Draeger Launches Informational Website on Flashover

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Online resource provides information to help firefighters learn how to recognize the warning signs of the deadly phenomenon called flashover

This is the first in a series of informational sites Dräger will launch on topics important to firefighters and complements Dräger’s extensive live fire training efforts in North America.

Today Draeger announced that it will launch an informational website on flashover, also known as rapid fire progress (RFP), which is one of the leading causes of firefighter deaths in the United States [1]. This is the first in a series of informational sites Draeger will launch on topics important to firefighters and complements Draeger’s extensive live fire training efforts in North America.

“Due to changes in building materials and furnishings, today’s structural fires burn hotter and faster than in the past,” says Les Boord, Fire Service and Federal Government Marketing Manager with Draeger Safety, Inc. “As a result, firefighting techniques must be adapted to deal with these conditions. Firefighters need to gain knowledge of current fire hazards, such as the phenomenon called flashover. This informational website is part of Draeger’s ongoing mission to support the safety of firefighters.”

The International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) defines flashover as “the stage of a fire at which all surfaces and objects within a space have been heated to their ignition temperature, and flame breaks out almost at once over the surface of all objects in the space.” [2]

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Journal, the second leading cause of fatal injury to firefighters in 2013 was being caught or trapped by rapid fire progress, including flashover, and explosions [3]. Current building materials and furnishings are producing fires that burn faster and hotter than ever before. In fact, the rate of flashover in a modern home is 8 times faster than a home of 50 years ago [4].

Due to improvements in fire prevention and lower incidence of house fires, firefighters experience flashover much less frequently in the field now than in the past. This lack of first-hand experience puts firefighters at risk and makes training essential. However, few firefighters receive adequate flashover training. In the U.S., on average, firefighters receive less than 1% of their training [5] on the topic of fire behavior. Essential information and live fire training could mean the difference between life and death.

In addition to providing the flashover informational website and live fire training, Draeger has a comprehensive line of fire safety equipment to support firefighters in the line of duty – including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), thermal imaging cameras, gas detectors and training systems.

To link to the Draeger flashover website, go to http://www.draeger.com/flashover.

To experience simulated flashover, watch our video: Stay One Step Ahead.

Draeger. Technology for Life®
Draeger is an international leader in the fields of medical and safety technology. Our products protect, support and save lives. Founded in 1889, in 2013 Draeger generated revenues of around EUR 2.37 billion. The Draeger Group is currently present in more than 190 countries and has about 13,500 employees worldwide. Please visit http://www.draeger.com for more information.

1 U.S. Fire Administration. (2013.) Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2014 from usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/ff_fat12.pdf

2 Fire Service Orientation and Terminology, Third Edition

3 National Fire Protection Association Blog. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from nfpatoday.blog.nfpa.org/2014/07/nfpa-journal-publishes-summary-of-2013-nfpa-firefighter-fatality-report.html

4 UL. Modern Residential Fires. Retrieved August 14, 2014 from newscience.ul.com/articles/modern-residential-fires

5 Kerber, S. (2014). Analysis of Changing Residential Fire Dynamics and Its Implications on Firefighter Operational Timeframes. Retrieved August 11, 2014, from newscience.ul.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2014/04/Analysis_of_Changing_Residential_Fire_Dynamics_and_Its_Implications_on_Firefighter_Operational_Timeframes.pdf

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Marion Varec
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