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The team over at Fire Chief magazine recently sat down with NFPA EV Safety Trainer Jason Emery to talk about the EV safety training project, lessons learned from the pilot trainings and a handful of tips for firefighters and first responders.

The article is a great introductory lesson for our in-classroom train-the-trainer sessions which are taking place across the country. To date, state-level trainings have taken place in Massachusetts and New York and several additional trainings are on the calendar for this fall.

Find out more information about the training schedule and how to sign up for upcoming trainings.

On August 31, 1996, a fire occurred in a board and care facility located in Sainte Genevieve, Quebec. The two-story structure was occupied by 41 residents who were elderly, 7 of whom died as a result of the fire. The fire began in the closet of an occupant’s room, and fire investigators attributed the cause to smoking materials or matches.

Factors considered as having contributed to the loss of life and property included:

  • Lack of automatic fire sprinklers
  • Inadequate corridor separation
  • Delayed notification of the fire department
  • Staff response

NFPA members can download the full investigation report, and all site visitors can download a Spanish-language summary of the incident. NFPA also has reports on fires in several different kinds of health-care facilities, including a report on facilities that care for the aged (including nursing homes and residential board and care), that are free to members.

-Ben Evarts

Update: Thanks for your patience with us. Power has been restored to NFPA's distribution/contact center, and our toll-free customer service number (800) 344-3555 is also back online.

Webinar on high volume low speed fans High-volume low-speed (HVLS) fans are in increasing use in storage and manufacturing facilities. However, until recently, the interaction of these fans with automatic sprinkler operation was unknown. What impacts do the fans have on fire protection? Do they obstruct the flow from the sprinkler? How does the air movement of the fan influence the overall performance of the sprinkler in controlling or extinguishing a fire? And how can these effects be mitigated?

We're offering a free webinar, sponsored by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, that will present the results of a comprehensive study of these issues and provides practical guidance on the use of these fans in sprinklered facilities.

Date: October 27, 2011
Time: 12:30-2:00 pm (EST)
Instructor: Dan O'Connor, P.E., Chief Technical Officer, Aon FPE

Register now 

NFPA is hiring! We're looking for an Associate Project Manager in our Wildland Fire Operations division. This person will be responsible for coordination of program management, projects, and reporting of activities related to the Firewise program and related Wildland Fire Operations Division initiatives. More details on our Firewise Communities blog.

Fire Rescue International
NFPA is at Fire Rescue International (FRI 2011) this week in Atlanta, GA. Members of NFPA's Public Fire Protection, Fire Sprinkler Initiative, Electric Vehicle Safety Training and Public Education groups are all attending - so if you are also down this week, stop in booth #3203! Read more on NFPA's Fire Service Today blog.

Mother Nature Network
While electric vehicles have been around in one form or another for more than a century, the hybrid and electric vehicle industry is still considered relatively new. Here at EV Safety Training, we know all about the ins and outs of just about every hybrid and EV on the market, but for most drivers, when someone mentions an electric vehicle, all they think is, “Oh, like the Prius, right?”

There’s more to electric vehicles than just saving money on gas. The technology used in hybrids and EVs is designed to save something even more important than gas money—our environment.

Read the entire post on our Electric Vehicle Safety Training blog.

NFPA is 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.

Hurricane Irene is storming up the East Coast this weekend, threatening to be one of the largest hurricanes the region has seen in many years. NFPA has some great materials to check out as you prepare for the storm. 

Emergency Supplies Checklist First, in the Emergency Preparedness section of our safety information site, there is a whole webpage dedicated to Hurricanes. Here, you will find important information on what to do before, during and after a hurricane strikes your area. 

Additionally, disasters can happen anywhere and at any time. By taking the time to create an emergency supplies kit, your family will be prepared in the event of a disaster, including this weekend's hurricane. The kit also helps children feel more secure knowing it is there in case of an emergency. Find the Emergency Supplies Kit Checklist here

Generator Safety Finally, it's a good idea to review generator safety tips in case your family has to use one following Hurricane Irene. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. For more information and all of the safety tips, take a look at the NFPA Generator Safety Tip Sheet now. 

For additional hurricane safety and preparedness information, visit FEMA's Ready America site

-Lauren Backstrom

What else are you doing to get prepared? Let us know in the comments section below!

