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Fire Prevention Week Becomes a Month

Fire Prevention Week Becomes a Month

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Published by Kendra Baker
The fire department has dedicated an entire month to inform and warn residents about the dangers of kitchen fires.
The fire department has dedicated an entire month to inform and warn residents about the dangers of kitchen fires.

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Published by: Kendra Baker on Nov 28, 2013
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Kendra Baker 
 | OCT 10, 2013 6:55 AM
The The fire department has dedicated anentire month to inform and warn residentsabout the dangers of kitchen fires.Each year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) teams up with firedepartments nationwide to host FirePrevention Week during the first full week of October. The focus of this year’s campaignis kitchen fires.New Haven’s fire safety month kick-off begins Wednesday morning on the Green,followed by an event on Oct. 12 at theLombard Fire Station, located at 426Lombard St., and an event on Oct. 26 at theHill Fire Station, located at 525 Howard Ave. All three events will run from 10 a.m. until 1p.m.“We have had quite a few [kitchen fires] thisyear, and we have definitely been seeing anincrease of them,” said New Haven LifeSafety and Compliance Officer Robert Doyle(pictured). “Since we have seen a rise andbecause they’re a big deal, we decided herein the city that instead of having just one week, we’re going to have a fire prevention month.”Doyle, who has been with New Haven’s fire department for 15 years, said he has responded to atleast 50 or so kitchen fires throughout his career.“A lot of them basically stay in the actual kitchen itself, but there are times when they do spread anddestroy the whole house,” said Doyle. “Kitchen fires can range from just a simple pot on the stoveburning to burning the whole house down. There are many different ranges.”The New Haven Fire Marshal’s Office in conjunction with Yale Fire Marshal will be hosting eventsthroughout the month to teach people how to avoid kitchen fires, as well as how to react if they’recaught in one.Doyle said inattentively leaving pots on the stove while cooking is the most common cause of thekitchen fires he’s encountered.“We have seen a lot of inebriated people, elderly people being forgetful, younger kids talking on thephone, texting — people who just weren’t paying attention,” said Doyle. “There doesn’t seem to be aspecific age group.”Misused cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and the third leading causeof home fire deaths, according to NFPA’s Fire Analysis & Research Division. In 2006-2010, cookingequipment was involved in 42 percent of reported home fires, 15 percent of home fire deaths, 38percent of reported home fire injuries, and 11 percent of direct property damage resulting from homefires—unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires and fire deaths.This is the first year theNew Haven FireDepartment has hostedfire safety events.Kidde donated a lot of smoke detectors andcarbon monoxidedetectors, so we felt thathaving the events wouldbe the best way to informand help the public,”explained Doyle.
Fire Prevention Week Becomes A Month
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Officer Doyle: Please let the readers know if there are special fire extinguishers that ought to be usedin the kitchen. Thank you!“This is the first year the New Haven Fire Department has hosted fire safety events.”There is a reason why structure fires are down in the City of New Haven. It all began back in the1960’s when a fire prevention program run by the NHFD was done in New Haven Schools. Thecreation of the position of Director of Community Service and Public Fire Education was done in thelate 1970’s to help head off the increase in structure fires in the city. The goal of the program was toteach a generation of children and their families a greater awareness of fire safety. It continuedthrough the 1980’s and 1990’s with great success. Unfortunately the position took a back seatbecause of a reduction in the budget and apparently was eliminated in the Fire Department table of organization.Life Safety Compliance officer Robert Doyle and New Haven Firefighters are taking on a much neededtask in bringing back the fire prevention message to city residents. Their efforts will certainly have animpact on the lives of many.“We hope to get as manypeople as we can, even if it’s just 10 people andthose 10 people get themessage [about kitchenfires] and spread the word,” said Doyle. “That would be great.”There will be smoke detector giveaways, simulated fire demonstrations, raffles for fire extinguishersand carbon monoxide detectors, informational handouts and educational coloring books, as well asrefreshments. The fire marshal’s office will have its service dog on hand to demonstrate how theywork together for fire rescue. A “smoke trailer” will be used to demonstrate mock fire safety scenarios.“There’s going to be a little smoke machine that will fill the cabin up with smoke and we’ll teach themto stay calm, stay low and down toward the ground where it’s clear,” explained Doyle. “People can getan understanding of what’s expected of them when there’s a fire. That way, they won’t be too nervousin a situation where they obviously already will be.”
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posted by: NewHavenTaxTooHigh on October 10, 2013 3:33pmposted by: Edward Francis on October 10, 2013 10:28pm
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