Dog snatches pancake from stove, accidentally starting house fire

NFPA - Safety Source - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:10
A dog accidentally started a fire this week while stealing a pancake from on top of a stove in a Southwick, Massachusetts, home. According to Fox 59, one of the family’s dogs hit the ignition while helping itself to the leftovers. Within
Categories: Safety

CSB Public Business Meeting

CSB News - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 06:02
Public Meeting Announcement
Categories: Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Reaches Settlement Agreement Resulting in Paperboard Company Paying $175,000 in Penalties

OSHA - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 06:00
Feb. 8, 2018 U.S. Department of Labor Reaches Settlement Agreement Resulting in Paperboard Company Paying $175,000 in Penalties
Categories: Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Alabama Manufacturer For Serious Safety Violations

OSHA - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 06:00
Feb. 8, 2018 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Alabama Manufacturer For Serious Safety Violations
Categories: Safety

‘Unconscionable:’ Memo Says DC Fire Recruits Lack Proper Equipment, Training

Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 19:41

A veteran of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department says the city’s training academy is leaving new firefighters woefully underprepared. Some rookies leave having never used a fire hydrant, a recently retired deputy fire chief with decades on the job wrote in an internal memo obtained by News4.

The nine-page memo says the recruits are rushed through a training program. The memo says initial firefighter training was a 20-week program, but now takes just eight weeks.

“I think it’s unconscionable,” Dabney Hudson, president of the D.C. Firefighters Union Local 36, said in response to the memo. “When you shortchange the training, you shortchange everybody.”

Hudson’s own training program was nearly twice as long, and he says it was a lot of information to grasp in 18 weeks.


“To think they would cut that to 8 to 10 weeks… I couldn’t imagine,” he said.

D.C. Fire chief Gregory Dean says that firefighter training is adequate.

“Training has been and remains my top priority since joining the Department and we have significantly expanded the frequency and level of training,” Dean said.

The memo was written by a 27-year firefighter as he was retiring from the department.

Hudson, the union president, said he agrees with many points in the memo, including that training is rushed, facilities are inadequate and D.C. Fire and EMS lacks equipment.

“Things aren’t as great as they look. We have significant problems,” Hudson said.

The memo and union representatives suggest the training program left at least some recruits unprepared to fight fires.

Hudson said some recruits are sent out before they had mastered basic skills like turning on portable radios.

“We’ve had issues with new recruits in the field not being able to perform basic tasks,” Hudson said. “Really rudimentary and basic tasks that can’t be performed.”

Some recruits aren’t even adequately prepared to start the program, the memo says, because their educational backgrounds may not be strong enough.

The Fire and EMS website says cadets must have a diploma or GED certificate.

Additionally, each recruit undergoes a background check and evaluations, Dean said.

During their training, recruits are expected to learn in a building that’s too small and doesn’t have any hot water, the memo says.

The academy doesn’t have new training vehicles, Hudson said, and the air tanks firefighters wear into burning buildings are also in short supply.

“That’s just the the tip of the iceberg,” Hudson said. “There’s still significant problems in the fire department.”

News of these complaints may not be new to managers, as the memo was meant to reinforce warnings given to management over the past several years.

“Some of these issues we are already working on; I will be looking into other issues,” Dean said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 09:12

Officials say 20 firefighters who battled a blaze at a Rhode Island company are being treated for chemical exposure symptoms, and seven firefighters still too sick to work.

Several crews responded to the fire at Prosys Finishing Technologies in Cranston Jan. 29. Deputy Fire Chief Paul Valletta says chemicals caused the firefighters’ equipment to melt as they entered the building.

At least 12 firefighters were immediately hospitalized. Valletta says he and many people have chronic cough, vomiting and shortness of breath among other symptoms.

Valletta says there were at least 80 chemicals stored in the room where the fire broke out. The city is currently working to identify all of the chemicals.

Valletta says the company told him it would have been “catastrophic” had firefighters not put out the fire.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 09:10

Two firefighters have been hospitalized for minor injuries they suffered while battling a two-alarm structure fire at a large condominium complex in Fremont’s Warm Springs district this afternoon, a fire spokeswoman said.
The fire was reported at 3:22 p.m. at 81 Shaniko Common and was contained at about 4:30 p.m., Fremont fire Division Chief Diane Hendry said.
However, firefighters are still working on completely extinguishing flames in an attic area, according to Hendry.
Two units at the large complex have been completely destroyed by the fire and four other units also have been damaged, Hendry said.

Fire officials haven’t yet determined when residents of units that weren’t damaged can return, she said.
The cause and origin of the fire are still being investigated, according to Hendry.
One firefighter suffered second-degree burns to his legs when his leg went through a hole in a balcony on the third floor of the building during the initial attack on the blaze, Hendry said.
Another firefighter suffered a back injury a little later, she said.
No residents were injured in the fire, according to Hendry.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Apply to Be an Everyone Goes Home® Advocate

Everyone Goes Home - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 09:05
What is an Everyone Goes Home® Advocate?

