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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.

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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 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

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