Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fire Department Demonstrates Sprinkler System

Posted Thursday, October 27, 2011 ; 06:07 PM
Updated Thursday, October 27, 2011; 06:12 PM

A Habitat for Humanity House is being constructed with a sprinkler system for a family with hearing impairments.

CHARLESTON -- The Charleston Fire Department wanted to show just how important it is to know when there’s a fire in the home, even if its residents can’t hear an alarm.
A Habitat for Humanity home is still under construction in North Charleston for a family with hearing impairments.

A brand new sprinkler system has been installed in the home to alert the family members if there is a fire, and Cpt. Ken Tyree with the Charleston Fire Department said many homes can benefit from a sprinkler system.

Tyree said studies show that young children, the elderly and the disabled normally do not hear or wake up to smoke alarms which can make a sprinkler system a true life saver.

“It’s an investment,” Tyree said. “It’s more, when you look at the cost, but it’s really all about investment when it comes to what this system costs to be in this house.”

Tyree also said 80 percent of fire deaths occur in the home, and he urges everyone to check their smoke detectors regularly.

Copyright 2011 West Virginia Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inspector credits sprinkler with saving life

Inspector credits sprinkler with saving life
By The Whig-Standard
Posted 2 hours ago
An automatic sprinkler head is credited for limiting the damage at a Park Street high-rise apartment early Wednesday morning.

Kingston Fire and Rescue responded to the fire that started on a stovetop in a 10th-floor unit. The smoke alarm in the suite had been disabled prior to the fire, but the sprinkler limited damage in the apartment to less than $1,000.

"Without a working smoke alarm, the occupant of this apartment is fortunate to be alive today," Kingston fire inspector Del Blakney said in a news release.

Fire code charges for disabling the smoke alarm are pending.

Water flow from the sprinkler extinguished the fire and sounded the building alarm, alerting other occupants.

Blakney said a similar stovetop fire three years ago on Regent Street apartment that did not have an automatic sprinkler head caused $80,000 in damage and killed a family pet.

Last week, an automatic sprinkler head put out a fire in an underground parking garage. In June, fire officials credited a sprinkler for putting out a fire at a linen supply business. In that case damage was limited to $250.

— The Whig-Standard

Fire and rescue group won't help build Habitat house without sprinklers

Fire and rescue group won't help build Habitat house without sprinklers

6:59 p.m. EDT, October 26, 2011

HAGERSTOWN— The Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association planned to help build an upcoming Habitat for Humanity “Heroes House” next year — until philosophy got in the way.

Last month, the association voted to participate in the volunteer building project only if the house has a sprinkler system.

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However, Habitat for Humanity doesn’t put sprinklers in its local homes.

Washington County and the city of Hagerstown require sprinklers for some new construction, but not for single-family detached homes.

Sherry Brown Cooper, the executive director of Habitat’s Washington County chapter, said the fire and rescue association wouldn’t have been the only group of “heroes” involved, so, despite the new wrinkle, the project will proceed.

The Heroes House will be the local Habitat chapter’s latest theme project. Others have been for “apostles” and for women only.

A few months ago, the fire and rescue association voted in favor of participating, but then had second thoughts.

Blaine Snyder, the president of the First Hagerstown Hose Co., said that after the first vote, his company decided it would go against their beliefs to help build a house without sprinklers.

In September, the issue came back to the association, which voted 21-2, with one abstention, to only participate if there were sprinklers, according to minutes of that meeting.

Firefighters have tried to get local government bodies to require sprinklers in new residential construction.

“It definitely saves lives,” Snyder said.

Opponents have said buyers usually don’t request sprinklers and mandating them drives up construction costs.

Cooper said Habitat has completed 36 homes in Hagerstown and Washington County, all without sprinklers. The board would have to approve sprinklers as a change in the basic house construction plan.

The Heroes House is scheduled to be in Hagerstown, although Habitat hasn’t purchased the property yet. Cooper said it probably will be Habitat’s first rebuilt house, rather than starting from the ground up.

