Row houses are a common and often iconic housing style in many large cities, also present in many small towns. The characteristics of row houses that make them unique, also pose a challenge to fighting fires. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed two new products to help educate members of the fire service about the unique nature of row house fires and provide information to help them stay safe.
- Typical features of row houses
- Tactics for fighting row house fires
- Areas for potential fire extension
NIOSH recommends the fact sheet be used in training efforts and the poster be displayed in common areas of fire stations.
“NIOSH, through its Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program, has investigated many line-of-duty deaths associated with row house fires,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, MD. “It is our hope that the valuable information conveyed by these new materials prevents another tragedy by helping every firefighter who responds to a row house fire return home unharmed.”
To make sure the products meet firefighters’ needs and communication preferences, NIOSH worked with an outside agency to test the materials with a small representative group of firefighters and fire officers to refine the materials based on results. In the future, NIOSH plans to develop a video that will use elements of the fact sheet and poster and take the viewer through an actual row house.
NIOSH developed the fact sheet and poster in partnership with the following fire service organizations:
- International Association of Fire Chiefs
- International Association of Fire Fighters
- National Volunteer Fire Council
- UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute
- U.S. Fire Administration
Visit the NIOSH website for more information on NIOSH’s work and resources to protect firefighters.
NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.