Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default NFPA Report: Most home fires in homes with no smoke detectors

    If you do the math on this story, this is a ringing endorsement for an aggressive FD push to get smoke detectors in a relatively small number of homes. Instead of alot of the crap we waste time and money on, this one item would make more of a difference than anything else we could do.

    NFPA Report: 70% Of All Home Fire Deaths Occur In Homes With No Alarms Or No Working Alarms

    Quincy, MA - Seventy percent of all home fire fatalities occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms, a new report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has found. Despite a drastic rise in home smoke alarm use over the last 25 years, nearly one-quarter of the home smoke alarms in reported fires are not working.

    When home smoke alarms don't work, it's mostly because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries. In half of the reported fires where there were no working smoke alarms, batteries were missing or disconnected, and batteries were dead in 15% of these incidents. People too often disconnect or remove batteries because of nuisance activations from cooking or bathroom steam. In many cases, moving a smoke alarm farther away from the kitchen or bathroom can reduce these unwanted activations.

    As winter and the holidays approach - with more cooking, heating, candle use and decorating increasing fire risks - NFPA urges consumers to make sure their smoke alarms are working, and to test them in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, at least once a month. If your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, you should replace them.

    According to NFPA's report, U.S. Experience with Smoke Alarms and Other Fire Alarms, 19 out of every 20 U.S. homes had at least one smoke alarm. However, four out of 10 home fires that were reported to fire departments in this country occurred in the small percentage of homes that lacked these devices.

    Currently, most homes have battery-powered smoke alarms that are not interconnected. Hard-wired smoke alarms with battery back-up are usually a better bet because their power source is more reliable, and when the alarms are interconnected, they can alert everyone in the home if fire strikes. The battery in both these types of smoke alarms needs to be replaced in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, typically at least once a year. Another good option is the 10-year extended-life, lithium-battery operated device.

    NFPA offers these tips for installing, testing and maintaining smoke alarms:

    Choose a smoke alarm that bears the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
    Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside all sleeping areas.
    For added safety, install smoke alarms in every room where people sleep.
    To increase safety, have a qualified electrician install hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound.
    Install a new battery in all smoke alarms at least once a year. Install a new battery immediately if an alarm "chirps" to indicate a low battery.
    Replace smoke alarms that use extended-life, lithium batteries when the alarm "chirps" or fails to respond to periodic testing. The batteries in these units cannot be replaced.
    Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
    Test smoke alarms every month. Use the test button, or an approved smoke substitute, and clean the units, according to manufacturer's instructions. Do not use an open-flame device to test the alarm.
    Special smoke alarms are made for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These alarms use strobe lights. Vibrating devices may also help in some cases.


    Remember that the smoke alarm sounds only the warning. Develop and practice an escape plan to be sure that all members of your household can safely get out of a fire.

    For more information, visit www.nfpa.org.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,575

    Default another interesting point...

    Whenever we go to a "smoke in the building call" and the detectors are not working, I always ask the resident if their tv remote works. Of course the answer is "yes". I then tell them that the TV remote won't save their life, but their detectors will.. if they are properly maintained. It's amazing to see the little lightbulb over their heads illuminate!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber sbfdco1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    ><(((*>
    Posts
    556

    Default

    Ha,Ha ... Capt. that's funny, so true though!

    We had a basement job last Thursday, if it wasn't for the neighbor passing by, waking up the homeowners the outcome could've been a lot worse.

    They had a smoke detector, no batterires though!
    Jim
    Firefighter/EMT
    IACOJ
    ftm-ptb-rfb-egh-ktf-dtrt!

    September 11, 2001 - NEVER FORGET!

    BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET THAN LIVE ON YOUR KNEES!

  4. #4
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,993

    Default

    I try to remember on EMS runs to check for detectors, and when appropriate, at least ask about batteries, testing etc.

    There should be so much more emphasis on prevention. I guess it's not as glorious though.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
    Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
    Click this to search FH Forums!