Snyder said individual volunteer firefighter or rescue squad members could help build the house, but the association won’t officially participate as an organization.

One idea is for fire and rescue companies in the association to pay the cost of a sprinkler system for the house, but that could set a precedent for future Habitat homes, Snyder said.
Copyright © 2011, Herald Mail

Hearings set for residential sprinkler ordinance

BLOOMINGTON — Two public hearings are planned Thursday on a proposal to require sprinklers in all new residential construction in Bloomington.
Mark Huber, director of planning and code enforcement, will give an overview of the change and those attending will have a chance to ask questions and present concerns.  There also will be a fire demonstration.
The meetings are at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 109 E. Olive St.  The fire demonstration will follow the 10 a.m. meeting and take place before the 6 p.m. meeting in the lot at Oakland Avenue and East Street.
The issue and other proposed building code changes included in the 2009 International Building Code will be considered by the Construction Board of Appeals at 3 p.m. Nov. 7.  The board will make a recommendation that will be considered by the Bloomington City Council at a future council meeting.
Normal City Council already has adopted the home sprinkler requirement.  It is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1.

Read more:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fears fire would affect Auckland's electricity

Published: 4:52AM Tuesday October 18, 2011 Source: Fairfax
  • Fears fire would affect Auckland's electricity (Source: NZPA)
    Source: NZPA
A fat fire in a large food factory prompted a major fire service call-out early this morning amid fears it might affect the main electricity lines into Auckland.
Auckland Area Commander Murray Binning said a deep fryer in the middle of the Mr Chips factory in Kirwan Ave, East Tamaki, caught fire at around 3.30am.
"Sprinklers contained the fire very quickly, but we had problems getting to some of the burning fat in ducting in the factory," he said.
They were also concerned that 220kv power lines, part of the national power grid, passed right over the factory.
"Sometimes, if the smoke is thick enough, it can cause arcing, but our staff was well aware of it."
Binning said 16 fire trucks were used to fight the blaze.
"It's a big factory and we had to be aware of what was happening. The sprinklers were doing their job and it reinforces what we always say, that sprinklers make a difference."
Although the firefighters union is currently in dispute over wages with the Fire Service, Binning said industrial action had no impact on the Mr Chip's fire.
"The industrial action is not impacting on operational matters... This fire was well handled and everything is fine."
Police Senior Sergeant Ian Benchley said the fire "bloody stunk".
"You know when someone's been frying food and they haven't opened a kitchen window, that's what it was like."
There were no injuries and much of the factory was re-opened and resuming work.
A fire safety investigator would examine the fryer and try to determine what caused the blaze.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Fire Prevention Week: Reflect and Prepare

Posted by: Glenn Gaines, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator for the U.S. Fire Administration

During this 89th Fire Prevention Week (October 9-15, 2011), take a moment and reflect with me on how far we’ve come and where we need to go to protect our families and communities from fire. Before I discuss some of the changes in the firefighting and fire prevention landscape, the most important thing to remember is you can do your part to make your family safer from the risk of fire.

What You Can Do

The following tips will help you keep your family and homes safer, everyday:

  • Establish and practice an emergency escape plan that includes at least two exits out of your home and designate a meeting space outside of your home where first responders can easily see you.
  • Properly install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement, outside sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom.
  • Consider installing a residential sprinkler in your home. Residential fire sprinklers protect lives and property by keeping fires small.
  • Know that the leading cause of fire and injury in the home is unattended cooking so stand by your pan when you are cooking, frying, grilling, broiling, or barbequing food.
  • If you live in an area prone to wildfire, keep the area around your home clear of combustible vegetation.
Learning Lessons From the Past

The threat from fire is ever present. Fire destroys lives and property, that’s why fire prevention is so important. One-hundred and forty years ago, the great Chicago fire consumed much of the city and claimed many lives. The fire fighting community soon recognized such disasters were preventable and society took action. In the process we learned to fight fires with more efficiency. From those destructive fires we learned to better control fires in blocks of buildings, then single buildings, then to just floors in a building, to now, when most fires are contained to the room of origin.

