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2011

The Fire Protection Research Foundation announces the 2011 Bigglestone Award for Excellence in Communication of Fire Protection Concepts goes to Robert Jansson and Lars Borstrom for their paper, “The Influence of Pressure in the Pore System on Fire Spalling of Concrete.”  The Harry C. Bigglestone award is presented annually, along with a $5,000 cash prize, to the authors of the most outstanding paper submitted to Fire Technology during the previous calendar year, as voted by the International Editorial Board. Check out NFPA’s news release to learn more about this prestigious award!

In the same vein, at this year’s NFPA Conference & Expo, the Foundation's Kathleen Almand and Jack Watts of the Fire Safety Institute will present on Sunday, June 12 at 11:00 a.m., “Bigglestone Award Retrospective:  25 Years of Advances in Fire Protection Engineering and Research,” highlighting eight of the 25 Bigglestone award-winning papers.  It’s an informative and interesting forum you don’t want to miss.  We hope to see you there!

While we prepare to host NFPA's Conference & Expo in Boston in June, you can follow historian Stephanie Schorow's walkable guide of the city's fire and disaster history. Her video tour includes stops at the site of the fast-moving inferno in the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire of 1942, the bizarre and deadly molasses flood in 1919, and the 1872 conflagration that devastated Boston's downtown.

Read the entire story in NFPA Journal®.

Talk to us: Have you ever visited any of these historic fire and disaster sites? Share your memories with us.

- Mike Hazell

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), an affiliate of the NFPA, announced the winners of the 2011 William M. Carey and Ronald K. Mengel awards.

http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01543297af63970c-piResearch 2http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01543297af63970c-piThe 2011 Ronald K. Mengel Award for best detection paper goes to Robert Chandler of the University of Central Florida for “Emergency Environmental Stress Induced Diminished Cognitive Capacities:  Adapting to Audience Challenges for Successful Emergency Communication and Incident Alerting Notification Applications.”

The 2011 William M. Carey Award for best suppression paper was awarded to Weston Baker of FM Global for “Storage Sprinkler Design Criteria.”

Congratulations goes out to both winners, who will be presented with their awards at the 2012 Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications (SUPDET) conference, the Research Foundation’s annual technical working conference on suppression and detection research, and applications.

The awards are presented annually in honor of the distinguished men they are named after.

-Lauren Backstrom

NFPA Today 

Be sure to visit "NFPA Today", our blog that will feature all of the latest news and project updates from NFPA, the authority on fire, electrical, and buildling safety. We've assembled a team of bloggers who'll keep you informed of the latest happenings from all around our Association.

- Mike Hazell
NFPA Division Manager, Web

NFPA released a report on Friday, summarizing the day and a-half Pro-Qual Now and Beyond Workshop held in April 2011 in Irving, Texas to address professional qualifications (Pro-Qual) used by the fire service emergency response community.

The report was prepared by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), the research affiliate of the NFPA. Currently, multiple existing codes and standards form the basis for training and professional competency for local, state, provincial and federal fire protection, public safety and emergency response personnel throughout North America. The Pro-Qual Project, made up of 15 NFPA technical committees and correlating committee, is responsible for 18 separate standards that address specific Pro-Qual subjects.

The goal of the workshop was to establish a common understanding of how individual elements of the fire and emergency service Pro-Qual system and the applicable NFPA standards (and related documents) interact to provide the best value to all of the Pro-Qual stakeholders.

Read more about the workshop and the results of the report

Research 2 
The Fire Protection Research Foundation
, (FPRF) an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), has announced the 2011 Bigglestone Award for Excellence in Communication of Fire Protection Concepts is going to Robert Jansson and Lars Borstrom for their paper, “The Influence of Pressure in the Pore System on Fire Spalling of Concrete.”

The Harry C. Bigglestone award is presented annually, along with a $5,000 cash prize, to the authors of the most outstanding paper submitted to Fire Technology during the previous calendar year, as voted by the International Editorial Board.

Read more about the award and this year's winner.

