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2012[1]Chris Bernstein Photo

Last week, the Patriot Ledger ran an article about the new charging stations at the Hanover Mall in Hanover, Massachusetts.

The installation of the stations in Hanover are part of a project run by the National Grid, which plans to install 30 new charging stations state-wide under the Department of Energy’s “ChargePoint America” program. Under the program, National Grid foots the bill for the installation and maintenance while the charging site (in this case, the Hanover Mall) pays the electric bill—allowing EV users to charge for free. The goal of the program is two-fold: increasing EV-friendly infrastructure while also making it more affordable for EV-owners to power up, making electric vehicles more appealing to consumers.

The ChargePoint America program addresses one of the major issues consumers have with electric vehicles: when they’re not home, where do they power up? Fortunately, as they say in the smartphone business, “there’s an app for that.” The ChargePoint Network offers a useful website where EV users can find a charging station near their location or along the route of a planned trip, as well as downloadable smart phone apps so users can search on the go.

Photo courtesy of WikipediaAs if creating bifocals and discovering electricity wasn't enough, here's yet another reason why Benjamin Franklin was ahead of his time: the inventor was also the driving force behind one of America's first fire insurance companies.

According to Tom Kiurski, a recent guest columnist for the Observer and Eccentric weekly newspapers, the Founding Father established the Philadelphia Contribution for Insurance Against Loss by Fire. Klurski references a letter Franklin wrote to his sister in 1778, noting Boston's fire problem at the time and fire mitigation tactics that seem to work--specifically building compartmentation and design to limit fire spread as well as noncomustible roofing materials.

"While we don't have the problem of fire spreading from one structure  to the next as they did in Ben's days when roofs were made of straw and  thatch, his thought of noncombustible roofing materials were well ahead  of his time," says Kiurski, a training coordinator with the Livonia Fire Department in Michigan. "Many of us do not build our own homes, and we have to  rely on the codes that were in existence at the time helping to limit  the fire spread that Franklin referred to. But we can control what is in  our homes that may start fires."

NFPA offers a number of home safety tips that probably would have gotten Franklin's seal of approval. Safeguard your home today.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

Streamers flew and smoke alarms beeped as NFPA kicked off its long-term partnership with LEGOLAND® Florida to provide lifesaving information to families and kids during a press event and special fire safety day at central Florida’s newest theme park yesterday.

Want to view a quick video recap of the day's events? 


“The majority of fire deaths happen in homes where there are no working smoke alarms,” said NFPA President Jim Shannon. “We are excited to join with LEGOLAND Florida to impart two extremely important messages - test your smoke alarms and have an escape plan.”

NFPA will sponsor the park’s fire safety - themed “The Big Test” live show at the LEGO® City Stage where these messages will be incorporated. “The Big Test” is an acrobatic, comedy show in which a cast of characters goes through a series of hysterical antics as they try to become firefighters. There will also be special activities throughout the year that stress the importance of fire safety and acknowledge the critical work of the fire service.

Watch a slideshow of photos from our kick-off event or visit NFPA's Facebook photo album.


During the kick-off event, hundreds of kids and families tested smoke alarms, learned ways to stay safe and posed for pictures with area firefighters in full gear before sitting down to watch the highly acclaimed “The Big Test”.

“This partnership allows us to combine kids’ love of the fire service and LEGOLAND to build life-saving knowledge,” said Adrian Jones, LEGOLAND Florida general manager. “We are proud to play this important role for our community.”

Check out our photo album from our kickoff event on Facebook! 

Photo: New York Times

Back in January, we reported on some of the steps the U.S. military—currently the world’s largest single consumer of oil—is taking to scale back on its gas-guzzling vehicles in order to reduce oil spending. This week, we’re happy to announce the reveal of the Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle, or CERV, at the Chicago Auto Show. This light, armored vehicle is intended for reconnaissance missions, and comes equipped with a silent engine allowing it to travel on rough terrain without being heard.

According to The Charging Point, the CERV is a joint project between the Army’s Tank Automotive Research Developing and Engineering Center and Quantum Fuel Systems Worldwide, a company that specializes in renewable energy propulsion.

