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  • #16
    Originally posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Whatever works for you great ---and you are right --- Some where in my 37 years of being a firefighter and teaching fire prevention I missed the part where I could teach the public to overcome /disregard regular behavior. For some reason what I taught in a clinical environment didn't always work in a chaotic situation. We did try and teach them to store the ladder in a safe place --- cant always say under the bed , because some of the houses we visited , the kids slept on the floor. But again I must have failed as a teacher because on follow up visits they weren't always where we left them. And even though we did emphasis the stairs were safer and these were a last resort, human nature some times took over and sometimes people didn't that as LA said -big difference between 2 PM 65 degrees and 2 AM 15 degrees. As I said previously -I consider them a double edged sword with time and money better spent elsewhere. But again if you have unlimited time and resources go for it. One last thing -you throw out these "questions" -you get 3 opinions that basically differ - you still try and change our minds. Cant speak for the other two -- but my opinions on these subjects are based on hands on experience , in my area. And most of my experiences go more than a FEW years back.
    We haven't yet mentioned the likelihood of furniture impeding access to the window. Very distinct possibility. Or windows somehow being maintained closed in an unusable fashion because Mom was afraid a child might climb/fall out of it by accident.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by captnjak View Post
      We haven't yet mentioned the likelihood of furniture impeding access to the window. Very distinct possibility. Or windows somehow being maintained closed in an unusable fashion because Mom was afraid a child might climb/fall out of it by accident.
      one thing we did during our (low income) smoke detector instillations which was a no cost and hopefully bang for the buck -was to check the opening of the bedroom windows -we found so many painted shut (old sash wood windows) that we carried a utility and putty knife with us.
      ?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by captnjak View Post
        Let's not over-complicate this stuff. How much does a firefighter or the public really need to know about sprinkler systems? The fact that they save lives and property should be just about enough. The public is likely more concerned with what it will cost to install them than they are about GPM's or any other nuts and bolts type stuff. How many GPM's does a sprinkler system produce? Depends on the type of system, the water supply, the number of heads activated, etc. But again, who cares? I have no idea exactly how a smoke detector works but that doesn't mean I can't be an advocate for their installation and maintenance.

        Maybe I'm a skeptic but IMO the politicians are taking the developers side in sprinkler system requirements because that's where the money is. Does the fire service donate on the level that builders do? I don't think it's a matter of education.
        captnjak I agree 150% on your second half. Home builders have the politicians so scared sprinkler systems will put affordable housing out of reach AND of course the "assistance" to electoral funds that home builders provide that could be lost. You are very correct sir.

        However when that politician faces the possibility of not being reelected and voted out of office that comes more into balance. I would disagree a bit on what the public needs to know because it is a balance. When the public is told sprinklers cause excessive water damage (as compared to our nozzles and heat damage?), if one goes off they all go off, burnt toast will set them off, insurance costs will go up because of water damage, it will increase water bills, etc. Then we have a problem.

        This is where I feel such knowledge is important for firefighters. So when they are on duty, or even off duty at a family dinner, and this comes up, the firefighter can counter. The fact that they saves lives, my opinion, is not enough because if it were we wouldn't have smoke detectors without batteries and everyone would wear a helmet. But when people don't think a fire will ever occur to them, and they imagine burning their toast and having their houses flooded, they are very unlikely to call their representative and voice their opinion when the code comes to vote.

        I believe the difference is no one is advocating for eliminating smoke detectors like they are sprinkler systems. So home builders are flooding the market with fearful information, total falsities, to prevent sprinkler system code adoption. The public is buying it, the politicians are receiving their election funds and there is no fear of lost votes, and thus sprinkler systems have been around since the 1800s and yet we build schools without being sprinklered.

        And I think it is a level of professionalism as well. As a fire service we should be educated on the number one tool to save lives and property. Not experts mind you, but educated. What would you think of a doctor who couldn't answer a basic question on a flu vaccine, or worse spreads inaccurate information.

