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Fenway Park
No matter what home team you may root for this season, there's no denying the rich history of the Boston Red Sox and their home, Fenway Park, which celebrated its centennial in April. The July/August issue of NFPA Journal highlights the fire and life safety improvements to America's oldest professional sports stadium (as well as the smallest) in Major League Baseball.

Steven A. Adelman, the story's author and attorney focusing on litigation and risk management involving sports and enterainment venues, provides a thorough rundown of these upgrades as well as the growing importance of life safety at ballparks across the U.S.

Here's a snippet from his story:

I attended a Red Sox game recently after a few years  away, and I was struck by the transformation that had taken place. I  walked into Fenway through an entrance that had not existed when I was  in college; I climbed roomy, well-lit stairs I had never seen before; I  followed clear, well-placed signs; and I took in the game from a  reasonably comfortable seat that fit my middle-aged body. Even with all  of the obvious changes, though, it still felt like Fenway: the vast  expanses of green, the loud and passionate fans, all the great history. I  not only felt safe, I felt like I was home.

Read the entire feature in the latest edition of NFPA Journal.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

Motor vehicle crashes involving ambulances used for emergency medical services pose serious risk to both the crew and the patients. Casey Grant, research director for the Fire Protection Research Foundation, co-authored a report, which is available for free on NFPA’s website, that looked at the need for a system to compile and coordinate data on ambulance crashes at a national level. Casey will be presenting his report findings at an educational session here in Las Vegas on Monday morning. Watch a preview of his presentation:

The report, co-authored by Brian Merrifield, an intern for the Research Foundation, concluded that ambulance crash data collection at the state level is significant in quantity, but from a national perspective, often lacks uniformity. It also found that the information collection infrastructure for ambulance crash data is relatively well-evolved, but has room for enhancements and improvements. 

NEC ROPThe Annual 2013 Report on Proposals (ROP) for NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®, is now available.

This Report contains the proposed amendments for the 2014 edition for public review and comment.  The deadline to submit a comment is October 17, 2012Download a public comment form (doc, 90 KB)

- Debbie Baio

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22 year old Austin Weishel addressed the crowd in DC as his sculpture is unveiled.

Twenty-two year old Colorado Volunteer Firefighter Austin Weishel stepped to the microphone at the American Humane Association's Headquarters in Washington tonight and quietely described the hours he spent in his family's basement, music playing, working tirelessly to get every detail right. The results of his labor -- a 17 foot high, 450 pound bronze statue of a firefighter with his arson dog, arrived with a fire service escort in Washington DC  after a 2,000 mile trek from Colorado. It was the 12th and final stop. The monument will permanently reside at the Nation's Capital to honor the teamwork between firefighters and their canine companions in solving the arson crimes.


The National Fire Dog Monument entitled "From Ashes to Answers" was commissioned by Jerry Means, an arson investigation agent with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations. Means' own arson dog Sadie, received national attention last year as the winner of the 2011 American Human Association Hero Dog Awards in the category of Law Enforcement/Arson Dog and was the model for the sculpture. Means led a four-year fundraising campaign, selling challenge coins to fund the project. Also supporting the effort were State Farm, who supports more than 300 arson dog teams in North America, and the American Humane Association.


(NFPA's  Sparky the Fire Dog has been named the official spokesdog for the 2012 Hero Dog Awards.)


Arson dogs – also known as accelerant detection canines – are trained to sniff out and indicate traces of petroleum products such as gasoline or lighter fluid that might have been used to start a fire. The traces are sampled and sent to a lab for identification. To become certified for the work, the dogs and their handlers undergo many weeks of professional training and must pass yearly testing to maintain their certification.


Voting is now underway for the 2012 Hero Dog Awards. Visit to vote for your favorite in the the Law Enforcement/Arson Dog category as well as others.

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Austin Weishel and Jerry Means

[Lorraine Carli |]


CO wildfire

As we continue to learn more about the current wildfire situation in the west, our hearts go out to all those in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and other states where homes have been destroyed and lives disrupted from wildfire over the past several days and weeks.

Wildfires continue to grow and threaten communities along the Front Range of Colorado and numerous places in the Western U.S. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) mission of reducing fire and threats to life safety extends to areas impacted by wildfire. With resources including our strong Fire Adapted Communities Coalition of national safety organizations, and our Firewise Communities Program, NFPA is working to provide residents and fire responders with information and resources they need to create places that are adapted to the fire threat, and to prepare to protect life and property from wildfire.

I encourage you to visit to learn more about what each of us can do to protect what is important and to find resources including Firewise practices and emergency evacuation tips.  NFPA is dedicated to reducing the losses from fire worldwide, and we will continue to reach out to communities to help support and provide resources to residents during this very trying time.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division Staff.

-        Jim Shannon


Saab is going electric

Posted by andrewklock Employee Jun 27, 2012

Saab, the Swedish automobile company that over the past several years has seen significant loss in sales, filed for bankruptcy late last year. However, Saab was acquired on June 13th by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). A consortium that plans to turn Saab into a strictly electric vehicle company.


Despite Saab being a household name it has struggled severely in recent years to maintain profits. In 2006 Saab sold 133,000 cars, this number was down to an estimated 15,000 in 2011. This led to announcement that they had filed for bankruptcy on December 19, 2011.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden is a Chinese-Japanese investment group that hopes by transitioning Saab as an electric vehicle producer it will turn around the company. Initially NEVS plans to focus in China as
there is a booming electric vehicle market. Saab's eventual goal is to be the world leader in electric vehicles.

Saab has a history of being innovative and different. They were created by aircraft engineers and have the tagline "born from jets" as a way to differentiate them as an advanced vehicle. Moving to be a producer of only electric vehicles is a continuation of this legacy.