Advocates will be expected to represent their state in the promotion, presentation, and awareness of Firefighters Life Safety Initiatives. They will serve as the eyes and ears of the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Program for their state.

What it means to be an advocate

“For me, being an Advocate, it is the highest calling a firefighter can have. Our mission is to protect those who protect America. A successful Advocate must lead by example and have an intense desire to make a difference in the life of other firefighters and their families.”

“As an advocate for the Everyone Goes Home® program I feel it is my responsibility to supply the leaders of all ranks the information they need to discover within themselves what it takes to make the cultural change and to ensure the reduction of LODDs. We must strive to live these ideals ourselves every day.”

  • Monitor and review programs presented within your region that are relative to Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.
  • Attend, represent, or arrange to have a designate attend or participate in activities, events, programs, and training where there is an opportunity to promote Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives or assist in their implementation.
  • Develop a reporting and sharing plan between you and the State/Local Advocates as well as with the Firefighter Life Safety Initiative Program team.
  • Share with the Firefighter Life Safety Initiative Program team awareness and knowledge of activity within your region.
  • Keep abreast of new developments and trends; make recommendation to Firefighter Life Safety Initiative Program team on desirable additions or suggested changes to enhance program and/or process.
  • Participate in periodic teleconferences with regional representatives.
  • Identify and report on best practices within your state.
  • Submit stories or provide input for the newsletter. Make recommendations for Seal of Excellence recipients.
How do I become an advocate? Apply to Be An Everyone Goes Home® Advocate<?div>

The post Apply to Be an Everyone Goes Home® Advocate appeared first on Everyone Goes Home.

Categories: Safety

Major U.S. airlines ban ‘smart’ luggage with non-removable batteries

NFPA - Safety Source - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 07:00
Some major airlines no longer accept ‘smart’ luggage with non-removable lithium ion batteries as checked or carry-on luggage. The powerful batteries can potentially overheat and pose a fire hazard during flight. In some instances, smart bags
Categories: Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Georgia Manufacturer for Safety Violations, Proposes $256,088 in Penalties

OSHA - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 06:00
Feb. 7, 2018 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Georgia Manufacturer for Safety Violations, Proposes $256,088 in Penalties
Categories: Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 19:36

A massive, five alarm fire in Paterson, New Jersey displaced 16 people Monday night, the fire department said.

80 firefighters responded to the blaze.

The deep seated fire began around 11:33 p.m. Monday in the basement of a building located at 268 Main Street, according to Paterson Fire Chief Brian J. McDermott. He said 80 firefighters responded, but were driven out by the heat, flames and “odd configuration of the building.”

The 3-and-a-half story wood framed building ended up collapsing, Chief McDermott said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 18:17

At least one firefighter was injured as emergency responders called for fire crews to evacuate a burning building Tuesday in Mount Joy.

Crews were dispatched at 3:15 p.m. to a house in the 600 block of Union School Road.

Heavy smoke and flames were seen coming from the roof.

Fire crews evacuated and additional EMS units were called in around 3:45 p.m.

A portion of Union School Road was closed temporarily at around 4 p.m., 911 dispatchers said.

One firefighter sustained arm burns of unknown severity, according to initial scanner reports.

Crews were off scene by 6:45 p.m.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 18:14

A Central firefighter became trapped when an overhang roof collapsed while crews were working a house fire Monday afternoon. But civilians on scene helped rescue him, according to a Facebook post from the Central Fire Department.

Crews were dispatched around 2:40 p.m. to the 12100 block of Lancewood Drive for a building on fire behind a home. They found the large building was totally involved in fire and the home was being threatened while the homeowner was suffering medical issues, according to the post.

One firefighter became trapped when an overhang roof fell on him. That’s when civilians “jumped into action and assisted firefighters in safely removing the captain,” the post says. He was checked by Emergency Medical Services and returned to active duty.

The fire was controlled by about 3:40 p.m. with no injuries.

The shed that caught on fire contained an antique car and all-terrain vehicle along with propane bottles and an oxygen tank, according to a news release Monday night from the Central Fire Department. Several explosions occurred when those flammable substances ignited.

Arson investigators from the Baton Rouge Fire Department were called out to complete the investigation, the release said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 18:11

A firefighter was injured after battling a blaze at a DeFuniak Springs home on Monday evening.

According to a press release from Walton County Fire Rescue, crews from WCFR, DeFuniak Springs Fire Department and Argyle Volunteer Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire at 2817 Cosson Rd. just after 8 p.m. Monday.

