Compulsive hoarding isn’t new, but a growing awareness of the problem — and changing public attitudes toward it — may allow firefighters to play a significant role in recognizing and even ameliorating dangerous hoarding situations. "Firefighters and public fire safety educators in the United States and Canada are often faced with challenges on the best ways to prevent fires related to hoarding,’’ says Sharon Gamache, NFPA’s program director for high-risk outreach programs, in a special feature story about the safety implications of hoarding in the new NFPA Journal. "No one wants to see injuries or loss of life among civilians or firefighters as a result of fire hazards that may exist in hoarding situations."
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