The company plans to have its first vehicle, a model based on the 9-3, available in early 2014.

Apply today for the Warren E. Isman Education Grant, which will provide a $5,000 award for one hazardous materials response team to register for specialized training at a national hazardous materials conference.

Any established hazardous materials incident response team from a fire department, police department or other public-funded program may apply. Preference will be given to teams which demonstrate:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Communication abilities
  • Training to the levels outlined in NFPA 472, Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents, and NFPA 473, Competencies for EMS Personnel Responding to Hazardous Materials Incidents

Learn more, download an application. All applications must be submitted by September 15.

Increasing the use and adoption of NFPA codes and standards, working to get ahead of the growing number of wildfires around the world, and the determined effort to increase the use of home fire sprinklers in all new homes were just a few of the topics addressed by outgoing NFPA Chair Thomas Jaeger at the Opening General Session at the 2012 NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

Did you miss Mr. Jaeger's remarks at our NFPA's Conference & Expo in Las Vegas? Now you read the full transcript of his remarks or watch his presentation below.


"Let me tell you why I think these are both the best of times for NFPA and the most challenging times that NFPA has ever faced." NFPA President Jim Shannon took the stage at the Opening General Session of the 2012 NFPA Conference & Expo on June 11 to bring attendees up to speed on Association activities and initiatives. Mr. Shannon said that throughout its 116-year history, NFPA has worked to meet the fire and life safety challenges of the times. The Association's impact is felt around the globe, he said.

Did you miss President Jim Shanon's remarks at our NFPA's Conference & Expo in Las Vegas? Now you read the full transcript of his remarks or watch his presentation below.


The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative are teaming up with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to present a national award that recognizes the outstanding local efforts of a fire chief who has worked to increase the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems in his or her service area.

HFSC and NFPA will jointly present the “Bringing Safety Home” Award during the IAFC’s Fire and Life Safety Section at the 2012 Fire Rescue International in Denver, CO, this August. 

Nominations for the award will be accepted through July 6, 2012. 

The recipient will be selected from nominees that have used HFSC’s educational materials along with NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources as the foundation of a local, regional or statewide program to educate about the need for more home fire sprinkler system installations as a method to reduce fire injury and death.

Read more about the award and download the application form.

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise® Communities Program announces its 2014 Calendar Firewise Day Photo Contest and invites photo enthusiasts to submit their favorite, original photographs of their community’s Firewise Day events or activities. Winning entries will be displayed in the 2014 Firewise calendar.

Whether it’s a “chipper day” to clear brush and tree limbs, a state fair exhibit, a neighborhood clean-up day, or door-to-door outreach, your hard work helps contribute to a community that is safer from wildfire. Remember, each photo should highlight residents actively participating in Firewise Day activities. So, gather your neighbors and be creative!

if you’re an official Firewise community looking to renew or a neighborhood starting the process for the first time, we want to hear from you. Show us your accomplishments! A total of 15 photos will be selected representing each month, beginning with December 2013 and including the back and front covers.

The contest runs from July 2, 2012 through November 2, 2012. The winners will be announced February 8, 2013.

More information about the contest, including rules and how to enter can be found on the Firewise website. Additional resources and tips on how to plan a Firewise Day event are also available. To learn how others have creatively hosted a Firewise event, visit the success stories page on the website.

We look forward to hearing from you. Good luck!

KitchenstirAccording to NFPA, there were 150,200 reported home cooking related fires per year (2003-2006), which accounted for 40% of all reported home fires. These fires resulted in 500 civilian deaths. See NFPA's cooking safety tips.

In this session, the results of Fire Protection Research Foundation study on home cooking fires commissioned by the National Institute of Standards and Technology were presented by Daniel Gottuk and Joshua Dinaburg of Hughes Associates, Inc.

Download the “Home Cooking Fire Mitigation: Technology Assessment" study.

The objective of this study was to develop an action plan to mitigate loss from home cooking fires by furthering the implementation of fire prevention technologies suitable for use on or with home cooking appliances. The study included an in-depth assessment of cooking fire scenarios, a review of current and emerging technologies, and the development of an assessment methodology.

Today’s presenters said technologies currently exist that can be used to significantly reduce life and property loss from cooking fires. The most effective technologies include control of the stovetop which has implications on cost, certification, and, potentially, cooking performance. However, they pointed out that cooktop suppression systems are estimated to have a significant effect on preventing deaths.

FW Cover
According to a recent study, “Addressing Community Wildfire Risk:  A Review and Assessment of Regulatory and Planning Tools,” released by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, collaboration, outreach and education programs are needed to achieve the greatest impact in reducing community wildfire risk.

The risk of catastrophic fire occurrence in the wildland/urban interface (WUI) is a major issue in today’s fire protection community. At a time when prolonged drought, longer and hotter summers and changing climates have contributed to an increase of wildfire threats in the WUI, communities are also faced with shrinking budgets and increasing wildfire suppression costs.

Zoning administrators, building officials, planners and fire/emergency managers have potential tools to consider when addressing their community wildfire risk, which include land regulation, building codes and standards, Community Wildfire Protection Plans, and wildfire hazard mitigation planning, according to the report. Collaboration among these officials and the tools they use are needed for a comprehensive wildfire preparedness effort.

The report also stresses that outreach and education programs, such as the Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program, strengthen the overall efforts conducted by WUI professionals.

