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Tonight NFPA mourns the loss of four firefighters in Texas. According to news stories four Houston firefighters  died and six others were injured fighting a five alarm fire at the Southwest Inn this afternoon. Reports say that more than 100 firefighters were on the scene of the blaze which began in the kitchen of the hotel and restaurant.


NFPA's most recent firefighter fatality report showed that In 2011, a total of 61 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the U.S. This is another sharp drop from the 73 on-duty deaths in 2010 and 82 in 2009, and the lowest annual total since NFPA began conducting this annual study in 1977. The largest share of deaths occurred while firefighters were operating on the fire ground (30 deaths).

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 3,700
structure fires per year at hotel or motel properties between 2006 and
2010. These fires caused average annual losses of 12 civilian deaths,
143 civilian injuries, and $127 million in direct property damage each
year. Nearly half (45%) of these fires involved cooking equipment, 10%
were caused by smoking materials, 9% were caused by heating equipment,
and clothes dryers or washers were also involved in 9% of these fires.

NFPA resources:

*Deadliest fires in the U.S. with 5 or more firefighter deaths at the fire grounds (1977-2012)*

Deadliest incidents in the U.S. resulting in the deaths of 8 or more firefighters

NFPA report: [Firefighter Fatalities in the United States |] (2011)

NFPA report: U.S. Hotel and Motel Structure Fires (2012)</li> </ul>

Hazardous areasWhat constitutes a "hazardous" area?

Many people have their theories, some of which are inaccurate, says Chip Carson in the latest issue NFPA Journal. The best resource for defining hazardous areas and proper protection procedures, he says, is  NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®.

"It seems that some people are content to go with what they think they know rather than looking it up in the code," says Carson. "That's why janitor closets, electrical closets, and fan rooms can sometimes be perceived as hazardous areas, when in fact none of them are."

Carson outlines relevant chapters in the Life Safety Code pertaining to this issue. Read all of the details in his latest column found in the May/June issue of Journal.

Even if you can't be in Chicago for the NFPA Conference & Expo in June, you can still check out our General Session. It's as easy as visiting this blog on Monday, June 10 at 1:00 pm (CST) for our free online broadcast. Watch this event "live", as it happens, at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

Add this event to your Outlook calendar.

General Session

The General Session will open with remarks by NFPA Chair Philip C. Stittleburg and President Jim Shannon. Several awards will be presented to honor special achievement, including the NFPA Life Safety Educator of the Year, the Industrial Fire Protection Section's "Fire Prevention Week" Award, the Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal, and the Standards Medal, the highest award given by the Standards Council.

DorisKearnsGoodwinThis year's Keynote Address will be presented by historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin. Ms. Kearns Goodwin, who wrote the best-selling book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln", will share lessons in leadership, building and maintaining teams in the midst of trying circumstances and overcoming obstacles on the path towards your goal.

"Team of Rivals" was the basis of the 2012 feature film "Lincoln" (for which Daniel Day-Lewis won the Academy Award for "Best Actor"). Please join us online or better yet, in Chicago, for a General Session that sure to offer inspiration and historical insights.

There's no special registration required for watching our live broadcast of the NFPA General Session on Monday, June 10. Just come back to this blog at 1:00 pm (CST).

Add this event to your Outlook calendar.

William Fries
Renovations were already under way at the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the building on September 11, killing 184 people.

"After 9/11, we took a step back and said, 'What lessons were learned?'" William Fries, the Pentagon's fire marshal tells NFPA Journal in the latest issue. "We had a major fuel fire in the building, something you typically wouldn't find in an office structure. We found that it may be a reasonable scenario that we had to consider."

This year's featured presentation at NFPA's Conference & Expo in Chicago, Fries discussed with Journal how improvements totalling $4.5 billion at the world's largest office building was guided by a number of NFPA's codes and standards, including NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, and NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense headquarters (did you know it includes a hair salon and 43 eateries?) in the May/June issue of Journal.

The Consolidated Report of the Motions Committee for Annual 2013 documents addresses the certified amending motions for consideration at the Association Technical Meeting in Chicago, IL on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, starting at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, June 13, 2013, starting at 8:00 a.m.


