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Apartment Fire Safety. Medford Fire Prevention Bureau. 2009 Medford Structural Fire Statistics. Structure Fires by Type: 82% Residential 18% Commercial. 2009 Medford Structural Fire Statistics. Residential Structure Fires by Type: 64% Single Family Residence 7% Duplex

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Apartment fire safety l.jpg
Apartment Fire Safety

Medford Fire Prevention Bureau


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2009 Medford Structural Fire Statistics

  • Structure Fires by Type:

  • 82% Residential

  • 18% Commercial


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2009 Medford Structural Fire Statistics

  • Residential Structure Fires by Type:

  • 64% Single Family Residence

  • 7% Duplex

  • 19% Multi-Family


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2009 Residential Fire Statistics

  • Time of Alarm:

  • 9% between 12:00 AM and 3:59 AM

  • 6% between 4:00 AM and 7:59 AM

  • 10% between 8:00 AM and 11:59 AM

  • 24% between 12:00 PM and 3:59 PM

  • 28% between 4:00 PM and 7:59 PM

  • 23% between 8:00 PM and 11:59 PM


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2009 Residential Fire Statistics

  • Areas of Origin:

  • 33% kitchens

  • 6% common rooms (living room, den, family room)

  • 6% exterior origins

  • Causes:

  • 80% unintentional

  • 10% intentional

  • 8% undetermined

  • 2% act of nature

  • Initial Ignition Heat Sources:

  • 22% radiated/conducted heat from operating equipment

  • 14% from powered equipment

  • 13% heat from hot ember or ash


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2009 Residential Fire Statistics

  • Smoke Alarms:

  • 54% present and alerted the residents

  • 31% did not alert or were not present


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National Residential Fire Statistics-Primary Victims

  • Children

    • 2,500 children aged 14 or younger were injured or killed in residential fires (2002)

    • ½ under the age of 5 and 70% under the age of 10

  • Older Adults

    • 2,300 adults age 65 or older were injured or killed in residential fires (2002)

    • 80% between ages 65-84

    • 2.5 times more likely to die in a fire than the overall population

Source: USFA


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National Residential Fire Statistics-Primary Victims

  • Children

    • Young children often hide during fires

    • Young children may sleep through a sounding smoke alarm

  • Older Adults

    • Older adults may suffer from reduced sensory abilities such as smell, touch, vision, and hearing

      • Inability to smell smoke

      • Inability to feel if something is hot

      • Inability to see fires or notice fire causes

      • Inability to hear smoke alarms or fire sounds

    • May suffer from disabilities

    • Reduced reaction times

Source: USFA


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Cooking Fires

  • Statistics:

  • Responsible annually for an average of:

    • 100,000 home fires

    • 400 deaths

    • 5,000 civilian injuries

    • $200 million in property damage

  • Primary cause-unattended cooking 


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Cooking Safety

  • Safety measures:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended

  • Keep combustible material and loose clothing away from open flames

  • Keep the appliance and cooking area clean

  • Use extra caution with cooking oils as they can ignite easily

  • Always turn the pan handle sideways


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Cooking Fires

  • Statistics:

  • Cooking is leading cause of burn injuries among older people

  • Burns:

  • Treat a burn immediately

  • Cool a burn with cool water, never ice

  • Cover a burn with a clean, dry cloth or bandage

  • Don’t use ointment, spray, or butter

  • If a burn is larger than your fist, get medical help.

    • If you have questions about burn injuries, email the Oregon Burn Center at [email protected]

    • For life threatening emergencies, call 9-1-1

Source: OSFM; USFA


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Portable Heater Fires

  • Statistics:

  • Responsible annually for an average of:

    • 62,200 fires

    • 670 deaths

    • 1,550 civilian injuries

    • $909 million in property damage

  • Primary cause-combustibles too close


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Portable Heater Safety

  • Safety measures:

