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The latest issue of NFPA Journal,featuring our stories on fire safety issues in “green” buildings and the formation of the new Cocoanut Grove Coalition, is available as a digital reader and in app form—two great ways to enjoy Journal anytime, anywhere.

The digital reader is a Web-based version of Journal that shows you the magazine exactly as it appears in print—except that all Web links and emails, in both stories and ads, are live and clickable. The digital reader also includes versions optimized for iPad, iPhone, and Android.

The NFPA Journal app, available through Apple's app store, lets you download the magazine and create your own library of Journals that you can read whenever you want, even if you're offline. If you're using it with a Web connection, you have all the flexibility that you do with the digital reader: watch embedded slideshows and videos, link to products and services, share stories with colleagues, and much more. The app is designed for iPad and iPhone.

Our cover story, “A Night to Remember,” looks at the 70thanniversary of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire, which killed 492 people in Boston on November 28, 1942, and remains the nation’s deadliest nightclub fire. To commemorate the event, Journalstaff writer Fred Durso, Jr. takes a closer look at the new NFPA-led Cocoanut Grove Coalition and its mission to collect and archive the stories, artifacts, and other materials related to this historic fire.

Elsewhere in the issue, Fred provides an update on green buildings and fire safety, and we also have the 2011 Large-Loss Fires and Firefighter Injuries reports. The “In A Flash” section includes “Karachi Nightmare,” an article I wrote based on my blog post from September on the deadly garment factory fire in Karachi, Pakistan, that reportedly killed 258 people and has become, according to NFPA data, the deadliest fire ever recorded in a manufacturing or industrial facility. The Karachi fire has its roots in the 1911 Triangle Waist Co. fire that I wrote about last year for Journal, and the problem of garment factory fires worldwide shows no indication of abating anytime soon. 

We hope you enjoy this issue of NFPA Journal.

At the Foundation's conference on fire safety and sustainable building design yesterday, several practical solutions to fire safety in green design were presented.  Dan O'Connor, Aon Fire Protection Engineering, presented the results of recent research designed to more effectively utilize fire protection detection systems.  Paul Turnbull, with Siemens, demonstrated how integrating building fire and other control systems can result in sustainability gains.  Russ Fleming, National Fire Sprinkler Association, reviewed the enhancements in fire sprinkler system design that have led to significant water and material usage savings. Look for the symposium presentations on the Foundation's website as well as a planned compilation of best practices and emerging issues.

During the Foundation’s Fire Safety Design and Sustainable Buildings Symposium, Sean DeCrane, of the Cleveland Fire Department, gave his perspective on the hazards of sustainable buildings. Mr. DeCrane discussed the importance of training for the fire service because of the new developments in the construction industry. Traditional stick built houses with heavy upholstered furniture is a thing of the past. Today fire fighters are faced with engineered, lightweight lumber, expanded foam materials, and photovoltaic panels on roofs. Many of these sustainable materials contribute to faster burning fires and buildings that fail much quicker. Not only are fire fighters facing new hazards inside of buildings, but they are facing challenges getting to the building itself. Green rating systems give credits for reducing paved surfaces, increasing landscaping and reducing traffic. This makes for beautiful cities that save energy, however, it creates literal road blocks for fire fighter vehicles. Every extra minute it takes the fire service to navigate around narrow roadways and traffic calming devices is another minute the fire has to grow and another minute someone might be waiting for rescue inside that building. Mr. DeCrane argued that sprinklers and training are two of the best things we can do for our fire service. Check out this video that Mr.DeCrane shared from UL. It compares a fire in a legacy room (think grandma’s upholstered furniture and heavy fabric curtains) to a modern room (one that was purchased right off the shelf at one of today’s furniture stores).

 

Dr. Louis Gritzo of FM Global highlights the three big takeaways from his talk regarding the integral role of fire protection on sustainability, given at the Fire Safety and Sustainable Building Design Symposium. 

  

View more videos of Dr. Gritzo on this topic.

NFPA 20How the 2013 edition of NFPA 20, Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection, should address the issue of series fire pumps apparently created some waves during the standard's revision process.

Chad Duffy, NFPA staff liaison for NFPA 20, discussed the debate over this provision and others in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. According to Duffy's feature, NFPA's voting members at this year's Association Technical Meeting opted in favor of a Certified Amending Motion that dismissed certain changes related to series fire pumps originally approved by the committee. 

"While everyone involved in the discussion wants the standard to require systems that are as reliable as possible, not everyone agrees on how that should happen, and series fire pumps are at the center of that debate," says Duffy.

Get all the specifics about the new edition of NFPA 20 in the new issue of NFPA Journal.

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