Skip navigation
All Places > NFPA Today > Blog > 2013 > April

Boston fireAs a Red Cross volunteer, I'm all too familiar with the physical loss associated with fire; I've seen magnificent buildings transformed to rubble and personal belongings reduced to ash. One thing I hadn't experienced was the loss of life during my volunteer responses. That changed this week as I arrived on the scene of a three-alarm fire in Boston and discovered that a Boston University student died in the blaze.

Needless to say, I was beside myself when learning the news. I didn't know the student, but guessed that the other victims--many, if not all of them, in their teens and early 20s--living in the two-and-a-half-story home were either friends with the victim or at least had known her. Attempting to supply them with whatever comforts I could after they had experienced a tragedy so emotionally painful seemed fruitless, but I had no choice but to take on the challenge.

Three victims from BU were taken to the university police department, and each of them were still in shock as we entered one of the meeting rooms; one girl took breaks from crying to answer our questions as her silent roommate remained on the floor, curled up in a ball. Luckily, they escaped the house uninjured after hearing the smoke alarms and screams of others.They knew their fellow student living atop them wasn't as fortunate, and when dwelling on this, the sobbing began again. 

After supplying them with enough funds for shoes and clothing (BU was taking care of the rest), we headed to one of the local hospitals, where a number of other victims were taken. One man in his early 20s, only two weeks away from graduating, had escaped the house through his second-floor window and was about to be released from the emergency room. He, too, had no severe injuries, but did recall inhaling thick, black smoke before his escape. His mother, who made the four-hour-plus trip from New York, arrived around the same time as us, and after giving us a series of sincere "thanks you's," she grabbed her son in a warm embrace, and wept. "Don't cry, Mom," he says, as tears filled his own eyes. "I'm OK."

I've been with NFPA Journal for more than three years and have reported on people who have gone through tragedies no human being should ever experience. Witnessing the pain firsthand is a different story. The facts and statistics associated with fire loss and death are incredibly important, but this incident serves as a reminder that there's an emotional impact to fire, scars that probably take just as long to heal--perhaps even longer--than the physical ones.

Hear more of these emotional stories by watching NFPA's Faces of Fire videos.  And, whenever possible, please spread the fire safety message by utilizing NFPA's array of resources.

Over 25,000 firefighters are gathered at the Fire Department Instructors Conference 2013 (FDIC) taking place this week in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative (FSI) is present.

Maria and TimAn exhibit, staffed by Eastern Regional Fire Sprinkler Specialist Tim Travers and Maria Figueroa, communications project manager for FSI, emphasizes the threats that lightweight construction, new homes, and modern contents pose to firefighter safety. Home fire sprinklers offset these threats; protecting home occupants and firefighters by providing additional escape time and maintaining a tenable atmosphere.

Read the entire post on our Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

NFPA recently appointed Donald P. Bliss as vice president of Field Operations. In his new position, Bliss will oversee NFPA’s International Division, Government Affairs Division and NFPA’s Regional Operations.

Don BlissBliss’ career began with the Durham-UNH Fire Department in 1970 and he has been a part of the fire service in some way since then, holding such titles as director of the University of Connecticut Fire Department, and both Fire Chief and town emergency management director for Salem, N.H. Bliss served as both the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal and state homeland security director, and has held leadership roles in numerous professional organizations, including the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and NFPA. He previously served on the NFPA Standards Council, served as president and chief operating officer of the not-for-profit National Infrastructure Institute in Portsmouth, N.H. and was a senior public safety consultant with Municipal Resources, Inc.

He served as a member of NFPA's board of directors 2003-2009; was the chair of the NFPA 1 Uniform Fire Code Committee, and served as chair of NEC Code Making Panel 13. Bliss has also been on the NFPA Technical Committee on Emergency Management and Business Continuity and was a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

Congratulations on your new position Don, and welcome to NFPA!

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®, is being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the June 14, 2013 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.

A new training program has been announced for fire officers and others serving in a supervisory capacity during fire operations. The Company Officers Responsibility for Incident Safety (CORFIS) program is two and a half hours long, and assists in the understanding of NFPA 1561, Standard for Emergency Services Incident Management, and NFPA 1521, Standard for Fire Department Safety Officer.

NFPA and the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) of Ashland, Massachusetts have teamed up to promote this training, which offers guidance to a company officer in the initial stages of a fire incident. The program will be offered to the U.S. fire service. At the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) this week, materials were on display at NFA’s booth for all attendees to view.


(L-R) Bob Colameta of Max Media, program consultant; Steven Sawyer, NFPA; Ken Willette, NFPA; Michael Petroff, Chairman of Board of Directors of Fire Department Safety Officers Association; and Scott Freitag, Western Director, FDSOA.

NFPA’ s new report on home fires finds that seven people die each day, on average, in U.S. home fires. Cooking remains the most prevalent cause of home fires, with older adults the age group most likely to die in home fires.

The report, which uses five-year averages (in this case, from 2007-2011), showed that one-quarter of home fire deaths occur in the bedroom, the same amount as fires in the family room, living room or den.

Homes Report
Home fire deaths from fires in which no smoke alarms were present, or in which smoke alarms were present but did not operate, accounted for 60 percent of all home fire deaths.

Visit the NFPA site for the full report and fact sheet.

The lives of the 10 firefighters who died battling the West, Texas fire and explosion will be remembered during a memorial service on Thursday, April 25 at 2:00 pm, local time. Thousands of fire fighters from around the country will join President Obama and the First Lady to pay respects to the families, friends and co-workers of the fallen.


NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public, which was approved at the March 2013 Standards Council meeting to enter Annual 2015 (with a later closing date of September 9, 2013), is now available for electronic submission of public input (e-PI).




