When the Smoke Alarm Goes Off, Get Out. You Have Less Time Than You Think.

Fire and smoke spread faster in modern homes.

Having a working smoke alarm, responding right away when it sounds, and having and practicing a plan to get out quickly are more crucial today than ever.

Modern homes are more susceptible to rapid fire spread, according to a study* by UL, a global safety certification company. The average U.S. home size has increased 56% since 1980, and more homes have two stories. The larger the home, the more air is available to sustain and grow a fire. Newer homes are also more likely to incorporate open floor plans, taller ceilings, great rooms and two-story foyers, which can contribute to rapid smoke and fire spread.

Modern building materials and furnishings are also more likely to include faster-burning synthetic materials and/or combustible materials.

UL conducted a number of fire experiments involving rooms made with either modern or “legacy” materials (contents that might have been found in a mid-20th century house), recording the time it took for “flashover” (a fire spreading very rapidly across a gap because of intense heat) to occur. These experiments found that while flashover took 29 minutes or more in legacy rooms, in modern rooms it took less than 5 minutes. In addition, modern windows and doors fail more rapidly than their legacy counterparts, which can allow more air in to fuel the fire.

Average fire department time to residential fires from 2004 to 2009 was approximately 6.4 minutes according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System.

A working smoke alarm can reduce your risk of dying in a fire by 50%–if it is working, you respond to it immediately, and you can get out quickly, even in darkness. Here’s how to keep yourself and your family safer:

  1. Test your smoke alarms, ideally monthly, even if they have long-life batteries or are hard-wired.
  2. Plan ahead, and know how everyone in your home will get out, especially from bedrooms.
  3. Keep bedroom doors closed; whether modern or legacy they provide a barrier against smoke and heat. Feel the door with the back of your hand. If it’s hot, put down a towel or other material to keep out smoke, and go to a window to exit or signal to firefighters.
  4. If the alarm sounds, don’t waste time looking for the source—get out, then call 9-1-1.

*Kerber, S. Analysis of Changing Residential Fire Dynamics, UL, 2012.

How Safe Is Your Airbnb?

How Safe Is Your Airbnb?

When searching for your next Airbnb you might check out location, number of bedrooms, and whether it has a kitchen. But what about fire safety?

A study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed Airbnb listings across 17 countries. It found that less than half of Airbnb venues that allow smoking are equipped with smoke detectors, while nearly two-thirds of venues that do not allow smoking are equipped with smoke detectors.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths in the U.S. for the five year period of 2012-2016. Overall, one of every 31 home smoking material fires resulted in death.

A working smoke alarm can cut your risk of dying in a fire by 50%–but it must be working. Test smoke alarms when you arrive at your Airbnb, and take note of all exits and the pathways to them. Think about how you will get out if the alarm sounds in the middle of the night. Be sure to keep pathways free of clutter.

If you smoke, use only fire-safe cigarettes, use a deep sturdy ashtray, don’t discard cigarettes in vegetation such as potted plants, and never smoke in bed.

Join Us Oct. 27…

To say goodbye to Molly Clifford and wish her well in her January move to Philadelphia, with a fun-and-fundraising Football Party to benefit Prevention 1st and Mary’s Place Refugee Outreach:

McGinnity’s Restaurant and Party House

534 West Ridge Road, Rochester, NY 14615

Philadelphia Eagles v. Buffalo Bills

12:30pm to game end!

$30 /person or $50/couple

R.S.V.P. by Monday, October 21 to info@prevention1st.org

Please make checks payable to Prevention First Foundation.

Golf Tournament Raises $44,000+ to Prevent Injuries

The 2019 Jane and Larry Glazer Memorial Golf Tournament was our biggest fundraiser yet, raising more than $44,000 to benefit Prevention 1st.

This year 104 golfers turned out, with 144 people attending the post-tournament dinner at Midvale Country Club. Harvey Bunis and Scott Rogoff were our outstanding MCs for the dinner program.

Congratulations to our winning golfers:

1st Place Men’s (59): Eric Koehler, Joel Chiarenza, Zachary Buschner, Ryan Wegman

1st Place Mixed (70): Tom Marletta, Chuck Marletta, Jason Warner, Darlene Tool

Closest to the Pin # 4 (Men): Michael Pattison, 3’2”           

Closest to the Pin # 4 (Women): Shelley VanLare, 28’01”

Closest to the Line #7 (Men): Michael Cimino

Closest to the Line #7 (Women): Heidi Burke

SKINS

Hole #2,3 Birdie (3,4) Jared Dinaburg, Cliff White, Scott Chase, Griffin Byrns

Hole #10 Eagle (3) Scott Rogoff, Brett Rogoff

Hole #13 Birdie (2) Peter Cook, David Cook, Kyle Bennett, Ed Cook

Thanks to all of our golfers and attendees, and to Midvale Country Club for their outstanding service and support.

