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January 29, 2013 Previous day Next day

News reports say at least 231 people are now confirmed dead in the tragic nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil that occurred early Sunday morning. CNN reports that 83 more people are hospitalized suffering from severe burns and smoke inhalation. CNN reports that police have arrested four people: one of the members of the band that was playing at the nightclub, the show producer and the club's two owners. Police have also questioned others to gain deeper insight into how the fire began and why it killed so many, according to CNN.


NFPA's Robert Solomon, division manager of Building & Life Safety Codes, was asked if he was surprised that a fire of this magnitude - and one so eerily similar to The Station nightclub fire that occurred in Rhode Island ten years ago - can still happen in this day and age.


[Learn more about fire safety at nightclub and other public assembly venues |].


Standards Council

NFPA Board of Directors appointed two new members to serve on the Association’s Standards Council for a three-year term effective January 2013: James E. Golinveaux of North Kingstown, R.I., and Bonnie E. Manley of Norfolk, Mass.

With 30 years of experience in the fire protection industry including both contracting and manufacturing, Golinveaux is currently a senior fellow of Water Suppression Products for Tyco Fire Protection Products. He currently holds 12 U.S. Patent families in Automatic Sprinkler Technologies. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees for the Fire Protection Research Foundation, as well as multiple other boards and councils including the Factory Mutual Advisory, AFSA, NFSA, International Fire Sprinkler Association and the Fire Sprinkler Association of Brazil. He has served on NFPA 13 Technical Committee for the past 18 years and has chaired the storage task group for the last 13 years. Additionally, he is a technical committee member of NFPA 88A, 101 and 5000.

Manley, P.E., M.ASCE, is a regional director for the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). She is a current member of the NFPA Correlating Committee on Building Code and the Technical Committee on Structures, Construction and Materials. Manley also serves on the ASCE Codes and Standards Committee, which oversees their codes and standards development activities, maintains their ANSI accreditation, and enforces their rules for standards committees. Prior to joining AISI, she worked as a senior structural engineer for NFPA. 

The NFPA Standards Council, a 13 member body appointed by the board of directors of NFPA, is charged with overseeing the NFPA codes and standards making process. Generally, the duties of the Council include supervising activities related to NFPA codes and standards development, acting as administer of rules and regulations, and serving as an appeals body.

NFPA documents in the Annual 2015 revision cycle are now accepting Public Input (formerly proposals) electronically through NFPA's Electronic Submission System (e-PI). The system will automatically pull in the text and show any changes in “track changes” and even saves your input.

To submit input electronically, select the document from the list of NFPA codes and standards or search for documents available for public input using the search feature. Once on the document page, select "The next edition of this standard is now open for Public Input (formerly proposals)" to begin the process. You can submit input or just start and save your work in progress before the closing date.

Review further instructions on how to use the e-PI system

If you have any questions when you use the new system, you can contact Carolyn Cronin at (617) 984-7240 or by email.

Annual 2015 Revision Cycle documents:

NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes
NFPA 13R, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies
NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection
NFPA 24, Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances
NFPA 40, Standard for the Storage and Handling of Cellulose Nitrate Film
NFPA 55, Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code
NFPA 59A, Standard for the Production, Storage, and Handling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
NFPA 73, Standard for Electrical Inspections for Existing Dwellings
NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives
NFPA 101A, Guide on Alternative Approaches to Life Safety
NFPA 105, Standard for the Installation of Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives
NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems
NFPA 111, Standard on Stored Electrical Energy Emergency and Standby Power Systems
NFPA 150, Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities
NFPA 160, Standard for the Use of Flame Effects Before an Audience
NFPA 291, Recommended Practice for Fire Flow Testing and Marking of Hydrants
NFPA 303, Fire Protection Standard for Marinas and Boatyards
NFPA 307, Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals, Piers, and Wharves
NFPA 312, Standard for Fire Protection of Vessels During Construction, Conversion, Repair, and Lay-Up
NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code
NFPA 409,Standard on Aircraft Hangars
NFPA 415, Standard on Airport Terminal Buildings, Fueling Ramp Drainage, and Loading Walkways
NFPA 423, Standard for Construction and Protection of Aircraft Engine Test Facilities
NFPA 556, Guide on Methods for Evaluating Fire Hazard to Occupants of Passenger Road Vehicles
NFPA 820, Standard for Fire Protection in Wastewater Treatment and Collection Facilities
NFPA 1071, Standard for Emergency Vehicle Technician Professional Qualifications
NFPA 1126, Standard for the Use of Pyrotechnics Before a Proximate Audience
NFPA 1145, Guide for the Use of Class A Foams in Manual Structural Fire Fighting
NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems
NFPA 1710, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments
NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus
NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus
NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances

The public input closing dates for these documents are available on the links listed above.

Public input is a suggested revision to a proposed new or existing NFPA Standard submitted during the Input stage in accordance with Section 4.3 of the Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards.

Backyards and Beyond
Registration for NFPA's 5th Backyards & Beyond® Wildland Fire Education Conference is now available online. The conference will be held November 14 – 16 in Salt Lake City, Utah where experts and stakeholders will gather to discuss wildfire safety issues and best practices for reducing risks.

With more than 50 breakout sessions in five educational tracks, the Backyards and Beyond conference offers leading wildland fire experts, community planners, civic leaders, homeowners and residents, insurance professionals, landscape architects, and physical and social researchers and scientists an opportunity to build relationships and explore answers to important wildland fire safety questions that can be taken back to communities and the workplace. 

A pre-conference workshop, Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone, will be held on November 12-13. The two-day workshop provides important information about fire behavior and structure ignition from wildfires, and helps identify measures residents can take to reduce wildfire risks to their homes.

More information about the conference, workshop, accommodations and transportation can be found on the Firewise website. Registration for both the two-day workshop and the conference is available online, through the mail or by phone. Visit NFPA’s registration page for details. A discounted conference rate is available for those who register before October 11, 2013.

6a0133f27f7a03970b017ee803c544970d-450wi.pngOne question that I have received quite often since the publishing of the 2012 edition of NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, is whether or not windowless anesthetizing locations still require smoke purge systems. The answer to this is that the 2012 edition does not require it. What had previously been in NFPA 99 and previously NFPA 56A was language that remained essentially the same for years and was in the 2005 edition as follows:


“ Supply and exhaust systems for windowless anesthetizing locations shall be arranged to automatically vent smoke and products of combustion. Ventilating systems for anesthetizing locations shall be provided that automatically (1) prevent recirculation of smoke originating within the surgical suite and (2) prevent the circulation of smoke entering the system intake, without in either case interfering with the exhaust function of the system.”


My research shows this requirement to have first appeared in NFPA 56A in the 1960 edition. The way it was presented and worded has been slightly altered throughout the years but the intent that the smoke and products of combustion be vented and that recirculation be prevented had remained. When NFPA 99 was reorganized for the 2012 edition the requirement was not incorporated in the new Chapter 9, Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning.

In the current revision process the technical committee on Mechanical  Systems has proposed language that specifically states smoke purge is not required in windowless anesthetizing locations. The main substantiation for this is that the requirement is considered to be a relic as when it was first incorporated into an NFPA requirement the use of flammable anesthetics was common and therefore the fire hazards in these rooms was much higher. of home fire sprinkler systems often cite extremely high costs associated with integrating NFPA 13D home fire sprinklers into a well water supply system. The following will explain how this is accomplished in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Well systems incorporating fire sprinklers at the start of the building process are set up to address this fire protection application. Water sits in three areas in a well-fed system: in the well above the pump, refilling into the well as it is used, and in the holding tank in the home. Per NFPA 13D the refill rate can be counted on to help supply part of the demand, thus, the duration demand of 7 or 10 minutes can be met by the sum of these three sources.

Read this entire post by NFPA's Maria Figueroa on our Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

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