In addition to cutting oil spending and lightening the Army’s carbon footprint, the use of hybrid and EV technology in the Army will reduce the risks that accompany the transport and protection of fuel supplies. Electric vehicles don’t just help the planet—they can save lives, too!

Over the past thirty years, selected municipal water authorities have implemented strategies, including stand by fees and other policies, to recover costs for water consumed in fires in sprinklered buildings. Typically these fees are not directly related to sprinkler fire flows but rather are recognition of the fact that these flows are not metered and thus not accounted for in conventional water cost recovery mechanisms. In contrast, water consumption at fires at unsprinklered properties is typically not subject to fees nor metered at the hydrant. With the growing adoption of residential sprinkler ordinances in communities across the country, the National Fire Protection Association commissioned this study  to assess the relative community impacts of water consumption in sprinklered and unsprinklered properties.  The study considered standard estimates of the amount of water expected to be used in various building types with and without automatic sprinkler protection during a fire condition and also estimated the water used per year for commissioning, inspection, testing and maintenance of buildings with systems for each building type. The total amount of water anticipated to be used for fire protection was compared with fees in sample jurisdictions; methods were developed to calculate fire water fees that are proportional to the anticipated volume of fire water used.

On Saturday, February 23, 1991, an early evening fire occurred in a 38-story building in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The fire extended to 9 floors, killed three firefighters and injured 24 others. 

The fire started on the 22nd floor and was caused by spontaneous ignition of linseed-soaked rags used for restoring and cleaning wood paneling.  The fire was able to grow significantly before being detected.  Vertical spread was ultimately stopped by the automatic sprinklers on the 30th floor that were supplied by fire department pumpers.

Significant factors affecting the outcome of this fire include:

    • The lack of automatic fire sprinklers on the floor of origin

    • The lack of an automatic early detection system

    • Inadequate pressures for fire attack hose lines due to improper settings of the standpipe pressure regulating valves

    • The early loss of main electrical service and the emergency power to the building

    • The improper storage and handling of linseed soaked rags and other associated combustibles


NFPA members can read the full investigation report  and all site visitors can read a summary in English or Spanish .


Do you want to make a difference? We have an available opportunity for an expert database professional who will be responsible for directing all database related activities, as assigned by the Division Director of Information Systems.

We are looking for a person who has their BA/BS Degree, expert Database knowledge (SQL Server 2005/2008, Oracle 9i, 10g etc.), and experience in of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).

Some of your principle responsibilities would include:

  • Manage all SQL and Oracle databases to ensure optimum      performance.
  • Manage Data Warehouse reporting environment.
  • Maintain excellent relationships with outside venders      supporting various applications.
  • Participate as a technical consultant in areas of the      Information Services group
  • Participate as a technical consultant in multi      functional teams.
  • Operate with a high degree of autonomy in execution of      stated objectives.
  • Work effectively as a team member within in the      Information Services area.
  • Provide technical training as required.
  • Participate in setting technical policies, procedures      and guidelines.

For more details on the requirements and responsibilities of this position, visit our website.

To apply, email your resume and a cover letter, including salary requirements, to Janet Bulian. All attachments submitted should be in a Word or PDF file document. has updated its Winter Parent and Educators page with a fun family story activity (mad lib) that parents and grandparents can play with their children or grandchildren. Also included with this activity are important home-heating safety tips that everyone can follow. Now, if you can just get those kids to settle down!

Sharon Gamache



Electric vehicles were the big newsmakers in last month’s Washington Auto Show, and it’s no surprise that they’re getting their own showcase this week in Tampa. The EV International Expo, a three day conference running February 21-23, focuses on informing the public about the benefits of electric vehicles.

“We’re not pushing anyone’s brand,” said Doug Mitchell, CEO of the Expo. “We’re bringing the whole of the technology to the public.”

With its flat terrain and warm weather, Florida seems tailor-made for battery-operated vehicles. Many charging stations have already been put in place around the state, and business can get tax credits for going green. “The infrastructure is here;” said Rob Keith, a marketing strategist working to promote the Expo. “You just need to create the demand.”

