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Massey Safety Chief Indicted In Mine Disaster Probe

Federal agents arrested a Massey Energy chief of security Monday on charges of lying to the FBI and obstructing the criminal investigation into last year’s deadly mine disaster in West Virginia.

Hughie Elbert Stover, 60, of Clear Fork, W.Va., was indicted on Feb. 25. The indictment is the first in the mine disaster investigation and was unsealed after Stover’s arrest Monday.

An ambulance arrives on the scene on April 10, 2010, after an explosion at Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. Twenty-nine workers died in the blast. 

Bob Bird/AP – An ambulance arrives on the scene on April 10, 2010, after an explosion at Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. Twenty-nine workers died in the blast.

 

Stover supervised security at several Massey Energy coal mines, including the Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 mineworkers died in a massive explosion in April 2010.

The indictment accuses Stover of lying to federal agents about an apparent systematic effort to deceive federal mine safety inspectors.

“Stover had himself directed and trained security guards at … Upper Big Branch Mine to give advance notice” of unannounced federal inspections, the indictment says.

Stover and his guards used a special radio frequency to warn miners underground when inspectors arrived at the mine. That gave the miners the chance to mask or fix serious safety problems and avoid citations, fines and closure orders.

As NPR has reported, former Massey miners and federal mine inspectors have described this inspection dodge before.

Stover told federal agents, the indictment says, that Massey had “a practice and policy dating back to at least 1999 that forbade security guards at the Upper Big Branch mine from giving advance notice of an inspection.” That was a firing offense, Stover claimed.

But the indictment says those statements were “false, fictitious and fraudulent.”

Stover is also accused of directing the disposal of thousands of pages of security-related documents in a company trash compactor at the Upper Big Branch Mine “with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence” the mine disaster investigation.

This conduct “threatens our effort to find out what happened at Upper Big Branch,” said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin in a prepared statement. “This inquiry is simply too important to tolerate any attempt to hinder it.”

The alleged actions by Stover also trouble Davitt McAteer, who was appointed by former West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin to conduct an independent investigation of the disaster’s cause.

McAteer asks, “Were laws violated? Were regulations disregarded? And were shortcuts taken” before the explosion?

“I think this indictment suggests perhaps they were,” McAteer adds.

Massey Energy issued a statement that did not respond to the inspection deception allegation. But Shane Harvey, the company’s vice president and general counsel, said Massey “takes this matter very seriously and is committed to cooperating with the U.S. attorney’s office.”

Harvey claimed that Massey “notified the U.S. attorney’s office within hours of learning that documents had been disposed of and took immediate steps to recover documents and turn them over to the U.S. attorney’s office.”

Melvin Smith, a spokesman for Goodwin, declined to comment on Harvey’s claim. But Smith did refer to this statement in the indictment: “These documents were later recovered after the federal government inquired about their existence in the course of its investigation …”

The indictment says the documents were recovered.

NPR’s attempts to reach Stover for comment were unsuccessful. His attorney, former U.S. Attorney William Wilmoth, tells NPR he has “no comment this early in the case.”

Stover was released on bail, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Charleston. An arraignment is scheduled for March 15.

A spokeswoman for the Mine Safety and Health Administration declined to comment.

Copy of Indictment: http://media.npr.org/documents/2011/feb/massey-stover-indictment.pdf

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OSHA Orders Company to Rehire Whistleblower, Pay $111,000 in Back wages Plus Interest

OSHA has ordered United Auto Delivery and Recovery/Memphis Auto Auction to reinstate a former truck driver who was fired in violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act for repeatedly complaining to a supervisor about mechanical problems with a truck.

OSHA is ordering the company to pay the worker more than $111,000 as compensation for back wages plus interest, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. The company is also required to delete any adverse references related to the discharge from the employee’s personnel file and post a fact sheet informing employees of their rights.

“Employees have the legal right to report unsafe driving situations, not only for their own safety, but also to protect the public from unsafe trucks on the roads,” said Cindy Coe, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta. “OSHA will not allow trucking companies to retaliate against drivers who are exercising their rights.”

