RAE Systems

May 16, 2013 08:01 ET

RAE Systems and Fire Smoke Coalition Deliver Tennessee-Based Training on the Hidden Dangers of Smoke Exposure

"Know Your Smoke" Symposium Delivers Life-Saving Awareness of Smoke Exposure Effects on Firefighters and Emergency Personnel

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - May 16, 2013) - RAE Systems Inc., a leading provider of toxic gas monitoring systems, will collaborate with the Fire Smoke Coalition to deliver the "Know Your Smoke: The Dangers of Fire Smoke Exposure" conference for firefighters and emergency responders in Milan, Tennessee on May 18, 2013.

The free training will take place on May 18th at Milan High School, located at 7060 East Vanhook St. The training will provide firefighters with an invaluable resource for education on the dangerous health effects of fire smoke exposure and protocol on how to proceed safely and effectively in dangerous smoke inhalation situations.

Interested parties can register for this free first responder training event online at

The conference includes a classroom session on Saturday followed by a two-hour burn and smoke practical. The practical will focus on the proper use of atmospheric monitoring equipment with an emphasis on monitoring HCN and CO because those are the only two treatable toxicants if smoke exposure occurs. During the practical session, instructors will teach firefighters how to conduct atmospheric monitoring at every fire scene while burning household items such as plastics, foams, synthetics, laminates and roofing materials. Most importantly, firefighters will learn that every fire scene is a HazMat environment -- a cultural shift for fire departments throughout the world.

"It is important that firefighters pay better attention to the dangers, both short and long term, that are associated with fire smoke," said Shawn Longerich, Executive director of the Fire Smoke Coalition. "It will take training to change the culture among firefighters that praises smoke-filled uniforms or soot-covered faces, but the 'Know Your Smoke' program is working to help firefighters make better, more informed decisions."

Seminar Educates Emergency Personnel on Toxic Twins: CO and HCN
Toxic gas monitoring systems are an essential life-saving component of fire department equipment. The "Know Your Smoke" event will help educate firefighters and emergency personnel on their effective use to avoid dangerous smoke inhalation, most especially during overhaul operations.

"More education is needed regarding the dangers of smoke inhalation and most important, how to treat it as a significant illness. Throughout this country firefighters are dropping dead from heart attacks and cancers in large part due to the toxicants inhaled from fire smoke throughout their careers," added Longerich.

Smoke-Related Injuries Increase Need for CO and HCN Detectors

  • According to the NFPA, between 1981 and 2010, 174,145 firefighters were injured by smoke inhalation. Firefighter Injuries in the United States, Michael J. Karter, Jr., Joseph L. Molis, 2011.
  • In the United States, residential fires are the third leading cause of fatal injury and the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury death, yet the majority of fire-related fatalities are not caused by burns, but by smoke inhalation.
  • Despite the amount of fires in the U.S. decreasing each year, the amount of civilians dying in fires is actually increasing. For example, in 2009, 1,348,500 fires were attended by public fire departments, a decrease of 7.1 percent from the year before; however, 3,010 civilian fire deaths occurred, which is an increase of 9.3 percent.

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About Fire Smoke Coalition
The mission of the Fire Smoke Coalition is to focus the required attention and resources on the deadly and life-long consequences of breathing fire smoke by teaching firefighters and first responders how to Prevent, Protect, Detect, Diagnose, and appropriately treat the exposure if it occurs. Learn more at

About RAE Systems
RAE Systems innovates, designs and manufactures gas sensors and radiation detectors. The company offers a full line of fixed and portable gas detection solutions, including handheld and personal chemical, compound and radiation detection instruments. RAE Systems' real-time safety and detection systems have been deployed by organizations in the oil and gas, fire and hazmat, industrial safety, national security and environmental markets, helping save lives and maintain safety in 120 countries. The company's industry-leading gas sensors and radiation detection solutions are widely recognized for their performance and reliability. Learn more at