RAE Systems and Fire Smoke Coalition to Deliver “Know Your Smoke” Symposium on Dangerous Effects of Smoke Exposure

Training for Firefighters and Emergency Responders in Winchester, Virginia, Provides Methods on Proper Use of Atmospheric Monitoring Equipment for HCN and CO

San Jose, Calif.  – July 15, 2013 – RAE Systems Inc., a leading provider of toxic gas monitoring systems, will collaborate with the Fire Smoke Coalition to deliver the free “Know Your Smoke: The Dangers of Fire Smoke Exposure” conference for firefighters, first responders, and medical providers at the Frederick County Public Safety Building in Winchester, Virginia, July 25, 2013.

The free training will provide firefighters and EMS personnel with an invaluable educational resource on the dangerous health effects of fire smoke exposure and protocol on how to proceed safely and effectively during fire ground operations. Interested parties can register for this first-responder training event at http://www.firesmoke.org.

The conference includes a classroom session on Thursday, July 25, followed by a live-burn and smoke practical. The live-burn practical will focus on the proper use of atmospheric monitoring equipment with an emphasis on monitoring HCN (hydrogen cyanide) and CO (carbon monoxide), also known as the "toxic twins." These are the only two treatable toxicants if smoke exposure occurs.

During the live-burn practical session, the instructors will focus on teaching firefighters how to conduct atmospheric monitoring at every fire scene, through practical training exercises while burning household items such as plastics, foams, synthetics, laminates and roofing materials. Most important, firefighters will learn that every fire scene is a HazMat environment – a cultural shift for fire departments throughout the world.

“There are still a lot of widespread misconceptions about the dangers of fire smoke,” said Shawn Longerich, Executive director of the Fire Smoke Coalition. “Firefighters are plagued with illness and disease today, most of which can be associated with long-term exposure to the lethal toxicants in fire smoke. These events are critical in keeping firefighters and the public-at-large safe and informed about the negative health effects of smoke exposure.”

“Know Your Smoke” Seminar Educates Emergency Personnel on Toxic Twins: CO and HCN
Toxic gas monitoring systems are an essential lifesaving 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, especially during overhaul operations.

  • 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. and 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 number of fires in the U.S. decreasing each year, the number 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.1

Learn More, See More

  • Register for the Fire Smoke Symposium training event for first-responders HERE
  • Learn about and watch videos on “The Realities of FireSmoke in Firefighter Training” HERE 
  • Learn more and watch videos about real-time gas detection in the fireground HERE

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 www.firesmoke.org.

About RAE Systems Inc.
RAE Systems innovates, designs and manufacturers gas sensors and radiation detectors. RAE Systems combines industry-first, field-proven wireless functionality with its best-in-class detection capabilities to deliver unmatched integrated, real-time wireless gas- and radiation-monitoring capabilities.
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, public event protection, industrial safety, national security and defense 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 raesystems.com.

On June 4, 2013, Honeywell (NYSE: HON) completed its acquisition of RAE Systems Inc. RAE Systems is now part of Honeywell Analytics, part of Honeywell Life Safety (HLS) within Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions (ACS). Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges.


1United States Fire Administration; Fire Loss in the United States in 2009; Michael J. Karter.