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!|border=0|src=|alt=New Year party|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=New Year party|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01675fad2c2c970b!Getting ready to do some holiday entertaining at home or headed out to a club to ring in the new year?

While winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together, there is a greater risk of fire. Following these few simple tips from NFPA will ensure a truly happy and fire-safe New Year celebration.


House parties

    • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.

    • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.

    • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

    • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.

    • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Provide deep ashtrays and wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

    • [More holiday safety tips |].


Nightclubs and other public assembly buildings


Before you enter

    1. Is the building in a condition that makes you feel comfortable? Is the main entrance wide and does it open outward to allow easy exit? Is the outside area clear of materials that may block exits?

    2. Have a communication plan. Identify a relative or friend to contact in case of emergency.

Pick a meeting place outside to meet family or friends if there is an emergency.


<span style="color: #c00000;">Once inside</span>

    1. Look for all available exits and be prepared to use the closest one.

    2. Make sure aisles are wide enough and not obstructed by chairs or furniture. Check to make sure your exit door is not blocked or chained.

    3. Are there fire sources such as candles burning, cigarettes or cigars burning, pyrotechnics, or other heat sources that may make you feel unsafe? Are there safety systems in place such as alternative exits, sprinklers, and smoke alarms?


During an emergency




One of the best things about purchasing an electric vehicle is the number of tax credits that come with the car—a pretty decent perk, when you consider the price tag on some of these vehicles. But if you’ve been on the fence about buying an EV and are waiting for the right moment to make up your mind, you might want to act fast!

December 31 is officially the last day in which you can install an electric vehicle charging station in your home and be able to deduct some of the costs from your taxes. Other expiring tax credits include the cost of converting an existing vehicle from gasoline to plug-in powertrain and the credit on the cost of purchasing a two- or three-wheeled EV (such as the electric bicycles and mopeds coming in from China).

Despite these expiring deals, however, the electric car purchase Federal income tax credit remains safe for the near future—but it’s never too soon to take advantage!

On December 30, 1903, a fire in Chicago Illinois’ Iroquois Theatre resulted in the deaths of 602 people and injuries to 250 others.  The investigation showed that the fire was sparked by an arc light which ignited scenery curtains.  An asbestos fire curtain was dropped on the stage, but was snagged on the way down and stopped about 10 feet above the stage, which allowed toxic smoke and flames to flow into the auditorium.  Many deaths were due to crowd-crush, and the fire was brought under control in about 15 minutes by firefighters. All site visitors can download an overview of the fire, including an eyewitness account from Eddie Foy, one of the actors performing on that tragic day.

EVsafetynewsletterThe December issue of NFPA's "EV News Update" is now available. In this issue:

  • new report looks at electric vehicle safety standards summit
  • NFPA seeks electric vehicle safety training instructor
  • emergency response guides for the fire service
  • Detroit Auto Show to feature brand-new electric vehicles

Sign up today to receive our free monthly e-newsletter. It will keep you up to date on the latest information on NFPA’s project to help firefighters and other first responders prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road in the United States.


Back in September, we reported on the top five electric vehicle partnerships as reported by AOL Energy. Included in the list was Volvo, which partnered with Siemens to collaborate on developing new electric vehicle technologies.

On Tuesday, Volvo announced that it would be forming another relationship, this time with Eltek, a world leader in efficient electronics. According to Green Power Train, Eltek will be supplying on-board chargers to be incorporated into the vehicles being developed in Volvo’s EV program. The EV Powercharger 3000, which provides 96% power conversion efficiency, will reduce battery charge time and therefore lower charging costs.

Volvo has yet to release an all-electric vehicle, but does plan to release hybrid models of existing vehicles starting next year.

VideoSome of the staff over at FireRescue1 compiled a list of their top 5 rescue videos of 2011, and we agree that these are amazing. A motorcyclist dies during a rescue attempt, firefighters rescue some of their own trapped in a fire, firefighters and even bystanders do their best to rescue a person pinned beneath a burning car, a woman gets caught in a third-story apartment fire and two young children suffer from smoke inhalation in this year's top 5.

Watch the videos, read more on NFPA's Fire Service Today blog.


Over the summer, we reported on the addition of seventy electric vehicles, including 50 Chevrolet Volts, to the official New York City fleet. Several Volts became NYPD patrol cars, marking the first foray into all-electric first responder cars. 

Now, New York is getting another electric boost with the addition of six Nissan LEAF vehicles to begin an electric taxi program. This is in keeping with Mayor Bloomberg’s 2007 announcement of a commitment to making all of New York City’s taxis either hybrid or electric as soon as possible. Four kinds of hybrid taxis have already taken to the city streets, and hybrids now make up 35% of the fleet. The Nissan LEAF, however, will be the first all-electric taxi of its kind.

Currently, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission is implementing a plan to install electric vehicles in garages across the city in order to make New York’s infrastructure more electric-vehicle friendly. If New York’s steps to make the city more EV-friendly take root, hopefully it won’t be long before we see even more states and cities adding electric vehicles to their official fleets. 

In the aftermath of a number of deadly holiday fires, including a tragic fire in Stamford, CT, in which three young girls and their grandparents died on Christmas morning, NFPA urges you to take simple steps to protect your family and property from fire.

“Recent fire deaths during this holiday season are tragic reminders that we are at the time of year when home fires peak,” said NFPA's Lorraine Carli. December, January and February are the top months for home fire deaths. “Taking simple steps to prevent fires and making sure you have working smoke alarms can save lives.”

Top ten tipsHere are ten things you can do this winter to stay safe from fire:

  1. All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  2. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  3. Never use your oven to heat your home.
  4. Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  6. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  7. Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  8. Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container with a lid. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  9. Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
  10. Develop and practice a home escape plan that includes two ways out of each room and an outside meeting place.

Learn more at "Put a Freeze on Winter Fires", an online safety campaign produced by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and NFPA.

With our focus on holidays -- and not so much on brush, grass, and forest fires -- NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations division offers up a series of short educational videos, aptly named "The 12 Days of Firewise". After this year's extensive fire season and the latest predictions for 2012, we sometimes need reminders that wildfire can happen almost anytime, almost anywhere.


Watch all of the "12 Days of Firewise" videos.

As pine needles begin to drop on living room carpets, NFPA is offering suggestions for safe storage and removal of holiday decorations.

“It’s not uncommon to see residents keeping lights and Christmas trees up past December,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “The reality is, continued use of seasonal lighting and dried-out Christmas trees can pose significant fire hazards in and outside the home.”

Watch a video about the dangers of a Christmas tree that's not been watered regulary.


Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance of being deadly. NFPA recommends getting rid of the tree when it’s dry. Dried trees should not be kept in the home, garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

To reduce the risk of holiday light fires and keep equipment in good condition for next year, follow these storage suggestions: 

  • To unplug electric decorations, use the gripping area provided on the plugs. Never pull the cord to unplug a device from electrical outlets. Doing so can harm the cord’s wire and insulation and even lead to an electrical shock or fire.
  • As you’re putting away electrical light strings, take time to inspect each for damage. Throw out light sets if they have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
  • Do not place a damaged set of lights back into the storage box for next year’s use.
  • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap the lights around a piece of cardboard.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry place where they cannot be damaged by water or dampness. Also, keep them away from children and pets.

Read more safety tips from NFPA.

On December 23, 1988, a propane tank truck overturned on a highway in a populated section of Memphis, Tennessee and released a vapor cloud.  The cloud was ignited, burning several buildings adjacent to the highway and several automobiles.  Eight civilians died and nine others were injured.  The vapor cloud ignition also resulted in a BLEVE of the propane tank.

The accident occurred in the city limits of Memphis on an exit ramp with a sharp turn.  While negotiating the turn, the driver (who reportedly had a good driving record) apparently lost control of the vehicle.  The truck rolled over and skidded for a distance.  The tank was punctured and propane was released.  The vapor cloud spread over several hundred feet of the highway.  Investigators believe the vapor cloud may have been ignited when it seeped into one of the houses on the side of the highway.  The ensuing fireball ignited other houses and spread across the highway traffic.   When the burning vapor reached the propane tank, a BLEVE occurred.  One piece of the tank traveled about 360 feet from the accident and struck a house.

In addition to the truck driver, two occupants of one house and an occupant of another house were killed.  Four people in automobiles also died in the fire.  Six houses, one industrial building, and thirteen vehicles were burned.

NFPA members can read the full investigation report.


!|src=|alt=Educator of the Year|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Educator of the Year|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0162fe2426d8970d!Let’s celebrate fire and life safety educators! Educators are key to the success of NFPA’s programs. That’s why[ NFPA’s “Educator of the Year” Award |,%20awards,%20grants/For%20public%20educators/Fire%20and%20Life%20Safety%20Educator%20of%20the%20Year] is so important. It gives educators the recognition they deserve for playing the lead role in making&#0160;their communities&#0160;safer.&#0160;&#0160;


We are looking for fire and life safety educators who:

    • work for a local fire department.

use NFPA&#39;s&#0160;&#0160;Risk Watch®,&#0160;&#0160;Learn Not to Burn®,&#0160;&#0160;Remembering WhenTM&#0160;&#0160;or Fire Prevention Week materials.

    1. use NFPA materials in a consistent and creative way.

    2. demonstrate excellence and innovation, reaching out to the community with NFPA materials.

    3. view NFPA as the source for safety information.


The &quot;Educator of the Year&quot; receives:

    1. $1,000 honorarium.

    2. Travel to Las Vegas in June 2012 for an award presentation at the opening general session of the NFPA annual conference.


The local fire department receives:

    1. $1,000 donation to support public education activities.

Apply for the 2012 NFPA Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award .&#0160;<span style="color: #ff0000;">Deadline is February 24, 2012.&#0160;</span></div>

FireBreak1211The December issue of Fire Break, NFPA's monthly e-newsletter about wildland fires, is now available. Some of our news features include:

  • the winter 2011 edition of the Firewise “How To” newsletter for homeowners
  • information about our newest member of the team, Hylton Haynes
  • an update on the Fire Adapted Communities initiative
  • the “12 Days of Firewise” holiday tip sheet and videos
  • a recap of our meetings with international wildfire organizations

Sign up today! It's free, informative and will keep you up to date on the latest news and information on mitigating your wildfire risk to take back to your communities, organization or fire house.

NFPA is currently seeking an instructor in the mid-west or western region of the country to support their Electric Vehicle Safety Training Program for first responders.  Working as a member of an established instructional team, this individual would be responsible for conducting train-the-trainer deliveries of the program at various locations throughout the country. 

Interested candidates must hold a Fire Instructor I certification and have experience instructing emergency responders in hybrid and electric vehicle operations as well as a background in vehicle extrication.  Additionally, candidates are expected to have a dynamic instructional delivery presence, be able to disseminate vehicle technical information in a manner easily understood by the target audience and operate within a team environment.  Proficiency in the use of PowerPoint and associated classroom delivery equipment is necessary.

Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a video of themselves conducting a class to

Rolf H. JensenThe Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant is presented annually to a local fire department to support a fire and life safety education community-wide program or campaign.

It provides a $5,000 grant to one local fire department to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign. Funded by the RJA Group, the grant is open to any fire department (career or volunteer) located in the United States or Canada.

Recipients must meet the following:

  • Demonstration of a plan to implement a community-wide fire and life safety program/campaign.
  • Clearly stated goals and objectives.
  • Staffing assigned to implement the program/campaign.
  • A 1-page final report, including an overview of the project, number of people reached, media coverage, life saves, etc., must be received at NFPA by December 28, 2012.


  • $5,000 to support the implementation and evaluation of the fire and life safety education program/campaign.
  • Commemorative plaque.
  • Recipient’s name inscribed on the Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant winners’ plaque displayed at NFPA headquarters.

