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DHS OIG Finds Notorious Felon Allowed to Use TSA PreCheck® Lanes

March 20, 2015 Comments off

DHS OIG Finds Notorious Felon Allowed to Use TSA PreCheck® Lanes (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General

A recent report by the DHS Inspector General determined that a convicted felon who had been involved in numerous felonious criminal activities and was also a former member of a domestic terrorist group was permitted to travel with expedited screening through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck®. The report, OIG-15-45 “Allegation of Granting Expedited Screening Through TSA PreCheck® Improperly,” stemmed from a whistleblower disclosure which alleged that a notorious felon was improperly cleared for TSA PreCheck® screening and was allowed to use the PreCheck® lanes.

After an extensive investigation of the allegation and assessment of the TSA PreCheck® initiative, we determined that TSA provided a TSA PreCheck® indicator and barcode on the traveler’s boarding pass. After checking the traveler’s boarding pass and identification, an alert Transportation Security Officer (TSO) at the airport recognized the felon and alerted his supervisor. However, the supervisor directed the TSO to take no action and allow the traveler to continue through the TSA PreCheck® lane.

We determined that this traveler had not applied for TSA PreCheck® through the TSA PreCheck® Application Program, but that TSA granted TSA PreCheck® screening to this passenger through the risk assessment rules in the Secure Flight program.

+ Full Report (Redacted) (PDF)

CRS — The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress (February 27, 2015)

March 18, 2015 Comments off

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Congress included provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) for planning, building, and managing a new, nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications, by creating the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). The act assigned 10 MHz of additional radio frequency spectrum to accommodate the new network and required that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assign a license to FirstNet, comprising the newly assigned frequencies and 10 MHz previously assigned to states by the FCC for public safety use. In addition, the act has designated federal appropriations of over $7 billion for the network and other public safety needs. These funds are provided through new revenue from the auction of spectrum licenses to the commercial sector.

One- and Two-Family, Multifamily Residential Building Fires (2010-2012)

March 7, 2015 Comments off

One- and Two-Family, Multifamily Residential Building Fires (2010-2012)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

One- and Two-Family Residential Building Fires (PDF)

  • An estimated 239,100 one- and two-family residential building fires were reported to fire departments within the United States each year and caused an estimated 1,950 deaths, 8,575 injuries, and 5.4 billion dollars in property loss.
  • One- and two-family residential building fires accounted for 65 percent of all residential building fires.
  • Cooking, at 34 percent, was the leading reported cause of one- and two-family residential building fires reported to the fire service. Nearly all one- and two-family residential building cooking fires were small, confined fires (89 percent).
  • In 52 percent of nonconfined one- and two-family residential building fires, the fire extended beyond the room of fire origin. The leading reported causes of these larger fires were other unintentional, careless actions (16 percent); electrical malfunctions (15 percent); and intentional actions (12 percent).
  • Smoke alarms were not present in 23 percent of nonconfined fires in occupied one- and two-family residential buildings. This is a high percentage when compared to the 3 percent of households nationally lacking smoke alarms.

Multifamily Residential Building Fires (PDF)

  • An estimated 103,800 multifamily residential building fires were reported to fire departments within the United States each year and caused an estimated 405 deaths, 4,350 injuries, and 1.2 billion dollars in property loss.
  • Multifamily residential building fires accounted for 28 percent of all residential building fires.
  • Small, confined fires accounted for 70 percent of multifamily residential building fires.
  • Cooking was the leading reported cause of multifamily residential building fires (71 percent); nearly all multifamily residential building cooking fires were small, confined fires (95 percent).
  • In 31 percent of nonconfined multifamily residential building fires, the fire extended beyond the room of origin. The leading reported causes of these larger fires were exposures (12 percent); intentional actions (11 percent); other unintentional, careless actions (11 percent); and electrical malfunctions (11 percent). In contrast, 51 percent of all other nonconfined residential building (excluding multifamily building) fires extended beyond the room of origin.

Residential building fire fatalities and fire injuries (2010–2012)

March 2, 2015 Comments off

Residential building fire fatalities and fire injuries (2010–2012)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Residential fires are of great national importance, as they account for the vast majority of civilian casualties. National estimates for 2010-2012 show that 82 percent of all fire deaths and 78 percent of all fire injuries occurred in residential buildings.

+ Civilian Fire Fatalities in Residential Buildings (2010-2012) (PDF)
+ Civilian Fire Injuries in Residential Buildings (PDF)

Fire-Related Firefighter Injuries (2010-2012)

February 27, 2015 Comments off

Fire-Related Firefighter Injuries (2010-2012) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Report findings

  • An estimated 70,450 firefighter injuries occurred annually. Of these injuries, 31,550 occurred on the fireground, and 4,150 occurred while responding to or returning from an incident.
  • The majority of fire-related firefighter injuries (87 percent) occurred in structure fires. In addition, on average, structure fires had more injuries per fire than nonstructure fires.
  • Injuries resulted in lost work time for 42 percent of firefighters with reported fire-related injuries.
  • Fires resulting in firefighter injuries were more prevalent in July at 12 percent and peaked between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m.
  • Overexertion/Strain was the cause of 27 percent of reported fire-related firefighter injuries.

How To Cope With Sheltering in Place

February 25, 2015 Comments off

How To Cope With Sheltering in Place
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Offers tips people can use to cope with sheltering in place. Explains reactions people often feel when sheltering in place; suggests ways to care for oneself and the family, such as making a plan and staying connected; and provides additional helpful resources.

Heating fires in residential buildings (2010–2012)

February 20, 2015 Comments off

Heating fires in residential buildings (2010–2012) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, heating was the leading reported cause of residential building fires. Since then, the overall number of heating fires has substantially decreased, but heating remained the second reported leading cause from 2010-2012 and accounted for 12 percent of all home fires responded to by fire departments.

Report findings

  • An estimated 45,200 heating fires in residential buildings were reported to fire departments within the United States each year and caused an estimated 155 deaths, 625 injuries and $351 million in property loss.
  • Residential building heating fires peaked in the early evening hours from 5 to 9 p.m., with the highest peak from 6 to 8 p.m. This four-hour period accounted for 30 percent of all residential building heating fires.
  • Residential building heating fire incidence peaked in January at 21 percent and declined to the lowest point during the months of June to August. Confined fuel burner/boiler malfunction fires accounted for 56 percent of the heating fires that occurred during these three warmer months.
  • Confined fires, those fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners, accounted for 84 percent of residential building heating fires.
  • The heat source was too close to combustibles in 29 percent of the nonconfined residential building heating fires.
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