for the way it appears after loading. The fire hose is laid on the edge around the perimeter of the hose bed in a U-shape. The last length is in the center of the horseshoe. The primary advantage in using this hose load is fewer sharp bends. Disadvantage is, the hose sometimes comes out in a wavy, or snakelike, lay in the street, and horseshoe loads don’t work for large diameter hose. When loading the horseshoe load in a single bed the first length may be started on either side. In a split bed, first length is started against the partition.

“The Flat Hose Load,” is the easiest to load and is suitable for any size of hose. The best way to load large diameter hose is have it laid so the folds are flat. Disadvantage to this type of hose load are folds contain sharp bends at both ends. In a singe hose bed, may be started on either side. In a split bed, lay the first length against the partition with the coupling hanging an appropriate distance below the hose bed. The flat load can be adapted for loading large diameter hose. Flat loads can also be loaded directly from the street or ground by straddling the hose with the pumper and driving slowly backward. A hose wringer or roller can be used to expel the air and water from the hose as its being placed in the hose bed. To keep the couplings from turning over, make a short fold or reverse bend (Dutchman) in the hose.

The Dutchman serves two purposes, it changes the direction of the coupling and it changes the location of the coupling.

When using the different types of hose loads for the fire truck’s supply hose lays remember to keep threaded coupling supply hose, usually arranged in the hose bed, so when hose is laid off the fire truck, the end with the female is toward the water source and the male end is toward the fire.

Several hose lays options are available, the basic hose lays for supply hose are the Forward lay (straight lay), Reverse lay, and Split lay (combination lay).

Regardless of the method chosen, the following basic guidelines should be followed when laying hose, do not ride in a standing position anytime the apparatus is moving. Drive the fire truck at a speed no greater than that which allows the couplings to clear the tailboard as the hose leaves the bed – generally between 5 and 10 miles an hour.

Once hoselines have been laid out and connected for firefighting, they must be advanced into final position on the fire ground. Advancing hoselines into a structure general safety guidelines should be observed. Place the firefighter on the nozzle and back-up firefighter(s) on the same side of the line. Check the door for heat before entering. Release (bleed) air from hoseline once it is charged and before entering the building or fire area. Stay low and avoid blocking ventilation openings such as doorways or windows. When advancing hose up a stairway the shoulder carry is adaptable to stairway advancement. Lay the hose on the outside wall of the stairs to avoid sharp kinks and bends. Excess hose should be flaked up the stairs toward the floor above the fire floor. Firefighters should be positioned at every turn or areas of resistance to ensure swift efficient deployment of the hoseline. When advancing hose down a stairway an uncharged hoseline is easier than advancing a charge hoseline and this is recommended ONLY when there is no fire present or it is very minor. Firefighters must be stationed at critical points to help feed the hoseline.

When advancing hose up a ladder this can best achieved with a uncharged line. If already charged, it is safer, quicker, and easier to drain before advancement is made. Have one firefighter at the base of the ladder to help feed the hose. Have one firefighter at the base to heel the ladder during advancement. Have the lead firefighter drape the nozzle or end coupling over the shoulder from the front on the side being carried. This firefighter advances up the ladder to the first fly section. The second firefighter drapes a large loop of hose over the shoulder and starts up. If there is a three section ladder, a third firefighter will be required. To avoid overloading the ladder, only one person should be allowed on each section of the ladder. Rope hose tools or utility straps can also be used for this advancement. If charged and necessary to advance up the ladder. Firefighters should position themselves on the ladder within reach of each other. Each firefighter should be locked in via a leg lock or ladder belt. The hose is pushed up from firefighter to firefighter. The firefighter on the nozzle takes the line into the window, and other firefighters continue to hoist additional as necessary.

Warning: caution must be exercised to ensure that the rated capacity of the ladder is not exceeded. If the hose cannot be passed up the ladder without exceeding the load limit, another method of advancement should be used.

