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February 23, 2012 Previous day Next day

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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 .


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