        This is just my opinion and by no means and I pushing or directing anyone to do anything, nor am I telling you that you are wrong. Just discussing points of view and posting information from my personal expierence when sprinklers and codes were a hot topic after the Charleston 9. I was flabergasted at what college educated politicians were saying to the media about sprinklers.... that have been in existence since the 1800s....
        Last edited by Daniel Byrne; 01-12-2016, 02:11 PM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by captnjak View Post
          We haven't yet mentioned the likelihood of furniture impeding access to the window. Very distinct possibility. Or windows somehow being maintained closed in an unusable fashion because Mom was afraid a child might climb/fall out of it by accident.
          Actually when I do presentations/interviews I talk about that very thing. "If you can't get out of the window, then firefighters can't get in." I use slides showing bunkbeds, bushes, dressers, etc in front of windows. 1st floor or 4th, that is an issue we should discuss.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
            captnjak I agree 150% on your second half. Home builders have the politicians so scared sprinkler systems will put affordable housing out of reach AND of course the "assistance" to electoral funds that home builders provide that could be lost. You are very correct sir.

            However when that politician faces the possibility of not being reelected and voted out of office that comes more into balance. I would disagree a bit on what the public needs to know because it is a balance. When the public is told sprinklers cause excessive water damage (as compared to our nozzles and heat damage?), if one goes off they all go off, burnt toast will set them off, insurance costs will go up because of water damage, it will increase water bills, etc. Then we have a problem.

            This is where I feel such knowledge is important for firefighters. So when they are on duty, or even off duty at a family dinner, and this comes up, the firefighter can counter. The fact that they saves lives, my opinion, is not enough because if it were we wouldn't have smoke detectors without batteries and everyone would wear a helmet. But when people don't think a fire will ever occur to them, and they imagine burning their toast and having their houses flooded, they are very unlikely to call their representative and voice their opinion when the code comes to vote.

            I believe the difference is no one is advocating for eliminating smoke detectors like they are sprinkler systems. So home builders are flooding the market with fearful information, total falsities, to prevent sprinkler system code adoption. The public is buying it, the politicians are receiving their election funds and there is no fear of lost votes, and thus sprinkler systems have been around since the 1800s and yet we build schools without being sprinklered.

            And I think it is a level of professionalism as well. As a fire service we should be educated on the number one tool to save lives and property. Not experts mind you, but educated. What would you think of a doctor who couldn't answer a basic question on a flu vaccine, or worse spreads inaccurate information.

            This is just my opinion and by no means and I pushing or directing anyone to do anything, nor am I telling you that you are wrong. Just discussing points of view and posting information from my personal expierence when sprinklers and codes were a hot topic after the Charleston 9. I was flabergasted at what college educated politicians were saying to the media about sprinklers.... that have been in existence since the 1800s....
            I've always said that our biggest problem is that people don't really think they'll have a fire in their home. It makes it hard to get any message through, whether it be smoke detectors, sprinklers, escape ladders, etc.

            I was unaware that your politicians actually went out of their way to spread mis-information. I wish I could say I'm surprised by that.

            I agree that firefighters should have basic information to provide the public when it comes to any of these things.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by captnjak View Post
              I've always said that our biggest problem is that people don't really think they'll have a fire in their home. It makes it hard to get any message through, whether it be smoke detectors, sprinklers, escape ladders, etc.

              I was unaware that your politicians actually went out of their way to spread mis-information. I wish I could say I'm surprised by that.

              I agree that firefighters should have basic information to provide the public when it comes to any of these things.
              Well it was like you said. Home builders have the money and the ear. I do believe that the politicians weren't spreading the misinformation on purpose, but they believed what the home builders were telling them.

