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International Study Finds New Best Practices to Reduce Fire Casualties
Date:10/8/2009

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and System Planning Corporation's TriData division, which specializes in public safety research and consulting, recently completed a three-year study of best fire prevention practices in 10 nations.

The study found many practices that have been associated with dramatic reductions in fire deaths and injuries in these nations. These best practices could help reduce fire deaths and injuries in the U.S. at little or no additional cost, in part by increasing the firefighter's role in prevention efforts.

The research, conducted by staff from TriData and the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, was sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and the CDC.

The research found that there has been a dramatic shift in fire service prevention practices in many nations over the past decade. The role of line firefighters has been altered to incorporate more prevention activities, especially home visits in high-risk areas. As part of their integrated risk management efforts, many communities, such Merseyside and West Midlands in England, and Toronto, Ottawa, and Longueil in Canada, include fire service home visits to 50%-100% of all residences over a five year period, starting with the highest risk areas.

The home visits typically check on the existence and operability of smoke alarms, install one if needed, and give one-on-one safety messages to household members. This has led to 40%-50% drops in residential fire deaths in many communities.

Another major trend is increased partnerships between fire services and municipal agencies that deliver home services to citizens. Personnel from social service agencies, with some training from the fire service, can enhance prevention efforts during their ro
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SOURCE System Planning Corporation
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