AT LEAST 22 CIVILIANS, FIREFIGHER HURT IN LARGE SCALE FIRE

WTVA, NY: A fire that ripped through a four-story mix-use building in the Bronx Tuesday morning has injured at least 22 people …

A fire that ripped through a four-story mix-use building in the Bronx Tuesday morning has injured at least 22 people and a firefighter, as crews battled freezing temperatures in their fight against the flames, according to the FDNY.

About 200 firefighters responded to the fire, which began about 5:30 a.m. on the first floor of 1547 Commonwealth Ave., near East Tremont Avenue, officials said. As of 11:30 a.m., firefighters continued to battle the blaze.

The fire is believed to have started on the building’s first floor, which houses a furniture store. There are apartments located on the floors above.

Google Maps Imagery

At least 22 civilians and a firefighter were hurt. All of their injuries are non-life threatening, FDNY said.

Fire officials advised residents near the fire to close their windows because of smoke and warned drivers to expect traffic delays in the area.

Firefighters have been pulled from the building and are fighting the blaze from outside, FDNY said. Large icicles could be seen forming on the building’s fire escapes, as water used by the firefighters began to freeze amid a snap of brutally cold temperatures.

A resident said she tried to flee via the fire escape, but a gate was blocking the window. Her son and daughter were able to get through, but it was not until firefighters broke the gate that she and her husband could escape.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

This blaze comes days another Bronx fire killed 12 people in the one of the deadliest fires in the city in more than a quarter century. The Dec. 28 fire was started by a small child playing with a stove on the first floor, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

The child’s mother heard him screaming and escaped the unit, but, according to Nigro, she left the apartment door open.

Source: ABC WTVA & FOX WLOV, New York.
Posted: Jan. 3, 2018 1:42 PM
Updated: Jan. 3, 2018 8:33 PM

Man fatally falls from fire escape after fight with girlfriend

A man who threatened his girlfriend with a knife early Sunday fell to his death after losing his footing on the fire escape as he tried to climb back into their Bronx apartment, police said.

Pedro Polanco, 27, and his 36-year-old girlfriend had friends at their flat on 182nd St. near Mapes Ave. in Belmont when they began fighting around 3:30 a.m. He repeatedly pushed her and flashed an intimidating blade, according to cops.

After she demanded he leave the fifth-floor apartment, where they live with their two young children, he climbed from the roof onto the fire escape — a familiar re-entry route he’d traveled before, according to officials.

But this time he lost his footing and accidentally fell, police said.

Medics discovered Polanco conscious and alert, but with severe trauma to his lower body, police said. They rushed him to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he died an hour later.

Polanco’s girlfriend was not seriously hurt. Cops continued to investigate the incident on Sunday, but said they do not suspect foul play.

Polanco’s mom, Francisca Garcia, said his girlfriend called her after an ambulance took him away.

“She said, ‘Please forgive me,’ ” Garcia said as she sobbed and dried her eyes with a wash cloth.

The dead man’s father, Pedro Polanco Jesus, said he’s still not sure if his son jumped or fell.

“We don’t know,” he said. “The police are still investigating.”

In addition to his kids in the Bronx, a boy, 4, and a girl, 2, Polanco has two children in his native Dominican Republic, neighbors said.

Polanco’s parents live in a basement apartment in the same building.

Neighbors described Polanco as quiet and friendly.

“I saw him yesterday around 4 or 5 o’clock. He was standing right here,” said neighbor Jose Fernandez, 57.

“He didn’t talk much, he was quiet. I said ‘What’s wrong with you, you don’t talk? Christmas is coming, you better be happy”.

Source: NY Daily News – Man fatally falls from fire escape after fight with girlfriend

Harvard Lampoon Building presented Historic Preservation Award

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, chairman of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, recently announced the selection of the Harvard Lampoon Building in Cambridge to receive a 2017 Massachusetts Historical Commission Historic Preservation Award.

“The Massachusetts Historical Commission is proud to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of this year’s awardees,” Galvin said. “The projects the commission is recognizing this year are particularly diverse and represent the many creative ways that significant historic resources are being preserved across the Commonwealth. The restoration of the Harvard Lampoon Building demonstrates an exceptional attention to detail.”