In February 2009, after repeatedly complaining to a supervisor about mechanical problems with a truck, the supervisor agreed to the complainant’s suggestion to leave work and return when the truck was repaired. The next day, the complainant’s employment was terminated.

A whistleblower complaint was filed with OSHA, and an agency whistleblower investigator found that the complainant was terminated unlawfully. Either party to the case can file an appeal with the Labor Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, but the complainant must immediately be reinstated regardless of whether the order is appealed.

United Auto Delivery and Recovery/Memphis Auto Auction is a commercial carrier that provides vehicle repossession services in the Midwest, and sells and auctions recovered vehicles. Its headquarters are in Memphis, Tenn., and the company has approximately 50 non-union drivers.

First Corporate-Manslaughter Conviction Over Employee Death in the UK, Delivers £385,000 Penalty.

Peter Eaton

The first company to stand trial under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 has been fined £385,000 after being found guilty by the jury at Winchester Crown Court.

The conviction of Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd came after a two-week trial at the court, where the company answered charges by the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to the death of employee Alexander Wright on 5 September 2008.

In handing down the sentence on 17 February, the judge confirmed the company could pay the fine over a 10-year stretch, with £38,500 due every year of that period. The company does not have to pay any costs.

Mr Wright, 27, had been left working alone in a 3.5m-deep trench to ‘finish up’ after the managing director of Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings, Peter Eaton (pictured centre), left for the day.

A short time later, the trench collapsed on Mr Wright and buried him. On hearing his cry for help, one of the plot-owners called the emergency services while another ran to the trench where he found Mr Wright buried up to his head. He climbed into the trench and removed some of the soil to enable the junior geologist to breathe, but a further torrent of earth fell into the pit, covering Mr Wright completely. Despite the plot-owner’s best efforts to free him, Mr Wright died of asphyxiation.

Peter Eaton had originally been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence, as well as a health and safety offence, in his own capacity but these charges were dropped after a successful application by his defence team last October on the grounds of his poor health. The company also originally faced a separate health and safety offence, but this was dropped by the prosecution in January this year after the judge raised the issue of whether the two different burdens of proof for the two remaining charges might confuse a jury.

In convicting the company on 15 February, the jury found that the company’s system of work in digging trial pits was wholly and unnecessarily dangerous. The court heard the company ignored industry guidance, which prohibited entry into excavations more than 1.2 metres deep, by allowing junior employees to enter into and work in unsupported trial pits, typically from 2 to 3.5 metres deep.

Detective Inspector Giulia Marogna, of Gloucestershire Constabulary, who investigated the case with the support of the HSE, described Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings’ approach to health and safety as “cavalier”, and the way it taught and supervised its junior engineers as “inherently dangerous”.

She added: “Every year people are killed and seriously injured following the collapse of an excavation. This case should serve as a reminder to the construction industry that vertical sides of excavations can never be relied upon to stay up without support, no matter how stable the ground may appear to be.”

Kevin Bridges (pictured, far right), partner at Pinsent Masons, which represented Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings, said: “The company will, over the coming days, consider all of its options, including any potential grounds of appeal. It remains to be seen whether this case has provided any general assistance in the interpretation of what is the most serious offence that a company can commit, and whether it will give rise to wider problems for the CPS in prosecuting this new and controversial legislation in the future.”

On behalf of the company and Peter Eaton, Bridges said they had held Alex Wright “in the highest regard and deeply regret the tragic incident which resulted in the loss of this talented young man”.

Paul Verrico, a solicitor-advocate with Eversheds, said the case is unlikely to be a landmark in terms of a test of the new law, but believes the conviction “will doubtless be hailed by both the CPS and the HSE as a success”.

He added that the physical stress of the process will not have been lost on those holding senior positions. He said: “It is well documented that the managing director [Peter Eaton] has been very ill, in no small part due to the stress of being charged with manslaughter in his own right and the undoubted impact on his business.