This Consolidated Report consists of the three previous Motions Committee Reports related to the Annual 2013 Association Meeting (NEC Report, Annual 2013 Report for non-NEC documents, and the Report for the Fall 2012 revision cycle documents). This Report also identifies a list of NITMAMs not certified.

[See the order of documents to be presented at the Association Technical Meeting |].



A Request for Proposals has been issued for the Separation Distances in NFPA Codes and Standards research project.  Proposals should be submitted to Kathleen Almand by June 14, 2013 , 5 pm EDT.

The goal of the project is to provide guidance to NFPA technical committees on methodologies to develop technically based separation/clearance distances for hazardous storage/processes. The focus of this study will be those storage and processes within the scope of NFPA 400 – Hazardous Materials Code.

Fore more information on the project or how to submit your proposal, please reveiw the project details on the website.


Research_240The Fire Protection Research Foundation is increasingly faced with problems that require an out-of-the-box approach to research that can creatively challenge some of the fundamental assumptions behind our codes and standards, says Kathleen Almand in "Beyond Tried & True" in the most recent issue of NFPA Journal. This is an evolution of our approach to research and a new and exciting model that will help emerging technologies find their place in NFPA standards.

Firewatch_600x300A fire in a single-family home filled with items piled 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1 meter) high took the lives of a 78-year-old woman and her 81-year-old husband. Responding firefighters immediately tried to drag hose lines into position for a rescue, but the lines became hung up on items stored outside the house, delaying the rescue attempt. Once inside, firefighters’ movements were hampered by hoarding condition, which also prevented the couple from escaping. For more information on this and other fires, read "Firewatch" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. 

Shannon(2)While much has changed since the publication in 1973 of America Burning, there remain problems that
have resisted solutions, says NFPA President Jim Shannon in his editorial in the most recent issue of NFPA Journal. One is the apparent indifference of those in the United States to the costs of fire. And while it is not NFPA's job to try to move fire prevention to the top of the public’s list of concerns, it is our job is to make people aware of fire's costs and who work to reduce its tragic effects. Our efforts may take years to achieve, but NFPA is in it for the long haul.

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!

Today's question relates to the official kickoff of summer yesterday:

Firefighter studyThe National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released findings from a study pinpointing how firefighter crew sizes impact operations and safety in high-rise settings. Highlighted in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, the results shed light on a topic that has gained significant attention following budget cuts, staff shortages, and fire department closures.

The study's aim is to help guide future provisions in NFPA 1710, Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments.

“NFPA 1710 technical committee members have been  limited to anecdotal info [on high-rise fires] in the past,” says NFPA  regional director Russ Sanders, a technical expert for the NIST study. “I  can’t overemphasize how important it is that this scientific  information is now available to the committee, which will closely  review, consider, and implement these lessons learned into this  standard."

Check out this story and others from the In A Flash section of the May/June issue of Journal. K. Varney is a Regional Manager for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty in Chicago, Illinois. 

Tom works in the Risk Consulting area of a major global insurance carrier.  His responsibilities include overall management of 50+ primarily engineers working in the Americas (specifically Canada, U.S., Mexico and Brazil).  Part of his job is to make sure that all the engineers keep their skills as up-to-date as possible within the discipline they primarily work in.  His Loss Control expertise includes property, energy, ocean and inland marine, engineering (builder risk), aviation and liability. 

When and where did you take your last NFPA certification class or exam?

Tom took the Automatic Sprinkler and Alarm Plan Review in October 2008 in Hartford, Connecticut because that was where he lived at the time and it was a convenient location for him.

How has your NFPA certification changed or opened new doors for your career?

The CFPS designation has provided me with an opportunity to better gauge the abilities of engineers I work with in the U.S. and outside the U.S.  It has also provided an opportunity to provide an avenue for fire protection certification that requires ongoing maintenance to retain skill levels in various ways.”

“I also believe this type of certification based on the NFPA Handbook is an excellent option for engineers outside the U.S.”

Thomas Varney was elected to the CFPS Board of Directors in June 2010 and currently serves as the Director on 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!

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 54 and NFPA 58 are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the July 19, 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.

GrillGrilling is one of the many hallmarks of summer, and there are few activities more enjoyable than gathering with friends and family to collectively soak in the sunshine over burgers (veggie or otherwise). However, as June and July are popular months for grilling, they are also the peak months for grilling fires. Grilling was involved in over 8,000 fires between 2006 and 2010, with the majority of these caused by gas grills, according to a 2012 NFPA report on cooking fires.