The EV International Expo is only $10 to attend, and registration is still open. For all you EV-lovers in Florida, it’s not too late to check out this event!


Would you like to make a difference? Do you have your Bachelor’s Degree and years of hands on experience in project management and leading teams? We have an ideal opportunity for an innovative manager who will lead a team of project managers to drive results and execution of NFPA’s content strategy. This person will deliver and develop content through various distribution channels based on customer needs.

Your principle responsibilities would include:

  • Develop and maintain a formal process to execute on      core business product lines/projects aligned to NFPA’s strategic      objectives.
  • Administer the project management process of project      prioritization, selection, execution and lifecycle management in support      of product development goals.
  • Lead functional stakeholders in defining costs, risks,      and schedule impact of multiple implementation options.
  • Recommend and implement project evaluation and      performance criteria
  • Ensure all project data is comprehensive, accurate and      available for review and oversight for recurring schedules of project      reviews.
  • Collaborate with the financial group to establish      accurate forecasting of project expense and revenue goals.
  • Assess the impact of new projects to the existing      portfolio and work with cross functional teams to develop strategies to      meet project demands
  • Establish and direct the project management processes      and systems.
  • Direct supervision of all project managers
  • Establish and maintain project forecasting system

For more detailed information on the requirements and responsibilities of this position, visit our website.

To apply, email your resume and a cover letter, including salary requirements, to Janet Bulian or Human Resources at All attachments submitted should be in a Word or PDF file document.

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Registration is now open for the NFPA Conference &amp; Expo  in Las Vegas, June 11-14. It&#39;s widely regarded as the most comprehensive event in the industry. The event combines an unrivaled educational conference with an expo of more than 360 solution providers. See our travel and hotel  discounts. Read an overview of this year’s event .</p>

On Sunday, February 18, 1990, a natural gas explosion and subsequent fire in a motel in Hagerstown, Maryland caused the deaths of four guests and minor injuries to ten others.  At approximately 5:20 a.m. two guests reported the smell of gas to the hotel desk clerk.  The clerk then confirmed that there was a gas leak, called the gas company, and attempted to stop the gas that was escaping.  Neither the gas company nor the clerk called the fire department, and the building alarm was not activated until after the explosion occurred at about 5:30. Hagerstown Fire Department investigators determined that the fire was accidental, and the result of a leaking natural gas valve on a hot water heater. 

Three of the four fatalities occurred in rooms affected by the explosion, and the fourth victim was found in a corridor about 35 feet from the area of the explosion.  Even though the building was damaged by the gas explosion and subsequent fire, the interior fire-rated walls maintained tenable conditions sufficiently long to allow over 90% of the occupants to escape without assistance from firefighters.  NFPA members can download the full investigation report and all site visitors can download a summary in Spanish.


Are you a hard-working, dynamic fire safety educator who loves working with children, older adults, and others in the community? Do you consistently and creatively use one or more of NFPA’s core fire safety programs, such as Learn Not to Burn®, Remembering When™: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults, or Fire Prevention Week materials? If so, you could be the next winner of NFPA’s Educator of the Year Award. The deadline for applications is February 24th, so you still have time to apply.

If you are chosen Educator of the Year, you will receive a $1,000 honorarium for you personally and a $1,000 donation to your local fire department to support its public education activities. We all know how scarce resources are, so don’t pass up this opportunity. Download the application form now, and don’t let your busy schedule or your humility keep you from going for it!

 - Sharon Gamache

Do you have your Bachelor’s Degree and hands on experience in product development and management? If so, you're in luck because we are looking to add a new Product Innovation & Development Director to our staff at NFPA. This is an ideal opportunity for an innovative manager who will lead a team of product managers to drive product strategy, new product development and product standardization to support business initiatives and increase the profitability of NFPA.

Some of your principle responsibilities would include:

  • Set the strategic direction and business objectives for      new product lines
  • Formulating, executing and managing business plans to      achieve such objectives.
  • Develop a high performing team to accomplish product      and profitability targets
  • Establish and manage the team’s product and technology      road
  • Act as a focal point for market knowledge,      profitability, forecasts, and planning of a broad range of product lines.
  • Manage the New Product Development process
  • Negotiate contracts for goods and services
  • Instrumental  in facilitating the development of      IT specifications and procurement documents; evaluating vendors; preparing      recommendations for awarding contracts; and developing, negotiating and      executing contracts as well as resolving contract problems.
  • Plans, prepares and manages budgets related to the      responsibilities assigned above.

