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HOW HOMES CAN BE MADE FIRESAFE

Fires within buildings are very common. This is especially true of home fires. There is nearly a half million serious building fires every year. The cost of fire today is probably at least 500 billion dollars a year. The deaths and injuries are a national disgrace. Many years ago I realized that the number of serious fires within buildings, including homes, could be reduced to near zero. Further, I proved that this this virtual elimination of serious building fires could be accomplished with a net reduction in in fire protection expenditures. However, one problem I encountered was that most people do not believe this to be possible. Of course, it was impossible for man to fly until man did fly. The world was obviously flat until it was proven to be round. The assumption is that if it were possible to virtually eliminate serious building fires it would have been done long ago. It did not happen; therefore it could not happen. There is another important reason why the elimination of serious fires within homes and other buildings concluded to be impossible. Its called the Semmelweis Reflect. Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis (1818 1865) was a Hungarian physician. During 1847 he was working in the Vienna General hospitals First Obstetrical Ward where the mortality rate for mothers was three times the rate of the Second Ward. The Firsts Wards mortality rate was approximately 10 percent. At the time no one knew what was causing the deaths, which were termed puerperal fever or simply childbed fever. Desperate women often fall to their knees begging that they not be assigned to the death ward. Among all the doctors, it was Semmelweis who was most concerned. He attempted to find the reason for the death rate disparity between the two wards. One day an associate of Dr. Semmelweis, Dr. Jakob Kolletschka, was nicked by a scalpel during an operation. A few days later Semmelweis friend succumbed with a deathly pallor, similar to the way the women looked when near death. Dr. Semmelweis concluded that perhaps there was some cadaverous material that could be passed from the sick to the healthy. That would explain why the First Ward was suffering the extremely death rate. Also, he realized that medical students first went to the autopsy room in the morning, where they would perform operations on cadavers, and then directly to the First Maternity Ward where they would assist in the births without first washing their hands. Semmelweis concluded that the students may be carrying cadaverous material directly from the dead bodies to the mothers in labor. He initiated a strict routine where all who would assist in a birthing would first wash their hands with a chlorinated solution. The death rate plummeted, falling far below the death rate in the other ward. Of course, Dr. Semmelweis petitioned other doctors throughout Europe to follow his lead and institute rigid sanitation procedures. But, there was big trouble on the horizon. The inescapable conclusion of the findings of Semmelweis was that it was the doctors who were responsible for the deaths. Not only the students, but the doctors were contaminating the ladies. They were spreading this cadaverous material from one woman to the next within the ward.

They were not washing their hands while examining, or birthing, one woman and then the next or not at all. Well, Semmelweis associates soon concluded: This guy Semmelweis and his theories are causing us great pain. He is claiming that we are the reason why these poor women are dying. And that cannot be. We are the saviors, not the killers. Semmelweis is a danger to us and to the public as well. He must be controlled. When his term at the hospital expired he was dismissed. Road blocks were erected to his career. He was essentially blackballed for his ideas. His associates considered his theories to be damaging to their profession and they did not conceal their views. He left Vienna in 1850 as bitter man, unable to further endure his frustrations and the ugliness of his associates. But he continued to devote his life to save the lives of the women who were continuing to die by the thousands because of the egos of the medical men. All that was required to stop the dying was cleanliness. During his later years he often wrote scathing letters to important men in the medical profession, trying to embarrass them into instituting the sanitary methods he had proven to be so effective. His anger at the intransigence of his associates sometimes drove him to refer to them as irresponsible murderers and ignoramuses. Who can blame him? They were in reality, killing their patients with incredible obstinacy. Beginning during 1861 the pressures and frustrations began to affect his health. He suffered from severe depression. By 1865 his behavior worsened and he became an even worse embarrassment to his associates. He was lured into a mental institute believing he was going on an assignment. He was cruelly beaten by his guards. During the beating he suffered serious internal injuries and wounds that apparently became infected. Due to the infection he died at aged 47, ironically from what could be called be termed childbed fever. Many years ago I came to the conclusion that there are two primary reasons for the creation of most fire codes and building code requirements that are enforced by federal, state and local governments. They are: 1. To reduce fires and save lives. 2. To profit and benefit from the fire problem. I soon realized that reason No. 2 often trumped reason No. 1. In fact, I concluded that greed and corruption within the fire regulatory system was the primary cause of serious building fires and almost all fire deaths. I developed fire sprinkler systems that had the potential to reduce the probability of a serious building fire and fire deaths by 99.9 percent. That is a far higher success rate than for any cure developed by the medical profession. And, in future reports I will show why the fire safety cures I have developed and promoted will not add to the overall cost of fire safety, but rather will greatly reduce costs. There has been, however, one major problem associated with my works. When the fire problem is studied and when the present solutions to the problem are analyzed, it becomes apparent that the very organizations that the public relies on to cure fire are the very organizations that profit and benefit from fire. Fire is the business of the fire business.

Those organizations most responsible for the extremely high fire death rate in America are: the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the fire insurance industry (it profits from fire). As with Semmelweis, I have been threatened, attacked, slandered, black balled, defamed and financially harmed by those who see my fire solutions as a threat to their profits or powers. Long ago, however, I decided that if anyone was to be driven to extreme frustration, bitterness, depression and/or the funny farm by this conflict, it would be my enemies, not me. Sometimes I refer to my enemies as murderers. The word has a nice ring to it. It is an entirely justifiable accusation. R. M. Patton