Having a barbeque this Memorial Day weekend? The NFPA is reminding the public to use safe grilling practices as the peak months for grilling fires approach (June and July). Gas grills constitute a higher risk, having been involved in an annual average of 6,200 home fires in 2004-2008, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of 1,300 home fires.

NFPA offers many tips on grilling safety, as well as specific tips for gas grills and charcoal grills.

In the below videos, some key safety tips for both gas and charcoal grills are also demonstrated.

 

-Lauren Backstrom

FPW11_Campaign_banner 
“It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” is the theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign. As you may know, Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres.

This year, our campaign is all about keeping you, your family, and your community safer from fire. You'll find educational material and tip sheets on the leading causes of home fires, information about protecting your home and families with life-saving technologies, and the importance of home escape planning. We've also created special sections of our website for the fire service, teachers, and kids and families.

NFPA is the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, the longest-running public health and safety observance on record.

- Mike Hazell

NFPA, SAE safety summit 

NFPA and SAE International will co-sponsor the 2nd Annual Electric Vehicle Safety Summit September 27 – 28, 2011, at the Marriott Detroit Renaissance Center Hotel in Detroit. The second annual Summit is a continuation of the dialogue begun at last year’s groundbreaking summit initiated in order to support the rapid implementation of electric and hybrid electric vehicles in North America. It provides a forum in which all relevant individuals, organizations and agencies can contribute to the development of action plans regarding the codes and standards necessary to effectively address safety as it relates to electrified vehicles and their infrastructure. Read more about the Summit.

A new NFPA Journal online exclusive takes a closer look at the issue of “commissioning”, and specifically, at NFPA 3, Recommended Practice for Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems. This document, one of 19 NFPA technical documents that will be considered at our Conference & Expo in Boston next month, outlines a systematic process that provides documented confirmation that all building systems function as they were intended. Focusing on both active and passive fire protection and life safety systems, NFPA 3 is designed to make life easier for building owners, contractors, designers, and AHJ's.
 
NFPA Senior Engineer Matt Klaus talks about NFPA 3 and the topic of commissioning at NFPA’s recent Fire & Life Safety Conference.

- Scott Sutherland

Governor Dayton of Minnesota has vetoed HF460, a bill that sailed through the legislature after heavy lobbying by the home building industry, prohibiting the State Building Code, State Fire Code, or any jurisdiction from requiring fire sprinkler systems in single family homes. Read the complete story on our Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

- Mike Hazell

A project is being launched by the Research Foundation to develop performance requirements for light sources used in emergency notification appliances for inclusion in NFPA 72, as LEDs and other innovative energy saving lighting technologies (e.g. fluorescents) are rapidly entering the marketplace and present themselves for application to emergency notification appliances.  For more information, see the full project description and Request for Proposals for Project Contractor.

Our favorite Fire Dog turned 60 years-old on March 18th, 2011. In honor of Sparky, NFPA has been celebrating all year long with new activities, birthday ideas, games and more!

Recently, a slew of kids were invited to attend Sparky the Fire Dog's birthday party right here at NFPA. The party also featured the new "do it yourself" Sparky the Fire Dog party kit ! These free DIY party plans are downloadable pdfs and include pages of tutorials and party instructions.


Check out this video of the Sparky birthday party we recently held:


 


 

For more information on the activities we've got going on to celebrate Sparky's 60th, check out www.nfpa.org/sparkysbirthday . To see photos of other Sparky birthday parties held around the country, visit Sparky's Facebook page !


-[Lauren Backstrom | mailto:lbackstrom@nfpa.org]

 

Earlier this month, legislators from across the aisle came together to introduce the Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act  ̶  legislation designed to provide communities with the funds needed to make their cities EV-ready.

The bill authorizes the U.S. Secretary of Energy to award up to $300 million to each of 10 different deployment communities around the country ($3 billion total) to encourage early adoption of electric cars. The legislation also provides assistance for the installation of charging infrastructure, supports the manufacturing of electric vehicle components and encourages utilities to plan for widespread use of electric drive vehicles. These communities will then serve as domestic hubs for EV manufacturing and deployment, as well as testing grounds for best practices. The 10 communities will be selected through an application process.

