Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Philadelphia Mother Preaches Fire Safety Following Tragedy

Reprinted with Permission from Firehouse.com

By JOANN LOVIGLIOAssociated Press Writer

The mother of three children killed in a fast-moving house fire held up their morgue photographs at a packed church and pleaded with the hundreds in attendance to outfit their homes with smoke detectors to prevent such tragedies.

"This is Zyhire, he was 1 year old," Michelle Dosso said Sunday as wails erupted from the pews of Christ International Baptist Church, just blocks from the home where four adults and three children died in the Friday night blaze.

"This is Ramere, he was 8. ... This is my baby girl, Mariam. She would have been 7 on the 27th," Dosso said from the church altar as she held the little girl's photo aloft. "I promised her a party and ... she's going to get it."

"Don't let them die in vain," she said, urging congregants to get smoke detectors. "Get it done."
The blaze was brought under control in around a half hour but heavy smoke claimed the lives of the seven victims. Six were found huddled together at one end of the room; a seventh was found near the basement's only exit to the outside. Investigators said the interior basement stairs had been removed.

There were no smoke alarms in the house, but alarms probably wouldn't have prevented the tragedy - survivor Harris Murphy, 54, said it started when a kerosene heater exploded as it was being refilled with fuel.

With his hands wrapped in bandages, Murphy told the church congregation that he urged his friend Henry Gbokoloi to have everyone run through the flames but his friend replied, "The firefighters will come and get us." The victims succumbed to smoke before firefighters could reach them.

In addition to Ramere, Mariam, and Zyhire, the other victims were Gbokoloi, 54, and siblings Vivian Teah, 26; Elliott Teah, 23, and Jennifer Teah, 17.

At least 10 members of the extended family were at home watching a movie when the fire broke out in the three-story brick duplex at around 10:45 p.m. Friday in a part of Southwest Philadelphia that is home to many of the city's 15,000 Liberian immigrants.

Showih Kamara, president of the Liberian Association of Pennsylvania, said the group was organizing committees to educate the community about home safety and provide assistance or information.

He also said that an account was being set up at Citizens Bank where donations could be made to help the families. Such solidarity "is the usual Liberian spirit," he told the crowd.
The father of the Teah children told the congregation that he was moved by the outpouring of concern from friends and strangers in the Liberian community and said that "only God knows why" such a tragedy could happen.

"I have only one son left now," said Alfred Teah, who brought his family from battle-torn Liberia to the U.S. in the 1990s. "We try to stand strong. ... This is not an end. This is just the beginning."

Friday, December 19, 2008

To our Australian fire service friends, we want to hear from you!

We have noticed that we have been having several visitors from Australian fire brigades to our site. We want to hear from you!

Please send us your video* sharing your fire safety/prevention programs and we will feature your program(s) on our site.

*Please send the Fire Department Participation form when sending in your video.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Meri-K Appy, President of the Home Safety Council, visits with Safety Talk Radio

Safety Talk Radio visits with Meri-K Appy, President of the Home Safety Council. This live radio broadcast is the first in a series featuring information on the Home Safety Council.

To learn more about the Home Safety Council, please visit their webpage HERE.
To view the complete press release of this interview click HERE.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Firesafetyeducator.com receives update on Vision 20/20

Firesafetyeducator.com caught up with Vision 20/20 Project Manager Jim Crawford at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland and received the latest update on the project.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NFPA Develops New Heating Toolkit

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has produced a new online tool kit that helps everyone understand the safe use of all types of heating equipment.

According to NFPA, heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. Our greatest defense against these fires is education. NFPA has developed "Keeping Your Community Safe and Warm."

Every fire department in the United States has been mailed a CD which contains a toolkit of support materials to help them conduct successful heating-safety campaigns in their communities.

"Sparky® is a registered trademark of the NFPA". Photo used with permission.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Firesafetyeducator.com Program Mentioned on Firehouse.com and National Volunteer Fire Council Websites

Thank you to Firehouse.com and the National Volunteer Fire Council for helping spread the word about the Ask a Firefighter and Firesafetyeducator.com programs. These programs will help strengthen fire safety efforts and the emails and calls from across the country are pouring in like crazy. Thank you Firehouse.com and NVFC!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Firesafetyeducator.com visits with Deb Hanson, Director of External Affairs from First Alert about their product, the Tundra.

