6 Critical Home Fire Escape Planning Tips

Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2017: Information to share with your P&C insurance clients

Knowing that today’s homes burn faster than ever, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out” as the official theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 8-14, 2017.

2 minutes to escape
Experts say you may have as little as two minutes (or even less) to safely escape a typical home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

“Modern home furnishings, along with the fact that newer homes tend to be built with more open spaces and unprotected lightweight construction, all contribute to an increased rate at which home fires burn,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “These factors make home escape planning and practice critical.”

Common Misperceptions
Meanwhile, a national survey recently conducted by NFPA shows that Americans continue to have many misperceptions around home escape planning and practice:

-Less than half of Americans (48%) know that the correct components of a home fire escape plan include working smoke alarms, two ways out of each room and an outside meeting place.

-Nearly one quarter of Americans (23%) do not know that each room in the home should have at least two exits.

-Close to three in five Americans (57%) think that in a typical single-family home fire situation, once the smoke alarm sounds, the average person would have more than two minutes to escape safely.

“Home is the place people are at greatest risk of fire, but ironically it’s the place they feel safest from it,” said Carli. “That over-confidence may contribute to the public’s continued lack of awareness around home escape planning and practice.”

True speed at which home fires spread
“Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out” works to teach people about the true speed at which today’s home fires can spread, and the vital importance of home escape planning and practice in the event of one. A home escape plan includes:

-working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas;

-2 ways out of every room, usually a door and a window; and

-a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.

Practice twice a year
Home escape plans should be practiced by all members of the household twice a year.

“In a fire situation, a practiced home escape plan ensures that everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds and how to use that time wisely,” Carli said.

Here are 6 key tips for having a home fire escape plan:

1. Map home & exits.
Draw a map of your home by using the NFPA grid in English (PDF)
or Spanish (PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.

2. Fire drills.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.

3. Teach children how to escape.
It’s important to teach children how to escape the home their own in case you can’t help them.

4. Help the fire department find you.
Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.

5. Close doors.
Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.

6. Stay outside.
Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Source: Propertycasualty360.com by Jayleen R. Heft on October 05, 2017 and NFPA.org

Designer Creates a Fire Escape Tunnel for High-Rise Buildings

A British designer has created a unique life-saving evacuation chute he claims it ‘could have emptied Grenfell Tower in 20 minutes’.

Eric Hooper, 72, said watching live coverage of the devastating fire that killed at least 80 people left him ‘frustrated as hell’.

He said fitting the escape tube on the 21-floor residential block could have saved countless lives when it was ravaged by the inferno in June.
The chute can be adapted to fit any building.

The designer from Stockwell, London, said: ‘All the time I was thinking that a simple chute system would have evacuated all the entrapped victims.

‘Whichever systems was installed at Grenfell it would have evacuated at the rate of 20 to 25 evacuees per minute.

‘For the price of a cup of coffee per day per person in the building they could have paid for a system in a year.’

He added: ‘I know for a fact that had this device been on Grenfell it could have saved I don’t know how many lives… I wonder why they never went down the stairs.’
Evacuees enter the escape tubes from hatches on separate floors.

This gives residents a safe means of escape when stairs become filled with thick smoke and debris.
Activating a mechanism at each entry point unfolds a multi-layered chute that children and the elderly can use to vertically slide down to lower floors.
The fire-resistant device supports a user by the waist who then controls the speed of descent by pressing against the tube’s sides.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4929020/Designer-creates-evacuation-tunnel-high-rise-buildings.html#ixzz4ub25Ifhv

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Club in Hot Spot Over Fire Escape

There are no lyrics to explain how concerned members of the Dunedin Musicians’ Club are after discovering the 42-year-old institution could be closed for lack of a fire escape.
Club member and fundraising concert organiser Iain Johnstone said the club was recently notified about new fire escape regulations that would severely impact on its operations.

The building has a fire escape but it is no longer compliant with current rules.

Because the club no longer had a second fire exit from its first floor premises down to Manse St, fire authorities had limited the number of patrons in the venue to 50, including band members.

It could hold up to 150 people, Mr Johnstone said.

“Half of our capacity is band members at the moment.
“This puts enormous pressure on our ongoing viability — and ability to survive in the short term — as we plan the way forward,” he said.Most of the club’s income is from bar sales.

“With the limited numbers, we’ve already had to cancel a big concert which normally brings in a lot of revenue.”

Finding another venue would be too expensive, he said.

“If we can’t get the money, it’s a possibility we might have to close the club, which would be a shame after 42 years.”

Mr Johnstone said the non-profit organisation needed about $10,000 to build the new fire escape.

It planned to hold a Mula for Musos concert at the Crown Hotel on September 30, to raise money for the development.

