Electrical safety around water

“Electric shock drowning (ESD) can occur when faulty wiring sends an electrical current into the water. The current then passes through the body, causing paralysis, and results in drowning.
With summer in full swing, NFPA and Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) are joining forces to remind people about the potential electrical hazards that exist in swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, on board boats and in the waters surrounding boats, marinas and launch ramps.”

Click here for more information!

Great Awakening–The growing momentum around the problem of firefighter cancer

“My oldest brother, John, became a firefighter in Lexington, Massachusetts, in the late 1960s. Among the department’s four recruits the year he joined was a young man named Ken Donnelly. Kenny, as we called him, served 37 years in the department before he “retired” to become a state senator who championed, among other things, emergency responders and public safety. Late last summer, Kenny was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. He died in April at the age of 66.

Although cancer is hardly a new affliction, and despite multiple studies going back decades showing elevated risks of cancer for firefighters due to at-work exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, it wasn’t until recently that fire departments large and small began thinking more seriously about it. Thankfully, we now seem to be in the midst of a great awakening in the fire service and beyond about the cancer risk, and a collective movement is underway to address it. Researchers have a huge role to play in this effort, not only to offer assistance on how to combat cancer in the fire service but also to provide independent technical information to inform policy.”

Read more here!

NFPA to develop fire risk assessment tool in response to tragic high-rise fires incident

“In light of a recent series of fires in high-rise buildings with combustible facades, including the Grenfell tower fire, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has initiated a project to develop a fire risk assessment tool for these types of buildings to assist local authorities globally with fire safety in their communities. This project builds on previous NFPA work begun over the past few years, related to growing concerns about fire risks associated with combustible wall insulation components.

“NFPA is committed to helping communities respond to current fire threats,” said Jim Pauley, NFPA president. “Given several recent tragic high-rise fires, this resource couldn’t be more needed or timely.”

The risk assessment tool will help authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) prioritize mitigation by incorporating a methodology that identifies key variables (such as wall materials, building fire protection systems, etc.). The risk assessment tool helps characterize those variables in terms of risk or mitigation potential, and incorporates them into an engineering-based risk model. The project will be conducted by a global engineering team whose work will be overseen by an advisory panel of global stakeholders and experts. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

“The deadly fires that have occurred around the globe reflect a need to recommit and promote a full system of fire prevention, protection and education in order to help save lives and reduce loss,” said Pauley. “At NFPA, we’re doing all we can to support and provide jurisdictions with the tools they need to assess risk and deliver the level of safety people expect and deserve.”
Click here to view this news release on the NFPA webpage!

Protect Your Family for Fun in the Sun

Have Fun in the Sun – Safely!
Sunburn is no fun. As you get ready for an active summer of barbecues, beach trips, and playing outside, here are some great ways to make sure that your family is safe and protected while they’re on the go outdoors.

Children’s skin is more sensitive to the sun so it is important to be extra vigilant. Their skin can burn in as little as 15 minutes. See sun safety tips for kids.

Learn more about sun safety, sunglasses, and sunscreens for people of every age.

Get sun safety action steps and guide sheets from the Environmental Protection Agency.


Shrinking Resources, Growing Concern

“In January, NFPA’s Public Education Division sent a survey to rural fire departments around the country to gauge their interest in an NFPA-hosted event that would address a range of rural fire issues. Pub ed staffers weren’t sure they could even attract enough participants to fill a room.

But the survey struck a nerve. More than 1,000 people responded, and the overwhelming answers were yes, we have issues we need to discuss, and yes, we want to do it with the help of NFPA.

In May, 60 members of rural departments from New England to Alaska converged on NFPA’s headquarters for the first Rural Fire and Life Safety Symposium in the United States to discuss the challenges they face—from finding volunteer firefighters to public education to battling wildfires—and how to address them. NFPA held a similar event in Canada in April. At both meetings, the concerns were as unique and specific as the participants themselves; for one fire department in coastal Washington, the biggest challenge is how to respond to a tsunami.”
Read more here!

Firefighter Fatalities in the United States, 2016

“In 2016, 69 firefighters died while on duty in the United States as a result of injuries that occurred at specific events that year. When NFPA began reporting on this set of firefighter fatalities 40 years ago, the number of such deaths annually averaged close to 150 per year. The average number of deaths in the past five years has been less than half that, or 73 deaths annually.

Of these 69 firefighters, 39 were volunteer firefighters, 19 were career firefighters, eight were employees of federal land management agencies, one was a contractor with a state land management agency, one was a member of an industrial fire brigade, and one was a prison inmate.

Read the complete 2016 NFPA Firefighter Fatalities in the United States report.
Read firefighter fatality case studies from the NFPA report.
There were three multiple-fatality incidents in 2016: three firefighters died as a result of a floor collapse in a fire in a single-family dwelling; an apparatus crash killed two wildland firefighters on patrol for lightning-ignited fires; and two firefighters died and seven were injured in another apparatus crash while responding to a wildland fire.

Two firefighters were murdered last year and two others died by suicide while on duty. A junior firefighter was shot and killed unintentionally by another firefighter who is now facing criminal charges.”
Click here to read more!