When operating a charged line from the ladder The hoseline should be secured to the latter with a hose strap at a point several rungs below the one the nozzle person is standing. All firefighters must use a leg lock or ladder belt to secure themselves to the ladder. The firefighter on the nozzle projects the nozzle through the ladder and holds it with a rope hose tool or similar aid. When the line and firefighters are secured, the nozzle can be opened.

There may be times on the fire ground to extending a section of hose on the fire ground after being deployed. Occasionally it becomes necessary to extend a length of hose with the same size or perhaps even smaller hose. This situation is very dangerous. Start with closing a valve at the pump or hydrant to turn off the water is the safest way to control. A hose clamp may be used at a stationary point. It is possible to kink the hose at a point away from the break.

The fire hose is the most common and most used tool we have in the fire service. Each firefighter must understand the mechanics of its use and the appliances as well as tools needed to make your job more efficient and easier. Fore more information concerning fire hoses refer to the IFSTA Essentials of Fire Fighting on Fire Streams.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

USFA: 118 Firefighters Died on Duty in 2008 in the United States

Emmitsburg, MD. – The United States Fire Administration (USFA) released the report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2008. The report continues a series of annual studies by the USFA of on-duty firefighter fatalities. The USFA is the single public agency source of information for all on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States each year.

"The causes of death among firefighters are well known and the steps necessary to protect firefighters have been studied and reported in numerous forums,” United States Fire Administrator Kelvin J. Cochran said. “We must take the necessary steps to ensure, as much as possible, all firefighters return from every call, safely."

The unique and specific objective of Firefighter Fatalities in the United States is to identify all on-duty firefighter fatalities that occurred in the United States and its protectorates during the calendar year and to present in summary narrative form the circumstances surrounding each occurrence.

An overview of the 118 firefighters that died while on duty in 2008:

* The total break down included 66 volunteer, 34 career, and 18 wildland agency firefighters.

* There were 5 firefighter fatality incidents where 2 or more firefighters were killed, claiming a total of 18 firefighters' lives.

* 26 firefighters were killed during activities involving brush, grass or wildland firefighting, more than twice the number killed the previous year.

* Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 75 firefighters.

* 28 firefighters died while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.

* 21 firefighters died while responding to, and 3 while returning from, emergency incidents.

* 12 firefighters died while they were engaged in training activities.

* 13 firefighters died after the conclusion of their on-duty activity.

* Heart attacks were the most frequent cause of death for 2008 with 45 firefighter deaths.

For 32 years, USFA has tracked the number of firefighter fatalities and conducted an annual analysis. Through the collection of information on the causes of firefighter deaths, the USFA is able to focus on specific problems and direct efforts toward finding solutions to reduce the number of firefighter fatalities in the future. This information is also used by many organizations to measure the effectiveness of their current efforts directed toward firefighter health and safety.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which worked closely with USFA on this report, also maintains a list of firefighters who die in the line-of-duty and are honored during the annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend held each October in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Visit for more information about the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and their assistance to the families of the firefighters lost in 2008 and beyond.

Year-to-date monthly and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted on the USFA's Web site at

Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2008 (PDF, 3.1 Mb)

You can also follow U.S. Fire Administration(USFA) on Twitter at

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fire Protection Training: Bunker Gear

Why do firefighters wear red suspenders?

To hold their pants up.

The 2009 Fire Prevention Week theme, “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burn” is an outlook every fire fighter can take to heart when facing a raging fire on the fire ground. One basic and important item that helps keep the fire fighter from getting burned is the safe use of structure protective clothing or what I call as well as other fire fighters, “bunker gear.” There’s structural bunker gear for the building or MVA fire and there is also the ARFF bunker gear or silver proximity suit for aircraft fires/incidents. Both types of bunker gear I have worn, used, and it has provide me protection to a certain degree of keeping from getting burned. The bunker gear is not fire proof or fire resistant and all who wear this type of personal protective equipment (PPE) need to know what the limitations are. Let’s review some basic aspects of both types of bunker gear:

