A Quiet Firehouse: Reducing Environmental Stimuli Among Professional On-Duty Firefighters

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Firehouse alarms are so loud that they cause a systemic response, similar to the flight-or-flight response. The purpose of the study was to reduce firehouse environmental stimuli to improve sleep quality and, thus, reduce cardiac burden.


The intervention included restricted unnecessary fire alarms, reduced light levels, and regulated temperature in the bunkroom.


Among 24 firefighters, 11 completed the matched post-assessment. Six weeks after implementing the interventions, measures revealed the average lux level dropped from 0.75 to 0.19 lux, P < 0.05, and the presence of elevated blood pressure reduced from 86% to 15%, P < 0.05.


Results support that reducing environmental stimuli in firehouses reduces blood pressure, which is much easier than targeting behavior change.


On the basis of this pilot study, the practice of routinely activating unnecessary fire alarms in firehouse bunkrooms should be discouraged.

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