The concert starts at 5.30pm.

Source: Otago Daily Times By John Lewis john.lewis@odt.co.nz

NFPA Announces Fire Prevention Week Theme: ‘Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out’

Nearly half of all Americans have not developed a home fire escape plan. Of those that have, one-quarter have never practiced it. These and other findings from a recent survey conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) prompted the official theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 8-14, 2017: “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out™”

“The results from our most recent survey show we still have a lot of work to do in educating the public about home fires, escape planning and practice. Among the findings, people tend to think they have more time to escape a home fire than they actually do,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president for Outreach and Advocacy. “That over-confidence may play a role in why some people don’t develop a home escape plan or practice it regularly.”

Home escape planning and practice can make a life-saving difference in a home fire. “In a fire situation, a regularly practiced home escape plan ensures that everyone in the home knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds and can escape quickly and safely,” said Carli.

“Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out” works to teach the public what a home escape plan entails, and the value of practicing it with all members of the household. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign also works to better educate the public about just how quickly home fires can spread, and how little time they may have to escape safely.

“Today’s home fires spread more rapidly than they used to,” said Carli. “The synthetic fibers used in modern home furnishings, along with the fact that newer homes tend to be built with more open spaces and unprotected lightweight construction, all contribute to an increased rate at which fire burns. These factors make home escape planning and practice all the more critical.” Experts say you could have less than two minutes to escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home. Home escape plans should be practiced twice a year by all members of the household.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out,” visit firepreventionweek.org.

About Fire Prevention Week
NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation declaring a national observance during that week every year since 1925. Visit www.firepreventionweek.org for more safety information.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

Good Samaritans save child being dangled from Bronx fire escape, mother and child stabbed

MELROSE, Bronx (WABC) — Good Samaritans came to the rescue of a mother and little girl who were stabbed, and the little girl dangled from the fire escape.

“What did your son see?” Eyewitness News Reporter Darla Miles asked.

“‘Mom,’ he ran in the house, ‘Mom, dad there’s some guy on the fire escape, trying to throw a little girl off the fire escape,” said Melissa Petters, an Eyewitness.

It was a third floor fire escape to be exact.

That’s where neighbors on Cauldwell Avenue in the South Bronx say they saw a 3-year-old girl and her 37-year-old mother begging for mercy.

“My husband and I ran out the door to see what was going on and you seen blood and everything everywhere,” Petters said.

“I seen him grabbed him grab the baby and hang the baby out the window and she started screaming, “Please, please!” a Good Samaritan said.

The Good Samaritan doesn’t want to be identified.

He and another neighbor ran upstairs and burst into the apartment to intervene, at first throwing vases and other household items at the suspect around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

“I kicked the door open, I ran in and I went to the fire escape and I told him, ‘Let her go! Let her go!’ And luckily somebody else came through this side and grabbed the baby, some guys,
and they brought her down through the fire escape,” he said.

“The mother was stabbed in the abdomen, and the little girl on her arm,” Petters said.

The aftermath was caught on cell phone video. Witnesses say a group of men held the suspect down until police arrived.

The mother, despite her abdominal wound, remained alert, solely focused on her daughter.

“She was just telling me, ‘Melly I’m scared, my baby,’ and I said, ‘She’s right here, she’s fine, she’ll be safe,'” Petters said.”

Source: ABC7 New York, Darla Miles Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:51PM ©2017 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

People Jump From Windows to Escape East Portland Apartment Fire

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. — Flames forced people to jump from their windows, some from the third floor, after a fire broke out Tuesday morning at the Glendoveer Estates apartments, located on the Portland-Gresham line in Multnomah County.

The fire happened about 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

Brothers Christin and Disean Mann both jumped from the second story window, and say other people jumped from other apartments, too. “We woke up to the fire, there was an explosion,” said Disean.

One man had to toss his daughter out the third-story window to Christin, outside, who caught her. “My friend threw his daughter down,” said Mann. “I caught the girl. I tried to catch him, but he was too heavy he ended up breaking his ankle.”

Neighbors said the girl is OK. Firefighters rescued a 3-year-old boy from the third story, using a ladder. The boy was taken to the hospital in a private car.

A man and a woman were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, firefighters said.

VIDEO: Crews put out fire at Glendoveer Estates apartments

One firefighter also stepped on a burning balcony and fell from the second floor to the ground. He is OK, according to Gresham fire.

Gresham fire said it appears the fire started on a bottom unit and spread through the building. The preliminary investigation indicates the fire was accidental.

Firefighters said five people were living in the unit and the unit did not have electricity. They told investigators they were using candles, but there’s no official word yet on what started the fire. It’s still under investigation.

