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17 Posts authored by: martyahrens Employee

Cover of NFPA's report "Fires by Occupancy or Proerty Type:  2010-2014"Sometimes, you want to know the latest estimates of fires in or at a particular occupancy or property.  Maybe you care about structure fires only.  Maybe you also want to look at vehicle fires or outside and unclassified fires.  You may be interested in a broad property class, such as public assembly.  Maybe you are interested in a subset of public assembly properties, such as eating and drinking establishments.  Maybe your interest is specifically in bars or nightclubs. 

 

NFPA's new report, Fires by Occupancy or Property Type, is meant for those quick hits. Sorted by and showing the property use categories from the USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), these tables show estimates of the 2010-2014 annual averages of reported fires and associated civilian deaths and injuries and direct property damage by broad incident type groupings and level of detail.  While NFPA's numerous reports on fires in specific occupancies provide much more detail, there are many occupancies that do not have separate reports.  Sometimes you may simply want the most current estimates.

 

And once again, we want to thank the many firefighters who provide the data used to create these reports when they complete the NFIRS reports and NFPA's annual fire department survey. 

 

 

New Research fact sheet provides an overview of the US fire problem

fact sheet inageWhere do you turn when you’re looking for a quick summary of the fire problem without too many details? Try NFPA’s new fact sheet, ”An Overview of the U.S. fire problem.”  

NFPA’s Research, Data, and Analytics Division produces a wide variety of statistical reports. The most recent big picture estimates of fire department responses to fires by general types of fires and properties are found in Fire Loss in the United States. Estimates of civilian deaths and injuries and property damage are also provided.

 Other reports provide information about firefighter fatalities and injuries.  Many of our reports address fires of specific causes or specific occupancies. Most of our reports use the detailed information collected by the US Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) combined with the results of NFPA’s annual fire department experience survey to create national estimates of specific fire problems.  Because the majority of fire deaths and injuries are caused by home fires, these fires get more attention in our reports of fire causes and in this fact sheet.  

Most of the statistical reports about the various aspects of the fire problems also have fact sheets to provide answers to the most common statistical questions about the topics. Let us know how these fact sheets are working for you.  What other fact sheets would you like to see? 

Every year, NFPA sponsors Fire Prevention Week. Our kindred organization, the American Burn Association’s National Burn Awareness Week runs from February 5-11.   This year, the focus is the Mechanisms of Burn or the M.O.B.  The MOB is a collection of unsavory characters including Larry “The Steamer” Liquids, Christy “the Flame” Candles” Thomas, “The Surface” Irons, William “The Wire” Electricity,” and Chris ”Hot Stuff” Chemicals. You can see the Wanted poster at http://www.ameriburn.org/nbaw/NBAW_Poster.jpg .  

Most of our readers know that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries and one of the leading causes of fire deaths.  Despite the fact that many of us have experienced minor burns while cooking, many people are surprised to learn that most burns associated with cooking equipment, cookware, and tableware in 2014 were caused by contact with a hot object or liquid rather than by fire or flame. The most common types of cooking burns occurred when someone came in contact with or touched a hot range or oven, followed by contact with hot cookware, cookware scalds and tableware scalds.  

In 2014, contact burns from hot ranges or ovens sent an estimated 16,800 people to emergency rooms.  Another 11,900 were burned by contact with hot cookware, 11,200 were seen for cookware scaldes and 7,800 were seen for tableware scalds.

Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking or tableware than of being burned in a cooking fire. Pre-schoolers accounted for three of every five tableware scalds. For more information, see NFPA’s Fact sheet on non-fire cooking burns.

 

NFPA’s report Characteristics of Home Fire Victims shows in 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments reported that that smoke inhalation was the primary apparent symptom in 40% of home fire deaths and 42% of home fire injuries. Forty-six percent of the deaths, and 13% of the injuries involved both burns and smoke inhalation. Only 5% of the deaths and one-quarter (24%) of the injuries were caused by thermal burns alone.

NFPA is grateful to the American Burn Association for getting the burn prevention message out there. Many safety tips can prevent fires and non-fire burns. For example, keeping young children three-feet away from hot kitchen stoves helps protect them from contact burns and scalds from pans of hot liquids.

