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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fire Safety on Use of ‘Fuel Gel’ Products & ‘Fire Pots’

Summer has just begun and we all have the backyard BBQ grills fired up and we all know the common sense rules to being Fire Safe when doing such activities. If a review of BBQ Grill Fire Safety is needed, please visit the blog post Fire Up The Barbecue! Be Fire Safe In Doing So!”

The same Fire Safety practices apply to those extra decorative items that are places around the backyard and used during the outdoor fun when using fire pots and torches. These pots and torches are used as decorations in place of candles or other type torch lighting.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced, this week, a voluntary recall & warning for pourable NAPAfire and FIREGEL Gel Fuel bottles and jugs produced & made by the Napa Home & Garden, of Duluth, Georgia.

About 460,000 bottles and jugs of gel fuel are being recalled. They were sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, Restoration Hardware, and other home and garden stores between December 2009 and June 2011.

The pourable gel fuel can ignite unexpectedly and splatter onto people and objects nearby when it is poured into a firepot that is still burning,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission said, “This hazard can occur if the consumer does not see the flame or is not aware that the firepot is still ignited. Fuel gel that splatters and ignites can pose fire and burn risks to consumers.

The fuel is intended to be poured into a metal cup which is then inserted into a ceramic “fire pot.” The fuel gel is then ignited and burns openly as a torch without a wick.

The alcohol base of the fuel gel by nature makes the product very volatile and comes with prominent safety warnings on the label. The thick consistency of the gel makes it stick to most surfaces including human skin and clothing.

Failure to closely follow all of the safety warnings can have and has had disastrous results including serious burn injuries and fire damage.

Use extreme caution when using any fuel gel burning device or product, and offers the following safety tips:

 Read the instructions carefully before utilizing the product or device

 DO NOT over fill the unit with fuel

 DO NOT add fuel to any lit flame or fire

 Use a sniffer to extinguish the flame – DO NOT attempt to blow out the fire

 In case of an emergency, DO NOT attempt to extinguish the fire with water

 DO NOT allow children to add or ignite the fuel at any time

 In welllit areas, the flames produced by burning fuel gel may be hard to detect – keep devices away from all combustibles or anything that may catch on fire. A minimum of a threefoot radius is suggested

 Keep devices away from children and pets

 Place devices in a safe location to prevent accidental contact or exposure to skin or clothing

 NEVER leave a burning device unattended

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about firepots following two burn accidents in New York. Both victims, a teenager and a man in his 20s, suffered serious injuries.

For additional information, call Napa Home & Garden at (888) 893-2323 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, visit Napa’s website at or write to Napa, 3270 Summit Ridge Parkway, Suite 240, Duluth, GA 30096-1617

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on

CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

(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.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Remembering Two Sheppard AFB Firefighters

A bronze plaque was attached to a memorial, on Friday, June 17, 2011 in Addington, Oklahoma, for two Sheppard Air Force Base firefighters who were killed in the line of duty in 1995.

Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department firefighters Richard Hogan, 34, of Wichita Falls, and Airman 1st Class Christopher Rezac, 21, of Mesa, Ariz., were responding to an oil tank fire caused by a lightning strike near an oil refinery in Addington, Oklahoma. The fire was located in an oil storage tank and had been caused by a lighting strike. Firefighters Hogan and Rizac had responded in a P-19 crash truck to assist local fire departments with suppression efforts on June 11, 1995, when a wall of flames engulfed them, killing both men. Firefighters Hogan and Rizac were killed when several thousand gallons of burning oil boiled over the side of the tank, trapping their crash truck in a mixture of oil and mud. They attempted to flee on foot but were overrun by the flow of oil and died of massive burns. Hogan and Rezac were part of a six-man team from Sheppard AFB with a utility truck towing a foam trailer and a P-19 pumper dispatched to help area firefighters battle the blaze.

A brick memorial was constructed several years ago at the scene where the two men lost their lives. On Friday, fellow firefighters and friends gathered to rededicate the memorial to the two men and to add the bronze plaque, purchased with funds from the Hogan-Rezac memorial golf tournament held each year at the base.

"We do the job because we love it and we want to help people. But no matter how safe we try to make it, it's still dangerous," said Sheppard Fire Department Chief David Mounsey, who gave remarks during the ceremony. "We never leave a brother behind, and we never forget the ones who have come before us. Hogan and Rezac were responding to an oil tank fire, and both were heroes. They did what they were trained to do and they paid the ultimate price."

Sheppard AFB Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Orf was dispatched with Hogan and Rezac to help contain the blaze, which started when lightning struck a 2.2 million gallon oil storage tank near Addington on the morning of June 11, 1995.

"Firefighting changed forever that night," Orf said. "We now require a safety officer to be dispatched for every call, and we also make sure we have pre-fire plans for different types of facilities."

Hogan and Rezac were recognized by the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association for heroism and their names have also been included in the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md.