If your department is interested in applying for the Rolf H. Jensen Public Education Grant, submit an Application by February 3, 2012

Shortly before 5:00 p.m. on December 20, 1965, a fire of suspicious origin started in the balcony of the auditorium in the second and third stories of the Jewish Community Center in Yonkers, New York.  The evidence suggests that someone, using a flammable liquid as an accelerant, set a fire at one end of the balcony, beside the stage.   Within a few minutes, the fire had spread to involve large plastic panels and other combustibles in the balcony.  Some occupants of the upper floors of the building took refuge in various rooms in the building or on outdoor balconies.  One of these rooms had its door open, and all 12 people in this room were killed. 

NFPA members can read a Fire Journal article from May 1966.

Wrapping up a year-long celebration of his 60th birthday, Sparky the Fire Dog®  spread holiday cheer and fire safety messages at the annual holiday party for the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Boston Sunday December 18 when DCF staff, foster and adoptive children, and families came together to celebrate the holiday season. Sparky handed out copies of his new book created for his birthday which helps children learn to keep safe from fire.

 Sparky the Fire Dog® was created for the NFPA in 1951 and has been the organization’s official mascot and spokesdog ever since. Millions have learned about fire safety through educational lessons and materials featuring his image.

 According to NFPA research, children under five are one-and-a-half times more likely to die in a home fire than the general public. Sparky plays an important role in communicating fire safety to kids and families. The use of games, characters and children’s activities are key in providing safety messages in fun and entertaining way.

DCF is charged with protecting children from abuse and neglect and strengthening families. There are currently 8,000 children in foster care across Massachusetts and 40,000 children in all served by the Department. With the understanding that every child is entitled to a home that is free from abuse and neglect, DCF’s vision is to ensure the safety of children in a manner that holds the best hope of nurturing a sustained, resilient network of relationships to support the child’s growth and development into adulthood. DCF programs include foster care, adoption, adolescent services and domestic violence services.

Lorraine Carli

December issue of Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletterThe new issue of Fire Sprinkler Initiative News, NFPA's monthly e-newsletter, features a new video that shows what happens while a house is burning and the local fire department is on its way.

We also feature a rally at the Massachusetts State House where NFPA President Jim Shannon and representatives of every major fire service organization in the state held a news conference to protest the removal of sprinkler requirements in new home construction in the state building code.

And we preview a new Research Foundation report on the community impact of fire flow water consumption in both sprinklered and unsprinklered buildings.

Subscribe today to automatically 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.

Navigating the 2012 edition of NFPA 1, Fire Code, was the theme of a special two-day post-conference seminar at NFPA’s Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando. NFPA Regional Manager Jim Dolan led this all-new session, leading participants through identifying the purpose and scope of the code and how to easily find information the document, and apply its provisions correctly. Over the course of this two-day event, attendees are gaining a more thorough understanding of life safety and property protection issues, including automatic sprinklers, standpipes, operating features, occupancies, exits, and fire lanes. 

Adopted in jurisdictions throughout North America, NFPA 1 contains extracts from and references to more than 130 NFPA codes and standards to address the full range of fire protection and life safety issues.

The 2012 edition of NFPA 1 includes new requirements for:

  • sprinklers in all new buildings three or more stories in height
  • carbon monoxide detection in new residential occupancies
  • floor fire protection for new non-sprinklered one- and two-family dwellings
  • and other changes that benefit building occupant safety

Looking for training on NFPA documents? See training options, including holding a training event at your facility.


In a special two-day session as part of NFPA’s Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando, Dana Haagansen, P.E., a member of the NFPA 13 technical committee, led attendees through the ins and outs of how to calculate and review sprinkler system hydraulics. Based on guidelines in NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, this class gave participants the opportunity to learn to determine occupancy classification and sprinkler discharge calculations, and to perform hands-on branchline and whole system calculations.

Looking for training on NFPA documents? See training options, including holding a training event at your facility.

RELATED VIDEO: Senior Fire Protection Engineer Matt Klaus talk about recent changes to NFPA's sprinkler documents.

The NFPA Enforcer Funding Program will provide funding for NFPA Technical Committee participation for certain public sector Committee members who have been designated by the NFPA Standards Council, for purposes of committee balance, in the category of “Enforcing Authority (E)” (“Enforcers”).

The purpose of this Program is to enhance NFPA Technical Committee balance of interests and to promote public sector participation in NFPA standards development activities by reducing financial barriers to participation entailed by public sector budget constraints. 

The Program will not be able to fund all public sector employees, nor will it provide full funding. Rather, to make the most effective use of the available resources, this Program will be limited geographically and will focus on Enforcers, a category for which a need for greater participation on many NFPA Technical Committees has been identified.  In addition, the Program will provide reimbursement to eligible Committee members, not for all costs, but for up to 80% of the major costs associated with attendance at NFPA Technical Committee meetings.

See the full description of the Program.

- Debbie Baio

Firewise Central Regional Advisor Todd Chlanda says a good time to check your gutters is while you're putting up holiday lights.

See all of our Firewise holiday safety tips.


How is the 2012 edition of the newly-organized NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, addressing the safety challenges in health care facilities?

In today’s special one-day post-conference seminar, Jim Lathrop, FSFPE, Vice President of Koffel Associates, and member of the NFPA 99 Fundamentals Technical Committee, reviewed the document, which features a new risk-based, rather than occupancy-based approach. Today, medical technologies and procedures can be based in a variety of locations, “so it doesn’t matter what the name is on the building,” said Jim. “What matters is that the risks to the patient are addressed.”

RELATED VIDEO: NFPA’s Rich Bielen explaining more about the new risk-based approach in NFPA 99.

Jim also reviewed other major changes in the 2012 edition of NFPA 99, including new chapters on information technology and communication systems, plumbing, and security management. The document also includes a totally-rewritten chapter 12 on emergency management, which features “lessons learned” from recent disasters and better integration with NFPA 1600, Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs.

Looking for training on NFPA documents? See training options, including holding a training event at your facility.

NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, is the most widely-used source for occupant safety strategies, addressing the construction, protection, and occupancy features in various occupancies. Today, as part of the post-conference seminar offerings at the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando, Joe Versteeg, Principal of Versteeg Associates, and a Life Safety Code technical committee member, reviewed the major updates to the 2012 edition of the code. 