Lithium ion batteries are in widespread use in consumer electronics. As electric vehicles enter the U.S. marketplace, there is an expectation of a step increase in the number and size of battery packs in storage and use. The Foundation’s Property Insurance Research Group initiated a study of the hazards associated with lithium ion battery storage, with an aim of developing fire protection strategies to mitigate loss associated with fire incidence with these batteries in bulk storage and distribution, alone and in manufactured products. The overall aim is to develop the technical basis for requirements in NFPA and other standards which prescribe protection requirements.

The first phase of the project, described in this report, is a literature review of battery technology, failure modes and events, usage, codes and standards, and a hazard assessment during the life cycle of storage and distribution. It lays out a research approach toward evaluating appropriate facility fire protection strategies.


The world of technology is cutting-edge, and with the vast influx of new electric vehicles competing for consumer dollars, you’d think that it might be cut-throat, too. But Ford and Toyota are doing the opposite of butting heads—they’re joining forces!

Reps from the companies announced on August 22 that Ford and Toyota will collaborate on a hybrid-electric powertrain for SUVs and light trucks. They plan to develop a rear-wheel drive electric powertrain, and then introduce it in separate vehicle lines for each company. Those vehicle lines would likely be released later this decade.

“The companies are likely looking to reduce cost of the drivetrain to grow the hybrid market, and they don’t see eat other as much as direct competitors in the SUV/truck market as with light duty cars,” said Pike Research analyst John Gardner. “There is enough differentiation in the rest of the vehicle design that a common drivetrain with a competitor should not be problematic.”

Toyota is no stranger to collaboration in the field of electric vehicle technology. The company is already working with Tesla Motors on an all-electric RAV4.

Imperial Sugar facility 
On February 7, 2008, sugar dust ignited at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, GA, causing a series of powerful dust-fueled explosions along the length of the facility's conveyor. Fourteen employees were killed and dozens were injured. Read "Refining the Process", an in-depth look at the Imperial Sugar explosion, from the March/April 2010 issue of NFPA Journal®. Photo: Chemical Safety Board.

Dust Symposium If you need to stay updated on dust explosion fundamentals, hazards assessments, and hazard control, please join us in Detroit, September 21-22 for NFPA's "Dust Explosion Hazards" two-day symposium. This event is sponsored by the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

You'll hear from the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) on on recent combustible dust incident investigations, find out what inspectors look for during an inspection, and learn about changes to NFPA combustible dust standards. We'll also feature breakout sessions focused on best practices for conducting a process hazard analysis and effective control measures for various industry segments. And topping it all, you'll enjoy a sponsored networking reception.

You can earn 1.4 CEUs or 14 hours for this two-day event. Learn more and register today for NFPA's Dust Explosion Hazards symposium.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck this afternoon near Washington, DC, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. reports that the epicenter was in Mineral, VA.

Online news reports say residents up and down the east coast of the United States felt the tremor (including here at NFPA headquarters, located just south of Boston). quotes earthquake experts as saying that aftershocks may still occur. No reports of major damage or injury have been reported.

Supplies kit Did you know that 45 states and U.S. territories are at moderate to high risk for earthquakes? Check out NFPA's fact sheet on earthquake preparedness, including steps you should take before, during, and after an earthquake. You should also consider creating a family disaster supplies kit so that you and your loved ones will be prepared in the event of a disaster. Here's NFPA's list of items that should go into your kit.

- Mike Hazell

PS: Did you feel the quake? Tell us about it in the COMMENTS section below.

Stop Drop and Roll 
Photo: Andrea Melendez/The Register

During a special event at the Iowa State Fair this past Sunday, there was an attempt to set a record for the most people simultaneously performing "Stop, Drop, and Roll". And according to a report in the Des Moines Register, the attempt unofficially exceeded the current world record by almost 1,000 participants.

Visit our Fire Prevention Week blog to learn more about this record-breaking event, the correct procedure for "Stop, Drop, and Roll", and links to free fire safety education materials.


Dr. John Hall, director of NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research Division, will discuss NFPA's recently-released "Third Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service" in a free webinar on August 24. In the webinar, sponsored by the Congressional Fire Service Institute, Dr. Hall will discuss important findings from the report that demonstrate how the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing For Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) are addressing the needs of fire departments.

The free webinar will take place on August 24 from 2:00-2:45 pm (EST). To register, please e-mail by 12:00 pm on August 24.

Also: Download a free copy of NFPA's "Third Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service".

Massapequa_rooming-house Early in the morning of August 23, 1986, a fire began on the front porch of a rooming house located in  Massapequa, New York. ven though the facility had operated for over 10 years, it was not licensed, and consequently, no inspections had been conducted. This fire claimed 5 lives in total (4 that night, and one more several weeks later).

The Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office determined that the fire was incendiary, and within 24 hours of the fire, a former resident of the rooming house was arrested and charged with 4 counts of murder and 1 count of arson. Other significant factors contributing to the loss of this life in this incident included:

  • Delayed detection of the fire due to inadequate fire detection system
  • The combustibility of the interior finish
  • A delay in notifying the fire department

Members can download the full investigation report, as well as an article about the incident that appeared in Fire Command. Members can also download a full report about fires in Rooming and Boarding houses. If you’re not yet an NFPA member, consider joining, access to our research is just one benefit.

-Ben Evarts

Health facilities Management In the August issue of Health Facilities Management, a publication of the American Hospital Association, author Susan McLaughlin takes a look at some of the changes to NFPA documents that address fire and life safety at health care facilities that were discussed at NFPA's recent Conference & Expo in Boston. Read her entire article.

Learn more about NFPA 99, Standard for Health Care Facilities, and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®.

- Mike Hazell

The NFPA Standards Council acted on the issuance of the Annual 2011 documents along with considering several appeals at its August 9-10, 2011 meeting. 

Some of the NFPA Standards Council decisions have been issued and include the following documents:

  • NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
  • NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems
  • NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code
  • NFPA 101, Life Safety Code
  • NFPA 204, Standard for Smoke and Heat Venting
  • NFPA 664, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
  • NFPA 704, Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response

The NFPA Standards Council is a 13-person committee appointed by the NFPA Board of Directors that oversees the Association's codes and standards development activities, administers the rules and regulations, and acts as an appeals body. The Council administers about 250 NFPA Technical Committees and their work on nearly 300 documents addressing topics of importance to the built environment.

- Debbie 

http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nfpa.orgChief Ernie Mitchell NFPA President James M. Shannon supports President Obama’s nomination of Chief Ernest Mitchell, Jr. for U.S. Fire Administrator and urges Congress to approve his appointment.

“Ernie Mitchell has impressive credentials that are a testament to his commitment and dedication to fire safety,” said Shannon. “With the skills and knowledge he has acquired through many years of fire service experience at a variety of levels and leadership roles in disaster and emergency management, he is well suited to lead our nation in matters of fire safety.”

Read more about Mitchell's qualifications and reasons for NFPA support

Dust Symposium
The Fire Protection Research Foundation and NFPA will offer the 2011 Dust Symposium in Detroit from September 20 - 21, 2011.

Hear from the industry leaders and stay at the forefront of your field with education sessions covering dust explosion fundamentals, hazards assessments, hazard control, and more. Register now! 

  • Hear from the CSB on recent combustible dust incident investigations
  • Find out what inspectors look for during an inspection
  • Learn about changes made to NFPA® combustible dust standards and plans to consolidate the combustible dust project
  • Participate in breakout sessions focusing on best practices for conducting a process hazard analysis and implementing effective control measures for various industry segments.
  • Sponsored networking reception

The Fire Protection Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to plan, manage and communicate research in support of the NFPA mission. Firefighter Health Week National Firefighter Health Week 2011 is being held this week, August 14-20. This year's theme is: "When it comes to your health, you're always on duty." Each day of the week focuses on a different topic to help first responders take steps towards a healthy lifestyle.

The National Firefighter Health Week Resource Center focuses each day on a particular topic, and provides resources, tools, and activity ideas specific to each.

Our Fire Service Today blog has been reviewing these topics all week - so be sure to check out those posts and come back through the end of the week for more!

Monday, August 15 - CRISIS: Understanding the Risk
Increase awareness and understanding of health risks to firefighters and EMS personnel.

Tuesday, August 16 - DISPATCH: Get Support
Solicit buy-in from the community, department overhead, and family to improve first responder health.

Wednesday, August 17 - SIZE-UP: Make a Plan
Set goals and develop a plan of action to improve first responder health and wellness.

Thursday, August 18 - ATTACK: Take Action
Work with department and community partners to implement change in health behaviors.

Friday, August 19 - OVERHAUL: Live Life
Continue to practice healthy behaviors at the department and at home in the long-term.

Fire Sprinkler Initiative Combining data from the cost assessment report by NFPA's Fire Protection Research Foundation, and the residential sprinklers ISO fact sheet, the Fire Sprinkler Initiative has created one succinct resource providing valuable information on insurance discounts for sprinklers systems. According to the report, discount savings percentages ranged from 0 to 10% among all companies and agencies surveyed, with an average discount savings percentage premium of 7%.

