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Thread: Risk Assessment

  1. #1
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    Default Risk Assessment

    Can anyone point me towards a resource on how to conduct a Risk Assessment to be used for the Fire Prevention proposal process. I see that FEMA gives highest consideration to departments that are basing their project on the results of a Risk Assessment. I just don't know where to start. Any one able to help?


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    I have to re-read the PG docs on the FP applications myself, but there ought to be something in and around USFA's publications web site.

    In a nutshell, you have to base your argument on funding the project on a bona fide risk that you have assessed in your area. Such as a large population of low income areas that do not have working smoke detectors, or a number of juvenile firesetters. Whatever it is, you must show that you found the risk and deemed it to be the most important one out of all that you found.

    If you have nothing better to do (it's 145 pages long :0), check USFA Report FA-166, Risk Management Practices in the Fire Service. There is also another one called Partnership for Arson Awareness & Prevention.

    Also if you do a search in the Publications Section, there is one called Topical Fire Research Series: Fire Risk. It was published in Dec 2004, so it's highly likely that it's the most relevant piece of material you can check out.

    And for futher general grant help, my article (1 of 5 planned) on The Importance of Research in Grant Writing is now on Firehouse.com in the MemberZone section. I'm spilling beans.

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    Several workshops I have attended have addressed this issue. My understand of a Risk Assessment is that it can be any combination of surveys, involvement with other local entities - such as schools, Sr. agencies, etc.

    For example: on a FP assessment involving children, I would recommend contacting the administration of elementary schools. From that meeting, I would ask could your department meet with one class representing each grade level. I would ask them questions such as: raise your hand if you know ________________ (fill in blanks - gear questions toward your potential fire program) - The younger K & 1st grades I'd ask fewer questions, then really get in depth with the older kids. You can compile a list of potential hazards just from the answers.

    Also, from that point, once you write your narrative, you can include info such as: 'Based on a Risk Assessment and survey of our school children' - 85% of the K & 1st graders don't know where their families safe location is, or don't know what to do in the event of a fire.

    This is a strong a compelling argument that can lend credibility to your project. It shows your commitment to your FP project. Also, let's everyone know you're working on FP year-around rather than just one week a year. Which is key when asking for funds... Good Luck!

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    Thanks for the info. This part of the FP grants has me scared! We've, obviously, never done a risk assessment and I just didn't know where to start. Couldn't find anything at the local bookstore or library that would help me. We DO fire prevention all year long to over 6,000 people in schools, child care centers, tours and businesses. We'd like to think that the program we are already doing is what is keeping our fires and fire-related injuries down.

    Dixie - I'm going to get on the survey idea right away. Any suggestions on what the survey should actually consist of that you would be willing to share?

    BC - Are all of those publications on the USFA site or can I order/buy them from a source? As soon as I hit "submit" here, I'm going to find your article!

    THANK YOU to both of you! I'm going to need all the help I can get. Do you know of any other books I can buy to help me through this?

    BC~ You're going to have to specifically tell me how to get to your article as I can't seem to find it. Thanks!
    Last edited by ksmith31; 05-07-2005 at 08:41 AM.

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    Well, with the younger children I would start off handing them all s sheet of paper and a crayon and ask them on the fron side to write the number they should call in a fire or emergency and after that, on the backside, draw a picture of where their safe location is outside the house. You'll be able to tell from the ?'s the children ask whether they have a clue. I'd make a note of how many didn't know each one on a clipboard. Then, you may want to ask them something like how many have access (show of hands) to matches, lighters or fire. Because that should be a big number. (probably more so down south where I am, as almost everyone smokes). Make a note and move to the the 2nd and 3rd grades.

    The older the class, you may want to have an official survey form, with blanks, spaces for comments, etc. I'd ask the 2nd and 3rd graders the same questions as above, and add things like - have you ever seen a fire fighter in full gear? -what would you do if a friend pulls out a lighter or matches to show you?

    As the parent of an almost 9 & 10 yr old (boys) I know how appealing the friend with a lighter is for most 2nd - 5th graders. As you move into the 4th and 5th, I'd include fun questions, like what do you think the coolest thing a FF gets to do in his/her job? What things do you think the FD can do to increase awareness of Fire Prevention?

    You'll be surprised at the results. If you start off with surveying 1 class from each grade level, you should be able to complete this in about 1/2 day in the school. To be on hand to maybe eat in the cafeteria with the Administration or a class is good, and earns you points with the kids.

    This goes back to the FP program I mentioned to you, where the FF goes in several times a month and is VERY visible and spends time with the children from all different age groups. I am also a ferverant believer in time spent within the school can possibly help identify 'high risk' children and build a healthy relationship between the children and the local FD. With 6000 kids in your district! You'll need some help. Your idea of the retired FFs is a great one to implement this. If you have any other questions, or want more ideas, don't hesitate to ask. I spend about 10-15 hours a week volunteering in the school (elementary) and have my two...so am pretty familiar with the age group in discussion.

    -There's also several books you can order from NFPA (online) that include all kinds of info on FP programs to children...These are FREE to FDs and you can read what other depts. have done and the success.
    Last edited by dixiechicknc; 05-07-2005 at 09:17 AM.

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    Kelly - everything I mentioned is on the USFA Publications Site. It's easier to go to www.usfa.fema.gov and up top there's a Publications link. From the Publications section you can either do what I did, search for Risk Assessment under Advanced Options to search for it as a phrase. Or put in the titles of the publications, or in the case of those with FA numbers, put in those.

    As of this post, on the Firehouse.com home page, scroll down a bit to the MembersZone area, and it's there along with my picture. Sorry, but Mom drowned the dumb ones, not the ugly ones.

    If your a MemberZone subscriber, here's the link:
    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=12&id=41568

    The plan is bi-weekly, and at least 4 more articles to go. Guess I'd better get writing...

  7. #7
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    Lightbulb

    RHAVE is a software program that you can download (free) that may help you put together a risk assessment. RHAVE stands for Risk, Hazard and Value Evaluation and can be found at;

    http://www.radware-solutions.com/rhaveinfo.html

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