To Your Success looks forward to partnering in your success in 2012, by creating a central point for all your fire/life safety solutions.

Year End Reading List - 2011

For the past several years, I have made it a habit to keep a record of any and all books that I read throughout the year.  This is my favorite blog post of the year, my year end reading list.  Below you will find a listing, picture, and description of each book, as well as, a link to check out more information on the book.  Enjoy!

"Revival of a Dead Church" by Len Gaston Broughton.  Published in 1900, this book gives practical advice on how to revive the spiritually dead church and community.

Doing Virtuous Business: The Remarkable Success of Spiritual Enterprise, by Thomas Roosevelt Malloch. Malloch starts by defining what 'virtue' really is, then proceeds to explain how businesses can have increased success by behaving virtuously.  For a complete review check out Doing Virtuous Business on a sister blog.

Poke the Box, by Seth Godin.  Many of us have great ideas, dreams, and ambitions, however, they are never fulfilled because we never start, or we wait for permission.  Godin's book will inspire you to just start!  See also the post,  Be A Presentation God.

Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible, by Steven Furtick.  Based on the prayer of Joshua, where he prays for the sun to stand still, this book is a call to an audacious faith.  A faith that God can do the amazing, even beyond anything we can imagine, even to causing the sun to stand still!

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, by Darren Rowse, and Chris Garrett.  A practical book on blogging.  Clearly outlines the entire blog process from starting, creating great content, to making money. You can check out there sites at, and, these are always a great source for information, and advice on all things blogging.

The Rules of Work, Expanded Edition: A Definitive Code for Personal Success (Richard Templar's Rules), by Richard Templar.  Templar outlines 108 rules for being successful in the workplace.  From handling opposition, to controlling your mouth, to having a plan, and taking care of yourself, it's all covered here!

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir. . . of Sorts, by Ian Morgan Cron.  This is Cron's memoir.  Very entertaining read.  For a full review, and author interview, check out this post, Ian Morgan Cron.

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley.  The Bible calls us to be perfect as Christ is perfect.  What does that exactly mean? Can anyone really attain to perfection? This classic work from, a foremost leader in the Christian faith, outlines what it means to be perfect.

Read This Before Our Next Meeting, by Al Pittampelli.  How many countless hours are wasted in meetings?  This book shows you what the meeting should really accomplish, and how to hold an effective meeting, so that there is less time spent in meetings, and more time doing work that matters.  Check out the website at

How to be a Presentation God: Build, Design, and Deliver Presentations that Dominate, by Scott Schwertly.  By far, the best book on presentations that I have ever read. Very thorough, with lots of good advice, and new information.  For a complete review, check out the post Be A Presentation God.

Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich: Create Winning Ads, Web Pages, Sales Letters and More, by David Garfinkle.  This book shows the most productive advertising headlines (297 of them!), and how to apply them to your particulary situation or venture.

Faith of Leap, The: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure & Courage (Shapevine), by Alan Hirsch, and Michael Frost.  A discussion on being missional, and a call for the church to once again be the church.  Hirsch and Frost offer much insight on what it means to be the body of Christ, how we are to serve, and the 4 components that are required for a strong faith community.

Rhinoceros Success, by Scott Alexander.  A short but powerful read, on achieving success.  The information is uniquely presented, and will open your eyes to some success practices that should be a part of your life!

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!, by Robert Kiyosaki.  Thsi book offers some great advice on how to achieve financial success.  Kiyosaki states that the number one way to financial success is a proper financial education, and this book is a great place to start being financially educated.

The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice, by Brendon Burchard.  Burchard reveals the secrets of the expert industry, and provides a clear plan of action for anyone looking to enter the expert field! Visit his site at

That's it, my 2011 reading list!  The periodicals that I subscribed to this year are Inc. Magazine, GQ, and Christianity Today.

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts? 

What did you read this year? What is a book that you consider a "must read"?

See previous reading lists at my other blog:

Year End Book Review 2009
Year End Book Review 2008

Fire Department Gifts - #10

One of the great sacrifices that we in the service must make, is that of ever growing a beard.  No doubt in my retirement the first thing I will do is stop shaving.  But, until then, there is the Art of Shaving, this company offers the best in shaving products.  I personally use this product.  The level of shave and smoothness is amazing, also, there is no irritation to the skin (which I used to experience before being introduced to these products).  They have a variety of kits and sizes to get you started.

Fire Department Gifts - #9

A brief and informal survey on-line revealed these 3 tools to be the most coveted among firefighters.

1.  Fat Ivan door chock

2.  Channel lock #87 rescue tool

3.  Bullard Personal Thermal Imager

Fire Department Gifts - #8

Need a good read for down time this Christmas?  Check out these two good reads.

Common Valor features true stories of ordinary people performing under extraordinary circumstances.  Written by Frank Viscuso, the stories featured here are from New Jersey's bravest.