And special thanks to our 2019 Golf Committee: Co-chairs Jessica Holly and Michael Chatwin; Harvey Bunis; Molly Clifford; Jack Dinaburg; Kristin Fulford; Rick Glazer; Eric Koehler; Stewart Moscov; David Pelusio; Sarabeth Rogoff; Scott Rogoff, and Joan Updaw.

Tournament Sponsors

Abrams Fensterman, LLP

Buckingham Properties, LLC

Ralph Honda

Sage Rutty

Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak, LLC          

Flag Sponsors

Barclay Damon, LLP

Community Health Strategies

Cooley Group, Inc.

Cathy & Jack Dinaburg

Dolomite Products Company, Inc.

Glazer Family

Debbie & David Pelusio

Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak, LLC

Tee Sponsors

Abrams Fensterman, LLP

Barclay Damon, LLP

Bell Cornerstone

Browncroft Family Restaurant

Buckingham Properties, LLC

Harvey S. Bunis, Esq.

Canandaigua National Bank

Citizens for Joseph Robach

Molly Clifford

Robert Cole & Daryl Sharp

Cook Properties

Mark Crandall

Developmental Disabilities Giving Circle

Ernstrom & Dreste LLP

Fire Chief John Caufield and Susan Walz

First American Title Insurance Company

Flaherty Salmin CPAs

Graham Construction

Greater Rochester Health Foundation

Heritage Financial Services, LLC

Kevin & Three Ladies

Kiwanis West Central

Mengel Metzger Barr & Co, LLP

Palmer Food Services

Perlo’s Restaurant

Perri’s Pizzeria at the Brighton Pub

Pickle Factory

Ralph Honda

Rochester Area Community Foundation

Rochester Hardwood Floor

Heather & Brett Rogoff

Ruda Investment Group

James Sheppard

Sage Rutty and Co.

Sign Design

Sharon P. Stiller

The Insurance Marketplace Agency

Trillium Health

Upstate Special Needs Planning

Webster Schubel Meier Elder Law

West Webster Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Inc.

‘Safe at Home’ Graduates Gain Safety and Pride

Sheryl Watts

Sheryl Watts, a Safe at Home trainer for Prevention 1st, sees firsthand the positive effect the program has on individuals and their families

Recently she worked with Christopher, a young man who lives with his parents and was excited every week about what he was learning. And he loved sharing his knowledge, often saying at the end of his session with Sheryl: “I can’t wait for Dad to come home so I can teach him this!”

His excitement rose highest at the final session, when he was able to perform all the safety techniques he’d learned without prompting. When Sheryl told him he was officially graduated and would get a certificate, his reveled in his accomplishment:  “I can’t believe I did that!”

Safe at Home trainers all have a fire safety background. Sheryl also works full-time at Lifetime Assistance, where she is in charge of fire safety.  Each training starts with an assessment of any fire hazards in the home, and for this Sheryl often teams up with another trainer who has experience as a firefighter.

At the first session she also assesses the current fire safety knowledge of the person being trained.  Then in 30-45 minute in-home weekly sessions, Sheryl teaches them about cooking safety, identifying fire hazards, locating and testing smoke alarms, exiting when the alarm goes off, and calling 9-1-1. Each week the previous week’s lessons are also reviewed.

Training may last from 3 weeks to 8 weeks depending on the person’s knowledge at the beginning and how well they retain new knowledge. At the end of each of Christopher’s sessions, Sheryl talked about what he had learned with his mother, who worked with him between weekly sessions.

“Actually practicing the techniques is important,” explains Sheryl. “Christopher learned how to exit his bedroom safely if the alarm goes off:  test the door using the back of the hand, take a cell phone and shoes, and if the door is hot how to block smoke from under the door and go to the window to signal for help”.

Safe at Home is customized to the individual. Sheryl has worked with one young woman with autism who wasn’t very verbal.  So they made picture cards together and then used them as part of learning.

“I’d ask ‘There’s a noise going off, what could that be?’ And she’d point to the alarm, “ Sheryl explains.  “We’d lay out the cards in a sequence showing what might make the alarm go off—fire—and what we should do next—an exit.”

All of Sheryl’s trainees have one thing in common:  “They really want to learn, and to be safe.”

Seeing the sense of accomplishment they get from their achievements is very rewarding for Sheryl. So is their determination to apply what they’ve learned. For example, at the beginning of his training Christopher could find the smoke alarm but didn’t know how to test it. Sheryl demonstrated the test button and they discussed how important it is that the alarm is always working. Now Christopher is looking forward to testing those alarms–with his father–every month.

Win a Vacation, TV and More at the Golf Tournament

Even if you don’t golf, the Jane & Larry Glazer Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit Prevention 1st is the place to be September 16! Silent auction items available at the post-tournament dinner at Midvale Country Club include a trip to Hawaii, a 60-inch television, and golf packages for Irondequoit, Midvale, Brooklea and Seneca Hickory Stick golf courses.

