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On November 7th and 8th, NFPA and the Fire Protection Research Foundation will host a symposium on fire safety and sustainable building design. The event will take place in Chicago and will feature three sessions with presentations from architects, engineers, the sustainability community, and research institutions. 

Topics include: 

  • Major trends in sustainable design of office/commercial/high-rise buildings 
  • Impact of new ‘sustainable’ materials on the fire load of buildings 
  • Natural ventilation and smoke control
  • Performance-based options for achieving sustainable goals
  • Green building certification schemes for the future 

The 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. Register now!

Best Practices Showcase to be featured: The Symposium Program Committee invites interested parties to submit one-page abstracts of recent successful case studies that illustrate how good design can innovatively achieve fire safety and sustainability goals. These case studies will be featured on the symposium website and highlighted at the event with rec ognition to submitters. Please contact for more information.

-Tracy Golinveaux

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

  • EVnewsNFPA's Electric Vehicle Safety Training is now available online
  • New project targets best practices for emergency response to EV hazards
  • Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit open for registration
  • Visit the EV team at Fire Rescue International in Denver

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.

Ten people died and 82 others were injured in a fire in a Cambridge, Ohio hotel on July 31, 1979.  The fire was discovered in the early morning hours by two people playing a pinball machine in a passageway between guest rooms and the lobby area.  They smelled and then saw smoke, sounded the building’s fire alarm, and then ran into the hotel lounge to ask a hotel employee to call the fire department.  The fire apparently started in the corridor on the first floor (specific ignition details were unavailable to NFPA at the time of the investigation).  The fire spread rapidly and occupants quickly became trapped in their rooms.  Some escaped by breaking room windows (or escaping through windows broken by passersby).

Factors contributing to the loss of life in this fire included:

  • Combustible interior finish
  • Unprotected vertical openings
  • Inadequate notification of the occupants

NFPA members can download the full investigation report for free.

On November 7th and 8th, NFPA and the Fire Protection Research Foundation will host a symposium on fire safety and sustainable building design. The event will take place in Chicago and will feature three sessions with presentations from architects, engineers, the sustainability community, and research institutions. 

Topics include: 

  • Major trends in sustainable design of office/commercial/high-rise buildings 
  • Impact of new ‘sustainable’ materials on the fire load of buildings 
  • Natural ventilation and smoke control
  • Performance-based options for achieving sustainable goals
  • Green building certification schemes for the future 

The 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. Register now!

Best Practices Showcase to be featured: The Symposium Program Committee invites interested parties to submit one-page abstracts of recent successful case studies that illustrate how good design can innovatively achieve fire safety and sustainability goals.  These case studies will be featured on the symposium website and highlighted at the event with rec ognition to submitters. Please contact for more information.SBDS2

Scholarship Winners

Top, from left; Lindemann, Biller.  Bottom, from left: Akerman, Wu. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Safety Educational Memorial Fund Committee awarded scholarships to four students who have exhibited academic excellence and great interest in rescue, fire and life safety and engineering.

The scholarships are awarded each year to recognize students for their pursuit of careers in these fields.

The Arthur E. Cote and David B. Gratz scholarships were awarded to Sophia Wu, a student at the University of Maryland and Thomas Lindemann, who attends Cologne University in Germany.

Justin Biller, a student at Cal Poly State and Daniel Akerman, who studies at the University of West Florida, earned the John L. Jablonsky and George D. Miller scholarships respectively.

Get a further look at each scholarship winner in the latest NFPA release.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 51, NFPA 55, NFPA 400 and NFPA 2001 are being published for public review and comment:

  • NFPA 51, Proposed TIA No. 1070, referencing 10.10 and A.10.10
  • NFPA 55, Proposed TIA No. 1071, referencing 15.3.9 and A.15.3.9
  • NFPA 55, Proposed TIA No. 1073, referencing 3.3.x Cleaning Media,
    Purging, 7.1.19,,,,,,,,,, A.3.3.x, A., A.,
    A., A., A., A., A.,
    A., and I.2.4 
  • NFPA 400, Proposed TIA No. 1072, referencing Tables F.2.3, F.3.3, F.4.3, F.5.3, and F.6.3
  • NFPA 2001, Proposed TIA No. 1069, referencing, A.,
    and A.

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the September 14, 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

Sherman HemsleyWe were very sorry to hear that Sherman Hemsley, star of the hit television show, The Jeffersons (1975-1985), passed away Tuesday at the age of 74. Did you know that his dreams of acting came to fruition during Fire Prevention Week when he played the role of fire for a school sketch? Learn more on our Fire Prevention Week blog.

Chevy Volt
This Chevy Volt was involved in a two-car accident in Geneseo, New York, in May.

NFPA's Electric Vehicle (EV) Safety Training Project continues its expansion.

An EV training course is now available online for $19 per participant. To cover this cost, fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service providers can apply for grants available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. For more information, visit the EV Safety Training site.

Another new component to this project is NFPA's EV Emergency Field Guide, which offers tips on properly responding to an EV in an accident. Moreover, details on a new EV safety summit have been announced. Learn all the specifics in the latest edition of NFPA Journal.

One of the roles of NFPA staff engineers is to answer technical questions from our members. The other day I got a call from a member who simply said  "So, antifreeze...where are we at?". That simple 4-word question lead to an hour long discussion on the recent history on antifreeze use in sprinkler systems. Not more than an hour later I received a similar call from a member trying to figure out where "we" stand.

The simple answer is that at the moment is following the guidance of a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) approved by the Standards Council in March 2011(TIA 13-10-2) is in effect on the 2010 edition of NFPA 13. This TIA limits the concentrations of antifreeze solutions in new systems to 48% glycerine and 38%propylene glycol. It also requires that all solutions must be factory premixed to avoid separation of the solution, leaving pure (100%) antifreeze to be trapped in certain portions of the system.

Following the issuance of this TIA, which was based on testing that considered residential sprinklers only, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, along with UL and CCI, conducted another testing program utilizing standard spray sprinklers. The results of this testing showed that concentration allowances set forth in the March 2011 TIA may not be appropriate for use with standard spray sprinklers in all arrangements. This lead the Technical Committee (TC) for Sprinkler System Installation Criteria to draft a new TIA to modify the allowances for the use antifreeze in new NFPA 13 sprinkler systems. Due to the uncertainty of how traditional antifreeze solutions/concentrations will respond to the myriad of potential arrangements (ceiling height, k-factor, pressure, fire size..etc), the TC is suggesting that only antifreeze solutions that are listed should be used in sprinkler systems. The listing process would then need to flush out solutions that have the potential to ignite when discharged from a sprinkler. This proposed TIA, along with TIAs on NFPA 13R, 13D and 25 dealing with antifreeze will be addressed at the upcoming August Standards Council meeting.

A Request for Proposals for Project Research Contractor has been issued for a Best Practices for Emergency Response to Incidents Involving Electric Vehicle Battery Hazards (PDF, 335 KB) research project. Proposals should be submitted to Kathleen Almand by August 13, 2012, 12:00 pm EDT.

