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2011


NFPA President Jim Shannon says there are more fires reported on a typical Fourth of July than any other day of the year.

Each July Fourth, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks - devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death. The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by NFPA, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals. Learn more about the dangers of consumer fireworks..and see just how hot a sparkler burns.

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Yesterday, Google.org announced that electric, plug-in, and hybrid vehicles could make up as many as 90% of cars on the road by 2030. This analysis comes from a study taken on by the philanthropic arm of Google, using McKinsey & Company’s Low Carbon Economics Tool, described by Environmental Leader as “an analytic set of interlinked models that estimates potential economic implications of various policies.” Google.org chose the variables, such as policy scenarios, to plug into the tool.

The analysis found that reduced battery costs and increases in energy density could lead to a decrease in electrical vehicle costs to the point where an electric car would be less expensive than a car with an internal combustion engine by 2030. The new, improved, and cheaper EVs would have a range of up to 300 miles on a single charge.

Google.org reported that should electric vehicles become the large majority of cars on the road, U.S. oil consumption would be reduced by 1.1 billion barrels per year by 2030. (For a reference, that’s about the equivalent of a year’s worth of Canada’s oil production.) New breakthroughs in innovation in clean energy could also create 1.1 million in net jobs, add $155 billion per year in GDP, and reduce household energy costs by $942 per year. Not a bad set of side effects!

With this huge projected increase in EVs on the road, it becomes more and more important for first responders to be able to identify and respond to an EV involved in an accident. EV Safety Training recognizes this need and can’t wait to start distributing our training in July.

 

- Shelly Shore

by Chip Carson, P.E.
From the new issue of NFPA Journal®

http://www.nfpa.org/101In Compliance from NFPA Journal   NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, is one of the few codes that provides a quantitative goal statement accompanied by a related set of objectives that, taken together, state the level of safety the code is trying to achieve. Most codes simply provide a plethora of requirements without necessarily defining the level of safety that compliance will accomplish. Understanding the level of safety the code is trying to achieve can help users focus on the intended goal, result in a more thorough application of its requirements, and help when judging an equivalency.

Read Chip's full article in NFPA Journal.

Matthew Klaus On July 7 and July 19, NFPA will be offering a free, live web update 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: visit www.nfpa.org/antifreeze.

Top Ten In light of a new NFPA report that shows that cooking equipment and smoking materials remain the biggest dangers when it comes to home fires, we're issuing our "Top 10" list of fire safety tips.

  1. Watch your cooking: Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  2. Give space heaters space: Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  3. Smoke outside: Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.
  4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach: Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.
  5. Inspect electrical cords: Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.
  6. http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=638&URL=Research%20&%20Reports/Fact%20sheets/Safety%20in%20the%20home/Candle%20safetyCandles Be careful when using candles: Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  7. Have a home fire escape plan: Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
  8. Install smoke alarms: Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Interconnect smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  9. Test smoke alarms: Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace conventional batteries once a year or when the alarm “chirps” to tell you the battery is low. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.
  10. Install sprinklers: If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.

Are we missing any fire safety tips? What else would you include on your list? Let us know in the "Comments" section below.

NFPA home structure fires report According to a new report from NFPA, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 373,900 home structure fires from 2005-2009. The report says cooking fires remain the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries, and smoking materials continue to be the leading cause of home fire deaths.

During the five-year period covered by the report, roughly one in every 310 households per year had a reported home fire.

“These statistics are a sad reminder that fire is still a deadly threat and we must do more to prevent the needless deaths and losses,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “Properly installed and maintained fire protection devices, such as smoke alarms and residential fire sprinklers, can help to prevent most fire deaths.”

NFPA Board of Directors 
Front row: Brian Hurley, Julie Rochman, Jim Shannon, Thomas Jaeger, Ned Pettus, Jr., H. Wayne Boyd, Peter Holland
Second row: Thomas Norton, Randy Tucker, Donald Cook, John Dean, Philip Stittleburg
Third row: Amy Acton, Thomas Groos, Kwame Cooper, Bruce Mullen
Fourth row: Bill McCammon, Paul Fitzgerald, James Clark, Ernest Grant, Dennis Berry
Not pictured: Dean Seavers, Rebecca Denlinger, Philip DiNenno

Our Board of Directors visited NFPA headquarters in Quincy this week. Among those attending were our three newest members:

  • Julie A. Rochman of Tampa, FL, president and CEO of the Institute for Business & Home Safety
  • Amy R. Acton of Grandville, MI, executive director of The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors
  • Kwame Cooper of Los Angeles, CA., battalion chief of the Los Angeles City Fire Department

The board meeting was led by Thomas Jaeger of Great Falls, VA., who was re-elected as chair at NFPA's recent Conference & Expo in Boston.

- Mike Hazell

Atlanta-Office-Fire On June 30, 1989, a rapidly developing fire in the sixth floor of a 10-story office building in Atlanta killed five people and injured twenty others. The fire began when an electrician attempted to insert a fuse into an energized circuit with a load in it. Massive arcing occured, and ignited the interior finish materials.  Making matters worse, the fire blocked an exit access corridor. 

NFPA's analysis of the incident identified several factors that contributed to the loss of life and property:

  • Rapid development of a severe fire as a result of arcing
  • The immediate blockage of the egress path due to the location of the room of fire origin and the rapid spread of fire in the corridor
  • The absence of automatic sprinkler protection

The full report can be downloaded by NFPA members for free. If you're not a member, consider joining, free access to NFPA's investigation reports is just one of the many benefits. 

-Ben Evarts 

Firewise Logo NFPA's Firewise® Communities Program has reached a milestone in announcing the 700th community to earn recognition as a Firewise Communities/USA® site. Robin Hood Loop in Forks, Washington is the latest neighborhood to take action to improve residents’ safety from threats posed by brush, grass and forest fires.

Initiated in 2002 with 12 pilot neighborhoods, the national Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program now boasts active member communities in 40 states, as well as a participation retention rate of 80 percent over the past decade.

Learn more about Firewise and how to become a Firewise Community.


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f80d374970b-450wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f80d374970b-450wi|alt=Austin Pilot (16)|style=width: 450px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;|title=Austin Pilot (16)|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f80d374970b!First responders check out an electric vehicle at our Austin pilot training session.


 

Since the announcement of the EV Safety Training project last year, we have been working to develop and perfect a training program to benefit firefighters and first responders across the country. This spring, we conducted pilot trainings in several select markets – and received a great response from those in attendance.


Today, we are excited to announce that several state North American Fire Training Directors have signed up for the full EV Safety Trainings, beginning in July.


The free trainings will be delivered by our team of EV subject matter experts and will allow state fire training agencies to take the information back to fire departments in their respective states. 


To date, we have confirmed trainings and begun scheduling course distribution dates with the following state training agencies, with more confirmations coming every week:





    • Georgia

    • Hawaii

    • Iowa

    • Maryland

    • Massachusetts

    • Montana

    • New York

    • North Dakota

    • Tennessee

    • West Virginia




Don’t see your state on this list? Reach out to your state fire academy today and tell them you would like to participate in the NFPA EV Safety Training. Our goal is, with the help and support of first responders across the country, to help first responders in all 50 states prepare for electric vehicle incidents by the end of 2012.


 

Stay tuned to this blog and our project website for updates as we confirm additional trainings and details of our official launch at the end of July.


- Andrew Klock

Jim Shannon From the July/August issue of NFPA Journal®

http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f7ed4b1970b-pi In June, NFPA released the third needs assessment of the U.S. fire service, following up on previous needs assessments we completed and released in 2001 and 2005. After the terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda in 2001, there was, at all levels of government, a new focus on improving the capabilities of America’s emergency responders.

Needs Assessment report By the time of the attacks, NFPA had already undertaken the first needs assessment with funding from the U.S. Fire Administration. So the conclusions of that study were timely for policy makers looking for benchmarks for fire departments in the immediate wake of 9/11. Since then, the federal government has instituted the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to help departments meet some of their most pressing needs.