Structural Bunker Gear:
Structural fire fighters’ protective clothing is designed to protect its wearer from the thermal environments experienced during fire fighting. This includes protection from thermal radiation, hot gas convection, and heat conduction from hot surfaces. Fire fighters may receive serious burn injuries from each of these modes of heat transfer or a combination of them even though they are wearing protective clothing. In addition, fire fighters’ protective clothing is often wet when it becomes heated by the fire fighting environment. Hot vapors and steam are generated inside protective clothing systems that also produce serious burn injuries. Fire fighters’ protective clothing has definite physical limits associated with its ability to protect the wearer. These safe use limits are poorly understood and are not addressed in current fire service protective clothing standards.

Research groups are studying these physical safe use limits for thermal performance of fire fighters’ protective clothing, and developing new test apparatus and predictive tools that will provide insight into the causes of burn injuries. This effort is helping to develop a better understanding and define the safe use limits of fire service protective clothing. As a result, this research effort will assist in reducing the number of serious fire fighter injuries.

Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) Bunker Gear:

Aircraft firefighting/rescue protective clothing (also known as the proximity suit), better known as "silvers/silver bunker suit" is a fire suit designed to protect a firefighter from high radiant fire loads, such as those produced by JP fuels or other bulk flammable fuels. They are worn for aircraft firefighting. They are currently manufactured from vacuum deposited aluminized materials that reflect the high radiant loads produced by the fire. The suits are certified to meet the National Fire Protection Association Standard NFPA 1976-2000, Standard on Protective Ensemble for Proximity Fire Fighting.

Aircraft firefighting/rescue protective clothing is a prime safety consideration for personnel engaged in firefighting and rescue work. Metalized protective clothing offers a means of providing protection to firefighters because of its high percentage of reflectivity to radiant heat. It is important to point out that these garments are not classified as entry suits, but are known as proximity clothing to be worn with firefighter boots that have safety toes and soles.

Firefighters assigned ARFF duties shall be provided with a complete set of protective clothing that meets appropriate NFPA standards. A complete set of protective clothing includes trousers, coat, gloves, nomex hood and proximity helmet or hood and boots.

How do you don personal protective clothing for structural fire and aircraft fires/incidents? Simply put, you put it on to fully provide protection using all bunker gear issued to you.

Proper protective clothing is issued to each firefighter and its use is mandatory on any fire ground. Your personal safety and your value as a crew member depends on your utilization of the personal protective clothing correctly.
Here are a few YouTube videos where Captain Joe Bruni shows how to properly don structural personal protective clothing.…

With fire protection training to become qualified and certified in wearing the SCBA here’s Captain Joe Bruni once again showing in this YouTube video of putting it all together in donning both bunker gear along with the SCBA.…

Because of the variety of situations and exposures firefighters encounter, it is very difficult to provide personal protective clothing and equipment that will meet all needs. The firefighter must fully understand the shortcomings and limitations of various items of clothing and not exceed those limitations through training and use on the fire ground.

Regardless of the degree of protection afforded by any piece of clothing or equipment, much of the effectiveness will be lost if firefighters are not fully trained in its use and maintenance. The correct usage and maintenance of all items of protective equipment are heavily dependent on the individual firefighter's attitude, training and maintenance knowledge. All types of equipment are vulnerable to various forms of deterioration and failure of this piece of equipment would be extremely hazardous. Firefighters should receive instruction on inspecting equipment for deterioration or malfunction and trained, where applicable, in correcting defects.

Don’t get burned by not wearing fire protective equipment hap-hazardously, wear it correctly, and Be Fire Safe.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Safety Tips For Adults

Every 39 minutes someone in the U.S. is injured in a home fire.

Home fires result in hundreds of people being burned and even killed in the United States of America each year. That’s why teaming up with local fire departments across the country for Fire Prevention Week 2009 to urge all residents to “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”

Fire Prevention Week 2009 focuses on ways to keep homes fire safe and prevent painful burns. By following simple safety rules, you can “Stay Fire Smart!”

Don’t Get Burned

* Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.