The foundation seeks this research contractor to implement a research program to develop the technical basis for best practices for emergency response procedures for EV battery incident firefighting - PPE, suppression methors and agents, and clean-up/overhaul operations. 

Learn more about this request for proposals

The Foundation periodically issues requests for proposals for the conduct of research. To automatically receive notification of these requests, please e-mail Eric Peterson.


Is innovation everything?

Posted by ryan.quinn Employee Jul 26, 2012

What does innovation mean to you? We asked this question of attendees at our Annual Conference & Expo in June. Answers ranged from solutions (technology and products) to concepts (change and “something new”). Of all responses one stood out - and it contained a single word. Everything.

Innovation is everything.

I keep a post-it note that includes a tally of responses and a notation of that single word answer. To me, everything means that innovation provides the tools and means necessary to remain current, relevant and efficient. If I need to solve a problem, there should be no limits to finding the right solution. That said, without the direction of people, limitless potential isn’t very useful.

This week I have observed the NFPA 4 draft development meeting for the upcoming Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing. A new standard, this collaborative process of authoring content and determining phrasing is directed and communal problem-solving. As Technical Committee members discussed and debated, it occurred to me that this is everything when it comes to creating a new code or standard. But is it also innovation?

My viewpoint is yes - the process involved for the seed of an idea to develop into a solution that addresses an unmet need is innovation. When NFPA 4 publishes, the Association can continue to advance our mission as it relates to the integrated testing of fire protection and life safety systems. And the debate to reach consensus is just one step on the path.

The committee will develop the document, NFPA will publish the standard, people will use it to improve our world, and the cycle will continue. New technology and environmental and policy changes will one day drive the need for further change and innovation. And the Technical Committee will return to address those needs.

What are your thoughts? What does innovation mean to you? Is it, in fact, everything?

- Lisa Frank

The same high quality training that NFPA has been providing to thousands of emergency responders across the country is now available online! This highly interactive, self-paced program covers everything you need to know to operate safely around these vehicles at an emergency scene.  Topics include vehicle identification, basic electric electrical concepts, vehicle safety systems, immobilization/power down
procedures, and handling emergencies such as crashes, fires and extrications.

For anyone who has not had the opportunity to attend one of our classroom sessions due to their schedule or distance to the training site, this is the perfect opportunity to receive the training, right from the comfort of your own computer.

The importance of this training has never been greater as more and more of these vehicles hit the streets every day. Take the course to gain important knowledge, earn a certificate, CEUs, and help keep yourself and other responders safe when operating at incidents involving hybrids and EVs!


We are really proud of all of our training instructors here at NFPA. As many of our blog readers already know, NFPA represents over 70,000 active members involved in fire, building and life safety. Members of the NFPA technical committees share their expertise and contribute to the codes and standards process. We tap some of the best technical committee members to help us teach training courses on our codes & standards. Bob Caputo is one of those instructors whose dedication and enthusiasm is clearly apparent in each of the over 1,000 training programs offered each year.

For more information, please go to

The OSHA Permit Required Confined Spaces standard, 29 CFR 1910.146, is perhaps the most widely known confined space standard. It provides practices and procedures to protect employees in general industry from the hazards in permit-required confined spaces. The 1910.146 standard does not apply to agriculture, construction or shipyard employment. OSHA’s 1910.272 standard provides basic guidance for entering confined spaces in grain handling facilities. 1915 Subpart B of OSHA provides requirements for entering confined and enclosed spaces in shipyard employment. To date OSHA does not have a confined space entry standard for the construction industry. A proposed rule was published in 2007 and it is on OSHA’s current regulatory agenda. Extensive information on confined space entry can be found on OSHA’s confined space topic page .

There are a number of organizations with consensus standards that relate to confined space entry. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has several consensus standards. NFPA 306 ,Standard on the Control of Gas Hazards on Vessels, provides minimum requirements for entry into vessels that carry hazardous materials in shipyards or ship repair facilities. This standard requires the use of a marine chemist to issue a certificate describing conditions for entry and work in a confined space. NFPA 326, Standard for the Safeguarding of Tanks and Containers for Entry, Cleaning, or Repair, includes minimum procedures for removing hazards prior to entering a tank that may have contained hazardous materials prior to repair including hot work.  NFPA 1670 ,Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents, includes a chapter on confined space rescue. This chapter describes the requirements for organizations responsible for confined space rescue.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has developed a consensus standard ANSI/ASSE Z117.1, Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces. The original standard was published prior to the OSHA standard. It describes minimum safety requirements to be followed while entering, exiting and working in confined spaces. 

Industry specific consensus standards have been developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API). ANSI/API 2015, Requirements for Safe Entry and Cleaning of Petroleum Storage Tanks, provides requirements for entry and work being performed in stationary tanks used in all sectors of the petroleum and petrochemical industry. ANSI/API 2016 ,Guidelines and Procedures for Entering and Cleaning Petroleum Storage Tanks, provides additional guidance and supplements the requirements of specific aspects of tank cleaning given in the ANSI/API 2015 standard. 

Most of the standards currently in existence provide minimum requirements for entry. They are generally not prescriptive but are performance based leaving the employer or safety professional to decide how to best evaluate, enter, work in and exit the space. There are still approximately 100 employees a year killed in confined spaces. As safety and health professionals we need to do a better job preventing these fatalities.

The new document that will be developed by the NFPA technical committee is expected to go above and beyond the minimum requirements and will provide more detailed guidance on evaluating confined spaces and controlling hazards. It is expected that this document will extract some of the best practices from existing documents and will include additional recommendations for evaluating, entering, working and exiting confined spaces.

We are hoping this document becomes a “gold standard” for confined space entry. What would you like to see included in this type of document? Let us know!

NFPA's Sparky the Fire Dog® is getting the Hollywood treatment.

The July/August edition of NFPA Journal includes a story on the affable pooch being selected as the official spokesdog for the American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards. Taking place in Los Angeles in October, the ceremony honors furry friends of all backgrounds. Vote for your favorites at the award's Web site.

For additional Sparky news, check out the story in NFPA Journal, and watch the following video of Sparky commenting on his latest honor:


NFPA 4 is a new standard on integrated testing of fire protection and life safety systems. The Technical Committee (TC) for Commissioning and Integrated Testing  prepared an initial draft of NFPA 4 in January of 2012. This draft was sent out for public comment and later approved for public input at the March 2012 Standards Council meeting. This new standard will apply to all fire protection systems that are  integrated or inter-connected. The concept of integrated fire protection  of life safety system testing is not new, however NFPA 4 will be the  first NFPA standard to provide a roadmap on how such tests must  be conducted.


Before the TC holds their First Draft meeting (formerly known as the ROP meeting) the TC will hold a draft development meeting on July 25 and 26 at NFPA Headquarters in Quincy , MA to further refine the content of the initial NFPA 4 draft. Although only in its infant stages, NFPA 4 is beginning to take shape including requirements addressing roles and responsibilities of testing personnel, qualifications of testing personnel, periodic integrated system testing frequencies, and methods for documenting integrated tests.