Google announced recently that Google Reader is closing down. This popular RSS feed reader will be history on July 1, 2013, which means you’ve got a little more than two months to move your Google Reader subscriptions to a new RSS reader. You don't want to miss out on any of our blog posts in your RSS readers, right?

In the PC World video below, Nick Barber shows you how to migrate your Google Reader subsciptions to a new RSS reader. He uses Takeout, Google’s way of providing your information in a format you can take with you to other programs. He turns his Google Reader subscriptions into a file that can then be used with different RSS readers. 



Looking for more information about Google Reader’s impending shutdown? You can read about three alternatives to Google Reader here. 

If all of this sounds too complicated but you still don't want to miss out, you can always subscribe to our blog's RSS feeds again, adding them to another RSS feeder directly from our blog. 

Lighting to improve the look and safety of our homes, electric tools to make our outdoor work easier, and power lines to our home, all need to be handled with care. Watch our new video, which features tips on outside electrical work, equipment safety, and important information about how to find out where underground utilities are located on your property.

Download our new outdoor electrical safety tip sheet or see all of our safety tip sheets.

Google ReaderGoogle announced recently that Google Reader is closing down. This popular RSS feed reader will be history on July 1, 2013, which means you’ve got a little more than two months to move your Google Reader subscriptions to a new RSS reader. You don't want to miss out on any of our blog posts in your RSS readers, right?

In the PC World video below, Nick Barber shows you how to migrate your Google Reader subsciptions to a new RSS reader. He uses Takeout, Google’s way of providing your information in a format you can take with you to other programs. He turns his Google Reader subscriptions into a file that can then be used with different RSS readers. 



Looking for more information about Google Reader’s impending shutdown? You can read about three alternatives to Google Reader here. 

If all of this sounds too complicated but you still don't want to miss out, you can always subscribe to our blog's RSS feeds again, adding them to another RSS feeder directly from our blog. 

NFPA has announced its theme for 2013 Fire Prevention Week: Prevent Kitchen Fires. Cooking is the number one cause of home fires, and a significant contributor to home fires deaths. From October 6-12, we’ll be highlighting the dangers of unattended cooking and risky kitchen habits.

This theme announcement coincides with the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, which is attended by thousands of firefighters from around the world. NFPA has a booth at FDIC, and conference attendees are welcome to view new campaign materials.

Sparky is always a prominent FPW fixture, and he’ll be promoting Sparky’s Wish List again this year. He’s joined by NFPA’s Ken Willette in the video below to talk about this year’s FPW theme.


Visit for more information and safety tips.

Fire BreakThe April issue of Fire Break, NFPA’s wildland fire newsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you’ll find:

    • A link to the latest FAC report and video highlighting lessons learned from the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado

    • The wildfire division’s newest DVD that features three volunteer fire departments working closely with residents on wildfire safety programs

    • Information about NFPA’s newest best practices guide aimed at planners and regulators who play a significant role in protecting communities from wildfire

    • The Spring Firewise “How-To” newsletter that provides project ideas and tips to help homeowners prepare for wildfire season

    • Information about a recent report that provides suggestions for how communities can better plan for wildfire emergencies that includes supporting people with disabilities

… And lots more! We want to continue to share all of this great information with you so don’t miss an issue! Subscribe today. It’s free! Just click here to add your email address to our newsletter list.


2013 Metro Award winners

Posted by ryan.quinn Employee Apr 22, 2013

The 2013 annual Metropolitan (Metro) Fire Chiefs
Association conference, in Phoenix, took place April 5-11. Along with naming
board members, the Metro Chiefs bestowed the 2013 Metro awards.


!|src=|alt=Metro Awards 2013|style=width: 450px;|title=Metro Awards 2013|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01901b7bfe90970b!
2013 Metropolitan Fire Chief’s award winners: CFO Peter Holland (Left); Chief Keith Richter

Congratulations to all the recipients!

    • *Chief
      Keith Richter*, of the Orange County, California, Fire Authority was named
      Fire Chief of the Year;

    • *Chief
      Peter Holland*, Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, UK Government, received the
      Lifetime Achievement Award; and,

Vicki Lee, Program Manager, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, Assistant to the General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); and Dr. Denis Onieal, Superintendent of the National Fire Academy received the President’s Award of Distinction.</li> </ul>

NFPA has just released the most recent report on the Total Cost of Fire in the United States. It finds that the cost of fire in 2010 is 38 percent higher than in 1980, at about $328 billion. However, the proportion of U.S. GDP has lessened by one-third, to 2.2 percent.

Among other things, the report finds that, although the core total cost of fire has increased by 45 percent since 1980 to total $108.4 billion, the economic loss due to fire decreased by 29 percent, totaling $14.8 billion. Also, human losses were estimated at $31.9 billion.

TotalCostOfFire(1)For the full report, and the fact sheet on the total cost of fire, please visit

The early-bird pricing expires on April 26 for the 2013 NFPA Conference & Expo. Now is the time to make your plans to attend the show in Chicago this June and get the best rates on conference registration, hotel reservations and travel.


!|src=|alt=300x200.seminarroom|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=300x200.seminarroom|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eea4c565a970d!Preview the 20 Seminars and 150 Conference sessions .


Your Conference registration gives you access to 150 sessions that will earn you CEUs.&#0160;Conference registration&#0160;is $895 until April 26. On April 27, the regular rate applies $945 (NFPA Members) and $1050 (Non-Members) … more detaills on registration


ONPeak is our Official Housing Partner and offers great rates for hotel and travel arrangements. The deadline for hotel reservations is May 6. Plus travel discounts are available for American Airlines, Delta, United and Avis ... more details &#0160; See you in Chicago!