The ISO fact sheet found credits for installation of fire sprinkler protection - up to 13% for full sprinkler protection (including all areas of a home, including attics, bathrooms, closets,and attached structures) and 8% for fire sprinkler protection of all areas of a home excluding the attic, bathrooms, closets, and attached structures as long as fire detection equipment is installed in those areas where sprinklers are omitted.

Download the fact sheet on Home Fire Sprinkler Insurance discounts.

The schedules for the Fall 2013 and Annual 2014 Codes & Standards revision cycles, using the new NFPA standards development process, have been posted.

Some tips on participating in the revision process are also below:

  • Submit proposals and comments via email or download submission forms from the box on the right.
    Note:  The online process to submit proposals and comments is currently under construction.  The new and improved online submission process will be available in the coming months.
  • View current ROPs and ROCs or select a document and then click on the “Next Edition” tab. 
  • View archived ROPs and ROCs by selecting a document, use the pull-down menu for “Edition to Display”, and select “Archived revision information”. 

As a refresher, the standards development process has been updated, and more information about the change can be learned through this video featuring Amy Cronin, NFPA Secretary of the Standards Council and Division Manager of NFPA Codes & Standards Administration.


NFPA teams up with Scholastic Inc 
has teamed up with Scholastic, Inc. to create Fire Prevention Week classroom kits for preschool through grade 5 teachers and students. Scholastic has mailed the kits to 325,000 teachers throughout the United States.

NFPA is also providing all the program materials for you to download free to reach classrooms in your community!

Visit Scholastic to access whiteboard-ready lesson plans, activities, printables and on-line games for your schools. Fairy Tale Trivia with Sparky

English program

Spanish program

Kids can also play games with Sparky - including Fairy tale trivia and Sound swap

Miami-cruise-ship_08-20 On August 20, 1984, a fire onboard a cruise ship occurred while the ship was docking at the Port of Miami.  The fire caused fifty seven injuries among passengers, crew, and City of Miami firefighters.  The fire began in the auxiliary engine room and was caused by the ignition of atomized lubricating oil, which was leaking from a diesel engine. 

Major factors contributing to the loss of life included:

  • The failure to extinguish the fire in its incipient stage by either automatic or manual means
  • The rapid and intense flash fire resulting from the ignition of a combustible lubricating oil
  • The presence of combustible interior finish materials in passageways and in the stairtower

NFPA has a full investigation report, members can download this report for free.

-Ben Evarts

Tonawanda_08-18 On August 18, 1995, in Tonawanda, NY, a fire began at a chemical manufacturing facility that eventually caused $3 Million in property damage, and injured 8 people (5 employees, 2 firefighters, and one bystander).  One person perished from injuries sustained jumping out a window to escape.  The fire began when decomposing persulfate (which was manufactured at the plant to be used in products such as tires, latex paint, and hair coloring products, among other things) generated sufficient heat to ignite the container it was being held in, as well as nearby wooden pallets. 

The facility was protected by a dry-pipe sprinkler system, which operated, but was unable to control the fire.  NFPA investigators concluded that they system was inadequate for the hazard being protected according to NFPA code requirements at the time. 

Members can read the full investigation report.  NFPA also has a report regarding fires in industrial and manufacturing facilities that members can download, and a fact sheet which all site visitors can download.

-Ben Evarts

On August 14, 1988, a late afternoon fire occurred at a fireworks facility in Jaffrey, NH. The fire caused the stored materials to explode, destroyed the building of fire origin and two exposed trailers. Two other trailers were damaged by the fire, and three firefighters received minor injuries, no civilians were injured. 

Shortly after 5:00 pm, an employee in a dwelling near the facility heard noises coming from the unoccupied building and went to investigate. He saw flames and smoke on the northwest side of the warehouse, and within moments, a blast lifted the roof off and caused the building to collapse. The Jaffrey Volunteer Fire Department received notification of the fire at 5:16 pm arrived at the scene at 5:25 pm and had the fire under control by 6:20 pm.

NFPA members can read the full investigation report.  NFPA also has a report regarding fireworks, which can be downloaded by members, all visitors can read the executive summary and a fact sheet.

-Ben Evarts

Electric_car_blog[1]President Barack Obama checks out hybrid vehicles at the Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center in Pomona, California.

This week, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced its decision to provide more than $175 million in grants to support advanced vehicle technologies – yet another move by the U.S. Government in support of the electric vehicle industry. The announcement of these grants comes at the heels of news that the Obama administration struck a deal with automakers to double automobile and light-duty truck mileage by 2025.