For more details on the requirements and responsibilities of this position, please visit our website.

To apply, email your resume and a cover letter, including salary requirements, to Janet Bulian or All attachments submitted should be in a Word or PDF file document.

An analysis of volunteer firefighter injuries was recently undertaken by NFPA to compare their experience to all firefighter injuries. ‘All firefighter injuries’ refers to the firefighter injuries that are estimated based on the NFPA National Fire Experience Survey and reported in the NFPA Annual Firefighter Injury Report.

The injury statistics in that report combine career and volunteer firefighters. Volunteer fire departments are highly related to the size of community protected. Departments that protect communities of less than 10,000 population are comprised mosyly of volunteer firefighters.

Three years of data were used in this analysis because the estimates for some of the breakdown categories are small and can vary considerably from year to year. Download NFPA's analysis of volunteer firefighter injuries.

Download NFPA's analysis of volunteer firefighter injuries by NFPA's Michael J. Karter, Jr.

Illinois public safety educators informed NFPA that four young children in the Chicago area since October of 2011 had died after being struck by falling televisions. According the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “on average, one child dies every two weeks when a TV, piece of furniture, or an appliance falls on them [sic].” Health Canada says that children between the ages of one and three are the victims of more than 70% of reported television tip-over incidents in Canada.

Deaths and injuries from this type of incident appear to be on the rise, according to Dr. Gary Smith, president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance in Columbus, Ohio. Smith suggests that parents may be placing new flat screen TV’s in areas that children can easily reach and that they may be placing the older, heavier televisions the flat screen TVs replace on dressers in bedrooms, making them very easy to knock over.

Below are some tips from the CPSC and Health Canada on preventing television and furniture tip-overs:

*Supervise young children and teach them not to climb on furniture. Remind them to stay away from televisions.

*Place televisions on wide, sturdy, low stands or bases that sit directly on the floor. Furniture with legs is less stable. Place the televisions as far back on the stands and close to the wall as possible.

*Attach tall furniture and televisions to the wall using safety straps, anchors, or angle braces. These items often come with new televisions or furniture, or they can be purchased from a hardware store.

*Avoid placing televisions on dressers. Children can easily use the drawers as steps, causing the dresser or television to topple over.

*Keep toys, remote controls, and other items of interest to children away from the television or on tall furniture.

For more information on preventing injuries from falling televisions and furniture, go to CPSC and Health Canada.

Sharon Gamache

NFPA is committed to providing fire and life safety educators the best education sessions at our 2012 NFPA Conference & Expo. To help educators take advantage of NFPA’s extensive educational opportunities, we are awarding up to 30 scholarships to support attendance at the NFPA Conference and Expo. The Conference will be held in Las Vegas, NV, June 11-14, 2012. Scholarship recipients will receive free conference registration, three nights lodging and some meals during the conference.  Recipients will be responsible for their own airfare, airport transfers, some meals, and miscellaneous expenses. 

Learn more, fill out an application.


NFPA is hiring! We have an ideal opportunity for an electrical engineer who will independently manage technical projects of a complex nature related to area of expertise including technical committee, product development, and association activities. 

The primary responsibility of this position is to perform the following listed activities on behalf of the core Electrical projects; NFPA 70 (National Electrical Code), NFPA 70 E (Electrical Safety in the Workplace), and NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code)

  • Manage technical committee activities and projects of      major complexity and serving as technical committee staff liaison in      compliance with the NFPA Standards Development Process.
  • Overseeing all content development and review for      product development activities
  • Providing technical services of major complexity in      support of internal and external association activities within the area of      expertise
  • Participating in related association cross functional      activities
  • Managing special projects as assigned within area of      technical expertise.
  • Act as representative for the association to local and      federal government, industry, related organizations, and media outlets serving      as the principal liaison
  • Providing required budgetary information for assigned      projects.