E-cigarettes have become increasingly common. In Richard Campbell’s April 2016 NFPA report, Electronic Cigarette Explosions and Fires: The 2015 Experience, he referenced a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “12.6% of adults reported ever trying an e-cigarette in 2014.”Image of hand holding e-cigarette

 

That’s a tremendous number of users for a product that did not exist 10 years ago.

While many have been concerned about health issues and the possibility that e-cigarettes could be a gateway to other tobacco usage, reports about fires, explosions and burns caused by the batteries in these devices have raised alarm in the safety and burn communities.  At the time Campbell wrote his report, no government agency had regulatory authority over e-cigarettes, although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had something in the works. 

 

On August 8, 2016, the FDA’s new tobacco rule took effect. The FDA now regulates e-cigarettes and their components. Anyone who has a product safety concern with e-cigarettes or other products regulated by the FDA can file a report at the FDA Safety Reporting Portal.

 

E-cigarettes are one of many products that have had problems with lithium ion batteries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued numerous recalls of consumer electronics, including computers, cell phones and hover boards. NFPA recently published a tip sheet on lithium ion battery safety for consumers.

 

Safety issues with consumer products can be reported at the CPSC's saferproducts.gov.  To report vehicle safety problems, go to safercar.gov.  Both sites also provide information on recalls and complaints already filed.

Welding torches were involved in 37% of non-home hot work fires but only 29% of such home fires. Hot work is an important part of manufacturing, repair, renovation, construction and demolition activities. Professional contractors and do-it-yourselfers can get in trouble when they don’t follow the basic safety precautions. 

NFPA’s new report, Structure Fires Started by Hot Work, shows that in 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 4,440 structure fires involving hot work per year. These fires caused an average of 12 civilian deaths, 208 civilian injuries and $287 million in direct property damage per year.

I suspect that those who regularly conduct hot work or oversee contractors who do so will not be surprised by the statistics from the report.

Forty-two percent of hot work fires occurred in or on homes.

Welding torches were involved in one-third (34%) of total hot work structure fires. Cutting torches were involved in one-quarter (24%), soldering equipment in 18%, burners in 11%, and heat treating equipment in another 11%. The leading types of hot work equipment involved in fires are different in homes than in non-home properties.  As the graph shows, soldering equipment was the most common type of hot work involved in home fires while welding torches were the most common in non-home fires. 

Home fires involving hot work were most likely to start in either wall assemblies or concealed spaces (15%), and bathrooms or lavatories (14%). For non-homes, the peak areas of origin were exterior roof surfaces (12%) and process or manufacturing areas (9%).  The majority of hot work fires started when the work was done too close to something that could catch fire.

One-quarter (25%) of home hot work fires began with the ignition of structural members or framing; 22% started when insulation ignited. Fifteen percent of non-home hot work fires occurred when flammable or combustible liquids or gases caught fire; 10% started with exterior roof coverings or framing; another 10% began with structural members or framing; and 9% started with insulation.

The report also contains descriptions of hot work fires from NFPA Journal and OSHA's accident investigation summaries to provide more information about how these events can occur.

NFPA 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention during Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work provides guidelines to prevent these incidents.

When many of us think of fire in high-rise buildings, our minds go first to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. That means that we remember the deadliest high-rise fire in world history.  In reality, fires in high-rise buildings are usually smaller than fires in other buildings.

In high-rise buildings, fire spread beyond the room of origin in 1% of the dormitory fires; in 4% of the fires in apartments or multi-family housing, hotels, and properties that care for the sick; and in 10% of the office buildings.  In buildings that were not high-rise, fire spread beyond the room of origin in 2% of the dormitory fires, 9% of the fires in properties that care for the sick, 10% of the apartment or multi-family housing fires, 11% of the hotel or motel fires, and 21% of the office building fires.

According to NFPA’s new report on High-Rise Building Fires, U.S fire departments responded to an estimated average of 14,500 structure fires in these properties per year in 2009-2013.  These fires caused an average of 40 civilian deaths, 520 civilian injuries, and $154 million in direct property damage annually.  For this analysis, a high-rise building is a building that has at least seven stories above grade.  