Commenting on the level of the fine, Helen Devery, a partner at Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP, said: “The size of the fine is intended to make a significant impact on any organisation and, while Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings may have had a modest turnover, larger and more profitable organisations, successfully convicted, can expect fines well above the Sentencing Guidelines Council’s £500,000 starting point.”

Following the jury’s verdict, Mr Wright’s family revealed their relief that “justice has been done” but stressed that, having visited the trench site, they couldn’t believe that “any employer of good integrity or sound intentions would allow or expect any employee to commit themselves to such a danger”.

40 Years of OSHA milestones, Visualized

On April 28, America’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will celebrate four decades of making U.S. workplaces safer. In advance of the big day, OSHA has released a new, interactive timeline outlining the organization’s biggest milestones over the past 40 years.

“Today workplaces in America are far safer than forty years ago,” OSHA Administrator David Michaels noted in a press release issued today. “Our progress gives us hope and confidence that OSHA will continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of our nation’s 130 million workers, and their families.”

Wondering when the Vinyl Chloride standard was implemented? How about the safety standards for fall protection? Or shipyard fire protection rules? It’s all in the comprehensive and easy-to-use OSHA timeline (also viewable in flipbook, list and map formats), complete with one-click access to additional information about each milestone and event.

OSHA’s effect on American workplaces since its inception have been phenomenal: Since the organization was created, on-the-job fatality rates dropped from an estimated 14,000 workers killed annually in 1970, to approximately 4,340 in 2009 (in spite of the fact U.S. employment has almost doubled and now includes over 130 million workers at more than 7.2 million worksites).

Pier 1 Imports Recalls 370,000 Golden Tea Lights Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Golden tea lights sold with ornament tea light holders

Units: About 370,000 tea lights in United States and 30,000 tea lights in Canada

Importer: Pier 1 Imports®, of Fort Worth, Texas

Hazard: The flame from the tea lights can burn with a high flame, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received four reports of high flames. In one of these incidents, the consumer suffered a minor burn.

Description: This recall involves all tea lights in golden tin cups sold in sets of five with either the Red Ornament Tea Light Holder (SKU 2473959) or the White Ornament Tea Light Holder (SKU 2473961). The SKU number is found on the packaging.

Sold exclusively at: Pier 1 Imports stores from September 2010 through January 2011 for between $2 and $8.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled tea lights and return them to their nearest Pier 1 Imports store to receive new tea lights.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Pier 1 Imports at (800) 245-4595 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit Pier 1 Imports’ website at http://www.pier1.com

Note: Health Canada’s press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1281

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting www.saferproducts.gov

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC

Based upon the 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC, the sequence for CPR has been changed from A-B-C (Airway-Breathing-Compressions) to C-A-B (Compressions-Airway-Breathing). Changing the sequence from A-B-C to C-A-B allows all rescuers to begin chest compressions right away. Research shows that rescuers who started CPR with opening the airway took 30 critical seconds longer to begin chest compressions than rescuers who began CPR with chest compressions. View the video/link above for more information.

Free Live Webinar! March 15, 2011 2PM/ET 11AM/PT – Combustible Dust Preventative Maintenance: More than just Housekeeping

A promotional message from EHS Today announcing a new webinar

Free Live Webinar
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT
Duration: 60 Minutes
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_Join us for this EHS Today Webinar
Presented By:
Combustible Dust
Preventative Maintenance:
More than just Housekeeping
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Register now for this free live webinar 

In recent years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set their sights on combustible dust, naming it a high regulatory priority and issuing a National Emphasis Program with guidelines and recommendations for decreasing the risk of combustible dust fires or explosions in industrial settings. As a result, manufacturers are being closely monitored by the agency through random audits and being dealt hefty fines for not taking the necessary preventive precautions. 

Fortunately, facilities can significantly reduce their risk of costly violations, and most importantly, a combustible dust accident, by instilling best engineering practices that include a solid maintenance plan to eliminate dangerous dust accumulations on floors, walls, machinery, and overhead areas.