According to the press release from DOE, the grants “will support 40 projects across 15 states and will help improve the fuel efficiency of next generation vehicles. The projects will target new innovations throughout the vehicle, including better fuels and lubricants, lighter weight materials, longer-lasting and cheaper electric vehicle batteries and components, more efficient engine technologies and more. This comprehensive approach to vehicle efficiency research and development will help ensure the technologies are available to help automakers achieve recently announced fuel efficiency standards.” 

Some of the nation’s largest motor vehicle companies qualified for funding, including General Motors, the Chrysler Group and Ford Motor Company. Other transportation companies such as The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company were also selected for a portion of the endowment.

Since the NFPA EV Safety Training, funded by a $4.4 million grant from the DOE, first began last year, we have embarked on this initiative with the continued support from DOE. As these grants are used and new technologies are created, communities will continue to see the growing EV infrastructure across the U.S.  Fortunately, first responders everywhere will already have the knowledge and training they need to safely interact with electric vehicles. Knowing that firefighters and first responders are equipped with the necessary information about electric vehicles will be crucial to the public’s acceptance of these vehicles.

For information about where and when the NFPA Electric Vehicle Safety Training is coming to your state, continue to visit as we regularly update scheduled trainings.

On August 12, 1984, a fire originating in a high voltage electrical feeder busway forced the evacuation and relocation of 200 patients at a hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The fire was confined to the busway and exposed storage areas, but smoke spread to several upper floors of the hospital. The successful relocation and evacuation of patients were due to the quick actions of the hospital staff, who were trained in fire emergency procedures, and the support of the fire department and emergency medical services. 

NFPA members can download the full investigation report. NFPA also has a full report on fires in medical, mental health, and substance abuse facilities, which members can access. All site visitors can download the report's executive summary, and a one-page fact sheet.

-Ben Evarts


Electric Vehicles 101

Posted by andrewklock Employee Aug 11, 2011

Wheels-CT-blog480[1]The 2011 Lexus CT 200h is just one of the hybrid vehicles applauded by the Union for Concerned Scientists.

Do you want to find a cleaner-energy car, but aren’t sure where to start? Are you confused about the difference between a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid vehicle? Do the three levels of charging stations confuse you?

Here at EV Safety Training, we know that just because we eat, sleep, and breathe electric vehicles, not everyone else does. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there for people who want to learn more about the rapidly-expanding field of electric vehicle technology.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a science-based nonprofit focused on environmental health across the globe, recently launched a Clean Vehicles website to educate visitors about electric vehicles and other environmentally-friendly automobiles. The website has pages like “Clean Vehicles 101”, “Vehicle Technologies”, “Clean Vehicle Solutions”, and even success stories discussing the latest bounds in environmental and energy policies. There’s even a quiz where site visitors can test their knowledge of electric vehicles and find out if they’re a “Hybrid” or a “Hummer”—don’t worry, everyone on the EV Safety Training team were “Hybrids”!

For other information and resources about hybrid and electric vehicle technology, you can check out the Resources page at our website.


At NFPA's Fire & Life Safety Conference, December 12-14, in Orlando, we'll offer more than 60 educational sessions in four targeted tracks presented in three action-packed days by staff experts and committee members.

Visit our conference web site and register now!

Wheels-Hertz-Nissan-Leaf-blog480[1]Electric vehicles, like this Nissan Leaf available for rent in New York City, were just one of the many subjects covered at the training session in Montour Falls.

New York was the second stop on our national “train-the-trainer” tour and nearly 100 firefighters and first responders turned out to take part in the important training.  See the full news release from the event here.

Our trainer Jason Emery and Project Manager John Cannon were joined by members of the NYS Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls, NY to take part in the day-long training. Participants were also treated to a first-hand session involving the new Chevy Volt (thanks, Elm Chevrolet!) and got to take a look at all the inner-workings of the advanced electric vehicle.

“This is new technology on the road; we need to bring firefighters up to speed so they know what to do with it,” said NYS Chief of Fire Services Tom Wutz.

The Elmira Star-Gazette and other local media outlets also visited the training and reported on the importance of the training for both firefighters and the general public.

Participants in the New York training were provided with resources and materials to take back to fire districts across New York State.

Next stop on our tour is Iowa on Saturday, August 27. To find out more information about the EV safety training series, and to register for upcoming sessions near you, visit our calendar.

FlashoverTV is powered by

EV Safety Training Subject matter Expert Jason Emery sat down with the team over at Flashover1 to talk about Electric Vehicle Safety Training. Jason is one of EV Safety Training's classroom instructors, and this vehicle really shows off how knowledgable he is about all things hybrid and electric!