WTC: In Their Own Words This special collectors edition commemorates the 10th Anniversary of this tragedy, with comprehensive and exclusive interviews with those who responded.

Fire Department Gifts - #7

Looking something for the kid that loves the fire service?  Check out these two items.

Phil the Fire Engine  books for children.  Follow Phil the Fire Engine on his adventures as he teaches children, parents, and teachers fire safety in a fun and exciting way!

Monopoly - Firefighters Edition  everyone's favorite (and longest) game now for firefighters! You be the chief, get this for your kids for hours of fun! (and I do mean hours!!)

Fire Department Gifts - #6

In my years in the fire service I have yet to meet the religiously opposed fire fighter.  Here is a sampling of gifts that appeal the the religious in us all:

 Stories of Faith and Courage From Firefighters and First Responders

This devotional book contains one story, scripture, and prayer for every day of the year.  Each entry is written by those that serve in the fire service.

Answering the Call is a New Testament for firefighters and EMT's.  Contains the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs, as well as testimonies from fire service personnel.

Operation Safety 91 provides cards, printed with the scripture of Psalm 91, free of charge to first responders.  This card is something that can easily be carried in one's wallet, and referred to for encouragement.

Fire Department Gifts - #5

How about this situation --

Its your teams turn to compete in the Firefighters Combat challenge.  You've entrusted you wife (or other loved one) with the video camera to catch the big event.  You relax knowing that this momentous occasion is forever recorded to video.  However, as you put in the DVD that night, you realize that the powerful images are there but the commentary from your wife, mother, and friends girlfriend, is less than appealing and totally distracts from the on-screen action.  What are you to do?

Check out  You can upload your video (or your childs sporting event), and have it narrated by a professional sports commentator.  How cool is that!

Fire Department Gifts - #4

How about an added layer of fire protection for your home and family?  Smoke detectors should be an integral part of your home, but how would you know of a fire if your away?  You would know, if you had this text messaging smoke detector from Firebox.  

This smoke detector works off of a SIM card and, upon detecting smoke, will send a customized message to up to 4 phone numbers.

Think this is cool?  Check out 5 fire prevention gadgets for geeks.

Fire Service Gifts - #3

As fire service professionals we should lead by example in fire safety.  One way to do this is by supporting the use of flameless, wickless, and smokeless "warmers".  These Scentsy warmers are perfect for around the house, or for the secretary that likes to have a fragrant odor eminating from her cubicle.

They offer a large variety of designs, sizes, shapes, and scents.  

Available from Scentsy.

Fire Department Gifts - #2

This halligan should be a required item on every firefighters keychain.  

Just as the halligan tool is the key that opens any door, the mini halligan bottle opener is the key that opens any drink! 

Some headlines you might have missed this week...

Squirrel Sets Off Fire Alarm at Florida School [video]
Indian Hospital Tragedy Shakes Up Administration
DIY Brush Trucks
Improved ISO Rating
Man's Face Catches Fire During Routine Surgery (second of this type of incident in one week)
$12,000,000 Market Invests in Fire Protection

Don't forget to come back everyday for the firefighters gift guide, featuring a different item each day!

Left to Die

Early this morning, a fire broke out in a hospital in India.  The hospital staff abandoned the patients and fled.

Read the full story here -->

Fire Department Gifts

For the next 10 week days The Code Coach will be featuring one unique gift for the fire service personnel in your life.  Whether it be your chief, your firefighters, your spouse or kids, you will find something here for everyone.  If you have any experience with any of the featured products please comment, if you would like to have your product or service featured on please contact us.

Fire Service Gift Idea #1 - Books for Leaders

We can all use some advice to improve our leadership skills.  This list, from Amazon, of the years best selling books on leadership is a good starting point.

Remembering When

Martin County Fire Rescue and the Council on Aging have been awarded scholarships to participate in a training conference dedicated to Remembering When™: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults, developed by the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA. The awarded scholarships provide for travel expenses for two participants, Remembering When curriculum materials and all training.

The conference will be held December 4-6, 2011, in Boston, Massachusetts. NFPA has selected two-member teams from 29 communities across the country to participate. Teams are comprised of one fire department member partnered with an individual from an agency within the community that serves older adults through home visits, such as visiting nurses associations, home health care agencies, and places of worship.

“Adults 65 years and older are more than twice as likely to be killed in a home fire compared to the population at large, and falls are the leading cause of death from injuries in this group,” said Sharon Gamache, Program Director of High-Risk Outreach Programs, “This training offers strategies that participants can bring back to share with their communities to help prevent fires and falls among older adults that live there.”

The Remembering When program focuses on 16 key fire and fall prevention messages. Some of the messages include the following: To prevent fires, space heaters should be kept at least 3 feet (1 meter) from anything that can burn and unplugged when no one’s home or at bedtime. While cooking, older adults should wear tight fitting clothing or short sleeves so clothes don’t ignite from the stove. People should never leave cooking unattended or cook if drowsy from medicine or alcohol.

