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LEADING COMMUNITY RISK REDUCTION - page 9 / 75

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is encouraged to become the “Champion” of community risk reduction. The following

attitudes for successful risk reduction were discussed:

The executive fire officer must have a positive vision for the community risk reduction program.

The executive fire officer must become a catalyst within the community to make the vision a reality.

The executive fire officer must be personally committed to the philosophy of prevention (preparedness and mitigation).

The executive fire officer must be an active member of his or her community.

LITERATURE REVIEW

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A relevant literature review was conducted for this research project with the

objective of answering three questions. First, the author sought factors concerning fatal

fires in dormitories. Second, the research sought fire protection equipment and systems

that are used to help mitigate the effects of fires in dormitories. Finally, policies and

procedures were sought that would provide assurance that a deadly fire would not occur

at the residence halls of California State University, Fresno.

Factors concerning Dorm Fires

According to Von Dietsch (1997) there were 1,437 dormitory fires per year from

1990 to 1994. An average of one person was killed each year, while 54 were injured as a

result of fires in dormitories. On average almost $5,573,900 in property damage occurred

each year. The causes of dormitory fires varied. Thirty percent were of incendiary or

suspicious origin. Cooking was the cause of 16 percent of dorm fires, and 12 percent

were of unknown origin. Smoking caused 11 percent of these fires. Those who died in

dormitory fires from 1990 to 1994 died in fires caused by smoking. Incendiary or

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