Ryan_depew_50x60 Members of the fire service need access to a wide variety of NFPA codes and standards to assist with carrying out their mission. NFPA's Ryan Depew offers a video tutorial, designed specifically for the fire service, on how to access NFPA codes and standards online. Watch Ryan's video on NFPA's "Fire Service Today" blog.

The Fall 2011 Report on Comments (ROC) for 26 NFPA documents are now available. Some of the proposed NFPA documents addressed in the Report on Comments include:

  • NFPA 59A, Standard for the Production, Storage, and Handling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
  • NFPA 75, Standard for the Protection of Information Technology Equipment
  • NFPA 150, Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities
  • NFPA 252, Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies
  • NFPA 285, Standard Fire Test Method for Evaluation of Fire Propagation Characteristics of Exterior Non-Load-Bearing Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components
  • NFPA 557, Standard for Determination of Fire Load for Use in Structural Fire Protection Design
  • NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus
  • NFPA 1951, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Technical Rescue Incidents
  • NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting

See the full list of NFPA documents in the 2011 fall revision cycle.

The deadline to submit a notice of intent to make a motion on any of these documents is October 21, 2011. Download a NITMAM form (doc, 34 KB).

- Debbie Baio

NFPA announced today that AFG (Assistance to Firefighters Grant) applicants will have complimentary on-line access to 27 NFPA codes referenced in the grant program. Access is available through a special web portal through September 9, the end of the Department of Homeland Security grant application period.

“With online access to the relevant NFPA codes at no cost, applicants will be able to more fully insure their applications are meeting the goal of the AFG programs which is to enhance first responder safety and survival,” says Ken Willette, division manager of Public Fire Protection for NFPA.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program references 27 NFPA codes covering equipment, training and operating procedures for first responders.

Fire Prevention Week award presented by NFPA
Tom Fangmann (left), Corporate Director Insurance/Risk Management, for the Sara Lee Corporation, presents the Fire Prevention Week Award to Fred Knipper, Director of the Fire and Safety Division and Jason Shepherd, Fire Safety Specialist, both with the Office of Occupational and Environmental Safety. At right is NFPA Chair Thomas Jaeger.

The Fire & Life Safety Division at Duke University/Duke Health System in Durham, NC, was recently honored by NFPA for promoting fire and related safety messages for employees and their communities during last year's Fire Prevention Week campaign.

How did Duke University/Duke Health System snag top honors? They reached out to students in a number of ways, including radio station broadcasts and Facebook messages to spread fire safety information. Each student received safety literature, and participated in campus-wide fire drills and testing of battery-operated dormitory smoke alarms. Learn more about their creative efforts to spread the word about fire safety.

Watch a video of the Fire Prevention Week award presentation during NFPA's recent Conference & Expo in Boston.

If you are a member of NFPA's Industrial Fire Protection Member Section, learn how you can nominate your company's Fire Prevention Week efforts for an award.

- Mike Hazell Webinar Are you looking for ways to promote Fire Prevention Week (FPW) in your community? Do you want to learn how to navigate through the Fire Prevention Week web site?

Join us on September 14 at 12:00 pm (EST) as NFPA public education staff share Fire Prevention Week resources and strategies in a free webinar called "Getting to Know Fire Prevention Week". Register now!

Participants will get a guided tour through the Fire Prevention Week web site, get ideas for fun activities, tools for reaching high-risk audiences, and learn what makes an effective FPW team. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and share your thoughts on Fire Prevention Week.

Your NFPA webinar presenters:

FPW webinar presenters 

Register now box 

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

In this issue:

  • Comments sought for proposed TIAs on NFPA 20, NFPA 51A, NFPA 70, NFPA 407 and NFPA 1911
  • Commissioning with NFPA 3
  • Comments due on NFPA 1917, Automotive Ambulances
  • Errata issued on NFPA 13R, NFPA 130, and NFPA 1971
  • NFPA Journal® looks at the problem of unwanted alarms
  • 2012 Conference and Expo call for presentations
  • Call for technical committee members
  • 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 web site and then select “NFPA News” from your e-mail options.

- Debbie Baio

9851049-large[1]The Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle, was named World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show in April. 

Last week, the Obama administration struck a deal with automakers to double automobile and light-duty truck mileage by 2025. The proposed standards would require that, starting in 2025, any vehicle sold in the U.S. must average 54.5 miles per gallon—double the current 27 miles per gallon.

