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Introduction to Fire Prevention Title of Article BFS 3345 10F 3B12 S1 Unit 8 Stanley Njoku Professor Dan Deml

Feb 22, 2012

There is an important understanding gained when one draws a distinction between North America and other parts of the world; one being perceiving what the effectiveness of a country like Japan's fire prevention measures are. It is vital to adopt a proven and more efficient measure that has a tracking record. Elaborating on effectiveness, the city of Tokyo in Japan, has gone beyond the normal scope of imagination in instilling fire prevention consciousness within its citizens from childhood. It is completely essential to emulate or replicate this nation's methodology with a highly successful rate on fire prevention, education, and enforcement. More can be done in the Northern hemisphere to protect lives and properties by creating a system that would encourage both children and adults to participate in fire prevention programs at school or through local fire stations within their community. Tokyo's successful record was not accomplished by local or national fire departments alone, but a collaborative effort of community involvement. The public's general fire-safe behavior is exemplified by the extinguishing of small fires by citizens using buckets of water or extinguishers and escape practices. These are just some of the procedures that have contributed to fire safety prevention success in that nation. According to the article "Practically two studies showed where Japan does more fire prevention than the U.S. (1) Japanese fire departments assign 10-15% of personnel full time to

prevention and additional staff part-time. The corresponding share for the U.S. is less than 5%. (2) National fire prevention campaigns are conducted for three weeks a year, compared to one in the U.S. (3) Public service announcements in Japan include frequent prime time messages and a twice weekly five-minute safety program. In the U.S., public service announcements on fire safety tend to be relegated to off-peak television viewing hours, such as the hours just after midnight". "Virtually the entire population is reached by local fire safety education programs starting in the home and preschool, and continue through elementary school, junior high school, on the job and on the street. Neighbors practice fire safety together. The Japanese experience demonstrates that public safety education alone can reduce fire incidents enormously" (Robertson 2010). Both the textbook, Introduction to Fire Prevention, and the article agreed that the United State experienced 27 times as many reported fires as Japan. The differences in fire blaze between the nations are typically in outdoor forest, trash fires or brush, but the ratio of building fires is typically also much larger than the population ratio. Public fire safety awareness can reduce the rate of which fire incidents occurs in the United States. Investing heavily on prevention at all levels as Tokyo has in its well organized society with a tremendous fire prevention, education, and enforcement, is also essential here in the United States. According to the textbook, "all plans for construction must be approved by the fire department prior to the issuing of a building permit." Also the social stigma attached to unintentional fires is much greater in Japan, so citizens of Japan may be much more empowered to attempt to control fires themselves, resulting in fewer fires that need to be reported. From my perspective, I strongly believe the article fully supports the importance of widespread of public awareness in fire prevention from the grassroots. It positively reduces fire

outbreaks in Tokyo. Without a doubt, I feel the article provides accurate facts and proves that the entire population is reached by local fire safety education programs. This understanding of fire and its prevention starts at a tender age in home and preschool, and continues through elementary school, junior high school, on the job and on the street, including the neighborhoods. All these groups of people practice fire safety together contributing to Japanese success in fire prevention and control. It is my point of view that the rate which fire is decreasing in both nations is a result of an increase in administrative tasks such as fire fire prevention education, public education, and enforcement. Despite the reduction, the United State has the potential to improve by replicating a properly administered fire prevention that will be interactive between the awareness programs and the population who need to not be apathetic and lazy. But to achieve this, there must be stringent measures along with aggressive public education including fire inspection programs. Introducing American populations to the fact that they could be the ones having to deal with a potentially devastating fire is an idea that must be conveyed. American society must be more in tune and aware of the dire consequences that fires could pose and not be lost in indifference. Better fire prevention practices will inevitably save lives and properties. Good fire inspections, code enforcement, and public fire safety education are among the essential duties that would inevitably have a real positive impact on fire safety.

Reference
(n.d.). Best Practice for Fire prevention . Retrieved from http://www.nfoa.org/assets/files/pdf/osjapanweb.pdf

Robertson, J. C. (2010). Introduction to fire prevention, Upper River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Article Paper

The United States (U.S.) has a population more than twice as large as Japan's in an area roughly 25 times as large. In 2001, the U.S. experienced 27 times as many reported fires as Japan. Most of this difference is typically in outdoor forest, brush, or trash fires, but the ratio of building fires is typically also much larger than the population ratio. Another factor could be differences in the definition of which fires need to be reported, which may especially affect very small fires. Also, the social stigma attached to unintentional fires is much greater in Japan, so citizens of Japan may be much more likely to attempt to control fires themselves, resulting in fewer fires that need to be reported.

The U.S. also suffered roughly three times as many fire deaths and two to three times as many fire injuries (excluding firefighters) as did Japan. If Japan's incendiary suicides are excluded as a phenomenon with almost no counterpart in the U.S., and the events of 11 September are also excluded as unique, then U.S. fire deaths were still two to three times as numerous as Japan's. Based on the average 2001 exchange rate of 121.5 yen to the dollar, the U.S. economy measured by gross domestic product (GDP), was 2.4 times the size of Japans, while the U.S. direct property losses to fire were nearly nine times Japan's (or 36 times Japans if the events of 11 September are included).