* Have a 3-foot “kid-free” zone around the stove.

* Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.

* Teach children that hot things hurt.

* Be careful when using things that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.

* When using heating pads only use for 15-20 minutes at a time and don’t lie, sit or place anything on the pad.

Just Right?

* To avoid scalds, set the thermostat setting in your water heater to no higher than 120 degrees F.

* Remember young children and older adults skin burns more easily.

* Consider having “anti-scald” devices on tub faucets and shower heads to prevent scalds.

* Test the water before placing a child or yourself in the tub.

* Never leave young children alone in the tub, shower or near a sink.

* Be careful about scalding water. The water should feel warm, not hot. Before you put your child in the tub, test the temperature with your wrist, elbow, or the back of your hand. Don't rely on a tub with a temperature indicator, such as a drain plug that changes color to indicate too hot, too cold, and just right. If you're using a thermometer with a read-out, infant bath water should be no more than 100 degrees. Even when using a thermometer use your wrist, elbow, or the back of your hand as your main guide.

Cool a Burn

* Treat a burn right away. Put it in cool water for three to five minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth.

* If the burn is bigger than your fist or if you have any questions, get medical help right away.

* Remove all clothing, diapers, jewelry and metal from the burned areas.

Cooking with Caution

* The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.

* Pay attention to what you are cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.

* When you are simmering, boiling, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.

* If you must leave the room even for a short time, turn off the stove.

* If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible.

* Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove.

* When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting or short sleeves.

* Allow food cooked in a microwave oven to cool for a few minutes before you take it out.

* Open micro waved food slowly. Hot steam from the container can cause burns.

The Heat is On…

* Have a 3 foot kid-free zone around open fires and heaters.

* Use a fireplace screen to keep sparks inside the fireplace.

* Turn portable space heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.

* Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding, or furniture, at least 3 feet from heaters.

* Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected each year by a professional.

* Make sure your portable space heater has an auto shut-off so if it is tipped over, it will shut off.

* Have your chimneys cleaned and inspected before each heating season.

Take it Outside

* Ask smokers to smoke outside.

* Give smokers deep, sturdy ashtrays.

* Never smoke if you are tired, have taken medicine, drugs, or alcohol that makes you sleepy.

* Keep smoking materials away from things that can burn, like bedding, furniture, and clothing.

Stay Grounded

* Keep lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs away from anything that can burn, such as lamp shades, bedding, curtains, and clothing.

* Replace cracked and damaged electrical cords.

* Use extension cords for temporary wiring only. Consider having additional circuits or receptacles added by a qualified electrician.

* If you have young children in your home have tamper-resistant electrical receptacles.

* Call a qualified electrician or landlord if you have recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers, discolored or warm wall outlets, flickering lights or a burning or rubbery small coming form an appliance.

Neighborhood Watch

* With the economic downturn, it is important to keep a watchful eye on your neighborhood.

* Encourage your community to implement an anti-arson program.

* Keep trash from collecting on your property.

* Remove abandoned vehicles from your property.

* Remove dead branches that could be used as a fuel source.

Fire-Safety Basics

* Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.

* For best protection use both photoelectric and ionization technology. You can use individual ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or combination units that contain both technologies in the same unit.

* Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

* Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.

* Make sure everyone can hear the sound of the smoke alarms.

* Have a home fire escape plan. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and a meeting place outside. Practice your escape plan twice a year.

* When the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.

* If you are building or remodeling your home, consider a home fire sprinkler system.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned!

Fire Prevention Week is October 4 – 10

Fire Prevention Week is October 4 – 10. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), along with local fire departments and other safety advocates nationwide are urging people to Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.

Fire departments responded to an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008. These fires resulted in 3,320 civilian fire fatalities, 16,705 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $15.5 billion in direct property loss.

“Every 22 seconds a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “Fires kill roughly 3,000 people each year and injure thousands. These statistics are especially tragic because most fires can be prevented and the deaths and injuries associated with them can be avoided. Fire Prevention Week is dedicated to focusing on important safety information that will help you stay safe from fire year round.”