To prevent falls, older adults should exercise to improve balance and build strength. Consulting a doctor first about ability-appropriate exercise is best. To prevent falls in the home, it’s important to clear stairs and hallways of electrical cords, shoes, books, magazines, clothing and any other things that can be tripped over.

Aaron Johnson of Martin County Fire Rescue and Mindy McCombs of the Council on Aging will travel to Boston for the workshop. Following the workshop, Martin County Fire Rescue will conduct a minimum of five group presentations and at least two train-the-trainer sessions for the Council on Aging. The Council on Aging will integrate materials from the Remembering When program into its outreach through home visits.

NFPA is committed to helping communities reduce fire and fall injuries and deaths among older adults. The Remembering When program has been implemented in communities throughout North American since 1999, reaching thousands of older adults. For more information about Remembering When, visit

Related posts:
Martin County Receives "Remembering When" Award

BURN, the Detroit Fire Film

BURN Trailer from BURN on Vimeo.

BURN is an action-packed and inspiring documentary about Detroit, told through the eyes of the men and women of the Detroit Fire Department, who are charged with saving a city that many have written off as dead. It’s a story that resonates in many American cities, as heroic first responders soldier on in the face of severe budget cuts.  Learn more at

You can take pat in the making of this film by helping to fund it!

Donate to the film now on Kickstarter at (funding ends Thurs., Dec. 1)

Like the film on Facebook:
Follow the film on Twitter:

Related posts:
No Vacancy

Preventing Dust Explosions

I was recently contacted by a reader from India.  The reader stated that he was part of one of the largest fireworks manufacturing plants in India, and that his plant had suffered from dust explosions. He was seeking some safety advice on preventing these kinds of fires.  I offered him the below advice from NFPA 654.

This standard should serve as a starting point for addressing fire prevention issues at your facility. Some requirements that this standard gives include:

Segregation (654:6.2.1) – separate the area containing the combustible dusts from all other occupancies, and occupancy types

Fire Doors (654: – install self-closing fire rated doors in all door openings

Electrical Safety (654:6.6)NFPA 70, Articles 502 and 503 specifically address wiring, and electrical safety in areas with combustible dust hazards

Risk Evaluation (654:7.1.1) - have a risk evaluation conducted at your facility to determine exactly what fire/life safety risks are present and how to best prevent or abate these risks

Explosion Protection (654:7.1.2) – the design of explosion protection for equipment should be in compliance with NFPA 69 Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems

Dust Control (654:8.1) – explains methods of control and cleaning up excess dust, and preventing it from accumulating

Ignition Sources (654:9.1) – eliminate sources that could possibly ignite these dust particles

Fire Protection Systems (654:10) – there is no greater protection than that offered by automatic sprinkler systems, spark/ember detection and suppression systems, automatic fire alarm systems, and fire extinguishers

Employee Training (654:11) – all employees should be regularly trained in operations and maintenance procedures, as well as, emergency plans. This training should ensure that all employees are knowledgeable in the following: hazards of the workplace, plant safety rules, process description, equipment operation (startup, shutdown, troubleshooting), necessity of properly functioning fire detection and suppression systems, equipment maintenance requirements and practices, housekeeping requirements, and emergency response plans.

A good resource for more information on preventing dust explosions and industrial fires, is the Industrial Fire Prevention blog.
For further guidance on using the codes from check out this instructional blog post --> Code Violation?


Serve Up Safety

Family, food, football, parades, and naps all staples of the American holiday we call Thanksgiving.  It's a great time for families to just be together, and enjoy one another (or not?).  However, house fires are three times more likely to occur on Thanksgiving day than on any other day of the year.  Below are some tips to keep you cooking safely this holiday season.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency and know how to use it. Make sure the fire extinguisher is UL Listed and rated for grease and electrical fires. Read the directions carefully before an actual emergency occurs. The acronym P.A.S.S. can help make sure you use it properly.
    • Pull the pin; Aim the spray nozzle low at the base of the fire; Squeeze the nozzle to spray the contents;Sweep back and forth as you spray the base of the fire.
  • Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy while cooking. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, put on a flame-resistant oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don’t remove the lid until the food has cooled.
    • When removing lids on hot pans, tilt them away from you to protect your face and hands from steam. If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
  • Never wear loose fitting clothing when cooking. Long, open sleeves could ignite and catch fire from a gas flame or a hot burner. Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. If you have long hair, be sure to tie it back.
  • Keep smoke alarms connected while cooking. Smoke alarms can save lives. Make sure smoke alarms are installed and working.
  • Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking. Most fires in the kitchen occur because food is left unattended.
  • Turn pot handles away. Make sure that young children cannot reach a cooking pot by turning handles toward the back of the stove.
  • Unplug small appliances that aren’t in use. Not only will you save the energy, but you will also avoid the potential dangers if they were to be turned on accidentally.

See these tips and more at Safety At Home - UL.

If you will be using a turkey fryer this year, here is a must see video.