1. #1
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    Default Three-quarters of Americans are not prepared to escape a home fire

    Three-quarters of Americans are not prepared to escape a home fire
    NFPA survey finds that many have made plans, but few have practiced

    January 7, 2005 – Only one in four Americans has devised and practiced a plan to escape from the home during a fire, a survey by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has found.

    Such preparation can be a critical factor in surviving a fire, and the NFPA has long urged every family draw up a plan and practice it. Indeed, before the NFPA conducted a three-year Fire Prevention Week campaign called “The Great Escape,” only one-sixth of households had developed and practiced escape plans. But one-quarter is not good enough; there remains a long way to go in this aspect of fire safety.

    The good news is that two-thirds of Americans have an escape plan. But most of those who say they have plans have not practiced them—a key step in preparedness.

    The NFPA survey, conducted by Harris Interactive (PDF, 759 KB), in which 1,014 adults were interviewed by phone last fall, also found that people older than age 65 were most likely to have developed an escape plan. But they were least likely to have practiced their escape plan if they had one. This is unfortunate because many older people move with difficulty and would benefit most from practicing getting out of the home quickly.

    Those least likely to have even developed an escape plan are 18 to 24 – an age when children are less likely to be part of the household.

    One reason why people may have neglected escape planning is that many overestimate how much time they will have to escape a fire. Two out of five respondents said they thought they would have six minutes or more before a fire turns life-threatening, and one quarter thought they’d have a full 10 minutes. In fact, people often have only two minutes to get out safely.

    The NFPA offers these tips on escape planning:

    Draw a floor plan of your home and show two ways to get out of each room.
    Practice the escape plan at least twice a year, and involve the entire family.
    If a family member has trouble walking or is disabled, assign someone to help that person.
    Designate a meeting place outside.
    Make sure doors and windows can be opened easily, and that security bars have quick-release mechanisms on the inside.
    Heat and smoke rise; if you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.
    Post an emergency telephone number on or near all telephones. Make sure everyone memorizes the number of the local fire department.
    Never go back into a burning building.
    NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety 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 scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. Visit NFPA’s Web site at www.nfpa.org.


    This is where every ounce of fire prevention effort that is legal and possible should be concentrated-in the home. The latest USFA stats show that fire deaths rose in 2003, with 80% of them occurring in residences. This should be a no-brainer.

    Of course, it is not as exciting as working fire...

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    I know, I know. This topic is too boring. Who the hell cares about PREVENTING fires and saving lives?

    Which light bar is best for my Dodge Omni?

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    personally, I thought that number would be higher. and do you think that firefighter's homes and families have the exact percentage for being unprepared?

    and for your dodge omni, it would probably a better idea to put hideaway strobes in all the headlights and taillights, with a siren behind the grill. but if you must put a lightbar on, I would go with a brande new 56 inch LED lightbar by whelen.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

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    do you think that firefighter's homes and families have the exact percentage for being unprepared?
    My personal opinion and experience say yes, and its probably higher.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 01-16-2005 at 07:14 PM.

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    Well George, I know you beleive in prevention and education, but here goes for the majority of the Fire Service.......
    Until the average Fire Department in the United States starts spending more than 1% of thier total budget on public education, that number is not going to change. Compared to the rest of the industrialized world, which spends anywhere from 10% to 25% and tasks thier supression companies with fire prevention tasks as part of thier daily routine, we give public education little or no attention. It's no surprise then that Americans pay little attention to the risk of fire and show little intrest in making the effort to be prepared. It's so unfortunate that the country that spends more on fire department operations per capita than any country in the world spends so damn little on public education and prevention. Is it any wonder then that we rank 2nd to the bottom of all industrailized nations when it comes to fire deaths per capita ?
    At some point, maybe, the fire service will realize that the answer to many of the problems we see in terms of staffing and supression is actually some genuine effort when it comes to prevention. It's worked everywhere else ....

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    We in the fire service are "guilty as charged", however...

    When a fire education/prevention program works, and the number of fires goes down... what do the politicians want to cut?

    FD budgets.

    So the Fire Chief has to cut his budget... does he

    a. cut fire prevention/education funding and personnel
    b. cut suppression personnel.
    c. strike a balance and get more suppression personnel involved in FP&E


    The number of fires go up.

    The mutts want to know why the big red truck is spending all of its time on the road and not in the station, especially when there is a fire and the rig takes a few minutes longer to get to the scene because it was at the far edge of the district.

    The Chief is on the hot seat when the mutts at City Hall want to know why the number of fires is up ansd why there is a need to increase the overtime account to cover callbacks.

    For us, It's a Catch 22 situation...

    PS: my FD is active in inspections, as we do the smoke dector inspections for new and existing home sales and quarterly inspections of schools, nursing homes, group homes et al in the Company's districts.

    Our School education program has been in limbo due to funding and school scheduling. We have done segments with our local cable tv access channel to promote fire safety.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 01-17-2005 at 03:56 PM.
    ‎"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

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    Exclamation Plans do work!