              One message they were all saying (all) was that the sprinkler systems were not needed because smoke detectors really save lives, and used statistics that showed the drop in fire deaths when detectors were put in the codes. What I tried to push is that smoke detectors are very effective in saving the lives of those who can hear them AND react to them. Statistics also show the young (under 5) and the old (over 64) are twice as likely to die - those who are unable to respond to a detector or respond quick enough. That's where sprinklers come in.

              But not many firefighters know those stats in order to provide that type of answer. The fire service, here in SC, fell mute. Today there are no discussions going on at all. In a state that lost 9 firefighters. Kinda understanding where my passion comes from Cap? We actually had a Fire Chief, quoted in the paper, as saying sprinkler systems are good but they should not be required, and firefighters who were contractors openly opposing the sprinkler mandate.

              A department I was a member of used Fire Prevention Week as a week they educated the firefighters on prevention information. Of course you know me Cap, that's not enough, but I'll take it!!!!

              Comment


              • #22
                The public believe what it knows about sprinklers from what it sees on TV and in Movies. That's how the public "learns" how sprinklers work.
                "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                Comment


                • #23
                  I've never been a fan of the rescue ladders. I suspect they're good or kids, but still you have to have trained to use them, they're uncomfortable at best and many will have a very difficult time turning and descending. We focus first on the obvious: smoke detectors and now put a strong emphasis on utilizing the door to your advantage. Stressing the importance of keeping the door closed at night and when your not home is much easier while you show some pictures of damage to rooms with and without doors closed.

                  The answer is: sprinklers, but as has been noted, it's still an uphill battle. We adopted the Life Safety Code in it's entirety in our municipality, despite the State removing the sprinkler requirements of Chapter 24. Every year it's work to keep the ordinance intact. We had to make some exceptions up or lose the whole thing a few years back, but meeting the exceptions is tough, so we felt better to ode one or two homes and gain the rest. Of course this doesn't take care of the 99% who living in existing structures, but it's the most step in the right direction.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    How many posters on here have their firehouses properly sprinklered? How many have stations that are alarmed and monitored?

                    How many posters on here have their own houses sprinklered?

                    Way too many times do we see articles on firehouse.com about a fire station that caught fire and suffered heavy damages.

                    We want to fight for these things that "we" don't do ourselves?
                    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                      I've always said that our biggest problem is that people don't really think they'll have a fire in their home.
                      Spot on! Without a doubt the number one problem in fire prevention is 98% of people do not think it can happen to them, or at least give it enough credence to put time or earnest money into it. Sure, changing smoke detector batteries is cheap and easy, but most often only done when you have kids who come home with info in October. Having just done almost 200 smoke detector installations, we found that only one home was properly protected prior to our arrival (it was less than 10 years old too).99% had detectors well over 10 years old, most had dead batteries and a good part had the detectors removed. These are people who at one time had the right equipment but didn't give enough credence to the fire problem to maintain the detectors!

                      On the sprinkler side, education is also needed. First, it's big money so even more difficult to get people to accept the cost when they don't truly see the need. In our ordinance "exceptions" we require that anyone apply to have the sprinkler requirement waived meet with the Fire Chief to discuss this. In my "interim" position, I've been able to discuss this with many people and in every case they don't understand the sprinklers and have been jaded by the myths. In our experience here are the greatest obstacles to residential sprinklers:
                      1. When one goes off the all go off, so a wastepaper basket fire will ruin all my stuff.
                      2. The insurance company will charge more for water damage.
                      3. The monthly water fees are high. (most only discuss sprinklers w/ people who own commercial systems where these fees can be costly)
                      4.The annual inspections and maintenance is costly and difficult.
                      5. The system will freeze and break while we're on vacation.
                      6. Smoke detectors are enough.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
                        How many posters on here have their firehouses properly sprinklered? How many have stations that are alarmed and monitored?

                        How many posters on here have their own houses sprinklered?

                        Way too many times do we see articles on firehouse.com about a fire station that caught fire and suffered heavy damages.

