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Press Release

Fire Safety Lower on Americans’ List

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) April 02, 2012

A nationwide survey conducted by Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) revealed that only 16% of Americans said fire safety was most important to them in a list of features of buildings where they work. Building security and comfort/temperature ranked higher with 28% and 24% choosing those features as most important, respectively.

“I understand how people would take fire safety for granted; systems designed to protect people, property and the environment from fire have done a great job in safeguarding public buildings,” said SPFE Engineering Program Manager, Chris Jelenewicz.

In fact, federal government statistics confirm that in 2010 residential fires occurred four times more often than non-residential fires. There were 362,100 residential fires resulting in 2,555 deaths and 13,275 injuries. In the same year, there were 84,900 fires in non-residential buildings resulting in 80 deaths and 1,375 injuries.

Fire protection engineers play a large part in low numbers of non-residential fires. Their work is mostly done in commercial buildings. Using science and technology, fire protection engineers perform a wide range of roles that make the world safer from fire. Fire protection engineers:

  •     Evaluate buildings to pinpoint the risks of fires and the means to prevent them.
  •     Design building systems that: detect fires, control the spread of fires, control the movement of smoke and provide a safe means for building occupants to exit a building.
  •     Conduct fire safety research on consumer products and construction materials.

Jelenewicz cautions that despite the fact a non-residential fire is less likely, it’s important to remain vigilant. He offers these fire safety tips.

  •     Know and understand what is happening around you. There are many cues that alert people to fire emergencies in a building. These cues can include being notified by the building’s fire alarm/emergency communication system, hearing other people in the building, seeing the fire, smelling smoke, hearing unusual noises or hearing the fire department.
  •     If you do think there is a fire in the building, immediately take actions to exit the building or find a safe area of refuge.
  •     Always follow the directions that are given by the building’s emergency notification system and/or the building staff.
  •     In any building you regularly occupy, take steps to fully understand the building’s emergency plan and participate in evacuation drills.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted February 2 – February 6, 2012. For this survey, a national sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos' U.S. online panel who have agreed to participate in Ipsos studies were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire adult population of the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

What is a Fire Protection Engineer?
According to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, a fire protection engineer applies science and engineering principles to protect people, homes, workplaces, the economy and the environment from the devastating effects of fires. Fire protection engineers analyze how buildings are used, how fires start and grow, and how fires affect people and property. They use the latest technologies to design systems to control fires, alert people to danger, and provide means for escape. Fire protection engineers also work closely with other professionals, including engineers of other disciplines, architects, state and local building officials, and local fire departments to build fire safe communities. Fire protection engineers are in high demand. The number of available jobs far exceeds the supply.

About Society of Fire Protection Engineers
Organized in 1950, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) is the professional organization that represents engineers engaged in fire protection worldwide. Through its membership of over 5,000 professionals and 65 international chapters, SFPE advances the science and practice of fire protection engineering while maintaining a high ethical standard. SFPE and its members serve to make the world a safer place by reducing the burden of unwanted fire through the application of science and technology. To become a member, go to

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