The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act also guarantees these consumer benefits:

  • Incentives to purchase electric drive vehicles, such as an additional $2,000 incentive to the first 50,000 people within each hub who buy electric drive vehicles.
  • Extends federal tax credits for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging equipment for individuals (up to $2,000) or businesses (up to $50,000 for multiple equipment purchases).

During our pilot trainings this spring, we provided training to firefighters in New York, Chicago, Austin, Phoenix, Dallas and more. At each stop, we were impressed with the enthusiasm from not only the first responders but also local residents we met with.  

This enthusiasm and the continued commitment from the Administration and the Department of Energy will only help the EV market continue to grow.

Andrew Klock
Senior Project Manager, Training Development

Joining us at NFPA's Conference & Expo in Boston next month? Join us at our "Standards Forum" on Monday, June 13, at 2:00 pm, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center for an update on the proposed reengineering of NFPA's codes and standards development process. Learn more on our conference blog.

The Department of Energy (DOE) today announced yet another step toward its goal getting more advanced electric vehicles on the road in the United States. 

The DOE, along with the White House and General Services Administration (GSA), released a memorandum and revealed that it will be leasing electric vehicles to 20 agencies across the country. 

In the Memorandum, the President specifically directs agencies to:

  • Develop practices that would move the Federal government to 100 percent purchase of alternative fuel  passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks by 2015;
  • Develop and implement a methodology for agencies to determine their agency's optimal fleet size and provide agencies with recommendations for alternative fuel vehicle acquisition and  fleet optimization; and
  • Establish a goal for the size and composition of the federal fleet and a plan to achieve this target by 2015.

We’re excited to see this continued commitment to the electric vehicle market. Yet another sign that the EV market will continue to grow and as it does, first responders can rely on NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Project for information and resources related to this growing fleet of new vehicles.

- Andrew Klock

Monday, May 23
3:30 - 6:00 pm
Batterymarch Park Office Complex
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA

Meet company representatives from National Fire Protection Association, EMD Shared Services America, Unitronics, Merrill Lynch and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Learn about opportunities in accounting, administration, financial services and engineering.

There is a free shuttle from Quincy Center T Station at 3:45 pm, 4:15 pm, 4:45 pm, 5:15 pm and 5:45 pm. The pickup area is on Burgin Parkway.

More information about the Career Fair and current job opportunities at NFPA.

Fire_trail_450 
As Boston prepares to host NFPA's Conference & Expo next month, NFPA Journal® takes a look back at infamous Boston fires.

"Celebrated and much imitated, the Freedom Trail winds through Boston marking highlights of the American Revolution, ranging from Paul Revere’s home to the Battle of Bunker Hill," says historian Stephanie Schorow, who authored the NFPA Journal article. "An unmarked trail, more somber but no less significant, also winds through Boston, a city that has seen more than its share of major fires and disasters."

"Remarkably, the sites of many of these calamities are within walking distance of each other, creating a "Boston fire trail" that is easily accessed on foot by participants at this year’s NFPA Convention & Expo," she says. "You can also use the subway to visit individual destinations or sections of the trail. However you get there, a stroll along this historic trail offers a glimpse of tragedies and triumphs that have had repercussions for public safety issues around the country."

A stroll along this historic trail offers a glimpse of tragedies and triumphs that have had repercussions for public safety issues around the country. Read the entire NFPA Journal article.

Stephanie Schorow takes us on a walking tour of three infamous Boston fires: The Great Boston Fire of 1872, the 1942 Cocoanut Grove Fire, and the collapse of the Hotel Vendome in 1972.

NFPA will be offering a series of free, live web updates on changes to NFPA sprinkler-related codes. The changes were brought about by Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) regarding the use of antifreeze in sprinkler systems.