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%; border: 0px; padding: 0px;!3 Seminars on dust explosion hazards, hazardous materials and fire investigations

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%; border: 0px; padding: 0px;!NFPA Conference & Expo named fastest growing tradeshow

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%; border: 0px; padding: 0px;!Two training opportunities for Technical Committee members

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%; border: 0px; padding: 0px;!150 Conference Sessions in a handy PDF

This year, NFPA's Association Technical Meeting will begin on Wednesday, June 12 at 2:00 p.m. and will continue on Thursday, June 13.

Only NFPA members of record as of December 14, 2012 who are currently in good standing are eligible to vote, and must have either a full conference registration or an Association Technical Meeting registration.

600-tcmUnder the rules now in effect, only Certified Amending Motions (with valid sign-in) and proper follow-up motions will be allowed for NFPA documents processed in the Fall 2012 and Annual 2013 Revision Cycles. The agenda for the meeting will be those documents with Certified Amending Motions as indicated in the Report of the Motions Committee on Certified Amending Motions.

The Report of the Motions Committee on Certified Amending Motions for the Fall 2012 Revision Cycle was posted on November 2, 2012. The Motions Committee Report for the Annual 2013 Revision Cycle will be available on May 3, 2013 and the National Electrical Code®, also reporting to the Annual 2013 Revision Cycle, will be posted on the NFPA website no later than May 17, 2013.

Review the list of Fall 2012 and Annual 2013 documents. Learn more about the Standards Development Process.

For functional and safety purposes, many fire doors will need to have glazing, in the form of vision panels.  NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, regulates the size of the glazing allowed in these applications in Table 4.4.5.  The limitation on the size of the glazing is based upon the fire protection rating of the door.  Fire doors with the highest fire protection rating, often limited in their application, are restricted to the smallest amount of glazing that can be in the door leaf.

For the most part, the size of the fire protection glazing is limited to the sized tested by the laboratory and meeting the appropriate test criteria for the doors and glazing installations.  Doors with a 3 hour fire protection rating are limited to 100 sq. in.

Doors containing fire resistance–rated glazing materials fabricated and tested as door assemblies in accordance with NFPA 252, Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies, to determine a fire protection rating should be regulated by this standard as a fire door assembly and not as a glazing material permitted in fire door assemblies as prescribed in Section 4.4. Regarding Table 4.4.5, footnote c, consideration should be given to limiting fire protection glazing size in non–temperature rise doors where 60- and 90-minute fire protection is required due to radiant heat hazards.

For free access to NFPA 80, please visit our website. Happy Friday!

-Kristin Bigda


Join NFPA Chief Electrical Engineer Mark Earley on Thursday, April 25 at 2pm EST as he discusses the upcoming 2014 National Electric Code.  This is your chance to get the latest news and updates on the 2014 NEC developments, as well as, ask questions you may have regarding this critical code.

Mark will present key topics, such as:

  • Four new articles in the 2014 NEC:
    • Low Voltage Suspended Ceiling Power Distribution Systems 
    • Modular Data Centers
    • Fire Resistive Cable Systems
    • Energy Management Systems
  • Changes in voltage thresholds
  • Revisions to the green articles in the code:
    • Electric Vehicle Charging Systems
    • Photovoltaic systems
    • Wind Electric Systems

Be sure to join us for this live, interactive discussion. Register now!


UPDATE (April 19, 3:00 pm) CNN is reporting that 12 bodies have been recovered in West, Texas, following a fertilizer plant explosion&#0160;on Wednesday evening. CNN quotes Senator John Cornyn as saying that&#0160;60 people are unaccounted for. Local officials say 200 people have been injured and 50 homes have been destroyed. The West Fertilizer Plant is located north of Waco and located near a school and nursing home.&#0160;


<span style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>Video: See the moment a burning West, Texas, fertilizer plant erupts in a massive explosion.

Related NFPA codes and standards

NFPA 400,+ Hazardous Material Code<br />+This document applies to the storage, use, and handling of hazardous materials in all occupancies and facilities, including ammonium nitrate solids and liquids. Access this document online for free .

NFPA 472,&#0160;Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents<br />This document&#0160;identifies the minimum levels of competence required by responders to emergencies involving hazardous materials/weapons of mass destruction. Access this document online for free .

NFPA 1620,&#0160;Pre-Incident Planning<br />This document provides criteria for evaluating the protection, construction, and operational features of specific occupancies to develop a pre-incident plan that should be used by responding personnel to manage fires and other emergencies in such occupancies using the available resources. Access this document online for free .

NFPA will continue to learn more about the developments and provide other relevant material as appropriate.


Also see

Storage of ammonium nitrate was the subject of a case studyat the 2010 Supression Detection Symposium hosted by NFPA&#39;s Fire Protection Research Foundation.

    1. In 1947, more than 400 people died when ammonium nitrate exploded on two ships docked at Texas City, Texas. The Quarterly, an NFPA publicaiton contained[ a story on the disaster in its July 1947 edition |].

Tom Lia
Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, has been named the recipient of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative’s first Home Fire Sprinkler Champion Award. The award, which was given at the Bringing Safety Home Sprinkler Summit on Monday, April 15, commends Lia for his dedication to increasing the presence of sprinklers in residences.

“Tom is a terrific example of what this effort is – passionate, driven individuals working all across the country to save lives and property from fire with the proven, effective technology of fire sprinklers,” said NFPA President Jim Shannon. “As a result of his leadership, hard work and dedication, more than 80 communities in Illinois have adopted NFPA 13D single-family home fire sprinkler ordinances.”

Lia has participated in more than 325 side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstrations. His model served as the basis for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s Fire and Sprinkler Burn Demonstration kit. As a result of Lia’s commitment to the fire sprinkler cause, thousands of fire departments around the country have implemented this tool in their own communities.