Located just south of Harvard Square in Cambridge, the Harvard Lampoon occupies a building that was one of the last major works of Boston city architect, Edmund Wheelwright. Wheelwright, a Harvard alumnus and a founder of the Harvard Lampoon magazine, one of the nation’s first college humor magazines, wanted the building to embody the comical nature of the publication. Completed in 1909, the Harvard Lampoon Building exhibits a synthesis of the formal Gothic and early Renaissance styles, with Flemish architectural influences, and is marked by a tower at its main entrance.

A century after its completion, the Lampoon Building still retained much of its original character and motifs, but was in need of functional, structural and cosmetic work. The most significant challenge was the need for a secondary means of egress from the second floor to meet modern code requirements. The only feasible option was to add a new exterior door and fire escape on the Plympton Street façade, yet the prominence of this façade meant that any intervention needed to be thoroughly thought out and precisely executed in order to maintain the building’s integrity. To that end, the design for the secondary egress included a new door with a limestone surround and Tudor hood molding, which were carefully integrated into the existing stringcourse. The new fire escape is shrouded with a decorative wrought-iron railing that runs the full width of the Plympton Street façade. Designed after a careful study of early 20th century metalwork in Boston and Cambridge, the railing features metal newels that complement the historic motifs of the building, including “HL” monograms, grotesques with jester hats and three book-shaped cartouches that together spell out the Lampoon’s original motto, “Vanitas.”

Along with the insertion of the new means of egress, significant structural problems were addressed on the Plympton Street façade. A steel beam had rusted over the ground-floor entry and windows, resulting in severe cracking of the surrounding masonry. Once the beam was cleaned, reinforced and waterproofed, the damaged area of limestone was patched and replaced as needed. Restoration of the masonry and windows at the building’s east end was also undertaken. All exterior masonry was cleaned, and inappropriate replacement mortar from previous repairs was replaced with mortar matching the original in color and texture. Similarly, on the inside, the replacement black mortar was removed and, after cleaning off dirt and soot, it was possible to match the original mortar’s lighter color and texture. Leaded glass windows, whose deterioration had been accelerated due to their covering by unvented storm panels, were cleaned and repainted once those panels were removed.

This is the 39th year of MHC’s Preservation Awards program. Projects are considered annually for awards in the categories of Rehabilitation and Restoration, Adaptive Reuse, Education and Outreach, Archaeology, Stewardship and Landscape Preservation. Individuals are considered in the categories of Individual Lifetime Achievement and Local Preservationist. Galvin serves as the chair of the 17-member Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Source: Wicked Local – Cambridge

Bryan offering grant money for safety improvements to downtown buildings

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) The City of Bryan is taking a new approach to making downtown businesses and residences safer. They’re offering grant money to bring older buildings up to new fire code standards.

Some historic buildings in Downtown Bryan have been lost or damaged to fire in recent years. The Court’s Saddlery building was destroyed in January 2011. The Edge’s building, which is home to the Halo nightclub, was significantly damaged in 2015. Even a small fire at RX Pizza back in March had fire crews scrambling to make sure flames didn’t spread.

The city is trying to get the word out about a grant for downtown busineses on Main Street and Bryan Avenue to bring fire safety improvements.

“The Life Safety Grant is really there to help renovate some of the older buildings in Downtown Bryan. It’s very difficult to add a fire protection system or alarm system or exits or windows or doors to some of these old structures without some financial assistance,” said Marc McFeron, the Bryan Fire Marshal.

The Queen Theatre, currently under massive renovation, is the city’s latest grant recipient.
Some historic buildings in Downtown Bryan have been lost or damaged to fire in recent years. The Court’s Saddlery building was destroyed in January 2011. The Edge’s building, which is home to the Halo nightclub, was significantly damaged in 2015. Even a small fire at RX Pizza back in March had fire crews scrambling to make sure flames didn’t spread.

The city is trying to get the word out about a grant for downtown busineses on Main Street and Bryan Avenue to bring fire safety improvements.

“The Life Safety Grant is really there to help renovate some of the older buildings in Downtown Bryan. It’s very difficult to add a fire protection system or alarm system or exits or windows or doors to some of these old structures without some financial assistance,” said Marc McFeron, the Bryan Fire Marshal.

The Queen Theatre, currently under massive renovation, is the city’s latest grant recipient.

Some historic buildings in Downtown Bryan have been lost or damaged to fire in recent years. The Court’s Saddlery building was destroyed in January 2011. The Edge’s building, which is home to the Halo nightclub, was significantly damaged in 2015. Even a small fire at RX Pizza back in March had fire crews scrambling to make sure flames didn’t spread.

The city is trying to get the word out about a grant for downtown busineses on Main Street and Bryan Avenue to bring fire safety improvements.

“The Life Safety Grant is really there to help renovate some of the older buildings in Downtown Bryan. It’s very difficult to add a fire protection system or alarm system or exits or windows or doors to some of these old structures without some financial assistance,” said Marc McFeron, the Bryan Fire Marshal.

The Queen Theatre, currently under massive renovation, is the city’s latest grant recipient.

Other locations that have received grant assistance include office and loft space at 212 North Bryan Avenue, and The Halo Nightclub in the Edges Building. The Fire Marshal tells us RX Pizza was also given assistance on fire suppression for their ventilation hoods.

Businesses or property owners interested in the grant can call Stephanie Doland at (979) 209-5073.

Source: Clay Falls with KBTX | Posted: Wed 5:41 PM, Dec 13, 2017 | Updated: Wed 11:20 PM, Dec 13, 2017

‘The only fire escape was the window,’ says woman rescued from Furby apartment blaze

Flames shoot through the roof of an apartment building on Furby Street Tuesday. (Submitted by Matt Gillies)

A Winnipeg mom huddled with her boys in a back bedroom of their Furby Street apartment Monday night, convinced they would never make it out.

Nancy McIvor says she’s glad to be alive after the blaze destroyed their building at 489 Furby St.

Her nephew Dylan, 23, and her sons Lester, 19, and Dwight, 20, huddled in Dwight’s bedroom after the fire broke out at 11 p.m. Monday, staring at the window, wondering if they might have to jump.

“We were that desperate to save our lives,” McIvor said Tuesday night. “We thought we were gonna die.”

McIvor said when her son woke her up the apartment was already thick with smoke.

“We couldn’t even see each other, that’s how bad the smoke was. We were just feeling each other … to go to the back room,” she said.

Their third-floor suite was above the second-floor apartment where the fire broke out, and they couldn’t reach the closest door as a result. The hallways were too full of smoke for them to attempt to navigate to either staircase.

Dwight’s room had the least smoke, so they all huddled there.

“I felt like, that’s the end of us. Because we were trapped. There was no way out,” she said.

“We were just running around with our heads cut off,” she said. “There was no fire escape, anywhere. The only fire escape was the window, to jump out the window.

“At that moment, it was life and death,” she said. “There was four lives to be saved — five lives, my Lucky too,” she said, referring to her cat.

he McIvors’ cat, Lucky, hasn’t been seen since the fire. (Submitted by Lester McIvor)

“We were just screaming out the window, ‘Help! Help!'”

Firefighters called back, asked what suite they were in and found them in Dwight’s room.

“They came and got us, like a chain,” McIvor said.

They were four of six people rescued from the third storey of the building. Six others trapped inside made it out on their own.

They were all treated for smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide toxicity. The city said Tuesday that three people were sent to hospital — one in unstable condition, two stable.

Lucky the cat is still missing. McIvor was told the building is likely to be condemned and she won’t be allowed inside to look for the cat.

They also won’t be able to salvage any of their belongings — McIvor’s guitar, her pictures of her mom and dad, “my values, that I call treasures — things you can’t replace,” she said.

Then there’s their winter gear — clothes other than the ones on their backs.

“We have nothing — no clothes, nothing to change into, we still smell like fire,” McIvor said Tuesday night.

“Starting all over again, it’s hard. You’ve got to buy pepper, salt.… We need underwear, socks — we have nothing. Everything’s gone to flames.”

They four of them are crammed into her sister’s one-bedroom apartment down the street on Furby. McIvor said she’s been thinking so hard about her next steps it feels like “my head is going to explode.”

She’s not sure how they’ll pay for a new place or what they will need to fill it, and is hoping the Christmas season will encourage people to help them out.

Fire crews set up ladders
When crews first arrived, there were people leaning out of the third-floor windows and heavy flames on the second floor, acting district Chief Ted McDougall told CBC.