While critics of the plan say that the new standards will result in increased car prices, supporters say that the new plan will spur much-needed innovation in the automobile industry. “Automakers need to take major steps to coax buyers into smaller vehicles, cut fuel use with turbochargers and hybrids, slash vehicle weight, and take other measures,” USA Today reported. “Every little step will matter.”

The White House predicts that the new rules will save Americans $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs and will cut imported oil consumption in half.

Owners of hybrid and electric vehicles constantly rave about the savings they get by avoiding the pump, especially with gas prices climbing to over $4.00 a gallon in most states. With these new fuel efficiency standards, automakers will likely turn even more attention to manufacturing affordable hybrid and electric vehicles. However, as more and more hybrid and electric vehicles hitting the road, it will become more and more important for first responders to be properly trained in handling them—and that’s where EV Safety Training comes in.


NFPA’s Marty Ahrens talks about the Home Structure Fires report and shares safety tips

How many people do you think died in U.S. home fires every day?

NFPA's Home Structure Fires report by Marty Ahrens tells the story of home fires and the devastation they cause, by the numbers.  During the five-year period covered by the report, roughly one in every 310 households per year had a reported home fire. Each year, these fires caused an estimated average of 2,650 deaths, 12,890 injuries, and $7.1 billion in direct property damage. On average, seven people died in U.S. home fires every day. 

What number did you guess?  Was it higher or lower than the actual number?


NIST and other government agencies are undertaking a comprehensive series of programs to develop technology and information to enable the rapid transition to the next generation of power distribution through the Smart Grid initiative.  This transition has major impacts for the safety of the built infrastructure as it interfaces with the grid through energy storage systems, photovoltaics, metering and control systems, etc. In order to receive widespread acceptance of this new technology, its safety aspects must be addressed through the nation’s infrastructure safety codes and standards. A newly issued report presents the results of a project whose overall goal is to facilitate the safe integration of Smart Grid technology in the nation’s electrical safety infrastructure.  It describes a review of technologies likely to impact electrical safety and presents an assessment of needed changes to codes and standards and a roadmap for needed research on this topic.

Facebook A few weeks back, we noticed we were getting close to the huge milestone of 20,000 Facebook fans on our NFPA fan page! We decided it would be fun to put target date on the event - and thought August 20th was a great choice.

So, we're now 15 days from our target date and have a little over 300 fans to go before we reach our goal.

Here's where you step in: if you are not yet a fan of the NFPA Facebook page, do so today! Simply visit our page and click on the "like" button on the top of the page. We post news, events, photos and videos up there regularly - so you'll be even more informed about what's going on here at NFPA.

We appreciate the support of all of our fans, and your help in helping us reach our goal!

-Lauren Backstrom

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EV Safety Training Subject matter Expert Jason Emery sat down with the team over at Flashover1 to talk about Electric Vehicle Safety Training. Jason is one of EV Safety Training's classroom instructors, and this vehicle really shows off how knowledgable he is about all things hybrid and electric!

Braxton_50x60 Taking a summer vacation? Before you check into your favorite beach house, country cabin, resort hotel, or condo with a view, take a few minutes to make sure your "home away from home" is fire-safe. NFPA's Lisa Braxton offers some fire safety tips for vacationers. Read her advice on NFPA's Fire Prevention Week blog.

Backyards and Beyond conference

NFPA will host the 4th "Backyards & Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference" in Denver this October. Don't miss this unique opportunity to build relationships and to explore key issues with more than 50 breakout sessions in five educational tracks. You'll network with other like-minded professionals and to share best-practices that you can take back to your community or workplace.

Register now for our ever-popular Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone pre-conference workshop on October 25-26 by, featuring Jack Cohen, Physical Research Scientist, USDA Forest Service, and Gary Marshall, Deputy Fire Chief of the Bend (OR) Fire Department.

Don't delay...register today! We've even got special hotel and travel deals!

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 engineering amd production departments. NFPA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer offering its employees competitive salary/benefits packages. for NFPA's Warren E. Isman Educational Grant, a $5,000 grant for hazardous materials response teams, are due on September 15, 2011.

The Isman Grant was developed to help a hazmat team from a fire department, police department, or other public-funded program (maximum of five members) register for specialized training at a national hazardous materials conference.

Preference will be given to teams which demonstrate leadership qualities, communication abilities, and training to the levels outlined in NFPA 472, Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents, and NFPA 473, Competencies for EMS Personnel Responding to Hazardous Materials Incidents.