RELATED VIDEO: NFPA’s Robert Solomon talking about major updates to the 2012 Life Safety Code®.


A Public Education Field Advisor position is currently avaiable with the NFPA, in the Northwest region of the country. 

The NFPA Public Education Field Advisor serves as a liaison between NFPA and fire and life safety educators. The Advisors work through NFPA’s Public Education Network (state level representatives assigned by the state fire marshal’s office or the appropriate state association representing the interests of public fire safety education. 

Learn more about the job responsibilities and position qualifications

Think you would be a great fit for the position? Download the application now!

NFPA's Michele Steinberg, Project Manager for the Firewise Communities program, talks about lessons learned from the devastating wildland fire seaso, including new research on how homes are burning down, and better ways to communicate safety messages to homeowners who live in the wildland urban interface.


NFPA JournalA special issue of NFPA Journal® is devoted to the wildland fire problem. Read about NFPA’s role in teaching homeowners, builders, firefighters, and community leaders how to prepare homes to resist ignition from wildland fire, new international initiatives, the environmental impact of wildland fires, and a look at the NFPA codes and standards that deal with the wildland urban interface.


In September, NFPA Fire Service Specialist Ryan Depew traveled to central Texas, where he participated in structure fire investigations related to the Bastrop County Complex Fire, which had destroyed more than 1,500 homes.

NFPA's Michele Steinberg, manager of the Firewise Communities Program, talks about the recent wildland fire season, and resources available to help homeowners and community leaders best prepare for fire.

NFPA’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 wildfire risks.

NFPA along with the U.S. Forest Service and a coalition of wildland fire safety agencies, are collaborating to develop a new Fire Adapted Communities program. The effort members will help communities understand and accept their wildfire risk and take pro-active steps to improve the safety and resilience of their homes, landscapes, infrastructure and community assets.

NFPA’s Matt Klaus, Senior Fire Protection Engineer, spoke at the Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando about the full range of NFPA documents that deal with automatic fire sprinklers. Matt explained the reason that NFPA 13R, the document that deals with the installation of automatic fire sprinklers in residential occupancies, will soon have a new title. He also provides an update on requirements on the use of antifreeze in sprinkler systems and the latest research that’s being done and how it is contributing to changes in NFPA’s sprinkler standards.

Fire Sprinkler InitiativeLearn more about NFPA's work to require sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes.  

What lessons about high rise building safety – from sprinkler protection to exit stairways, and everything in between – did we learn in the 90 years between the 1911 Triangle Waist Company fire in New York City and the World Trade Center tragedy in 2001?

During today’s luncheon at the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando, Robert Solomon, P.E., Division Manager of NFPA’s Building Fire Protection Division, shed new light on the Triangle fire, “one of history’s earliest episodes of a fire in a high-rise building,” he said. “The fear it struck into the hearts of citizens was profound and significant.”

One-hundred-forty-six people died that day, approximately 60 perished by jumping from the 9th floor of the building. “We see numerous fire hazards and other problems that proved deadly once the fire broke out,” said Robert. “These included flammable and combustible fuel load, lack of adequate exits, locked doors, crowded and cramped conditions, and lack of built-in fire protection measures like sprinklers.”

Change did occur in the aftermath of the Triangle fire. In the following video, produced by NFPA for the 100th anniversary of the tragedy in 2011, NFPA President Jim Shannon talks about the driving force of Frances Perkins, a social worker who witnessed the Triangle fire with her own eyes.

Read “What’s changed — and what hasn’t — in the 100 years since the Triangle Waist Co. fire” from the March/April 2011 issue of NFPA Journal®.

Robert then discussed the politics and planning that led to the construction of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, a project that took seven years to complete. WTC 1 and 2 featured “framed tube” construction and were the first buildings in the world to utilize the concept of an express elevator system.

In 1993, a bombing at the World Trade Center forced the evacuation of both towers. An NFPA investigation focused on fire department response, building system performance, evacuation. Robert said that many lessons learned after that bombing had a direct positive impact on the events that would unfold at the site eight years later.

September_october_cover_110x145Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, NFPA launched a widespread effort to strengthen codes and standards for first responder safety, the built environment, emergency preparedness, and more.  Ten years later, those efforts continue — and they’re making America safer.

Read details in NFPA Journal’s special 10th anniversary report on 9/11, including a report on first responder safety and an interview with an NFPA investigator who recalls his work at Ground Zero. 

Thomas Suehr, CPCU, a Senior Specialist in the Engineering Technical Unit at Liberty Mutual Commercial Markets, spoke at NFPA's Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando about the insurance industry perspective on dust hazard protection. Mr. Suehr, a member of several NFPA technical committees, also spoke about the role of codes and standards in helping the insurance industry work with clients to prevent or mitigate combustible dust explosions.

Guy Colonna, P.E., NFPA Industrial and Chemical Engineering Division, describes the concept behind eight NFPA documents that deal with dust forming a "basis of safety". He also details some of the significant changes to NFPA's dust standards.

Imperial_sugarRead a 2010 NFPA Journal® article that features Ron Allen, senior director for environmental health, safety, and quality at Imperial Sugar Company and a member of NFPA, who helped devise and implement safety features in all of its facilities. In this article, Alan R. Earls details the February 7, 2008, explosion at an Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, GA, that destroyed much of the facility and killed 14 employees.

This time of year our thoughts turn to decorations, lights and Christmas trees, and not so much about brush, grass and forest fires. But this year’s extensive fire season and the latest predictions for 2012 remind us that wildfire can happen almost anytime, almost anywhere.

Download our “12 Days of Firewise” wildfire safety tip sheet and view the videos on the Firewise blog (look for a new one each day). Our goal is to provide easy steps you can follow as you string up the lights and deck the halls this holiday season and throughout the year.

Day 1: Firewise Northwest Regional Advisor Gary Marshall reminds homeowners to make sure your house number is still visible after you decorate outside.


