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Metal dust explosions are amongst the most complex phenomena addressed by NFPA codes and standards.  The goal of this project is a compilation of recent combustible metal explosion incidents in a format that will aid in the understanding of the factors influencing the initiation and control of explosion and/or fire events. Read about the Research Foundation's new project "Combustible Metal Fires and Explosions – Case Studies".

Fire fighters and other emergency responders are routinely exposed to IDLH conditions (Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health) that contain harmful gases and particulates and require the use of specially designed personal protective equipment. Protecting fire fighters and other emergency responders from these harmful atmospheres is a challenging problem. The goal of this two-year project, conducted collaboratively with WPI and funded through a DHS/FEMA grant, is to develop a sensor to provide uninterrupted real-time information on hazardous conditions to better inform decision making around the use of PPE.

Firefighter Injuries
The number of firefighter injuries last year was the fewest since NFPA data analyses began more than 30 years ago. 

This information is one of the key findings from the new NFPA report "U.S. Firefighter Injuries in 2011" highlighted in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal. Nearly 70,100 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty last year, a 2.5 decrease from 2010, and the lowest this figure has been since NFPA started analyzing data in 1981. 

The report also notes that nearly 44 percent of all firefighter injuries occurred during fireground operations, with the rest occurring during other on-duty activities, nonfire emergencies, or incident responses.

"Firefighters work in varied and complex environments that increase their risk of on-the-job death and injury," say Michael J. Karter, Jr., and Joseph L. Molis, the report's authors. "A better understanding of how these facilities, nonfatal injuries, and illnesses occur can help identify corrective actions that could help minimize the inherent risks."

Check out the full report, or a condensed version in NFPA Journal.

The first session in the property protection track at EuroCon 2012 was "Occupancy and Commodity Classification for Fire Protection", presented by Bill Koffel, NFPA technical committee member and President of Koffel Associates.

In his presentation, Mr. Koffel stressed the importance of understanding occupancies, knowing how space will be used within the occupancy as well as making adjustments when an occupancies usage has been changed. He reinforced that fundamental to using NFPA 13 is the importance of understanding occupancy classifications.  

Cheryl GreenOne example Mr. Koffel gave for changing commodity classifications is a change in packaging of products. However, there are many other scenarios that indicate a need to evaluate classifications.  The ultimate responsibility for evaluation of the occupancy and commodity classification sits with the owner. 

Cheryl Green-Pozner
Director of Training, NFPA 

!|border=0|src=|alt=Perspectives_240|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Perspectives_240|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c3343ef86970b!In his "[Perspectives |]" column in the latest issue of NFPA Journal , Scott Somers, the vice-mayor of Mesa, Arizona, and a 17-year veteran of the Phoenix Fire Department, tells us that he has "found that sprinklers can be a strategic tool to spur job growth and economic opportunity." When voters overturned a[ residential sprinkler |] ordinance in 1999 adopted by Mesa’s city council in 1999, the City of Mesa decided to take an innovative approach to sprinkler advocacy. Using federal grants, Mesa has installed home fire sprinklers in low- and moderate-income homes, and created a city-run grant program to retrofit sprinklers in historic downtown businesses. To see how it was done, read Scott's column online or turn to page 14 of the November/December issue of NFPA Journal.

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