This year’s campaign, Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned focuses on ways to prevent fires, and the deaths, injuries, and property loss they cause. Eighty-four percent of all fire deaths were caused by home fires. By providing valuable information on fire and burn prevention and safety tips, the campaign aims to help the public keep their homes and the people who live there safe from fire and burns.

Here are some very important YouTube videos for Fire Prevention Week 2009, that cover concerns everyone needs to know and be aware of when it comes to being Fire Safe:

Have a great Fire Prevention Week 2009. Remind family, friends, and co-works of daily Fire Prevention Practices. Make it a practice that is done 24/7 year round. Remember also…

Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned!

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Home Fire Safety - A Good Escape Plan is Essential

By: RJ U Smith

The key to survival from any type of fires is a safe escape. Whereas commercial buildings have official fire exits and regular fire drills, most ordinary residences do not. Thus, during home fires many victims suffer from death or physical injuries because there is no specific fire exit and, usually, no formal training on what to do during a fire.

But this should not be the case. Although fire prevention is still the best measure to combat home fires, you need to prioritize and emphasize safety practices for you and your family to do during an actual fire. As accidents can occur any moment, it is always best to be prepared for any eventuality so that damage can be minimized. And since family safety is a top priority and escape is the key to survival, you should have an effective escape plan firmly established for the entire family to take.

While it is good to start planning for your escape during a fire, you should not overlook having a smoke alarm installed if you still have not done so. A smoke alarm alerts you that a possible fire is building up giving you the chance to escape.

Gather the family together and discuss the steps to follow and pointers to remember when escaping from a home fire.

* Since it may be smoky, get down or stoop while exiting as breathing and seeing may be easier in these positions. Cover your nose as toxic gases may be present in the smoke, and these may affect your mental faculties, or cause you to faint.

* Once you are out of the house, never go back inside for anything. Once out, keep out.

The type of fire may affect the progress of your escape. A gradually growing smoldering fire may progress without detection for a while before it finally flares up into enormous flames and tremendous heat. A swift flaming fire on the other hand allows a little amount of time before the leaping flames and scorching heat intensify. You should remember that in either form of fire, you should stay out once you are out.

The following are a few specific tips to remember when escaping from either form of fire.

In a gradual smoldering fire:

This form of fire progresses gradually hence may not be picked up by smoke alarms immediately. But a photoelectric smoke alarm can detect a smoldering fire a few seconds faster than its ionization counterpart. Regardless of your smoke alarm however, be sure to go out as soon as you hear the sound of the alarm.

* If you have an established escape plan, it can significantly lessen the amount of time you spend in exiting your burning home. Thus, safety is more assured.

* As soon as the smoke alarm sounds, leave your home as fast as you can since you cannot predict when a smoldering fire will explode into huge burning flames.

* Smoldering fires generate a great amount of smoke so be sure to keep low while exiting to help you breathe and see better, thus avoiding or minimizing the inhalation of toxic gases which may be present in the smoke.

* Try an alternative escape route like a window or another door if your primary exit is blocked by smoke, flames or heat.

In a swift burning fire:

This type of fire allows limited time for escape. An ionization smoke alarm can detect a flaming fire several seconds faster than a photoelectric one. But these few seconds will surely count in a rapidly sweeping flaming fire which can determine your escape.

* A pre-established fire escape plan can minimize the time you need to get out of your home safely.

* As this fire grows swiftly, leave your home as fast as you can because the flames, heat, and toxic gases can magnify very rapidly.

* Again, use an alternative exit path if your main escape route is blocked by flames, heat or smoke.

Bear in mind too that in any emergency it is vital that your ability to think clearly and focus remains intact. Teach your family not to panic but to concentrate on the task of escaping to safety. It is even advisable that you regularly practice a fire drill in your home to ensure that every family member knows the escape plan.

RJ Smith frequently writes articles in an effect to educate others and raise public awareness on a variety of today's important current developments.

Article Source:

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Search The Internet