    Years back when the kids were still at home and my neice was visiting we decided to cook tacos on the stove. Prior to this the whole family had done the drill as outlined in project EDITH.

    While sitting in the dining room with our tacos, the heat detector over the range started ringing. (I like heat detectors over the stove and smoke detectors in bedrooms.)

    I ran to the kitchen. Flames were to the ceiling. I grabbed the dry chem in the kitchen and quickly put it out. When I checked on the family, they were all outside standing next the the designated telephone pole and all accounted for.

    Fire department just helped blow out the smoke and insurance company paid for new carpet and paint.

    In my oppinion, the fire service should try to put itself out of business and spend much more $$$ and resources on prevention.

    But then, I'm just an old coot.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

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    Originally posted by LaFireEducator
    Well George, I know you beleive in prevention and education, but here goes for the majority of the Fire Service.......
    Until the average Fire Department in the United States starts spending more than 1% of thier total budget on public education, that number is not going to change. Compared to the rest of the industrialized world, which spends anywhere from 10% to 25% and tasks thier supression companies with fire prevention tasks as part of thier daily routine, we give public education little or no attention. It's no surprise then that Americans pay little attention to the risk of fire and show little intrest in making the effort to be prepared. It's so unfortunate that the country that spends more on fire department operations per capita than any country in the world spends so damn little on public education and prevention. Is it any wonder then that we rank 2nd to the bottom of all industrailized nations when it comes to fire deaths per capita ?
    At some point, maybe, the fire service will realize that the answer to many of the problems we see in terms of staffing and supression is actually some genuine effort when it comes to prevention. It's worked everywhere else ....
    You're damn right I believe in fire prevention. And I agree 100% with everything you wrote. However, I firmly believe that the fire service controls this problem. Gonzo's scenario is all too often true.

    This will change when the fire service gets rid of their bozos who would much rather fight a fire than to save a life by preventing the fire. The fire service needs to show the powers that be that there is a positive economic benefit to a quality of life issue (key phrase) like preventing fires. They are low vacancy rates in commercial and residential space, higher real estate values (that translates into more tax recenue), and lower insurance costs. The fire service starts to fight the Catch 22 by having leaders with steel testicles that refuse to allow their department to be used as whipping boy or a red-headed step child.

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    Let me say one more thing. The type of fire prevention that would make the most dramatic impact on the fire rate requires no special education or degrees. If you made a targeted effort to combat fires in single-family dwellings-the number one fire problem in the US today-you will drop the fire rate as well as improve the quality of life in your town.

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    And the one of the quickest ways to attain that goal is a residential sprinkler program. Of course, that takes political will to overcome the immediate outcry you will get over the cost.
    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

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    Your probably right about most FF's home being the most unprepared... kind of like how mechanics always drive the beat up POS cars. My own home has a a cental alarm system with smoke detectors in both bedrooms and the kitchen/dining room area, smoke/heat detector in the basement room, smoke/heat detector in the utility room, and heat detectors in the attick & garage. I put the sirens in locations such that they will wake the dead, plus the detectors have sounders on them. If something is burning where it shouldn't be, you'll know it. It's kinda funny, I installed this whole burglar and fire system by myself and it hasn't had a single false alarm. These 5 million dollar contracted alarm systems all over town go off once a month. It makes me laugh every time.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    after our fire we talked about a sprinkler system but we could not afford the out of pocket expense. We did install a very nice alarm system with heat and smoke detectors, also without a false alarm.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    The house that my ex-wife and I bought together has a sprinkler system (except for the basement). I always felt real secure sleeping there. It's too bad that there is such misinformation regarding sprinklers and oppisition to them in the building community ... and unfortunatly they exercise the clout they seem to have when ordinaces requiring them come up to local boards. I know the the VT last town I was a firefighter in we tried to get a rather modest ordinace approved for multi-unit structures and commercial (which usually have them anyway because of insurance company requirements) and it was voted down by the powers that be. Until the trend is reversed through the power that the fire service has and or until we can get the public to demand change, things will pretty much run as they are.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-18-2005 at 06:01 PM.

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    Just as sidenote, residental sprinkler systems in VT for new construction ran about .70 per square foot, and with the building code tradeoffs we were willing to make, it came down to about .50 per square foot.
    Now that's only about $1,000 on a 2000 square foot house selling for $200,000. And I haven't even talked about the potential insurance premuim savings for the owners.
    Seems like with some aggressive and wide ranging public education many people would be willing to pay that small price for the added safety. Guess for some of us it's just too much extra work ...

    Just my thoughts.

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    I would think that retrofitting a ranch type house would be very easy. You can access the entire cieling area via the attic. Then it is just a matter of the control and flow system.

    I anxiously await the day we are dispatched to "Residential automatic fire alarm, coming in as water flow"
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    This is from a story today int he Morristown Daily Record regarding a fire that destroyed a home in Mountain Lakes, NJ. There is nothing remarkable about this fire. It is one of a slew of house fires that occurred yesterday. But read this line from a neighbor:
    Vincent DiRicco, a resident of Kenilworth Drive who came to watch the fire, said, "It's funny, we have four smoke alarms just sitting in the packages. Now I'm putting them up."

