New steps will be taken to help us reach our aggressive goal of zero fire deaths.
Fire Marshal Nate Takara, Portland Fire Chief Mike Myers, and Senior Communications Officer Kim Kosmas with coloring contest winners Indra Fox and Avery Smith
Today, Portland Fire Chief Mike Myers, Fire Marshal Nate Takara, and Senior Communications Officer Kim Kosmas presented an update to steps the bureau is taking to reach a goal of zero fire deaths in the city. Chief Myers called this plan bold, but do-able. "I have seen departments our size meet that goal," he said.
Fire Marshal Takara discussed the state of fire deaths in Portland and how working smoke alarms and sprinklers can decrease deaths and injuries.
In 2015, the City of Portland experienced 11 fire deaths, the highest amount since 1997. Over the past ten years, the City of Portland averaged 5.6 fire deaths per year. Currently in 2016, we have had three fire-related deaths in the city. To reduce fire related deaths, fire sprinklers are crucial as they are the most effective tool in reducing fire related deaths, injuries, and property loss. Smoke alarms and escape route planning additionally helps to reduce fire-related injuries and deaths.
Fire Marshal Takara discussed two new policies PF&R is putting in place to reduced fire-related deaths and injuries: one requires landlords in multi-family residential units to provide documentation that each smoke alarm in every unit is tested at least once a year; the other requires that a building be sprinklered in order for a Temporary Special Event Permits in Non-Assembly Occupancy Space permit to be issued.
PF&R will no longer allow night club events that attract 100 or more people in a non-assembly occupancy space unless it is protected with fire sprinklers. The beginning date is yet to be determined. There are approximately ten facilities in the city that commonly hold these types of events and in the next six months or year, PF&R will be working with the property owners of these buildings regarding this change.
One large part of PF&R's prevention approach is through education. Senior Fire Inspector Kim Kosmas manages outreach programs that are developed and implemented through our local schools, community organizations and events, and in the fire stations. One program is a Fire Prevention Week coloring contest for youth that is offered thorough the schools. Today at City Council, the team from PF&R presented the winners of the contest with framed copies of their drawings and special certificates. Congratulation to: Grand Prize winner – Indra Fox – 1st grader from Buckman Elementary School and runner up winner Avery Smith – 1st grader from Buckman Elementary School.