To apply, please e-mail your resume and a cover letter, including salary requirements, to Janet Bulian or Human Resources; All attachments submitted should be in a Word or PDF file document.

For more details on the responsibilities and requirements for this position, visit our website


According to a new report, there was an estimated annual average of 38,660 firefighter fireground injuries in the United States between 2005 and 2009. Of these, an average of 27,920 were minor, and 10,740 were moderate or severe.

The leading types of minor injuries were: strain or sprain accounting for an annual average of 6,880 injuries or (25%); pain only, accounting for 3,215 injuries (12%); thermal burns only, accounting for 2,885 injuries (10%); cut or laceration, accounting for 2,285 injuries (8%).

Learn more; download the entire "Patterns of Firefighter Fireground Injuries" report by NFPA's Michael J. Karter, Jr.


The Educational Messages Advisory Committee meets annually to review NFPA’s fire safety education messages and to provide recommendations to NFPA public education staff for updating and revising the messages. See the list of current NFPA education messages.

The messages are used throughout NFPA’s educational programs, curricula, and handouts and provide fire and life safety educators with accurate and consistent language for use when offering safety information to the public. Each topic area is self-contained, written so that all the information needed on a certain subject is provided within that category. As a result, some messaging may be repeated throughout topic areas.

Do you have ideas or a comment on how NFPA's educational messages could be updated or revised? Submit a comment by May 11, 2012.

The new standards development process is underway, starting with the Fall 2013 revision cycle documents.  The new process has been presented at various sites including the Standards Forum at NFPA's Conference & Expo and Technical Committee Chair Training.  If you have not attended one of these presentations, we have developed a series of videos which are now available for viewing.  These videos are a great introduction to the concepts of the new process.

Watch videos explaining NFPA's new standards development process

As the online submission system is implemented and additional tools developed on the new process, they will be made available on NFPA's website.  You can also attend the next Standards Forum on June 12, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, NV.

Debbie Baio

On February 13, 1975, a fire occurred in a nine-story hotel in Peoria, Illinois.  Due to the efforts of local police and firefighters, 119 guests, many of whom did not speak English, were evacuated and there were no fatalities.  Many guests in the hotel were from around the world, attending a construction equipment conference. 

At around 1:00 a.m. one of the guests returned to his room on the seventh floor of the hotel from a party on the ninth floor of the building.  He then turned on his TV set and lay down on his bed.  The next thing that he remembered was waking up to find his mattress on fire.  He attempted to get the mattress out the window, but he was unable to get it through.  He then left the room, leaving the window and the door to the room open.  He then left the building without notifying anyone about the fire or sounding an alarm.

The Peoria police were patrolling the area around the hotel due to the large number of out-of-town visitors at the conference.  Several police were nearby when they were notified by a woman outside the building.  The officers then notified the fire department and entered the building to begin to evacuate guests.  They eventually charged standpipe hose lines in the hotel and used them to control the fire while they notified guests.  The fire department arrived shortly thereafter and began to evacuate guests using aerial ladders, as well as engaging in fire suppression.

The presence of police officers in the immediate area of the hotel, as well as their fire fighting and rescue actions likely saved many lives.  NFPA members can read a full report

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

In this issue:

  • Public Input closing dates for Annual 2014 documents
  • Comments sought on proposed TIAs on NFPA 1, 90A, and 1977
  • Annual 2012 Report on Comments (ROC)
  • New standards development process videos
  • Enforcer Funding Program
  • Committee Leadership Conference
  • Changes to the Convention Rules
  • Errata issued on NFPA 10, 70, 92, 730, 731, and 1911
  • Future dates for NFPA Conference & Expo
  • Committees seeking members
  • Committee meetings calendar  

NFPA News is a free newsletter, and includes special announcements, notification of public input 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

Thanks to the efforts of their driver, six schoolchildren from North Carolina were speedily evacuated from their school bus minutes before it burst into flames.

