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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gear Up for Fire Prevention Week with Useful Tools from the NFPA

"Protect Your Family From Fire"

News releases By: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) annual public awareness campaign, Fire Prevention Week (FPW), begins October 9. This year’s theme is focused on educating families about what causes home fires, how to prevent them, and what to do in an emergency situation.

The Fire Prevention Week website offers helpful tools and resources for anyone wanting to run a community campaign or people simply trying to educate themselves or family members. Some features on the site include the Fire Prevention Week quiz, public service announcement videos, fire safety resources for families, and safety tip sheets covering a broad range of topics.

Fire Prevention Week website visitors can test their fire safety IQ with the Fire Week Prevention Quiz, which asks questions about pertinent fire safety information such as, “Where do most home fires start?” and “What time in the day do home fires peak?” At the end of the quiz, visitors can see how they did, review correct answers, and even showcase their results on Facebook or Twitter.

Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy audio and video public service announcements that touch upon the topics of escape planning and smoke alarms. The videos feature NFPA’s mascot Sparky, who is voiced by firefighter Barry Brickey, winner of the popular “Voice of Sparky” contest.

Parents and children can learn about home fire safety together with a printer-friendly version of the Family Fire Safety Checklist. The checklist is contoured for grown-ups and kids to familiarize the whole family with smoke alarms and fire escape planning. Hanging the checklist on the fridge is a great way to keep the family aware of fire safety.

Safety Tip Sheets are also available on the FPW website and cover cooking, escape planning, heating, smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers, candles, electric wiring, and smoking materials. The detailed sheets offer life-saving safety tips as well as relevant information and statistics related to home fire safety.

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 Fire Prevention Week NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. 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. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925.

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; Th is is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

NFPA Releases 2010 "Fire Loss in the U.S." Report

Fire departments across the U.S. responded to fewer fires in 2010 than in the previous year, according to a new report, but the number of fire deaths increased slightly.

Public fire departments responded to 1,331,500 fires during 2010, the lowest number since 1977, according to a report issued Friday by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

These fires caused an estimated 3,120 civilian fire deaths, a 4 percent increase from a year ago; an estimated 17,720 civilian fire injuries, also a 4 percent increase from the previous year; and more than $11.5 billion in property damage, a significant decrease from the year before.

Fire Loss in the U.S. analyzes 2010 figures for fires, civilian fire deaths, injuries, property damage, and intentionally set fires. Estimates are based on data collected from fire departments that responded to NFPA’s Annual National Fire Experience Survey.

There were an estimated 482,000 structure fires reported to fire departments in 2010, a very slight increase from a year ago. The number of structure fires was at their peak in 1977, the first year that NFPA implemented its current survey methodology, when 1,098,000 structure fires occurred.

“We have made tremendous progress in reducing the fire problem in the United States since we began looking at these numbers in the late 70’s,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Communications for NFPA. “But this report shows us that more must be done to bring the numbers down even further. We continue to see the vast majority of deaths occurring in homes, a place where people often feel safest. These survey results will be combined with data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to determine how often specific fire circumstances occur and where we can most effectively focus our efforts.”

Other key findings from the report include:
• A fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds.
• 384,000 fires or 80 percent of all structure fires occurred in residential properties.
• About 85 percent of all fire deaths occurred in the home.
• 215,500 vehicle fires occurred in the U.S. during 2010, causing 310 civilian fire deaths, 1,590 civilian fire injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
• 634,000 outside and other fires occurred in the U.S. during 2010 causing $501 million in property damage.

“USFA is pleased to share in the release of NFPA’s annual fire loss report,” said Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. “NFPA’s survey is greatly valued by USFA and aids in producing national estimates of more detailed fires and losses as reported to NFIRS. These combined efforts enable us to analyze the fire problem at a more detailed level and develop prevention strategies to reduce the risk of fire and loss of life and property to the American public.”