“Based on recent full scale testing of various antifreeze concentrations in sprinkler systems, NFPA 13, NFPA 13R, NFPA 13D, and NFPA 25 have modified the requirements for antifreeze usage through recently approved TIAs,” said Matt Klaus, senior fire protection engineer, who will host the web updates. “The purpose of these broadcasts is to provide a brief history on the use of antifreeze in sprinkler systems along with an explanation of the new requirements and a discussion of alternatives to antifreeze.

Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation.

Register now: The update will be broadcast on June 28, July 7, and July 19. For more information and to register, visit www.nfpa.org/antifreeze.

NFPA's Matt Klaus talks about new TIAs regarding antifreeze in residential sprinklers.

andrewklock

A training video is born

Posted by andrewklock Employee May 17, 2011

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Have you ever been to an auto collision that has a dedicated concession stand to feed the rescuers? How about a simple pop-the-door extrication that takes two days? How about responding to the same crash repeatedly, each time with someone saying, "action"? Or a scene where the "director" says "CUT," but doesn't mean to take the roof off the vehicle? There's a group of firefighters in northern New Hampshire and Reno, Nevada who have experienced that kind of scene. They were part of a new training videowe produced for our Electric Vehicle Safety Training program. 

Watch a video of the training in action.

You can also read a "behind the scenes" look at the filming of this video on Firehouse.com.

A new report provides documentation of a recent workshop, "Professional Qualifications 'Now and Beyond Workshop' for Fire and Emergency Services". 

The fire service and other emergency responders in North America have a well-developed infrastructure to address professional qualifications (Pro-Qual), and this includes the eighteen separate standards administered by the NFPA Pro-Qual Project.  However, there are various technical and procedural issues requiring attention, and similarly, there are questions on the future vision of the Pro-Qual infrastructure. Download the report from this event.

The workshop, held April 13-14 in Irving, TX, was hosted by by NFPA with support for administration, implementation and documentation provided by the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

LEDs and other innovative energy saving lighting technologies (e.g. fluorescents) are rapidly entering the marketplace and present themselves for application to emergency notification appliances.  The existing requirements for the performance and application of visible notification appliances are based on relatively short duration, high peak intensity flashing lights – strobe lights.  The Foundation is initiating a project to develop performance requirements for new light sources used in emergency notification appliances for inclusion in NFPA 72.  If you are interested in participation, please contact kalmand@nfpa.org.

Fire Science Degree, a blog created and maintained by Frank and Sally Davison, offers a comprehensive list of accredited fire science colleges and universities. In a recent post, the authors compiled a list of their favorite “fire science blogs”, and three of NFPA’s blogs were among those making the grade.

“Whether you’re interested in fire safety engineering, fire prevention, or firefighting, there is something for you in our list,” the authors write.

The NFPA blogs cited as “the best” were:

  • The Fire Protection Research Foundation blog highlights news, activities, and research from the Foundation, an independent nonprofit whose mission is to plan, manage and communicate research in support of NFPA’s mission. 
  • The Fire Service Today blog is NFPA’s blog for firefighters. Firefighters can learn all about the science behind their protective equipment, read the latest research on sprinklers, or find out the date of the next training session.
  • The Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog provides resources for the fire service and other sprinkler advocates who want to demonstrate the need for home fire sprinklers in their community. The blog also serves as a forum to refute “anti-sprinkler” sentiments.

Thanks to Frank and Sally for adding some of NFPA’s blogs to their “top 45” list. Check out their full list of favorite sites.

