Eesti Elu
TÄNAVALT (From the street). Listen to the finger (1)
Eestlased Eestis 04 Mar 2011  Eesti Elu
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With Estonia having made world headlines due to the fire at a Haapsalu orphanage for disabled children which killed 10 on February 20, it's good to know the number of fatalities due to fires in Estonia dropped 63% from 2007 to 2010. And that 78% of households are now equipped with suitsuandurid since they became mandatory two years ago. According to World Health Organization data cited by the Geneva-based World Fire Statistics Centre, from 1997-2005 Estonia had the highest number of fire-related deaths per 100,000 residents in Europe. Thankfully this is now history, but there are still an alarming number of fires in Eesti: 288 reported this past January, with one weekend in early February seeing five fatalities in three separate fires.

There are a lot of households whose main or only source of heat are wood-burning stoves and February saw a 2,5 week-long intense cold spell which could easily have led to overheating, as well as the use of additional, unsafe sources of heat. Careless smoking is another culprit.

An ANDUR is any kind of detector or sensor: suitsuandur (smoke detector), surveandur (pressure sensor), infrapunaandur (heat seeker). A fire extinguisher is tulekustuti. And when in Europe, the local version of 911 or Europe's hädaabinumber, "emergency help number" is 112. In Eesti, the Päästeteenistus (Estonian Rescue Service) picks up 112 calls and then establishes whether to dispatch a team from kiirabi (ambulance) or tuletõrje (the Fire Dept.).

Remember the classic campfire sketch "Pressi punane nupp" (Push the red button)? If Mr. Näpp had been present, he would've quietly told us to say: "Vajuta punast nuppu" instead. But as long as we understand each other. Especially in an emergency.
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