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1 Investigating Fires in Hoarding Households Melanie Rebane Senior Firefighter.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Investigating Fires in Hoarding Households Melanie Rebane Senior Firefighter."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Investigating Fires in Hoarding Households Melanie Rebane Senior Firefighter

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3 3 Hoarding in NSW 12% of fatalities since 2009. 70% aged over 50 years. 21% of all fatalities in 2014. 4% of NSW population. Macquarie University Emotional Health Clinic, 2010 FRNSW FIRU, 2014

4 4 Fire risks and hazards Abnormally high fuel loads. Higher density of materials = greater opportunity for ignition and increases fire intensity. Blocked or impeded access/egress. Unorthodox items. Unorthodox use of utilities = unsafe cooking and heating. No working smoke alarms.

5 5 Addressing the risk Improve operational response. Improve system for directing persons to appropriate treatment and services. Enhance risk reduction advice.

6 6 Build it, Burn it research To determine the fire risks and hazards associated with hoarding and elevated fuel loads, and, To test the hypothesis of greater fire risks being associated with hoarding.

7 7 Comparative analysis Level 8 Level 5 Level 8Level 5

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9 9 Key findings Fuel And its arrangement Ignition open flame sources Thermal Insulation Greater effort to extinguish and overhauls Rapid loss of tenability

10 10 Temperature comparison LocationMax. temp. LocationMax. temp. Left Wall, Front-Middle906°C Right Wall, Back-Top820°C Left Wall, Front-Bottom371°C Right Wall, Back-Middle96°C Left Wall, Back-Top877°C Right Wall, Back-Bottom17°C Left Wall, Back-Middle769°C Right wall, Front-Top806°C Left Wall, Back-Bottom140°C Right Wall, Front-Middle731°C Back Wall, Top980°C Right Wall, Front-Bottom765°C Back Wall, Middle913°C Ceiling, Centre1020°C Back Wall, Bottom456°C Front wall (baffle), Top888°C Floor, Centre931°C Burn 2

11 11 Temperature comparison

12 12 Risk Reduction Advice Install photoelectric smoke alarms - with 10 yr battery Establish egress - widen internal pathways - unblock exits Identify non functioning utilities and unorthodox use - remove and discard all double adaptors - check for overloaded power boards - remove hoarded items from power boards, leads

13 13 Risk Reduction Advice Kitchen/cooking area - establish 1 metre clearance - remove combustibles around appliances - remove suspect electrical items Heating - identify all heating sources - establish 1 metre clearance - remove suspect heaters Lighting - identify lighting sources - refer use of candles for follow up

14 14 Questions? Melanie Rebane Community Safety Coordinator Ageing & Disabilities Ph: 0409 603 149

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