Read more about Tom and this award in the full press release. Congratulations Tom! 

Sparky FacebookEach week, we have fun with fire safety trivia on Sparky the Fire Dog's Facebook page. We ask a trivia question early in the morning, take guesses all day long, and then post the correct answer by the end of the day - every Tuesday. 

Here's how you can participate! Head over to Sparky's Facebook page and leave your guess to the following trivia question. Then be sure to check back later today to find out if you were right! (Hint: all of the correct answers can be found on our website as well!) Have fun and good luck!

At its March 2013 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council considered and reviewed a request that NFPA establish a new standard for the application of hybrid, gas, and fine water droplet systems.

After review of all the material before it, the Council voted to publish a notice to solicit public comment on the need for the project, information on resources on the subject matter, those interested in participating if established or have experience in the intended application of this technology, and as such, would be affected by the development of an installation standard.  The Council is specifically looking for manufacturers that are actively developing hybrid droplet systems and whether there are enough common installation practices and procedures available to support a standard, and the intended application for this technology.  The Council is also seeking input on whether the subject matter could be covered by an existing technical committee or possibly through the creation of a new document.  Read Standards Council agenda item 13-3-20 for additional background.

Anyone wishing to submit a comment on this proposed new standard, please forward to the NFPA Secretary of the Standards Council by the May 30, 2013 deadline.

Fire service representatives and other safety advocates from across the United States have gathered in Chicago for a one-day home fire sprinkler summit. The event, sponsored by NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative, has brought together more than 100 attendees to network, share best practices, and learn more about efforts and strategies to require the installation of fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes.

Before dinner, attendees got a chance to meet each other at a reception. 

Orangio Shannon Balser
Mario Orangio of Massachusetts, NFPA President Jim Shannon, and Massachusetts State Representative Ruth Balser.

Bells Todd
Dawn Bellis and Rusty Todd from Kentucky. 

Honold LaFlam Rogers
NFPA Northwest Regional Manager Gary Honold, Jeff LaFlam and Greg Rogers of Washington.

Hoffman Behlings Broderick
John Hoffman of New Jersey, Tim Behlings of South Dakota, and Rich Broderick of South Dakota

Yates Large Glenn
Jim Yates of New Jersey, James Large of Florida, and Jack Glenn of Florida.

Paulk Martin Safer Bella
Ed Paulk of Alabama, AJ Martin of Alabama, NFPA Southern Regional Manager Randy Safer, and VJ Bella of Louisiana.

Bizal Vanwaller
NFPA Western Regional Manager Ray Bizal and Casey Vorwaller of Utah.

Cleveland Tinucci
Gregg Cleveland of Wisconsin and Bob Tinucci of Illinois.

Figueroa Kirkpatrick
NFPA’s Maria Figueroa and Bill Kirkpatrick of California.

Lia Tinucci Shannon Michehl
Tom Lia and Bob Tinucci of Illinois, NFPA President Jim Shannon, and George Michehl of Illinois.

Veilleux McCarthy Stemmer
Marc Veilleux and Rich McCarthy of Maine, and Luke Stemmer of Minnesota.

K.Willette Board
On April 11 and 12, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held technical briefing discussions on lithium-ion batteries in transportation. Ken Willette was on the panel of experts on April 12; he gave a short presentation and answered questions along with his fellow panelists. NFPA was invited to participate because of its ongoing work in preparing responders to safely manage incidents involving lithium ion batteries and the role its National Electrical Code plays in promoting safety for battery charging stations.

The forum was meant to assist the safety board prepare for a hearing regarding the battery problems aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on April 23 and 24.

You can watch the forums, along with other events, at NTSB’swebsite

!|src=|alt=Metro Fire Chiefs Executive Board|style=width: 550px;|title=Metro Fire Chiefs Executive Board|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c38a07ee6970b!

Metro Fire Chiefs Executive Board at the Phoenix Biltmore Hotel


The 2013 annual Metropolitan (Metro) Fire Chiefs
Association conference took place in Phoenix, Arizona, April 5-11. About 110
Metro chiefs from Canada, China, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United
States attended. They elected new officers and board members, along with bestowing
the 2013 Metro Awards.

The conference’s educational program included an
update on the national drug shortage, an overview of the National Fallen Fire
Fighters behavioral health and vulnerability study, a presentation on social
media, as well as progress reports from the First Responder Network Authority
Board (FirstNet), Underwriters Laboratories, among others.

The 2014 Metro conference will be in Baltimore,
Maryland, May 31-June 5 at the Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards.

the press release
for more information and a full list of appointees and


The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®, is being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the May 24, 2013 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.

On January 26, 2007, Jim and Linda Daughetee experienced a parent’s worst nightmare when their only son Shane, a 24-year-old volunteer fire fighter, died at a home structure fire after falling through the floor which was supported by engineered wooden I-beams.

Without warning, the floor collapsed sending him into the basement. Crews attempted to rescue him from the fully involved basement, but a subsequent collapse of the main floor ceased further rescue efforts.

“Shane’s passion for firefighting and helping others still lives on. His death has shown that we must push to see that homes are built to protect the lives of residents and firefighters. We will continue to educate others for the need of home sprinklers,” said his father Jim Daughetee.

Lieutenant Eliott Mahaffey was within an arm’s distance of Shane providing back-up while he knelt in the doorway. Mahaffey suffered burns attempting to rescue his fellow firefighter. “There’s no telling how much more good he could have done in this world had we only been able to get him out in time,” said Mahaffey.

A major new study released today by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), concludes that firefighting crews of five or six members—instead of three or four—are significantly faster in putting out fires and completing search-and-rescue operations when responding to fires in high-rise buildings.