Just five occupancy groups accounted for almost three-quarters (73%) of all high-rise building fires:

  • Apartments or other multi-family housing (62%);
  • Hotels (4%)
  • Dormitories (4%)
  • Office buildings (2%)
  • Facilities that care for the sick (2%)

The report provides more details about high-rise fires and fires in shorter buildings in these five occupancy groups.

Compared to fires in buildings that were not high-rise, fires in high-rise buildings were much less likely to spread beyond the room or floor of origin. High-rise buildings were more likely to have fire detection and much more likely to have wet pipe sprinklers than shorter buildings.  While construction type was dropped from the current version of the National Fire Incident Reporting System, data from 1980 to 1998 showed that high-rise buildings were much more likely to have fire-resistant construction.

Most high-rise building fires start below the seventh floor. The kitchen or cooking area was the leading area of origin in all five occupancies, regardless of height. 

And for those of you interested in the really big high-rise fires, Appendix A of NFPA’s High-Rise Building Fires report has a list of the ten deadliest high-rise building fires in the world.  Most in the list link to previously published NFPA material about these blazes. 

The causes of high-rise building fires have a lot in common with fires in other properties. We know that smoke detection, fire sprinklers, and compartmentation are vital to fire safety.  Today’s high-rise buildings are more likely to have this protection than are other properties.  The statistics remind us how important this protection is.

Home structure fire causes.JPG

It may be hard to believe, but NFPA's latest report on Home Structure Fires shows that in 2010-2014, five general fire causes accounted for 84% of reported home fires, 91% of home fire deaths, and 82% of home fire injuries.

  1. Cooking equipment was the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, causing 46% of home fires that resulted in 19% of the home fire deaths and 44% of the injuries.
  2. Heating equipment caused 16% of home fires, 19% of the deaths, and 12% of the injuries.
  3. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment caused 8% of the fires, 16% of the deaths, and 9% of the injuries.
  4. Eight percent of home structure fires were intentionally set.  These fires caused 14% of the deaths and 7% of the injuries.
  5. While only 5% of home fires were started by smoking materials, these fires caused 22% of the deaths and 10% of the injuries.

 

Download the 2016 Home Structure Fires report.

 

We know what causes fires.  We know how to prevent them.  We have made progress. Reported home fires and home fire deaths have been cut in half since 1980.  Even so, home fires still kill roughly 2,500 people per year. That's an average of seven people dying in home fires every day!

 

According to NFPA's recent report, Fire Loss in the United States during 2015, the death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was 7.1 in 1980; in 2015, it was 7.0, only 1% lower.  This suggests that most of our progress has come from preventing fires completely or from the early warning from smoke alarms.  While almost all homes have at least one smoke alarm,  roughly three out of five home fire deaths in 2010-2014 resulted from fires in homes in which either no smoke alarm was present (39%) or at least one alarm was present but none operated (19%). Ensuring that every home has working smoke alarms is critical. NFPA's page on smoke alarms has educational materials for local use.

 

Fire sprinklers were present in only 7% of reported home fires.  The death rate per 1,000 reported home fires when wet-pipe sprinklers were present was 79% lower than it was in home fires with no automatic extinguishing systems.  Home fire sprinklers can control a fire before the fire department gets there. The Fire Sprinkler Initiative has resource materials for sprinkler advocacy.

 

As the author of NFPA's Home Structure Fires report, I want to personally thank the firefighters, life safety educators and others who work so hard to prevent fires and to protect people from the fires that do occur. I hope that this report can be one weapon in the fight against fire. For more specific information about the fire causes mentioned in the beginning of the piece, check out the statistical reports under Fire Causes on our website.  And please -- help us to help you.  What types of fire experience statistics would help you in your work?  Those of us who work in offices want to learn from those out in the field.


Unwanted alarm panel.JPG

 

A panel discussion on unwanted alarms was held at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas in June 2016. Panel members included (from left) Tom Hammerberg, Marty Ahrens, David Kerr, Pravinray Gandhi, Monica Colby, Anthony Apfelbeck, and Jay Hauhn.

