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Halogenated Flame Retardant Use in Residential Settings - Are They Safe for Our Health?   Flame retardant (FR) chemicals are any compounds specifically added to materials to interfere with their combustion. This interference is normally to achieve some desired fire performance attribute – slower ignition, reduced flame propagation, etc. Vast numbers of compounds have been proposed in the patent literature for this purpose, but only a small portion have come into widespread use. Plastics and wood are the main categories of products to which FR chemicals are often added. The FR chemicals used for treating cellulosic materials (wood, cotton) and treating plastics are generally from completely different families of compounds. Many of the FR chemicals are specifically suited for only one type of product.
Collaborative Stakeholder Input Is Critical to Protecting Vulnerable Occupants in FireImproving the fire safety of multi-unit buildings is a vital undertaking — regardless who the occupants are. But when the residents are physically or cognitively impaired, employing best practices takes on a whole new level of importance.
What We're Learning about Engineering Human Response in FireFortunately, we have a more nuanced understanding of occupant response today, says Steven Gwynne, Ph.D., a senior research officer with the National Research Council of Canada who will be a featured speaker at the SFPE North America Conference & Expo: Accent on Fire Protection Engineering 2017 in Montreal on October 9-14. We now understand that evacuees build a mental picture of the situation — the level of perceived risk, the nature of the threat, the reaction of fellow occupants — that steers them toward a particular decision.

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