Read the full post on our Fire Service Today blog.</p>

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

In this issue:

  • Comments sought on proposed TIA to NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®
  • Errata issued on NFPA 70 Report on Comments and NFPA 1962
  • TIAs issued on NFPA 58, 59A, NFPA 1917, NFPA 1971, and NFPA 2112 
  • Comments sought on proposed new standard for the application of hybrid, gas, and fine water droplet systems
  • NFPA 32 seeking additional expertise in the Textile and Garment Care Processes Industry
  • Standards Forum and Committee Leadership Conference at 2013 NFPA Conference & Expo
  • Standards Council minutes available from March 2013 meeting
  • Free access to NFPA codes and standards
  • Committees soliciting Public Input (formerly Proposals)
  • Committees seeking members
  • Committee meetings 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 code and standards making process.

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

The April 2013 issue of NFPA's public education newsletter, Safety Source, is now available. This issue  features our new parent tip sheet for children playing with fire, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm urges others to learn from her grilling accident, a free printable: 10 Ways to have fun this Spring (which includes some great fire-safety ideas to get kids involved), and an overview on NFPA's review on fire safety messaging for preschool-age children.



Read more, get the issue.</p>

You know it&#39;s getting close to show time when we make all the NFPA Conference &amp; Expo educational session descriptions and details available in PDF format - a precursor to the on site show guide. You can now download the 37-page PDF. It lists all the session descriptions and organizes the sessions under each of 12 conference tracks. Use the track listings as an index (page 30) or dive right in beginning with Sunday.


[Read the full post on our Conference & Expo blog. |]


Records of inspections and other maitnenace work tell the story of a fire door.  Just as important as conducting the inspections on any equipment is maintaining the proper records to document the details of the inspection itself.  Without proper doucmentation and maintenance of that documentation, valuable safety information about the fire door could be lost.

Requirements and details for retaining records of fire door inspections were added to the 2013 edition of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.  Documenting the annual inspection of fire doors has been a requirement since 2007 when the annual inspection provision was introduced to the standard.  However, not much guidance was offered on the types of documentation that was acceptable or how long it should be retained in the building.

The new language for 2013 addresses retention time, the record medium that is accepted (paper or elecrtonic records are permitted) as well as the information that should be collected in the documentation.  Records of all inspections, testing, and repairs and maintenance issues should be documented. At a minimum, the following information should be provided in the inspection record:

(1) Date of inspection

(2) Name of facility

(3) Address of facility

(4) Name of person(s) performing inspections and testing

(5) Company name and address of inspecting company

(6) Signature of inspector of record

(7) Individual record of each inspected and tested fire door assembly

(8) Opening identifier and location of each inspected and tested fire door assembly

(9) Type and description of each inspected and tested fire door assembly

(10)*Verification of visual inspection and functional operation

(11) Listing of deficiencies in accordance with 5.2.3, Section 5.3, and Section 5.4

I was reminded of my previous career in television news recently when I was asked to go on camera to record NFPA safety information videos. Back when I was a reporter at the CBS station in Champaign, Illinois, I appeared on camera trudging through dry corn fields in 90 degree&#0160;weather as I talked about the latest drought, or you’d find me sticking a ruler in the snow to tell viewers how significant the snowfall was, or I’d report live in front of the wreckage of a home that was flattened by a tornado that cut a swath through the neighborhood.



Read Lisa Braxon's complete blog and see her new videos.</p>

Spring is almost here and time to get out and start doing some yard work. As I stand in front of all of the different types of mulch at my local home repair store, I can’t decide which one to use. Which one will be the safest? Which one will last the longest? Which one will look the best the longest? Which one will be the safest? I know, I already mentioned that one but being a firefighter by trade, these things cross my mind -- a lot!



Read more on our Fire Break blog.</p>

In 2010, the Foundation conducted a high hazard warehouse concept design challenge, where six leading engineering firms presented innovative concepts for protection of a high bay warehouse with a challenging commodity.  The result was the generation of new ideas to address this challenge.  Since then, the Foundation has continued to address this issue with a number of research projects focused on new commodities, configurations, and protection schemes.  However, several research challenges remain unaddressed.

To begin to address these research challenges, the Foundation held a Research Charrette on Wednesday afternoon, February 27th, 2013 in Orlando Florida, in conjunction with SupDet 2013.  The goal of the Charrette was to use the collective knowledge and experience of the fire protection leaders participating to take the first steps towards addressing each of the following challenges:

  • What do we need to know to determine equivalencies between water mist and sprinkler protection for selected suppression scenarios?
  • How do we measure the impact of high clearance of sprinklers over industrial (factory) operations?
  • What more do we need to know to apply the NFPA 13 obstruction rules for ESFR sprinklers?
  • What are the validation priorities for new research underway on sprinkler protection installed on sloped ceilings over storage?

The proceedings from the Charrette are now available here.

3211NFPA 32, Standard for Drycleaning Plants, prescribes safeguards intended to prevent fires and explosions involving drycleaning processes and to minimize the personal injury and property damage consequences of such incidents. The NFPA Technical Committee on Textile and Garment Care Processes is considering a full rewrite of the existing NFPA 32 in order to bring the standard up to date with current industry practices and to make the document more user friendly. Revisions will reflect current technology and may include provisions for ensuring the integrity of the solvents and materials used in the drycleaning process. Other modifications being considered include an enhanced chapter on work practices.

NFPA is seeking public input on the next revision of NFPA 32 and is also seeking new committee members. To view the current edition of NFPA 32 online, go to the document’s information page at  You will be asked to sign-in or create a free online account before viewing the document.  Once on the page, the Next edition tab contains the link to submit public input. If you feel there are revisions or clarifications that should be made to the document, go directly to the section of the document, make the suggested changes, and provide a reason for this recommended change. NFPA is accepting public input until the January 3, 2014 deadline for the next revision of this document. The Technical Committee will then consider all public input received at their First Draft meeting.

