“Know Your Smoke” Symposium

CarolinaFireJournal -

10/23/2013 -

RAE Systems and Fire Smoke Coalition to Deliver South Carolina-Based 
Free Training to Firefighters, EMS Personnel on the Dangers of Fire Smoke

“Know Your Smoke” Symposium to deliver pre-Holiday Season life-saving awareness 
on effects of smoke exposure, potential protection via the use of atmospheric monitoring equipment

San Jose, Calif. – Oct. 22, 2013 – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2006 to 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 230 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees. Home Christmas tree fires caused an average of four civilian deaths, 21 civilian injuries, and $17.3 million in direct property damage per year.[1]


While these incidents are not common, they are much more likely to cause serious damage and death than other types of home fires. The NFPA has reported that on average, one of every 66 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires. With the majority of fire deaths caused by smoke inhalation and not burns, responders should understand the dangers presented by smoke inhalation.

To help educate firefighters on the dangers of smoke inhalation, RAE Systems will collaborate with the Fire Smoke Coalition to deliver the free “Know Your Smoke: The Dangers of Fire Smoke Exposure” Symposium for firefighters and first responders in Beaufort, South Carolina, on November 1, 2013.

The free training will take place at the Burton Fire District at 158 Bay Pines Road, in Beaufort. The symposium will provide firefighters with information on the dangerous health effects of fire smoke exposure and protocols on how to proceed safely and effectively during fire ground operations. Those interested in attending can find more information and register for this free training event online at http://bit.ly/1cFopTH.

The conference includes a classroom session on Saturday, November 2, followed by a live burn and smoke practical. The live burn practical will focus on the proper use of atmospheric monitoring equipment with an emphasis on monitoring HCN and CO (hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide). These are the only two treatable toxicants if smoke exposure occurs.

During the live burn practical session, the instructors will focus on teaching firefighters how to conduct atmospheric monitoring at every fire scene through practical training exercises while burning household items such as plastics, foams, synthetics, laminates and roofing materials. Most important, firefighters will learn that every fire scene is a HazMat environment – a cultural shift for fire departments throughout the world.

Toxic gas monitoring systems are an essential life-saving component of fire department equipment. The “Know Your Smoke” event will help educate firefighters and emergency personnel on their effective use to avoid dangerous smoke inhalation, especially during overhaul operations.

“There are still a lot of widespread misconceptions about the dangers of fire smoke, and because we typically see a significant spike in fire related incidents during the holiday season, it’s important to increase awareness and provide this resource now,” stated Shawn Longerich, executive director of the Fire Smoke Coalition. “These events are critical in keeping firefighters and the public-at-large safe and informed about the negative health effects of smoke exposure during a particularly dangerous time of year.”

Learn More, See More

·       Register for the Fire Smoke Symposium training event for first-responders HERE

·       Watch videos on previous Fire Smoke training sessions and RAE Systems CO gas detectors and HCN gas detectors HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1ZpiRp0-4E).

·       Learn more and watch videos about real-time gas detection in the fire ground HERE (http://www.raesystems.com/emergency-responder/).

About Fire Smoke Coalition
The mission of the Fire Smoke Coalition is to focus the required attention and resources on the deadly and life-long consequences of breathing fire smoke by teaching firefighters and first responders how to prevent, protect, detect, diagnose, and appropriately treat the exposure if it occurs. Learn more at www.firesmoke.org.

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