Editor's Dispatch

NFPA Report Highlights Progress In Decreasing Fires And Deaths

We are currently seeing fewer fires in the United States than in past decades. However, statistically, if a fire is reported in your home, you are more likely to die today than 40 years ago. Today’s homes with their synthetic furnishings and open floor plans burn faster than homes did in the past. Occupants might have fewer than three minutes to escape after a fire starts. Every 24 seconds, a U.S. fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the country. Nationwide, a civilian dies in...

Welcoming A New Generation: Millennials In The Fire Service

Given that the majority of today’s workforce is comprised of Millennials and Gen-Z employees, the fire service needs to up its game to attract these younger candidates into employment opportunities in an environment dominated by Baby Boomers. And the demographic trends will continue: Millennials will make up 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To attract Millennials to the fire service, and to manage them once they are onboarded, it is nece...

Correctional Facilities Present Special Challenges In Case Of Fire

Immediate evacuation is often the appropriate response in case of a fire emergency, but correctional facilities are built on the premise of keeping inmates inside. Such is the apparent conflict, when it comes to responding to a fire in a prison, jail or correctional facility. Fire safety challenges The unique characteristics of a correctional setting present challenges in case of fire. For example, how can locked doors be consistent with the need for easy egress in case of fire? Because doors...

Understanding The Fire Performance Of 3D Printed Concrete Construction

The use of 3D concrete printing, also known as Building Additive Manufacturing (BAM), is on the verge of revolutionizing the construction industry. Advantages include more design freedom, better customization, and greater productivity, but the new technology also comes with risks and challenges. One concern: Questions about fire performance and whether embracing 3D construction creates greater fire hazards in the building environment.  Estimating fire performance Building Additive Manufa...

Hybrid And Electric Fire Vehicles Coming To A Department Near You

Local governments in the U.S. are embracing electric and hybrid vehicles in a big way, and many states have implemented incentives to promote adoption of the futuristic technologies. However, fire department vehicles and apparatus are yet to embrace the transition, largely because vehicles were not available that both meet the needs of firefighters and provide environmental advantages. However, fire vehicle technology is farther along the electric and hybrid path than some people realize. Elect...

EPA Research Examines Impact Of Wildfires On Environment And Human Health

While wildfires can be beneficial and necessary for some species and ecosystems, there are various negative impacts on our air, water, and land, as well as, subsequent impacts for human health. Given the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission to protect human health and the environment, the EPA’s Wildland Fire Research focuses on the impacts these fires have on human health and ecosystems. Examining ambient air quality EPA researchers are examining the worsening of a...

Preventing Restaurant Fires Requires Maintenance And Technology

Many restaurants around the world are suffering from loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation has made fire prevention a lower priority. Fire authorities should work with restaurant owners and associations to address this issue and offer guidelines and training to increase awareness in the community. Restaurant fires account for about 6% of all non-residential building fires reported to fire departments each year, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS...

5G Will Enable Fire Technologies And Communications Of The Future

When you think about the 21st-century innovations that will drive the future of the fire service, almost every new technology depends on faster and more dependable digital communication. In short, the future of technology in the fire service demands that we embrace 5G technology. 5G (fifth generation telecommunications) promises faster data speeds, less latency, and greater reliability. Increased connectivity and technologies From increasing connectivity to enabling wearable technologie...

PAMS Software Promotes Accountability Of Fire Service Responders

The fire service has always struggled with maintaining accurate accountability of personnel who are responding or operating in emergencies. Lack of firefighter accountability is often cited as a contributing factor in Line of Duty Deaths (LODD). Compounding the accountability challenge are volunteer responders who can be coming from anywhere, with some going to the station and others going direct. The existing accountability tools and processes were unreliable and failed when needed the most....

Advocating Ethics And Morals To Maintain High Standards In The Fire Service

Ethics are principles concerning right and wrong behavior that govern how we conduct ourselves. Morals are standards of behavior based on those ethical principles. Ensuring the highest standards of ethical behavior is central to the fire service mission and to managing a fire department effectively.  Ethical behavior Ethical behavior almost appears to be a logical extension of the culture of firefighting, given the fire service’s shared mission to serve society positively. Firefig...

Thinning Forests To Prevent Wildfires Can Yield A Useful Byproduct: Biofuel

Thinning forests to prevent wildfires include the removal of diseased trees and other debris by private, state, and federal land managers. The byproduct of that thinning is called woody biomass. Removal of woody biomass from forests can help mitigate disastrous wildfires in fire-prone states like California. Reducing wildfire risk Some of the biomass material is left to decay, is burned in place, or is hauled to landfills. However, this byproduct of reducing wildfire risk can also be used to p...

Fires At Rental Storage Units Highlight Need For Sprinklers

Rental storage units represent a serious and unpredictable risk for firefighters. For example, hundreds of rented units at a three-story, self-storage warehouse in Manchester, United Kingdom, were recently destroyed by fire. Fire in rental storage units There were 125 firefighters and 25 fire engines called to the scene. There were no injuries, but hundreds of customers lost thousands of dollars in stored goods in the fire. Notably, the facility was not protected by a sprinkler system, which n...

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