Report released on Australia, New Zealand, Japan departments' best practices

The TriData division of System Planning Corporation (SPC) issued the second in a series of three major reports on global concepts in residential fire safety.

The report identifies best practices from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan helpful in preventing fires and reducing fire injuries. TriData conducted research for the study in partnership with the Atlanta, Georgia.-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Several of the nations studied have reduced their fire death rates 40-50 percent below that in the United States during the past decade. A goal of the study is for the U.S. to learn how to further reduce its fire death and injury rates using proven best practices from other countries.

Many of the fire safety concepts found in the study may be adaptable for use in the United States. These include large-scale home visit programs, comprehensive school-based programs that reach almost all children, and programs that teach fire safety in conjunction with natural disaster preparedness.

The fire services of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan cooperated extensively in the study by providing access to some of their best fire safety experts. The report investigators visited the fire services in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, Australia; New Zealand; and the cities of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagasaki in Japan, as well as the Japan Fire Alarm Manufacturers Association, the Japanese Fire and Disaster Management Agency, and Tokyo University.

In some cases, the fire service leaders who conceived the innovative programs reviewed in the study had to change local or fire service cultures to get their programs implemented.

The international study series is part of the CDC's efforts for reducing residential fire injuries. The research was sponsored by the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program of the U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA. Philip Schaenman, of TriData, and Michael (Mick) Ballesteros, PhD, of CDC, were the principal investigators. TriData has conducted groundbreaking fire safety research for over 25 years.

The first report in the series dealt with best practices from the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Norway. Both reports can be downloaded free at: www.sysplan.com/tridata/publications/international.

The final study in the series is now in planning. For more information about SPC and TriData, visit www.sysplan.com/tridata.

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