Also at the dinner, the winner will be drawn from the raffle tickets now on sale for a trip for two to Hilton Head’s iconic Harbour Town Golf Club. All proceeds from raffle ticket sales will support the Prevention 1st Safe at Home scholarship fund, providing customized in-home safety training to people with developmental disabilities. Tickets for “dinner only” are available. Download the 2019 tournament brochure.

Please contact one of the following with questions or to register:
Jessica Holly (co-chair): jbdinaburg@gmail.com
Michael Chatwin (co-chair): mchatwin@logs.com
Jack Dinaburg: jackdinaburg@prevention1st.org, (585) 383-6505

Safe at Home a “Next Step” for Adults With Disabilities

Safe at Home, which provides in-home safety assessment and training to reduce the risks of fire and injury in the home, was introduced to many parents, caregivers, teens and adults with intellectual and development disabilities at the recent Next Steps conference sponsored by AutismUp. The conference focused on transitioning to an adult life and living more independently.

“The people who stopped by our booth said they had never encountered anything like Safe at Home before, and they seemed very impressed,” Safe at Home trainer Bob Crandall reported. “One person also thought it would be good for her elderly mother who still lives alone.”

Learn more about Safe at Home here.

Milwaukee Students Stay Safe With“Before the Fire”

All second-graders in Milwaukee Public Schools will be learning lessons from Prevention 1st’s Before the Fire: Prevention Works curriculum as part of their Learning Journeys.  The free program includes lesson plans with learning objectives, activities, and links to resources.

Learning Journeys are beyond-the-classroom learning experiences. As part of theirs, more than 5,000 second-graders from 133 elementary schools will attend the Milwaukee Fire Departments Education Center’s Survive Alive House.

“The lessons in Before the Fire: Prevention Works! will be excellent to use prior to and after their Learning Journey”, said Michelle Wade, Learning Journeys Coordinator.

The free Before the Fire program was created by educators and fire safety experts to provide effective fire safety lesson plans for teachers, preschool and day care providers, parents and caregivers  to teach children about fire, fire prevention, and escaping a fire.

Make This a Summer of Safety

In summer we all tend to kick back and relax the rules a bit. It’s a great time of year, but to keep it safe there are still a few rules worth keeping:

  1. Always watch children when they’re in or near water. Pool Safely, a campaign launched by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to reduce childhood drownings, recommends designating an adult Water Watcher to supervise children in the water, even where there’s also a lifeguard. Watching should be their only task – they shouldn’t be reading, texting or playing games on their phone.
  2. When swimming outside, get everyone out of the water if you hear thunder or see lightning.
  3. Looking for a game to keep young children occupied? Help Mikey Make It Out is a fun, interactive game that teaches life-saving home escape lessons. They can also read the storybook Mikey Makes a Mess online, in English or Spanish.
  4. Leave fireworks to the pros, even where they’re legal. Here’s why.
  5. While your fireplace isn’t getting used, call to schedule an annual chimney cleaning.
  6. As cooking moves outside, enforce a “3-Foot Rule” just as you do for the stove. Keep children and pets at least three feet from the fire.
  7. Summer is peak season for wildfires.  Check the predicted risk for the area where you live (or plan to visit) here, and always stay tuned to local weather and news.
  8. Find more tips about safe use of campfires, outdoor grills and firepits at flickitsafely.com.            
  9. Summer fun activities can get chaotic. To prevent falls, make sure you wipe up spills promptly, and remind everyone to pick up clutter, which can be a tripping hazard–especially toys. Get more fall prevention tips.
  10. Wear a bike helmet, and make sure you and your children know the rules of the road.

Find more tips on our Safety Resources page.

Rogoff Scholarship Available for High School Students With Plans to Prevent Injuries

Stephen Rogoff

In August 2018, the Rochester community experienced a sudden loss with the passing of Stephen D. Rogoff. Known for his compassion, humanity, and great ability to connect with others, Stephen was a tremendous friend to Prevention 1st.  He co-founded the organization’s first major fund raiser–a Golf Tournament held at Midvale Country Club in 2013—including recruiting a committee, approaching local businesses to donate prizes, and obtaining dozens of tee sponsors.

In honor and memory of the positive impact that Stephen Rogoff had on so many, his children — Scott, Brett and Robyn — along with their families and the Prevention 1st Board of Directors have established the Stephen and Arlayne Rogoff Scholarship Fund. Each year, $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to two recipients who best demonstrate Stephen’s empathetic and actionable character.  

How to Apply

The scholarship application requires an essay outlining the candidate’s personal experience with a preventable injury or in-home danger and their plans to generate awareness or educate others on such risks. For more information contact info@prevention1st.og.

Support this Scholarship 

If you should like to honor Stephen’s memory or support this scholarship with a donation, click here to make an online contribution. Mail checks, payable to Rochester Area Community Foundation (with Rogoff Scholarship in the Memo Line) to 500 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607.