​”People were living above that fire suite and they couldn’t get down normally, so fire crews set up ladders and got them out of there,” he said.

After searching through all floors for any more people, firefighters were ordered out. They initially tried to contain the flames to the second-level suite but it spread to the third floor.

Damage to the building is so extensive it will need to be demolished, McDougall said.

The building next door, 485 Furby St., also was evacuated as large amounts of smoke poured into it, along with some water.

On Tuesday, City of Winnipeg spokesperson Michelle Finley said 16 people from both buildings were housed in a hotel Monday night.

A city transit bus was brought in to shelter evacuees. Some had to stay there for several hours.

“Residents who were on the bus for an extended period of time were primarily from the adjacent building at 485 Furby St.,” Finley said in an email.

“At 3 a.m., it became apparent they would not be able to return to their apartments. It was at that time that preparations began to move people who could not stay with family or friends, to a hotel with the assistance of the Red Cross.”

Source: CBC News Posted: Dec 05, 2017 7:55 PM CT Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017 9:31 PM CT

Reading man jailed after burglary at apartment house

Alleged Suspect: Terence R. Barber

READING, PA – City police arrested a man after he broke into an apartment house in the same south Reading neighborhood where he lives, investigators said Monday.Terence R. Barber, 29, of the 400 block of South Fifth Street was taken into custody shortly before noon Saturday.

Police said that Barber was arrested after one of the residents of the building he had entered about an hour earlier called to report that he had confronted the suspect.

Barber was committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail after arraignment before District Judge Victor M. Frederick IV in Reading Central Court.

He is charged with burglary, trespassing and receiving stolen property.
According to police:

A tenant in the building, also in the 400 block of South Fifth, called 9-1-1 after hearing a window breaking on the floor above.

Police arrived and spoke to another resident of the building, who led officers to the kitchen, where there was a broken window and glass on the floor.

The man said that he was asleep but awoke when the door to his room opened. A man later identified as Barber started to enter the room. When he saw the room was occupied, he said, “Someone let me in.” He then closed the door and fled.

The victim got out of bed and went down the stairs to the kitchen. He saw the intruder leaving through the window, going down the fire escape and running north in an alley.

The victim said that he had seen the same man sitting on the steps of the building in the same block. About an hour later, he called police to report he “caught” the suspect.

The victim identified Barber as the person inside the building. A witness said that he found a necklace belonging to the victim with Barber while speaking to him in Barber’s home.

Source: READING EAGLE Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:01 AM

Man injured in fall from fire escape in Pilsen

Sun-Times file photo

A man was injured in a fall from a fire escape Tuesday morning in the Pilsen neighborhood on the Near West Side.

About 10 a.m., the 39-year-old man was working on the first-floor fire escape in the 1800 block of South Blue Island when it detached from the building and he fell, according to Chicago Police.

Source: Chicago News By Jordan Owen @byjordanowen 11/21/2017, 03:54pm

County examines expensive, dangerous fire escape

One of the fire escapes at the Wapello County Courthouse goes to the third-floor main courtroom. Tests revealed the staircase is not safe.

OTTUMWA — There are ways to leave the courthouse during a fire. Just don’t flee by the fire escape — it isn’t safe.

The metal stairs outside several Wapello County Courthouse windows may be starting to pull away from that outer wall. Testing should be done every five years, a fire escape salesman and inspector from Ohio said. That was news to the county supervisors.

“I asked the fire department, and they’d never heard of it either,” said the current Wapello County Board of Supervisor’s chairman, Jerry Parker. “But it is a law. And we also want our courthouse to be safe.”

The test went poorly. These stairs are required to support 800 pounds. The fire escapes failed.

“I wouldn’t trust them to support me,” said Parker.

One way to get out to the fire escape is through a door you may have seen (it looks like a window, Parker said) in the main courtroom. There’s an exit sign right in front of it. But besides not trusting the outside metal stairs, law enforcement told the county that providing an easy access escape route in the courtroom where felony trials take place might not be a good idea.

“Really, I think they were worried someone was going to come in that way and hide a gun,” he said.

So that door had already been locked. But a brief examination of the outside of the courthouse shows multiple entry points onto the flawed fire escape. Each has an exit sign by it. None should be used. Which prompts another question: Should those signs be removed, or is that illegal?