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

Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas

During NFPA's Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Sparky the Fire Dog visited the James Clubhouse of Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas. As captured in this photo posted on The Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sparky taught about 20 kids, ages 5 to 12, about fire prevention and safety, passed out fire hats and wagged his tail to a fire song, "Two Ways Out," reminding the children of the importance of having an escape plan and knowing two ways out of a room. The North Las Vegas Fire Department made an appearance and gave the kids demos of equipment and a tour of a fire engine.

Watch the video that got all the kids moving!

Learn more about the importance of home escape planning.

Do you want to make a difference?
  We have an ideal opportunity for a UX Product Designer here at NFPA in Quincy, MA. The candidate should understand information architecture, interaction design, visual design, and have a thorough understanding of good design process.

Principal responsibilities include:

  • Manage and build relationships with various stakeholders and partners.
  • Drive design thinking and be a thought leader in creating good end-to-end experiences.
  • Be a user advocate and lead UX discussions with the business partners on topics including visual design, interaction design, information architecture and user research.
  • Drive design thinking and champion the UX vision across the organization.
  • Facilitate project teams through the design process, gathering actionable feedback and iterating the appropriate level of changes.
  • Assess data from multiple sources, synthesize it, and develop strategies for your projects.
  • Collaborate with other designers, user researchers, program managers, engineering teams, and business stakeholders to prioritize UX activities throughout the software development life-cycle and deliver high quality experiences in time.
  • Understand and incorporate technical, business and user requirements into designs.
  • Create innovative and appealing designs in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment, through sketches, storyboards, user task flows, wireframes, prototypes, and the production of final assets for specific features and projects.
  • Manage UX vendors, resources and the overall UX portfolio of work for an organization.

For information on job requirements and how to apply, visit our careers webpage

Garner Palenske
The winning project of the 2012 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal was “High Volume/Low Speed Fans and Sprinkler Operation”. This project focused on informing spacing and other installation requirements in NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, by initiating a comprehensive research program with two phases.

Download the project paper

Phase II research activities included the evaluation of the effect of the high volume low speed (HVLS) fans upo the performance of both ESFR (early suppression, fast response) and CMDA (control mode density area) sprinklers protecting both rack storage and palletized commodities. The fans provided a significant energy savings for industrial facilities and were quickly introduced into the market without an assessment of their impact on sprinkler effectiveness and no guidance in NFPA 13. The timeliness of this research provided direct input into NFPA 13, removing this barrier to the further use of the fans. 

The award was presented to Garner Palenske of AON Fire Protection Engineering.

The current issue of NFPA Journal covers the large and complex issue of unwanted alarms as the primary focus of changes to the new edition of NFPA 72, along with requirements for testing and maintaining alarm systems and other hot topics. Ken Willette, John Hall, Lee Richardson and Marty Ahrens (all from NFPA) spoke on this issue during an educational session at NFPA's recent Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

Between 1980 and 2009, the number of fire department emergency responses more than doubled from 10.8 million to 26.5 million. Many of these have been determined to be due to "unwanted alarms." In part one of an interview with Ken Willette, he explains what an "unwanted alarm" is and how it's proving to be a major challenge for the fire service.


See part 2 of this interview and learn more on NFPA's Fire Service Today blog.


FSInewsJune2012The new issue of Fire Sprinkler Initiative News, NFPA's monthly e-newsletter, features a call by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) to support the installation of sprinkler systems in all new one- and two- family homes. We also look at burn survivor from Pennsylvania who has become an outspoken advocate for sprinklers, and how a sprinkler system in a Habitat for Humanity home in North Carolina has already proved its worth. We also showcase the latest sprinkler legislative news from Oklahoma and South Carolina, and showcase the step-by-step process you can follow to become a sprinkler advocate in your community.

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.

Just in time for Fourth of July, we've released our latest Fireworks report which explores fire and injury dangers related to consumer fireworks. The report shows that in 2010 alone, an estimated 15,500 reported fires were started by fireworks and 8,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms.  It also shows that there are more fires on a typical Fourth of July than any other day of the year. Fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

The Fireworks report outlines specific statistics regarding how the use of consumer fireworks relates to fire danger including:

  • In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires.
  • These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.

The report demonstrates using consumer fireworks heightens the risk of injury and even death. The study showed: 

  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14 with more than twice the risk for the general population.
  • Sparklers and novelties alone accounted for 38 percent of the 8,600 emergency room fireworks injuries in 2010.

With the Fireworks report’s findings in mind, NFPA along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, founded the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks to warn individuals about the dangers of consumer fireworks.The Alliance is a group of health and safety organizations that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

View the full Fireworks report and more information about NFPA and firework safety.

Sofa Super Store fire
Nine firefighters who lost their lives battling a fire at the Sofa Super Store in Charleston, South Carolina, five years ago were honored this week during a ceremony at the site. The incident was the deadliest firefighting tragedy since the attacks of September 11.

According to The Post and Courier, city officials, firefighters, and victims' families attended the somber ceremony, which included a procession and a reading of the firefighters' names. "We never thought we would lose anyone, let alone nine people," Capt. Chris Villarreal of Charleston Fire Station 9 told the newspaper.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology released a report in 2010 on what could have prevented the fire as well as what should be required in spaces housing combustible materials. Various NFPA codes and standards were referenced in the report. For more details on some of the findings, read the story in NFPA Journal. (The Sofa Super Store article is the third item from the top.)

-Fred Durso, Jr.

Hero Dog

If you haven't yet heard the exciting news, NFPA's mascot Sparky the Fire Dog,is the official “spokesdog” for the annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, which features awards in eight categories, including law enforcement/arson dogs, service dogs, military dogs, hearing dogs, search and rescue dogs, guide dogs, therapy dogs, and “emerging hero dogs.”  