During her session at NFPA's Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando in December 2011, Sandra Stanek, CFPS, SET, Senior Fire Protection Specialist at NFPA, talked about the basics of residential sprinkler systems. She discussed common sprinkler myths, water sources, and the benefits of installing residential sprinklers to local jurisdictions. For more information about residential sprinklers, visit

MA sprinkler rally at State HouseRELATED
Against the backdrop of the firefighters memorial at the Massachusetts State House, NFPA President Jim Shannon and representatives of every major fire service organization in the state came together on December 13, 2011 to protest against the new building code in Massachusetts. 

All national model building codes include the requirement for fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. The Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) promulgated a building code for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in August and omitted the provision to require home fire sprinklers in new construction.

“Your risk of dying in a home fire decreases by more than 80 percent with sprinklers and property damage is reduced by 74 percent” said Shannon. “By allowing substandard housing to be built in Massachusetts, the BBRS puts firefighters and citizens at unnecessary risk. Their action should be reversed.” 

Read more, see video and photos.


Chief Paul J. Zbikowski, president, Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, speaks at the Massachusetts press conference.

Against the backdrop of the firefighters memorial at the Massachusetts State House,  NFPA President James M. Shannon and representatives of every major fire  service organization in the state came together to protest against the  new building code in Massachusetts. 

All national model building codes include the requirement for fire  sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. The Board of Building  Regulations and Standards (BBRS) promulgated a building code for the  Commonwealth of Massachusetts in August and omitted the provision to require home fire  sprinklers in new construction.

“Your risk of dying in a home fire decreases by more than 80 percent  with sprinklers and property damage is reduced by 74 percent” said  Shannon. “By allowing substandard housing to be built in Massachusetts,  the BBRS puts firefighters and citizens at unnecessary risk. Their  action should be reversed.” 

Read more, watch video of the event at the Massachusetts State House on our Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog

NFPA 13, 13D, and 13R are a series of documents that deal with the installation of automatic fire sprinklers. NFPA's Matt Klaus, Senior Fire Protection Engineer, talks about some of the significant changes to the 2013 edition of these documents.

There are eight NFPA documents that specifically address dust, and all of them address two hazards -- fires and explosions. Guy Colonna, head of NFPA's Industrial and Chemical Engineering Division, says there is a new committee structure in the works for NFPA's combustible dust documents.

NFPA Certification Project Manager Larry McDonald and CFPS Board Chair Bruce Clark answer questions about certification and why it plays an important role in the career development of a fire protection specialist.

CFPS(1)The Certified Fire Protection Specialist Board (CFPS) was formed in 1971 to document competency and offering professional recognition for individuals involved in fire protection, fire safety, and fire prevention. In 1998, CFPS and NFPA partnered to jointly offer this highly regarded certification program.

The CFPS Board credential has been awarded to more than 2,000 professionals and is internationally recognized as a mark of achievement within the fire protection field. 

Learn more about the Certified Fire Protection Specialist program.


In a luncheon presentation at NFPA’s Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando today, Kathleen Almand, P.E., Executive Director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, talked about the Foundation’s efforts to plan, manage and communicate research in support of the NFPA mission.

NFPA’s codes and standards are constantly evolving to meet emerging fire safety challenges, and that keeps the Research Foundation, an independent, charitable organization created in 1982, very busy. Kathleen said ideas for Research Foundation projects come from a variety of sources, including NFPA technical committees that need data about a particular issue, industries that want to introduce new technologies, and requests for in-depth research on emerging issues, such as alternative energy.

The final reports of the Research Foundation, all of which are free to the public, are posted on the Foundation’s web site and organized by topic (detection and signaling, hazardous materials, electrical safety, suppression, emergency responders, and structural fire protection).

One of the Research Foundation’s most recent reports focuses on lithium ion batteries. (Download the report, listed under "Other hazards"). Kathleen said this project looked at a wide range of batteries – from small to the larger units used in electric vehicles – and studied unique failure modes, storage concerns, and related fire service operations. It also contains an assessment of the life cycle of batteries, from manufacture, through storage and use, and recycling.

With the growing adoption of residential sprinkler ordinances in communities across the country, the Research Foundation is also conducting a study on the community impact of fire flow water consumption in both sprinklered and unsprinklered buildings. The report, expected to be released in January, will assess the fire flow fee structure in six U.S. communities.

Learn more about the Research Foundation, and read the Foundation blog to keep up with the latest research projects. 

Almost any medical process or procedure is feasible today. From heart transplants, to lung transplants to face transplants, the level of medical care and treatment is unprecedented. Codes, standards and regulations must be nimble and proactive to keep pace. While myriad changes were made throughout the 2012 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, several changes directly impact the healthcare and ambulatory healthcare environments. Robert Solomon, P.E., of NFPA's Building Fire Protection and Life Safety division, provides an overview of these changes. goal of the Korean Fire Protection Association (KFPA), under the leadership of Young-sun Kauh, CEO of KFPA, is to increase its public education programs in South Korea and to adapt many of NFPA’s public education programs for its Korean audiences.

In November, Battalion Chief Derrick Sawyer of the Philadelphia Fire Department and I went to Seoul on a trip sponsored by the KFPA to speak at the International Seminar on Public Fire Safety Education. Three hundred firefighters and other professionals attended the conference, where Chief Sawyer spoke about the five-step planning process the Philadelphia Fire Department uses in public education programs. I spoke about NFPA’s public education programs for general audiences and for high-risk groups. I also showed how public education programs are most effective when used in combination with engineering and enforcement strategies and how NFPA collaborates with government agencies on public education and outreach programs.

Other speakers at the conference were Yeol Woo Shin of the Korea National Emergency Management Agency and Young Pyo Hong of the KFPA Public Education and Public Relations Division.
We also held a strategic planning meeting with the public education staff of KFPA. In addition to these meetings, Chief Sawyer and I visited a disaster simulation center and a Seoul Fire Department fire station.

Sharon Gamache


Battalion Chief Derrick Sawyer presents the Five-Step Planning Process as used in Public Education Programs in Philadephia.












Sharon Gamache (right) presents NFPA public education programs. Myongo Yoon professor of University of Seoul (left) moderates the conference. 