In anticipation of Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, NFPA is reminding grillers to be safe.

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings      and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the      grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

For more tips, check out
EMS week is a good time to recognize that almost half (45%) of fire departments in the United States provide EMS service and that two-thirds of fire department responses were medical aid calls.

As reported in NFPA’s Fire Loss in the U.S. during 2011, fire departments responded to 19,803,000 medical aid calls involving emergency medical services (EMS), medical assistance, and non-fire rescue these incidents accounted for 66% of fire department responses in 2011, up from 47% in 1980.

The U.S. Fire Department Profile report shows that in 2009-2011, the majority of U.S. fire departments provided at least some EMS services. Forty-four percent of the departments provided EMS only and 15% provided advanced life support (ALS) in addition. The percentage of departments providing any EMS, and more specifically both EMS and ALS, increased with the size of the population protected.

Ruth B. Balser is the State Representative for the 12th Middlesex District, Massachusetts. Now serving her eighth term, she continues to be an independent progressive voice, fighting for the values and priorities of her community. After a nine-year battle to require sprinklers in commercial properties ("It is really one of my proudest accomplishments," she says. "I feel I had a role in saving lives and there is nothing more important that anyone can do."), Rep. Balser is now an active advocate for the expansion of fire sprinkler requirements, including the efforts to extend requirements in the home.

At NFPA's "Bringing Safety Home" fire sprinkler summit in Chicago last month, Rep. Balser explained how she got involved with the issue of fire sprinkler protection.


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

  • Recommendations for landscaping, including which mulch is the safest to use in high-risk wildfire areas
  • An updated Firewise Communicators Resource Guide with tips and templates you can use for community meetings and media interviews
  • The 2012 Firewise Communities/USA Annual Report
  • An introduction to the newest Firewise regional advisor, Patti Maguire
  • A recap of the May 17 Day of Service pilot project in Colorado

… 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.

NFPA conferenceThe team at NFPA Journal recently combed through the list of more than 150 education sessions occurring at NFPA's Conference & Expo in Chicago. Wittling down a selection this sizable is never an easy task, especially since the topics seem to be as intriguing as in years past.

Always up to the challenge, we've compiled our favorites into a Journal feature. Curious about an NFPA guide getting play in courtrooms across the U.S.? Want the latest information on the intended adoption of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services? Interested in discovering how NFPA is safeguarding Hollywood?   

Read our slightly subjective roundup in the May/June issue of Journal, and don't forget to check out the entire list of education sessions taking place in June. 



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This is the fourth in a series of posts about the 40th

anniversary of America Burning and the related article, +“+Work in Progress” in this month’s +NFPA Journal++. +The report stresses prevention, with a call for more fire department emphasis on fire prevention, fire safety education, and inspections. They also called for built-in fire safety measures which can detect and suppress a fire before it grows large enough to cause a major disaster.” In 1977, only 22% of US homes had at least one smoke alarm. That’s up to 96% today. NFPA &#0160;coordinates the Fire Sprinkler Initiative to increase the use of home fire sprinklers.


The Commission also advocated programs on fire safety in the media for teachers and for specific occupancies. They advised that the proposed USFA “assist, augment and evaluate existing public and private fire safety education efforts.” Today, USFA and NFPA &#0160;both have a wide variety of safety materials on their websites.


NFPA is now seeking public input for a proposed new document, NFPA 1730: Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public . </p>

What’s happening with fire prevention in your community? What else should the fire safety community be doing to prevent fires and fire losses?

Code_process_600x386Rest in peace, ROPs and ROCs. Your day is over.In fact, NFPA’s entire standards-development process has been re-engineered to not only take advantage of online technology, but also to make it easier for the public to participate in the process. It will make life a little easier for those who use the codes and standards in their daily activities, too. And to safeguard the integrity of the documents while allowing the easiest possible access, NFPA is addressing important intellectual property and copyright issues related to its codes and standards, as well. For more information on these changes, read my article "Code  Process 2.0" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. 

NFPA members only! Register today for the next NFPA Insider presentation being held on May 23 at 2pm (EST). 