In recent years, significant progress has been made in several key areas. Much of the federal money has been used to help departments purchase personal protective and firefighting equipment. And there’s been an increased use of technology, including wider use of thermal imaging and greater Internet access by fire departments.

Read Jim's entire article in the online edition of NFPA Journal.

Jobs at NFPA 
NFPA continues to expand our leadership in fire and life safety, education, and technological advancements. With more than 81,000 members worldwide, NFPA works to make the world a safer place. Do you want to join us? NFPA is currently recruiting for several positions, including jobs in our accounting, building services, engineering, and production departments. NFPA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer offering its employees competitive salary/benefits packages.

The best way to stay safe is to stay informed. Take a look at our new Social Media page for "one-stop shopping" -- an easy way to connect with NFPA’s many social media channels. Get all of the latest news on the organization and its initiatives. Be sure to join the conversation and provide us with your feedback, thoughts, ideas and questions!

NFPA social media channels 

Toyota-rav4-ev-first-drive-06-630s

According to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, the US and the European Union are planning to collaborate on setting standards for electric vehicles in an attempt to foster development of environmentally-friendly cars.

De Gucht, who visited Washington D.C. on June 21st to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, said, “The EU and U.S. are about to agree to an ambitious work plan aiming at aligning regulatory issues, standards, and research.” The joint rules, he said, would help the world’s two largest economies “avoid moving into different directions and risk creating new market barriers.”

Bloomberg reports that while details of the collaboration are still in the works and will likely not be released until later this year, a large percentage of the discussion will likely revolve around batteries and motors. The two sides will also likely address the issue of sound. Last December, Congress passed a bill that will require all EVs and hybrids, the engines of which are almost completely silent even when running, be equipped with a “noise maker” to alert nearby pedestrians.

This is great news not only for EV consumers, but also for first responders. Uniform safety codes and standards for hybrid and electric vehicles will make it far easier for first responders to address emergency situations involving such vehicles, as they will not need to be as concerned with variations between models. For more information, check out the full report here. Creating uniform codes and standards for electric vehicles is also the goal of the 2nd Annual  Electric Vehicle Safety Summit, sponsored by SAE and NFPA, which will take place September 27-28, 2011, in Detroit.

 

- Shelly Shore

At NFPA's recent Conference & Expo in Boston, NFPA's Lorraine Carli provided some back-story to the milestone birthday of Sparky the Fire Dog, NFPA's official mascot.

 

 Keep up to date on all of the Sparky birthday fun!

NFPAbanner920x170 
NFPA is now accepting proposals for educational presentations at the 2012 NFPA Conference & Expo. We invite you to share your knowledge with your peers as a presenter in Las Vegas, NV, June 11-14, 2012. Submissions emphasizing a specific product, process or manufacturer will not be considered.
NFPA will review all presentation proposals. Selections will be made based on quality, relevance, focus, practical application, and on the presenter’s experience and credentials.

Submit a presentation proposal. Deadline is September 12, 2011.

Dust Recently, there has been an increased awareness of the explosion hazard associated with combustible dusts. NFPA 654/A.2.2.3.1 includes criteria that have been used for determining whether an explosion hazard exists in a building compartment. There is, however, genuine concern over the technical pedigree of those criteria.  Federal governmental agencies have recently begun using NFPA 654 as a standard for assessing compliance with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act of 1970.  This has precipitated a genuine concern that the criteria currently in NFPA 654 do not have sufficient technical justification to be used as a law enforcement criterion.

The objective of this project is to establish the technical basis for quantitative criteria for determining that a compartment is a “dust explosion hazard” that can be incorporated into NFPA 654 and other relevant safety codes and standards. Read the report, which presents the results of the Phase I portion of the study which is the development of a strawman method to assess the dust hazard.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to plan, manage and communicate research in support of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mission. Read more on the Research Foundation blog.

Karen_Wallingford_50x60(1) Members of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners in Maryland recently gathered to discuss the county's current sprinkler requirement for residences, and the possibility of making changes to that requirement. In support of the mandate as it stands, Commissioner Haven Shoemaker (R-District 2) presented facts that irrefutably support fire sprinklers and urges the Board to leave well enough alone, stating that "we keep going down this path, trying to streamline processes and make it easier for residential developers to build houses. That shouldn't be our focus".

Read Karen Wallingford's complete post on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Also: Learn how how to advocate for home fire sprinklers in your community.


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef014e894f690a970d-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef014e894f690a970d-120wi|alt=Treasury-Fire|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Treasury-Fire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef014e894f690a970d! On June 26, 1996, a fire occured at the United States Treasury, causing water and smoke damage throughout the building. The fire originated on the roof, and was caused by work that was being completed. After the incident, the building had to be closed for 4 days, displacing 1,200 to 1,400 employees.


Based on NFPA's investigation and analysis, there were several significant factors that contributed to property loss, including:


    • The failure to take adequiate safety precations during re-roofing operations

    • The lack of smoke or fire separations within the building

    • The open tunnel between the two buildings without adequate smoke or fire barrier separations


 

The full report can be downloadedby NFPA members for free. If you're not a member, consider joining , access to NFPA's investigation reports is just one of the many benefits.


-[Ben Evarts | mailto:bevarts@nfpa.org]

Beach With more and more hybrid and electric vehicles hitting the roads in Laguna Beach, the city has revealed two electric charging stations in support of citizens’ green ambition. The stations, located at Forest Avenue and Broadway parking lot, the stations are free for the first four hours. The city paid for the installation. The equipment itself was paid for by a grant from the United States Department of Energy.

Following the big reveal on Tuesday, cars such as Teslas, Nissan Leafs (Leaves? You tell us!) and electric Mini Coopers made the drive up to Laguna Beach to check out the new charging station. Drivers were especially excited. “Usually you get about 50 miles and then you have to go ahead and go back,” said Matt Walton of Ventura, who drives an electric Mini Cooper. “The public infrastructure gives us the ability to extend the reach of the car.”

http://nfpa.typepad.com/evsafetytraining/2011/06/headed-to-the-beach-your-ev-can-come-too.htmlAngela Burke Read Angela Burke's complete post on NFPA's Electric Vehicle Safety Training blog.

Fireworks A series of explosions at a fireworks plant in Jennings, Oklahoma on June 25, 1985, killed 21 people and injured 5 others. This was the second-deadliest fireworks factory explosion in the U.S. reported to the NFPA between 1950 and 1986.

The incident was most likely the result of careless unloading of pyrotechnic materials from a pickup truck to an adjacent assembly building.  It was only a matter of seconds from the initial ignition before the explosions leveled most of the facility. NFPA members can download the full investigation report for free.

NFPA 1124: Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles provides the information and guidelines necessary to keep these types of events from happening in the future.

-Ben Evarts

NFPA’s Fire Protection Research Foundation will host its next webinar on Thursday, June 30 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. The topic, "Evaluation of the Impact of Non-Linear Power on Wiring Requirements for Commercial Buildings", will be presented by Jens Schoene of Enernex, Inc. Jens will provide a review of safety and serviceability issues associated with non-linear power on electrical wiring systems and the implications for the NEC® and NFPA 70B. You’ll also have a chance to review case studies and a proposed surveying and testing protocol for harmonic surveying and testing.

The cost is $176 for NFPA members and $195 for non-members. Please join us and register today.

Beach

Mayor Toni Iseman launches the new Laguna Beach charging station with a Chevrolet Volt.
(Joanna Clay, Coastline Pilot / June 23, 2011)

At least, it can if you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California.

With more and more hybrid and electric vehicles hitting the roads in Laguna Beach, the city has revealed two electric charging stations in support of citizens’ green ambition. The stations, located at Forest Avenue and Broadway parking lot, the stations are free for the first four hours. The city paid for the installation. The equipment itself was paid for by a grant from the United States Department of Energy

Following the big reveal on Tuesday, cars such as Teslas, Nissan Leafs (Leaves? You tell us!) and electric Mini Coopers made the drive up to Laguna Beach to check out the new charging station. Drivers were especially excited. “Usually you get about 50 miles and then you have to go ahead and go back,” said Matt Walton of Ventura, who drives an electric Mini Cooper. “The public infrastructure gives us the ability to extend the reach of the car."