Following the upcoming draft development meeting, the committee will hold their "First Draft meeting" this September with the end result being a "first draft" that incorporates the TC revisions. Following the posting of the first draft, the public is encouraged to provide comments on the committee's revisions. This can be done by going to and clicking on the link on the "next edition" tab.

EV Summit Banner

SAE International and NFPA will again co-sponsor the 3rd Annual Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit October 18, 2012, at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan. With the number of electric vehicles continuing to grow so does the importance of discussion surrounding codes and standards. The goal of the summit is to review and refine the current implementation plan for electric vehicles and identify and address any obstacles related to fire and electrical safety standards. Participants in last years summit included vehicle designers, battery manufacturers, emergency responders, charging station suppliers, public utilities, facility insurers, and salvage operators. The deadline for pre-registration is September 21st. Sign up today.

From August 12-17, 2012, NFPA 101 and NFPA 5000’s occupancy specific Technical Committees, composed of over 180 members, will be holding their First Draft meetings in St. Louis, MO.   This past May, the eight core chapter Technical Committees for NFPA 101 and NFPA 5000 held their First Draft meetings in Indianapolis, IN. 

This cycle marks the first cycle in which these documents will be operating under NFPA’s new standards development process.  At the upcoming meetings, the occupancy committees will be addressing over 400 proposed changes for the 2015 editions.    Information related to the revision of the next editions can be found under the “Next Edition” tab of their respective Document Information Pages – NFPA 101 and NFPA 5000.

NFPA Technical Committee meetings are open to the public and to guests and we welcome your attendance.  Guests wishing to address the Technical Committee or Correlating Committee on an issue shall notify the Committee Chair or NFPA Staff Liaison in writing at least 7 days before the meeting. If you are in the St. Louis area in August, stop in to the NFPA 101 and NFPA 5000 meetings and learn about the latest and greatest Code issues being discussed by our experts.  We hope to see you there!

South Carolina Coalition
Actions taken by home fire sprinkler advocates in three states have led to a handful of recent victories.

The latest edition of NFPA Journal highlights these efforts, including a statewide initiative sparked by NFPA and the South Carolina Sprinkler Coalition to promote the benefits of residential sprinklers in advance of a crucial vote by the state's Building Code Council. The efforts paid off--the council opted to maintain the sprinkler provisions.

Elsewhere, Maryland's governor signed into law a bill that mandates fire sprinkler provisions, while Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recently vetoed an anti-sprinkler bill. In Illinois, the village of Gurnee became the 77th community in the state to require sprinkler protection in new construction.

Get all the specifics in the latest edition of NFPA Journal.

99 12 Code Cover Front

While it seems like NFPA 99 was revised for the first time in seven years only yesterday by approval at NFPA’s June 2011 Annual Meeting in Boston, the development of the 2015 edition of the Health Care Facilities Code is already beginning. 

The public input period closed on June 22nd and now the Technical Committees  responsible for the code are preparing for their First Draft meetings in San Diego next month. The seven technical committees consist of experts in the various fields that are addressed within NFPA 99 including:

-          Electrical Systems

-          Fundamentals

-          Health Care Emergency Management and Security

-          Mechanical Systems

-          Medical Equipment

-          Medical Gas and Vacuum Piping Systems

-          Hyperbaric Facilities

Guests are always welcomed at NFPA technical committee meetings and if you’re in the San Diego area and would like to attend one of the meetings simply let me know. For those who’ll miss out on all of the in-person action but still want to stay informed, the NFPA 99 “Next Edition” tab will contain all of meeting agendas, ballots, and drafts of the revised documents, will keep you up to date with the changes throughout the revision cycle.

With the recent release of the Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid (PHEV) some emergency responders have asked how their response tactics would differ from the standard Prius or other hybrids. The answer is basically…not much. As with other plugin hybrids, this Prius model is essentially a traditional hybrid vehicle designed with the ability to be plugged into a level I or II charging station. These vehicles are designed with a higher capacity high-voltage battery than traditional hybrids in order to more effectively store the charge they receive. This allows for a greater use of the high voltage system to propel the vehicle and a reduction in the use of the gasoline engine. In the event the driver doesn’t plug the vehicle in, it will continue to function in the same manner as a regular hybrid.

Plugin Prius

From the perspective of the first responder it will also be handled just like a hybrid, addressing both the flammable liquids and high-voltage concerns at an incident scene. The most notable difference from our perspective is that you may respond to an incident where the vehicle is plugged into a charging station, something usually reserved for electric vehicles (EV). At that point you would handle it in a similar manner as you would an EV connected to a charging station; locate the power source that feeds it, and shut it down in order to isolate potential electrical hazards.

Stay Safe,

The NFPA Standards Council has approved a new project on Confined Space Entry.  A technical committee has been formed and a first meeting is scheduled for September in Philadelphia. We are very excited about the development of a document that will have a significant positive impact on workplace safety related to confined space entry!    NFPA envisions this NEW document as a "gold standard" for confined space entry procedures. 

NFPA maintains a long history with guiding the safe entry and work practices for the maritime sector. NFPA 306, Standard for the Control of Gas Hazards on Vessels,  contains requirements that form the basis for the maritime industry’s safe practices for confined space hazard identification, evaluation and control.  It also represents the norm that Marine Chemists must follow when performing their inspections of confined spaces to assess the conditions for entry and hot work on vessels and within the shipyard.

Through the years, NFPA codes and standards have expanded with respect to the types of industrial workplaces that include some aspect of confined space requirements as part of the safeguards for that particular occupancy.  Some of that expansion has borrowed from the model followed in the maritime segment.  Amongst others, the list now includes:

  • NFPA 326, Standard for the Safeguarding of Tanks and Containers for Entry, Cleaning, or Repair–
  • NFPA 1670, Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents,
  • NFPA 1006, Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications ,

While there are several existing Confined space entry standards including OSHA's 1910.146, many of these standards are considered to be "minimum" standards and are more performance based in their requirements.   It is expected that the new NFPA Best Practices document will be more "prescriptive" and will provide more detailed information on hazard identification, control, gas monitoring and calibration, ventilation and rescue.  We anticipate including chapters on training and competencies as well as prevention through design (PtD) in the new standard.  

Stay tuned! We will be providing more information as the standard is developed.   

More participation means the creation of better consensus standards.

We welcome input from all of you and I look forward to your ideas!

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 30B is being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the September 14, 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.

ResidentialCarousel.ashxIn her latest NFPA Journal column, "Adapt or Burn," Molly Mowery notes that Forest Service researchers estimate that more than 44 million homes in the United States are located in fire-prone wildland/urban interface (WUI) areas, and this number is expected to climb. Budget cuts, droughts, and expanding suburban development will put "significant strain" on communities in such areas there is a change in current trends.

"Fortunately, national agencies have begun taking serious action to correct this course," she says. A case in point: over the past several years, the U.S. Forest Service has been promoting the idea of fire-adapted communities in areas likely to suffer from wildland fires. "As our community leaders continue to promote sustainability agendas," Molly says, 'We should remind them that addressing wildfire from a Fire Adapted Communities approach is part of a long-term solution for 21st century WUI communities. 