The home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters and paramedics arrived. All residents of the home made it out safely, but one firefighter suffered “minor injuries” while fighting the blaze. Crews worked for approximately 30 minutes to extinguish the fire.

The injured firefighter was transported to a local hospital. No other injuries to firefighters or residents were reported.

Electrical issues are believed to be the cause of the fire. Crews cleared the scene just after 11 p.m.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 18:09

Three people are recovering after a fire truck caught on fire on Tuesday afternoon in Charlottesville.

The fire happened on West Street just before 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6, in a parking lot. Eyewitnesses reported seeing smoke coming from the cab of Truck 8, which is used as a backup.

Two civilians went to the hospital for smoke inhalation, and one firefighter was also taken to the hospital for an eye injury. The fire caused significant damage to the mechanical systems of the truck.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 18:06

A local firefighter died while fighting a raging fire in the mountains surrounding Franschoek yesterday.
Makelepe Sedric Seokoma (36), an assistant project manager who worked at Sekororo Base in Limpopo but resided in the Lowveld, was engulfed by flames in the Simonsberg Mountain near Klapmuts in the Western Cape.

Manager of the Lowveld and Escarpment Fire Protection Association, who used to work with Seokoma for years, said he is saddened by the loss of a dedicated colleague and friend.

The fire started on Saturday on the property of a forestry company and spread to the Simonsberg Mountains. Working on Fire (WoF) had 25 firefighters who provided fire-suppression support and the blaze was declared as contained on Sunday at around 18:00.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Only days remain to submit comments to NFPA’s educational messages document

NFPA - Safety Source - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 07:01
The comment period will soon close for submitting suggested revisions to the NFPA Educational Messages Desk Reference. The deadline is Friday, February 9, 2018. The comment form is for the purposes of providing substantiated comments on the current
Categories: Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:37

Four firefighters with the Indianapolis Fire Department were injured while battling a blaze in a far-southside apartment complex Friday afternoon.

Around 100 firefighters responded to a three-alarm blaze in the 5500 block of Rue Royale in the Regency Park South Apartment complex, IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith said in a news release.

Dispatchers received multiple reports of heavy fire coming from one of the apartments, near the intersection of Epler Avenue and Ind. 135, around 2:30 p.m.

The first units arrived on scene at 2:33 p.m. and two additional alarms calling an additional 27 units from IFD, Greenwood and Beech Grove fire departments were sounded within the next 15 minutes. Firefighters had the blaze under control by 3:06 p.m.

IFD Lt. Daniel Marden and Pvt. Matt Myers were “catching the hydrant,” or hooking a water supply line to the hydrant, when the line snared and tossed them into the air, Reith said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Firefighters focus on clean air, bodies and gear to try to cut cancer risk

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:04
Firefighters focus on clean air, bodies and gear to try to cut cancer risk


Long before he became San Diego’s fire chief, Brian Fennessy would wear his crusty, soot-covered helmet like a badge, proof he worked at one of the city’s busiest fire stations. He thought it gave him credibility and earned him the respect of peers.

Now he knows his dirty gear harbored the toxins and carcinogens that haunt the scene of a fire – and that they might well revisit him in the future as cancer.

“I figure that’s what’s going to get me,” said Fennessy, who has been a firefighter since 1978. “When I worked for the Forest Service, man, we sprayed fuel breaks with chemicals that aren’t even allowed anymore. We inhaled that stuff; we were exposed to all kinds of bad stuff.

“I figure it is just a matter of time before I’m diagnosed.”

At many fire departments around the country, chiefs like Fennessy are working to change the culture of the fire service, encouraging firefighters to take steps to better protect themselves from dangerous fumes, smoke and soot.

Cancer is the leading cause of firefighter line-of-duty deaths in the U.S., according to the International Association of Fire Fighters. In the past five years, more than 60 percent of the names added to the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Wall in Colorado were cancer-related deaths, the organization says. The wall lists the names of more than 7,600 fallen firefighters.

Several studies looking at the association between firefighting and cancer have found higher rates of some types of cancers in firefighters compared with the general population, including cancers involving the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems.

The largest cancer study of U.S. firefighters to date, done by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, looked at the health records of 30,000 firefighters in three U.S. cities between 1950 and 2009. It found those firefighters had a modest increase in cancer diagnoses (a 9 percent increase) and cancer-related deaths (a 14 percent increase) compared with the general population.

Such research — along with repeatedly hearing of colleagues in the fire service being diagnosed with cancer — prompted Fennessy to green-light his department’s cancer-prevention program just a few months after he was appointed San Diego’s chief in 2015.

In the 18 months since the effort began, program manager Kurtis Bennett said about a dozen employees have been diagnosed with cancer.

Fire officials say they want to see a “paradigm shift,” where firefighters will speak up if a colleague shows up wearing dirty gear.

