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Sunday, January 23, 2011


"Baby It's Cold Outside" is an understatement on those "Ice Box Cold" days. Winter is here and as the temperature drops to that "Ice Box Cold" tempature a reminder goes out to all to be careful and follow some very simple fire prevention/safety tips when using space heaters, fireplaces and other supplemental heating sources. Any shift away from the exclusive use of central heating presents an increased possibility for fire. Heating devices cause many fires each year, resulting in numerous injuries and possible death. Fires caused by space heaters can & have resulted in injury, and even death when improperly used.

Everyone who uses any type of portable space heaters should always keep in mind that: Space Heaters Need Space. It is highly recommended and please following fire safety tips when using supplemental heating sources:

- Make sure you have a working/operational smoke detectors/alarms in the home, on all levels of the home.
- Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater - Children knock over space heaters especially if they are placed on top of wobbly tables or stools and near where the children play. Children may also stick paper or toys in the grates of the space heaters especially gas space heaters.
- Keep all combustible materials, including yourself at least 3 feet from the heater and portable space heaters
- Open face heaters should always have a screen.
- Provide ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Have a CO2 detector installed in the home alaong with your smoke detectors/alarms.

Vented Gas / Fired Heating Appliances Tips - Central heating units, floor furnaces, recessed wall heaters, and vented space heaters:

- Inspect annually by a qualified service technician. Don't wait for cold weather! Prepare Before Hand!
- Do not use these type units without a proper vent pipe. Vent pipes must exhaust to the outside!
- If your flame is not blue, it is not burning properly. It is producing Carbon Monoxide,which can't be seen, smelled or tasted. Turn it off.
- Use flexible metal tubing with threaded ends to connect the heater to the gas valve. There should be a cutoff valve for the heater at the wall. Never use a rubber hose to connect a space heater to the gas valve!
- Use soapy water to check all connections and valves for leaks. NEVER use a match to test for a gas leak!
- Look for the American Gas Association label and follow the manufacturer's recommendations for proper usage.

Electric Heaters Tips:

- Never overload outlets or breakers
- Don't use extension cords for the heater. If the cord is hot to the touch, turn off the heater and unplug it!
- Electric heaters permanently installed in the wall or ceiling should have lint and dust removed regularly. Lint and dust will burn!

Fireplace safety from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA):

According to the NFPA While fireplaces often conjure up images of warmth and comfort, they also represent a source of home heating fires. Creosote - a sticky, oily, combustible substance created when wood does not burn completely - rises into the chimney as a liquid and deposits on the chimney walls, and plays a role in nearly one-fourth (23%)of all home heating fires each year.

- Just like a space heater, keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from a fireplace, and create a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room
- Never leave a fireplace fire unattended, particularly when children are present.
- Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container, and kept at a safe distance from your home.

(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, January 9, 2011

USFA Releases Provisional 2010 Firefighter Fatality Statistics

USFA Press Release:

EMMITSBURG, MD — The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announced today there were 85 onduty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2010, a 6 percent decrease from the 90 fatalities reported for 2009. The 85 fatalities were spread across 31 states. Illinois experienced the highest number of fatalities (9). In addition to Illinois, only New York (8), Ohio (8), Pennsylvania (7), and Kansas (5) had 5 or more firefighter fatalities.

Acting U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines noted that "When evaluating the trend in onduty firefighter fatalities over more than three decades, the past two years have seemed to reflect a possible change in the firefighting culture of the United States where Everyone Goes Home, including all firefighters." Gaines then added, "Working closely with our partners, USFA will continue every effort to be sure that when it comes to firefighter health and safety this downward trend in onduty firefighter deaths continues."

Heart attacks and strokes were responsible for the deaths of 51 firefighters (60%) in 2010, nearly the same proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke (58%) in 2009.

Nine onduty firefighters died in association with wildland fires, about half the number that died in association with wildland fires in 2009 and a third of the 26 such fatalities in 2008.

Forty-eight percent of all firefighter fatalities occurred while performing emergency duties.

Eleven firefighters died in 2010 as the result of vehicle crashes, down substantially from 16 deaths in 2009, and for the first time since 1999, none the of the deaths involved aircraft. Four firefighters in 2010 died in accidents involving firefighters responding in personal vehicles. Seven firefighter deaths involved fire department apparatus, one of which was a double firefighter fatality incident.

These 2010 firefighter fatality statistics are provisional and may change as the USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify the names of firefighters reported to have died onduty during 2010. The final number of firefighter fatalities will be reported in USFA's annual firefighter fatality report, expected to be available by July.


For additional information on firefighter fatalities, including the annual fatality reports from 1986 through 2009 and the Firefighter Fatality Retrospective Study 1990–2000, please visit the USFA website.

(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, January 4, 2011

Massive 4 Alarm Fire at Rahway N.J. Condo Complex

large condo complex under construction in Rahway, New Jersey at the intersection of St. Georges Avenue and Stone Street started at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. The massive four-story complex was engulfed in flames. The fire appeared to have consumed the top floor and roof area of the complex.

Calls of the smoke smell were coming in from as far away as Manhattan. No injuries were reported, with the building being vacant at the time of the fire, and surrounding streets were closed as firefighters battled the blaze.

A defensive fire fighting operation was being conducted by firefighters battling the blaze with containing the flames to the structure.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

(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.)

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