Read Molly's column online or turn to page 46 in your latest issue of NFPA Journal.

—Kathleen Robinson

With the closing of the Public Input Stage just a few weeks ago, technical committees are gearing up to enter into the A2014 revision cycle.  The first of these committees is the Technical Committee on Combustible Metals and Metal Dusts to revise their document, NFPA 484, Standard for Combustible Metals.  The First Draft meeting is taking place in Salt Lake City, UT this week (7/24/2012 through 7/26/2012).

With over a hundred public inputs, the committee will have their hands full discussing the public inputs and revising the standard.  The committee will be discussing hot topics that include metal flash fire hazards, housekeeping, recycling facilities, ignition control and dust collection.  For more information about this meeting including the adgena and issues being discussed, check out the "Next Edition" tab on the document information page for NFPA 484. 

An example of how dangerous combustible metal can be and the importance of following our standards at NFPA, watch the video from the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) summarizing their recent investigation of the three fires at the Hoganaes Corporation from last year.



NEC meeting 3
A group representing promulgating agencies from two dozen states gathered at NFPA headquarters this morning for the kick-off of a two-day meeting focused on the adoption of the National Electrical Code® (NEC®).

Attendees are learning about changes to NFPA’s codes and standards development process, research projects on electrical issues, significant proposals to the 2014 edition of the NEC, and insights into the revision process. The group is also being brought up to speed on a new effort to advance public safety by advocating that states and municipal jurisdictions adopt the most current building, sustainability, electrical and life safety codes.

“NFPA is not only in the business of publishing the National Electrical Code, but supporting the people and systems that provide the best safety across this nation,” said NFPA President Jim Shannon. “I am enormously proud of the codes and standards process we have here at NFPA, and in particular, the NEC. It takes a team of hundreds of volunteers to revise this document every three years. And we can’t take for granted the thousands of hours they devote to this project to make sure that the NEC has the impact where it’s needed.”

Adopted in all 50 states, the National Electrical Code is the benchmark for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards.


NEC meeting 1
Jim Shannon, president of NFPA, addresses workshop attendees. “NFPA is committed to supporting the people who are adopting and using our codes,” he said.

NEC meeting 2

NEC meeting 4

National Electrical CodeFollowing up on his column in the May/June issue of NFPA Journal, columnist Jeffrey Sargent discusses another handful of additional proposals to NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, in the magazine's latest edition. Sargent focuses on three new proposed articles that address smart grid technology and modular data centers, the latter an emerging trend in data center architecture.

"The concept of a modular data center is no different than other off-site structures or equipment in that the electrical infrastructure is installed in a manufacturing facility, then sent to the end-user for installation," Sargent states in his column. "The on-site wiring involves installing supply circuits from the premises’ electrical supply to the pre-wired unit. All the other wiring is installed during manufacture. This is what distinguishes a modular data center from field-installed information technology equipment."

Read the rest of Sargent's column in the July/August edition of NFPA Journal. Also keep in mind the closing date for public comment on the 2014 NEC is October 17.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

from The Herald Sun


Durham Fire Department
Here at the Durham Fire Department we do more than fight fires. Much of the"more" we do is provide our residents with vital fire safety education through community outreach programs. Educational tools that help residents retain safety tips long after we've left an event are what's missing! That's why we need your help!
The Durham (NC) Fire Department wants citizens to know what’s on its wish list through Sparky’s Wish List, a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) partnership that links businesses and the community to fund life-saving fire safety education materials for fire departments.

“Protecting lives through community-based fire-safety education is extremely important to us,” Fire Chief Bruce Pagan said. “We want to make sure we deliver the most influential fire safety messages and educational tools which help us to do that.”

According to the NFPA, every year, fire departments in the United States respond to more than 350,000 home fires resulting in at least 2,500 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries - many of which could have been prevented with fire safety education.

"Fire safety education saves lives, but with current budget pressures, it's hard for many departments to pay for a range of educational materials," said Jim Shannon, president of NFPA, coordinator of the program. “Sparky's Wish List: Partnering for Fire-Safe Communities is designed to help close the gap between what fire departments can afford and what they need to educate on fire safety."

The Sparky's Wish List website allows fire departments to create a profile page, identifying specific materials needed for fire education programs. Residents, businesses, and others can then visit the Durham Fire Department’s profile page to choose items to purchase for the fire department.

Want to help a fire department in your state? See a list of departments that have created a Wish List for this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign.

Outreach_240x200The winner of the 2011 Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant was the College Station Fire Department in College Station,Texas, home of Texas A&M University. NFPA presents the $5,000 grant each year to a local fire department in the United States or Canada to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign.

According to Lisa Braxton, project manager for NPFA's Public Education Division, the fire department used the grant to support its Rental Housing Fire Reduction Education Program for the college community. "Off-campus rentals provide housing to more than 40,000 students who attend Texas A&M University and Blinn College," she notes in her "Outreach" column in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. 

Through this campaign, the fire department reached more than 2,500 students in person at student conferences, fire safety events, and fire drills, and more than 40,000 households.

The application deadline for the next Jensen grant is February 8, 2013. For more information, visit

—Kathleen Robinson

Apply now -- deadline is August 10

Remembering WhenNFPA is committed to helping communities reduce fire and fall injuries and deaths among older adults. Since 1999, communities throughout North America have implemented the Remembering When program, reaching thousands of older adults.

We'll be hosting a Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults conference, December 2-4, 2012, at the Boston Longwharf Hotel in Boston, MA. We're looking for representatives from up to 35 communities to attend the event, which will emphasize reaching older adults through home visits, to ensure that the program reaches the most vulnerable of older adults.

We are asking fire departments to partner with an agency whose main outreach to older adults is through home visits.

If you'd like to apply to attend this important event, please visit our website to learn more and download an application form. The deadline for submissions is August 10, 2012.

The National Fire Academy (NFA) has a new six-day course that will help you reach diverse cultural groups in your community. It is specifically designed to connect fire and emergency service personnel with the many diverse cultural groups in the community that may not be easy to reach. It deals with cultural aspects such as nationality and language (other than English), although the principles of cultural competence taught in this course can be applied in any multicultural environment. Some of these groups may be hidden or underserved, or they may just be emerging in the community. It will also help you develop appropriate strategies to provide successful outreach and education to everyone.
The course integrates four fundamental dimensions or building blocks of culture that correspond to four broad continua of cultural similarities and differences. Students apply these building blocks in many risk reduction interactions. These four building blocks of culture are:
• Concept of self—individualist and collectivist
• Personal versus societal responsibility—universalist and particularistic
• Concept of time—monochromic and polychromic
• Locus of control—internal and external

Among the examples of successful cultural adaptations of programs that are used in the course are NFPA’s First Nations Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults and NFPA’s easy-to-read handouts in several languages depicting people appropriate to the language being used. This course is ideal for those who work in fire and life safety and prevention, including educators, code enforcers, arson investigators, inspectors, fire marshals, and others.
For more information on the Cultural Competence in Risk Reduction Course, contact the Course Manager Gerry Bassett at 301-447-1094 or .
- Outreach_Cleveland_May28,2009 064Sharon Gamache

FSI newsletterThe July issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter looks at the fire safety problem with lightweight construction, and in particular, a tragedy that saddened an entire New York community, and reignited a debate about the fire safety of new homes built with lightweight construction materials. We also provide an update on 2012 sprinkler legislation, an effort to help dispel Hollywood movie myths about sprinklers, a new video that helps homeowners understand fire sprinklers and an effort in Illinois to require home fire sprinklers in all new homes. 

