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Research Foundation FnewsletterThe November/December issue of our Fire Protection Research Foundation newsletter is now available. In this issue:

  • Symposium on Alternative Energy Technologies and Electrical Safety Standards, coming to Atlanta on December 6.
  • Supdet 2012, our annual conference on the latest developments in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community, is moving to Phoenix in March.
  • New reports, including "Electrical Vehicle Charging and NFPA Electrical Safety Codes and Standards", "Lithium Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment", and "Analysis of Ambulance Crash Data" 
  • Our 2012 “National Trends in Delivery of Health and Long Term Care: Implications for Safety Codes and Standards” summit will be held in Baltimore in March.

Subscribe today to automatically receive our bi-monthly Fire Protection Research Foundation newsletter. It's free, informative, and will keep you up to date on new projects and reports, planning developments, upcoming activities

JR MartinezThe Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors board member and burn survivor is a finalist on tonight’s season-finale of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Along with partner Karina Smirnoff, J.R.’s dancing moxie has earned him high praise among a national audience, but his courage and inspiring message has affected millions.

J.R. embodies the message of the Phoenix Society: helping burn survivors everywhere get back to living. He used his platform to share the Phoenix Society’s mission with fellow survivor Jenna Bullen, paying it forward in the hope that others might continue do the same. Tonight and Tuesday Jenna will again be in the DWTS audience representing the Phoenix Society and cheering him on for all us!

Check out Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors' blog for testimonials from those inspired by J.R.'s efforts on Dancing with the Stars, as well as information on how to vote

-Lauren Backstrom

A fire at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada, on November 21, 1980 resulted in the deaths of 85 guests and hotel employees.  About 600 other civilians were injured and approximately 35 firefighters sought medical attention during and after the fire.  The most probable cause of the fire was heat produced by an electrical ground-fault within a combustible concealed space in a waitresses’ serving station at a restaurant in the building.

Following full involvement of the restaurant, a flame front moved through the Casino (neither the main casino nor the deli were sprinklered), and smoke spread to the high-rise tower through stairways, seismic joints, elevator hoistways and air handling systems.  The high-rise tower evacuation alarm apparently did not sound and most guests in the high-rise were alerted to the fire when they heard or saw fire apparatus, saw or smelled smoke, or heard people yelling or knocking on doors.  Of the 85 fatalities, 61 were located in the high-rise tower.

Based on NFPA’s investigation, the following factors contributed to the loss of life in this fire:

  • Rapid fire and smoke development on the Casino level due to available fuels, building arrangement, and the lack of adequate fire barriers
  • Lack of fire extinguishment in the incipient stage of fire.
  • Unprotected vertical openings contributed to smoke spread to the high-rise tower.
  • Substandard enclosure of interior stairs, smokeproof towers and exit passageways contributed to heat and smoke spread and impaired the means of egress from the high-rise tower
  • Distribution of smoke throughout the high-rise tower through the heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment.
  • Smoke spread through elevator hoistways to the high-rise tower.

NFPA members can download a full investigation report as well as several fire journal articles about this incident.

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