This interactive webinar will:

  • provide a basic understanding of the combustible dust issue,
  • discuss critical housekeeping tips and recommendations as they pertain to Nilfisk Industrial Vacuum’s firsthand experiences,
  • include a tutorial on choosing a “properly-equipped” industrial vacuum cleaner, as required by OSHA.

Register now for this free live webinar

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NIOSH to Offer Black Lung Screenings for Surface Coal Miners

In March, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will continue a series of free, confidential health screenings to surface coal miners throughout the United States. The screenings are intended to provide early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung, a serious but preventable occupational lung disease in coal miners caused by breathing coal dust.

The health screenings will be provided by NIOSH through a state-of-the-art mobile testing van at convenient community and mine locations. Locations, dates and other details are being finalized. Similar screenings were offered in 2010.

“It is critical to detect coal workers’ pneumoconiosis as early as possible, to guide intervention and keep the disease from advancing to stages in which it becomes progressively debilitating and life-threatening,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “The screening offered by NIOSH is designed to serve that purpose. As a source of data through which scientists may identify trends in cases, it is also a vital component of efforts by NIOSH and its partners to protect miners at risk and eliminate coal workers’ pneumoconiosis once and for all. ”

NIOSH will provide the health screening for surface coal miners under its Enhanced Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program. Traditionally, NIOSH has provided the program for health surveillance of underground coal miners. The screening this year and last year for surface coal miners reflects concerns by NIOSH and stakeholders that surface coal miners are also at risk for occupational lung disease through exposure to respirable dust.

The screening will include a work history questionnaire and a chest x-ray. Blood pressure screening will be offered as well. Typically, the process takes about 15 minutes. NIOSH provides the individual miner with the results of his or her own screening, but by law each person’s test results remain entirely confidential.

The prevalence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis among long-term underground miners who participated in chest x-ray screening decreased from the 1970s to the 1990s. However, the rate of disease in underground miners participating in the NIOSH program has recently increased.

The current rate for underground miners participating in the NIOSH Program and having a tenure in coal mining of at least 25 years is 9 percent nationally, double the rate in 1995. Knowing the frequency of the disease and who may be at risk is important for determining how to prevent new cases. Consequently, information regarding disease in surface coal miners is crucial.

NIOSH encourages miners and their families to learn more about the program at or by calling the toll free number 1-888-480-4042.

Among other resources available from NIOSH is the educational video, “Faces of Black Lung,” in which two miners with CWP share their personal accounts and provide insight on how their lives changed due to this devastating disease.

350,000 Jogging Strollers Recalled by B.O.B. Trailers Due to Strangulation Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: B.O.B.® single and double strollers

Units: About 337,000 in the United States and 20,000 in Canada

Importer: B.O.B. Trailers Inc., of Boise, Idaho

Hazard: A drawstring on the stroller can get wrapped around a child’s neck, posing a strangulation hazard.

Injuries/Incidents: The firm has received one report of an 11-month-old girl who got entangled at the neck by the stroller’s drawstring. The child was freed by her mother.

Description: This recall involves the following 11 models of B.O.B.® single and double strollers. The name “B.O.B” appears on the cargo basket under the stroller and on the front of the stroller. All of the recalled strollers have a yellow/orange drawstring at the rear of the canopy which is used to gather loose fabric when the canopy is pulled back. Strollers have the serial number either stamped in the frame or on a white label located on the stroller’s rear right leg.

Model Serial # ranges
Sport Utility Stroller 12362 – 35107
AA00001 – AA025490
Sport Utility Stroller D’Lux 12362 – 35107
AB000001 – AB007940
Ironman® 800000 – 803700
AC000001- AC027923
Sport Utility Duallie 002001 – 008068
AD000001 – AD011252
Ironman® Duallie AE000001 – AE008909
Revolution AF000001 – AF189112
Revolution 12” AK000001 – AK024149
Stroller Strides® AG000001 – AG011163
Revolution Duallie AH000001 – AH072921
Revolution Duallie 12” AL000001 – AL012657
Stroller Strides® Duallie AM000001 – AM003229

Sold at: REI, buy Baby and other stores nationwide and on the Web at Babiesrus.com, Target.com and Amazon.com between April 2002 and February 2011 for between $300 and $600.