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.

Heads_up_240A cloud ceiling is a suspended ceiling that covers only a portion of a room or space below, typically to hide mechanical equipment. Although NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, doesn’t define cloud ceilings or provide specific guidance on protecting them, says Matt Klaus in his column “Heads Up” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, “ it does provide the answers to these questions through the use of obstructions rules and deflector position requirements.” What are those rules and requirements? To find out, turn to page 34 in your issue or visit

—Kathleen Robinson

Research Foundation newsletterThe new issue of Research Foundation News includes news on a new project that looks at best practices for emergency response to electric vehicle battery incidents. The project will include full-scale fire tests and a compilation of best practice information on post-incident procedures.

The issue also includes:

  • a call for a project contractor to oversee a review of best practices for the installation and an all-hazard assessment of photovoltaic panels installed on roofs
  • news about an upcoming workshop on inspection and testing frequencies for fire protection systems
  • a new project on the performance of water additives for fire control and vapor mitigation
  • a new report on the performance of light sources used in emergency notification appliances for inclusion in NFPA 72.

Subscribe today to automatically receive our bi-monthly Fire Protection Research Foundation newsletter. It's free, informative, and will keep you up to date on new projects and reports, planning developments, upcoming activities

emergency communicationsUnclear on the code-complaint use of a public address (PA) system during emergency situations? NFPA can help.

NFPA Journal columnist Wayne Moore tackles this issue in the latest issue, which outlines code requirements for interfacing a PA system with a building fire alarm system delivering both emergency fire evacuation messages and mass notification messages. Utilizing both NFPA 101,® Life Safety Code®, and NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, is also discussed.

Moore states in his column, "Regardless of the venue size, fire officials now have requirements and guidelines by which to judge the system's effectiveness." Read about these requirements in NFPA Journal.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

Firefighter_fatalities_600x300Last year, 61 firefighters died while on duty in the United States, the fewest since NFPA began conducting this annual study in 1977. Of those 61, 31 died of sudden cardiac deaths, usually heart attacks. Among these was a 35-year-old firefighter who was found unresponsive and without a pulse in his bunk at 7:45 a.m. at the end of a 24-hour shift. During the shift, he had been assigned to a two-person rescue unit that had responded to 10 emergency medical calls. Paramedics immediately started CPR, attached a heart monitor, established intravenous in both arms, intubated him, and used a bag valve mask for ventilations as they rushed him to the hospital. Despite their efforts and those of the hospital staff, the firefighter died. 

 For more information on firefighter fatalities in 2011, read “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States, 2011” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.

 —Kathleen Robinson

2012_first_word4“People assume that if they visit a famous location, buy a house, or lease a property for a business, then the building must be safe,” says NFPA President Jim Shannon in “First Word” in the latest issue of Journal. “But they should make that assumption only if the jurisdiction in which the building is located has adopted the right code and is committed to enforcing that code. At NFPA, we know that that is not always the case.”

 We know that some jurisdictions are happy to stay with outdated codes or neglect aggressive enforcement. And we know that when the economy gets tough, certain interests make money by skirting reasonable code provisions. We can’t let this happen.

 “We have to make people more aware of how codes protect their safety,” says Shannon, “And we have to raise the visibility of a whole system of code development, adoption, and enforcement that has made our buildings the safest in the world. “

 —Kathleen Robinson

Firebreak JulyThe July 2012 issue of Fire Break, NFPA’s wildland fire newsletter, is now available for viewing.

In this issue, you’ll find:

  • The Summer How To Newsletter featuring Nevada County, California, and its Firewise successes
  • Information on how to register for Home Ignition Zone workshops slated for this fall
  • Rules for the 2013 Firewise Calendar photo contest
  • Links to new research on regulatory approaches to wildfire risk

… And lots more!

Sign up today to receive Fire Break each month via e-mail. It's free and will keep you up to date on the latest news and information on mitigating your wildfire risk to take back to your communities, organization or fire house.

Statue_liberty_600Just in time for her 126th birthday this year, the Statue of Liberty is undergoing needed repairs and upgrades to her interior, including safety improvements that comply with today's codes and standards, says Fred Durso in his article "Upgrading Liberty" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. Integrating safety and historical preservation isn't an easy task, but Hughes Associates, the engineering firm chosen for the job, managed to do it with the help of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®; NPFA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code; and NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

—Kathleen Robinson 


A recent study predicts that the price for electric vehicle
batteries could drop by as much as 70 percent within the next 13 years.
Lithium-ion batteries are among the most expensive components of electric
vehicles. With the predicted reduction in manufacturing costs of these
batteries the price of electric vehicles may begin to fall in line with
internal combustion vehicles.

A large barrier in the adoption of electric vehicles is the
price tag difference over comparable internal combustion vehicles. Many see the
high upfront cost of electric vehicles and find it difficult to see the savings
of fuel over several years or do not wish to wait, up to a decade in some cases,
for the return on their investment. This barrier instantly goes away if the findings
in this study come true and we do see a large drop in battery prices as electric
vehicles will be the cost effective purchase from day one.

Two forces driving the decrease in EV battery prices is manufacture
on a large scale and breakthroughs in the production methods used to assemble
these batteries. With gas prices continuing to rise, electric vehicles are
becoming a more attractive option. This leads to the need to produce these
batteries on a large scale and will in turn lower the price for consumers. Not
only are prices on the decline, but the life of these batteries are longer than
ever. By the year 2025 electric vehicles very likely will no longer be out of
reach of many consumers’ budgets.

In_compliance_240"Tis the season for outdoor events, many of which take place in tents. And just because a tent isn't a building doesn't mean it doesn't have to meet certain fire safety criteria. In his column, "In Compliance" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, Chip Carson discusses some of the relevant requirements of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®; NFPA 1, Fire Code; and NFPA 701, Standard Method of Fire Test for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films. 

—Kathleen Robinson

Chicago symposiumFor its 25th birthday in 2007, the Fire Protection Research Foundation developed a seven-point agenda to help guide its research for the next five years. In the latest edition of NFPA Journal, the Foundation's executive director Kathleen Almand has benchmarked the Foundation's progress since establishing the agenda, which includes initiating research related to new fire protection technologies, new hazards, and restraints to fire safety solutions.

Almand gave the Foundation a "B+" for its efforts, particularly for projects that have helped NFPA's codes and standards address new technologies, emerging hazards in buildings, and new firefighter equipment. However, there are areas that need further analysis, says Almand, particularly how NFPA's standards can adapt to a rapidly aging population and assessing how fire safety can contribute to a more sustainable environment.