  • Keep heaters a minimum of 36” away from combustibles

  • Plug directly into a wall outlet. Don’t use an extension cord

  • Use only heaters with built-in high temperature and tip-over shutoff features

  • Do not use un-vented fuel-fired heaters indoors

  • Do not hang combustible items to dry over a heater

  • Turn off portable heaters when family members are sleeping or leave the house

  • Keep heaters out of high traffic areas and exit paths


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Candle Fires

  • Statistics:

  • Responsible annually for an average of:

    • 23,600 home fires

    • 165 deaths

    • 1,525 civilian injuries

    • $300 million in property damage

  • Primary cause-unattended candles


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Candle Safety

  • Safety measures:

  • Blow out candles before leaving the room

  • Keep candles away from items that can burn

  • Always use sturdy metal, glass or ceramic candle holders

  • Place candles out of reach of small children and pets


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Electrical Fires

  • Statistics:

  • Homes more than 40 years old are 3 times more likely to catch fire from electrical causes than homes 11-20 years old

  • Safety measures:

  • Replace electrical cords that show signs of damage, and never coil or walk on cords

  • Avoid using extension cords. Use a power strip with a built-in circuit breaker instead

  • Avoid overloading circuits

  • Have an electrician check your house if fuses blow or breakers trip frequently

  • Have an electrician check your house if you frequently experience dimming of lighting

Source: USFA


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Clothes Dryer Fires

  • Statistics:

  • Responsible annually for an average of:

    • 15,500 home fires

    • 10 deaths

    • 310 injuries

    • $84.4 million in property damage.


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Clothes Dryer Fires

  • Safety measures:

  • Clean the lint screen before every use

  • Clean out exhaust vents regularly and check for proper airflow

  • Use a smooth metal exhaust vent (avoid using foil or plastic venting)

  • Use a cool-down cycle to prevent the possibility of spontaneous ignition

  • Do not dry clothing/fabric on which there is anything flammable (alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers, dry-cleaning solvents, etc.)

  • Cotton fabrics are susceptible to spontaneous ignition if they have interacted with oils even if they have been laundered with detergent. Any fabric that has been exposed to oils should be stored in a covered metal container.


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Smoking

  • Statistics:

  • The leading cause of fire-related deaths

  • Accounts for nearly 1/3 of fire deaths in adults over age 70

  • Safety measures:

  • Always discard smoldering and spent cigarettes properly

  • Use large non-combustible deep and tip resistant ashtrays

  • Never smoke in bed

  • Never smoke while using oxygen. Warn visitors not to smoke near you.

  • Douse cigarettes with water before throwing them in the trash

  • Always keep matches/lighters out of reach of children


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Carbon Monoxide

  • Statistics:

  • Responsible annually for an average of:

    • Over 400 deaths per year

    • Over 20,000 emergency room visits

  • Safety measures:

  • Install a CO detector

  • Never use portable fueled/unvented heaters in your home. These will cause a CO buildup and may also deplete the oxygen to dangerously low levels.

  • Never use a gas oven to heat your home

  • Never use charcoal or propane fueled barbeques indoors

  • Never idle the car in the garage for extended periods of time or with the garage door closed

  • Never use a generator in your home

  • Have your chimney checked or cleaned every year. Chimneys blocked by debris can cause CO to build up inside your home or cabin.

  • Have your fuel-fired appliances inspected by a trained technician for proper venting


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Planning Ahead for Safety

Source: (OFC 202)


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Emergency Guide

408.9.1 Emergency guide.A fire emergency guide shall be provided which describes the location, function and use of fire protection equipment and appliances accessible to residents, including fire alarm systems, smoke alarms, and portable fire extinguishers. The guide shall also include an emergency evacuation plan for each dwelling unit.

408.9.2 Maintenance.Emergency guides shall be reviewed and approved….by the fire code official.

408.9.3 Distribution.A copy of the emergency guide shall be given to each tenant prior to initial occupancy.



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Emergency Evacuation Drills

  • Purpose of Fire Drills

    • To be ready should an occurrence happen, increasing the chanced of survival. A disorganized evacuation can lead to confusion, injury, death and property damage.

  • When Required

    • Group A: quarterly for employees only

    • Group B: annually

      • 500 or more occupants; 100 above or below lowest level of exit discharge

    • Group E: monthly complete evacuation.