The fire caused propane tanks to explode, firefighters said, and flames quickly went up the side of the building and into a hallway on the second floor, forcing people to escape from windows.

“I heard someone say call 911! Call 911! I looked out there were flames everywhere!” said Zoee Shearer. She had to escape the building.

The fire caused severe damage to the side of the building. Firefighters said at least six families will not be able to go home right now, because of the damage. And it appears the apartment where the fire started is a total loss.

The Red Cross will help the families affected.

Source: Rachael Rafanelli, KGW Channel 8 Portland 12:40 PM. PDT September 12, 2017 © 2017 KGW-TV

Fire Marshal: Discarded Cigarette Causes $1M Cherry Hill Blaze

CHERRY HILL — A tenant’s discarded cigarette outside his third-story apartment sparked a blaze that caused $1 million in damage to the complex and displaced him and 19 other tenants Thursday afternoon, authorities reported.

Brinton Davis, the tenant of the top-floor apartment, reported the fire on the exterior deck/fire escape of his apartment about 2:42 p.m., according to the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal.

He reportedly told investigators that he had discarded a cigarette in a homemade ashtray constructed of a wood stump, and returned later to find the wooden exterior on fire.

About 75 firefighters from a variety of fire companies in Cecil County, Pennsylvania and Delaware responded to the three-alarm blaze at 273 Cherry Hill Road, which lies just east of the Route 213 “Lanzi” traffic circle. Because of the lack of fire hydrants, the Tanker Task Force was activated to bring water to the scene.

According to emergency communications, firefighters initially attempted to fight the fire from the interior of the building but were forced to evacuate as the blaze intensified. The fire had already destroyed the top floor of structure within the first hour, and it took responding crews another two hours to fully bring it under control, according to the fire marshal’s office.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury and was transported by emergency medical services for evaluation. Another firefighter suffered a minor injury and refused treatment on scene, according to the fire marshal’s office.

In total, the blaze caused an estimated $1 million in damage, split evenly between the structure and its contents. Fire marshals listed the owner of the property as Watts Property Inc.

Smoke alarms were present and operating at the complex, but the 86-year-old building did not have sprinklers, according to the fire marshal’s office.

Twenty occupants of the complex, which has seven units, five of which are two-bedroom units, have been displaced and are being assisted by Red Cross.

At the scene, one tenant of a top-floor apartment was overwhelmed, falling into the embrace of a neighbor, who was glad she and her dog escaped.

Source: By Jane Bellmyer jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com Cecil Daily

Victim on Fire Escapes Burning Trinity Bar Building in New Haven: FD

Fire broke out in apartments above Trinity Bar in New Haven Friday and one person injured in the fire is in critical condition at the hospital, according to fire officials.

Officials received reports of people trapped inside the building just before 2 p.m. after seeing heavy smoke and fire coming from the building on Orange Street and found that the fire started in apartments above the restaurant.
One man who woke up and saw flames in his apartment went out a back window to the fire escape and onto the roof. He was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, then to the burn unit in Bridgeport to be treated for burns covering 70 percent of his body.

John Brehon, an employee at the nearby The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop, said he was one of the people who ran into the fire worried about the people who live in the second and third floors. Brehon said the owner of the bike shop also ran into the burning building and was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

It took officials around 45 minutes to get the fire under control.
An employee of Trinity Bar said all the employees and customers made it out safely.

Fire officials said a couple of dozen of bar employees are now out of a job.

Source: Victim on Fire Escapes Burning Trinity Bar Building in New Haven: FD – NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/New-Haven-Fire-Reporting-to-2-Alarm-Fire-on-Orange-Street–442486943.html##ixzz4rrTr0Xah
Follow us: @nbcconnecticut on Twitter | NBCConnecticut on Facebook

Bronx Teen Takes Fatal Plunge After Going Out On Fifth-Story Fire Escape To Smoke

A 15-year-old Bronx boy fell five stories to his death Thursday morning after sneaking from his bedroom onto a fire escape, while still in his pajamas, to smoke, police said.

Leonardo (Lenny) Marmolejos fell from the fire escape that runs down the back wall of his apartment building on Briggs Ave. near E. 199th St. in Fordham Manor at about 6:15 a.m., cops said.

He landed in an alley, where a neighbor found him face-down and in his pajamas and called 911. Medics rushed the teen, in traumatic arrest, to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he died.

Lenny’s heartbroken father raced to the building Thursday morning cradling a cell phone picture of his dead son.

“He just made 15,” Leonardo Marmolejos Sr. said between heart-rending sobs outside his ex-wife’s building. “I say to him, ‘Papi, you so handsome.’