Laguna Beach mayor Toni Iseman was excited about the new development. “Laguna has a reputation of being an environmental community and I think it was important for us to take a leadership role,” she said. “We’re thrilled to have [the charging stations]. It’s not just good for the environment but it’s good for the economy. I just had several people say they can come to Laguna now in their car.”

 With new charging stations popping up every day, EV is excited to be getting closer and closer to our EV Safety Train-the-Trainer launch. If there are going to be chargers all over the country, then educated first responders shouldn’t be far behind!

- Angela Burke

Michele_steinberg_50x60x2 I'd like to allow our southern region Firewise Advisor, Patrick Mahoney, to speak to the tragic deaths on Sunday of two Florida Division of Forestry firefighters. According to a CNN report, Josh Burch, age 31, and Brett Fulton, age 52, lost their lives while fighting the "Blue Ribbon Fire" in Hamilton County in north-central Florida. Patrick is a fellow Florida Division of Forestry firefighter and wildfire mitigation specialist.

Read Michele Steinberg's entire post on NFPA's Firewise Communities blog.

Grilling Did you know that 3,000 homes are burned downed each year because of the incorrect use of a barbecue grill? Using a grill improperly -- or too close to the house -- can have dire consequences. ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" is helping teach families how they can safely enjoy this summer weather, and linked over to NFPA's web site for grilling safety tips.

Before you light that fire in your grill and get ready to enjoy hot dogs and burgers, check out NFPA's barbecue safety tips.

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
    Never leave your grill unattended.

See all of NFPA's grilling safety tips.

Right_message_605x250 
The Friday Letter, a weekly publication of the Association of Schools of Public Health, featured a new report from NFPA and the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy that provides information on how best to communicate burn and fire safety information to children ages 4-9.

From 2000–2007, 4,114 children 18 years and younger were killed in house fires. Educating children at an early age how to prevent fire and teaching parents about how to protect them in case of a fire are essential in injury prevention and safety.

The report, titled “Understanding the Impact of Fire and Life Safety Messages on Children”, is of particular significance for child-safety and public health educators, fire departments, teachers and parents.

- Mike Hazell

NFPA’s Fire Protection Research Foundation hosts its next webinar on Thursday, June 30 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. The topic, Evaluation of the Impact of Non-Linear Power on Wiring Requirements for Commercial Buildings, will be presented by Jens Schoene of Enernex, Inc. Jens will provide a review of safety and serviceability issues associated with non-linear power on electrical wiring systems and the implications for the NEC® and NFPA 70B. You’ll also have a chance to review case studies and a proposed surveying and testing protocol for harmonic surveying and testing. 

Please join us and register today. The cost is $176 for members and $195 for non-members.

Recently there has been an increased awareness of the explosion hazard associated with combustible dusts.  NFPA 654/A.2.2.3.1 includes criteria that have been used for determining whether an explosion hazard exists in a building compartment. There is, however, genuine concern over the technical pedigree of those criteria.  Federal governmental agencies have recently begun using NFPA 654 as a standard for assessing compliance with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act of 1970.  This has precipitated a genuine concern that the criteria currently in NFPA 654 do not have sufficient technical justification to be used as a law enforcement criterion. 

The objective of this project is to establish the technical basis for quantitative criteria for determining that a compartment is a “dust explosion hazard” that can be incorporated into NFPA 654 and other relevant safety codes and standards. This report presents the results of the Phase I portion of the study which is the development of a strawman method to assess the dust hazard.

Focus Electric lithium-ion battery packLithium-ion Battery Pack from the Ford Focus Electric

Ford just announced that its Focus Electric lithium-ion battery packs would come with an advanced active liquid-cooling system, to provide its customers some peace of mind during the hot summer months. When charging or being used, the cooling system will use a “chiller” to lower the temperature of coolant going through the battery to keep it from overheating. “If the battery became too hot, we would have to limit the use of energy to protect it. The liquid cooled system allows us to reduce those constraints and get the most out of the battery,” said Dave Fabricatore, team engineer for Thermal Program Management. “We’re helping owners by making sure their battery is always ready to go, regardless of the weather.”

For more information, check out the press release over at PR Newswire.

- Angela Burke

Each July Fourth, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks - devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death. The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by NFPA, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

 

PSA featuring Dan Doofus, urging people not to use consumer fireworks because they are too dangerous.

Some important facts & figures to consider before using consumer fireworks:

  • In 2009, fireworks causedSparklerburnchart an estimated 18,000 reported fires, including 1,300 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in no reported civilian deaths, 30 civilian injuries and $38 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2009, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,800 people for fireworks related injuries; 53% of 2009 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 42% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children agres 10-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

Source: NFPA’s Fireworks report, by John R. Hall, Jr., June 2011

Also see: NFPA's Fact sheet on fireworks and additional videos on the dangers of consumer fireworks

Also see: A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that there are about 200 fireworks injuries a day during the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. 

-Lauren Backstrom

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) on NFPA 99 are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the July 20, 2011 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.

- Debbie Baio

Wpid-Safety-2011-Chevy-Volt-gets-NHTSA-top-safety-rating-0
The NHSTSA puts the Chevrolet Volt through its paces, resulting in a 5-star safety rating.

Last week, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced an $8.75 million study to investigate whether lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles pose a potential fire hazard. NHTSA is undertaking the study to ensure the safe charging of vehicles and to mitigate any potential risks. No prior vehicle incident triggered the study.

The issue of electric vehicle safety, and the safety of drivers and first responders, is EV Safety Training’s first priority, and we plan to pay close attention to the results of this NHTSA study.

It’s also important to note that several other safety-related studies have also released their findings this year. In April, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave both the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf a Top Safety Pick designation. Not only did both cars perform well in all standard combustion-engine vehicle tests, but all additional safety features related to the batteries and high-voltage cabling in the electric vehicles performed exactly as designed. The fully-charged battery packs were not damaged in the crash tests, and the automatic shutdown features that disengage the power source in the event of a crash worked flawlessly. The IIHS did not detect any electrical or fire hazards. The Chevrolet Volt also received a 5-star crash test rating from NHTSA.

The NHTSA lithium ion research will take a few years to produce results, and EV Safety Training will be keeping a close eye on other studies that might point us in the direction of potential dangers in electric vehicles. However, the high safety ratings of the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf prove that EV Safety Training isn’t the only group trying to keep passengers and first responders safe—car manufacturers are, too.

By the end of 2015, there are expected to be more than one million electric vehicles on the road in the United States. Andrew Klock, who manages NFPA's Electric Vehicle Safety Training project, says NFPA is working to provide firefighters and first responders with the information and materials they need to respond to emergency situations involving electric vehicles.

Learn more about NFPA's Electric Vehicle Safety Training project by reading "Taking Charge", an NFPA Journal article that looks at NFPA's role in training emergency responders and helping prepare the nation’s electrical infrastructure.

In his opening remarks at last week's NFPA Conference & Expo, NFPA President Jim Shannon talked about the Association's advocacy campaign to require sprinklers in the construction of all new one- and two-family homes. Both NFPA and ICC codes have this sprinkler requirement. “The home builders lobby is doing everything it can to stop us and, as we all know, they have a lot of clout,” he said.

"NFPA will continue fighting these battles arm in arm with the fire service and it is clear that our message is starting to get through," he said. "So, I am optimistic that we will succeed in this effort the same way we have succeeded in every other important advance that we have made. We will marshal all of the technical arguments, we will work with our allies, we will tell the stories of those affected by fire and we will persevere until we have achieved our goal of national acceptance of residential sprinklers."