If  interested in applying to the Technical Committee, go to the Technical Committee tab to submit a committee application online. Also, you may request to join a task group or attend a committee meeting. If you are interested in joining a task group, participating in a meeting, or have any other questions on the upcoming revision of NFPA 32, please contact Nancy Pearce at:

Little InfernoDespite its T (for "Teen") rating and warnings on the dangers of fire, a video game is raising eyebrows among the fire safety community based on the premise of having its young characters chuck objects into flames.

The game, titled "Little Inferno," instructs its players to burn an array of items in exchange for coins. "From where we sit, we see the other side of fire, which are the unfortunate incidents involving young children," says Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of Communications. "We see the statistics of children playing with fire and associated losses."

Read more about the game--and a response from the game's developers--in the latest edition of NFPA Journal.

Certification is an important credential that can help you demonstrate your knowledge and competence. NFPA offers four different professional certification programs including: Certified Fire Protection SpecialistCertified Fire Plan Examiner I, Certified Fire Inspector I, and Certified Fire Inspector II

Having obtained a certification, professionals can leverage this achievement to attain different goals. Recently, we profiled the responsibilities of a fire marshal who’s earned his CFPS. Today, we feature a senior fire protection engineer/code consultant who shares his current responsibilities having earned his CFPS 9 years ago.

200x200.ButtsName: Chris Butts, PE, SET, CFPS

Title: Senior Fire Protection Engineer/Code Consultant

Organization: O'Brien & Gere Engineers - Federal Business Unit  

Location: Summerville, South Carolina

Industry: Fire Protection Engineering

Where and when did you take your last NFPA certification class? Chris took the CFPS exam in Orlando, Florida in 2004. He lived in the area at the time so it was a convenient location for him.

How has NFPA certification changed your career? His current responsibilities focus on fire protection design, code consulting, project management, and business development.

“The CFPS Certification is a credential that signifies credibility in fire protection because it is based on the broad knowledge base contained in NFPA's Fire Protection Handbook."

"Clients, AHJ and employers view the CFPS credential as assurance of qualification.”

Chris was elected to the CFPS Board of Directors in June 2011 and currently serves as the Chairman of the Marketing & Communications Committee.

Have you earned certification or are you in the midst of training? Share your challenges, issues, and achievements by responding to these brief questions. We can't wait to hear from you!

Separation distances are specified in many NFPA codes and standards and have been developed over a number of years with varying technical basis. The Fire Protection Research Foundation has initiated a project to revisit of the historical basis of selected requirements, and develop information and guidance which may inform a sound technical basis for adjusting these distances. 

We are seeking those with an interest and expertise in this field to serve on the project advisory panel, which will provide input, review and guidance to the project. If you have a background in hazard assessment, code enforcement related to hazardous materials and NFPA 400 or have other expertise to bring to the topic and are interested in serving, please respond to

Separation distances are specified in many NFPA codes and standards and have been
developed over a number of years with varying technical basis. The Foundation
has initiated a project to revisit of the historical basis of selected requirements, and develop information and guidance which may inform a sound technical basis for adjusting these distances. 


We are seeking those with an interest and expertise in this field to serve on the project advisory panel, which will provide input, review and guidance to the project. If you have a background in hazard assessment, code enforcement related to hazardous materials and NFPA 400 or have other expertise to bring to the topic and are interested in serving, please respond to

KFDThe Kingsport Fire Department and the City of Kingsport reached a significant milestone on April 3, 2013 - marking six years without a fire death in the city.   

“We have continued to increase the level of safety throughout the City of Kingsport through the combined efforts of quick responding highly trained firefighters, regular fire inspections and aggressive fire and life safety education programs.”  Public Education Officer Barry Brickey stated.  “Adding new fire stations, engines and personnel have also decreased our response times.”

The KFD will work with a local Boy Scouts group to begin canvassing high fire risk neighborhoods that are part of the recent Smoke Alarm Grant. Many of the residents in these neighborhoods will be receiving Dual Sensor Smoke Alarms and/or Batteries for their homes to help with their fire protection. 

The Kingsport Fire Department serves a population of over 50,000 and responded to 8,038 incidents in 2012 setting a record for call volume.

The Fire Marshal’s office recorded 3,845 inspections in 2012. There were 48,598 adults and children participated in Kingsport Fire Department’s Fire Prevention presentations and activities last year.  The Kingsport Fire Department presents the NFPA’s Learn Not To Burn program in each of the City’s Elementary Schools.  In 2011 KFD began the NFPA’s Remembering When Program with the Kingsport Senior Center teaching fall and fire safety. 

You'll also all remember Barry Brickey's name as he was NFPA's 2011 Voice of Sparky contest winner!

Congratulations to Kingsport for reaching this milestone as well as for all of their efforts in fire safety education. Here's to many more safe years ahead!

For complete statistics on unintentional fire death rates by state, view our interactive map and research report

Sparky FacebookEach week, we have fun with fire safety trivia on Sparky the Fire Dog's Facebook page. We ask a trivia question early in the morning, take guesses all day long, and then post the correct answer by the end of the day - every Tuesday. 

Here's how you can participate! Head over to Sparky's Facebook page and leave your guess to the following trivia question. Then be sure to check back later today to find out if you were right! (Hint: all of the correct answers can be found on our website as well!) Have fun and good luck!

Youth wildfire programMore than 8 million students in grades 6 through 12 live in the wildland/urban interface, yet the majority of them are clueless on what to do during a wildfire if no adult was present.