    "I can't believe it moves so fast, (got) so big," DiRicco said.


    It was unintentional and it was dramatic, but this quote exemplifies the power of a dynamic public fire education program. If you have to use a current fire, use it.

    I investigated a fire that killed five people-three of them kids under 12. After the fire, the Victim/Witness Advocacy Unit of my old office (these people are specialists in dealing with people who have sustained a traumatic loss) arranged an informal meeting in a neighbor's home. They invited the neighbor's and asked me to come there to talk to them. I initially thought it might not work. Without going into detail, that meeting did more to further fire safety awareness and the importance of smoke detectors than any single thing I have ever done in my life.

    Public education is the way you get to these people.

    Here's the link:
    http://www.dailyrecord.com/news/arti...1-cobbfire.htm

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    George

    Here is a bunch of stuff you may want to use from the New Zealand Fire Service web site.Fire Safety
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    Thanks Kiwi. Very interesting. You guys are way ahead of most places in the States with this stuff.

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    That was a great video, Kiwi. I am in the process of making a new web site for my company and will be putting a page or two about EDITH and general fire safety, I will link to that video, it is very powerful.
    9/11/01 Never forget Never forgive

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    A FF/Homeowner who was in my systems 1 class was installing it in his home was dissapointed when he found that the insurance company will not give him a break because one closet in the (finished)attic is unprotected.....I forget why he said he couldnt put it in their. But because it wasnt %100 coverage, no discount.

    Also, the fact that the orange CPVC pipes will not retain thier factory rateing after being painted is another deterrent to John Q. looking to putting it in his home.In this area alot of plumbing inspectors in this area are not familiar with the residential systems.


    I still say the best protection for this house is common sense, smoke detectors,extingushers and a class 2 department 1/2 a mile away and a plug in the front yard with 97# static and 92# residule.
    Last edited by stm4710; 01-18-2005 at 09:51 PM.
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    George ........
    You are so right about using local fires and incidents to drive home your public education messages. One of the essential elements of getting your message across to the public is "making it relevant to thier lives", and nothing could be more relevant than a fire in the same town. After every major fire that we had, or in some cases, our neighboring departments had, I would write a Letter To The Editor of our town bi-weekly newspaper highlighting the cause of the fire and what steps the occupants could have taken to prevent the fire and limit the loss or deaths/injuries. i would try to enclose a photo or two whenever possible. People react to things that are fresh in thier minds, and I found this a very effective tool when it came to affecting thier fire and life safety behaviors.

    There is a lot we can do, and most does not require any special training. The key is in my mind, and this is what seperates us from Europe and Australia, NZ and Japan, is that effective Fire Prevention is NOT a one week a year thing, but instead it is a 52 week a year effort that requires constant attention.

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    Originally posted by stm4710
    I still say the best protection for this house is common sense, smoke detectors,extingushers and a class 2 department 1/2 a mile away and a plug in the front yard with 97# static and 92# residule.


    Except in the most exceptional circumstances, the best department in the world has FAILED when they roll out the door with lights and sirens to put out a fire.

    Protection must built in - actively and passively, and we need to stop accepting fire losses as OK.
    ullrichk
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    Ullrichk...

    You make an excellent point. In Europe and industralized Asia, fire is not accepted as a "normal course of life" like it is here in the United States. In fact, in many European and Asian countries, the person who caused the fire is made to feel very shameful of thier actions. That person can be held responsible both for civilly for damages (that thier insurance company will not cover) to other's property if it is damaged and criminally should an injury or death occur and the fire was started because of negligence. Negligence much more widely is defined in most overseas laws and covers a lot of what we would consider "accidental fires". We truly need to develop a culture that does not accept unsafe fire behavior as the norm and not only encourages but develops the expectation that firesafety will be a priority.
    How do we do that ? There are a lot of ideas, but some of the basics start with the fire service itself. Things like firesafe fire stations that meet or exceed firesafety codes with sprinkler and alarm systems (practice what we preach), drastically increased funding and staffing for public education at all levels (department, state & national) and a true dedication and emphasis throughout the fire service that, as you stated, even rolling to fire is a failure. It's a bit of a culture change ain't it ? Are we as a group up to the challenge ???

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    Originally posted by stm4710

    I still say the best protection for this house is common sense, smoke detectors,extingushers and a class 2 department 1/2 a mile away and a plug in the front yard with 97# static and 92# residule.
    It is completely ignorant to think any of these things is more effective than a sprinkler system.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI


    It is completely ignorant to think any of these things is more effective than a sprinkler system.
    Acourse it is. I never said RS were ineffective. In fact I think they are great. But right now, at this time there are no sprinklers in this house so those things are better than no sprinklers. My father is looking into putting in a system in 2008-2009 when he puts a second level on the house.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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