 

Did you see, or better yet, read, the May/June (show issue) NFPA Journal's article, “The Unwanted Conundrum?”  This was a preview of the educational session on recent activities related to unwanted alarms held at NFPA’s Conference and Expo (C&E).  Judging by the turnout, it's clear that this is an issue of concern to many. Fifteen minutes before the sessions started, we had people standing in the back and only a few empty seats scattered about.


I was thrilled that six great people were willing to join me and share their expertise on this panel, including Jay Hauhn of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), Monica Colby of the Rapid City, SD Fire Department, David Kerr of the Plano, Texas Fire Rescue, Anthony Apfelbeck of the City of Altamonte Springs, FL Public Safety, Tom Hammerberg, of the Automatic Fire Alarm Association (AFAA), and Pravinray Gandhi of Underwriters Laboratories (UL.)


• Jay Hauhn told us more about the IAFC and CSAA partnership and the many recommendations they developed. He stressed the fact that there is no “silver bullet” that will solve the problem. It can take several cycles for proposals to be accepted and it takes years before new code requirements are widely applied.


• Monica Colby considered confined cooking fires that were out on arrival and did not require fire department assistance as unwanted in terms of fire department response. She also noted that one in five unwanted alarms was related to construction or service activities. See her full report, Unwanted alarm analysis of Rapid City Fire Department 2014, for more details.


• David Kerr explained how the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s risk management tool for commercial automatic alarms helped them decide to run a single engine cold on all fire alarm responses and to have a 90 second delay ordinance that incorporates the requirements in NFPA 72®.  He also stressed that the tool needs more testing.  Contact Amanda Kimball at akimball@nfpa.org if you are interested in learning more about this tool.


• Anthony Apfelbeck reported that neither early intervention by fire prevention with notification of business owners nor fines after multiple unwanted alarms lowered the frequency of such alarms. He pointed out that the results might be different elsewhere; Florida requires alarm contractor licensing and ITM in compliance with NFPA 72®. Read his article, “Two hypotheses to reduce unwanted automatic alarms,” originally published in the May 2015 edition of Florida Fire Service and posted with permission,

 

Tom Hammerburg speaking.JPG

Tom Hammerberg said building owners need to take more responsibility for systems, provide better staff training, and be more careful in selecting contractors.

 


• Tom Hammerberg pointed out that owners need to take more responsibility for systems, provide better staff training, and be more careful in selecting contractors. Designers should stay involved through installation. Installers and ITM technicians should be certified. AHJs should enforce code provisions. The AFAA offers free webinars and free membership to AHJs.


Pravinray Gandhi described some of the many changes in UL 217, Standard for Smoke Alarms and UL 268, Standard for Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm Systems. These revisions include but may not be limited to a) firmware upgrades; b) surge immunity; c) end of life requirements; and d) smoke alarm cooking nuisance tests.  In addition to over 800 changes included in the 8th Edition of UL 217, the standard also includes new flaming and smoldering polyurethane foam tests.

 

The discussion also brought up some interesting ideas. For example, if industry specialists could ride with fire departments to calls from commercial alarm systems, they could help the fire service understand more about the causes of these calls and they would learn more about the fire department perspective. It would also be helpful to know more about how information is communicated to Dispatch. Someone else suggested that improved ventilation might reduce unwanted cooking activations.


our audience..JPG

 

A full house listened to the 90-minute discussion about unwanted alarms. In 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to almost 2.5 million false alarms, almost twice the total number of reported fires and five times the number of structure fires.

 

 

 

There is still more to learn and more to do.  We asked our audience

1. What other work has been done on this topic?
2. What are the most important research needs?
3. What should NFPA do to help?

 

 

What do you think?  Let’s continue the conversation.

 

Do you want more information about this topic? Here are some additional resources from NFPA.


