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number of annual deaths from house and other home-unit dwelling fires
has dropped from approximately 12,000 in the late 1960s and early 1970s
to about 4,000 deaths per year since the early 1990s. That figure has
held steady for nearly 10 years.
NSF-funded research and further research from the National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST), have played a large role in developing
materials and construction standards
that have contributed to the reduction in fire deaths.
Specifically, this research has led tonew
materials standards in drapery and constructionthat
have been put into place in newly constructed and more recently refurbished
NSF's work included defining a motel/hotel room so that "flash overs"
would not happen, or their occurrence could be greatly reduced. "Flash
overs" are fast-action incidentsalong
the lines of what happened at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas in the
late 1980s. In that incident, many people were killed in a flash fire
that firefighters could not get to and could not control quickly.