A Message from NASFM on School Safety

The events in Parkland, Florida are tragic and heartbreaking. A senseless attack on students, teachers, and administrators is inexplicable. Our deepest condolences are extended to everyone affected by this horrific incident.  Many seek to find a simple solution, and several concepts have emerged, including eliminating fire drills and implementing barricading devices.  

While early reports indicate that the suspect may have initiated a fire alarm to lure victims out of the safety of their classrooms and offices into a danger zone, eliminating fire drills in an effort to protect civilians from an active shooter is a knee-jerk reaction.  Fire drills have historically been shown to save lives. There are available and allowable systems in the fire and building codes to help address misuse of fire alarms, if implemented.

 Additionally, NASFM would like to re-iterate its position that barricading devices should be carefully considered and not viewed as a reliable and safe solution. Any steps taken to mitigate an active shooter situation with a barricading device should also comply with building codes, fire codes, and life safety requirements. This includes the ability to readily unlatch the door from inside the classroom with one motion without the use of a key, a tool, or special knowledge, or effort, in order to facilitate immediate egress from the classroom. 

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the citizens and first responders of south Florida.  We are proud of the heroes who stepped forward that day and hope for the day when every child can feel safe at school.

Please see more detailed information and guidance here.

 2018 Home Fire Sprinkler Day
May 19, 2018

Every day in the United States, seven people die from home fires. 

In order to bring attention to this problem and its solution, NASFM, NFPA, and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, along with our other partners, are initiating Home Fire Sprinkler Day on May 19, 2018.  This project tasks fire sprinkler advocates across America with hosting simultaneous events that promote home fire sprinklers.  

These events are aimed at drawing awareness to this life-saving technology while breaking down the myths and legislative barriers to its use. The goal is to have safety advocates host at least one sprinkler-related event in all 50 states.

Taking action is easy.  Our partners have outlined ideas and provide resources to make the event a success.  Visit Fire Sprinkler Day for more information and ideas.



"This Is Us" Provides an Excellent Reminder About Home Fire Safety

Patriarch Jack Pearson's untimely death on NBC's hit show, "This Is Us" provides NASFM with an excellent opportunity to educate the public about home fire safety, particularly relative to smoke alarms. Before you toss out that traitorous Crock Pot, keep in mind that there's other things that could have helped save Jack's life.

Smoke alarms are critical!  Remember, if there is a fire in your home, you could have less than 2 minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds, but most importantly NEVER EVER go back inside a burning building.  Also:

  • Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Put smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Put alarms on every level of the home.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms work. Your family is not safe if they can’t hear the smoke alarms.
  • Test smoke alarms every month and replace 9-volt smoke alarm batteries at least once every year.
  • Smoke alarms do not last forever. Get new smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Consider installing one of the new "10-year Sealed Battery" smoke alarms, which eliminates the need to replace batteries

More educational and outreach materials can be found on U.S. Fire Administration's Webpage.




Winter Fire Safety Tips

More fires happen in the winter months than any other time of the year. During the cold months, we spend more time indoors and use different methods to heat our homes.

It is important to keep fire safety in mind when you are heating your home.

If you are using a portable heater:

  • Make sure the heater has an automatic shut-off so if it tips over, it shuts off.
  • Keep anything that can burn such bedding, clothing and curtains at least 3 feet from the heater.
  • Plug portable heaters directly into wall outlets. Never use an extension cord or power strip.
  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.

If you are using a fireplace:

  • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out and starting a fire.
  • Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Before you go to sleep or leave your home put the fire out completely.
  • Put ashes in a metal container with a lid. Store the container outside at least 3 feet from your home.

If you are using a wood stove:

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from the stove.
  • Do not burn paper in your wood stove.
  • Before you go to sleep or leave your home, put the fire out completely.

Click HERE to read more.




Claiming 400 Lives Annually, the NASFM is Leading Efforts to Raise Awareness of the “Invisible Killer”: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Resolution to Institute National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week Established

(Nov. 5, 2017) – A resolution introduced this past October by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) is seeking to officially designate November 5-12, 2017 as National Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Awareness Week. CO poisoning is a proven dangerous threat, claiming approximately 450 lives annually, with another 21,000 Americans sent to emergency rooms due to unintentional poisonings, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), along with Safe Kids, has established the Awareness Week and is leading the charge to bring increased awareness to this “Invisible Killer.” Per the CDC, CO poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America, and because CO is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas, many people are initially unaware they are even being poisoned. 

“It’s important we all pay close attention to the potentially fatal effects of CO poisoning,” said NASFM President and Louisiana State Fire Marshal, Butch Browning. “especially as we all begin to use home heating devices as colder weather approaches.”


CO is produced anytime a fuel is burned. Potential sources of CO include gas or oil furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ovens, generators, and car exhaust fumes. CO bonds to hemoglobin in red blood cells and prevents oxygen from reaching vital organs, such as the brain and heart, causing dizziness, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. At high concentration levels, CO can cause loss of consciousness and even death, and people who are sleeping or intoxicated are more susceptible to succumbing to CO poisoning.

“Winter can be a deadly time when it comes to CO poisoning, so it’s important to take steps now to protect your family,” Browning said. “During the winter months, we are all more likely to use fireplaces, propane heaters and furnaces to help heat our homes.”

If not properly ventilated and maintained, t NASFM reminds you fuel-burning appliances can emit deadly levels of CO. Additionally, idling your vehicle or running a gas-powered generator in an attached garage can also lead to increased levels of CO, which allow fumes to seep into your home through doors or floorboards.  “The only safe way to detect CO is with a properly functioning and maintained CO alarm,” added Browning. 

Distinguished fire safety experts, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommend installing a CO alarm on every level of the home and near sleeping areas. Other safety tips include:

  • Having furnaces and all gas-powered devices inspected and maintained annually
  • If the CO alarm sounds, leave the house immediately. Call 911 or the fire department after you are in a safe location with fresh air. Remain outside or by an open window until emergency personnel arrive. 
  • Test your CO alarm monthly and replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you do need to turn on your vehicle to warm it up, make sure to take it out of the garage to do so. Even if the garage door is open, don’t leave it sitting in the garage while the engine’s running.
  • Check the vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace outside of your home to make sure they’re clear of any snow, leaves or other debris.
  • Never use a generator indoors, and always ensure exhaust from the generator when used outside is not directed toward a door or window.

For more information about National CO Awareness Week, including tips and best practices on how to protect you and your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, visit www.carbonmonoxidefacts.com.


###

About NASFM

The principal membership of the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) comprises the senior fire officials in the United States and their top deputies. The primary mission of NASFM is to protect human life, property and the environment from fire and related hazards. A secondary mission of NASFM is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of State Fire Marshals’ operations. In addition to its principal membership, NASFM has several categories of membership to allow companies, associations, academic and research institutions, and individuals who support NASFM’s mission to contribute in meaningful ways. Learn more about NASFM and its issues at http://www.firemarshals.org


National Association of State Fire Marshals
PO Box 948238
Maitland, FL  32794
Phone: 202.737.1226

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software