Watch: NFPA President Jim Shannon speak about home fire sprinklers at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston.

Fire sprinklers save lives. Learn more about NFPA is doing to bring this higher level of safety home.

FIFallsTownship On June 21, 1982, K Mart's 1.2 million distribution center in Falls Township, PA, was totally destroyed. The fire was accidental, and started when a carton of carburetor and choke cleaner fell to the ground from pallet storage. The fall caused one or more cans to rupture, spraying liquid around in the area of a forklift truck.  Most likely, the electrical powered lift truck ignited the flammable liquid vapor.  The fire protection system of the building was overwhelmed, due to the large amount of flammable liquids stored in the warehouse, including 580,000 cans of petroleum distillate-based aerosols, and 480,000 cans of alcohol-based aerosols. 

According to NFPA's investigation, the distribution center was a well-run facility with effective fire prevention measures in effect and (with few exceptions) standard fire protection features.  The failure of fire wall opening protection and the storage of large quantities of petroleum-liquid-based aerosol containers that were not isolated from the general merchandise storage are considered to be major factors that resulted in the total destruction of the warehouse.

NFPA members can download the full fire investigation as well as two articles about this incident that appeared in Fire Journal

All visitors can access the executive summary of NFPA's report "Warehouse Fires, Excluding Cold Storage", which contains statistical analysis of the storage facility fire problem, and a fact sheet about fires in these properties, members can download the full report.

-Ben Evarts

Pisgah Forest Farms/Estates in North Carolina 
Michele SteinbergI am so proud of Pisgah Forest Farms/Estates in North Carolina! The community is celebrating its 5th year of participation in NFPA's Firewise Communities/USA program, a voluntary initiative to protect local residents, their property and natural resources from wildfires. Pisgah Forest Farms/Estates became a Firewise community in 2007. Since then, the community created and executed a variety of activities to help create the best wildfire prevention plan for the community. Pisgah Forest Farms/Estates’ anniversary was marked by a community wide debris cleanup campaign lasting the entire month of April followed by a picnic on June 11.

Read Michele Steinberg's entire post on NFPA's Firewise Communities blog.

Smoke alarms for the deaf or hard of hearingSmoke alarms save lives. However, people who are deaf or hard of hearing may not be able to depend on the traditional smoke alarm to alert them to a fire. Download our new safety tip sheet on smoke alarms for people who are hard of hearing.

AND DON’T FORGET…All smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month using the test button!

June-FSI-newsletterThe June issue of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter features legislative progress that's been made throughout the country, and a new NFPA 92-page http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef0154330df775970c-pireport on the U.S. experience with fire sprinklers.

Subscribe today to receive our monthly Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. It's free, informative, and will keep you up to date on anti-sprinkler legislation, our advocacy efforts, and other sprinkler-related news.

Educational_Fact_Sheet NFPA recently released an updated report regarding fires in educational properties. The report details the fire problems in nursery schools through high schools, college classroom or adult education center buildings, and day-care centers. Some of the report's findings:

  • There were 6,260 structure fires per year between 2005 and 2009 at these properties
  • Half of fires in preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools were intentionally set
  • Direct property damage per reported fire was 71% lower in these properties when wet pipe sprinklers were present, compared to fires with no automatic extinguishing equipment present

All visitors: download the report executive summary and a fact sheet

NFPA members: download the full report for free

Additionally, NFPA offers safety tips for schools.

-Ben Evarts

Needs Assessment report NFPA has released its "Third Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service", a study that looks at the current needs of America’s fire departments, as compared to those identified in assessments done in 2001 and 2005. The goal of the project was to identify major gaps in the needs of the U.S. fire service and to determine if the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (DHS/FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) programs are continuing to reduce the needs of fire departments.

The report looks at personnel and their capabilities, including staffing, training, certification, and wellness/fitness; facilities and apparatus; personal protective equipment, fire prevention and code enforcement; the ability to handle unusually challenging incidents; and communications and new technologies.

Selected findings

  • Nearly half (46%) of all fire departments that are responsible for structural firefighting have not formally trained all their personnel involved in structural firefighting, down from 55% in 2001 and 53% in 2005.
  • Seven out of ten (70%) fire departments have no program to maintain basic firefighter fitness and health, down from 80% in 2001 and 76% in 2005.
  • Nearly half (46%) of all fire department engines and pumpers were at least 15 years old, down from 51% in 2001 and 50% in 2005.

Selected conclusions

  • Needs have declined to a considerable degree in a number of areas, particularly personal protective and firefighting equipment, two types of resources that received the largest shares of funding from the AFG programs.
  • Some innovative technologies that have not been identified as necessary in existing standards but are known to be very useful to today’s fire service – including Internet access and thermal imaging cameras – have also seen large increases in use.
  • Declines in needs have been more modest in some other important areas, such as training, which have received much smaller shares of AFG funds.

Download the full, 216-page "Third Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service" report.

Disabilities NFPA has released a new report that details home fire deaths in which physical disability played a factor.  The report compares circumstances regarding deaths where physical disability was a factor to home fire deaths overall in order to highlight different hazards faced. 

Among the report's findings:

  • Three of every five victims when physical disability was a factor were aged 65 or older
  • Two of five (41%) victims where physical disability was a factor were killed by a fire started by smoking materials, compared to 25% of all home fire victims

NFPA members can download the full report, and all visitors can download a fact sheet and the executive summary at www.nfpa.org/disabilities. This site has additional information regarding safety in the workplace and teaching tips for fire safety educators.

WATCH: During NFPA's recent Conference & Expo in Boston, Allan Fraser, NFPA's expert on accessibility and life-safety issues for people with disabilities, talked about the importance of creating plans for emergency evacuation plans for people with disabilities.

-Ben Evarts

Too busy eating the Sparky cake to stop by our booth at the NFPA Conference and Expo? You’re in luck. Andrew Klock, senior project manager for EV Safety Training, talked to NFPA’s Mike Hazell all about our new and exciting program developments, including our online Chevy Volt course, the benefits of our direct relationships with electric vehicle manufacturers, and our new, in-the-works emergency field guide for first responders. 

For those of you who couldn’t make it to this year’s NFPA Conference and Expo, be sure to check out this video from our own Mike Hazell, featuring Casey Grant from the Fire Protection Research Foundation. They discuss the upcoming NFPA and SAE Safety Summit in September, ongoing research with electric vehicles, what first responder tools for electric vehicles are coming down the road and more. 

http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef014e892e5046970d-pihttp://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f3b2215970b-piBYB 
 
Register Early to Save
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The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) Wildland Fire Operations Division and Firewise Communities Program has opened registration for the 2011 Backyards and Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference.

Cheryl Registration for the ever-popular 2-day Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone Workshop and Conference is available online, through the mail, by fax or phone.  Visit NFPA’s registration page for more information.

The workshop will be presented Tuesday and Wednesday, October 25 – 26 by Jack Cohen, Research Physical Scientist, USDA Forest Service and Gary Marshall, Firewise Regional Advisor.

The Backyards and Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference will be held Thursday, October 27 through Saturday, October 29, 2011, at the DoubleTree Hotel Denver, Colorado offering over 50 breakout sessions in five educational tracks. The conference offers a unique opportunity to build relationships and explore key issues, and brings together leading wildland fire experts, Firewise® community representatives, community planners, civic leaders, homeowners and residents, insurance professionals, landscape architects and others to share best-practices that can be taken back to communities or the workplace.

-Cheryl Blake, Firewise Publications Manager

For more information and future updates on the 2011 Backyards and Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference, please visit our Firewise Communities Blog.

Foundation award
On behalf of his project team, Steven Wolin accepts the Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal from NFPA Chair Thomas Jaeger and the Foundation's Kathleen Almand.

