NFPA Guide, Journal Focus on Hoarding's Fire Hazards

Stephanie Schorow's cover story recounts a September 2010 fire inside one crammed apartment in a 30-story Toronto building with 1,200 residents. Hoarding Task Forces are being created all around the country, according to NFPA.

The A&E TV show "Hoarders," now in its sixth season, has made many Americans familiar with the people who compulsively collect things, often ordinary and even unsanitary items. The show's website notes extreme hoarding is a mental disorder that may be connected to divorce, eviction, or loss of a child. Hoarding also results in sometimes extreme fire hazards, the National Fire Protection Association notes in a new, free guide and in the cover story of the NFPA Journal's January/February 2012 issue, available online.

The article's author, Stephanie Schorow, recounts the story of a Sept. 24, 2010, fire inside one crammed apartment in a 30-story Toronto building with 1,200 residents. Three hundred firefighters were on scene, working more than seven hours to extinguish the fire. After the all-clear was sounded and firefighters went door to door to search the building, they found 14 more apartments packed with the residents' possessions, she writes in "The Dangers of Too Much Stuff."

NFPA reports the fire service and other first responders are now teaming with mental health providers, faith-based organizations, public health organizations, and others to address this issue. Hoarding Task Forces with such representatives are being created all around the country, according to NFPA, which reports many fire departments "are experiencing serious fires, injuries, and deaths as the result of compulsive hoarding behavior. The excessive accumulation of materials in homes poses a significant threat to firefighters fighting fires and responding to other emergencies in these homes and to residents and neighbors."

Studies suggest between 3 and 5 percent of the population are compulsive hoarders, NFPA notes. Its guide explains what the fire service can do when it learns of a hoarding situation, how to talk with someone about hoarding, and the risks hoarding presents to responders.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Easy to Use Safety Incident App

    Record incidents on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Collect data for multiple types of incidents including including near misses, vehicle and environmental incidents, and employee and non-employee injuries; at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus