Wednesday, March 30, 2011

FSSA Announcement


2011 Annual Forum Art Auction Raises $5,700

For the FSSA Education Foundation

At this year's Annual Forum, keynote speaker and artist, Erik Wahl, presented "The Art of Vision", a one-of-a-kind program designed to challenge organizations to discover their untapped potential and embrace the future by becoming more innovative, more productive and ultimately more profitable. The format was fast-paced, entertaining, and full of surprises. As a metaphor to the fabric of his message of creating a vision, Wahl effortlessly crafted three over-sized paintings of Michael Jordan, the Statue of Liberty, and Einstein (this one he painted upside down). Erik Burkland was the lucky winner of the Michael Jordan painting.

The next day, Board Member Steve Carter made a technical presentation on the NFPA 72 Update. Everyone was full of laughter as Carter started off the session drawing a stick figure on a flip chart in reference to Wahl. The following evening at the President's banquet, the paintings and Carter's drawing were auctioned off the raise money for the FSSA Education Foundation. The following contributors were the winners of the Art Auction:

• Pam Boyer - BFPE International: $2,200 for the Einstein painting, which she kindly gifted to George Keeley, FSSA Legal Counsel

• Roger Bourgeois - Bourgeois & Associates: $2,000 for the Statue of Liberty

Overall, the Art Auction was a huge success raising a total of $5,700 for the FSSA Education Foundation.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

United plane allowed to fly without repairs

Mar 21, 2011 6:45pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — A United Airlines plane with 112 people aboard was allowed to take off last May without repairs despite indications during two previous flights that the cockpit window was overheating, a condition long known to cause fires, according to evidence gathered by federal investigators.

The Boeing 757 was about 30 minutes into a flight from New York to San Francisco, and had just leveled off at 36,000 feet, when pilots said they heard a hissing noise followed seconds later by 14- to 16-inch flames shooting from the cockpit window near the captain, documents recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board show.

Capt. Boyd Hammack, who had been flying the plane, told investigators he got out of his seat, grabbed a Halon fire extinguisher and put out the flames. But he said they quickly reignited. A flight attendant brought him a second fire extinguisher, which he emptied on the flames, putting them out again.

Shortly before making an emergency landing at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, the inner pane of the window in front of Hammack shattered, the documents show. He turned over control of the plane to the first officer, who safely landed the aircraft.

Another United captain who had flown the same plane earlier that day told investigators he reported fumes and an overheated electrical connection when he landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, according a summary of his interview with investigators.

Capt. Robert Caponetti told investigators he showed a mechanic an electrical connection at the window on the captain's side of the cockpit that appeared blackened or charred and was hot. He also said the plane had made an unscheduled landing in Las Vegas the previous day because of smoke and fumes in the cockpit.

The mechanic, also interviewed by investigators, said he OK'd the plane to fly without repairs because United's maintenance manual says planes can be flown another 50 hours after a blackened or burned window heater electrical connector had been found. A blackened, burned or hot electrical connection is a sign of uncontained electricity, which can cause fires.

"We did a full inspection and believed the plane was flight worthy," United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said.

Federal aviation officials have known for years that cockpit window heaters in some Boeing planes catch fire. But prior to the United incident they hadn't required airlines to fix the problem, even after dozens of incidents that unnerved pilots and, in many cases, forced emergency landings.

Accident investigators had traced the problem to a simple loose screw. NTSB has urged the Federal Aviation Administration since 2004 to require airlines to replace the windows with a new design.

Nearly two months after the United incident, FAA ordered airlines to inspect the cockpit window heaters on 1,212 Boeing airliners. But the order doesn't require airlines to replace the windows unless evidence of damage is found.

The order also gives airlines a choice of installing windows of the same design or the new design. Carriers that choose old design replacements must continue to inspect windows at regular intervals.

McCarthy said United has complied with FAA's order for inspections and is replacing windows with the new design "when they are up for replacement." She said she didn't know what would trigger a replacement.

United has also made "enhancements to our maintenance program," she said.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stopping a Fire Before it Starts: 5 Things You Can Do Today

When it comes to fire safety, information abounds. But as a busy mom, it’s often hard to find the time to wade through the information and figure out what you need to do to keep your family safer.
Here are five simple things that you can do today to help protect your family from fire.

Do a Smoke Alarm Audit
Do an audit of your home’s smoke alarms. (If you don’t have UL listed smoke alarms, make a plan to install them on each level of the home, especially near sleeping areas). Check placement: Smoke rises, so smoke alarms should be located on a ceiling or high on a wall. Alarms mounted on the ceiling should be at least four inches away from the nearest wall and those mounted on walls should be four to twelve inches down from the ceiling. Test your alarms and be sure that they can be heard in bedrooms even when the doors are closed. If not, install smoke alarms in the bedrooms. Make sure that your kids know what the alarms sound like. Replace alarms that are older than 10 years and replace any alarm that has been painted over.

Mom Tip: Change the batteries whenever you change the clocks for Daylight Savings Time.

Make Extinguishers Handy
Be sure that you have at least one or more UL listed fire extinguishers in your home. An ABC-type extinguisher is a good all-purpose choice for fires in the home. Check the gauge located on the extinguisher to see if it needs to be replaced or recharged. Also be sure that the fire extinguisher is in an easily accessible location. Remember that fire extinguishers are not designed to fight large or spreading fires. Your number one priority is to have an escape plan and to get out safely. If the fire is small and contained and the room is not filled with smoke, get everyone out and call the fire department; then, you may use the fire extinguisher to control the fire.

Mom Tip: Read the directions and familiarize yourself with the use of your extinguisher now, before you’re in the midst of an actual emergency.

Talk Prevention with Your Kids
Talk to your kids about how they can prevent fires. Children under age five are especially curious about fire and need to start learning about the tremendous danger. Take the mystery out of fire and make sure that your kids know the following safety tips:

Never play with matches, lighters or candles.
Never play with electrical cords and never put anything in a socket.
Blankets or clothes should never be thrown on top of lamps.
Don’t turn up a heater without a grown-up’s permission.
If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll.

Mom Tip: Check under beds and in closets for burned matches or candles. Kids often choose “secret” places to play with matches and light fires. Even “good” kids are curious– teach your kids to always tell you when they find matches and lighters.

Look at Your Home From Your Child’s Perspective
Think about how your child sees potential fire hazards in your home by getting down on your hands and knees with them and taking a look around. See any dangling cords that could cause a problem if pulled? Enticing heaters or other appliances? Make adjustments to your home according to what you find.

Mom Tip: Make your floor-tour a game with your kids. Have them point out things they see by playing eye-spy. You’ll be surprised by what catches their attention.

Avoid Overloading Sockets and Cords
Do a walk-through of your home. If you see sockets with too many cords plugged in or even too many extension cords around the house, it may be time to have extra outlets installed by a professional. Always pay attention to the acceptable wattage for cords and lamps. Also look for extension cords that are “tacked up” or run under a rug as these could be a real fire hazard for kids and adults.

Mom Tip: The den and the nursery are particularly susceptible to overloaded outlets. Never plug something in unsafely “just this once” or “until I get another power strip tomorrow.”
For more useful tips and information, visit the National Fire Protection Association at