CNN reports that Lindora Richardson was driving her route when she smelled something burning. After pulling over and noticing smoke, she instructed the children to evacuate via the rear emergency exit. Moments later, smoke and flames engulfed the vehicle. No injuries were reported, and officials are still determining the cause of the blaze. The Charlotte Fire Department is expected to honor Richardson for her efforts, according to CNN.

NFPA's U.S. Vehicle and Fire Trends Report notes that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 2,400 school bus, bus, and trackless trolley fires per year between 2002 and 2007, resulting in 27 injuries annually. The data also indicates that most vehicle fires are caused by mechanical or electrical failures.  Download the complete report for further details, and watch the YouTube video of the fire:


-Fred Durso, Jr.

The public input closing date for documents in the Annual 2014 revision cycle is June 22, 2012 with the exception of NFPA 101, 220, 221, 703, and 5000.  These documents will have a closing date of May 5, 2012.

View list of all documents in the Annual 2014 revision cycle.

Public input dates may vary according to documents and revision cycle schedules. Please check the Document Information Pages on NFPA's website for the most up-to-date information on public input closing dates and schedules at (i.e., and go to the Next Edition tab.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIA) on NFPA 1 and NFPA 90A are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the March 23, 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

The February 2012 issue of NFPA's "Safety Source" newsletter is now available. In this issue:
  • NFPA kicks off fire safety partnership with LEGOLAND®
  • Tip sheet focuses on fire safety for people with disabilities
  • Printable Sparky memory match game
  • Valentine's Day Sparky ecard

Sign up today to receive our free monthly e-newsletter. "Safety Source" will give you the latest information on happenings in the public education division, Ready for Risk Watch® news, Remembering When™ activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, life saves, and more.

NFPA is making it easier for you to apply for membership on its Technical Committees, the  principal consensus bodies responsible for the development and revision of NFPA documents.

We are now accepting online applications for Technical Committee membership. Simply choose the the relevant NFPA code(s) or standard(s) for which the Technical Committee is responsible, and then select the “Technical Committee” tab for easy-to-follow instructions.

Appointment to a Technical Committee is based on qualifications of the applicant; balance of interest categories on the committee; maintaining the committee at a manageable working size; and the ability of the applicant to attend and participate all committee meetings. A Techical Committee member does not need to be an active NFPA association member.

Learn more about NFPA's Technical Committees.

I just sent the new Sparky Valentine’s Day e-card to my sister, Renée. Send one to the special people in your life.

If you are looking for a classroom activity or something fun to do for the children in your life, print out or color your own Sparky Valentine.

Valentine’s Day is also a good time to show the people you love how much you care by testing all their smoke alarms and helping them with fire drills in the home.Val_sparky

- Sharon Gamache

Based on my past two years of visiting with our state forestry partners, fire officials, and communities, a common theme emerged: “What do you have for youth?” The way I look at it, it’s not just about wanting to provide entertaining activities for kids at fairs and exhibits (though these things are awareness-raisers), it’s the recognition among all of the stakeholders in the WUI fire problem that unless we do things differently, our society will continue to see homes lost from wildfire.

It’s time to help the next generations learn about the natural phenomenon of fire and how they can live with it compatibly and safely. These future decision-makers need to know how to keep fire in mind when choosing where and how to live on the landscape.

NFPA seeks to harness some of the abundant energy of those educators and creative thinkers already working with pre-schoolers, teens, college students – the whole range of the youth audience – to integrate wildland fire safety education where it fits, and create relevant curricula and programming where it does not exist.

If you’d like to take part in this exciting opportunity at NFPA, please check out the detailed  job description and send us your resume. We look forward to hearing from you.


The Annual 2012 Report on Comments (ROC) for 38 NFPA documents are now available. Some of the proposed NFPA documents addressed in the Report on Comments include:

  • NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
  • NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection 
  • NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®
  • NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives
  • NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems
  • NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code
  • NFPA 472, Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents
  • NFPA 654, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids
  • NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program 
  • NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances

The deadline to submit a notice of intent to make a motion on any of these documents is April 6, 2012. Download a NITMAM form (doc, 34 KB).