“It’s not going to be the roof caving in on you, or falling off the ladder – that’s not going to be what kills you,” Fennessy said. “It is going to be cancer.”

Concerns about health risks aren’t new

Firefighters have long worried about how their jobs were affecting their health, although much of the early focus was on lung cancer and other respiratory ailments caused by breathing in smoke.

The dangers of soot were known way back in 1775 when it was linked to the first case of occupational cancer. A doctor noticed chimney sweeps in Britain were being stricken by a particular form of the disease.

In 1982, California became the first state in the country to adopt a presumptive law that makes it easier for firefighters to prove that their cancer is work-related, giving them access to workers’ compensation and survivor benefits for their families.

That law was prompted by the deaths in 1973 of two Whittier firefighters who responded to a hazmat incident and died of a rare form of cancer within weeks of each other six years later, said Carroll Wills of the California Professional Firefighters union.

Cancer awareness has become a priority for many firefighting agencies, addressed at professional conferences and by industry groups. A bill has twice been introduced in Congress that would create a voluntary national firefighter cancer registry, which officials say would track those diagnosed with the disease and assist future research efforts.

In 2013, the nonprofit Firefighter Cancer Support Network published an industry white paper, calling firefighter cancer “a looming personal catastrophe for each and every firefighter.” The group, which provides mentoring and assistance to firefighters who are diagnosed, declared cancer the most dangerous and unrecognized threat to the health and safety of the country’s firefighters.

The group offered tips to minimize exposure to cancer-causing substances; all of the suggestions were incorporated in San Diego’s cancer awareness and prevention program.

San Diego’s training kicks off with an emotional 8½-minute video that shares the stories of a dozen firefighters who have been diagnosed and treated for cancer. Bennett, who has trained all 900 of the department’s firefighters, said the room always gets quiet after the group watches the video.

In his sessions, Bennett warns firefighters that they can be exposed to a lifetime of toxins in a very compressed period of time, inhaling them or absorbing them into their skin.

“The key to reducing the incidence of cancer is changing our culture and changing what a professional firefighter looks like,” Bennett said. “For years, we esteemed the ‘smoke-eater’ look of soot-covered faces. That was, to some degree, killing us.”

San Diego’s fire stations are gradually being equipped with commercial-grade washing machines that can better clean dirty turnouts; they long have had equipment that vents diesel exhaust from firetrucks out of the buildings. Special wipes kept on engines allow firefighters in the field to clean their heads, necks, throats, underarms and hands before they get back to the station to shower.

Firefighters are issued two sets of protective pants and jackets so they always have access to clean ones. They are supposed to take off dirty gear as soon as possible and keep it away from where they sleep and out of personal vehicles.

Everyone has two protective hoods and captains carry spares so firefighters can change them out when they get wet or dirty.

Some departments are pursuing other methods in their quest to protect firefighters.

The Carlsbad Fire Department is outfitting four of its six stations with dry saunas and bicycles, known as chemical detox saunas. It is the second agency in California to purchase the units, said Mary Murphy, who manages emergency medical services for the department.

After a fire, Carlsbad’s firefighters will take a shower and then ride the bikes until they work up a good sweat. The idea is they’ll sweat heavy metals and other toxins out of their skin.

One firefighter who put a towel under the bike when he rode it after a fire told Murphy: “Whatever it was that came out of me was black and it was on the towel.”

Veteran firefighter Todd Bechtel, a captain in the Ocean Beach station, said he’s seeing younger colleagues embracing the safety recommendations as they go about their days. After a recent fire, everyone in his station grabbed clean turnouts before the next call.

“It’s a great program,” he said. “I believe in it. I follow it.”

Bechtel, a firefighter for 26 years, was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago after a routine checkup. He underwent surgery and radiation, but recently learned his cancer has returned.

Like others, he would sleep with his pants next to his bunk, take off his mask as soon as flames were knocked down and wear his flash hood over and over without washing it. He wonders if the interrupted sleep cycles typical in a busy station and other stresses also played a role.

“When the question is asked of me, do I think it was work related, with all the stuff put in front of me, I can’t see how it wasn’t work related,” he said. “But you never know.”

Despite his concerns, for his part Fennessy said he wouldn’t discourage any of his three children if they wanted to become firefighters. But, he said, he would want them to be careful about which department they chose to work for.

“”Shame on the departments that aren’t paying attention to what’s going on in our business, in our profession right now,” he said. “I’d want my kids to be part of an organization that made taking care of their firefighters a priority.”

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Kick off a year of burn safety starting with this week’s observance of Burn Awareness Week

NFPA - Safety Source - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:27
Burn Awareness Week 2018 is being observed February 4-10, the first full week of February. An initiative of the American Burn Association (ABA), it is an opportunity for organizations to mobilize burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a
Categories: Safety


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