RAE Systems and Fire Smoke Coalition to Deliver Florida-Based Training on the Hidden Dangers of Smoke Exposure

“Know Your Smoke” Symposium Delivers Life-saving Awareness of Smoke Exposure Effects on Firefighters and Emergency Personnel

San Jose, Calif. – May 16, 2013 – RAE Systems Inc., a leading provider of toxic gas monitoring systems, will collaborate with the Fire Smoke Coalition to deliver the “Know Your Smoke:  The Dangers of Fire Smoke Exposure” conference for firefighters and emergency responders in Davie, Florida, on May 20, 2013.

The free training will take place at the Broward Fire Academy, located at 2600 SW 71st Terrace, in Davie, Florida. The training will provide firefighters with an invaluable resource for education on the dangerous health effects of fire smoke exposure, as well as protocols on how to proceed safely and effectively in dangerous smoke inhalation situations. Interested parties can register for this event online at http://www.firesmoke.org.

The FireSmoke training includes a classroom session on Monday followed by a two-hour burn and smoke practical. The practical will focus on the proper use of atmospheric monitoring equipment with an emphasis on monitoring hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and carbon monoxide (CO) because those are the only two treatable toxicants if smoke exposure occurs. During the practical session, instructors will teach firefighters how to conduct atmospheric monitoring at every fire scene while burning household items such as plastics, foams, synthetics, laminates and roofing materials. Most important, firefighters will learn that every fire scene is a HazMat environment – a cultural shift for fire departments throughout the world. 

“There are still a lot of wide-spread misconceptions about the dangers of fire smoke,” said Shawn Longerich, Executive director of the Fire Smoke Coalition.  “Firefighters are plagued with illness and disease today, most all of which can be associated with long-term exposure to the lethal toxicants in fire smoke.  These events are critical in keeping firefighters and the public-at-large safe and informed about the negative health effects of smoke exposure.”

Seminar Educates Emergency Personnel on Toxic Twins: CO and HCN
Toxic gas monitoring systems are an essential life-saving component of fire department equipment. The “Know Your Smoke” event will help educate firefighters and emergency personnel on their effective use to avoid dangerous smoke inhalation, especially during overhaul operations.

Smoke-Related Injuries Increase Need for CO and HCN Detectors

  • According to the NFPA, between 1981 and 2010, 174,145 firefighters were injured by smoke inhalation. Firefighter Injuries in the United States, Michael J. Karter, Jr., Joseph L. Molis, 2011.
  • In the United States, residential fires are the third leading cause of fatal injury and the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury death, yet the majority of fire-related fatalities are not caused by burns, but by smoke inhalation. 
  • Despite the number of fires in the U.S. decreasing each year, the number of civilians dying in fires is actually increasing.  For example, in 2009, 1,348,500 fires were attended by public fire departments, a decrease of 7.1 percent from the year before; however, 3,010 civilian fire deaths occurred, which is an increase of 9.3 percent.

Learn More, See More

About Fire Smoke Coalition
The mission of the Fire Smoke Coalition is to focus the required attention and resources on the deadly and life-long consequences of breathing fire smoke by teaching firefighters and first responders how to prevent, protect, detect, diagnose, and appropriately treat the exposure if it occurs. Learn more at www.firesmoke.org.

About RAE Systems 
RAE Systems innovates, designs and manufacturers gas sensors and radiation detectors. The company offers a full line of fixed and portable gas detection solutions, including handheld and personal chemical, compound and radiation detection instruments. RAE Systems’ real-time safety and detection systems have been deployed by organizations in the oil and gasfire and HazMat, industrial safetynational security and environmental markets, helping save lives and maintain safety in 120 countries. The company’s industry-leading gas sensors and radiation detection solutions are widely recognized for their performance and reliability. Learn more at raesystems.com.