Fire Prevention - Editor's Dispatch

In The Right Conditions, Rapidly Spreading Grass Fires Can Be Deadly

Last month, a fire raged across land in Swansea, in southern Wales, spreading 6 hectares (about 15 acres) and injuring a firefighter. Weeks earlier, flames raged across 20 hectares (almost 50 acres) in nearby Fairwood Common, Gower, in a fire that may have been deliberately set, and another 30 hectares (74 acres) of grassland and forest burned in Maesteg, Bridgend.  Almost 4,000 miles away in northwest Minnesota, crews battled a grass fire that briefly closed a highway in the area. Low hum...

Fire And EMS Departments Eligible For FEMA Reimbursement Of COVID-19 Costs

Fire and EMS departments are eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) of their costs, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A streamlined project application process eases the burden of applying for the program, but support documentation is required. Tracking costs For COVID-19 recovery Many departments do not apply for the money because they perceive reporting requirements as too difficult, and record-keeping as too big a challenge. To help, the U.S. Fir...

Chicago Bans Dogs From Firehouses, Despite Long-Held Tradition

There is a long tradition of canines in the fire service, from Dalmatians riding shotgun in the fire truck to mixed breeds rescued from fires that later become the fire company mascot. The tradition has taken a hit recently in Chicago, where dogs are no longer allowed at firehouses after one station dog killed a smaller breed canine near a firehouse in the Englewood neighborhood. The incident The firehouse dog in Chicago, named Bones, was a mixed breed stray rescued off the street that was li...

IoT And Greater Computing Power Drive Fire Systems In Smart Cities

Hundreds of sensors and devices operating across an entire city – all connected via the Internet of Things (IoT) – combine to provide useful and actionable information for a variety of functions – including public safety and fire protection. Even as IoT sensors and devices monitor buildings to provide vital information, computer systems transform sensor data into intelligence. Communication advances are ensuring that intelligence is shared when and how it is needed. The Nation...

Homeless Encampments Encompass Both Common And Unique Fire Hazards

There are more than half a million homeless people in the United States, including many who deal with mental illness, drug addiction, and other problems. At homeless shelters where some of them are housed, attention to fire prevention may take a back seat to other concerns, such as adding capacity. More troubling are fire hazards at makeshift housing sites and homeless camps. Fire calls to homeless encampments run the gamut, including many of the same types of emergencies as other calls. Becaus...

Firefighters Face Additional Challenges In Temperature Extremes

The extremely cold winter this year is a reminder of the need for firefighters to be prepared and trained to fight fires in extreme conditions. Extreme environments tend to elevate the hazards of firefighting, which already include trauma, thermal injury, and smoke inhalation. The additional hazards range from minor inconveniences to extreme danger. One element that increases risk during the depths of winter is the increased incidence of fires caused by the additional use of (possibly hazardous...

Redeploying A Firefighting Robot To Spray Disinfectant And Fight COVID-19

The Thermite RS3, manufactured by Howe & Howe Technologies, is a wide-chassis, industrial firefighting robot that is remotely operated using a belly-pack controller to provide high-definition video feedback for easy maneuverability, even in difficult conditions. The Los Angeles City Fire Department was the first to buy the bright yellow firefighting vehicle, as announced last fall. Thermite RS3 robot Decon7 Systems has teamed with Howe & Howe Technologies to pioneer the delivery of D7...

Lithium-Ion Battery Fires In Electric Vehicles Pose Danger To First Responders

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is seeking to address fire dangers from electric vehicles that use high-voltage lithium-ion batteries. At risk are first responders who may be injured by electric shock or uncontrolled increases in temperature and pressure that can reignite the batteries. The risk of shock and fire arises from the ‘stranded’ energy that remains in a damaged battery, says the NTSB. A safety report from the U.S. federal agency documents their investigati...

Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic On Fire Service Extending Into 2021 And Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the fire service will continue at least through 2021 and possibly for years to come. Specifically, several aspects of the pandemic have impacted the fire service long-term and have possibly changed it forever.  More awareness of Health Issues For one thing, the pandemic has heightened awareness about issues of health and wellness of firefighters. In this regard, COVID-19 has been just the latest in the series of health and wellness issues surroundin...

Pocketalk Provides Instant Translations In 82 Languages For First Responders

Translation in an emergency setting is a challenge that first responders face on a daily basis. For example, London Luton Airport’s Fire Service would previously have to find a member of staff or a passenger that could help them translate, which is not always possible. As a last resort, the service would carry around a large flipbook containing numerous medical questions in a multitude of languages, but this did not solve the problem of understanding any responses. AI-Powered Language Tr...

2020 Review: Technologies Shaping The Future Of The Fire Industry

Technology and innovation are shaping the future of the fire industry. During 2020, TheBigRedGuide.com published many articles touching on research, development, and new technologies. This roundup will review some of the most popular articles, including links to the original content. Thermal Imaging & Augmented Reality (AR) Combining thermal imaging and augmented reality (AR) enables firefighters to see through smoke, in effect enhancing their vision in the life-threatening environment of...

2020 Review: The Destructiveness Of Wildfires, And Looking To The Future

Wildfires represent extreme instances of the deadly destructiveness of fire. There seem to be more wildfires every year, and there are certainly larger and more deadly wildfires all over the world than ever before. Wildfires dominate the public perception of the most extreme consequences of fire. This look back at 2020 will highlight some of the articles about wildfires published by TheBigRedGuide.com, with links to the full-length original articles. The wildfire season in 11 Western U.S. stat...

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