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Two recent, high-profile incidents highlighted the practice of using flammable gas to purge or clean piping systems intended for industrial appliances. In both instances, the release of the gas to the atmosphere without specific controls allowed the gas to be ignited and produce fatal explosions. Denise Beach, a senior engineer at NFPA, talks about one of these incidents and the steps taken to amend NFPA 54 , National Fuel Gas Code, to help prevent similar tragedies from occuring.


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Learn more about NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code .</li> </ul>


In August, the NFPA Standards Council banned the use of antifreeze solution in residential fire sprinkler systems for new construction until further action by NFPA consensus standards committees. The council action followed new research that was conducted after a fire incident raised concerns about antifreeze in residential sprinkler systems. Chris Dubay, NFPA&#39;s Vice President of Codes and Standards, and Chief Engineer, talks about the issue and ongoing technical committee activities.


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From NFPA Journal. Chris Dubay talks more about the process that led to NFPA prohibiting the residential use of antifreeze solutions .Learn more about NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems </li> </ul>

NFPA's Matt Klaus took a break from his many presentations at NFPA's Fire and Life Safety Conference in Orlando to talk to Mike Hazell about a couple of the topics that having been drawing crowds in his sessions. Matt speaks on camera about NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection System as well as the new NFPA 3, Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems. His videos will be up later this week.


Lorraine Carli

"The Power of a Dream" was the theme of today's luncheon presentation by Tom Moses, city manager for the City of Lake Buena Vista, FL. Tom, who worked for the Reedy creek Improvement District - a 40-square-mile independent governmental entity whose biggest landowner is the Walt Disney World Company - for more than 30 years, today talked about his perspectives on the vision and development of the Disney empire, truly one of the happiest - and safest - places on earth.

Tom said that in 1969, he was lured away from a career in Birmingham, AL, by a phone call from Roy Disney. He said Mr. Disney flew him to California to meet with a team of architects and engineers who had worked on the Disney property in Anaheim, but had bigger and better plans for a 28,000-acre parcel of land in central Florida. Tom said he was impressed by all of the creative thinking and the intense planning that was going on, but didn't think the plan was feasible. Famous last words! Tom eventually signed-on with the project, thinking it might be a "fun proposition" for the next few years.

Fast forward several decades and Tom can now look back at a career where he's helped overee fire- and life-safety for a succession of Disney developments, including Disney World’s four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. About 46 million people visit Disney World’s various resorts each year.

One of the many stories Tom shared with today's luncheon attendees was that right from the start, it was decided that the Disney properties in Florida would all be protected with automatic sprinkler systems. "It was the best decision we ever made," he says proudly, noting that in the past 43 years, the total fire loss for the complex that includes 4 theme parks, more than 30 hotels, and hundreds of commercial facilities, is less than $250,000.

Tom also talked about the many fire and life safety features that were built into the properties, all a reality, he says, because someone had a vision. He encouraged meeting attendees to think big. "The key to better, safer communities is the ability to dream,' he said.

You can read an interview with Tom Moses and Jerry Wooldridge, who Tom hired in 1998 and now serves as building official and manager of building and safety for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal.

Tom Moses meets with luncheon attendees after his presentation. He encouraged attendees to approach their work with positive, innovative action. Success begins, he said, in the minds of dreamers.

Tom Moses poses with Jerry Wooldridge, Building Official and Manager of Building and Safety for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, and Robert Solomon, manager of NFPA's Bullding Fire Protection and Life Safety Codes division.

- Mike Hazell

NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, has included guidance on the use of antifreeze solutions in fire sprinkler systems since the 1940 edition. Recent fire incidents, analysis of available literature, and preliminary testing have identified concerns with the use of certain antifreeze solutions. Under certain conditions, solutions of glycerin and propylene glycol antifreeze have been found to ignite when discharged from automatic sprinkler systems.



Day 2 of NFPA's Fire & Life Safety Conference here in Orlando...and the energy level remains high, both from speakers and our attendees.

In our "Building & Life Safety" track, Joe Versteeg, principal of Versteeg Associates and a member of the Technical Committee for NFPA 101, led attendees through the process to determine occupancy classifications for multiple occupancy buildings.

In our "Codes & Standards" track, Craig Schroll, president of FIRECON, and a member of the Technical Committee for NFPA 600, talked about effective emergency planning. He said the foundation of any emergency plan - from simple evacuation plans to a comprehensive continuity of operations plan - is a complete threat assessment and a deep understanding of the things that might create emergencies.

In the "Fire Suppression" track, Mark Conroy, a senior engineer at Brooks Equipment Company, spoke about the requirments for inspecting, maintaining, and recharging portable fire extinguishers, as outlined in NFPA 10. Among the topics covered in this morning's session were inspection and maintenance procedures and the difference between the two, certification of maintenance personnel, recharging of rechargeable extinguishers, and hydrostatic testing requirements.

In our "Detection & Alarm" track, Warren Olsen, a partner at Fire Safety Consultants, Inc., and a member of the Technical Committee for NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, talked about the process of fire alarm plan reviews. He walked participants through what actually happens during the review process and well as available tools and resources.

- Mike Hazell

During the most recent revision cycle of NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities, there has been an ongoing debate about the definition of "wet locations" in hospital operating rooms. The Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 99 is proposing that operating rooms are a wet location unless a risk assessment has determined otherwise. Rich Bielen, Manager of NFPA’s Fire Protection Systems Engineering Division, walks us through the issue.


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Learn more about NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities

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