Firesafetyeducator.com visits with Deb Hanson, Director of External Affairs from First Alert about their product, the Tundra, at First Alert headquarters in Aurora, Illinois.

In this video, you will learn more about the Tundra and how to use it in your fire safety programming.

To receive a Tundra to use in your fire safety programming, send an email to Deb Hanson at DHanson@firstalert.com. When requesting a Tundra, please mention that you heard about the Tundra on firesafetyeducator.com to receive this special offer.

Thank you to everyone at First Alert / BRK Brands for assisting with this video. To learn more about the Tundra and First Alert, visit their website.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

NFPA Reports that the number of large-loss fires up by more than 54 percent in 2007

November 7, 2008 – Findings from the soon-to-be released report Large-Loss Fires in the United States 2007 are featured in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, the official magazine of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Each year, NFPA publishes details on large-loss fires and explosions in the United States that each resulted in property damage of at least $5 million. There were 25 more large-loss fires in 2007 than in the previous year, accounting for an increase of more than 54 percent.

In 2007, 71 fires occurred that resulted in losses of $5 million or more, compared to 46 in 2006. These fires accounted for less than one percent of the estimated number of fires in 2007, but accounted for 24 percent of the total estimated dollar loss from fires.

Other key findings from the report:

*Large-loss fires killed 19 civilians, injured 168 firefighters and 67 civilians.
*Large-loss fires resulted in $3.5 billion in direct property loss in 2007. (Total fire loss for 2007 was $14.6 billion.)
*Property loss from large-loss fires was up by almost $3 billion in 2007.
*Most of the increase in dollar loss in 2007 is attributed to the Southern California Firestorm.
*The Southern California Firestorm was one of 20 fires that caused more than $20 million in property damage. It was also one of five fires that resulted in a loss of more than $100 million.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Firesafetyeducator.com visits Chicago Fire Department's Survive Alive House

Firesafetyeducator.com recently traveled to Chicago, Illinois to visit with firefighters across the state. One of the stops on the trip was a visit to the Chicago Fire Department's Survive Alive House. To date, almost half a million people have visited this incredible fire safety house.

In this video, you will learn the history of the Survive Alive House as well as how the Chicago Fire Department utilizes this fire safety tool.

Many thanks to the Chicago Fire Department for allowing us the opportunity to tour their facility.

Coming soon, Firesafetyeducator.com visits with Deb Hanson, Director of External Affairs from First Alert about their product, the Tundra.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Change Your Clock Change Your Battery

Daylight Savings Time ends on November 2 at 2:00 a.m.
Remind your community that when they change the clock to change the smoke alarm battery. It is also a good time to remind them to practice their home escape drill with their family.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ask a Firefighter Program Helps Spread Fire Safety Message

Your department is invited to participate in the Ask a Firefighter program.

  • Reach a broader audience with your fire safety message.
  • Help save lives.
  • Enhance your department's image.

How the Ask a Firefighter program works:

Children submit their question about firefighters and firefighting by video. Fire Department's respond with their answer within two days to the child's question . The video will be displayed at the new Ask A Firefighter website.

Below you will find the latest Ask a Firefighter video.

For more information, visit http://www.askafirefighter.net/

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vision 20/20 Final Report Released

The goal of Vision 20/20 was a simple one - to marshal forces for the development and support of a national strategic agenda for fire loss prevention. In the spring of 2008, the Vision 20/20 National Forum brought some of the brightest minds in fire safety together in Washington DC to help determine how best to achieve this goal.

The Forum was an important first step in the continuing Vision 20/20 initiative. To read the final report of this initiative, click HERE.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fire Safety Tips by Meri-Appy on the Today Show

Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council, gives tips on protecting your family from fire dangers on the Today Show.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

USFA Implements New Blog

The United States Fire Administration has initiated a new blog. The purpose of the blog is to facilitate an ongoing dialogue with the Fire Service that contributes to fostering a solid foundation in prevention, preparedness, and response with respect to fire and related emergencies.

To visit the blog, click HERE.

This is a great way to learn about the latest fire safety intiatives across the country.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Safety Talk Radio

Does your fire department or organization have a successful fire or life safety program? Do you have a fire or life safety story that needs to be told? If so, we want to hear from you!

Showcase and share your efforts with other fire departments and organizations from across the nation on Safety Talk™ Radio.

Click HERE to learn more.