The winning project of the 2011 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal was "Antifreeze Solutions in Home Fire Sprinkler Systems". The award was accepted on behalf of the project team by Project Contractor Steven Wolin, P.E., principal, Code Consultants, Inc.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal recognizes a Foundation project completed in 2010 that best exemplifies the Foundation’s fire safety mission and the collaborative approach to execution that is the hallmark of all Foundation projects.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates research on a broad range of fire safety issues in collaboration with scientists and laboratories around the world. The Foundation is an affiliate of NFPA.

During the General Session of our recent Conference & Expo in Boston, NFPA announced the re-election of officers and the election of new officers and members to its Board of Directors.

Thomas W. Jaeger of Great Falls, VA., has been re-elected as chair. Mr. Jaeger is currently the president of Jaeger & Associates, LLC, a consulting fire protection engineering firm.

Philip C. Stittleburg of La Farge, WI, has been re-elected as first vice chair. Mr. Stittleburg has served as the fire chief in La Farge, Wis. since 1977, and in 1998, he was awarded Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year by Fire Chief Magazine.

Ernest J. Grant of Chapel Hill, NC., has been re-elected as second vice chair. Mr. Grant is an outreach nurse clinician with the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, UNC Hospitals, a position he has held for over 22 years.

Randolph W. Tucker of The Woodlands, TX, has been re-elected as secretary. Mr. Tucker has over 30 years of fire protection consulting engineering experience, having worked on projects in over 60 countries around the world.

Wayne Boyd, the president and CEO of the U.S. Safety & Engineering Corporation in Sacramento, CA, has been re-elected as treasurer. He has served on several NFPA technical committees, including NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm Code and NFPA 720, Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms in Dwelling Units.

The new members of the board are:

  • Julie A. Rochman of Tampa, FL, president and CEO of the Institute for Business & Home Safety, of Tampa, FL
  • Amy R. Acton of Grandville, MI, executive director of The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Inc.
  • Kwame Cooper of Los Angeles, CA., battalion chief of the Los Angeles City Fire Department

Read more about the NFPA officers and new board members.

Every year, the NFPA Standards Council recognizes individuals for outstanding service to the organization in the development of codes and standards. During our Conference & Expo in Boston, awards were presented to the following individuals:

2011 Recipients for Special Achievement Award

  • Thomas R. Crane, Crane Engineering, Plymouth, MN
  • William Jackson, Lanark, Scotland
  • James K. Lathrop, Koffel Associates, Inc., Niantic, CT

2011 Recipients for Committee Service Awards

  • Robert J. Barraclough (Posthumously), Plano, TX
  • John F. Bender, Aberdeen, MD
  • Bernhard G. Bischoff, UTC/Chemetron Fire Systems™, Matteson, IL
  • John F. Bloodgood, JFB Enterprises, Madison, WI
  • Pat D. Brock, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
  • Walter A. Damon, Buffalo Grove, IL
  • Michael Earl Dillon, Dillon Consulting Engineers, Inc., Long Beach, CA
  • Dr. Marcelo M. Hirschler, GBH International, Mill Valley, CA
  • John E. Kampmeyer, Triad Fire Protection Engineering Corporation, Springfield, PA
  • Arthur A. Krawetz, Phoenix Chemical Laboratory, Inc., Chicago, IL
  • Gary Robinson, Liberty Mutual Group, Loves Park, IL
  • Eric R. Rosenbaum, Hughes Associates, Inc., Baltimore, MD
  • Jeffrey M. Shapiro, International Code Consultants, Austin, TX
  • James G. Stallcup, Grayboy, Inc., North Richland Hills, TX

Read more about our award recipients.

NFPA members at today's Association Technical Meeting in Boston are considering changes to the following 12 documents: 

  • NFPA 3, Recommended Practice on Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems
  • NFPA 15, Standard for Water Spray Fixed Systems for Fire Protection 
  • NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code 
  • NFPA 79, Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery 
  • NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems
  • NFPA 204, Standard for Smoke and Heat Venting
  • NFPA 232, Standard for the Protection of Records
  • NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems  
  • NFPA 703, Standard for Fire-Retardant Treated Wood and Fire-Retardant Coatings for Building Materials
  • NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®
  • NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code®
  • NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® 

Visit our Conference blog for results from the Technical Meeting.

Fireworks-Tip-Sheet With July 4th just around the corner, it’s a good time to remind people just how dangerous consumer fireworks can be.  According to NFPA’s just released report about fireworks, an estimated 18,000 fires were started by fireworks in 2009 alone, and on top of that, 8,800 fireworks-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms.  Another finding is that per hour of exposure, fireworks are more dangerous than cigarettes.

Because consumer fireworks use is so risky, NFPA is strongly opposed to any consumer use of fireworks, but we encourage people to enjoy public displays of fireworks that comply with NFPA 1123: Code for Fireworks Display.

All visitors can download the full report, executive summary, and fact sheet about fireworks, and also find out additional safety tips at www.nfpa.org/fireworks.

-Ben Evarts

Amanda Kimball1986-800pixels The Fire Protection Research Foundation welcomes Amanda Kimball to our staff. After an eight year career at Arup, an independent, international firm of designers, planners, engineers and technical specialists, she joins us the Foundation as a project manager.  Amanda has varied project experience with this global fire engineering company including most recently working as a project manager/senior fire engineer, and as a leader of their Evacuation and Human Behavior Americas group.  She also has extensive experience with CFD fire and smoke models as well as probabilistic fire modeling for structure risk and evacuation. 

Amanda received her Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and a Master of Science degree in fire protection engineering from WPI.  She is also a registered professional engineer in the State of Massachusetts and a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator.

The recent movement toward lighting systems, solid state technology, and renewable energy technologies has resulted in an increase in non-linear power to building wiring systems.  Non-linear power has an impact on various safety provisions of the National Electrical Code, including, for example: (a) harmonics in neutral conductors; (b) load calculations; (c) integration of non-linear loads on multi-wire branch circuits; and (d) over-current protection and AFCI and GFCI devices. The goal of the Evaluation of the Impact on Non-Linear Power on Wiring Requirements for Commercial Buildings research project was to provide users of the NEC and NFPA 70B with guidance on this issue. The study reviews research relevant to safety and serviceability issues, provides case study examples of harmonic surveys, and provides guidance and recommended further studies to inform the NEC and NFPA 70B.

NFPA’s Association Technical Meeting is now underway at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Today, members will consider the following seven documents: 

  • NFPA 51AStandard for Acetylene Cylinder Charging Plants
  • NFPA 484Standard for Combustible Metals 
  • NFPA 664Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
  • NFPA 704Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response
  • NFPA 2112Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire 
  • NFPA 720Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide(CO) Detection and Warning Equipment
  • NFPA 99Standard for Health Care Facilities    

Visit our Conference blog for results from the Technical Meeting.


Last November, NFPA's Board of Directors approved a comprehensive set of changes to the regulations that govern the Association's standards development process. Amy Cronin, division manager of NFPA's Codes and Standards Administration, and secretary to the Standards Council, provides an overview of the new regulations. 

 

The new regulations will be in effect for NFPA documents reporting in the Fall 2013 Revision Cycle and all subsequent revision cycles. Documents reporting up to and including the Annual 2013 cycle will operate under the current regulations. During the transition period, NFPA standards development will be operating under two sets of regulations.

Read a complete overview of the new NFPA regulations.

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NFPA's Rita Fahy presents findings of the 2010 Firefighter Fatality report.

Attendees of the NFPA Conference & Expo presentation on the U.S. firefighter fatality problem learned about the results of NFPA's annual firefighter fatality study. According to NFPA's Dr. Rita Fahy, one of the authors of the report, it is "not a line of duty study, becuase that implies it was emergency related". Instead, the study was specific to on duty fatalities. This includes fatalities that happen at the scene, en route to/from the scene, or while performing training, maintenance, or public education. 

The NFPA report shows that a total of 72 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the United States in 2010, a sharp drop from the 105 on-duty deaths in 2008 and 82 in 2009 and it is the lowest annual total since the NFPA began conducting this annual study in 1977.

