Fire Safety Risk Assessment - Editor's Dispatch

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

DroneResponders: Promoting Use Of Drones For Public Safety, Including Fire

Drone usage by public safety agencies is at its highest level to date, with nearly 4,000 agencies now having drones or drone programs. Leading the implementation of drones in law enforcement with 42%, followed by fire service at 37%, emergency management with 12%, and the remainder by other categories such as search-and-rescue and EMS. Some of the primary fire missions for drones are structural fires, wildfires, hazmat responses, fire forensic investigations, swift water rescues, floods, torna...

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...

Incarcerated Firefighters On The Front Lines During Wildfire Season

Prisoners have played a role in firefighting since 1915 when the first “Conservation Camps” trained incarcerated firefighters with the backing of the Department of Forestry. Especially in the realm of fighting wildfires, incarcerated individuals have in recent years provided low-cost labor amid the dangerous environment of a spreading wildfire.  The numbers of incarcerated persons in the United States expanded threefold during the “War on Crime,” which increased the...

Federal Aviation Administration’s Approval Of Remote Drone Flights Expands Possibilities In Fire Sector

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved deployment of fully automated commercial drone flights, paving the way eventually for new and expanded uses of unmanned automated vehicles (UAVs) in a variety of applications - including the fire market. The approval is narrow in scope and applies to a single company - American Robotics Inc., which petitioned the change. Reese Mozer, the CEO and Founder of American Robotics, has predicted a $100 billion market to provide drone services...

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...

Aligning Research With A Proactive Approach To Wildfire Management

Science shows clearly that the way to reduce the damaging impacts of wildfires and threats to life and property is to proactively manage ecosystems that evolved with fire. This means reintroducing fire in the right ways and places combined with mimicking the effects of fire on forest structure through mechanical treatments. “Rocky Mountain Research Station's Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program (RMRS) focuses on the science of risk management from ways that they can treat fuels and miti...

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