Manufactured in: Taiwan and China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers and remove the drawstring. If using a separately purchased Weather Shield or Sun Shield accessory with the recalled stroller, contact B.O.B. Trailers for a free canopy retrofit kit.

Configuration Use Stroller Only Use Stroller With Optional
Weather Shield Accessory
Use Stroller With Optional
Sun Shield Accessory
Remedy Remove Drawstring 

Instructions on removing drawstrings at:
www.bobcanopy.com

Remove Drawstring, Install Canopy retrofit Kit 

Order retrofit kits at www.bobcanopy.com

Remove Drawstring, Install Canopy retrofit Kit 

Order retrofit kits at www.bobcanopy.com

Consumer Contact: For additional information, or to order a canopy retrofit kit, contact B.O.B. Trailers at (855) 242-2245 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.bobcanopy.com

Note: Health Canada’s press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1279

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting www.saferproducts.gov

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

Fire Prevention News: Weekly Roundup – February 22, 2011

  1. Campaigns / Other Fire Prevention Efforts
  2. Campus Fire Safety
  3. CO Detectors
  4. Inspections/Code enforcement
  5. Smoke Alarms
  6. Sprinklers
  7. Wildland Fire Safety
  8. Other Fire Safety News
  9. Saves
  10. International News

Links to Fire Prevention-related news articles – Updated 02/21/2011

Campaigns/ Fire Prevention Efforts

  1. Magician shares tricks, safety message with Marion County kids – Fire safety programs for elementary schools teach children year after year what to do if their home catches fire, a serious and possibly
  2. Fire experts: Stay low, go – Thanks to donations from some serious safety advocates, pre-schoolers in Lawrence County will be getting a head start in learning fire safety. Monday, the children at the Lawrence County Early Childhood Academy Proctorville Head Start …
  3. Fire death rate prompts public safety campaign – Also, as part of the launch of a new fire safety public awareness campaign by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Commission on Children and Disasters, the US Fire Administration has released a new report on the risks that fires …
  4. Death of heroic teen in house blaze inspires fire-safety fair Lerisa Arteaga, 12, gets makeup before a fashion show as others wait during Sunday’s fire safety and prevention fair at Hickory Hollow Mall. The girls modeled dresses from Lily’s Bridal and Formal Wear

Campus Fire Safety

  1. Nothing to report

CO Detectors

  1. New Law Means You Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector in Your Home – Starting this summer all existing homes with attached garages, fireplaces or any gas appliances must have a carbon monoxide detector. …
  2. Lawmakers Consider Requiring Carbon Monoxide Detectors At Schools – State lawmakers discussed a bill Tuesday that would require schools to have carbon monoxide detectors. The proposed law comes from state lawmakers representing Waterbury, where earlier this winter 30 students were sent to the …
  3. Lauren Project to conduct local carbon monoxide survey The Windsor Community Foundation, the Windsor-Severance Fire Department and students from Windsor High School are preparing to participate in a safety survey for the Lauren Project. ..
  4. Homeowners required to install carbon monoxide detectors by July – New laws requiring all homeowners to have carbon monoxide detectors by July, 2011 and requirements to have EPA certified workers make any repairs that involve more than six square feet in size are just a few of the topics that California Association of …