Here's a snippet from her column: In Chicago on November 7, the Foundation, together with NFPA, will address a piece of this puzzle by holding a discussion with the architectural community on the intersection of fire and sustainable building design. We must understand the forces driving changes in the built infrastructure so that we can adapt our fire safey solutions to them.

To learn more about the Chicago symposium, visit the Foundation's website. After reading Almand's additional thoughts on the state of the Foundation in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, watch a video of Foundation director Casey Grant highlighting achievements from NFPA's Code Fund:  


-Fred Durso, Jr.

Lightweight construction
It was a tragedy that saddened an entire New York community, and reignited a nationwide debate.

In May, an early-morning fire ripped through the two-story home of Thomas Sullivan, a captain with the Larchmont Police Department. His son, Thomas Jr., awoke to the screams of his father and managed to escape, but Sullivan; his wife, Donna; and his two daughters, Megan and Mairead, all died in the blaze that decimated their unsprinklered home in Carmel, New York, according to a CBS affiliate.

The incident has once again prompted a debate on popular, lightweight construction used in newer homes that homebuilders say have superior qualities over conventional building materials. What's causing concern, however, is the rapid rate at which these materials seem to burn.

An NFPA Journal feature story underscores these concerns and related findings from separate studies by Underwriters Laboratories and the National Research Council of Canada.

"In recent decades, an expanding range of construction methods and building products...often termed 'lightweight construction' have been widely embraced by residential builders for their ability to deliver economy and functionality," says the story's author Alan R. Earls. "However, findings [from both reports]  confirmed what firefighters have long suspected about what happens to lightweight construction when it is exposed to fire. In repeated tests by both groups, under carefully controlled conditions, lightweight structures were found to burn faster and lose their structural integrity quicker—in some cases much quicker—than those built with dimensional lumber, with obvious ramifications for the fire service and for anyone who lives in a residence constructed with lightweight materials."

A new discussion group on the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition's LinkedIn page is currently weighing in on this topic and how home fire sprinklers can assist in safeguarding lives and property. (Sign up for a LinkedIn account if you haven't already to join the discussion.) For additional information on the benefits of home fire sprinklers, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative site.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

Grove FireFrom the Boston Globe
July 15, 2012

It was over in minutes.

The fire began in the nightclub’s basement Melody Lounge and swept upstairs into the main dining room, where a fireball shot through the packed space and into a cocktail lounge opened only days earlier. Hundreds banged helplessly on locked exits and piled up inside a jammed revolving door.

The fire that destroyed the Cocoanut Grove that cold night of Nov. 28, 1942, killed 492 people. It was and remains the worst fire in New England history.

An investigation failed to determine the cause. Club owner Barnett Welansky was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, setting the legal precedent that a conscious failure to address dangerous conditions was basis enough for guilt.

Still, fundamental questions remain. How did the fire start, and why did it spread so quickly? Why did it stay close to the ceiling of the dining room, leaving tablecloths and menus untouched? Who wrote threatening letters to investigators seeking the truth?

As the fire’s 70th anniversary approaches, a local group of librarians and historians hopes to find clues that will shed new insight on those long-held mysteries and make the facts available to future researchers.

The Cocoanut Grove Coalition formed early this year with two goals: creating a central online access point for materials about the fire, located in the collections of archives and museums across Greater Boston, and gathering previously unknown writings, recordings, photographs, and recollections.

“One of my concerns is that we’re getting further and further away . . . from the fire itself, and materials are being lost,” said Sue Marsh, librarian for the Quincy-based National Fire Protection Association, who formed the coalition.

Read the entire article on

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Firefighters react to a church fire that killed one firefighter last year in Indiana.


Despite data from NFPA's latest "Firefighter Fatalities in the United States" report indicating the number of on-duty firefighter deaths in 2011 is the lowest annual total in 35 years, fire service experts continue to promote an analysis that has the ability to further decrease this figure.


In the latest issue of +NFPA Journal+, columnists Ben Klaene and Russ Sanders outline a risk-versus-benefit fire analysis that identifies the likelihood of firefighters being injured or killed in a fire and weighing those factors with others related to saving endangered lives. NFPA 1500, +Fire ++Department Occupational Safety and Health Program,+ provides guidance on developing this analysis.

"Until the fire is controlled, the risk to firefighters increases and the possible benefit of saving lives decreases," state the authors in their column. "It is critically important that first-arriving units and the incident commander conduct a risk-versus-benefit analysis, which includes continuously reevaluating and reassessing the situation and developing a strategy and incident action plan that adequately protects firefighters."


Read the full column in the July/August issue of+ NFPA Journal.+


-Fred Durso, Jr.</p>

In the light of recent incidents involving electric vehicle battery hazards, the Foundation, with support from the Departments of Energy and Transportation and the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers, has initiated a project to develop the technical basis for first responder emergency response procedures. The project will include full-scale fire tests and a compilation of best practice information on firefighting operations and post-incident procedures.

The project comes out of NFPA's partnership with the DOE, begun in 2009, to develop and implement a comprehensive training program for emergency response to electric vehicle (EV) incidents. Currently this program provides safety training to 25,000 emergency responders in order to prepare them for their role in safely handling incidents involving EVs.  However, there is a lack of data to draw on to address the potential hazards associated with damaged EV batteries.

Dowload the project prospectus.

The Foundation has initiated a project on applying risk and reliability approaches to inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) frequencies for fire protection systems and is seeking NFPA Technical Committee input at a half-day workshop scheduled for July 24 in Quincy, MA. The project grew out of a need for a more data based approach to ITM frequencies as NFPA develops new documents such as NFPA 4 Integrated Testing of Fire Protection Systems. The goal is to develop a generic template/methodology to determine ITM frequency for a given fire protection system or equipment based on reliability concepts.

The workshop on July 24 will include presentation and discussion of a literature review and white paper that describes existing reliability principles, data and models one would use to develop a reliability-based approach to ITM.  Based on input from the workshop, the template/methodology will be developed and refined.

Please contact the Foundation at 617.984.7281 if you are interested in participating.

Various water additives are available in today’s marketplace that claim to provide advantageous performance characteristics for fire control and vapor mitigation. The goal of this project is to provide a comprehensive evaluation of water additives used for fire control and vapor mitigation, with the intent to
clarify the fire protection benefit of using water with additives for fire suppression versus water without additives. The project objectives to achieve this goal include providing a comprehensive review of the literature, identification of key performance characteristics, review of candidate test agents, and formulation of a detailed test plan that would be implemented in a potential second phase.

The results of this project will be of direct benefit to the considerations of the NFPA Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 18A for requirements relating to water additives for fire control and vapor mitigation. 

Johnny Brewington, Battalion Chief of the Cleveland Fire Department and member of NFPA’s Urban Fire Safety Task Force, recently exhibited at the Asian Pacific American Heritage Day celebration in Cleveland, Ohio.  Among the handouts he shared with participants were NFPA’s easy-to-read handouts on cooking safety, electrical safety, heating safety, and escape planning in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Hmong.  

