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FireTox is delighted to receive funding from NIST to support our research project titled, Fire-Related Deaths: The Impact of Illicit Drugs, Prescription Medications, and Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids on Occupant Notification and Response. This study will evaluate toxicological records and associated fire investigation reports for over 1000 fire deaths which occurred between 2005 and 2019 in the State of Maryland. The primary research hypothesis states that individuals under the influence of certain classes of illicit and prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids, have a higher risk of dying in a fire even in the presence of an operable smoke alarm. A secondary research hypothesis is that this higher risk is associated with a failure to awaken to a sounding alarm, as opposed to adequate notification of the fire but failure to escape due to other factors (e.g. impaired state). The outcomes of this research will help direct future efforts in community risk reduction programs and may further define potential limitations in existing occupant alerting technologies.

The National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), in collaboration with the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), will be hosting an important webinar on changes in the newest editions of NFPA 921: Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations and NFPA 1033: Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator. These documents are the standard of care within the fire investigation industry, and the webinar will highlight impactful changes made within these documents. The webinar will be offered on September 15th from 1-2pm. Registration closes Monday, September 14th.

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

The 5th Edition of Principles of Forensic Toxicology, edited by FireTox team member, Dr. Barry Levine, is now available. This book is a daily resource in the FireTox office and features a chapter on Carbon Monoxide and Cyanide poisoning recently revised by FireTox Technical Director, Dr. Jamie McAllister and co-authors, Drs. Levine and Kunsman. FireTox is proud to have been a part of this wonderful compilation of work.

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