NFPA President Jim Shannon will give his first word as always. In this episode's 'Up to Code' segment, Carolyn Cronin from NFPA Codes and Standards Administration discusses the latest codes and standards information and activities. In the NFPA Journal Live piece, NFPA Principal Fire Protection Engineer Matt Klaus discusses key changes to the 2014 edition of NFPA 25. And, lots more! Here's a preview:


NFPA INSIDER is a live, bi-monthly online session that features expanded news and content from the latest issue of NFPA Journal® and other NFPA sources. Not an NFPA member? Join today.


!|border=0|src=|alt=Sparky Facebook|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Sparky Facebook|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eea1bdb9a970d!Each week, we have fun with fire safety trivia on&#0160;[Sparky the Fire Dog&#39;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.&#0160;

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!



Water-based fire protection systems may have an excellent performance record, but regular wear and tear can decrease the reliability of these systems. Provisions addressing this concern are found within NFPA 25,  +Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. +The 2014 edition of the standard effectively expands on these ITM measures, says Matt Klaus, NFPA&#39;s senior fire protection engineer, in the latest issue of +NFPA Journal.+


For instance, the new edition includes ITM provisions for pump-related inspections; fuel supply testing for diesel-driven fire pumps; and an expansion of the standard&#39;s scope to include water-mist systems. For Klaus&#39; overview on these and other changes to NFPA 25, read his feature story in the May/June issue of +Journal, +and watch the following video:

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This is the third in a series of posts about the 40th

anniversary of +America Burning++ and the related article, "Work in Progress" in this month's +NFPA Journal+." +While the National Commission on Fire Prevention Control was quite clear that fire prevention and suppression were primarily local responsibilities, they wanted the federal

government to play a supportive role with technical and educational assistance, research and data systems, and “providing financial assistance when adequate fire protection lies beyond a community’s means. In recent years, Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFGs) provided local fire departments with funds for training, apparatus, equipment, firefighter health and safety, facility improvements. Staffing for Adequate Fire And Emergency Response (SAFER) grants help fire departments increase their complement of trained firefighters.


These grants have improved fire department readiness, but many needs remain. NFPA conducted three national surveys or needs assessments of local fire departments to compare local resources with NFPA and other requirements. Steady progress has been made, but many fire departments still do not have enough personal protective equipment for all firefighters. And many departments have personnel engaged in activities without formal training. </p>

How have these grants helped your fire department or your community? Listen to Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Service Institute as he shares some insights into the relationship of Congress to the fire service, and of course, funding.&#0160;


Journey with Flat Sparky

Posted by ryan.quinn Employee May 17, 2013

Everyone once in a while, most of us roam beyond the confines of our homes and offices and out into the world. NFPA's mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog is asking you to bring him along with Flat Sparky. These paper cutouts can be colored in, photographed and posted at Sparky's Facebook or Twitter (@Sparky_Fire_Dog), or by tagging NFPA on Pinterest. Bring Sparky with you to show off your favorite restaurants, parks, bookstores, modern art installations or just a great view.


Download, cut out, color in, and wander freely with Sparky by clicking here. Happy travels!

Do you want to make a difference? We have an ideal opportunity for a Compensation/HR Analyst to work out of our Quincy, MA headquarters. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in data analysis, reporting, development of plans and programs that link to business objectives and be able to drive performance and results. He or she must be accurate, organized, and detail oriented, with the ability to function in a fast paced environment. 

Principal responsibilities and requirements for this position can be found on our Careers webpage. If you think you are a fit, please apply today

For a complete list of our current job openings here at NFPA, please take a look at our Careers site

Nfpa704_600x386For years, NFPA 704, Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response, has provided guidance for labeling physical and chemical hazards. The labels, designed to help determine an appropriate response in the event of an emergency, are readily recognized and easily understood. Last year, however, OSHA adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) that, like NFPA 704, provides a standardized approach to classifying and labeling hazardous chemicals. But the GHS guidelines differ from those of NFPA 704. While OSHA allows the NFPA 704 system to remain in workplaces as long as employees understand and can use both systems, concerns have arisen over the possibility for confusion between the two. In his article "Working Together" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, Guy Colonna describes how NFPA and OSHA are working to avert possible problems.


