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8 Posts authored by: mholland1 Employee

Effective December 1, Massachusetts requires one- and two-family homes built before 1975 to have working, up-to-date smoke alarms. Fire inspectors, checking alarms during the home sale process, will be looking to ensure that smoke alarms are up-to-date and in working order.
State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey explained that new regulations were established because the sensing technology inside alarms deteriorates after 10 years. The new regulations require alarms to be the photoelectric type or a combination of photoelectric and ionization technology.

 

NFPA statistics show that three out of five U.S. home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working alarms. To learn more about smoke alarm awareness, NFPA commissioned a survey earlier this year and determined:

• half of Americans (50 percent) have three or more smoke alarms in their current home
• almost one in five Americans who have smoke alarms (19 percent) say the oldest smoke alarm they currently have in their home is 10+ years old
• nearly one in five Americans who have smoke alarms (18 percent) are not at all sure how old the oldest smoke alarm they currently have in their home is
• when asked how often they should replace smoke alarms, nine in 10 Americans (90 percent) did not select the correct answer

Checking the date and replacing smoke alarms older than 10 years was the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme. For additional information on smoke alarm safety read the NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code® or check out NFPA’s public education resources related to smoke alarms.

Today may be National STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) Day but NFPA engineers Jacqueline Wilmot, Tracy Vecchiarelli, and Chelsea Tuttle do their best year-round to share their passion for all things STEM.

 

Recently, the three millennials had the opportunity to interact with students at the Easton Middle School, located south of Boston. The trio of NFPA female engineers interacted with 900 students in grades 6-8 during the school’s Pathways to Your Future educational event. They also created two engagement activities to show how exciting STEM learning and STEM careers can be.

 

During the first activity, students were asked what fire protection and life safety devices were installed in their facility. Once students knew the answer they were asked to point the safety features located in the gym. On the NFPA STEM table there were examples of egress signs, sprinkler heads, smoke detectors and notification devices so that students could see the safety tools up close and ask questions. 

 

The second activity involved working with the Easton Fire Department to showcase firefighter gear at the NFPA booth. There were tags on each piece of equipment indicating how science is used to keep firefighters safe. The students witnessed the temperature ratings on each item so that they had an understanding of the heat that the equipment is built to with stand.

 

Sparky the Fire Dog, NFPA’s official mascot, also made an appearance at the STEM event. For more than six decades, Sparky has partnered with fire professionals, teachers, civic organizations, corporations and the media to deliver invaluable fire and life safety educational messages to children and adults alike. During the Easton Middle School event, Spark posed for pictures with students and staff, and helped reinforce the important role that science, technology, engineering and mathematics play in fire safety today.

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The Los Angeles Daily News reports that NASA has created artificial intelligence (AI) to make the quick decisions needed to help save the lives of first responders during dangerous situations. The system is called AUDREY which stands for Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction and sYnthesis.

 

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) joined forces with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop the new AI. DHS hopes that the technology will become a game-changing resource for the “Next Generation First Responder. “AUDREY pulls data from the environment and the equipment carried by first responders, and detects any temperature changes, gases or other threats. If AUDREY picks up any concern signals, a warning will be sent to the person in the field.

 

This artificial intelligence bridges the gap in communications and shares situational information with more than one agency at the same time. As reported in NFPA Journal®, emergency responders are increasingly outfitted with sensors, heads up displays and augmented glasses. Data collected can then be shared with fire leader’s onsite to determine the location of firefighters, their vital signs and any potential hazards on scene. AUDREY can also tap into a home’s smart technology to determine any causes or trouble spots.

 

If all goes according to plan, firefighters will have found a great friend in AUDREY.

 

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that NASA has created artificial intelligence (AI) to make the quick decisions needed to help save the lives of first responders during dangerous situations. The system is called AUDREY which stands for Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction and sYnthesis.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) joined forces with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop the new AI. DHS hopes that the technology will become a game-changing resource for the “Next Generation First Responder. “AUDREY pulls data from the environment and the equipment carried by first responders, and detects any temperature changes, gases or other threats. If AUDREY picks up any concern signals, a warning will be sent to the person in the field.

This artificial intelligence bridges the gap in communications and shares situational information with more than one agency at the same time. As reported in NFPA Journal®, emergency responders are increasingly outfitted with sensors, heads up displays and augmented glasses. Data collected can then be shared with fire leader’s onsite to determine the location of firefighters, their vital signs and any potential hazards on scene. AUDREY can also tap into a home’s smart technology to determine any causes or trouble spots.