This doesn’t mean the board automatically needs to put in new fire escapes. Since the sprinklers have been repaired, supervisors discussed, perhaps the regular steps could be the emergency exit. They’ll need some guidance on rules and what will be safest: For example, fire code may require there to be two ways to escape a burning structure.

An engineer and an architect patrolled the courthouse recently.

“They did a final walk around,” said Parker. “They’ve talked to the state fire marshal’s office and will talk to the fire department here. We should have an answer in about a week.”

Obviously, new fire escapes hadn’t figured into the budget. The estimate said a new fire escape will cost $250,000 for one. The courthouse currently needs two. What it needs to be safe during an emergency could be discussed as soon as the next supervisors’ meeting.

Source: Ottumwa Courier, contact reporter Mark Newman at MNewman@OttumwaCourier.com or visit his Twitter page, @CourierMark.

Grenfell: RIBA demands sprinklers and fire escapes for new and refurbished homes

The RIBA has called for sprinklers to be fitted to all new and refurbished homes and has demanded extra fire escapes in its response to the Grenfell Tower fire

In its submission this week to the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Judith Hackitt, the institute called for every new multiple-occupancy residential building of more than three storeys to have more than one vertical means of escape.

The RIBA also demanded sprinklers in all new and refurbished residential buildings – as is already the law in Wales – and called for the scrapping of the ‘desk-top’ study approach to demonstrating compliance with regulation B4 on external fire spread.

The RIBA has asked too for ‘clearer, prescriptive and design process-driven guidance’ in approved document B and that external walls of buildings more than 18m high should be constructed of non-combustible (European class A1) materials only.

Hackitt’s call for evidence was launched in July following the tragic fire in the west London high-rise block which claimed the lives of around 80 people.

Studio E Architects designed a £10 million refurbishment of the west London tower block, completed in 2016. The construction work included the installation of Reynobond PE cladding over PIR insulation boards – a system that has come under intense scrutiny for the way it appeared to speed up the spread of the fire up the outside of the building.

Documents seen by the BBC and The Times in the summer appear to show that the fireproof zinc cladding specified in Studio E Architects’ original 2012 planning application was effectively downgraded to a cheaper aluminium panelling system to save around £300,000.

The RIBA urged the review team to also ‘give significant consideration to the impact of procurement decisions and allocation of project responsibilities on project quality and safety, and the role of clients in ensuring independent scrutiny of construction work’.

Jane Duncan, former RIBA president and chair of the RIBA Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety, said that while the group welcomed the chance to submit evidence to the review, it felt the remit could have been ‘more comprehensive, addressing the details of Building Regulations guidance as well as the broader regulatory system.’

She said: ‘The review should cover all building types and construction methods; not just those relating to high-rise, multiple occupancy residential buildings. In addition to submitting evidence, the RIBA has also proposed a number of significant recommendations to the review, to enhance the future fire safety of buildings for all residents and users.’

The RIBA’s initial detailed recommendations:

R1 Repeal of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, under which building owners undertake their own fire risk assessment, and the reintroduction of mandatory fire certificates for designated premises, based on independent inspections by the fire brigades, with statutory powers of entry to individual dwellings where necessary.

R2 An enhanced role for the fire brigades in assisting Building Control authorities in the fire risk assessment of Building Regulations Full Plans Applications for works involving higher risk buildings that will require mandatory fire certificates.

R3 Review of the ‘stay put’ policy in high-rise, multiple occupancy residential buildings, first introduced in British Standard Code of Practice CP3: Chapter IV (1962) Part 1: Fire Precautions in flats and maisonettes over 80ft (24m) in height. For new buildings, the RIBA has a preference for simultaneous evacuation, or phased/staged fire alarm systems, alternative means of escape options, and increased escape stair widths.

R4 Introduction of a Building Regulations requirement for central fire alarm systems, with phased /staged capabilities, in multiple occupancy residential buildings.

R5 Removal of the ‘desk-top’ study approach to demonstrating compliance with Regulation B4.

R6 Introduction of requirements for sprinklers/automatic fire suppression systems in all new and converted residential buildings, as currently required under Regulations 37A and 37B of the Building Regulations for Wales, or at least for residential buildings over three storeys in height.

R7 Introduction of a requirement for more than one means of vertical escape from new multiple-occupancy residential buildings of more than three storeys in height, and no use of compensatory features for the omission of a staircase or alternative means of escape.