The Report of the Motions Committee for NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®, addresses the certified amending motions for consideration at the Association Technical Meeting in Chicago, IL on Thursday, June 13, 2013. This Report also identifies a list of NITMAMS not certified on NFPA 70.


This Report is the third of three reports addressing motions submitted for consideration at the 2013
Association Technical Meeting, and is specific to the NEC. A Consolidated Final Motions Committee
Report (the Consolidated Report) will be posted shortly on the NFPA website prior to the Association Technical Meeting. 

[See the order of documents to be presented at the Association Technical Meeting |].





Nearly one month after an explosion and fire at a West, TX, fertilizer plant that killed 14 people, LDNews, the webiste of the Lebanon Daily News, is taking a closer look at the event, and in particular, if the town&#39;s volunteer fire crews were fully aware of the dangers they faced during their response efforts.

"When they saw 30-foot flames licking the sky inside a massive fertilizer plant, firefighters in this tiny Texas town rushed to evacuate nearby buildings and raced to spray water on tanks of chemicals, hoping to prevent a catastrophe.

They didn't know, and probably could not imagine, that the plant would soon explode into a deadly fireball and lay waste to much of the community. Instead, they were more concerned with preventing toxic gas from leaking out of the facility and drifting into nearby homes."

The LDNews report references Associated Press interviews with first-responders that suggeset the primary concern was a poisonous cloud of anhydrous ammonia. But the bigger threat, according to the report, was the huge supply of the common fertilzer ammonium nitrate, which can also serve as a cheap alternative to dynamite.

The report says Tommy Muska, Mayor of West, said he did not know how much the firefighters knew about the chemicals on the property. But, the report says, it's unclear whether simply knowing about the ammonium nitrate would have been enough.


&quot;The National Fire Protection Association has codes on handling ammonium nitrate, but it does not advise how to fight such fires because circumstances vary, said Guy Colonna, the division manager of the industrial and chemical engineering group.

Related NFPA codes and standards

NFPA 400,+ Hazardous Material Code: +This document applies to the storage, use, and handling of hazardous materials in all occupancies and facilities, including ammonium nitrate solids and liquids. Free access to NFPA 400 .

NFPA 472,&#0160;+Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents. +This document&#0160;identifies the minimum levels of competence required by responders to emergencies involving hazardous materials/weapons of mass destruction. Free access to NFPA 472 .

NFPA 1620,&#0160;+Pre-Incident Planning. +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. Free access to NFPA 1620 .


Also see

Storage of ammonium nitrate was the subject of a case studyat a 2010 Fire Protection Research Foundaiton symposium.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!New CSB video provides an up-close-and-personal look at damage from the recent Texas plant explosion
!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!News reports fertilizer plant fire in Texas

Fire Protection Engineering graduates from the University of Maryland are rallying around their department to support the Legacy Campaign for a Professor of the Practice, a new initiative to help ensure students stay current on the latest technologies used in the field. According to Fire Protection Engineering Department Chair James Milke, the professor of the practice will bring hands-on field experience to the undergraduate curriculum and will strengthen the school’s ties with industry.

“This department has been recognized for many years for producing outstanding young engineers and more recently for the high quality of research we conduct,” he explains. “The main purpose of the professorship is to preserve the connection of the department to the profession and to the applied side of the field.”

Already, the Department has raised close to $500,000 of its $2.5 million goal. Support has come from alumni and industry.  Andrews Group, LLC, Poole Fire Protection and Tyco have each made $100,000 gifts to the campaign. A naming opportunity for the professorship is still available.

For more information on how you can contribute to the Legacy Campaign for a Professor of the Practice, contact Allison Corbett at 301-405-5841 or

NFPA's electrical experts helped NFPA Journal staff comb through the 3,500 proposals and 1,600 comments submitted for the 2014 edition of NFPA 70 ®, National Electrical Code®. The outcome was a recent Journal article highlighting the top proposed changes to the code that is already generating a healthy buzz. NEC

For instance, the expanded use of arc-fault circuit interruptors, devices designed to detect electrical arcing and de-energize a circuit before a fire occurs, has prompted a healthy debate among safety advocates and the National Association of Home Builders. Safety concerns surrounding green technology has led to proposals to increase the NEC's voltage threshold. Even electrial safeguards at recreational vehicle parks have initiated some serious discussions.