Myongo Yoon and CEO Young-sun Kauh of KFPA present plaques of appreciation to Battalion Chief Derrick Sawyer and Sharon Gamache.


KFPA public education staff strategize on public education programs with Sharon Gamache and Derrick Sawyer. Seung-il Ahn of KFPA translates. 

Another full day of educational sessions here in Orlando today. Presentations by NFPA experts and Technical Committee members are being offered up in four tracks: “Building and Life Safety”, “Detection and Alarm”, “Suppression”, and “Codes and Standards”. Add in featured luncheon presentations, CEUs, and networking with colleagues from all over the world, our attendees are getting a true career-boosting experience.

NFPA’s Ron Cote, P.E., Principal Life Safety Code Engineer, leads a packed session on changes to the 2012 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. 


NFPA’s Jonathan Hart, Associate Fire Protection Engineer, discusses fire protection schemes of various storage arrangements. 


The best way to ensure the long-term operational reliability of a fire alarm system is with a diligent inspection, testing, and maintenance program. At NFPA's Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando, Dick Roux, NFPA Senior Electrical Specialist, reviewed practical and time-tested ways to improve the effectiveness of any inspection, testing, and maintenance program. He also talked about significant changes in the latest edition of the document. Learn more about NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.


Ken Willette of NFPA's Public Fire Protection division talks about the interface of green building codes and tactical firefighting operations, and using NFPA 1500 and NFPA 1620 to develop response protocols that enhance firefighter safety. 

In the early-morning hours of December 13, 1977, a fire occurred in a college dormitory at Providence College in Providence, RhodeIsland.  The fire resulted in the deaths of ten students who were residents of the fourth floor.  The primary fuel for the fire was highly combustible Christmas decorations that had been put up in the corridors.  Two of the ten student fatalities died from injuries received when they jumped out a window, four died of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation, and four died as a direct result of burns.  Twelve students and one firefighter were injured.

The extremely rapid fired development and a dead-end corridor were the most significant factors that contributed to the multiple loss of life in this incident.  NFPA members can download a 1978 Fire Journal article about this incident.  All visitors can read a full report about fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities and barracks as well.


Rich Bielen, NFPA's Director of Fire Protection Systems Engineering, talks about changes to NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code. One of the biggest changes to the latest edition of the document was a move toward a risk-based, rather than an occupancy-based, approach. RIch also addresses the highly-debated issue of whether operating rooms should be considered as "wet locations".


According to Bill Koffel, P.E., FSPE, President of Koffel Associates in Columbia, MD, too many fire alarm projects suffer from inadequate planning and design. Bill highlights some of the problems that may occur when planning and design issues are not addressed up front, and says the key to successful projects is communication among all parties.

Read "The Oops Factor" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal®, where Bill talks about learning from mistakes in the design and installation of fire protection systems.

What's the latest on NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Protective Openings, and why is this document so important to a building's fire protection system? In this video from NFPA's Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando, NFPA's Kristin Bigda, P.E., Fire Protection Engineer, talks about some of the "hot topics" related to fire doors and what changes might be in store for the 2013 edition of the document. Learn more about NFPA 80.


See photos, coverage of our Fire & Life Safety Conference taking place this week in Orlando.

 “Emerging Issues” was the topic at today’s luncheon at NFPA’s Fire & Life Safety Conference. Attendees were invited to ask questions on any of nearly two dozen topics related to fire and life safety issues, including high rise building safety, health care trends, false alarms, combustible dust, mass notification, and the re-engineering of the NFPA code and standard development system.

Panel session 2
Serving on the NFPA panel during the luncheon presentation was Rich Bielen of NFPA’s Fire Protection Systems Engineering Division; Dick Roux, NFPA Senior Electrical Specialist; Ken Willette of NFPA’s Public Fire Protection Division;; and Chris Dubay, Vice President of Codes and Standards.

Panel session 1
Also serving on the panel was Guy Colonna of NFPA's Industrial and Chemical Engineering Division, and Kristin Bigda, NFPA Fire Protection Engineer.


Our attendees have arrived, our presenters are standing by, and we're gearing up to make the next few days as interesting and impactful as possible for the fire and life safety professionals who have gathered here in Orlando to enhance their code-related knowledge and develop new skills

We'll be offering more than 60 educational sessions in four targeted tracks on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and then present four post-conference seminars focused on:

  • water supply analysis and hydraulic calculations based on NFPA 13
  • the 2012 edition of NFPA 1, Fire Code
  • changes to the 2012 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®
  • an update on the 2012 edition of NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code

Stay tuned to the Fire & Life Safety Conference blog for updates from Orlando. If you want conference news sent to your in-box once a day, just visit this page and select "Get NFPA Fire & Life Safety Conference delivered by email".


NFPA's Ken Willette speaks with Gregg Cleveland, Chief of the La Crosse, WI, Fire Department about his experience at the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando.

In September, NFPA and SAE co-hosted the 2nd Annual Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit in Detroit, Michigan. The Summit had several objectives, including reviewing the progress of electric vehicle technology, filling in gaps in codes, standards, and specifications that address the safety hazards associated with electric vehicles, and creating an action plan to continue research, training, and communication for electric vehicle safety.

The summary report from the Summit, prepared by Casey Grant, is currently available for download on our website. The report contains an executive summary of the Summit as well as more detailed information about the discussions and progress that took place over the course of the event.

 NFPA's Ron CoteWhat happens when a building falls into several occupancy classifications? This was the focus of the session “Using NFPA 101: Properly, Starting with Occupancy Classification” taught by NFPA’s Ron Cote.


Ron used a standard U.S. hotel (like the Orlando Hilton where the conference is being held) as an example of a multi-occupancy building. A hotel can have single rooms, atriums and large open spaces, and restaurants. The life safety requirements for each of these are different. How do you manage this? NFPA requires you to compare occupancy requirements and choose the stricter/strictest.

“101 is very much an occupancy code," said Ron. "It‘s a road map and beautiful formatted.  And you quickly learn that, in multi-occupancies, some occupancies are incidental …. and you can whittle it down to exactly what you need.”