- Sharon Gamache


Annotated PDFsIntroducing NFPA Annotated PDF Editions: a new electronic document with expert commentary and explanations by experienced technical staff.

For many code users, the code is a reference document you need to get the job done. But to truly understand, explain, or use the code you go to your trusty handbook. NFPA has been publishing handbooks for many of its codes and standards. These handbooks contain commentary, images, explanations and the history behind the code. It is this perspective that bridges the gap between code language and practical application.

While not every code requires a handbook – a large form factor hardbound tome of useful knowledge -  many codes do need that same context. We’re introducing a perfect convergence of customer need, portability and practicality. NFPA Annotated PDF Editions are full-featured digital books that contain both the specific code and all-new commentary in the tradition of an NFPA Handbook, but without the cost and time required to produce a hardbound print edition.

Features you’ll find in the new Annotated PDF Editions:

  • Easy navigation between the code and annotations. The code layout is unchanged, but clickable small red triangles appear in the code wherever an annotation occurs. You can jump back and forth between code and annotation.
  • Dedicated Table of Contents for sections with Annotations.
  • Entirely new sections authored by NFPA experts providing context and new supporting content to explain why particular code sections apply, the history behind them and some insight into the technical discussion that lead to their creation.
  • Exclusive full-color images, graphics, tables and diagrams. Sometimes another perspective is all you need to understand a particular section of the code.

Currently, NFPA 79, 2012 edition; NFPA 90A, 2012 edition; NFPA 110, 2010 edition; and NFPA 1584, 2008 edition are all available as Annotated PDF Editions. 

  consumer fireworksSharing his sadness and outrage at the recent fourth of July fireworks tragedy that injured 13 people including a 2 year old child, NFPA President Jim Shannon penned an op-ed for the Boston Globe which appeared in its Podium section on July 11. Calling it one of the most poignant cases in memory, Shannon described what happened this year in Pelham,  New Hampshire when a family celebration turned into a nightmare. A child  holding a sparkler set off boxes of fireworks in the house. Neighbors  said it sounded like a bomb had gone off.

Shannon's point was that this case was a painful reminder of the dangers of consumer fireworks and a reminder that despite that fact that the majority of states allow the sale of consumer fireworks, these are inherently dangerous devises. He also applauded Massachusetts for their leadership role in not allowing the sale of consumer fireworks.

Each year NFPA urges the public in the days leading up to the fourth to enjoy the holiday safely by attending professional displays of fireworks. With this tragedy fresh in mind, Shannon concluded, "We will try again next year, right before the Fourth of July, to warn  people how dangerous fireworks can be but for now it seems the most  persuasive arguments will come not from us before the Fourth of July but  from places like Shriner’s Hospital on July 5th."

Lorraine Carli


Ohio EV Train-the-Trainer

Posted by andrewklock Employee Jul 12, 2012

This week, NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training stopped in Ohio, our 32nd state, to visit the Ohio Fire Academy. The Academy in Reynoldsburg gathered more than 30 first responders from across the state to take part in the training—and even two from Canada!

Ohio Training 2

NFPA Safety Trainer Chris Pepler was able to discuss with attendees the key guidelines for responding to emergencies involving electric vehicles, as well as how to consult NFPA’s newly released Emergency Field Guide for critical, model-specific information. First responders at the training were able to gain firsthand experience working with the EFG on an all-new 2012 Chevrolet Volt provided by Coughlin Cars of Pataskala.

After attendees consulted their EFG’s for proper shutdown and safety procedures, they were able to observe the quiet movement of the car as it was in drive—a key hazard for first responders.

In addition to attendees receiving important information about electric vehicle safety, the general public had the chance to see how their communities’ first responders will now be prepared to respond to any emergencies that may occur involving electric vehicles when a local television station and newspaper shared news about the training.

Thanks to WCMH-TV and The Columbus Dispatch for coming out the view the training, the Ohio Fire Academy for their hospitality, and all the first responders who attended for taking this information to more of their colleagues throughout the state of Ohio…and even Canada!

Chicago symposiumFor its 25th birthday in 2007, the Fire Protection Research Foundation developed a seven-point agenda to help guide its research for the next five years. In the latest edition of NFPA Journal, the Foundation's executive director Kathleen Almand has benchmarked the Foundation's progress since establishing the agenda, which includes initiating research related to new fire protection technologies, new hazards, and restraints to fire safety solutions.

Almand gave the Foundation a "B+" for its efforts, particularly for projects that have helped NFPA's codes and standards address new technologies, emerging hazards in buildings, and new firefighter equipment. However, there are areas that need further analysis, says Almand, particularly how NFPA's standards can adapt to a rapidly aging population and assessing how fire safety can contribute to a more sustainable environment.

Here's a snippet from her column: In Chicago on November 7, the Foundation, together with NFPA, will address a piece of this puzzle by holding a discussion with the architectural community on the intersection of fire and sustainable building design. We must understand the forces driving changes in the built infrastructure so that we can adapt our fire safey solutions to them.

To learn more about the Chicago symposium, visit the Foundation's website. After reading Almand's additional thoughts on the state of the Foundation in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, watch a video of Foundation director Casey Grant highlighting achievements from NFPA's Code Fund:  



-Fred Durso, Jr.


Wireless charging

Posted by andrewklock Employee Jul 10, 2012

One of the biggest deterrents to buying electric vehicles is
the fear of running out of charge with no charging station nearby. This worry
is steadily becoming less of an excuse as more and more charging stations
become available and as wireless charging is on the possible horizon.


Wireless charging may become the standard process of
charging in the future eliminating the need to remember to plug in your vehicle
every night and open many new options to keep your vehicle powered. In addition
to having a wireless charging system at your house there could be chargers
placed in the road at stop lights and parking spaces. These systems could
extend the range of your electric vehicle and help to eliminate the hassle of
plugging in your vehicle every day.

Other interesting applications may be in public transportation.
Electric busses would be able to run constantly without being pulled off their
routes to charge if charging stations were placed under bus stops. And electric
trains/trolleys could eliminate the clutter of overhead wires in urban centers.

There are several types of wireless chargers
being developed with different techniques in use. One relies on a pad placed in
the ground and another placed at the bottom of the car this charges the car
through electromagnetic induction. Another system works similarly but instead
of having a receiver under the car there are steel belts in the tires that
complete the circuit. However with both of these techniques power is lost
through the wireless transfer, up to 20 percent in some cases, making it less
practical until the efficiency is increased.

Pam LeschakWhile this summer's raging wildfires continue to damage homes and property in a number of U.S. states, an array of organizations are simultaneously promoting preventive tactics aimed at resisting future hazards. Prompting this endeavor is the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), which has entered into a new agreement with NFPA to transform entire neighborhoods into wildland fire-resistant areas. 

Launched in June, the Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) initiative links the two entities with eight other organizations aimed at assisting the 70,000 U.S. communities in wildfire-prone areas develop all-encompassing action plans for wildfire mitigation. Pam Leschak, FAC program manager with the USFS, chatted with NFPA Journal about the collaboration and why mitigation is crucial--and cost-saving--in the long run.

