Monday, October 18, 2010

A Balanced Fire Protection Plan is Critical in the First Few Minutes

When fires are extinguished in the early stages:

*Loss of life is minimal. 93 percent of all fire-related deaths occur once the fire has progressed beyond the early stages.

*Direct property damage is minimal. 95 percent of all direct property damage occur once the fire has progressed beyond the early stages.

Source: 1991-1995 NFIRS study

*The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires that every building or structure be designed, constructed, and maintained to protect occupants who are not intimate with the initial fire development for the time needed to evacuate, relocate, or defend in place.

*According to the NFPA, a successful balanced fire protection plan should be designed so that reliance for safety to life does not depend solely on any single safeguard. Additional safeguards shall be provided for life safety in case any single safeguard is ineffective due to inappropriate human actions or system failure.

Other Fire Facts

*The United States has the third highest number of people killed by fires each year. Hungary and Finland come in first and second place, respectively.

*In 1998, public fire departments attended 1,755,500 fires in the United States, of which 517,500 occurred in structures, 381,000 occurred in vehicles, and 857,000 occurred in outside properties.

*Every 18 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States.

*In 1998, there were 4,035 civilian (non-firefighters) fire deaths, a very slight decrease of 0.4% from the previous year, these included 3,220 deaths from fires in the home, a decrease of 4.2%.

*Nationwide, there was a civilian fire death every 130 minutes.

Source: NFPA's "1998 U.S. Fire Loss" by M.J. Karter, Jr.; "Fire in the U.S.A. and Canada," by J.R. Hall, Jr.; "U.S. Fire Department Profile through 1998" by M.J. Karter, Jr.; "1999 Firefighter Fatalities," by P.R. LeBlanc and R.F. Fahy; and "U.S. Fire Fighter Injuries in 1998" by M.J. Karter, Jr. and P.R. LeBlanc.

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