Japan's (civilian) fire death rates per million population were higher than those in the U.S. in 1995 and have been higher in the five years beginning with 1997, if the unique events of 11 September are excluded. The Hanshin earthquake of 1995 and its large fire death toll in and around Kobe account for 1995, but no comparable event explains the years from 1997 on. During the five-year period 1977-1981, U.S. fire death rates were nearly twice the rates in Japan and three times Japan's rate if incendiary suicides are excluded. During the five-year period of 1985-1989, U.S. fire death rates were just over 50% higher than the rates in Japan and two-and-a-half times higher if Japan's incendiary suicides are excluded. In 1997-2001 (excluding the events of 11 September), the U.S. fire death rate was 15% lower than the rate in Japan, although still 36% higher than the Japanese rate excluding incendiary suicides. The reason is that U.S. fire death rates have declined substantially through most of the 25-year period, while Japanese fire death rates, with or without incendiary suicides, reached a low in 1989 and have been increasing, though not consistently, ever since. The chances of dying if a reported fire occurs are actually higher in Japan (one death for every 46 fires, excluding incendiary suicides, compared to one death for every 463 fires in the U.S., excluding 11 September, in 2001). This is also true if the focus is narrowed to structures, where Japan had one death for every 19 reported fires and the U.S. had one death for every 162 reported fires, excluding 11 September, in 2001. It appears that Japan is more successful at preventing fires, while the U.S. is more successful at preventing fatal injury if fire occurs. Two studies showed where Japan does more fire prevention than the U.S. (1) Japanese fire departments assign 10-15% of personnel full time to prevention and additional staff part-time. The corresponding share for the U.S. is less than 5%. (2) National fire prevention campaigns are conducted for three weeks a year, compared to one in the U.S. (3) Public service announcements in Japan include frequent prime time messages and a twiceweekly five-minute safety program. In the U.S., public service announcements on fire safety tend to be relegated to off-peak television viewing hours, such as the hours just after midnight. http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf/osjapanweb.pdf

Context: Injuries resulting from residential house fires are a significant public health issue. The fire service is engaged in fire prevention activities aimed at preventing fire-related morbidity and mortality. The fire service in Delaware is regarded by some leaders in the field as a model for fire and life safety education (FLSE). Objective: We identified 3 questions to guide this research. What is the culture and context of fire prevention in Delaware? What prevention programs and policies constitute Delaware's fire prevention efforts? What can be learned from select model programs regarding their impact, sustainability, strengths, limitations, and general applicability? A discussion of the lessons learned from Delaware's experience with FLSE initiatives concludes the article. Design: We used a single case study design and collected and analyzed data from in-depth interviews, documents, and participant observation notes to address the research questions. Setting: Data were collected in Delaware. Participants: Interviewees included a purposeful sample of members of the Delaware fire service. Main Outcome Measures: Descriptions of the context in which fire prevention occurs, the initiatives underway, and the factors associated with successfully supporting fire prevention in the state. Results: Data from 16 key informant interviews, relevant documents, and direct observations of FLSE events revealed a fire service rooted in tradition, dedication, and community. A compilation of state and local FLSE initiatives illustrates the diversity of FLSE in Delaware. Thematic analysis of the data emphasizes the importance of a strategic, comprehensive, and coordinated approach to realizing success in Delaware's approach to FLSE.

Why Public Education Is Needed Our research has shown that the root causes of fire in America are apathy, ignorance, extravagance, and indifference.

The apathy part is about people not taking a real interest in the fire problem. Most people are more concerned with their security than fire and believe they will be a victim of a crime before they become a fire victim. They have more locks on the doors than smoke detectors on the ceiling. Ignorance does not mean that people are stupid; they are ignorant to the facts about fire except for the sound bites on the evening news. The lifestyle most people lead is one of extravagance. We live in a throw-away society. The mentality is, I have insurance, which will pay for everything if I lose it. The shortsightedness of this mentality is whats really at stake. What about your family photos, mementos, personal items, and the like? Can insurance cover that? And last, people are indifferent to fire. Someone else will take care of the fire business. Im too busy to worry about it. The fire department will do that for me.

All of this leads back to public education, and, frankly, we need more of it. Public education is one of those things that we make excuses for: We have no time for it; let the fire prevention guys do that; its not why were here. Except it is why were here. (Refer to Dr. Franklin.) Our

target audiences have been the young, old, and infirm. We need to start hitting middle-age America too, because this is the audience weve been missing, and we need to include ourselves because, in many instances, we dont practice what we preach. A New Jersey firefighter died in his own home in 2007 doing everything we tell our customers not to do. He went back in, tried to fight the fire, tried to move the burning furniture down the stairs, and trapped himself on the second floor. Above all else, we need to set the example and pass that on to our customers.

Grade Point #3: State your point of view (Leave the grade point (highlighted in yellow) typed within your own article critique) Overall, I feel the article provided accurate facts and showed that arson has become a major problem among our school aged youth. I believe the article provided tips for prevention and control, such as security and offered ideas on making acts of arson difficult to accomplish. It is my point of view that collecting trash and other objects easy fire starting material on school grounds will help in deterring arson on school grounds. Lastly, students and parents need to be aware of the severity of arson. The rate which fire is decreasing is the results of an increase administrative tasks such as fire inspections and public education. A proper administered fire prevention measure has been proven to be the beneficiary, but to achieve this, there must be a stringent measure and an aggressive public education including fire inspection program. However, there has been a decrease in the rate of fire within communities. Better fire prevention practices will inevitably save lives and properties. Good fire inspections, code enforcement, and public fire safety education are among the essential duties that would inevitably have a real positive impact on fire safety. Conclusions: The fire service is an important part of the public health infrastructure. While their role as first responders is evident, their contributions to prevention are also significant. This research suggests ways to support fire service prevention efforts and more fully integrate their

Grade Point #4: Summarize your thoughts and offer suggestions that support your opinion (Leave the grade point (highlighted in yellow) typed within your own article critique) Grade Point #4 has two components; 1) In your first paragraph(s) for Grade point #4; Summarize your thoughts