                        We want to fight for these things that "we" don't do ourselves?
                        This is a question I get regularly and is hard to answer with the reality being the existing home I purchased is not sprinklered. I'd not hesitate to install one in a new house, but very few people can afford to retrofit existing houses. But we must start somewhere and if not today, when?

                        Another "myth" I hear and forgot above:

                        Old houses are the real issue, so my new house will be far safer.

                        As a firefighter I love this one, as I can legitimately tell them our experience is totally 180 degrees. New house fail far faster. Most home fires start due to human causes, not building system age deficiencies. And lastly, every one of the current old homes were once new. A new house today will likely be far worse off than those built a half a century or more ago when the new one reaches it's 50th B-day. Just like fire apparatus and cars are being built cheaper and with inferior materials, so are houses. Just like automobiles, the complexity of the "systems" are going to make upkeep far more challenging.

                        In the end it will come down to us showing the need outweighs the cost. We need to emphasize the need and find a way to reduce the installation costs.
                        Last edited by RFDACM02; 01-13-2016, 10:09 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Quick off topic note: Anyone know who to use bold and italics in this forum now? Can't find the old onscreen prompts for color changes, and the like? maybe we lost all that? Or do we have to know how to do it in HTML ourselves?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
                            I've never been a fan of the rescue ladders. I suspect they're good or kids, but still you have to have trained to use them, they're uncomfortable at best and many will have a very difficult time turning and descending. We focus first on the obvious: smoke detectors and now put a strong emphasis on utilizing the door to your advantage. Stressing the importance of keeping the door closed at night and when your not home is much easier while you show some pictures of damage to rooms with and without doors closed.

                            The answer is: sprinklers, but as has been noted, it's still an uphill battle. We adopted the Life Safety Code in it's entirety in our municipality, despite the State removing the sprinkler requirements of Chapter 24. Every year it's work to keep the ordinance intact. We had to make some exceptions up or lose the whole thing a few years back, but meeting the exceptions is tough, so we felt better to ode one or two homes and gain the rest. Of course this doesn't take care of the 99% who living in existing structures, but it's the most step in the right direction.
                            Absolutely. Rescue ladders I have always viewed as a last resort. Fire today goes from ignition to flash in under five minutes, many times before the first arriving - understaffed - apparatus, so it's just an extra tool. Of course there is a risk of injury trying to use one but if you are having to deploy one the alternative many be worse. Again just a perspective and a tool.

                            Congrats on your code battle. Government is instrumentalism - small policy adjustments as time goes on without any drastic change. Easy to get frustrated because it seems to be little to no progress. But when you get ready to retire take a look back and see the distance you have covered! I think we all need to do that now and again. With our nose to the stone going from one careless tragedy to the next we forget to lift our head and look at the big picture and all we HAVE accomplished.

                            Sure now there are 99% without sprinklers, and with each fire fatality we get angry at the apparent lack of progress. But one day that 99% will be 70%, and that is a road you started and chipped away at, and when you pass that baton to the new generation you will have left your community and fire service better than you started. Is that not the definition of success? How many live will you have saved? Even if it’s just one isn’t it all worth it?

                            Keep up the fight brother and thank you for the battles.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
                              But we must start somewhere and if not today, when?
                              Awesome!! In everything we do in prevention that is the best way to look at it. Every advancement in the fire service, from the combustion engine to SCBAs, was a long journey to where we are now where today it is a "given" that you have an SCBA on when you're fighting fire. Some departments have even taken the step on declaring an IDLH zone, kinda like a "hot zone," where if you are within so many feet of the building you're in an SCBA. Now think back to the days of "leather lungs" until today. Quite a journey. But here we are and better for it.

                              Same with prevention and sprinkler systems. Have to start and take those first steps with your eyes on the future. We can't just throw our hands up at every challenge and objection. That's not what the fire service is about. Our victories are measured in lives saved - both today and the following decades.

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