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IFE AwardsThe Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE), United States of America Branch, has recognized Casey Grant, P.E., of the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation), NFPA’s Gary Keith, vice president of Field Operations and Education, and Russell Sanders, director of the Central Regional Office for NFPA, with the grade of “Fellow in the Institution,” which is the highest level of membership given by IFE. The grade of Fellow also represents one of the top degrees of authority within the fire engineering community.

Casey is responsible for a wide-range of research projects that support NFPA’s mission, including activities directly related to the fire service community. He received his Master of Science degree in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and a B.S. degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Gary oversees six NFPA divisions and directly manages 13 field offices across the United States and Canada, which support the adoption and use of NFPA codes and standards. He received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Russ is responsible for promoting the adoption of NFPA codes and standards and the implementation of NFPA’s advocacy projects across nine states. In addition, he serves as the executive secretary to the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association and as president of the United States delegation to the International Fire & Rescue Services. He is the former chief of the Louisville, Kentucky Fire Department and received his Master of Science and Master of Education degrees from the University of Louisville..

IFE represents the leading fire service and engineering professionals with over 60 branches and 11,000 members worldwide.

NISTAgenda includes recommendations to enhance performance-based fire engineering for post 9/11 structures

A research agenda designed to help expedite the implementation of performance-based fire engineering and design methods for structures post 9/11 is the subject of a report, Structural Fire Resistance Experimental Research - Priority Needs of U.S. Industry, released by the Fire Protection Research Foundation and prepared for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Engineering Laboratory. 

The agenda, which identifies and prioritizes a set of research recommendations for NIST, is the final step of a Foundation project aimed at developing a proposed list of projects for NIST’s new structural fire resistance testing facility based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The facility, scheduled to open later this year, provides the capability to test large scale structural elements, systems and their connections during a fire.

To support the agenda, the Foundation looked to community stakeholders for input, conducted a literature review of large-scale structural fire testing, and a held a one-day research needs workshop in September 2011. Forty representatives from academia, engineering and the materials industry attended the workshop and provided their perspective on the needs that such a unique facility might address.

NIST will utilize this new facility to work on ways to identify which current construction methods and building materials (designed in accordance with current building codes) work best when tested under realistic fire conditions, and evaluate the design performance of each. This type of testing can also inform improved post-fire structural repairs and remediation methods when a building sustains damage from a fire.

More information and the full report are available on the Foundation’s website.

Fire Hose Friction Loss photo
The Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Determination of Fire Hose Friction Loss Characteristics," has been issued and is now available. The report was authored by Joseph L. Scheffey, Eric W. Forssell and Matthew E. Benfer.

The calculation of friction loss in fire hose is a common task for fire fighters responsible for operating fire apparatus pumps. This is required to deliver water at the proper flow rate and pressure to fire fighters controlling the fire hose nozzle. Pressures and flow rates too low will be insufficient for fire control, while pressures and flow rates too high create dangerous conditions with handling the nozzle, burst hose and other hazards.

Baseline friction loss coefficients used by today’s fire fighters for calculating fire hose pressure loss were derived using hose design technology from upwards of 50 years ago. A need exists to update these coefficients for use with today’s fire hose. Modern fire hose is generally perceived by fire fighting professionals as having less friction loss and different performance characteristics than the hose on which these coefficients were originally based. The focus of this study has been to develop baseline friction loss coefficients for the types of fire hose commonly used by today’s fire service, and identify any additional performance characteristics that should be considered for friction loss calculations.

The full report is also available, "Determination of Fire Hose Friction Loss Characteristics". All Fire Protection Research Foundation reports can be downloaded for free. Printed copies are $50, except where otherwise noted. If all reports in a subject category are requested, a 20% discount applies. Please pre-pay by check or money order to the The Fire Protection Research Foundation. You may also pay using VISA, Mastercard or American Express. E-mail the Foundation or call +1 617 984-7443.

On April 16, 1996, a fire occurred at a fully sprinklered bulk retail store in Albany, Georgia.  Arriving firefighters found the fire venting through the roof and an area where the walls had begun to separate.  Despite their efforts, the fire destroyed the entire building and all the merchandise inside.  The loss was estimated at $9 million ($13 million today).  The cause of the fire was not determined, but began in the area where pool chemicals were stored.  NFPA’s investigation found several deviations from code requirements at the time.

  • The storage of oxidizers on racks that exceeded height and depth limits for retail storage
  • The lack of solid, noncombustible vertical barriers between oxidizers and incompatible materials
  • The lack of in-rack sprinklers for the area protecting the oxidizer storage
  • Sprinkler systems that were designed to discharge densities and areas of operation that were below current NFPA requirements for oxidizer storage

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

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