Responding to this informational need, NFPA initiated a series of "community conversation workshops" that will aid the development of a youth education program on wildfire safety. (A report on the workshops was released earlier this year.)The program is being piloted in Colorado on May 4 at the Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service.

Read the story in NFPA Journal to learn more about what students, teachers, and parents shared with NFPA during the workshops.

The Technical Committee on Confined Space Safe Work

Practices put some “finishing touches” on the preliminary draft of a new confined

spaces guide at a meeting in Charlotte NC last week.&#0160;&#0160; This best practices guide, written for all

types of confined space entries, will complement other confined space

regulations and standards and will provide more prescriptive guidance to

address some of the gaps in existing confined space documents. For example, the

guide provides detailed information on the selection and use of atmospheric

monitoring devices and ventilation.&#0160; It

also outlines qualifications and competencies for those involved in confined

space entry and rescue.&#0160;&#0160;


The preliminary draft of the best practices guide will be

submitted to the Standards Council for review at their July meeting.&#0160;&#0160; Once approved, the preliminary draft will be

posted to the document information page<a>.   The public and stakeholders can then submit public
input on line to help the committee determine what additions, changes and
enhancements should be made to the document. 
You can sign up for “email alerts” located above the tabs on the
document information page to be notified when the draft has been posted.

The work of the committee is far from over!   This has been a tremendous undertaking for a
relatively short period of time.  The
Committee is asking the public, stakeholders and potential users of the
document to assist them in completing their work by providing input to make this
a document that can really improve confined space entry safety.   The Committee will carefully consider all
public inputs when they gather again for the official First Draft meeting in

We look forward to

hearing from you as this project moves forward.&#0160;

If you have questions please contact me at .

When I think of Chicago it always reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Ferris Bueller's Day Off Being involved in education and training, I've always enjoyed the scene in which Ben Stein teaches a high school class about supply-side economics.


This shows how pairing a monotonous teacher with a dry subject can make for a truly mind-numbing experience. Fortunately, the pre-conference and post-conference seminars being offered in Chicago at the NFPA C&E are not being taught by Ben Stein. Our seminars are taught by NFPA code experts whose passion for their subjects is evident in their delivery.

Read the full post by Erik Holden on our Conference & Expo blog.

!|src=|alt=Sparky and Toronto Blue Jays|style=width: 450px;|title=Sparky and Toronto Blue Jays|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eea02d50c970d!
[Sparky the Fire Dog |]® was on hand for a recent photo shoot with the Toronto Blue Jays. Sparky and Blue Jays catcher, J.P. Arencibia, will be spreading fire safety messages throughout the 2013 season. The campaign will be launched on May 28 when the Blue Jays take on the Atlanta Braves in Toronto. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting campaign. Sparky is pictured with J.P. and NFPA public education advisor, Art Pullan, who is organizing this campaign.

Monday, April 1st, the Occupactional Safety and Health Administration published Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust. The primary purpose of this document is to outline safe procedures for emergency responders who may be face fires in facilities with combustible dust. The document describes how combustible dust explosions occur and uses previous incidents to illustrate how firefighting operations can prevent combustible dust explosions. The document explains the preparations emergency responders can make before a response and how these preparations will affect the operational plan during a response.

For more information on OSHA visit and OSHA's Combustible Dust web page.

This is great timing for this question!  The 2016 edition of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, along with its partner, NFPA 105, Standard for the Installation of Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives, are now open for public input.  Anyone wishing to propose a change to either NFPA 80 or NFPA 105 (NFPA's Technical Committee on Fire Doors and Windows is responsible for both standards) may do so online by visiting the "Next Edition" tab of the Document Information Pages of either document:

All public input must be received by July 8, 2013 to be considered in the development of the 2016 editions. 

In addition, the 2016 editions of NFPA 80 and NFPA 105 will operate under NFPA's new codes and standards development process.  NFPA has launched a comprehensive set of revisions to  its current Regulations Governing Committee Projects.  These new regulations,  which include changes to some familiar terms and adds some new terms,  will be in effect for standards reporting in the Fall 2013 Revision  Cycle and all subsequent revision cycles. NFPA's intent is to take  advantage of web-based technology and to make its standards development  process more convenient, efficient, and easy for participants to use.

Participation in the codes and standards development process is highly encouraged.  If you see parts of the documents that should be changed, or see something missing from them, I highly recommend submitting your change to be reviewed by the Technical Committee.  These proposed changes are what make our documents better each cycle!

Home firesWhether it's flammable furniture or sustainable construction, today's homes present a series of fire safety challenges that warrant a closer examination. Last year, Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation attended an event sponsored by the U.S. Fire Administration that explored responses to these potential threats.

In her latest NFPA Journal column, Almand discusses how she and other researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Underwriters Laboratories, and other organizations outlined the dangers the fire service may face when responding to today's home fires. Another task was to develop an action plan that could guide future research on this issue.

"Much of the Foundation's research program already focuses on how new technology affects fire hazards and changes to NFPA codes and standards," says Almand. "Perhaps this new initiative will accelerate implementation of that work into the home fire safety arena."

Read the entire column in March/April edition of NFPA Journal.

 Looking_back_600In the spring of 1865, after spending months in the notorious Confederate prison camps of Andersonville and Cahaba, all the freed Union soldiers wanted to do was to go home. That April, they finally got their chance. They boarded the Mississippi River steamship SS Sultana at Vicksburg, Mississippi, eager to see their families again, some for the first time in years. 

Most never made it home. To find out why an estimated 1,700 people died in the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history, read "Death on the River" in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal.

People with disabilitiesMore than 32,000 residents were evacuated during last year's Waldo Canyon Fire, the costliest wildfire in Colorado history. Following the incident, local organizations supporting people with disabilities surveyed this population on accessibility barriers they experienced during the evacuation. (See the results here, under "advocacy.")

Barriers related to effective communication strategies, transporation, and shelter access were noted, as were solutions to these problems, including the possibility of increasing collaboration between government agencies and local health care resources.

In her latest NFPA Journal column, Molly Mowery, NFPA's program manager for Fire Adapted Communities and International Outreach, takes this information a step further. "This information focused on the wildfire itself, but shouldn't we also apply these findings to long-term pre- and post-disaster planning?" she questions.

Mowery also provides a handful of suggestions for emergency preparedness plans that account for all segments of a city's population. Read her thoughts in the March/April edition of NFPA Journal. 


[ |]According to an Associated Press report in USA TODAY, eight people have been charged in connection with the deadly nightclub fire in southern Brazil that killed 241 people on January 27.

That fire ripped through the crowded Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, filling the air with flames and thick, toxic smoke. Officials say that the band performing at the club lit a flare that ignited flammable soundproofing foam on the ceiling, releasing a deadly combination of cyanide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, an event eerily similar to the Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island in 2003 that killed 100 people.

"Since the Station fire, similar events have occurred all over the world," says NFPA President Jim Shannon. "In 2009, an indoor pyrotechnics display started a fire in a nightclub in Bangkok, Thailand, that killed more than 60 people and injured scores. That same year, more than 150 died when pyrotechnics sparked a fire in a club in Perm, Russia. In 2004, a patron shot a flare in the Cromagnon nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing almost 200. The same questions were asked after each event: How could this happen? How can we make sure it never happens again?"

[See a list of the 10 deadliest nightclub fires in the world |].


In the latest issue of +NFPA Journal+, Mr. Shannon explains how technology is making it easier for NFPA to reach people in every corner of the world -- and how events like the Kiss nightclub tragedy make us all work even harder to prevent simliar tragedies.


These codes and standards and many others will be reviewed at this year&#39;s Association Technical Meeting &#0160;during the NFPA Conference &amp; Expo in Chicago this June.


NFPA Conference &amp; Expo offers classes that will address proposed changes in the 2014 editions of NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® , NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems&#0160;and NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations .

Education sessions in Chicago will include:

Tuesday, June 11

T14. 2014 NEC Changes

T28. NFPA 25, 2014 Edition: What Is New and Different?

T64. Changes to the 2014 Edition of the Standard on Commercial Cooking (NFPA 96)

Friday, June 14 after the Association Technical Meeting

1-Day Seminar: Proposed Revisions to the 2014 NEC®

Half-Day Seminar: Changes to NFPA 25 Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems (2014 Edition) !|src=|alt=Voting at Association Technical Meeting|style=width: 450px;|title=Voting at Association Technical Meeting|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c384d94cb970b!


Plus, there are a number of&#0160;classes that&#0160;discuss the significant changes in the 2013 editions of NFPA 13, 13R, 13D, NFPA 72® and NFPA 654. Check out the seminar details and session descriptions&#0160;now and start planning your week in Chicago. These are a few classes to get you started:


&#0160;NFPA 13

    1. 3-Day Seminar: NFPA 13 Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2013)

    2. M17. Protection for Storage Occupancies 101 (NFPA 13, 2013 Edition)

    3. M46. NFPA 13 Sprinkler Omission Rules Explained

    4. T36. Residential Sprinkler Update (NFPA 13/13R/13D)


NFPA 72®

    1. 3-Day Seminar: NFPA 72® National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (2013)

    2. 2-Day Seminar: Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Fire Alarms Certificate (2013 NFPA 72®)

    3. T18. 2013 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code — Changes

    4. T69. Fire Alarm System Documentation Requirements - Understanding the New Chapter 7

    5. W40. Notification Appliance Requirements of NFPA 72, 2013 Edition 


NFPA 654

    1. 2-Day Seminar: NFPA 654 Dust Explosion Hazards (2013)


If you have not yet registered for this year&#39;s Conference &amp; Expo , do so now!

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA thanks Tyco Fire Protection Products for sponsoring the 2013 Conference & Expo

Jobs you want to make a difference? We have an ideal opportunity for a Compensation/HR Analyst to work in our Quincy, MA headquarters! The ideal candidate would have a strong background in data analysis, reporting, development of plans and programs that link to business objectives and in driving performance and results. They would also be accurate, organized, and detail oriented, with the ability to function in a fast paced environment .

For job requirements and responsibilities, and to apply for this position, please visit our careers website

FireSprinklerInitiativeIn the late 1970s, about 6,000 people died in home fires each year, says  Lorraine Carli in her column "Getting There" in the most recent issue of NFPA Journal. Today, that number had drooped to around 2,600. That's quite a milestone, but there is more to be done.

One way NFPA is trying to reduce that number even further is by promoting sprinkler installation in all new one- and two-family homes through the “Fire Sprinkler Initiative: Bringing Safety Home” project, launched in 2009, and the Faces of Fire inititative, launched in 2010. For more information on these two important endeavors, read Lorraine's column on line or on page 36 of the March/April issue of NFPA Journal.

Emergency powerLosing power can cripple a building heavily reliant on its use, which is why adhering to emergency power protocols is crucial. 

NFPA electrical code specialist Jeffrey Sargent outlines the NFPA code provisions overseeing emergency power sources (EPS) in the latest NFPA Journal. Using NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, in conjunction with NFPA 110, Emergency and Standby Power Systems, will ensure that operations run as smoothly as possible during a natural or manmade disaster. For example, the NEC lists emergency power supply options (generator sets and storage batteries, to name a few) while NFPA 110 provides sizing and performance requirements for the emergency system.  

Read Jeff's column for more details.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: