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Dominos(1)Members of the South Baldwin (PA) Volunteer Fire Department will be helping deliver pizzas this weekend. As part of a joint safety project, the South Baldwin fire company, Domino's Pizza, and NFPA, are teaming up to honor the tradition of spring cleaning by reminding customers what they can do in the home to stay fire safe.

According to a report on, members of the fire company will be working with Domino's this weekend, as they deliver fresh batteries and new smoke alarms along with chicken wings, pizza and pasta to area residents.

"We love it. It's awesome, especially seeing their faces," said fire company President and 1st Lt. Chad Hurka. "When they usually see us, they think something's wrong or we're asking for money."

When the handful of firefighters arrive at a home with a delivery, they also will check smoke alarms to ensure they're working, assistant Chief Dan Ridenour said. If all of the smoke alarms in the home are working, customers will receive $5 off their order. If alarms are not working, firefighters will replace batteries and provide residents with new smoke alarms.

We'd like to hear about other fire companies teaming up with Domino's. Please tell us about it in the Comments section below.

NFPA Journal March April
The latest edition of the NFPA Journal® has been released for March and April focusing many articles on storage and warehouse safety.

The cover story, “Elemental Questions,” focuses on concerns related to fire-safety hazards of lithium-ion battery use. It details how NFPA has conducted research and established several partnerships to study and address fire-safety risks associated with lithium-ion batteries.

For instance, the Electric Vehicle industry has heavily invested in lithium-ion technology to power its products and the rise in the number of electric vehicles on the roads presents new challenges for emergency responders. A recent incident in which a Chevrolet Volt caught fire has brought closer examination to issues related to lithium-ion batteries in the vehicles, and NFPA is working with government agencies, insurers, and car manufacturers to address these issues on a national scale.

Also featured in this issue:

To read the full journal, visit our website.

New webinar will explain changes



On March 9, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Standards and Certification (S&C) letter to address certain provisions of the 2012 edition of  NFPA 101: Life Safety Code.  The S&C letter is directed towards the changes in the 2012 code that address culture change.  These changes are intended to offer a more homelike environment for residents of long-term care/nursing home facilities.   Evidence suggests that such home like environments are better for the resident, the family and the staff.  Beginning in 2008, the committees responsible for development of NFPA 101 have been working to address certain features for inclusion in the 2012 code. Four specific areas were addressed and are now included in the new code.

NFPA's Robert Solomon will host a webinar on Thursday March 22nd to discuss the S&C letter and its impact on specific health care facilites.The history of nursing home fire safety, the fire loss data and how NFPA 101 went from being a barrier to culture change to a catalyst for culture change will be covered.  A review of the specific portions of NFPA 101-2012 edition that may be considered by providers to implement the changes through consideration of a waiver process will also be covered.

For more information and to register for the webinar click here.

In the pursuit of luxury and efficiency, Mercedes has developed two new models for 2012; the E300 Blue TEC Diesel Hybrid, and the E400 Hybrid.  Unfortunately, the E300 Blue TEC diesel is for the European market only at this time.

With the introduction of the Mercedes E300 & E400 hybrids, Mercedes has presented one more twist to the game for first responders.  The high voltage battery pack is not where we have been accustomed to looking for it, such as the rear cargo area or under the rear seat.  Mercedes has put the .8Kw Li-Ion battery pack in the engine compartment, operating at 120Vdc.

As you can see from the pictures, the battery is behind the front strut tower (normally covered).  The familiar orange cables are also quite close to the right quarter panel.  This may cause some concern for those who look to put a relief cut here for a dash lift maneuver, or to gain access to the engine compartment for extinguishment operations.
In addition to the HV battery may be two 12v auxiliary batteries.   One in the trunk to support cold start demands, SRS , appliances, and another small battery to maintain consistent lighting voltage, and support infotainment appliances.


So, the obvious take-away here is to “Peek before You Pry”, or cut.  As with any new building, or vehicle innovation, we are constantly challenged to stay on top of the technology that makes our lives more difficult in the work place.

Stay Safe,
Matt Paiss, NFPA EV Safety Instructor

UDPATE: The Associated Press recently reported that New York state and New York City have joined forces to address the growing number of roll-your-own cigarette establishments. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said these stores endanger customers by selling cigarettes not complying with fire safety standards. 


Roll your own cigarette shop
The owner of a roll-your-own cigarette shop in Seattle cleans one of his rolling machines. Photo by Newscom.

"Mission accomplished."

Those were the words proclaimed in 2010 by fire  officials nationwide when Wyoming became the final state to pass  legislation ensuring all cigarettes sold in the U. S. would adhere to  specific fire safety standards.

Those same officials now face another battle to  ensure that the fire-safety intent of the law is not eroded:  roll-your-own establishments that let customers make their own  cigarettes, which do not use the fire safety standards required for all  manufactured cigarettes sold in the U.S.

A story in the latest edition of NFPA Journal examines this issue throughout the U.S., where some states are citing a disregard of the statewide fire-safe  cigarette laws that were prompted by the efforts of NFPA’s Fire-Safe  Cigarette Coalition.

“NFPA feels strongly that stores with roll-your-own  machines fall under fire-safe cigarette laws that define manufacturers  as ‘any entity that manufactures or otherwise produces cigarettes or  causes cigarettes to be manufactured,’ and states should be enforcing  this provision,” Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of Communications tells NFPA Journal. “Without enforcement, you are allowing two  fire safety standards — one for those that pay the price of traditional  cigarettes, and one for those that pay for less expensive roll-your-own cigarettes."

Other short stories included in the latest edition include residential sprinkler news from across the country--including new Faces of Fire profiles and videos--and new studies on firefighter health and U.S. emergency preparedness. Read them today.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

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An article in the Freehold Patch describes a legislative proposal that would require an emblem on buildings where solar panels are attached to protect firefighters from electrocution. With the increasing number of buildings using alternative energy, emergency responders are often unable to identify structures with solar panels on their roofs — putting them at risk of electrocution in the event of a fire. 

In an effort to protect firefighters against the danger of electrocution posed by solar panels, Assemblyman Robert Schroeder (R-Woodcliff Lake), a volunteer firefighter in the Township of Washington since 1980 who has twice served as fire chief, has sponsored a [bill |] that would require buildings to clearly label with an exterior emblem whether they have solar panels.

The bipartisan bill was approved by the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee, on which Schroeder serves.

"Safe firefighting requires knowledge and awareness of the situation. This bill will let emergency responders know at a glance when there's a threat of electrocution because the building is actively harnessing power from the sun."


The NFPA report, "Fire Fighter Safety & Emergency Response for Solar Power Systems," recommended the safety measure as it focuses on on structural firefighting in buildings that utilize solar panels to generate thermal and/or electrical energy.

According to the report, buildings with solar power systems "can present a variety of significant hazards" for firefighters.  

In addition, the bill requires that all existing and newly constructed buildings with solar panels be equipped with an external shut-off switch. 

"We can have clean reliable energy without making fires any more dangerous than they already are," said Schroeder. "As a firefighter, I understand the value of knowing immediately what potential dangers await in a burning building I might have to enter."

In the video below, 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.



Linda Chavis of Lexington, South Carolina, lost her firefighter son in a house fire in 2001. "It is definitely a parent’s worst nightmare to receive a call saying your child has been hurt," she says. "My first thought was no, he’s a fireman. He helps people, he can’t be hurt."


Linda's story is featured as part of NFPA's "Faces of Fire" campaign, a resource developed to help people and groups across the country promote the use of automatic fire sprinklers in one- and two-family homes.

By containing fires before they spread, home fire sprinklers protect lives and property. The personal stories told through the "Faces of Fire" campaign will show the experiences of those who escaped or lost loved ones in home fires and those whose lives and property were protected by home fire sprinklers.

"Faces of Fire" is a project of NFPA funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency Fire Prevention and Safety Grant. 

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