Inspections / Code enforcement

  1. Gallatin fire prompts city to inspect group homes It appears the facility at 683 Hartsville Pike had never been inspected for fire safety by either city or state agencies. State Fire Marshal’s Office spokesperson Christopher Garrett said the state would only have inspected the building if it received
  2. Fire marshal cuts place burden on towns The county provides fire code enforcement responsibility to 13 of the county’s 37 municipalities, county officials said, including Audubon, Audubon Park, Barrington, Chesilhurst, Gibbsboro, the Blenheim section of Gloucester Township, Haddonfield, …
  3. Bill proposes legalization of fireworks The taxes generated from firework sales — which Damon estimated at anywhere from $500000 to $1 million — could not only be used to help buoy departments’ bottom lines but could also to educate residents about fire safety.
  4. 10 of 11 Camco fire marshals expected to be laid off The county provides fire code enforcement responsibility to 13 of the county’s 37 municipalities, county officials said, including Audubon, Audubon Park, Barrington, Chesilhurst, Gibbsboro, the Blenheim section of Gloucester Township, Haddonfield, …
  5. Prevention: Efforts to detect, prevent fires can be costly City budget cuts have led to a significant drop in the number of buildings being inspected for fire code problems in the city. And fire suppression systems or electronically monitored smoke detectors, which are often credited with saving save lives and …
  6. Landmark Md. hotel closed for fire code violations – The Maryland State Fire Marshal has closed a historic hotel in downtown Frostburg for fire code violations uncovered after a partial roof collapse last year. Deputy State Fire Marshal Bruce Bouch (bowtch) says 30 people have been ordered to leave …

Smoke Alarms

  1. Fire Marshal’s Office To Give Free Smoke Alarms -Over the next several weeks, fire prevention officials from the Tennessee Fire Marshal’s Office will hand out thousands of smoke alarms to fire departments across the state. The statewide effort will begin Wednesday, according to officials in the
  2. Onondaga County, city of Syracuse launch free smoke alarm program They are made available through the state Health Department, which in turn received a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. To learn more or schedule a home visit, those living in Syracuse should call the city …
  3. Around the region: Tennessee hands out smoke alarms The state fire marshal’s office launched a three-day sweep of West Tennessee on Wednesday, giving away 2000 smoke alarms to fire departments across the region. The goal is to get fire departments and other organizations to install the free
  4. Fire agency to install smoke alarms for at-risk groups Rivers said the program started as a way to distribute smoke alarms that companies had donated to OCFA and to coordinate local volunteer efforts to educate people about fire safety. OCFA has received smoke alarms for the program from donors and …

Sprinklers

  1. Bill Allowing Homeowner Choice On Fire Sprinklers Moves Forward – Inspector Charles Skornia from the Jefferson City Fire Department said he has never had to respond to a home with a sprinkler system installed.
  2. Pa. firefighters push for home fire sprinkler mandate A state mandate requiring all new homes to have fire sprinklers has touched off a heated debate in the Legislature and a high-profile lobbying effort in the halls of the Capitol.
  3. City Council Votes 6-3 To Require Sprinklers In Nightclubs By December 2013 – Councilwoman Ladd said a major fire at a nightclub would also put firefighters at risk. Michael Alfano, owner of the Comedy Catch in Brainerd, said he is unlikely to be able to save $137000 to cover the expense of a sprinkler system.
  4. Fire sprinkler ordinance being prepared – Reading Since a mandate from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry took effect the first of the year, new homes built in the commonwealth must have sprinkler systems, but Topton officials disagree with permitting antifreeze in them
  5. Sprinkler systems now required in new homes – Hemet Fire Department chief Matt Shobert said the new state code requiring fire sprinklers on all new homes “provides for a consistent and safe approach in dealing with this issue.” California was one of the first states to incorporate in its codes the …

Wildland Fire Safety

  1. South Florida could see heavy wildfire season “Even if it’s green, it will still burn in South Florida,” said Kathi Francis, fire safety specialist for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. “Palmetto leaves have a very waxy, oily substance, and if it heats up it will explode. …
  2. North Myrtle Beach firefighters certified as Wildland Firefighters After passing the physical portion of the test, the red card candidates completed a four hour class on wildland firefighting safety and emergency shelter deployment. They then had to demonstrate that they can deploy and enter a fire shelter.
  3. Spring fire hazard season now in effect As the weather turns and the ground begins to thaw, forest fire prevention is back on the minds of Kentucky law enforcement. Feb. 15 marked the first day of the spring forest fire hazard season, which stays in effect through April 30. …
  4. Alabama Forestry Commission gives fire safety warning – Conditions are such that any fire can quickly spread out of control, threatening lives and property, as well as resulting in damage to Alabama’s forests. At this time, the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has not issued any orders restricting burning …
  5. Winter wildfires sprout A fire unit moves through the sprinkler streams on a charred fairway at the Wakefield Plantation golf course in northern Wake County. A brush fire driven by high winds scorched several greens on the course.