Download an application and learn more about the Isman Grant. Wayne County Hazard Materials Response Team 
The Western Wayne County (MI) Hazard Materials Response Team received the 2011  Warren E. Isman Educational Grant. The team comprises 45 members of mutual aid associations fire departments within the Detroit area and is responsible for responding to larger incidents with a response area that incorporates the entire state. This grant allowed five members of the team to attend the IAFC International Hazardous Materials Conference in Baltimore, MD.


Gel fuel safey informationGel fuel is used with fire pots, personal fireplaces, and patio torches. These devices can create a warm, cozy environment. However, they should be considered an open flame and extreme caution is necessary when using or adding fuel.

Pouring gel fuel in a device that is not completely cool may result in a fire or injury. And if your clothes do catch fire, "Stop, drop and roll" may not extinguish a fire from splattered or spilled gel fuel.

Download a free copy of our new safety tip sheet and learn how to stay safe around gel fuel.

On August 2, 2000, a fire occurred in a multi-tenant warehouse in Phoenix, AZ, completely destroying the 85,000 square foot facility.  The fire began in the part of the warehouse occupied by a home and garden supply company and was first detected at 4:58 p.m. By 5:17 p.m. most of the south wall of the building had collapsed.

Less than an hour after workers had left for the day, smoke was spotted.  Occupants from the other half of the building heard banging noises and went outside to look, and saw a column of smoke rising from the building.  Firefighters soon arrived on the scene, but, by the next morning, the entire building was destroyed. Five firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation, several police officers were treated for breathing related problems, and over 80 civilians were evacuated from their homes. 

The cause of the fire had not been determined at the time of NFPA's investigation report, but  several factors may contribute to large losses in similar facilities:

  • Lack of segregation between incombatible materials
  • Lack of proper storage configuration for oxidizers
  • Inadequate sprinkler protection for commodities stored in the warehouse

NFPA members can download the full investigation report and all visitors can read a summary of the investigation.

-Ben Evarts

Fire Protection Research Foundation
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other government agencies are undertaking a comprehensive series of programs to develop technology and information to enable the rapid transition to the next generation of power distribution through the Smart Grid initiative. A new report, "Smart Grid and NFPA Electrical Safety Codes and Standards", published by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, presents the results of a project whose overall goal is to facilitate the safe integration of Smart Grid technology in the nation’s electrical safety infrastructure. It describes a review of technologies likely to impact electrical safety and presents an assessment of needed changes to codes and standards and a roadmap for needed research on this topic.

Download a free copy of the "Smart Grid and NFPA Electrical Safety Codes and Standards" report.

The Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to plan, manage and communicate research in support of NFPA.

Manufactured Homes During the five-year period of 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of  12,400 structure fires in manufactured homes per year. On an annual basis, these fires caused 234 civilian deaths, 453 civilian injuries, and $186 million in direct property damage.

NFPA members: download the full report by NFPA's Dr. John Hall.

All readers: download the executive summary and fact sheet about fires in manufactured homes.

In 2012, NIST’s Engineering Laboratory will complete construction of a new structural fire resistance testing facility with unique capability to test large scale structural elements, systems, and their connections in the fire condition.  The goal of the facility is to serve as a center of excellence for fire performance of structures ranging in size from small components to large systems up to 2 stories in height. The laboratory will be led, managed and operated as a collaborative facility through a public- private partnership between NIST and industry, academia, and other government agencies.

NIST has asked the Fire Protection Research Foundation to assist in developing a prioritized research agenda for work in the new facility.  Over the past year, the Foundation has assembled input from a variety of industry stakeholders.  This workshop is designed to review and further develop that input to develop a NIST's Engineering Laboratory prioritized national agenda for work in the new facility. Industry leaders have been asked to provide their perspective on needs; you are invited to participate in the dialogue from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Thursday September 8, 2011 at NIST’s Engineering Laboratory, Building 224, in Gaithersburg, MD.  A tour of the site of the new facility will be provided at the end of the day.

We invite your participation; please contact with your attendance plans no later than September 1st.

EV training in Massachusetts Over seventy training officers, department chiefs, and first responders attended NFPA's first official "train-the-trainer" session for its Electric Vehicle (EV) Safety Training program, which took place at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in Stow, MA, on July 28. Director Ed Walker introduced the training, expressing his excitement at not only receiving the training but also being the first stop of the EV Safety Training national tour. Following the class, students called the instructors “engaging”, “well-informed”, and “easy to understand”, and headed out with their instructor guides and teaching materials to pass on their new information to their departments.

Learn more about NFPA's Electric Vehicle Safety Training program.

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