Because of this, society has saved vital resources, improved the urban landscape, and raised the level of safety through legislation, zoning ordinances, upgrading municipal fire defenses, expanding public water supplies, installing fire alarms and automatic fire sprinkler systems in commercial buildings, adopting building and fire codes, developing better building methods and materials, and teaching people how to prevent fire. Doing this was not easy, but it was a decision made by society that fire had to be controlled, and it took the efforts of everyone to make it happen.

New Challenges

While urban infernos are now very rare events, we face new fire-safety challenges. Today, our homes remain a place of great potential risk from fire. Not long ago our furnishings and belongings were mostly cotton, wool, and wood. Now plastic and synthetic materials make up many of the items we use every day and when burned produce greater quantities of deadly heat and toxic smoke compared to natural materials.

Fires in the modern home burn hotter and faster and have more potential fuel to keep the fire going than 50 years ago, presenting a greater challenge to occupant survival and for firefighters to control.

Fire Prevention Week provides the opportunity to reflect on fire-safety readiness and how we can better protect our families and communities from fire. To learn more about preparing your home and family for a fire, visit If you’re an emergency manager, educator, parent, community leader or concerned citizen, visit the U.S. Fire Administration website for more resources for sharing fire safety information.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October Issue of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter - NFPA



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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From the Consumer Product Safety Commission


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of CommunicationsWashington, D.C.

October 12, 2011
Release #12-009
CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

A Fire Safe Home: CPSC and NFPA Urge Consumers to Install Smoke Alarms, Practice a Family Escape Plan
Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urge consumers to take time during Fire Prevention Week to check their homes for fire risks and to develop and practice a family escape plan.
CPSC estimates an annual average of more than 386,000 unintentional residential fires (pdf), nearly 2,400 deaths and more the 12,500 injuries each year from 2006 through 2008.
“Build layers of fire safety in your home,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Install smoke alarms on every floor and in every bedroom. If you already have smoke alarms, make sure they are working. Smoke alarms provide early warning of a potentially deadly fire and can reduce the risk of dying from fire in your home by almost half.”
“Planning a home fire escape is an essential part of being prepared to act and get out quickly if a fire occurs,” said NFPA President James M. Shannon. “Develop a fire escape plan that identifies two ways out of every room and a family meeting place outside. Practice your plan at least twice a year.”
Safe practices, such as the following, are the first line of defense in preventing a fire in your home:
  1. Install smoke alarms – A smoke alarm (pdf) should be installed on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms. When it comes to surviving a fire, a smoke alarm is critical for early detection of a fire and can mean the difference between life and death. About two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that don’t work.
    Install both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms. Alarms should have battery backup. Consider installing interconnected smoke alarms because when one sounds, they all sound throughout the home.
  2. Have a family escape plan – Develop and practice a family escape plan. Make sure everyone knows how to escape when the smoke alarm sounds, whether awake or asleep at the time. The best plans have two ways to get out of each room. Designate a meeting place outside. Once out, stay out! To help make a family escape plan, see this NFPA publication  (pdf).
  3. Cook safely – Stay in the kitchen and keep a watchful eye while you are cooking. Unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires. Cooking equipment accounted for the largest percentage of home fires from 2006 through 2008 that were reported by fire departments. For this time period, CPSC estimates an annual average of nearly 150,000 cooking fires which is nearly 40 percent of unintentional residential fires. These fires resulted in an average of 150 deaths each year.
  4. Fireplace safety – Have fireplace flues and chimneys inspected for leakage and blockage from creosote or debris every year. Store fireplace ashes in a fire-resistant container, and cover the container with a lid. Keep the container outdoors and away from combustibles. Dispose of ashes carefully, keeping them away from dry leaves, trash or other combustible materials.
    Heating and cooling equipment accounted for the second-largest percentage of home fires from 2006 through 2008. CPSC estimates an annual average of nearly 57,000 fires and 220 deaths during that time period. Fireplaces and chimneys represented the majority of those fires with an annual average of nearly 27,000 from 2006 through 2008.
  5. Electrical safety – CPSC estimates there was an annual average of 150 deaths from 2006 through 2008 attributable to electrical components.
    Check the ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) (pdf) in your home to make sure they’re working. GFCIs can prevent electrocution. CPSC recommends installing GFCIs in the kitchen, bathrooms and other areas where the risk of electric shock is higher.
    Install arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). AFCIs are designed to protect against fires caused by arcing faults in a home’s electrical wiring.
    For more information, see CPSC’s “Home Electrical Safety Checklist.” (pdf)
  6. Avoid mattress fires (pdf) – Don’t allow children to play with candles, lighters or smoking materials. Extinguish candles before you leave the room. Buy a mattress that meets the federal flammability standards. The open flame standard limits the intensity of mattress fires and provides more escape time for consumers.
  7. Use caution when smoking – Smoking materials caused the most deaths in residential fires, an average of 600 deaths each year from 2006 through 2008. Don’t smoke in bed.
  8. Don’t use gel fuel in firepots – CPSC has recalled millions of bottles of gel fuel due to burn and flash-fire hazards. 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. Contact the manufacturer to return the product for a full refund. There have been deaths associated with gel fuel.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (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.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: , call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to
Connect with Us!CPSCs OnSafety BlogSee our videos on You Tube Follow us on Twitter See our pictures on Flickr 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 9-15 is National Fire Protection Week