    • Group I: quarterly each shift for staff only.

    • Group R1: quarterly each shift for staff only.

    • Group R-2 (college and university): quarterly all occupants

    • Group R-4 & SR: see IFC 408.1.2.

    • High Rise: annually employees only

Source: (OFC 405)


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Home Fire Escape Drills

  • Plan Ahead and Practice!

  • Establish a safe meeting place.

  • Teach your children to crawl on the floor to avoid smoke and heat. Show them how to feel the door with the back of their hand and to not open the door if it is hot to the touch.

  • Make sure you have two ways out of every sleeping room, and that the windows can be opened easily. If the primary route is blocked by smoke or fire, you may have to escape through a window.

  • Conduct a fire drill at night to determine your child’s response, and practice until it becomes routine.

  • Practice home escape drills with your family monthly.

  • Sleep with bedroom doors closed to provide a barrier of protection from smoke and heat spreading into your bedrooms.



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What to Do in a Fire

In case of fire, think “RACE”:

  • Rescue all persons in immediate area

  • Alarm: announce the fire- Pull alarm and dial 911

  • Confine the fire by closing doors

  • Evacuate/Extinguish the fire if possible

    Do not:

  • Try to fight the fire

  • Attempt to re-enter a burning home

Sources: Oregon Fire Code, NFPA, OSHA, and Numerous Business Emergency Plans.


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What If I Am Unable to Get Out?

Create an area of refuge for yourself

  • Seal the room

    • Use wet cloth to stuff around cracks in doors and seal up vents to protect against smoke

  • Do not break the windows

    • Flames and smoke can come back in from the outside. If you need air, open the window a crack

  • Stay low under the smoke

    • The freshest air is near the floor. Keep a wet cloth over your nose and mouth and breath through your nose only

  • Signal for help

    • Use the telephone, or hang something out the window

Sources: Fire Safety for Older Persons, Seattle Fire Department.


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What about Elevators?

Never use elevators in a fire emergency because:

  • Elevators often fail during a fire, trapping occupants

  • Elevator shafts may fill with smoke

  • The elevator needs to be available for the use of arriving firefighters

Sources: Fire Safety for Older Persons, Seattle Fire Department.


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How do I Use a Fire Extinguisher?

Proper extinguisher use, think “PASS”:

  • Pull trigger pin (Stand back several feet away from fire)

  • Aim low, point the nozzle at the base of the fire

  • Squeeze trigger

  • Sweep from side to side until the fire appears to be out


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Smoke Alarms are Essential

  • Provides an early warning of a fire developing in your home

  • Should be on every level of the home, in the immediate area outside of the sleeping rooms, and in every bedroom

  • Should be tested monthly

  • Properly placed and maintained smoke alarms increase your chances of surviving a fire by 50%

  • If you discover your child will not wake to a traditional sounding alarm, consider installing a personalized parent voice alarm  


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Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • Are needed when you have fuel-fired appliances

  • Provide an early warning of a Dangerous CO concentrations developing in your home

  • According to Oregon Administrative Rules, should be located within each bedroom or within 15 feet outside of each bedroom door.  Bedrooms on separate floors in a structure containing two or more stories require separate carbon monoxide alarms.

  • Should be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions


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Landlord-Tenant Laws

  • Smoke Alarms

  • Landlord is required to provide working smoke alarm(s) when tenant moves

  • Tenant is resposible to test and maintain smoke alarm(s) and to replace dead batteries

  • Carbon Monoxide

  • For Units containing or connected to CO source:

  • July 1, 2010

  • Landlord is required to provide working CO alarm(s) when a landlord enters into a rental agreement for a dwelling unit subject to these rules on or after July 1, 2010.

  • April 1, 2011

  • Landlord is required to provide working CO alarm(s) to every dwelling unit by April 1, 2011.


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What Can I Do to Help Make This Facility Safe?

  • Be observant

  • Plan ahead

  • Know your exits

  • Report hazards

  • Get involved



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