Other key findings in the report include: 

  • There were nine deaths in crashes of road vehicles in 2010, as well as in 2009, which is the lowest since 1983.
  • There were 44 volunteer firefighters deaths in 2010, which continues a downward trend.
  • The ages of all U.S. firefighters who died ranged from 20 to 86 with a median age of 52.5 years.

Download NFPA's 2010 Firefigher Fatality report.

    Video: Watch Dr. Fahy and Ken Willette of NFPA"s Public Fire Protection Division, talk about the findings of the firefighter fatality report:

     

    - Karen Wallingford


     

    http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f17c1fa970b-pi!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f17c27a970b-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f17c27a970b-120wi|alt=FIR_1983_6_14_hotel|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Download the report and article here|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f17c27a970b!On June 14, 1983, an early morning fire at a Ramada Inn in Fort Worth, TX, killed five people and injured 33 others. The fire spread was accelerated by twenty-three rolls of carpet  and padding that were stored in the area of fire origin.  The cause was determined to be suspicious by the Fort Worth Fire Department, although specific details were undetermined.


     

    Additionally, the building was not protected by automatic sprinklers or smoke detectors and had no fire alarm system. NFPA members can download the full investigation report and the March 1984+ Fire Journal +article.


    -[Ben Evarts | mailto:bevarts@nfpa.org]

     

    Visit our Conference & Expo blog for the latest news and updates from our meeting in Boston, including:

    Jim Shannon In his opening remarks at the NFPA Conference & Expo, NFPA President Jim Shannon talked about the Association's advocacy campaign to require sprinklers in the construction of all new one- and two-family homes. Both NFPA and ICC codes have this sprinkler requirement. “The home builders lobby is doing everything it can to stop us and, as we all know, they have a lot of clout,” he said. "But we will persevere until we achieve national acceptance of residential sprinklers.” Read President Shannon's full remarks.

    Thomas Jaeger NFPA Chair Thomas Jaeger talked about the launch of an aggressive strategic planning process conducted by the Board and NFPA staff, which has established a comprehensive roadmap for NFPA’s future. “The plan allows NFPA to tackle emerging issues such as the impact of electric vehicles – what do they mean for first responders, overall safety and the infrastructure needed to support their widespread introduction; and the growing incidence of wildfire both in the US and abroad,” he said. Read Mr. Jaeger's full remarks.

    NFPA's Dave Nuss talks about the wildland fires that are raging in Arizona and NFPA's "Firewise Communities" strategies.


     


     

    Online resources


    NFPA&#39;s Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire.</li> </ul>

    During NFPA's Conference & Expo in Boston, we continue to celebrate the 60th birthday of our official mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog®. And we’ve got lots of people who want to help Sparky mark this special event! In the Expo Hall, attendees are invited to get their picture taken with our iconic mascot. And then all of those photos will be posted on Sparky’s Facebook page for everyone to enjoy!

    Here are a few folks who posed with Sparky on Sunday afternoon.

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    See more photos at Sparky's Facebook page.

    Sparky cake arrives
    Last week, Sparky the Fire Dog visited Hoboken, NJ to stop by Carlo's Bake Shop, home of TLC's The Cake Boss. While there, he got a chance to meet some of the stars of the show and see the beginning of his 60th birthday cake being made. The finished cake has now arrived at the 2011 Conference & Expo

    - Lauren Backstrom

    Reg1
    NFPA is pleased to bring its 115th annual convention to its hometown of Boston, a great city with a rich history in fire and life safety.

    "The NFPA Conference & Expo is our unique opportunity to showcase what NFPA is all about," says NFPA President Jim Shannon. "Every aspect reinforces our mission to reduce the burden of fire and other hazards."

    Be sure to read our Conference & Expo blog this week for the latest updates for our Boston event.

    PropaneFire On June 10, 1990, a fire started when propane gas that was released accidentally from a 20-pound cylinder in a function room ignited. The cylinder was fueling a portable cooking grill, in violation of local city ordinances and NFPA 58, Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases (now called NFPA 58: Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code).

    A private party with around 90 guests was being held in the third-floor function room of a Howard Johnson in Cambridge, MA. There was a live band, and food was being prepared on a propane gas grill.  A sudden release of propane occurred when a hotel employee was dismantling the grill.

    NFPA members can download a free copy of our investigation report and article on this incident. All visitors can download our free hotel and motel fires fact sheet.

    - Ben Evarts

    NFPA SAE banner no border

    NFPA and SAE International will co-sponsor the 2nd Annual Electric Vehicle Safety Summit in Detroit, MI, September 27–28. The event is a continuation of the dialogue begun at last year’s summit initiated in order to support the rapid implementation of electric and hybrid electric vehicles in North America. The Summit 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.

    Last year’s Summit led to the identification of three areas for action plan development:

    1. vehicle charging infrastructure
    2. battery hazards identification and protection
    3. training for emergency responders

    Learn more about this fall's event and download a summary report of the 2010 Summit.

    You can also learn more about NFPA's Electric Vehicle Safety Training project, a nationwide program to help firefighters and other first responders prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road.

    - Mike Hazell

    P1010488Traffic was steady at NFPA's EV Safety Training Booth as the Expo opened on Sunday.

    It’s that time of the year again: the 2011 NFPA Conference and Expo. Every year, we look forward to the chance to meet with industry professionals to provide the best educational event in the field and share our latest resources, trainings and tools for the fire protection industry. This year’s event – which runs from June 12-15 in Boston – will feature the latest information regarding our Electric Vehicle Safety FireTraining project.

    Stop by Booth 1203 to speak with NFPA experts about our EV training program and find out how you can sign up for EV trainings beginning in July. 

    And no conference is complete without some freebies! Mention the NFPA EV blog and receive a free t-shirt. Plus, there will also be additional information regarding EV safety available at the conference that you won’t want to miss.

    EV Courses

    On Sunday, June 12, from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, catch Thomas Lichtenstein and Alfredo Ramirez from Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., as they discuss what you need to know about charging systems for electric vehicles. This will include information about charging system types, as well as certification and code requirements.

    Next, you can catch up on what happened at last year’s U.S. National Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit. This report will be presented by Casey Grant of the Fire Protection Research Foundation on Monday, June 13th, from 4:15 PM to 5:15 PM. In this session, you’ll get the chance to hear about the important topics discussed at the Summit including battery technology, charging station interface, permitting and inspection and, of course, the vehicle features that require additional training from first responders. 

    The NFPA Conference and Expo is the best opportunity to speak with industry experts, explore new technologies and address any challenges you may be facing. We cannot wait to meet with you and share what we have been working on. See you soon!

    - Angela Burke

    The uncertainty of fire loads as input data for calculating structural fire performance is a critical concern in the field of structural fire protection.  Accurate values are needed for this input criteria to better predict the performance of structures in fire. NFPA 557 is a newly proposed draft standard to provide methods and values for use in the determination of design basis fire loads.  This new report documents a project to validate the fire load survey methodology proposed in the NFPA 557 draft standard and to develop guidance on means to calibrate the results of fire load data surveys developed using various other methodologies.

    Kate%20Green%2050x60(1) We've compiled a list of helpful tips that you'll want to remember as you make your final preparations for the conference.

    • It's not too late! Registration is still open: register now!
    • QR Download the new Conference & Expo mobile app for your smart phone for complete information about the event. You may download the mobile app from your favorite app store, www.nfpa.boopsie.com, or scan the QR code.
    • Bring plenty of business cards. The NFPA Conference & Expo is a great opportunity to expand your personal and professional relationships.
    • Hear about the future improvements to the codes and standards process during session M40 - NFPA Standards Forum - Monday, June 13 at 2:00 pm.

    Read more tips from NFPA's Kate Greene on our Conference & Expo blog.

    Karen_Wallingford_50x60(1) The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC),and NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative have teamed up with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to award a fire chief for their outstanding local efforts to increase the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems. The “Bringing Safety Home” award will recognize a fire chief who uses HFSC’s educational materials and NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources as a key part of a program to educate and ensure that decision-makers have information to upgrade or pass new residential fire sprinkler legislation at the local level.