If all goes according to plan, firefighters will have found a great friend in AUDREY.

Sparky travels to Canada and becomes a featured dancer in Konah Raynes cover song “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, by Justin Timberlake. The cover video was created to celebrate Canada’s capital Ottawa. Other featured dancers include, Ottawa's favorite dancing Police Officer Tracey Turpin, Mayor Jim Watson, Fire Services, Paramedic Services and people from all around the community. 

 

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Hector Montoya from Texas was nine years when he decided to donate smoke detectors to families who didn’t have them.

 

Montoya came up with the idea after watching the news with his grandmother and hearing a story about a Fort Worth mother and one of her twin daughters who lost their lives in a house fire. They didn’t have a smoke alarm in their home.

 

That evening he pitched an idea to his family. Instead of spending the money he had saved on himself, he decided to donate smoke detectors to families who didn’t have them.

 

Three years later Montoya has donated 6,425 smoke detectors in several cities and towns across North Texas. Last week he donated 125 smoke detectors to the DeSoto Fire Rescue. Fire officials will distribute the life-saving devices to senior citizens who lack the proper fire-safety measures.

 

According to NFPA smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. NFPA recommends:

  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

 

For the third year in a row, smoke alarms are the theme for NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week which takes place this year October 9-15. NFPA provides educational information on smoke alarms via a variety of tips and tools.

The Rialto, California fire and police departments used a drone this past 4th of July holiday to stop illegal firework use. This was the first year that the San Bernardino County community utilized a drone to identify where the sources of fireworks were located, according to NBC4 Los Angeles.

 

shutterstock_262482947.jpgThe drone was launched over neighborhoods that were reporting the use of illegal fireworks. This prevention and response strategy allowed local authorities to identify trouble spots and alert resources on the ground, and then investigate the designated locations. The collaborative search effort featured one drone and resulted in the confiscation of hundreds of illegal fireworks and the issuance of 80 citations. Rialto Fire Department is hoping to obtain five more drones for mitigation and response purposes, and will apply for an exemption from the FAA so that more firefighters can become certified drone pilots.

 

NFPA research shows that thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured each year while using consumer fireworks; and recommends:

  • Do not use consumer fireworks
  • If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts who have a solid understanding of NFPA 1123, the Code for Fireworks Display
  • Keep a close eye on children at events where professional fireworks are on display

 

For more fireworks safety tips, visit here. NFPA also has information on drones. Check out the article “Rise of the Machines” in NFPA Journal that addresses the world of possibilities with drones, and the ways that first responders are using them to keep communities safe.

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By News Sentinel Staff

 

 

A woman from Knoxville, Tennessee started a fire in her apartment in an unusual place – her bathtub!

According to Knoxville Fire Captain D.J. Corcoran, who recently talked to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the woman was attempting to cook a brisket which had been placed on a wire rack across the rim of the tub over an open flame on a small wood-burning grill.

“The tub and the brisket were a total loss,” said Corcoran.

When firefighters arrived, they didn’t even have to pull out the hoses or extinguishers; all they had to do was simply turn on the shower to put out the small blaze.

Cooking in your bathtub isn’t the best idea a person could have, but luckily enough NFPA has tips to avoid these and other cooking fires.

Cooking fires are preventable if you follow some simple tips to keep yourself and those around you safe.  To learn more about cooking safety visit NFPA safety tips page at www.nfpa.org/cooking.

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A Boston Herald article published this week introduces us to Camp Bailout, a day camp west of Boston where girls who want to pursue a career in firefighting can go to learn about the skills needed for a promising career as a first responder.

 

Lyn Moraghan, a lieutenant with the Ashland Fire Department, wanted to give girls the feel for what a firefighting career entails, and founded the camp in 2011. At Camp Bailout, young women receive guidance and mentorship from women who have chosen firefighting as their profession.

 

As of 2014, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that about 7 percent of U.S firefighters are women. The camp does not teach the girls how to run into burning buildings but rather focuses on how to use a fire extinguisher, the handling of a powerful fire hose, and water rescue strategies, among other critical fire and emergency response skills. Female campers also learn about the reality of 24-hour shifts, time away from their family, and the importance of ongoing training.

 

This is not the only all-girl camp that provides firefighting training according to Kim Cox, executive director of the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services. The organization lists eight more camps on its website.

 

Camp Bailout is a great place to start for girls who are passionate about firefighting and interested in pursuing a career as a first responder.

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