(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, June 14, 2011

B-17 Flying Fortress & Goodyear Blimp Crashes: Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF)

Two aircraft crash incidents happened with one involving a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber crash on On Monday, June 13, 2011 and another incident involving a Goodyear Blimp that crashed on Sunday, June 12, 2011.

The Flying Fortress bomber crashed and burned in a cornfield southwest of Chicago, but seven crew members and volunteers walked away without serious injury.

The Goodyear Blimp burst into flames and plunged to the earth in a weekend crash in the vicinity of the Reichelsheim airport near Frankfurt Germany.

B-17 Flying Fortress Crash:

The B-17, christened the Liberty Belle, took off from the Aurora Municipal Airport at 9:30 a.m. and made an emergency crash landing in Oswego, 44 miles outside Chicago, after the pilot reported an engine fire, said Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkle. The plane ploughed into a cornfield — but the seven people on board, including the two pilots, were able to escape without serious injury.

Goodyear Blimp Crash:

The pilot, Michael Nerandzic, 53, was killed but three passengers managed to jump to safety when the airship caught fire as it was coming in to land at the Reichelsheim aerodrome near Friedberg.

When the airship was just two metres from the floor, Mr Nerandzic told his passengers, all journalists, to jump to the ground while he tried to land safely.

But once the three had leapt clear, the sudden loss of weight caused the blimp to soar skywards and burst into flames before crashing to the earth in a chilling echo of the Hindenburg disaster.

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

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Former Derby Factory Outlet Building Fire: Binghamton NY

A two-alarm fire began to blaze this morning in the city of Binghamton, New York, at around 07:40 am, to where heavy smoke could be seen pouring out of a four-story brick building which was the former Derby Fashion Outlet building at 301 Water Street around Clinton Street. The high volume of smoke was reported being seen from several neighboring community around the City of Binghamton

The fire response was upgraded to a second alarm while firefighters heading to the scene, Binghamton Fire Chief Daniel Thomas said.

Crews remained outside the building to fight the fire due to the heat. These types of fires can be especially difficult to knock down and combat for extinguishment. The warehouse was believed to be abandoned also.

When they arrived, firefighters saw fire coming from multiple floors in the four-story brick building and heavy smoke, Thomas said. Because of the intense heat and fears of a possible collapse, firefighters set up about 75 feet from the building and poured water into the building using aerial trucks.

Part of the building collapsed as Binghamton firefighters were entering their fifth hour of putting out a fire at 301 Water Street in the former Derby Factory Outlet building. There are no reports of injuries.

After firefighting operations were into the fifth hour, portions of the third & fourth floors, and the roof had collapsed; another major collapse happened about 45 minutes later. The building is a total loss, Thomas said.

About 40 firefighters were on the scene at the height of the fire that was under control, but not extinguished by mid-morning. No one was hurt in the fire.

Due to a fire at the Derby Building located at 301 Water Street in downtown Binghamton, the Broome County Health Department had issued a respiratory alert for those in the vicinity of the fire. This included, center city extending northeast between Front Street and Brandywine Ave Route 7. Humid conditions had prolonged smoke dissipation in the area. Those located within this area were advised to take precautions and to avoid unnecessary smoke inhalation by staying indoors and avoid travel in the area of the warehouse fire till containment/extinguishment was completed by the Binghamton Fire department.

(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, June 1, 2011

NFPA announces theme for Fire Prevention Week 2011

"Protect Your Family From Fire"

News releases By: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

May 31, 2011 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announces the theme for Fire Prevention Week - "Protect Your Family From Fire." Fire Prevention Week will be held October 9-15, 2011. NFPA has sponsored the fire prevention campaign since 1922, spreading awareness of the dangers of fires and inspiring individuals to prevent the deaths, injuries, and destruction they cause. This year’s theme focuses on how to protect your family from fire by planning ahead and integrating simple things into your everyday life.

Fires in the home take a great toll on life and property each year. During the five-year-period from 2005-2009, NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 373,900 reported home structure fires per year. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,650 civilian deaths, 12,890 civilian injuries, and $7.1 billion in direct property damage per year. Smoking materials remain the leading cause of home fire deaths, while cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries.

Installing systems such as smoke alarms and residential fire sprinklers, as well as identifying potential hazards, can reduce the risk of home fires and property loss, injury, or death due to fire. Nearly two-thirds of home structure fire deaths occur in homes where there was no smoke alarm, or where smoke alarms were present but failed to operate.

NFPA has taken the lead in public fire safety outreach by serving as the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for 89 years. The annual public awareness and safety commemoration, which is proclaimed by the President of the United States each year, is observed by fire departments in the U.S. and Canada to mark the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

Visit the Fire Prevention Week website for safety tips, statistical information, and more. The materials are available for use by fire departments, teachers, families and anyone interested in learning or teaching about fire safety.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 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.

(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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