IAFC Injury Statistics
The International Association of Fire Chiefs has reported 18 firemen died and 1,428 were injured in 372 fires in a recent seven-month period. Eleven of the deaths and 1,077 of the injuries resulted from smoke inhalation.
Because the 372 fires analyzed are a sampling and represent less than 1/10 of 1 per cent of all the 500,000 or more fires occuring during that period, the IAFC said it is impossible to estimate the total number of firemen who were smoke-inhalation victims. However, when compared to the total number of fires, a relatively high proportion exists, much greater than ever was suspected when the survey was undertaken. This, the IAFC declares, points up the urgent need for more personal protective equipment, particularly respiratory protection, and further improvements in training in tire use of that equipment.
The IAFC report shows that during May, smoke inhalation and deaths to firemen rose sharply. Analysis of 61 fires in various parts of the United States disclosed that four firemen died and 236 suffered smoke inhalation.
The May survey showed further that fires in 31 commercial-type structures proved the most hazardous. These fires caused injuries to 188 firemen, 166 of whom were smoke-inhalation victims. However, the 26 residential fires reported were responsible for the three fatalities directly or indirectly attributed to smoke inhalation. A fourth fatality resulted from injury.