    Read Karen Wallingford's entire blog post on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog to learn more about the award and how to apply. Nominations are due July 29.

    Michele_steinberg_50x60x2 The rest of the country is watching as the massive "Wallow Fire" burns in eastern Arizona, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and threatening homes. Two more large fires are still burning in the southernmost area of the state and officials are taking precautions including closing access to the Coronado National Forest.

    In the face of what appears to be looming disaster, what can we do? I've got several "dos" depending on where the fire is relative to your home.

    Read Michele Steinberg's entire post on NFPA's Firewise Communities blog.

    Angela Burke You’ll hear us mention rather frequently about the growing level of government support for electric vehicles. This support is helping (hopefully) to remove barriers that may keep consumers from adopting new EVs and building the necessary infrastructure so they can thrive. However, it is important not to underestimate one of the most important factors in how quickly this country embraces electric vehicles: the enthusiasm and interest of the general public.

    Read Angela Burke's entire post on NFPA's Electric Vehicle Safety Training project blog.

    Read about NFPA's Electric Vehicle Safety Training project, a nationwide program to help firefighters and other first responders prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road.

    http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=445&itemID=18690&URL=Research/Fire%20investigations/Non-residential%20propertiesGrainElevator On June 8, 1998, a series of explosions occurred at one of the largest grain elevators in the world, killinghttp://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538eea1ea6970b-pi  seven and injuring ten. The facility, located in Haysville, Kansas, was being prepared for the early summer harvest of wheat; workers were preparing the facility by cleaning the gallery houses at the top of the silos as well as the conveyor tunnels under the silos.  The ignition source is unknown, even after an investigation.

    http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538eea1c59970b-piNFPA members can download a free copy of the NFPA investigation report on this incident. All visitors can read a summary of the event.

    - Ben Evarts

    Sparky was tired from his long road trip today and wanted to make one last rest stop in Connecticut on the way home. 

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    Sparky met retired firefighter Ray Dupont.

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    Sparky greeted a young fan!

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    Sparky took a load off in the canine rest area.

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    A quick nap before Sparky hit the road for the last leg of the trip home!

    For more photos of Sparky's road trip to TLC's Cake Boss bakery, visit his Facebook page.

    -Lauren Backstrom

    Along Sparky's road trip route to TLC's Cake Boss bakery in Hoboken, NJ to thank the team for making him a cake in honor of his 60th birthday celebration, he made a stop at Hoboken Fire Department Co. No. 6. Sparky presented Battalion Chief Louis Moyeno and his crew with a platter of cookies from the bakery, as well as the very first 2011 Fire Prevention Week banner, and an assortment of NFPA public education materials for their local classrooms. 

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    Hoboken truck 
     
    Hoboken thumbs up 
     
    For more photos of Sparky's visit, check out his Facebook page

    -Lauren Backstrom

    While on Sparky's visit to Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, NJ - he made sure to say hello and entertain the crowds waiting in line in the 91 degree heat for their chance to pick up some goodies. 

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    Cake boss fan 1 

    Cake boss fan 2 

    For more photos, visit Sparky's Facebook page. Also, to find out what else NFPA has been doing to celebrate Sparky's birthday, including games, videos, e-cards and other fun photos, visit Sparky's birthday page on the website. 

    -Lauren Backstrom

    During Sparky's trip down to Carlo's Bake Shop, he got to meet several of TLC's Cake Boss stars!

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    Sparky meets Buddy's sister Grace, and her husband Joe!

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    Sparky sees the start of his cake being made and poses with Mauro, Buddy's right-hand man!

    Cake boss staff 

    Cake boss bouncer 
    For more photos, visit Sparky's Facebook page

    -Lauren Backstrom

    In celebration of Sparky's 60th birthday, Carlos Bakery in Hoboken, NJ - home of TLC's The Cake Boss, is making a special birthday cake. The cake will be on display at the 2011 NFPA Conference & Expo next week. Check out some photos from his tour of the bakery:

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    Cake decorator Danielle airburshes flames for Sparky's birthday cake!

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    Sparky greets the crowd from behind the counter at the bakery!

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    Sparky helps the bakers taste test some fresh cookies!

    For more photos, visit Sparky's Facebook page

    -Lauren Backstrom

    You’ll hear us mention rather frequently about the growing level of government support for electric vehicles. This support is helping (hopefully) to remove barriers that may keep consumers from adopting new EVs and building the necessary infrastructure so they can thrive. However, it is important not to underestimate one of the most important factors in how quickly this country embraces electric vehicles: the enthusiasm and interest of the general public.

     

    Today, one of the easiest ways to capture consumer response is social media. The social media space is a way for the public to interact with their favorite products, brands or companies on a new, personal level. And hundreds of thousands of people are getting to know EVs through social media channels.

     

    The official Chevrolet Volt Facebook page already has nearly 55,000 “Likes” and growing. Though the pace of EV sales has been steady, this number is staggering considering that only 2,184 Volts have been sold this year. The Nissan Leaf Facebook page has nearly double the fanfare, with close to 108,000 “Likes” despite the only 2,167 vehicles that have made it on to the roads.

     

    The online popularity of these vehicles and how that popularity translates into long-term sales is still to be determined. Yet the numbers do show that consumers are enthusiastic and want to learn more. Social media channels like Facebook serve as a way to satisfy the desire for information among the growing electric vehicle fan base.

     

    Recently, Toyota, the producer of the most popular hybrid vehicle in the U.S., announced it was developing a private social network exclusively for Toyota customers and their vehicles. The appropriately named Toyota Friend is a way for electric car and plug-in hybrid customers to connect remotely to their vehicles using smart phones and the Internet. From there, they can examine the vehicle’s energy usage, check battery status, manage charging and set routes.

     

    Here at the NFPA EV Blog, we also continue to embrace social media as a way to share information with our audience. Aside from the blog itself, NFPA manages a Facebook page and Twitterfeed with regular news and updates about the EV project and other items important to the firefighter and first responder communities. We encourage you to follow us, friend us or simply pass along the message to friends and colleagues.

    Angela Burke, NFPA

    6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f047930970b-450wi.jpgWe've got another clue for you to help you guess where Sparky is headed on his road trip to celebrate his 60th birthday!

     

    We're passing through "New York, New York" and just crossed under the George Washington Bridge! The rest of this trip should be a piece of cake...


    Remember, to leave any guesses below in the comments (just click the "comment" button) or on Sparky's Facebook page.

    -Lauren Backstrom

    6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f03fe5e970b-450wi.jpg

    We've provided a couple of clues as to where Sparky's "sweet" road trip destination is - think carefully and they could help you make a great guess!

    First up: Sparky stopped at the Willington, CT rest area on highway 84 West!


    Then we received a couple of guesses for Hershey, PA - and while that is a great guess, it is not where Sparky is headed. We thought we would "serve" up some more hints.

    Next, Sparky made a pit stop at the Golden Age of Trucking Museum in Middlebury, CT.

    6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f040014970b-450wi.jpg
    We'll keep the hints coming if you keep the guesses coming! You can leave guesses on Sparky's Facebook page, or here in the comments section. To leave a comment, just click on the comment button below.

    -Lauren Backstrom

    6a00d8351b9f3453ef015432d2685a970c-800wi.jpg
    Photo: Screenshot from CNN video.

    Days after fire detroyed their Tennessee home, the family of country singer Trace Adkins is pretty happy today... happy they all escaped unharmed. According to news reports, a dryer caught fire, sending flames and smoke throughout the home. Adkins' wife and three daughters escaped, crediting the fact they had developed and practiced a home escape plan.

    Rhonda Adkins talked about tying a yellow ribbon around a tree in the front yard to designate where they all would meet should they have a fire in the home. They developed an escape plan after the girls learned about fire safety at school.The official Trace Adkins website today reminds fans to follow their lead and make sure your family is prepared by putting together a home escape plan and practicing it twice a year.

