NFPA Journal®, September/October 2005
Comments? Please send your information to: NFPA Journal, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-9101; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Smoking on oxygen
Over the past three years, the Wichita Fire Department has responded to numerous incidents involving burn victims who were on oxygen at the time of the incident. The one common denominator in all incidents was the ever-killing cigarette.
On April 3, 2005 at 0125 hours, 911 received a call from an 80-year-old citizen.
“My house is on fire,” she said.
When fire crews arrived on scene the victim was found in the front yard with severe burns over 50 percent of her body. She was able to convey that she just lit a cigarette, and her clothing burst into flames. Fire crews packaged the victim, and EMS transported her to the burn center.
Attack crews, with a 1-inch line, attacked the fire through the front door and were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.
Fire investigators determined that the sofa was the area of fire origin. Next to the sofa was a partially destroyed liquid oxygen system. The oxygen supply hose ran from the tank to the sofa, which was destroyed by the fire. A follow-up interview with the victim confirmed that she had been lying on the sofa and while on oxygen, lit a cigarette....
Unlike three other victims who were smoking while on oxygen, this one did not perish.
Fire departments need to address this problem through public education. This will lead to a safer home for our older citizens.
The Wichita Fire Department Fire Prevention Division
NFPA’s Public Education Division can offer assistance through its Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older AdultsTM, developed by NFPA’s Center for High-Risk Outreach and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help older adults live at home for as long as possible.
Remembering When is centered around 16 key safety messages–eight fire prevention and eight fall prevention–developed by experts and practitioners from national and local safety organizations, as well as through focus group testing in the high-fire-risk states of Alaska, Arkansas, and Mississippi, and in Cleveland and Atlanta. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org.
Common sense overview
Thank you for your excellent article “Welcoming Sprinklers into the Home” in the July/August 2005 issue of NFPA Journal. I found it a very positive, logical and common sense overview of the importance of fixed protection in homes.
It could not have come at a better time for Maine—next month, the Maine Townsman, the quarterly publication of Maine Municipal Association favored by town and city managers and department heads statewide, will feature an article on the future of volunteer/call firefighters in Maine. Reference to your article could reinforce the importance of detection and automatic suppression in communities’ fire protection decisions.
And the September issue of Maine Firefighter, MFT&E’s thrice-yearly magazine, will focus on fire prevention. Again, your article is perfect for inclusion.
MFT&E at SMCC
South Portland, Maine
Thank you for the good news about NFPA code amendments to require sprinklers in all new home construction. Our members sometimes, however, have to work under one or the other model codes, so I hope that all our members will bring pressure to bear on the other code-making bodies.
As happy as the article made me, I was also reminded of the huge damage done to the cause of automatic sprinkler protection by television and Hollywood. Perhaps the various fire-safety organizations could get together and launch a public education program aimed at the studios and entertainment producers.
Larry J. Robertson
Teaneck, New Jersey
The May/June 2005 issue contained an error in the “What’s New for 2005 at the WSCE?” article. Kidde and Fenwal are separate brands offered by Kidde Fenwal. The article incorrectly identified the ARIES and FENWALNET as inter-related products.
The same article also incorrectly reported that ANSUL would feature a UL-listed Kidde engineered fire suppression system designed for use with the Novec 1230 fire protection fluid.
All three are separate products.
We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
In this Section:
Integrating fire alarm systems and fire pumps
Fire destroys cold storage, fruit packing buildings
Fire-safe cigarettes: The time has come
Protecting sloped combustible attic spaces
‘It depends' and ‘I don’t know’
Letters to the editor
People with disabilities day designated
The Fire Protection Research Foundation
Applying the incident management system