R8 Review of the requirements for natural and mechanical smoke vent/exhaust provisions to corridors, lobbies and stairs to ensure current performance capacities are sufficient.

R9 Development of clearer, prescriptive and design process-driven guidance in Approved Document B, written in plain language with straightforward diagrams. Any test-based solutions to be based on full-scale fire testing and not use desktop studies.

R10 External walls of buildings over 18m in height to be constructed of non-combustible (European class A1) materials only. (The independent review should also give detailed consideration to much greater restriction on the use of combustible materials and materials of limited combustibility in external wall construction more generally.)
Extra recommendations

The RIBA added that the independent review should also make recommendations in regard to ensuring the fire safety of the UK’s existing stock of high-rise, multiple occupancy residential buildings, and recommends:

R11 Retrofitting central fire alarm systems in existing residential buildings over 18m in height.

R12 Retrofitting sprinklers/automatic fire suppression systems to existing residential buildings over 18m in height, and perhaps extended to all existing residential buildings above three storeys in height.

R13 Consideration of the construction of alternative vertical means of escape, or escape safe havens/refuges, for residential buildings over 18m in height when there is currently only one staircase.

R14 For new refurbishment projects involving ‘material alterations’ to high-rise, multiple-occupancy residential buildings, the retrofitting of central fire alarm systems and sprinklers/automatic fire suppression systems should be mandatory. This could be structured on a similar basis to the ‘consequential improvements’ required under Part L of the Building Regulations to the energy performance of existing buildings where they are subject to renovation and/or extension.
The development of new materials and methods of construction and constantly evolving knowledge about the fire performance of buildings means that fire regulation needs to be regularly updated. The lack of a periodic timetable for updating of the Building Regulations Approved Documents, which has allowed review of Approved Document B to be almost indefinitely delayed, is highly problematic.

R15 The RIBA proposes that a formal, predetermined programme for review of key Approved Documents should be adopted, as is the case with the Australian National Building Code. The CDM Regulations (Health and Safety) are reviewed every five years.

Principal designer recommendations

Consideration should be given to the adoption of the ‘principal designer’ and ‘principal contractor’ roles set out in the CDM Regulations 2015, with regard to ensuring so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare, including fire safety, of those constructing, maintaining and demolishing buildings, within new regulation to also encompass ensuring the fire safety of building users. The ‘principal designer’ should have powers during the design and any ‘contractor design’ periods of projects to enable safe design and construction. This will need greater level of approvals and inspection by building control officers and independent clerks of works/site architects. The ‘principal contractor’ role should have a greater responsibility to work collaboratively with the fire brigades, client and ‘principal designer’ to achieve these fire safety objectives. Such a regulatory framework could include:

During construction: Building Inspections conducted formally by the principal designer, principal contractor and the building control officer, and recorded in writing by the principal contractor that the building is constructed in accordance with the approved plans, relevant Building Regulations and codes of practice.

Before the issue of the Final Certificate: The Principal Contractor confirms, in writing to the principal designer, that the works to any building have been built in accordance with the approved plans, relevant Building Regulations, codes of practice, fire and HSE legislation.

The Final Certificate: Cannot be issued until this written confirmation has been received by the principal designer.
Regulation 38: The principal designer shall give all the fire safety information critical to life safety in and around the building.

H&S File: These statements are to be recorded in the H&S File for the life of the building until its demolition.

The full RIBA response to the call for evidence can be downloaded here.

Source: 19 OCTOBER, 2017 BY RICHARD WAITE THE ARCHITECT’S JOURNAL

Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out for this Fire Prevention Week 2017

“Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out,” is the theme for this year’s Fire Protection Week, which will be held October 8–14.

According to a recent NFPA survey, nearly half of all Americans have not developed a home fire escape plan, and do not practice one regularly. Evidence suggests, however, that planning and practice can mean the difference between life and death in a home fire. “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out” will not only seek to teach the public what a home escape plan entails, but also about how quickly home fires can spread and how little time residents have to escape safely. “People tend to think they have more time to escape a home fire than they actually do, and that over-confidence may play a role in why some people don’t develop a home escape plan or practice it regularly,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president for Outreach and Advocacy.

More information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign can be found online at the FirePreventionWeek.org website.