Many fire departments are experiencing serious fires, injuries, and deaths as the result of compulsive hoarding behavior. The excessive accumulation of materials in homes poses a significant threat to firefighters fighting fires and responding to other emergencies in these homes and to residents and neighbors.
Often, the local fire department will be contacted to help deal with this serious issue. Since studies suggest that between three and five percent of the population are compulsive hoarders, fire departments must become familiar with this issue and how to effectively handle it.
Now, NFPA has published a new, free guide all about hoarding and the issues for the fire service to be aware of. The document covers what the fire service can do when they become aware of a hoarding situation, how to talk to someone regarding hoarding, and some of the risks hoarding poses for these fire service members.
If you are interested in reading more about this problem, NFPA has featured hoarding in a recent issue of NFPA Journal - check out the story online.