<p>Here at the EV blog we have focused a lot of attention on the ins and outs of electric vehicles. However, an equally important topic, and one that we cover in our safety training, is the expanding infrastructure that will allow the growth of the EV market to continue.</p>
<p>We are witnessing a significant amount of investment and development in building this infrastructure—from federal, state and local governments to private companies. Some of the nation’s largest rental car companies, such as <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/07/27/enterprise-to-buy-500-electric-cars-from-nissan/">Enterprise</a> and <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/05/hertz-ev-plans-2011/">Hertz</a>, have announced they would be incorporating EVs into their fleets within the year. This step will be instrumental in getting the public more acquainted with these new cars. Any consumer can test one out during their next vacation or business trip and get a better sense of the new technology first hand.</p>

&lt;p&gt;As reported by &lt;a href=&quot;http://analysis.evupdate.com/industry-insight/invitation-demand-planning-ev-charging-infrastructure-investment?utm_source=http%3a%2f%2fcommunicator.evupdate.com%2flz%2f&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=EVweeklywrap28&amp;amp;utm_term=EVUpdate%E2%80%99sWeeklyebr&quot;&gt;Electric Vehicle Update, and PRTM analysts&lt;/a&gt;, “by 2020, worldwide investment in EV charging infrastructure will need to top $30 billion to provide the minimum support required for a 10% sales penetration of plug-in vehicles.”&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;And much of this investment is already taking place.&lt;/p&gt;
<p>In the past few months, EV charging stations have been <a href="http://www.greenlodgingnews.com/ev-charging-stations-popping-up-meet-needs-of-travelers">added</a> to hotels across the nation in order to accommodate hotel guests with EVs—both owned and rented. They will also serve as <a href="http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20110323/NEWS/110323006">public</a> charging stations for local residents. These changes to our infrastructure will take time and continued investment, but it is taking place right before our eyes.</p>
<p>For the firefighter and first responder communities, we are doing our part to do the same. NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training is helping to make the novelty of EVs turn into familiarity and acceptance. Simple training and understanding of how these cars should be handled in a potential crash is another step in adapting our nation’s infrastructure.</p>
<p>It’s our goal that by the time you see a sign on the highway indicating a charging station at your next exit, as a first responder, you’ll be ready to handle any car that pulls in for a charge.</p>
<p>Andrew Klock<br />Senior Project Manager, Training Development</p>

NFPA’s Fire Protection Research Foundation hosts its next webinar on Tuesday, May 10 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. The topic, Antifreeze Solutions in Home Fire Sprinkler Systems, is presented by Steven Wolin of Code Consultants, Inc. Review the basic chemistry of antifreeze solutions, sprinkler spray and fire conditions, and learn the results of a comprehensive full-scale test program. You’ll also receive resulting guidance on the use of antifreeze in home fire sprinkler systems. Please join us and Register today. The cost is $176 for members and $195 for non-members.

The fire service and other emergency responders in North America have a well-developed infrastructure to address professional qualifications (Pro-Qual), and this includes the eighteen separate standards administered by the NFPA Pro-Qual Project.  However, there are various technical and procedural issues requiring attention, and similarly, there are questions on the future vision of the Pro-Qual infrastructure.

To address these issues and to clarify the future vision of these activities, a 1 1/2 day workshop was held on 13-14 April 2011 in Irving, Texas.  The workshop was hosted by NFPA with support for administration, implementation and documentation provided by the Fire Protection Research Foundation. A report on the workshop will be available in the next several weeks and will available on the Foundation’s website. 

http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef014e883d89d9970d-piIPhone Photos - Austin (6) 
At our EV pilot training last week in Austin, we were lucky enough to be joined by an Austin couple, Olivia and Jesse, and their newly purchased Nissan Leaf. This participation marked the first time on our tour that an EV owner took part in the training and we couldn’t be happier with the result.

The goal of NFPA’s EV Safety Training project is to train firefighters and first responders on the ins and outs of EVs in the event that they encounter an emergency situation involving one. Firefighters are taking part in this important training not only to keep themselves safe, but also to protect the public in the event of a crash.

The event in Austin was the third stop on our pilot tour and the participation of the Leaf owners made it feel more like a community event. In addition to it being a great opportunity for the 24 firefighters to have access to the Leaf, it also provided the Leaf owners with a sense of reassurance that their local firefighters were prepared and ready to respond.

And, for their efforts, the Leaf owners got to visit the Austin Fire Academy to show off their new car and have lunch with some of the finest firefighters in Texas! Sounds like a successful event for all!

Angela Burke
EV Safety Training Team

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