To download the full report “Fire Loss in the United States during 2010,” please visit

About NFIRS and NFPA’s National Fire Experience Survey
The NFPA Annual National Fire Experience Survey is used to make estimates of the overall fire problem in the United States with breakdowns by general occupancy, size of community, and region of the country. This survey when used in conjunction with the USFA’s NFIRS allows national estimates of more detailed aspects of the fire problem.

NFIRS represents the world’s largest, national, annual database of fire incident information. NFIRS is a voluntary reporting system administered by the USFA and organized at the national level. NFIRS reports, filled out by local fire officers after each incident, provide the most detailed incident information of any national database. NFIRS is the only database capable of addressing national patterns for fires of all sizes by specific occupancy and fire cause. NFIRS also captures information on when the fire occurred, how much it spread, and the effectiveness of automatic detection and suppression equipment.

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Great Flood of 2011

Well, with heavy rain coming down all day, we lost power last Wednesday (9/7/11) at 11:15 pm with the Susquehanna River here in the Southern Tier of New York State on the rise. On Thursday morning (9/8/11) at about 03:45 am we got the word we had to evacuate our homes to higher ground. It was being reported/being told that the river water was at the top of the dike system that surrounds & protects the little Village from the flood waters on the brink of following over. The flood level along the Susquehanna River was pushing near 40 feet at this point, which was 3-4 feet higher than the 2006 Flood.

With family and friends safe on high ground at the local Village elementary school made into a community shelter, we waited it out for about 30 hours for the water levels to lower. On Friday (9/9/11) 11:00 am we were clear to head back to our homes in the Village. At my home we found that we only had 2 and a half feet of water in the basement where once the sump pump was started, on generator power, keep the water level where it was at till levels began to recede.
We were very fortunate & lucky that’s all we had to deal with and I was proud that the dike system had held to protected our little Village from a greater disaster that was affecting the rest of our county and neighboring counties. Our thoughts and prayers are with those dealing with alot more.

After being on generator power for 4+ days waiting & watching the ground water as well as river water receding back, we started the process to dry thing and help our neighbors as best we can. On Monday evening (9/12/11) about 7:45 pm, being positive after making a bet with my neighbor that electrical power would be on by Wednesday @ 6:30 pm for four quarters, I met my neighbor at my back porch door who handed me four quarters. I just looked at those four quarters and said, “Wow, the power is back on!”

Today Tuesday (9/13/11) life got back to a little normal in the little Village I live in and we are luckier than most in the area here due to the dike that held its ground and held the flood waters at bay.

Pictures of The Great Flood of 2011:

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

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

National Preparedness Month - September 2011

September is National Preparedness Month, as well as marking the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks this weekend. Preparedness is a responsibility for the whole community where ever you may live. Individuals, businesses, community organizations, faith-based groups, and state, local and tribal governments should focus this month on preparing for all types of emergencies and disasters.

The National Preparedness Month campaign theme for 2011 is "A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare." The purpose of this awareness of being prepared is to encourage all Americans to take the necessary steps to ensure that their homes, workplaces and communities are prepared for disasters and emergencies.

With earthquake, tropical storm, hurricanes, tornado, and wildfires taking place this last week, as well as currently, and looming on the horizon we all need to know what to do to take the time in preparing for these disasters be they natural or manmade. Everyone is encouraged to take action in making sure your family, neighborhood and community are ready for emergencies and disasters of all types.

Preparing can start with three important steps:

1. Get an emergency supply kit
2. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency
3. Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency

Put together an emergency supply kit. After a major disaster (whether tornadoes/high winds, flooding, major wildfires, or hazmat emergencies), there is often a disruption of normal services. This includes electricity, telephones, and sewer systems, as well as the ability to obtain fresh food and drinking water. Experts recommend that every citizen should have a disaster supply kit on hand, well-stocked enough to allow them to be self-sufficient for at least three days. Disaster kits should be stored in a waterproof container in an easily accessible location.

Some recommended kit items from include:

Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

First aid kit

Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter- in-place

Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Local maps

Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Prescription medications and glasses

Infant formula and diapers

Pet food and extra water for your pet

Cash or traveler's checks and change

Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.

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

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