Sounding the Alarm: Milestones in Fire Science | Science Pub


Science Pub Guest Speakers:
Assistant Fire Chief Richard J. Allen Jr.
Filmmaker Brian Frey

Why are today’s house fires so dangerous? Construction is nearly airtight, homes are filled with plastics, and real wood furnishings are less common. The result is a fire that burns hotter and faster than decades ago, producing smoke that’s highly toxic to firefighters.

Join us as we compare past fires and firefighting to the technology of today. We will view clips from the WSKG documentary “The Devil’s Fire” and a discussion with local expert, Assistant Fire Chief Rick Allen. We’ll learn about the 1913 Binghamton factory fire, which killed 31 people, and New York City’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that claimed the lives of more than 100 people just a few years before. We’ll see how these tragedies deepened our understanding of fire science, created new safety regulations, and changed the way we fight fires. 

Richard “Rick” J. Allen Jr. is Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Binghamton Fire Department. He started as a volunteer firefighter at the early age of 16, began working for NYS as a fire instructor in 2016, and has been with the City of Binghamton Fire Department for 28 years, rising steadily through the ranks to his current position.

This event was recorded on December 14, 2021.

City of Binghamton Fire Department…

Keeping your doors closed:…

Binghamton Professional Firefighters’  Facebook page:

City of Binghamton Fire Department:…

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Public Fire Safety Education:

Fire Safety Research Institute: