Fire Damage >> Cleaning Up After A Fire

The number of fires caused by lighted tobacco products–almost always cigarettes–increased by a stunning 19 percent in the most recent year studied, Cleaning Up After A Fire according to research by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

But laws requiring that cigarettes be designed to stop burning when not actively smoked, such as the one that went into effect in New York state last month, Cleaning Up After A Fire could sharply reduce this destruction.Cigarettes are the leading cause of fatal fires in the United States.

Smoking materials (a category that encompasses only lighted tobacco products, not matches and lighters) led to one out of four fire deaths in 1999, Cleaning Up After A Fire more than any other cause of fire.But only the state of New York has moved to protect its citizens from such fires.

Starting June28, cigarettes sold in New York must be self-extinguishing, Cleaning Up After A Fire and all cigarette brands must be tested to make sure they self-extinguish at least 75 percent of the time.NFPA's statistical analysis sheds light on how cigarettes lead to fatal fires.

Contrary to the popular image, most victims of smoking-material fires did not fall asleep smoking. Many are not even smokers. Rather, these fires typically started when someone abandoned or improperly disposed of smoking materials. Most victims were in the room where the fire started, Cleaning Up After A Fire and most had some condition that limited their ability to get out.

Often they were asleep, but a significant number were impaired by drugs, alcohol, disability or old age. Indeed, people older than 64 are more likely to die in smoking-material fires than younger people, even though they are less likely to smoke.In 1999, smoking-material fires increased 19 percent over the previous year to 167,700, resulting in 807 civilian deaths, 2,193 civilian injuries, Cleaning Up After A Fire and $559.1 million in direct property damage.

Deaths and injuries both decreased by 11 percent from 1998 to 1999, Cleaning Up After A Fire but property damage costs, adjusted for inflation, increased by 33 percent."Cigarette fires are a major cause of death that we know how to address,'' said James M. Shannon, NFPA president and CEO.

"A cigarette touching something combustible can take significant time to produce a fire. Cut down the burning time of cigarettes and Cleaning Up After A Fire you can prevent fires."The effort to prevent deaths from cigarette-caused fires has a long history.

In 1979, after a fire started by a cigarette killed five young children in a Boston suburb, Cleaning Up After A Fire the late U.S. Rep. Joseph Moakley (D-Mass.) introduced a bill that would have required the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to regulate cigarettes as a fire hazard.

In 1987, Cleaning Up After A Fire a federally-mandated study found that it was possible to manufacture cigarettes that would be less likely to start fires.The National Institute of Standards and Technology later developed a method for testing whether cigarettes were fire-safe.

Moakley introduced legislation calling for the CPSC to develop standards for fire-safe cigarettes in 1994 and again in 1999. Earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Cigarette Fire Safety Act of 2004 (H.R. 4155), Cleaning Up After A Fire which would require the CPSC to promulgate a standard for fire-safe cigarettes around the country.

Shannon spoke at a press conference supporting the bill on May 5. The bill is now before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce."Will we continue to allow cigarette fires to kill hundreds of people every year, smokers and non-smokers, Cleaning Up After A Fire adults and children?" Shannon asked. "Or will we act on what we know–and require that cigarettes be made fire-safe?"

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and Cleaning Up After A Fire advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and theIEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.)have agreed to work on an initiative to fund and support research and Cleaning Up After A Fire testing to increase the understanding of the arc-flash phenomena.

The results of this project will provide information to enhance electrical safety standards that predict the hazard, and provide practical safeguards for employees in the workplace.The agreement is expected to be finalized soon. Cleaning Up After A Fire

Arc-flash is an electric current that passes through air when insulation or isolation between electrified conductors is no longer sufficient to withstand the applied voltage. The flash is immediate, Cleaning Up After A Fire but the result of these incidents can cause severe injury including burns.

Each year more than 2,000 people are treated in burn centers with severe arc-flash injuries.Cleaning Up After A Fire "We are pleased to be working in partnership with the NFPA in an effort to enable funding and management for much needed research so that both organizations can produce a comprehensive offering of standards on this critical safety topic," said Judith Gorman, managing director of the IEEE Standards Association.

"Arc-flash has such serious repercussions for employees and their companies. We would like to play a major role in helping to reduce, through standards, arc-flash incidents."NFPA is the developer o fNFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, 2004 edition, Cleaning Up After A Fire which addresses electrical safety requirements for employee workplaces for the practical safeguarding of employees.

The standard covers the installation, safe work practices and procedures and safety-related maintenance requirements, Cleaning Up After A Fire as well as safety installation and work practices for special electrical equipment.IEEE is the developer for IEEE 1584™-2002, Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations, which provides techniques for designers and facility operators to apply in determining arc-flash hazard distance and the incident energy to which employees could be exposed during their work on or near electrical equipment.

It builds upon previous advancements in estimating arc flash incident energy and is useful in meeting the requirements of NFPA 70E."It's logical that both organizations join forces to pursue potential fundraising for research and Cleaning Up After A Fire testing that can expand the knowledge and information on arc-flash," said Art Cote, NFPA's executive vice president.

"Combining the expertise of both organizations with additional research will result in the expansion of the engineering and technical information in IEEE 1584 and will provide the basis for the refinement of the guidelines on safety in the workplace, found in NFPA 70E."About the NFPANFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, Cleaning Up After A Fire and life safety to the public since 1896.

The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and Cleaning Up After A Fire other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. About the IEEETheIEEEhas more than 360,000 members in approximately 150 countries.

Through its members, it is a leading authority in disciplines ranging from aerospace, computers and telecommunications to biomedicine, electric power and consumer electronics. It produces nearly 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering, computing and Cleaning Up After A Fire control technology fields and sponsors or cosponsors more than 300 technical conferences each year.

TheIEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), Cleaning Up After A Fire a globally recognized standards-setting body, develops consensus standards through an open process. It has a portfolio of more than 870 completed standards and more than 400 standards in development.

Over 15,000 IEEE members worldwide belong to IEEE-SA and voluntarily participate in standards activities. Cleaning Up After A Fire

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