- Debbie Baio

We've created a more efficient way for NFPA members and Public Sector Officials/AHJs to submit questions about codes and standards to NFPA staff. Our Technical Questions Service provides a convenient way to receive timely and consistent technical assistance when you need to know more about NFPA codes and standards relevant to your work. Responses are provided by NFPA staff on an informal basis.

Not an NFPA member? Join NFPA today to get access to technical support and information to help you make the right choices in your on-the-job decisions.

On February 8, 1996, a fire occurred in a board and care facility in Shelby County, Tennessee, which caused the deaths of four residents.  The fire was caused most likely by improperly disposed smoking materials.  Smoke from the apartment of fire origin spread to other apartments through open doors.  The facility was 20 years old, and all areas of the building were of wood-frame construction.  All areas in the building had various fire protection provisions including smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire doors, and door self-closing devices.  However, self-closing devices for many apartments, including the apartment of fire origin, had been removed or deactivated allowing doors to remain open.  Based on NFPA’s investigation and analysis of the fire, the following factors were considered as having contributed to the loss of life in the incident:

  • Improperly disposed smoking materials
  • Lack of automatic sprinkler protection
  • Ineffective response of some staff members
  • Failure of occupants to respond effectively to operating fire alarms
  • Room doors that remained open due to the deactivation of door self-closing devices and chocks

NFPA members can download the full investigation report

NFPA estimates that physical disability was a factor in an average of 380, or 14%, of home fire deaths per Final #1year in 2004–2008. To provide fire safety information for people with disabilities, NFPA has developed a variety of educational materials, including a free, new tip sheet available on NFPA’s website.

To obtain additional educational materials for people with disabilities, click here. To discuss issues with disabilities, contact Lisa Braxton, associate project manager of NFPA’s Public Education Division.

-Sharon Gamache

Imperial Sugar explosionToday marks the four-year anniversary of the Imperial Sugar Refinery disaster in Port Wentworth, Georgia, where a massive sugar dust explosion killed 14 workers and injured 38 others. Following the tragedy, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued a series of safety recommendations to the refinery, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and others aimed at preventing a similar occurrence.

In a recent statement from CSB Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso, he commended refinery officials for taking action on the facility-specific recommendations. "We recommended Imperial Sugar comply with NFPA's recommended practices for preventing dust fires and explosions, and urged the company to conduct a comprehensive review of all of its manufacturing facilities’ adherence to NFPA standards," says Moure-Eraso. "We recently received notice from Imperial Sugar’s property insurer...that it is providing its risk engineers ongoing training in the hazards of combustible dusts, which we recommended."

Read the article in NFPA Journal highlighting the refinery's rebuilding efforts and commitment to employee safety.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

Standards Council
The NFPA Standards Council is a 13 member body appointed by the Board of Directors charged with overseeing the NFPA codes and standards making process. Generally the duties of the Council include supervising activities related to NFPA codes and standards development, acting as administer of rules and regulations, and serving as an appeals body.

The NFPA Board of Directors has appointed three new members to serve three-year terms with effective dates in January 2012 to the Association’s Standards Council:

Standards Council member, John C. Harrington of FM Global has been reappointed to serve a second three-year term. For details on the new members of the Standards council, please take a look at the complete press release.  

A recent story in Fire Engineering Magazine details how rescue efforts by firefighters in Cleveland, Ohio, were impaired by the cluttered conditions inside a burning home. Rescuers' attempts to enter the first floor were thwarted by items blocking the entrance. They eventually entered through a second-floor window, but soon noticed other rooms piled high with objects. Once the fire on the second floor extended to the attic, firefighters retreated, only to discover the resident wasn't home. The Cleveland Fire Department is now considering the development of a hoarding task force to raise awareness on this issue.

A feature in the January/February issue of NFPA Journal examines the problems with accumulating too much stuff, and the role firefighters are playing in dealing with dangerous hoarding situations. Sharon Gamache, director of NFPA's High Risk Outreach Programs, sums up these concerns in the following video:


-Fred Durso, Jr.