- Bob Finn

As the kick-off session in the Codes & Standards track at NFPA's Fire & Life Safety Conference in Orlando, Guy Colonna, P.E., head of NFPA's Industrial and Chemical Engineering Division, spoke about what it takes to perform "hot work" (activites that produce or use sparks, flames, or heat) safely. Typical hot work includes welding, cutting, grinding, soldering, heat treating, and hot riveting.

Guy presented a three step approach to a hot work safety program:

  1. Hazard recognition: determining the type of hot work and heat sources
  2. Evaluation: assessing the degree of hazards, including a visual inspection of the hot work location
  3. Control: taking steps to minimize and/or eliminate hazards (may include training, "Safety Teams" and permits, ventilation, isolation of fuel and ignition sources, etc.)

Guy also reviewed some of the key documents to help a facility conduct safe hot work operations, including OSHA 29 CFR (Subpart Q), NFPA 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work; and ANSI Z49.1. Chief Magazine posted an article this week that we have to share. 

During this holiday season, many American firefighters are doing double-duty for their country, serving as soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations abroad. Readers of Command Post, FIRE CHIEF's weekly e-mail newsletter, contributed the names of soldiers abroad. Fire Chief has published this list of sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, colleagues, friends, fathers and mothers in the fire-service family, online. 

They are inviting all of us to send holiday greetings to at least one of these soldiers. A regular 44-cent stamp delivers cards and letters via military APO boxes in the United States. You also can reach some of these soldiers by e-mail.

To add a name to the list, send an e-mail.

Check out the list of soldiers, and send your holiday card today!


On an accident scene, first responders have their hands full. They need to make sure the scene is safe for firefighters, police, and EMS personnel. They need to secure victims and possibly extricate them. They need to keep pedestrians and bystanders away from the accident scene while setting up barriers to keep traffic flowing smoothly.

With the long checklist of safety standards that first responders need to keep, it’s almost understandable that sometimes things get missed. However, remembering all safety precautions, and taking them, is one of the most important duties a first responder has. One of those safety precautions is making sure any vehicle involved in a crash is immobilized before beginning rescue or extinguishment procedures. If vehicles aren’t immobilized, the results can be disastrous—as seen in the video posted above, taken from an accident scene in Anthem, Arizona.

Electric Vehicle Safety Training emphasizes three major steps that must be taken before beginning extrication procedures on a vehicle scene: Identify (determine if the vehicle is a hybrid or electric model), Immobilize (this will ensure that the vehicle will not move unexpectedly and potentially injure someone), and Disable (power down the vehicle and prevent it from being turned on again accidentally). Yet these steps are not just critical for first responders addressing a hybrid or electric vehicle incident—the Identify, Immobilize, Disable step system is necessary when responding to any vehicle accident.

On November 12, 2011, the NFPA Board of Directors approved changes to the NFPA Technical Meeting Convention Rules that correspond with the current and new Regs: the current Regulations Governing Committee Projects (Annual 2013 and all preceding revision cycles) and the new Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards (Fall 2013 and all subsequent revision cycles).

The following changes to the convention rules will be applicable at the upcoming Association Technical Meeting at NFPA's Conference and Expo on June 11-14, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada:

3.3  Voting on Motions. Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the vote on motions shall be taken by electronic means unless the Presiding Officer determines otherwise.  by a show of hands.  If the Presiding officer is uncertain of the result of the vote, he or she can order a county of the vote.  A motion that the vote be counted is allowed, and requires a majority vote of those present.  No proxy voting is permitted.  Time Restrictions.  The maker of the motion shall have five three minutes to speak in favor of the motion.  Rebuttal.  Thereafter, the Presiding officer shall recognize speakers alternating, to the extent practicable, between those against and those that favor the motion.  Each speaker shall be limited to five three minutes or such other time as the Presiding officer, in consideration of the available time, may designate.

- Debbie Baio

Home fires involving christmas trees and holiday lightsA fire that authorities believe was sparked by an electrical outlet overloaded with Christmas lights killed a father of two in Colorado, according to a report in the Daily News. The report says the 45-year-old man died after the roof of his house collapsed and trapped him inside. The entire family escaped the blaze, but the man reportedly ran back into the burning home to get a key to unlock a gate to the outside fence.

Decorative lights start 13% of Christmas tree home fires, according to NFPA's "Home Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Fires" report. (Download the free report and a related fact sheet.) Electrical problems, heat sources too close to the tree, candles and intentional setting cause the rest.

NFPA's Lorraine Carli has a few quick safety tips to consider before you decorate your home for the holidays. Learn more at

Shannon and Fire Service groups
NFPA President Jim Shannon was joined by representatives of every major fire service organization in Massachusetts at a home fire sprinkler rally in Quincy, MA, on November 3, 2011.

The Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) promulgated a building code for the Commonwealth and omitted the provision to require home fire sprinklers in new construction. The new code became effective August 4, 2011.

The BBRS is holding a public hearing on December 13, 2011, at 12:00 pm in the Gardner Auditorium of the Massachusetts State House (Beacon Street at Park Street). Public testimony will be accepted. If you are able to attend, please ask the BBRS to add back the provision for fire sprinklers in new one and two family homes, or at a minimum, push out the implementation date to ensure future generations will be better protected from fire.

If you are unable to attend, you can also contact the members of the BBRS by phone or e-mail. We've even drafted language you can use for your letter, e-mail, or phone call.

Join NFPA and the Massachusetts State Fire Marshals Office, Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters Association and Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts -- all of whom support the requirement for fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes.

Don’t allow substandard homes to be built in Massachusetts.

- Jim Shannon
NFPA President

On Friday December 6, 1985, a natural gas explosion occurred at a restaurant in Derby, Connecticut.  According to NFPA’s investigation, a gas main may have been damaged during the refilling of a sewer excavation.  Before anyone became aware of the leak, escaping gas accumulated in the basement of the restaurant and came in contact with an undetermined ignition source.  The explosion killed six people in the restaurant, injured 12 other occupants, and completely destroyed the building.  Three people not in the restaurant were also injured by the explosion.

NFPA members can read the full investigation report.