She tells the magazine: We’re now looking at fire on the  landscape year round. When a fire involves a community in the  wildland/urban interface (WUI), certain issues—homes, infrastructure,  cultural resources, evacuation, structural protection—add complexity to  an already complicated situation. I don’t think people understand  there’s something they can do in order to prepare. They can help  themselves and their communities. 

Leschak also discusses why NFPA's Firewise® Communities Program is a vital component of FAC. Read the interview in the latest edition of NFPA Journal, and check out the video of Molly Mowery, NFPA's FAC program manager, providing an overview of the new initiative: 


-Fred Durso, Jr.

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

In this issue:

  • Annual 2013 Report on Proposals
  • Annual 2013 National Electrical Code® Report on Proposals
  • Submit Public Input Electronically for Fall 2014 documents
  • Formal Interpretation Issued on NFPA 30A
  • Safety Alert issued on SCBA Facepiece Lenses
  • NFPA website shortcut links
  • Committees Seeking Members
  • Committees Soliciting Public Input
  • Committee 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 standards development process.

Free subscription
Sign-in on NFPA’s web site and then select “NFPA News” from your e-mail options.

- Debbie Baio

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise® Communities Programannounces 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!

Indiana State Fair collapse
Minutes before the scheduled start of a concert at the main stage on the Indiana State Fairgrounds last summer, a severe storm caused a temporary structure atop the stage to crash to the ground, killing seven people and injuring dozens more. The incident--and similar others last year--called into question emergency management practices before and during events.

A feature in NFPA Journal examines how the incident is changing the way people are thinking about emergency response and preparation. Highlights from two reports following the collapse are discussed, as are efforts in expanding the use of the Life Safety Evaluation--found in NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®--that addresses more than 100 factors to consider for events at assembly occupancies of various sizes. Also under way is a new project by the Fire Protection Research Foundation/NFPA Code Fund that looks to expand the use of the Life Safety Evaluation for both non-fire emergencies and non-emergency situations.

For a rundown of other tragic events that have shed light on the issues surrounding emergency management and crowd control, read the feature in NFPA Journal. Also, watch the video of NFPA Journal staff writer Fred Durso giving an overview of his feature:

On July 4, 1984, a fire in a three-story, unsprinklered structure in Beverly, Massachusetts, used as a boarding house, resulted in the death of 15 residents and injury to nine others.  A total of 36 residents occupied the second and third floors, and firefighters, assisted by police, rescued approximately nine guests over ground ladders from the building.

Investigators from the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s office determined that the fire was incendiary in nature, and once ignited, the fire spread quickly, involving the stairway and exit access corridor.  The significant factors contributing to the loss of life in this incident are considered to be:

  • The nature of the ignition scenario
  • The open stairway
  • Combustibility of the interior finish
  • Delay in notifying the fire department

NFPA members can download the full investigation report for free.

Gas death & injury
A new report, authored by NFPA's John R. Hall, Jr. has just been published. This report, "Deaths and Injuries Due to Non-Fire Exposure to Gases," includes statistics from the U.S. death certificate database and the CPSC database on injuries reported to hospital emergency rooms on fatal and non-fatal injuries involving exposure to gases.

In 2008, 756 people died of unintentional injuries due to non-fire exposure to gases. Anoxia, which is injury involving oxygen deprivation, accounted for 41,200 injuries reported to hospital emergency rooms in 2010, including 20,000 with no fire involvement.

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

EuroconNFPA and Marsh Risk Consulting Worldwide are teaming up to present 2012 EuroCon in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The three day conference is slated to take place at the Passengers Cruise Terminal, November 12 -14, 2012.

“NFPA is pleased to host NFPA EuroCon as way to provide our European audience with the latest information on fire and life safety codes and standards to advance their knowledge and careers,” said NFPA President Jim Shannon. “Attendees will also benefit from presentations on emerging trends and have an opportunity to network with peers from around the world.”

The conference offers more than 25 educational sessions focused on safeguarding lives and reducing property loss taught by experts in their fields including NFPA technical staff, technical code committee members, instructors, and experts from across Europe. Three tracks are offered to help participants enhance their understanding of the latest codes that relate directly to attendees specific area of work. They are:  Fire & Life Safety, Property Protection, and Property Risk Management.

“Nowadays buildings are getting bigger and more complex. The need for up to date fire and life safety codes is critical,” said Ing. Tom de Nooij, CFPS, senior consultant, Property Risk Consulting, Marsh Risk Consulting. “For years, professionals all over Europe have used NFPA codes and standards and now this conference will provide a firsthand opportunity for them to hear directly from the code experts.”

Visit for more information on NFPA 2012 EuroCon or to preview the conference agenda and register today.

Evaluating Occupant Load Factors for Business Operations - photo
A new Fire Protection Research Foundation report is now available on our website: "Evaluating Occupant Load Factors For Business Operations."

The report was authored by Tudor Muha, a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as part of the Research Foundation’s Student Project Initiative.

The current occupant load factor of 100ft2/person, as specified by NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, and NFPA 5000,Building Construction and Safety Code, for business uses has been in effect since the 1930’s. Business use areas, specifically office environments, have changed since that time, and questions have arisen regarding the appropriateness of the 100ft2/person factor for all types of business use areas. This study investigates the origins of the 100ft2/person factor, previous occupant load studies, changes in office space planning and use, availability of office furnishings, and current office occupant load preferences, then recommends alternate occupant load factors and business use categories.

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

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, NFPA reminds you that every year, thousands of people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms because of incidents involving consumer fireworks. Many times, these injuries are extremely painful and require long-term recovery – using consumer fireworks is simply not worth the risk. NFPA's latest fireworks report which explores fire and injury dangers related to consumer fireworks. Did you know that the risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14 with more than twice the risk for the general population?

SCBA facepiece lenses may undergo thermal degradation when exposed to intense heat
NFPA has issued a safety alert on Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) facepiece lenses. Among other things, NFPA is recommending that fire departments, fire academies, and emergency service organizations inspect all SCBA facepiece lenses before and after each use. Any SCBA facepiece lens found to have cracks, crazing, bubbling, deformation, discoloring, gaps or holes should be immediately removed from service and a replacement issued.

The alert comes after investigations and additional research found SCBA facepiece lenses may undergo thermal degradation when exposed to intense heat. The full alert and recommendations can be found at

“SCBA is a critical component in the personal protective equipment (PPE) used by today’s fire service. This equipment is essential for allowing firefighters to operate in hostile fire ground environments. However, in recent decades there have been significant changes in the environments encountered by structural firefighters and in how they operate in those environments,” said Kenneth Willette, division director of Public Fire Protection at NFPA.

“The SCBA facepiece lens is generally based on polycarbonate. The SCBA facepiece lens is often considered the weakest component of a firefighter’s ensemble in high heat conditions, but the level of thermal performance of the facepiece lens has not been well understood."

Read NFPA's news release on the Safety Alert.

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