Sparky for Pats

On February 5, 1992, a fire occurred in a nine-story hotel and athletic club in Indianapolis, Indiana. The fire resulted in the deaths of two firefighters and one patron of the club. First responding firefighters found heavy smoke in the first-story lobby, and upon further investigation, discovered a room on the third story that was fully involved in fire. During suppression operations on the third story, a flashover occurred in the room adjacent to the room of fire origin. This sudden increase in the magnitude of the fire caused it to spread into several other areas and resulted in the deaths of two firefighters. Four other firefighters were injured. A patron of the club was later found dead in a stairwell, and four other civilians were injured. The Indianapolis Fire Department determined that the fire was unintentional in nature, and involved the ignition of wood paneling due to an electrical fault in a small refrigerator. NFPA’s investigation identified the following as significant factors contributing to the loss of life in this incident:

  • Lack of an approved automatic sprinkler system
  • Unprotected penetrations in wall and ceiling assemblies
  • Concealed spaces which increased hazard for fire suppression personnel
  • Combustible interior finish which included wood paneling on walls and ceiling tiles left in concealed spaces after a building renovation

NFPA members can read the full investigation report and all site visitors can read a summary in Spanish.

NFPA is asking photo enthusiasts to submit photographs of Firewise plants from around the country (and your backyard)! Winning entries will be used in the 2013 Firewise Calendar.

Entrants may submit up to 10 unique and original photos of Firewise plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, and grasses found in their region. To create a visually exciting and informative calendar, each photo should highlight the plant in its natural setting. A total of 14 photos will be selected representing each month, and the back and front covers. 

The calendar will serve as a resource for homeowners, landscapers, planners and others involved in home building and maintenance by highlighting a different plant, shrub or grass, along with its name, a description, growth pattern and area of origin from various regions across the country that can be used to both beautify a home’s landscape and help resist embers from a wildfire. 

The deadline for submission is: March 16, 2012. Read the official rules and enter now!

Health Care Summit

The FPRF and NFPA are hosting a summit to provide advanced knowledge and insight into the emerging demographic and environmental issues facing the health care field as it relates to safety codes and standards. The one-day Health Care Summit “National Trends in Delivery of Health and Long-Term Care: Implications for Safety codes and Standards” will be held at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor, in Baltimore, Md., March 28, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The event is being sponsored by The Hulda B. & Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation.

The program content was developed for professionals with a need to stay current on emerging trends in the health and long-term industry. It will preview the shape of things to come as NFPA’s Health Care Summit explores the dynamic trends in the health care industry and how they may impact NFPA codes and standards.

Register now for a full day of compelling educational sessions led by nationally recognized industry experts addressing the following Issues:

  • Emerging trends in long-term      care
  • Hospital space planning:       current methods, approaches and trends
  • Nursing care and residential      board and care facilities
  • Fire safety challenges in      memory care units:  patient elopement and other issues
  • Update on Facility      Guidelines Institute (FGI) guidelines and impact on fire safety:       minimum lighting levels and other issues
  • Emergency planning:  A      case study in hospital planning:  the Joplin, Mo. tornados and      rebuilding efforts of the St. John’s Regional Medical Center

To register, and for more information, visit or call NFPA at +1 800 344-3555

Big Test at LegoLandNFPA partners with LEGOLAND® Florida to teach fire prevention and safety to families and kids of all ages

Join us! A press event and fire safety day will take place at LEGOLAND® Florida on February 23, 2012 to officially begin the fun!


Hey fire service!
If you are a Florida firefighter interested in volunteering for the February 23 fire safety day, please e-mail us!

"The Big Test"
NFPA will be the official sponsor of "The Big Test", an acrobatic, comedy show in which a cast of real characters goes through a series of hysterical antics as they try to become volunteer firefighters. While their approach is slapstick and audience members may find themselves on the wrong end of a stream of water, there are important fire safety messages imparted along the way. The show runs four times a day at the LEGO® City Stage and will be seen by thousands of kids and families during the life of this arrangement.

In addition to The Big Test sponsorship and messaging, NFPA will be working with LEGOLAND Florida throughout the year to spread fire safety information. There will be a particular emphasis during October as part of Fire Prevention Week activities. The partnership also includes park discounts that will be available during the duration of the partnership for NFPA members and friends and firefighters as part of a firefighter appreciation program. Legoland Florida

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