Other Fire Safety News

  1. Editorial: Fire safety and children – As the National Weather Service reminds us, dry weather and wind increase the risk of destructive outdoor fires. But families also need to be aware of …
  2. Safety Alert Issued On Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs State Fire Administrator Floyd A. Madison said the office has recently received inquiries concerning potential fire safety hazards associated with the use
  3. Children Under Age 5 to Account for 52% of Children Fire Deaths The State Fire Marshal’s Office says in 2007, the state of Florida reported 18 fatalities involving children under 16 and half of them were under the age of …
  4. Family fire safety plans could save lives We don’t think about this (fire safety) until something of this nature happens,” says Marty Hamrick, who is a Division Chief with the Jonesboro Fire Department. According to the US Fire Administration, half of all child fire deaths involved children …
  5. Developing a Fire Prevention Program for Your Community – When a local Boy Scout leader calls and says he’s working on fire safety, or when the Senior Center calls and wants a fire prevention presentation, are you ready to respond? Do you have specific presentations set up
  6. Fire death rate falls in top 10 Stephanie Moffett, public relations contact for the Oklahoma Department ofHuman Services said FEMA is distributing Fire Safety and Prevention grants to groups in the states with the top figures for fire deaths, including Oklahoma, as part of the effort
  7. State ranks fifth in fire deaths Install smoke alarms in or right outside each bedroom, test them monthly and replace smoke alarm batteries every year. Have a fire escape plan and practice it regularly, including a meeting place outside the home. Post emergency numbers and your …
  8. Rules Of Fire Evacuation: Get Low, Get Out, Stay Out The Republican-Times is partnering with the Trenton Fire Department and area businesses to bring our readers a series of stories that will focus on fire safety. Over the course of seven weeks, story topics will include education, ..
  9. Where there’s smoke That’s been the idea for 25 years behind the fire safety house used by the Salina Fire Department to demonstrate to area schoolchildren fire safety and how to escape a burning building. But there’s a new house on the …

Saves

  1. Brothers put fire safety tips to use – Omaha MAKE a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home. ..
  2. Fire alarm credited with saving Westerly woman’s life Sayles said the woman heard the alarm, saw smoke in the hallway and called 911. The call came in to the Fire Department at 4:37 pm The fire was contained to
  3. Sprinklers douse apartment fire in South Portland – A sprinkler system knocked down a fire in a 12-unit apartment building on Feb. 8, preventing widespread damage and displacement of tenants. South Portland Deputy Fire Chief Miles Haskell said the electrical fire started in the bedroom …
  4. Smoke detectors save two lives in Ashland fire – Smoke detectors helped two people get out of a burning house in Ashland early Wednesday morning. The fire broke out around 2 am on Joy Road. Fifteen firefighters responded and it took 15 minutes to get the blaze under control, …
  5. Man Says Smoke Detector Saved His Life He heard the smoke alarm on the other side of the house and went to check it out. “I opened the door and came back into the living room, and I looked to my left, and the bedroom was on fire,” he said. Moments later, the house was gone, ripped apart by …

Fire Prevention News: International

  1. All new homes in Wales set to have sprinklers – BBC A measure which will see all new homes in Wales fitted with automatic fire sprinkler systems is expected to be passed by the assembly later. The proposal has been put forward by Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jones, who says there is a “compelling moral and …
  2. Wales’ fire sprinkler law to save ‘avoidable deaths’ – new homes built in Wales will have to be fitted with automatic fire sprinklers after a new Welsh law was finally passed by the National Assembly. The Measure was passed last night, three-and-a-half years after first …
  3. Market fights fire code order on curtains – Stores such as Sears and Walmart that hang drapes for sale should be held to the same fire code standards as his weekend market in Dartmouth, says Gary Janes. “It’s the same materials,” he said following an appeal to …
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