It seems to us that it has been too long since we wrote a fire extinguisher success story wrap-up. As usual, the stories aren’t hard to find. Small fires kept from turning into large, devastating fires by quick thinking individuals using these critical life safety devices. Here is a wrap up:
Nursing Home Employees Keep Fire From Spreading
Nursing home employees in Missouri used a fire extinguisher to save the Bluffs Nursing home from burning down after a food warmer caught fire. According to an article from Connect Mid-Missouri:
The Columbia fire department says employees at a nursing home saved the building during an early evening fire.It happened at about 5:00pm last night at the Bluffs nursing home on Bluff Creek drive.
Firefighters found a small fire involving the plug from a food warmer and an electrical outlet that had been extinguished by employees using a fire extinguisher. The fire caused about $4,000 worth of damage.
Without the use of proper fire extinguishers by the employees this accident could have been much worse. Evacuating elderly people can be a very dangerous activity for both the firefighters and the people being evacuated.
Fire Extinguishers (and Good Fences) Make Good Neighbors
A neighbor with a keen eye saved a house in New London Connecticut using a fire extinguisher to put out a blaze before fire officials would even arrive. These actions prevented injuries and minimized the damages to the house. According to Connecticut’s TheDay.com:
An alert neighbor grabbed a fire extinguisher and quickly knocked down an outside fire at 12 Home St. on Monday afternoon. Battalion Chief Keith Nichols said fire personnel arrived around 2 p.m. to find lots of smoke with the blaze knocked down but still smoldering. No one was injured, Nichols said, and the damage was contained to the outside, porch and siding area of the multi-family home. Firefighters pulled siding from the home and sprayed it down. One firefighter used a chainsaw to cut away burnt siding and another peeled up porch slats to make sure the fire had not spread. Nichols did not know the cause of the fire, which remains under investigation by the fire marshal’s office.
This good neighbor was prepared and ready for an accident, when it happened he reacted and saved the house. Without the necessary equipment this small fire could’ve easily engulfed the entire house
Dig Deeper: Watch The Brief Presentation, 4 Reasons it is an Emergency When An Extinguisher is Pulled on Your Campus
Tenant Fights Kitchen Fire: Protects Fellow Residents, Building
The occupant of an apartment in Ohio saved his unit as well as others’ in the apartment building when he quelled a kitchen fire using a fire extinguisher. The article in IndieOnline.com reports:
According to reports, fire crews responded to 1819 Miles Ave. NW around 9:45 p.m. Fire Chief Tracy Hogue said that the occupant of the apartment where the fire started used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames and that the department needed minimal amounts of water to extinguish the fire. Smoke from the fire filled the entire apartment and forced the residents of the adjoining apartments to evacuate. The only damage reported was to the apartment where the fire originated. The smoke and heat damage, which was contained to the kitchen, was estimated at $5,000.
This quick thinking tenant was well prepared and potentially saved not only his unit, but also the entire building.
Couple Uses Fire Extinguishers To Escape Aggressive BlazeA well prepared Oregon couple narrowly escape their home unharmed by using fire extinguishers to fend off flames that filled their home. An article by The Oregonian reports:
Regina and Dwayne Dennis discovered a blaze in their home in the 3700 block of North Vancouver Avenue and called 9-1-1 at 4:45 a.m. They then fought the blaze with fire extinguishers they kept in the house as they backed away from the flames and toward safety. "This is a case where the homeowners did everything right and got out of the house quickly and safely," said Paul Corah, spokesman for the Portland Fire Bureau. "They had working smoke alarms, portable fire extinguishers, called 911, and met firefighters out front just as they should have."
With millions of fires each year being effectively fought with fire extinguishers, it is vitally important to ensure that these silent heroes are available, accessible and working properly. Find out more about how enGauge monitors your organization's extinguishers so they are ready when you need them.
According to the most recent NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) data, in 2010 U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,331,500 fires. These fires resulted in 3,120 civilian fire fatalities, 17,720 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $15,478,000,000 in direct property loss.
Of these fires 98,000 were responded to in commercial or municipal buildings. Of the over $11.6 billion in property damage, more than $2.6 billion took place in these non-residential structures. This represents an average loss per reported incident in non-residential / commercial structures of over $34,000.
This only tells a portion of the fire story, however.
Fire Extinguishers Effectively Put Out 80% of All Fires
To highlight the effectiveness of extinguishers in the early stage fire fighting, a 2002 UK study performed by FETA (Fire Extinguishing Trades Association) and IFEDA (Independent Fire Engineering and Distributors Association)5 reviewed over 2100 fire incidents and found that in 80% of the cases a portable fire extinguisher successfully extinguished the fire and in 75% of those cases, the fire department was not required to attend.
A similar survey was conducted in 2002 by EUROFEU (European Committee of the Manufacturers of Fire Protection Equipment and Fire Fighting Vehicles)in 6 European countries and it found strikingly consistent results. In over 2600 incidents recorded it concluded that in 81.5% of cases the portable extinguisher successfully extinguished the fire and in 74.6% of the cases the fire department was not required to attend.
Extrapolating the results of these surveys to the U.S. market provides solid statistical evidence that in approximately 80% of all fire incidents a portable fire extinguisher is the only fire fighting tool needed to extinguish the fire. Further, they indicate that in 60% of all fire incidents the fire department is not notified (and thus the event would not appear in NFPA statistics).
Fire Extinguisher Success Rates (Estimated)
- Fires Handled entirely by extinguishers with Fire Department not being notified = 1,997,250
- Commercial Strucure fires handled entirely by exinguishers with Fire Department not being notified = 147,000
- Estimated savings in avoided property loss in commercial buildings = 147,000 X $34,000 equals $4.998 Billion
- Fires in which fire extinguishers were the only needed form of fire supression = 5,326,000
- Fires in commercial structures in which extinguishers were the only needed form of fire suppression = 392,000
Although these are only estimates, these numbers make clear that the positive impact of fire extinguishers on society is tremendous. When fire extinguishers are not available to do their job because they are blocked, missing or depressurized, the results can be deadly, catastrophic and costly. en-Gauge's electronic fire extinguisher monitoring solution makes sure these vital life safety devices are available, accessible and working properly.
To learn why electronically monitored fire extinguishers are also the most environmentally friendly form of fire protection, check out this White Paper going over all the details.