•  “The Unwanted Conundrum” from the May/June 2016 issue of NFPA Journal. 
           Slides from our presentation:  M34 - Unwanted Alarms -- Impact and Mitigation
          What's going on with unwanted alarms? Summary of Educational Session at NFPA C & E, June 13, 2016

 

        NFPA’s and IAFC’s free Fire Service Guide to Reducing Unwanted Fire Alarms
• Fire Protection Research Foundation’s Risk-Based Decision Support in Managing Unwanted Alarms
Fire Alarm Response and Management Summit - Proceeding Summary, May 2011

  NFPA's 2011 report: Unwanted Fire Alarms
• Fire Protection Research Foundation’s 2015 Report: Smoke Alarm Nuisance Source Characterization: Experimental Results
        Slides from presentation on subject:  M19 - A New Nuisance Smoke Alarm Test--Development and Impact

Smoking area changesHave you noticed the number of people bundled up outside having a smoke on the front steps or porch? A September 2014 article by King, Patel and Babb in MMWR, Prevalence of Smokefree Home Rules — United States, 1992–1993 and 2010–2011,”confirms that this effort to limit second-hand smoke is part of a real shift. The authors noted that in 1992-1993, 43% of all households, and 10% of households with at least one smoker, said that no one was allowed to smoke inside the home.  In 2010-2011, 83% of all households and almost half (46%) of all households with one or more smokers banned indoor smoking.  NFPA also encourages people who smoke to smoke outside to reduce the risk of a deadly fire. 

A new NFPA fact sheet shows how the leading areas of origin in home structure fires have changed over time. Only 1% of home smoking material fires started on the exterior balcony or open porch and less than 1% started in a courtyard, terrace or patio in 1980-1984, compared to 14% and 6% in these areas, respectively, in 2007-2011.

Careful disposal of smoking materials is as important outside as inside. We are seeing too many fires that began outdoors in mulch, potted plants, landscaping, or on an outside porch.  Such a fire can easily spread into the home itself. 

 
Mike croppedAt the end of July, NFPA’s Senior Statistician Mike Karter will be retiring from NFPA and heading up to Maine after four decades with NFPA.  Mike created, oversaw and analyzed results from NFPA’s fire department experience survey to provide estimates of number of fires and other incidents handles by local fire departments, as well as civilian fire deaths and injuries, and firefighter injuries from all types of incidents.  Every year, the results are published in Fire Loss in the United StatesHis first survey was for calendar year 1977.  The trend tables based on these annual reports have helped us measure the progress we are making.   These results are also used with the USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to provide national estimates of specific fire problems.

Mike’s reports on firefighter injuries and fire department profiles for the US and Canada and his report on US Fires by Region have helped local fire departments compare themselves with other departments and to identify what types of injuries were most common.  In collaboration with John Hall, the recently retired Director of NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division, Mike crunched the numbers for the national and state reports of the three Needs Assessments of the US fire service.  These assessments, published in 2004, 2007 and 2011, provided details on resource and training needs. 

Mike demonstrated a clear commitment to best statistical practices while making necessary adjustments to a world with declining survey response rates.  He provided advice on statistical methodology to others in the division.  In anticipation of his departure, he’s left lots of detailed notes.  Over the years, we've also enjoyed many conversations about sports, politics and movies. 

His contributions will last even longer than his tenure.  We want to say “Thank you” for all his accomplishments and his dedication and wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.  


!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff58ed97970c-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff58ed97970c-120wi|alt=FireLoss800pxls|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=FireLoss800pxls|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff58ed97970c!I hope that, by now, you have had the chance to read the 2012 +Fire Loss Report +written+ +by Michael J. Karter, Jr. and published in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal.  U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,375,000 fires.  These fires caused 2,855 civilian fire deaths, 16,500 reported civilian injuries and $12.4 billion in direct property damage.   Eighty-three percent of the deaths resulted from fires in homes, including one- or two family homes, manufactured housing and apartments or other multi-family housing. 

The good news is that the civilian fire death toll in 2012 was the lowest since NFPA began its survey in 1977.  The bad news is that fire still kills an average of eight people every day.


 

Today’s fire departments do much more than fight fires.  The full 2012 +Fire Loss+ report shows that two-thirds of fire department were EMS or rescue-type calls.  Four percent were to actual fires and seven percent were false alarms.  The report also shows how these percentages vary by community size.


What’s the story in your community?

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef019104faa0f0970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef019104faa0f0970c-800wi|alt=Church image|width=153|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Church image|height=172!Churches, temples and mosques play vital roles in our
communities.   They host weddings, funerals and many of the most important events of our lives.  In addition, they often provide space for a variety of social service activities and community organizations such as day care centers, support groups, soup kitchens, and more.  Many are historic structures and architectural gems. 

