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Home>Topics>>Ed Comeau interview

Ed Comeau interview

Mon, 8 Feb 2010|

At FDIC 2008, Bobby Halton talks to Campus Firewatch's head Ed Comeau about his organization's mission.



Hi and welcome on the road -- Holland we're live again from FDIC 2008. And we're very happy to have with us right now it can move from the campus firewall action and has a great website if you -- until you need to. Go to campus -- Especially if you have kids out there that might be in college -- -- a college town or in particular -- -- property you rent college kids. Tremendous amount of information there about what's going on campus. As well as what's going on in the rest the American Forest Service has has particular interest in multiple. Fatality fires. Which -- tragically starting to rise. Significantly over the last. Really eight to ten years it -- And significant job so -- welcome to on the road well Roberts -- -- and and you had some great news that you posted the other day on online instant. Announcement priorities so -- talk a little bit about what's going on campus for -- -- Or -- things we partnered up with the people's burn foundation. To develop a really innovative cutting -- you hear that all the time -- -- really it is training tool on -- player safety. It's going the end of the month across the country to every single fire department -- -- college university. It's gonna gonna -- -- that's going to have. A training program on it targeted specifically towards college demographic and those of us with kids know that's really tough reaching out to this demographic. For information -- remember. In years. Outstanding well I have a seventeen year old and so we're looking at colleges right now so. For those of us out there than half are we do have kids would you recommend folks do interleukin colleges and I've been listening -- somewhere go to school. Well there's certainly a lot of things to be looking -- when you're going to school and along with -- and academics athletics all that sort of stuff. First and foremost -- for -- 1000 we're living on campus or off. We know sprinklers save lives but also look for things that other smoke alarms in place and also. How much training goes to school provide -- the staff -- to the students. And probably more most important things no two ways though because these players as we have seen don't just happen residence halls that don't happen fraternities. We're gonna fire we saw an ocean isle North Carolina in October that killed some students who -- on vacation. What can really happen no matter where you are so not only making sure physical structures safe to make sure your child knows what to do -- fire does break out. How come. And and trust new ordinances. Make sure that your kids -- in -- sprinkler. Building he put it not only preaches it but he needs -- -- we had. Housing issue with that is rooted in the -- this year we'll hotels we have is not spread rumors we have so many people would come we have to use every single room and wrote some very nicely -- said. Involving up enough to keep it up pops up you -- what I do for a living get me -- -- -- hotel with sprinklers and and we appreciate -- are pretty -- you very -- -- -- news. I saw the note I just had this smile to -- -- my gosh. But let's back -- the kids in school for a look for a little bit -- com. After -- you know the Seton Hall -- -- you know all the tragedies we've seen in college dormitories and off campus housing. How come we still don't of our most precious treasure our children. Protected with sprinklers in these buildings what what's going on there. It's money that comes down to money really does it's it's an it's an issue that are custom install this and now. The character you -- schools with a broad brush some schools have been very aggressive and installing them into an overnight fix time. But they do have a schedule for because they're gonna get him in over the next five years or something with that. Other schools -- -- are quite as progressive or aggressive in terms of getting the sprinkler systems in place. So that's why it's important that you know not only do you -- -- physically safe building but if your child can't be -- that they know what to do. So you look for these other systems -- place as well. Really unfortunate does come down to money and it's just harsh reality of life. Now. Outside of the campus. Far watch it should do you've also been tracking our multiple tele -- most definitely yes what are the numbers as of today. As of today I think we're 137 people have been killed and what we termed catastrophic multiple fatality fires. It was a players and killed three people or more per per fire for instance. So what you're telling a 105 folks 130 -- 137 folks. In in in groups of three or more correct so we're not count the ones it is not at all -- -- 137 groups of -- is more there. And last year for -- call -- 417. People total. And keep in mind if we could kind of fix that problem. That's that's more than 10% of the -- let's focus on the total fire deaths each year. So for your kind of address that issue. We make a significant reduction -- person's country what what what do you think this happen what line multiple fired yes. A lot of it alive and I think really comes back to social economic issues such as poverty poverty is probably one of the biggest ones. A number of these players we see happening in both urban and rural settings. But it's -- poverty -- lot of people living together. And also there's -- for example during -- for using creative means to stay warm and survive. And that's the demographic -- fire safety really isn't foremost on the mind if he's just say that cupid and smoke -- this may not -- -- Really what's the root cause why didn't they have a smoke. -- for example it was -- -- rooms full and open the kill the mother her three children. There are staying at a time and just trying to survive the night and stay warm. And -- candles and I believe that a little player ultimately to. -- you look at things with them so heart rending but also okay how do we address the root cause. That led to this catastrophic -- The real tragic things just I'm just within the past few days the first six days of April. -- six consecutive days of Castro mobile Fatone fires. Like nothing we've done before excellent -- folks in Pennsylvania -- -- four loaned him ten people three generations of people. -- want to go 14. So what else you working -- besides -- -- Multiple fires can now that's. A question that that's not enough what -- -- well the other big issue that's coming up right now is that hole for electric versus lens solution smoke alarms and that's really kind of storms sweep the -- service right now as to which is the right kind of smoke alarm. So I was lot of controversy on the I'm on the international association -- violence and -- board work on that issue with you well right now we're -- couldn't really close look at. -- -- the answers from the fire Marshal their view toward make a decision. Well I think I think in the short term and have a look at this myself but I think in the short term and I'm recommending people is how both. Have both independent now -- it it's uninteresting to me is it. Several -- reasonably one of the major companies used to make. A fully. Functional fully capable dual -- and what happened was was so expensive it would buy them. And so they went to Europe what we're currently is and they're bringing it back. But that the smart money right now is that and I agonizing and photovoltaic. Function in your home in my opinion functioning everywhere we're gonna get further down the line and I know there were issues with. That the American versions that we're kind of and re calibrated if you will -- on the testing. You know controversy that we have. But I think it that the point for guys like you and I is let's get -- -- records -- -- let's get the right technology out there whatever is in the mean time. Let's get both in the home. Work and operating don't take any chances. Let's let the scientists do the science. You know I get it probably five phone calls a week from some guys and burn room and no disrespect the -- somewhere somewhere else -- and you know we just that this it didn't work. Oh okay. That's not science means interest and that's not science and you know I see. Politicians now it jumping on when a fan of this kind of sand that -- don't ban anything. You know don't ban anything. It's smoke alarms sprinklers save lives don't ban anything. Burglars were there were everywhere we don't want the public to think that smoke alarms that's exactly we know that they work. It's one of the cases is -- one good there's another better. Until we figure that and couldn't be depending upon the fire. All we know that I'm definitely we -- absolutely absolutely got to particulate matter and everything else so. It interest and controversy and I think that I think we're gonna see -- generation -- dual head detectors and that will pick up the faintest and things will pick up the larger and that's -- S ago and I think eventually we're gonna see detectors that are gonna pick up. Chemical and increases spikes a -- of of sign on earth or chloride or. I don't you care they're gonna they'll figured out overseas spikes. Chemical spiked detectors and also be. And even more. Effective because we won't have to have. Really smoke generation that.