Project brings together the nation’s fire safety organizations to develop strategies to reduce the loss of life and injury from fire
April 9, 2010 The Institution of Fire Engineers was awarded a $786,000 grant by the Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention and Safety grant program to continue the work of the landmark Vision 20/20 project (www.strategicfire.org). Vision 20/20 has played a central role since its inception in 2007 in bringing together the nation’s fire safety organizations to develop common strategies for reducing the loss of life and injury from fire.
There are five strategies that have been collaboratively developed, including:
- Increase advocacy for fire prevention
- Conduct a national safety education/social marketing campaign
- Raise the importance of fire prevention within the fire service
- Promote technology to enhance fire and life safety
- Refine and improve the application of codes and standards that enhance public and fire fighter safety and preserve community assets
This grant also has funding for implementing an integrated risk management (IRM) model for three communities. IRM is a process of identifying high risk areas and designing strategies that include home safety visits and smoke alarm installations. IRM is a variation on models that have proven highly successful in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and combines elements of emergency response with proactive fire prevention. IRM is a prevention oriented activity that falls under two Vision 20/20 strategies – one for increasing the level of importance of fire prevention programs within the fire service and a national public education campaign focusing on working alarms.
“The focus of the next stage of work for Vision 20/20 is moving the five strategies forward toward more concrete actions and continuing to work in partnership with other organizations to create a collaborative environment for sharing ideas,” said Jim Crawford, Vision 20/20 project manager. “Where possible, we are going to promote sharing resources to increase the synergy of what is happening under a variety of concurrent prevention efforts. Clearly, by working together, we are far more effective in reducing the tragic impact of fire.”
Almost 3,000 people lose their lives each year and almost 15,000 are injured in fires in the United States which cause an estimated $15.5 billion in property damage.