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,527

    Default

    "There should be more emphasis on prevention, I guess"

    Guess the last sentence from Resq sums up the attitude of the majority of the fire service .. and this is not meant to pick on Resq in any way. The fact is that the average fire department in the United States spends a whooping 1% of thier total budget on public education/prevention while the average in Europe and developed countries in Asia is 15-20%. Unfortunatly the fire service in the US just hasn't gotten it yet .... maybe thats why our per capita deaths are 3-6 times that of Europe and Asia. I know to some this is like preaching to the choir but until we can get a majority of our leaders on board with the theory "more prevention will equal less need for suppression" (pssssssst ... thats where the additional prevention money will come from)these types of things will continue to happen on an almost weekly basis. Tied to that are mandatory sprinkler ordinances which will extingush fires in there earlier stages.
    Not sure exactly what it is going to take .... I guess we just ain't listen' very well.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    17

    Default

    I cant agree more about the need for fire departments to take a greater role in fire prevention/safety. I am a member of a mid sized fire department(11 stations) in the mid-west that has started installing smoke detectors free of charge to anyone in our city that needs one. After a study of fatality fires that ocured over a one year period in our city we found that out of the 6 homes where these fires ocured none had working smoke detectors and that we had been in 5 of the 6 homes in a years time prior to the fire for a medical run. It is our policy to check for, test and install smoke detectors and/or batterys in every home in need when we make a medical runs. thru a partnership with a local chain hardware store we are able to install or replace about 600 smoke detectors in our comunity per year. we have also recieved grants for special hearing impaired smoke detectors with louder alarms and strobe lights. we do have documented saves with our program!

    opourtunities to inprove safety in your comunity are out there.......Find them!

  7. #7
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,993

    Default

    Originally posted by LaFireEducator
    "There should be more emphasis on prevention, I guess"

    Guess the last sentence from Resq sums up the attitude of the majority of the fire service .. and this is not meant to pick on Resq in any way.
    I think you misquoted me... the "I guess" wasn't part of that sentence -- it was the next sentence. I'm well aware there should be more emphasis on prevention.

    I'm just unsure why that emphasis isn't part of the fire department culture top-to-bottom. I'm speaking generally here, because there certainly are departments around the country who do far more than others in this respect.

    Part of me thinks it's because prevention efforts don't typically involve lights and sirens.
    Last edited by Resq14; 11-11-2004 at 11:08 AM.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
    Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
    Click this to search FH Forums!

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    600

    Default

    I remember when I was in 4th grade; my local fd came to school for an education on fire safety. when I got home I noticed several unsafe acts occurring, not only from my parents but the landlord. So I started to point them out at the age of 9.

    My point is going to schools are great, and keep doing that. But, the adults need to be educated as well. Many may not want to be, but a 9 year old won't be able to reach the smoke detectors to check the batteries or instal a detector. It helps with the future. Keep up the good work.

    To those ff from my town; thank you for the education. Especially: "When you start to cook, make sure the pots handle is pointing in." I already was cooking alone at that age, and didn't think about it until you'll told me.

    Jorie

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,527

    Default

    Resq ... didn't mean to use you as an example bro but was just using that to sum up the general opinion of prevention and public education with a majority of the fire service. Generally it's paid a lot of lip service but when it comes to the hard choices of diverting some resources ($$$$$$) from supression to public education , well, it just doesn't happen.

    Why you ask ... well there are a lot of reasons but the root cause is that most firefighters get into the business to put out fires ... not do inspections, presentations and install smoke detectors. In a lot of areas the addition of EMS (which is in the public view and can be justified in run totals) has left companies with little time for PubEd functions. Public education in this country is viewed as a "secondary" responsibility (as demonstrated by the 1% budget expenditure) by most agenecies and assignment to the PubEd Division is almost viewed by most firefighters as a demotion. And most administrators feel that if thier fires drop too dramatically they will face a budget cut.... now matter how much prevention and public education work they can document. Finally there is the public, internal and union pressure not to close stations even if it is done to reassign personnal to an expanded public education & inspection division. It's the culture .... in Europe and Asia the priority is on prevention not supression (arrival times in Europe of 20 minutes in an URBAN/full-time setting are not uncommon).

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber CJMinick390's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Sitting on my Laa Laa waiting for my Yaa Yaa
    Posts
    1,042

    Default

    These results aren't all that surprising. The people who take the time and effort to properly maintain working smoke detectors are also those who follow through with good house keeping and are safety conscious in general. As a result they are much less likely to have a fire in their home.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

    These statements are mine and mine alone
    I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts