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Angela D. Mickalide, PhD, MCHES, principal investigator and program director, Emergency Medical Services for Children's National Resource Center at Children’s National Health System and member of NFPA’s Educational Messages Advisory Committee (EMAC), has received the 2015 American Burn Angela Headshot 2Association Burn Prevention Award, presented at the opening plenary at the 47th Annual Meeting in Chicago last month. 

Over the course of her career, Dr. Mickalide has been engaged in fire and burn prevention initiatives.  At the Home Safety Council, she led education and outreach efforts for several award-winning FEMA-funded programs.

During her nearly two decades at Safe Kids Worldwide, she was responsible for the organization's domestic and global programs, as well as its research in unintentional childhood injury risk areas, including fire and burn safety programs.

Dr. Mickalide has been a member of EMAC since 2011. The committee of fire and life safety experts meets periodically to review NFPA’s fire safety education messages and provide recommendations to NFPA public education staff for updating and revising the Educational Messages Desk Reference, a standardized guide of fire and life safety messages.

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Sky lanterns have become increasingly popular as a way to celebrate. But they pose a serious fire hazard and their use is prohibited by NFPA. Thousands of spectators who attended a lantern festival recently in Gastonia, North Carolina, got to see the dangers of sky lanterns up close.

 

Thousands learn of the dangers of sky lanterns2.jpgAccording to Time Warner News Cable–Charlotte, as the sun set on the Carolina Speedway, thousands of lanterns filled the sky. But then the wind shifted, pushing burning lanterns into a nearby cell tower, causing it to catch on fire.

 

The Union Road Volunteer Fire Department was already on hand in case of emergency, but the ladder truck couldn’t reach the fire, there were no hydrants nearby, and it wasn’t the kind of fire the department had fought before. It took 20 firefighters, nearly 6,000 gallons of water, and help from a neighboring department to put the fire out. No one was injured.

 

NFPA’s Sky Lanterns Safety tips sheet provides information on the hazards of sky lanterns and details on recent fires involving them.

Minnesota Sprinkler Fire

A sprinkler system is being credited with containing a fire at a Minnesota senior citizen high rise this week.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, the fire in the city of Hibbing drew a full response from the Hibbing Fire Department and neighboring departments. However, when firefighters arrived the fire had already been contained by the sprinkler system. The building houses senior citizen apartments, an Elks Club banquet center, and an orthodontics clinic.

Firefighters arrived in response to an automatic fire alarm that was triggered. They found smoke coming from a vent near the kitchen of the Elks Club and tenants starting to evacuate the building.

The fire was down to a smolder. Crews put out the remaining smoldering material and ventilated the smoke from the banquet room.

This incident underscores the importance of a home fire sprinkler system. NFPA’s High-rise Apartment and Condominium Safety tips sheet advises that for the best protection, select a fully sprinklered building and be prepared with an escape plan–know the location of all available exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest exit is blocked by fire or smoke. If there is a fire, pull the alarm on your way out. The Home Fire Sprinklers section of the NFPA web site and the tips sheet provide background on how sprinkler systems work, their effectiveness, and cost.

Fire Marshal Fagerstrom determined that the fire was accidental. A steam table overheated and ignited a wood buffet table. He stressed the importance of having a properly maintained sprinkler system.

“The sprinkler system in this fire was serviced and maintained per code and did exactly as it should by containing the fire and keeping it from spreading,” he said in a news release.

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