“Lenny is a Xerox copy of me,” said the 62-year-old Army veteran, who served in the Vietnam War. “If you saw me when I was 15, you couldn’t tell us apart. (He) was a beautiful kid, obedient, respectful, never got no complaint from him in school. He was such a good kid”.

The International School for the Liberal Arts sophomore with dreams of playing in the NBA lived on the building’s fifth floor with his mother and grandmother, Lilian Ferrer-Casilla, police sources said.

When Ferrer-Casilla went to bed at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Lenny was in his room playing video games. His mother, whom the grandmother and neighbors declined to name, was on the sofa.

Everything appeared normal until Thursday morning, she said. “The police came and knocked on the door,” Ferrer-Casilla remembered.

When Lenny’s mom answered, they immediately asked about her son. “(She) was asking why,” she recalled. “She went and checked the room and he wasn’t there. She thought the whole night he was in the bed.”

Lenny’s mom immediately began suffering chest pains and was taken to the same hospital as her son.

“We are destroyed,” Ferrer-Casilla said.

The teen’s mom, who is recovering in the hospital, told police she last saw her child in his bedroom about 1:20 a.m., sources said.

Cops found a lighter and a pipe on the fire escape. It was not immediately disclosed if any drugs were found.

Investigators believe Lenny propped open the window and climbed outside to smoke — news that left his father with more questions.

“What happened?” Marmolejos asked. “I always told him, ‘Lenny, do something because you want to do it. Don’t do it because of peer pressure.’

“I told him it’s a tough environment, but you have to mind your business,” he said. “I said stay away from those bad kids and you’re going to make it.”

SOURCE: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS BY CHELSIA ROSE MARCIUS THOMAS TRACY UPDATED: THURSDAY, August 31, 2017, 8:57 PM

Fixing Philly: L&I looks to create database of safe fire escapes


In an effort to ensure safety in case of an emergency, the Dept. of L&I is looking to crowdsource info in order to create a database of fire escapes throughout the city.

During a birthday party at an apartment in a Rittenhouse Square building in January of 2014, 22-year-old Albert Suh, of Leonia, N.J., and two female friends, both in their twenties, stepped out onto a fire escape on the fourth floor of the 108-year-old building.

The rusty fire escape collapsed under the three, killing Suh and severely injuring the two women.

According to Karen Guss, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections, this tragedy was wholly preventable if only the building’s fire escape had been inspected and was up to code.

“That fire escape came right off the wall and then crashed down forty feet,” Guss said of the fatal incident. “That opened a lot of people’s eyes, especially here at L&I, that really, no one had been checking the safety of these things.”

And, now, L&I is asking local residents to help prevent future tragedies by working to create an online database of all fire escapes in the city, that would allow L&I to verify each fire escape as either being up to code or needing inspection.

“One thing we knew would be a challenge in this city is that we don’t have a database for fire escapes,” she said in an interview Thursday. “If we don’t know where fire escapes are, how are we going to make sure they are safe?”

In order to identify all fire escapes in the city, L&I has set up an online page, here, that allows residents to provide information about any fire escape in the city and even share photos of the fire escape. Guss said that with each submission, L&I will check to see if the fire escape is in the database already, if it has been inspected and is up to code or if they need to sent an inspector out to the fire escape to check it out.

The entire process is anonymous, and she said, if a renter has a concern about a fire escape on their building, they can simply provide information and an inspector will check it, they wouldn’t need to contact their landlord for approval and the landlord wouldn’t be told if their tenant alerted L&I.

“It’s super easy. If you see a fire escape, just click on where it is and take a picture,” she said.

Guss said that the fire escape initiative follows a 2016 City Council bill that was intended to make sure property owners are held accountable for the condition of the fire escapes connected to their buildings, to ensure they are safe in case of an emergency.

Already, L&I has had 132 properties reported through the website app, though they don’t know just how many fire escapes there are in total throughout the city.

Guss said she hopes this program helps to answer that question.

“Then, once it’s in our database, it will be mapped, matched with what we know about the property and we will have a report and enforcement can begin.”

Also, if a resident has concerns about a fire escape on their property, the can put its info in the L&I’s online app and they will be able to find out the status of the fire escape, if it has been inspected or not.

“Hopefully, your landlord already did everything great. But, if not, we will come check it out,” said Guss.

To input a fire escape into L&I’s online database, click here. You can also see a map of all the fire escapes throughout the city that L&I has already identified.

Source: Hayden Mitman Metro US http://www.metro.us/news/local-news/philadelphia/fixing-philly-li-looks-to-create-database-safe-fire-escapes
Published : August 28, 2017 | Updated : August 28, 2017