The public can now vote to choose this year’s finalists - but hurry, you only have until June 30th! For more info on Sparky, please visit

Lithium-ion batteries
A well attended education session this morning addressed a number of hazards associated with lithium-ion batteries, which are probably powering the smart phone, laptop, or other electronic device on which you’re likely reading this blog post.    

R. Thomas Long with Exponent, the engineering and scientific consulting firm, presented findings from the recent report, Lithium-Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment, commissioned by the Fire Protection Research Foundation. The battery's makeup, noted Long, includes a flammable solvent that aids ion movement during battery charging and discharging. Another cause for concern is the rapid self-heating of a cell which Long referred to as "thermal runaway" that can potentially lead to a fire spreading to other battery cells or the release of flammable vapors.

Additional research already in the works includes full-scale fire tests that aim to identify storage commodity classifications and effective suppression strategies. Firefighter safety issues related to lithium-ion batteries will also be examined. 

Read the NFPA Journal feature story for more information on the Foundation report and partnerships that have formed to address battery hazards.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

When responding to medical calls or doing smoke alarm installations, emergency medical technicians and firefighters may encounter older adults who are suffering from abuse. For World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th, Massachusetts Ethos, a private, non-profit organization that provides home- and community-based care to the elder and people with disabilities, worked with older adults to hold a flash mob at the Roche Brothers supermarket in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston to draw attention to the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; financial exploitation; neglect; abandonment; or self-neglect that many seniors secretly face. Ethos administers the Elder Protective Services for the entire city of Boston.


Sharon Gamache

The LEGO Mystery Mural completed at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas last week took our attendees a full three days to put together. But thanks to the magic of time-lapse photography, you can watch the entire process -- all 55,296 LEGO blocks - be put together in just under two minutes. 




Mitsubishi i at Fire Training ClassThis past Saturday, in conjunction with the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute, John Cannon and I had the pleasure to conduct the Kansas EV Train-the-Trainer program on the grounds of the University of Kansas.  Special thanks to the school’s Director Glenn Pribbenow and Special Projects Manager Todd Miles for their gracious hospitality.  The program was well attended as nearly 70 of the Institute’s instructors participated in the training session and are now qualified to teach this program throughout the state.   

Also, thanks to the hard work of the Institute’s staff the students were able to work with four vehicles during the hands on portion of the curriculum, with almost all of the major types of electric vehicles represented.  The students utilized the newly released NFPA Emergency Field Guides (EFGs) to answer emergency response questions about the Chevrolet Volt (EREV), Nissan Leaf (EV), Mitsubishi iMev (EV), and the Lincoln MKZ (HEV). 

The NFPA EV team looks forward to working with Kansas Fire & Rescue Institute to provide guidance as they start to train firefighters and other emergency responders in their state.

Stay Safe,


Attendees of the “Fire Flow Water Consumption in Sprinklered and Unsprinklered Buildings: An Assessment of Community Impacts” presentation reviewed the recent Fire Protection Research Foundation report analyzing the fire protection water demand for various building types, including residential dwellings.

Download Fire Flow Water Consumption in Sprinklered and Unsprinklered Buildings.

The study, presented by Will Smith of Code Consultants, Inc., analyzed the cost impacts of sprinklered and unsprinklered buildings for the end user and water purveyor, comparing water usage for commissioning, testing, and maintenance with theoretical code-required water consumption during a fire. 

The report concludes that the amount of water used during a fire in a sprinklered building is less than that of an unsprinklered building. In addition, in most cases, the amount of water required per year in a sprinklered building for commissioning, inspection, testing, and maintenance of systems is less than that of an unsprinklered building.

With cuts affecting fire departments across the country, many first responders are facing the challenge of how to pay for necessary training and equipment with limited financial resources. Fortunately, cost doesn’t have to be a barrier to receiving NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training.

For a limited time, career, volunteer or combination fire departments, as well as nonaffiliated emergency medical service (EMS) providers, can apply for a grant to receive funding for NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety training. This rare opportunity is being made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant Program (AFG) is only accepting applications through Friday, July 6 at 5 p.m. EST.

First responders can request funding to put towards NFPA’s online training course—which will soon be available for a low fee of $19.00 per participant—or to receive an instructor-led classroom training course. As more and more electric and hybrid vehicles make their way onto our nation’s highways, it becomes even more critical that first responders have the information they need to respond to emergencies involving these automobiles. That is why NFPA is encouraging fire departments everywhere to apply for FEMA’s AFG program.

For more information or to apply, visit Should you have any questions about the application process, you can contact the AFG Help Desk at 1-866-274-0960 or

If you are interested in finding out more about the availability and cost associated to have a classroom training brought to your department, contact Angela Burke at NFPA -


The Fire Protection Research Foundation/NFPA Code Fund was established in 2006 and is supported each year through a financial contribution from NFPA. The purpose of the Code Fund is to provide a mechanism for creating research projects to support the work of NFPA technical committees, the volunteer panels responsible for the development and revision of our codes and standards.

In today’s presentation, Foundation research director Casey Grant took a look back at some of the Code Fund projects initiated in the past five years and how they have impacted the NFPA codes and standards we all use today.

Some of the Code Fund projects currently underway include:

  • Determining the Appropriate Emergency First Responder Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Fires
  • Development of Quantitative Risk Assessment Examples for Operating Rooms (NFPA 99)
  • Assessment of Total Evacuation Systems of Tall Buildings (NFPA 101)
  • Sprinkler Protection for Cloud Ceilings (NFPA 13)
  • Combustible Metals Case Studies (NFPA 484)

Visit the Foundation’s Code Fund page to see a full list of current projects, completed projects, and how you can get submit an idea for a future project.

NFPA’s Association Technical Meeting is now underway at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Today, members will consider the following six documents:

  • NFPA 59A, Standard for the Production, Storage, and Handling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
  • NFPA 61Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities 
  • NFPA 499, Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas
  • NFPA 20Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection 
  • NFPA 13R, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Residential Occupancies up to and Including Four Stories in Height
  • NFPA 13Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems

Watch our Conference blog for updates on action during today's Assocaition Technical Meeting.

The Product Innovation Team is a new presence at the NFPA booth this year. The pace has been brisk. We have seen a steady stream of engaged NFPA members and customers throughout the Expo. Our station is littered with all manner of mobile devices displaying a number of new digital products including mobile apps, e-books, optimization for the NFCSS iPad experience and a new prototype for a code citation tool.

While our focus is "digital first," we are also showing off the prototype for code-based print products to help support installation and customer education for LP tank storage. NFPA is developing solutions to help our customers at each step in their sales cycle.

Feedback has been positive, and there are a few themes that emerged from this year's conversations:

  • Members are excited about the concept of the Innovation team. There is a pent-up demand for new products, and many are looking to NFPA to develop solutions.
  • The new IP-based pricing is really resonating with buyers. As people use more tools like tablet PCs and smartphones, they see the need for content in a variety of formats. The discounted pricing for bundled code / PDF and handbook / PDF is solving a real customer problem.
  • Visualization is also a pervasive theme. Members are looking for easier ways to understand complex code issues, and the new digital formats offer a capacity that doesn't exist in the print editions. Early indications are our upcoming virtual walk throughs will be popular.

It has also been a great experience meeting with so many NFPA advocates. Because our team is new to the Association, the innovation team benefits from the opportunity to connect with long-time members. If you didn't make it to the booth this year, leave us a comment to continue our conversation online.

- Sam Driver

See more blog posts from the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

NFPA announced the re-election of officers and election of new members to the Board of Directors today at the 2012 NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. The re-elected officers include Philip C. Stittleburg of La Farge, Wis., who has been elected to the board as chair, Ernest J. Grant of Chapel Hill, N.C., who has been elected to the board as first vice chair, Philip J. DiNenno of Baltimore, Md., who has been elected as second vice chair, Randolph W. Tucker of The Woodlands, Texas, who has been re-elected to his current position as secretary, Wayne Boyd, the president and CEO of the U.S. Safety & Engineering Corporation in Sacramento, Calif., who has been re-elected to his current position as treasurer.

New members elected to the board include Harold A. Schaitberger, of Washington, D.C.; William A. Stewart, of Toronto, ON, Canada; and Peter Gore Willse, of Hartford, Conn.

Schaitberger has been the general president of International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) for the last 12 years. He serves on many boards and committees, and in 2009 was elected by President Barack Obama to the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council. Schaitberger also serves as vice president of AFL-CIO Executive Committee as well as vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of American.

Stewart retired from the position of Fire Chief of Toronto Fire Services, Canada in 2012 after a nearly 40-year career with the fire service. Throughout his career he worked in several positions, including Operations Fire Fighter, Fire Captain, Administration Chief, Assistant Deputy Fire Chief, and Deputy Chief. Stewart is a past president of the Metropolitan Fire Chief’s Association and a past international president of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).

Willse is the vice president Director of Research for XL GAPS. He is a member of Society of Fire Protection Engineers’ Board of Directors, Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Fire Protection Engineering Advisory Board, and a past recipient of NFPA’s Special Achievement Award. Renowned for his publications, Willse has revised chapters in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth editions of NFPA’s Fire Protection Handbook as well as a chapter in the ninth edition of NFPA’s Fire and Life Safety Inspection Manual.

Please visit our Conference & Expo blog for the live broadcast of our Opening General Session from Las Vegas, starting at 1:00 pm (Pacific Time).

EFG CoverFor the past year, NFPA has been crossing the country to deliver the Electric Vehicle Safety Training to as many first responders as possible. Now NFPA is providing another way for first responders everywhere to have the information they need to respond to emergencies involving electric and hybrid vehicles.

With the official release of our highly anticipated Electric Vehicle Emergency Field Guide,
critical information is at your fingertips. This easy-to-use, quick reference guide covers all current makes and models of hybrid (HEV) and electric vehicles (EV), and was developed in coordination with vehicle manufacturers to ensure technical accuracy. The Field Guide also incorporates NHTSA’s Interim Guidance for High Voltage Vehicles.

The Field Guide is essential for helping first responders quickly size-up incidents involving hybrid and electric vehicles and determine the appropriate response actions:

  • Vehicle Identification: As the popularity of these vehicles continues to grow, it is critical that responders understand what to look for during the identification process. The Field Guide contains the information needed to make a positive identification of HEVs and EVs at an emergency scene.
  • Securing and Disabling the Vehicle: As with any incident involving a vehicle, securing it from potential movement is a priority. The Field Guide identifies model specific primary and secondary shut down procedures for HEVs and EVs, taking the guesswork out of disabling the vehicle.  This saves valuable time and increases first responder safety.
  • Emergency Operations: The Field Guide contains vital information on how to handle emergencies such as fires, crashes and submersions involving HEVs and EVs.  Also, to aid in extrication operations, detailed images are included that identify high voltage and other vehicle components that need to be avoided. Page from EFG 2

These are just a few direct implications of how the Electric Vehicle Emergency Field Guide can make a
crucial difference in your decision making process at the scene of an emergency incident involving electric or hybrid vehicles. Order your copy today.

Stay safe,


Welcome to NFPA Conference & Expo

We're off and running here in Las Vegas, site of our annual Conference & Expo. We're into day two of our pre-conference seminars...and lots of work is being done behind the scenes to make sure that tomorrow's official conference kick-off happens seamlessly. Be sure to visit our Conference & Expo blog to see all of the latest news, photos, videos from our event in Las Vegas.

And if you're not here with us, please mark your calendar and join us on Monday afternoon for our first-ever live online streaming of our Opening General Session. It's free...and the next best thing to being here in person!

- Mike Hazell

On June 8, 1995, a mechanical failure in an engine caused a fire aboard a passenger jet at Atlanta Georgia’s Hartsfield International Airport.  The failure occurred just as the aircraft had begun to accelerate for takeoff, and it was able to stop on the runway, and all 57 passengers and five crewmembers escaped.  Five passengers, two crewmembers, and two firefighters were injured, and one of the aircrew members sustained serious injuries.

The survival of passengers and crew was directly related to their ability to react and to the egress provisions that were available to them.  Before the arrival of firefighters, passengers faced a severe threat, and using the door and over-wing exits, all were able to escape.  This incident also highlights one of the most severe challenges facing airport firefighters, because attempts to extinguish the fire were thwarted by the magnitude of the fire inside the cabin and the obstruction afforded by the aircraft’s fuselage.

NFPA members can download the full investigation report for free. 

In the midst of wildfire season throughout much of the country, the U.S. Forest Service, the NFPA and the Ad Council announce the launch of a new PSA campaign, Fire Adapted Communities, which aims to help individuals prepare their homes and communities for the threat of wildfire. Created pro bono by advertising agency Draftfcb, this campaign addresses the issue of proactively mitigating wildfire damage in fire-prone communities.

FACNearly 70,000 communities nationwide are at risk from wildfire, according to the National Association of State Foresters. Embers from a wildfire travel great distances, often causing new wildfires more than a mile from their origin. It can take years for communities and local ecosystems to recover from a wildfire. In addition, wildfires cost government, businesses and individuals billions of dollars each year in suppression costs and damage to homes, infrastructure, the economy and resources.

The television, radio, print, outdoor and web PSAs aim to empower residents to proactively take the steps to make their communities fire adapted by reinforcing that “you can’t control where a wildfire ember will land – but you can control what happens when it does.” The ads direct audiences to visit a new comprehensive website,, where they can find a host of resources on how to prepare for wildfires. 

NFPA InnovationSeveral members of the product innovation team will be demonstrating a variety new products in the NFPA booth at this year’s NFPA Conference & Expo. Join us at the Innovation table in booth 353 to participate in a live demo, discuss future products, or learn about some exciting product improvements based on our new Content Strategy.

Some of the new products featured include:

  • IP-based pricing: an affordable solution for using NFPA codes & standards on-the-go code
  • Code citation tool prototype: a fast, standard code tool
  • Apple mobile apps: NEC 2008, NFPA 10 – 2010 ed., NFPA 1600 – 2010 ed., NFPA 70E Changes – 2012 ed., and the beta test version of NFPA 70E – 2012 ed.
  • E-books: demos of selected codes
  • NFCSS: iPad optimization improvements
  • and more …

Don’t forget to fill out your innovation contest submission card available in your conference packet or at the booth. Stop by the Innovation table and drop off your completed card before 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. One lucky winner will be drawn at random to receive a Kindle Fire bundle with an estimated value of over $300.

And don’t forget, you can always check up on our new products at We will continue to post updates and new content even after the Conference & Expo. See you in Las Vegas!

-Sam Driver

Here are the top five most-read articles and features in May from NFPA Journal®, our official member publication:

  1. coverRead the new digital edition of NFPA Journal.
    The digital issue, which launched with the May/June issue of Journal, is web-based and presents all of the magazine’s stories and ads as they appear in the print magazine, with websites and email addresses clickable for instant access.
  2. Thirteen things you need to know about NFPA 13.
    The new editions of NFPA's sprinkler standards will be presented at NFPA's Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. These documents contain a number of changes; NFPA's Matt Klaus provides an overview.
  3. Two key fire service standards feature important changes.
    The new editions of NFPA 1500, Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, and NFPA 1582, Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments, include changes that represent significant steps forward for firefighter health and wellness.
  4. A conversation with the new U.S. Fire Administrator, Ernest Mitchell, Jr.
    Late last year, Ernest Mitchell, Jr. received Senate confirmation to head the United States Fire Administration (USFA). He talks on his career, his vision for the Fire Administration, coping with budget cuts, his concerns for the fire service, and more.
  5. New certifications for electrical workers and supervisors.
    Industry awareness of the safe work practice requirements contained in NFPA 70E®, Electrical Safety in the Workplace®, has increased significantly over the past 15 years, as has adherance to those requirements.

Want more? Visit the NFPA Journal webiste. Become an NFPA member today and be among the first to read the latest news and information in NFPA Journal.

http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nfpa.orgNFPA ICC

http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nfpa.org Tomberlin, ICC Board Member and Fairfax County Code Specialist; Joe Woods, Harford County MD Councilman; Kenneth Ellerbe, DC Fire and EMS Chief; Rick Weiland, ICC CEO; Jim Shannon, NFPA President, Jatinder Singh Khokhar, DC Deputy Building Official; Mark Light, CEO of IAFC, Robbie Sabbakhan, DC Chief Building Official 

NFPA and the International Code Council (ICC) today announced the formation of the Coalition for Current Safety Codes (CCSC). The coalition will advance public safety in the built environment by advocating states and municipal jurisdictions adopt current building, fire prevention, sustainable, electrical and life safety codes.

“For more than 100 years, the public and government on all levels have benefited from the life and property saving work of private standards developing organizations (SDOs),” said NFPA President Jim Shannon. “The Coalition for Current Safety Codes is an effort to ensure those same parties are taking full advantage of the latest information in the most up to date codes.”

“ICC and NFPA have a rich history and dedicated members who devote themselves each day to ensuring the development of safe and sustainable communities,” said ICC CEO Rick Weiland. “The efforts of our memberships have dramatically strengthened codes and standards—protecting the public. This coalition is a great way to spread the word about how to protect the environment, and the health and welfare of our society.”

ICC and NFPA will seek broad participation in the coalition from other SDOs, the construction and insurance industries, government and the private sector to raise awareness about the importance of and steps needed to provide up to date buildings where people live, work, play and go to school. The two associations are coming together to co-chair the coalition because of a mutual commitment to public safety and in an effort to create even broader support for the adoption of modern codes and standards.

Learn more and join the coalition.

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

In this issue:

  • Comments sought on proposed TIAs on NFPA 13, NFPA 13R, NFPA 25, NFPA 99, NFPA 269 and NFPA 1124
  • Errata issued on NFPA 5000
  • NFPA Conference & Expo information: Association Technical Meeting Schedule, Motions Committee Report, NFPA Standards Forum, and Committee Leadership Conference
  • Committees seeking members
  • Committees soliciting public input
  • 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

The Annual 2013 Report on Proposals (ROP) for 20 NFPA documents are now available. Some of the proposed NFPA documents addressed in the Report on Proposals include:

  • NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
  • NFPA 56(PS), Standard for Fire and Explosion Prevention During Cleaning and Purging of Flammable Gas Piping Systems
  • NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code
  • NFPA 77, Recommended Practice on Static Electricity
  • NFPA 130, Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems
  • NFPA 502, Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridges, and Other Limited Access Highways
  • NFPA 1021, Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications
  • NFPA 1033, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator
  • NFPA 1123, Code for Fireworks Display
  • NFPA 1143, Standard for Wildland Fire Management

See the full list of NFPA documents in the annual 2013 revision cycle.

The deadline to submit a comment on any of these documents is August 31, 2012.  Download a public comment form (PDF, 90 KB) 

- Debbie Baio


Crash Involving the Volt

Posted by andrewklock Employee Jun 5, 2012


In light of the negative publicity electric vehicles have received over the last few months regarding their involvement with fires; it is interesting to note the outcome of a recent crash in upstate New York.  On May 18 in Geneseo, NY a Toyota Camry traveling at a high rate of speed struck a Chevrolet Volt and another vehicle parked in a driveway.  As you can see from the picture of the crash, the damage to the Volt was extensive, especially on the driver’s side.  The Camry, a conventional vehicle, caught fire as a result of the crash and was extinguished by an off duty police officer prior to the Fire Department’s arrival.  The Volt, however, did not experience a crash related fire.

This incident is a reminder to first responders that all vehicles come with potential hazards that must be addressed.  It is also important to note that the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHSTA) does not believe that electric vehicles present any greater risk of fire than conventional ones.  As for a response to a severe crash such as this involving and electric or hybrid vehicles, there are some procedures to follow.  NHSTA, with assistance from the NFPA, has developed guidelines to deal with damaged vehicles equipped with lithium-ion batteries.  Responders should familiarize themselves with these guidelines and be prepared to pass them along to other personnel, such as the wrecker operators involved in the scene.

Stay Safe,


NFPA and the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) present a one and a half day symposium, Fire Safety Design and Sustainable Buildings: Challenges and Opportunities, taking place November 7 and 8, 2012 at the Courtyard Marriott Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile. The symposium will feature perspectives from architects, engineers, the sustainability community, and research institutions on the challenges and opportunities of integrating fire safety and sustainable design.

The symposium will be comprised of three different sessions that address:

  • Sustainable building design features and impact on fire safety
  • Fire safety features and impact on sustainable building design
  • Life cycle sustainability of structures including fire safety features/practices.

Research EventThe goal of this event is to bring the fire protection and architectural communities together to discuss these topics and share ideas and best practices for sustainable fire safe design.

Hotel information
Courtyard Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile
165 East Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611
For hotel reservations, call +1 312 573-0800.

Register now! 


NFPA is currently looking to hire an Associate Fire Protection Engineer. The person in this position will provide technical support to assigned projects. They will work under close supervision and within clearly defined guidelines as established by the NFPA Regulations Governing Committee Projects, as well as serve as a junior technical advisor to the Department projects.

Principle responsibilities include; 

  1. Standards Council and Codes and Standards Administration activities– Manages basic technical activities and projects throughout document development process, serving to provide  technical assistance with compliance with the NFPA Standards Development Process.  Assists Division Manager to review agendas, gather missing agenda information and minutes and attend meetings.  Assists to identify and coordinate all technical input from staff for codes and standards related projects.
  2. Product Development – Collaborates with and assists senior staff with compilation of information and review for product development activities with respect to issues raised during Council work.
  3. Technical Services – Provides basic technical services in support of internal and external association activities within the Standards Administration and Standards Council subject areas  to support consistency and customer service for internal and external customers; ensures consistency with NFPA positions. 
  4. Cross functional activities – Participates in related association cross functional activities providing technical review and input within area of expertise to meet association goals.
  5. Special Projects – Manages special projects as assigned.
  6. Budgetary Criteria – Provides required budgetary information for assigned projects.

This job requires a bachelors degree in engineering; the ability to prepare correspondence, data and presentation materials using Microsoft Office. 0 – 3 years experience.

Interested? Apply today!

Research Graph

Maximum instantaneous luminous intensity required to produce a vertical illuminance of 2 fc on a wall located at different distances from the signal.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Performance Objectives for Light Sources Used in Emergency Notification Appliances," was recently published and made available to those interested. The reports authors included J.D. Bullough, Y. Zhu, the Lighting Research Center, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

LEDs and other innovative energy saving lighting technologies (e.g. fluorescents) are rapidly entering the marketplace and present themselves for application to emergency notification appliances. The existing requirements for the performance and application of visible notification appliances are based on relatively short duration, high peak intensity flashing lights – strobe lights. NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, and referenced listing standards define a method for calculating the equivalent or effective intensity of a flashing light source. The calculation method is subjective and does not produce an exact comparison and is intended only to approximate the perceived brightness for direct viewing of the light source. It has worked because all of the lights approved using the standard have all had relatively similar and short pulse durations. Thus, the peak intensities have been relatively similar. 

The objective of this project was to develop methods and criteria to evaluate performance of light sources used in emergency notification appliances for inclusion in NFPA 72. Therefore, this report recommends specifications for both direct and indirect signaling as well as identifies gaps in the available information.

The full report can be downloaded for free, as with all Research Foundation reports.


For the very first time, anyone not able to be in attendance at this year’s NFPA Conference & Expo being held June 11-14 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas will be able to witness the general session as it happens right online. Beginning at 1:00 p.m. pacific standard time on Monday, June 11, NFPA will broadcast the Opening General Session live at

The event will open with welcoming remarks by the Chair, Thomas W. Jaeger, P.E., followed by the President’s Report by James M. Shannon and the Nominating Committee Report by Peter McMahon. In addition to sharing the latest industry information, several awards will be presented to honor special achievements. The awards include:

  • the Industrial Fire Protection Section's Best Fire Prevention Week Program Award
  • the 2012 Life Safety Educator of the Year Award
  • the Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal
  • the Standards Medal

To close the event, Gordie Brown, an impressionist, comedian and musician will provide special entertainment. This is an unprecedented, not-to-be-missed online event by NFPA and should be taken advantage of by everyone in the fire and life safety industry not able to join us at the 2012 NFPA Conference & Expo.

Add this event to your Outlook calendar.

Join us Monday, June 11 at 1:00 pm Pacific Time at

Having a professional edge is more important than ever. Watch the first in a series of edgy new videos that promote NFPA membership – and showcases the competitive advantage that members get from the professional services and up-to-date information that they have at their fingertips.

Tell us: what do you think of this video? And if you’re a member, please let us know how NFPA helps you maintain your edge, or how we could do better!

Learn more about the value of NFPA membership.

On June 2, 1983, a fire was discovered by a flight attendant on board a flight that was just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Following unsuccessful attempts to extinguish the concealed fire, the plane made an emergency landing at the Greater Cincinnati Airport.  During the time needed to land the aircraft, conditions within the cabin and cockpit deteriorated rapidly; despite these conditions, the crew was able to safely land the plane.  Once on the ground, flight attendants moved to some of the emergency exits; while passengers seated near the over-wing emergency exits began to open the exits.  Once the aircraft’s emergency exits were opened however, the severity of the fire increased, and only a short time interval was available for occupants to evacuate before untenable conditions were reached. 

Twenty-three persons safely evacuated the aircraft within a minute of landing, and twenty-three passengers died.  At the time of the investigation, the fire’s cause was listed as “undetermined”.  NFPA’s investigation found several factors contributing to the loss of life, and those contributing to occupant survival.

Factors contributing to loss of life include:

  • The lack of automatic detection and effective suppression of a developing, concealed fire in the rear lavatory area
  • The reduced occupant evacuation time resulting from one of more of the following: the rapid developing fire; the effects of heat, smoke, and toxic gases on passengers; and the nature of in–flight emergency egress design

Factors contributing to survival include:

  • Relocating passengers to positions forward of the fire area of origin and adjacent to emergency exits
  • Adhering to emergency instructions given by flight attendants during descent and escape
  • Passengers and flight attendants filtering breathing air through clothes, fabric materials and/or wet towels distributed by the flight attendants

NFPA members can download the full investigation report for free. 

NFPA Journal app now available at the Apple App StoreWe’re pleased to announce that our new NFPA Journal app is now live and available for download from Apple’s App Store. The free, easy-to-navigate app allows you to download complete editions of the award-winning NFPA Journal to your iPad or iPhone, giving you access to the magazine anytime, anywhere, even when you’re not connected to the Web. You can also view videos, link to websites, and share articles with colleagues. It seems appropriate that the inaugural issue for the new app is our May/June magazine, which is filled with information previewing the upcoming NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

The app joins our new digital-issue feature, which debuted in early May. The Web-based digital issue of Journal presents the complete magazine as it appears in print, with all websites and emails hot-linked to provide a fully interactive reader experience on your desktop or laptop computer, as well as on your iPad, iPhone, or Android. If you haven’t already, be sure to give the digital version of the May/June issue a test run before the Conference & Expo.

We’re excited about both of these new NFPA Journal products, and we look forward to getting your feedback.

--Scott Sutherland, executive editor

The June 2012 issue of NFPA's "EV Safety Training News" is now available. In this issue:

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.

Harry ShawHarry Shaw, a pillar of the fire protection community and NFPA advocate, died on March 2 at the age of 91. He served as a member of NFPA's Technical Committee on Automatic Sprinkler Systems since 1987 and was the driving force behind further refinements to NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes.

Christian Dubay, NFPA's vice president of Codes and Standards and chief engineer, praised Shaw's contributions to fire safety in the latest edition of NFPA Journal: "With Harry’s passing, we’ve lost a  man who, through his many years of service and advocacy, left a legacy  of commitment to that mission."

Read the Journal article for more information on Shaw's legacy.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

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