    NFPA provides a downlodable home escape grid you can use to develop your own escape plan. You can also find information on dryer fires.


    6a00d8351b9f3453ef015432d24478970c-300wi.gifThe steps for to develop a home escape plan are:

    • Draw a map of your home. Show all doors and windows.
    • Visit each room. Find two ways out.
    • All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside.
    • Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Push the test button to make sure each alarm is working.
    • Pick a meeting place outside. It should be in front of your home.
    • Everyone will meet at the meeting place.
    • Make sure you house or building number can be seen from the street.
    • Talk about your plan with everyone in your home.
    • Learn the emergency phone number for your fire department.
    • Practice your home fire escape drill!

    We are so glad everyone got out safely.

    - Lorraine Carli

    The Annual 2012 Report on Proposals (ROP) for 37 NFPA documents are now available for public review and comment.

    Some of the proposed NFPA documents addressed in the Report on Proposals include:

     

    • NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
    • NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®
    • NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives
    • NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems
    • NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code
    • NFPA 1128DS, Draft Standard for Standard Method of Fire Test for Flame Breaks
    • NFPA 1129DS, Draft Standard for Standard Method of Fire Test for Covered Fuse on Consumer Fireworks
    • NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances

    See the full list of NFPA documents in the 2012 annual revision cycle.

     

    The deadline to submit a comment on any of these documents is August 30, 2011. Download a public comment form (PDF, 90 KB).

    - Debbie Baio

    NFPA News The June issue of NFPA News, our codes and standards newsletter, is now available.

    In this issue:

    • NFPA offers free live web updates regarding antifreeze in sprinkler systems
    • Comments sought on proposed TIA for NFPA 13D
    • Errata issued on NFPA 2 and NFPA 85
    • Formal interpretation issued on NFPA 1977
    • Committee calendar
    • Call for technical committee members
    • Technical committees soliciting proposals

    NFPA News is a free newsletter, and includes special announcements, notification of proposal and comment closing dates, requests for comments, notices on the availability of Standards Council minutes, and other important news about NFPA’s code and standards making process.

    Free subscription
    Sign-in on NFPA’s website and then select “NFPA News” from your e-mail options.

    - Debbie Baio

    From the May/June 2011 issue of NFPA Journal®
    Interview conducted by NFPA Journal staff writer Fred Durso, Jr.

    One word comes to mind when Rafael Moure-Eraso, chair of the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), recalls the deaths and injuries from two recent, catastrophic explosions in industrial settings: preventable. Both incidents involved a common yet potentially dangerous practice of intentionally releasing natural gas near work settings, even though safer alternatives exist.

    In June 2009, workers at the ConAgra Slim Jim facility in Garner, North Carolina, were connecting a new gas supply pipe to an industrial water heater when they began using natural gas to purge air from the pipe. Workers were unaware of the level of gas buildup inside the facility after a two-and-a-half-hour venting process; the concentration of accumulated gas reached the lower flammable limit and came in contact with an ignition source, resulting in an explosion that killed four workers and injured more than 60. Eight months later, at the under-construction Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, Connecticut, highly pressurized gas used during a cleaning procedure was being blown through pipes and discharged outdoors. Once again, the gas had accumulated to dangerous levels and found an ignition source, killing six workers and injuring nearly 50 others.

    Read the entire interview with Rafael Moure-Eraso in the online edition of NFPA Journal.

    RELATED: Rafael Moure-Eraso will speak on "Lessons Learned Regarding Industrial Gas Safety Practices" on Monday, June 13 at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston.

    RELATED: Watch NFPA Senior Engineer Denise Beach talk about NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code, and gas piping purging incidents.

    - Scott Sutherland

    http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef014e88dd3a07970d-piNew-Sprinkler-Report NFPA has released a new 92-page report that analyzes fires in the United States that involve automatic fire sprinklers. The report, by NFPA’s John R. Hall, Jr., includes statistics on how often sprinklers are reported in fires, by property use, and their estimated impact in reducing the average loss of life and property per fire.

    If you follow NFPA, you know that we are advocates for the installation of home fire sprinklers (read more on our Fire Sprinkler Initiative website), and here’s why: fire sprinklers save lives. As outlined in our new sprinkler report, the fire death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was lower by 83% and property damage lower by 71% when wet pipe sprinklers were present versus when no automatic extinguishing equipment was present. Download your free copy of NFPA's sprinkler report.

    Wisconsin fire inspector Guy Santelli and his wife are all too familiar with the tragic potential of fires in unsprinklered homes. For them, installing a sprinkler system in their new home was an easy choice: "we put fire sprinkler systems in our new home to protect our children. We want to protect our family the best we can." Watch Mr. Santelli explain his decision to install home fire sprinklers.

     

    -Ben Evarts

    Sharon Gamache From the May/June 2011 issue of NFPA Journal®
    by Sharon Gamache, Program Director, NFPA High-Risk Outreach Programs, Public Education

    I grew up in the fifties and sixties in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Back then, the city’s population was fewer than 80,000, and there wasn’t much diversity among its citizens.

    Outreach Today, Sioux Falls’ roughly 155,000 inhabitants are much more racially and ethnic diverse. New census data shows that minorities make up 15 percent of the population, and a recent story in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that there are students from 51 language backgrounds in the local school district. Many of the newcomers are refugees who arrived in the United States from countries as varied as Cambodia and Sudan, often with little preparation for their immersion in American culture. Many do not speak English.

    http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538ed92e65970b-pi This kind of demographic shift poses particular challenges to fire safety professionals. In addition to language barriers, these new citizens may have cultural issues related to fire that safety professionals are unaware of. Larry Gray, public information officer for the fire department in Cleveland, Ohio, says that the city’s diverse population includes a growing number of residents from Somalia who did not use stoves in their home country, and that fires and injuries have occurred among people unfamiliar with their use.

    Read Sharon's entire article in the online edition of NFPA Journal.

    - Scott Sutherland

    On June 2, 1992 a fire in a Detroit, Michigan board and care facility fire spread rapidly through the three-story, former two-family home.  Ten residents died.  Based on NFPA's investigation, factors that contributed to fire spread and loss of life included the  lack of an automatic fire sprinkler system,  combustible interior finish, open stairways and other unprotected vertical openings, and a lack of fire safety training and fire drills.  According to the report, an automatic sprinkler system could have altered the results of this incident by controlling and possibly extinguishing the fire early in the sequence of events.

    According to NFPA’s latest report on board and care facility fires, an average of 2,070 structure fires in residential board and care facilities per year were reported to U.S. fire departments during 2003-2007. These fires caused an estimated average of ten civilian deaths, 70 civilian injuries and $10.9 million in direct property damage per year.

    Download a free fact sheet on structure fires in residential board and care facilities. NFPA members can download a free copy of NFPA’s investigation report on the 1992 Michigan board and care facility fire. Not a member? Join today.

    -Ben Evarts

    Jim Shannon From the May/June 2011 issue of NFPA Journal®

    http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538ed8daac970b-pi Protecting our independence as a codes and standards development organization is one of the most important issues we face at NFPA today. There are those who argue that all codes and standards should be classified as public domain material without access to copyright protections. If that argument prevails, it will destroy the independent source of revenue that organizations such as NFPA need to undertake the crucial safety standards development process. Private-sector code developers would be forced to rely more directly on affected interests for financial support, which would undermine their impartiality and independence.

    One aspect of private-sector standards development that public officials should better understand is the measure of independence provided by the methods we use to finance our operations. We pay for our technical and administrative staffs, as well as our code-development costs and overhead, by selling codes, standards, and other related documents. We support and underwrite many programs, such as gratis code training for authorities having jurisdiction and our public education activities. We are not funded through charitable contributions or government grants, or by license fees paid by the jurisdictions that use our codes.

    Read Jim's entire article in the online edition of NFPA Journal.

    - Scott Sutherland

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