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August 31, 2012 Previous day Next day

On November 7th and 8th, NFPA and the Fire Protection Research Foundation will host a symposium on fire safety and sustainable building design in Chicago. We thought we would highlight some of the event speakers and their sessions to help you decide if you should attend. First up: Simon Lay, C.Eng, MiFireE,  Director of Fire Engineering at AECOM. 

Simon LaySimon's presentation is titled, "Natural Ventilation and Smoke Control: What conflicts can arise and how can they be overcome whilst ensuring that the sustainability objectives of natural ventilation are still met?"

The use of natural ventilation in buildings is no longer driven purely by sustainable aspirations. Increasingly, natural ventilation is necessary to meet the requirements of clients, to reduce running costs and in some locations to achieve sustainability standards set by Local or National Government.

Day to day climate control that uses ventilated facades and internal atria with natural ventilation are potential solutions to meet the sustainability goals. However, such solutions rely on generating a vertical distribution of air which goes against the need to prevent the movement of smoke and flames in a fire.

Simon will briefly review what conflicts can arise between natural ventilation in high rise buildings and smoke ventilation and then consider some of the options for solving these conflicts. The advantages and disadvantages of different solutions will be considered with the aim of demonstrating the importance of holistic, performance based design in achieving effective, sustainable solutions that be practicably delivered.

Simon Lay is a former chair of the CTBUH Working party on Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings and a member of the CTBUH Advisory Group. Simon has led the fire safety design on many tall building projects and is the author of many papers and articles on fire engineering and high-rise design. As a strong proponent of performance based design as the best way of ensuring safety through design, Simon is well known and respected for introducing innovation and fighting apathy building design.

Learn more about the symposium and register today! 

Grilling-fact-sheetRemember that propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors, and that grills should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Make sure to keep children and pets away from the grill area, and keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

And never leave your grill unattended -- an unwanted fire can happen in an instant.

For more tips on grilling safety, download our free tip sheet.

Happy Labor Day!

On August 31, 1995, a fire occurred in a restaurant on the first floor of a five story building in Boston, Massachusetts.  The fire originated in the grill area of the restaurant, and according to investigators, it began when cleaners were attempting to remove the grease buildup on a stove’s cooking surface by placing aluminum foil over the burners and then turning the burners on “high”.  The fire eventually extended through the exhaust ductwork to a mechanical room on the fifth floor.  The roof then ignited, resulting in extensive damage to the roof. 

 There were several contributing factors that led to the extension of the fire through the building.

  • There was a flexible duct connector between the fan and the ductwork in the mechanical room on the fifth floor, which failed and allowed fire spread.
  • The mechanical room was not sprinklered, nor was the cockloft area underneath the roof structure
  • The wet chemical system did not discharge during the incident
  • When the system was discharged by the fire department, agent did not discharge out of several of the nozzles, indicating that they were plugged and inoperable

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

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