 

When such a place burns, it hurts so many.  NFPA recently released a new report+, +U.S. Structure Fires in Religious and Funeral Properties+, by +Richard Campbell.  During 2007-2011, an estimated average of 1,780 structure fires were reported in these properties, causing an annual average of two civilian deaths, 19 civilian fire injuries, and $111 million in direct property damage.  Only 4% were in funeral parlors.  


Cooking equipment was the leading cause of these fires, followed in equal numbers by fires caused by heating equipment and intentionally set fires.  Sprinklers were present in only 12% of these fires. 

Places of worship are an unusual kind of public assembly occupancy.&#0160;Most have very few paid staff. Members volunteer their time and skills to cook for functions and maintain and repair the property, just like they would at home. Many home fire safety tips would apply here as well. Property managers and religious leadership can find additional fire safety information in +NFPA 909: Code for the Protection of Cultural Resource Properties – Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship++. &#0160;Comprehensive safety information for reducing the risk of fire and promoting fire safety in buildings of all types is available in NFPA 101: Life Safety Code®.<em>+</em>

 

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This is the fifth in a series of posts about the 40th

anniversary of +America Burning++ and the related article, +“+Work in Progress” in this month’s +NFPA Journal+. +The members of the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control came from the fire service, federal government, code and standards development organizations (including NFPA’s Percy Bugbee), insurers, and more.




 

The deliberately diverse perspectives and the hard work involved in gathering and consolidating the information and turning it into recommendations that the Commissioners could support bear some resemblance to NFPA’s codes and standards process. Just as NFPA’s technical committees have staff liaisons that provide vital assistance, the Commission had professional staff members. Ed Budnick, winner of NFPA’s 2012 Standards Medal and now retired from Hughes Associates, Inc., was a young fire protection engineer, detailed from the General Services Administration to work with a subcommittee on the built environment. One point stayed with him throughout his career. “The fire protection community is a very diverse community and all the elements of it need to be considered if you are going to make any real progress in any area.” Watch the video to learn more about Ed’s experience with the Commission.


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This is the fourth in a series of posts about the 40th

anniversary of America Burning and the related article, +“+Work in Progress” in this month’s +NFPA Journal++. +The report stresses prevention, with a call for more fire department emphasis on fire prevention, fire safety education, and inspections. They also called for built-in fire safety measures which can detect and suppress a fire before it grows large enough to cause a major disaster.” In 1977, only 22% of US homes had at least one smoke alarm. That’s up to 96% today. NFPA &#0160;coordinates the Fire Sprinkler Initiative to increase the use of home fire sprinklers.


 

The Commission also advocated programs on fire safety in the media for teachers and for specific occupancies. They advised that the proposed USFA “assist, augment and evaluate existing public and private fire safety education efforts.” Today, USFA and NFPA &#0160;both have a wide variety of safety materials on their websites.


 

NFPA is now seeking public input for a proposed new document, NFPA 1730: Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public . </p>

What’s happening with fire prevention in your community? What else should the fire safety community be doing to prevent fires and fire losses?

 

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This is the third in a series of posts about the 40th

anniversary of +America Burning++ and the related article, "Work in Progress" in this month's +NFPA Journal+." +While the National Commission on Fire Prevention Control was quite clear that fire prevention and suppression were primarily local responsibilities, they wanted the federal

government to play a supportive role with technical and educational assistance, research and data systems, and “providing financial assistance when adequate fire protection lies beyond a community’s means. In recent years, Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFGs) provided local fire departments with funds for training, apparatus, equipment, firefighter health and safety, facility improvements. Staffing for Adequate Fire And Emergency Response (SAFER) grants help fire departments increase their complement of trained firefighters.


 

These grants have improved fire department readiness, but many needs remain. NFPA conducted three national surveys or needs assessments of local fire departments to compare local resources with NFPA and other requirements. Steady progress has been made, but many fire departments still do not have enough personal protective equipment for all firefighters. And many departments have personnel engaged in activities without formal training. </p>

How have these grants helped your fire department or your community? Listen to Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Service Institute as he shares some insights into the relationship of Congress to the fire service, and of course, funding.&#0160;

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