Important Tips to Protect Families From Fire

Oct. 9-15 is National Fire Prevention Week.
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The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) is proud to partner with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9 – 15.  The theme of this year’s observance is “Protect Your Family from Fire.”
The District believes that fire safety is a topic that should not be taken lightly.  According to the NFPA, fire departments across the United States responded to 362,500 home fires in 2009 alone.  These caused nearly 2,600 deaths, more than 12,600 injuries, and $7.6 billion in damages. 
The BCFPD Board of Trustees encourages residents to learn more about ways to protect their families from fire.  A wide range of educational materials and tip sheets are available online at www.firepreventionweek,org.
Closer to home, District residents will reduce their risk of home fire injuries by:
  • Developing Home Escape Plans – Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it with yourfamily twice per year.  Studies prove that fire can consume a home in less than two minutes, so rapid escape is essential for increasing a family’s odds of survival.
  • Maintaining Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Two-thirds of home fire deaths happenin homes with no working smoke detectors. That’s why it is essential for residents to test smoke andcarbon monoxide detectors in their homes once per month, and replace batteries twice per year.  A good rule of thumb is to replace detector batteries when changing the clocks to daylight saving time in spring, and back to standard time each fall.
  • Cooking with Care – Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and associated injuries. Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. Turn off the stove if you leave the kitchen – even for a short period of time.
  • Installing Automated Sprinkler Systems – According to NFPA statistics, automatic sprinkler systems reduce the risk of fire deaths by 80 percent.  Sprinklers also may decrease fire-related property damage by up to 70 percent.
The BCFPD is a recognized leader in its advocacy of fire sprinkler systems. Fire District trustees passed an ordinance requiring installation of automatic sprinkler systems in all new residential construction in 1997. The ordinance covers all areas of unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry Counties served by the BCFPD.
Two of the four communities that rely on the District for fire protection – Lake Barrington and Inverness – have also passed similar sprinkler ordinances.
For more information about BCFPD activities and events, call 847-304-3600 or visit
  • Have you checked your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors lately?

    • Yes
    • No
    Total votes: 4
  • This is not a scientific poll. View Results