Joining the ranks of other auto manufacturers who have combined forces to enhance EV technology, Toyota and BMW have announced a plan to collaborate for the development of hybrid systems and diesel technology.

This collaboration will likely prove beneficial to both sides of the deal. BMW has been working on its hybrid technology and is known for its diesel vehicles, while Toyota has been in the hybrid game for over a decade, since it released the first generation Prius almost twelve years ago.

According to Nitro Bahn, both companies are excited about the relationship. While BMW Chairman Norbert Reithofer is looking forward to the “development of environment-friendly technologies and the expansion of sales”, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is especially pleased about the sharing of knowledge and cooperation between the companies.

This collaboration will likely prove beneficial to both sides of the deal. BMW has been working on its hybrid technology and is known for its diesel vehicles, while Toyota has been in the hybrid game for over a decade, since it released the first generation Prius almost twelve years ago.

The Fall 2012 Report on Proposals (ROP) for 47 NFPA documents are now available. Some of the proposed NFPA documents addressed in the Report on Proposals include:

  • NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems
  • NFPA 17, Standard for Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems
  • NFPA 17A, Standard for Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems
  • NFPA 22, Standard for Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection
  • NFPA 52, Vehicular Gaseous Fuel Systems Code
  • NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance
  • NFPA 259, Standard Test Method for Potential Heat of Building Materials
  • NFPA 501A, Standard for Fire Safety Criteria for Manufactured Home Installations, Sites, and Communities
  • NFPA 801, Standard for Fire Protection for Facilities Handling Radioactive Materials
  • NFPA 909, Code for the Protection of Cultural Resource Properties - Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship
  • NFPA 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs
  • NFPA 1855, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Technical Rescue Incidents
  • NFPA 1925, Standard on Marine Fire-Fighting Vessels

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

The deadline to submit a comment on any of these documents is March 2, 2012.  Download a public comment form (PDF, 90 KB) 

- Debbie Baio

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

In this issue:

  • Changes to the NFPA Technical Meeting Convention Rules
  • Soliciting comments on proposed TIAs for NFPA 13D, NFPA 30B, NFPA 75 and NFPA 80
  • Standards Council Awards
  • Fall 2012 Report on Proposals available
  • Call for members
  • Committee meetings calendar
  • Committees soliciting public input (formerly 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


Flashover is the point in which everything in your home catches fire -- no one can survive. See how quickly flashover can occur and how it can be prevented. In this video, produced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), we show what happens while a house is burning and the local fire department is on its way.

Home fire sprinklers save lives and property from fire. They act before the fire department is even notified. Learn more about the power of home fire sprinklers.

- Mike Hazell

On December 4, 1980, a fire occurred on the third floor of the conference facility at an inn in Harrison, New York.  Twenty six people lost their lives and 24 were injured.  The fire originated in an exit access corridor outside the meeting rooms, and in the early stages of the fire, occupants were faced with untenable conditions that impeded their escape to safety.  As determined by local investigators, the fire was incendiary in origin and involved a flammable liquid on the carpet.  The following were significant factors contributing to the loss of life in this incident:

  • The critical location of the fire in the intersection of the exit access corridors
  • The rapid development of the fire through the combination of its origin and the available fuel load
  • The lack of a remote second means of egress from some occupied meeting rooms
  • The lack of a fixed fire protection system to detect and extinguish the fire in its incipient stage

NFPA members can download two Fire Journal articles about this incident.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIA) on NFPA 30B and NFPA 75 are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the January 13, 2012 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

In the early-morning hours of December 13, 1977, a fire occurred in a college dormitory at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.  The fire resulted in the deaths of ten students who were residents of the fourth floor.  The primary fuel for the fire was highly combustible Christmas decorations that had been put up in the corridors.  Two of the ten student fatalities died from injuries received when they jumped out a window, four died of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation, and four died as a direct result of burns.  Twelve students and one firefighter were injured.

The extremely rapid fired development and a dead-end corridor were the most significant factors that contributed to the multiple loss of life in this incident.  NFPA members can download a 1978 Fire Journal article about this incident.  (  All visitors can read a full report about fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities and barracks as well. (

FAC_Logo_FNFPA has recently been awarded a cooperative agreement by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to develop a Fire Adapted Communities™ (FAC) initiative aimed at raising the level of wildfire risk awareness among the public, and encourage shared responsibility and pro-active planning for living safely in high-risk areas. The project includes the development of a comprehensive website to be launched in Spring 2011.

The website will draw on a number of existing wildland fire safety resources and successful programs to help emphasize the importance of being a fire adapted community, and how to become one, and will provide a collection of resources in one place at

According to Molly Mowery, NFPA’s program manager for Fire Adapted Communities and International Outreach, “There are a host of programs, including the Firewise Communities Program, that have been successful, and we want to let the public know about them so they can begin to take action both individually and as a community. The new Fire Adapted Communities website will help people understand all of these existing concepts and pull them together in one easily accessible place.”

NFPA is collaborating with a coalition of eight organizations, who will also provide content for the new site.

Learn more about NFPA’s Fire Adapted Communities initiative and the coalition members by visiting its interim webpage.

A fire, suspected to be incendiary, at a luxury resort hotel in Bermuda on December 1, 1977 led to three fatalities.  This fire occurred at the same time there were civil disturbances in Bermuda that resulted in simultaneous fires.  This meant that fewer firefighters were available to fight the hotel fire; however, the hotel’s own private fire brigade assisted the public brigade in containing the fire and preventing further loss of life.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m., a hotel employee saw smoke on the second floor and immediately notified the telephone operator, who received simultaneous notification over the alarm panel that there was a fire on the sixth floor.  The first employee went to the sixth floor, discovered a working fire, and ordered the hotel evacuated.  Members of the hotel’s fire brigade started evacuating guests and laying out hoselines on the fifth floor.  Once conditions became untenable due to heat and smoke, many guests were trapped on their balconies.  Members of both fire brigades stayed on the balconies with guests to keep them calm until the fire was out, at which time they escorted the guests out of the building.

NFPA members can read the full Fire Journal article.

-Ben Evarts

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