Learn more about these issues in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. And mark your calendar: NEC topics receiving a Notice of Intent to Make a Motion will be discussed at NFPA's Conference & Expo, June 13, in Chicago.

This is the second in a series of posts about the 40th anniversary of America Burning and the related NFPA Journal article. The National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control was frustrated by how little was known about the causes and circumstances of fires. In the very first chapter, the Commission recommended “that a national fire data system be established to provide a continuing review and analysis of the entire fire problem. USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), the source of detailed information in most of NFPA’s statistical analyses, was the result.

The country also needed a better understanding of fire behavior and fire department productivity. This led to NIST’s Center for Fire Research and – “Better firefighting through research.”

We still have data needs. Currently, NFPA is entering the public comment phase for the second draft of the proposed NFPA 950: Standard for Data Development and Exchange for the Fire Service and seeking input or proposals for the proposed NFPA 951: Guide to Building and Utilizing Digital Information.

What kinds of data or information do you use or need about fire? Where or how do you get it? What are the obstacles? How could we get better data? New York Times reports that several apparel companies with a stake in Bangladesh's garment industry have agreed to help pay for fire safety and building improvements following the Rana Plaza factory complex collapse last month that killed more than 1,100 people.

Swedish retailer H&M, PVH (parent company of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Izod), and others endorsed a safety plan this week that would develop factory inspections with public accountability as well as mandatory repairs and renovations. "Fire and building safety are extremely important issues for us, and we put a lot of effort and resources within this area," Helena Helmersson, H&M's head of sustainability told the Times. "With this commitment we can influence even more in this issue." More than four million people work in Bangladesh's 5,000 factories, states the article.

Read the full story, and keep abreast of NFPA's international efforts by checking out the latest issue of NFPA Journal.

The wildfire season is off to a fortuitously slow start; wildfires have burned an estimated 175,000 acres this year in the U.S., the lowest number to date in a decade, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Experts have attributed this low figure to unusually cool weather patterns in the southeastern U.S., where the season's fires tend to form first.

Other areas of the country might not be as fortunate. A recent article in USA Today predicts that the West could get walloped, as "significant fire potential" is expected in nine states. "We've had above average temperatures and below-average precipitation in the West, a combination that doesn't bode well for a good season," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told the newspaper. California could be in particular trouble, since the state has already experienced a substantial increase in fire activity when compared to the average acreage burned for this time of year. 

Molly Mowery, NFPA's program manager for Fire Adapted Communities and International Outreach, tells USA Today that taking preventative measures now could safeguard homes from ruin. NFPA's Firewise Communities Program offers an array of principles that can reduce the risk of wildfire damage.

For more information on these principles, visit the Firewise website.

Willis_tower_600x386The Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower,is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, with 4.5 million square feet (418,063 square meters) of floor space. Roughly 25,000 people pass through the building daily. That’s why building management teams up with the Chicago Fire Department to conduct an annual drill to test and fine-tune emergency-response procedures. NFPA Journal asked Michael Schroeder, director of business continuity and life safety for the company that manages the building, and Anthony VanBuskirk, a retired fire department deputy district chief, to recount their experiences with a recent drill. To see what it takes to make it happen, read the pair's article "Drill Team" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. 

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!

On average, how many highway vehicle fires are reported each hour?


!|src=|alt=Amer burning|style=width: 450px;|title=Amer burning|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019101bc31d7970c!
Since I started working with the fire service in 1986, I have heard one refrain over and over:&#0160;“They talked about that in America Burning+.”&#0160; +On May 4, 1974, the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control transmitted their findings to President Richard Nixon. In my article in ths month's +NFPA Journal+, I looked at the changes resulting from just a few of the 90 recommendations. &#0160;The Commissioners felt that fire protection was primarily a local responsibility, but that local fire departments needed a federal agency that could represent their interests and help ensure that they received the latest and best information on how to do their work more safely and effectively.&#0160; Their recommendations led to the formation of the US Fire Administration (USFA), and within USFA, the National Fire Academy (NFA) .&#0160;You can read reflections about the America Burning Anniversary&#0160;posted by&#0160;USFA Administrator Chief Ernest Mitchell.

What has it meant to the fire service to have the USFA and NFA?  What do you think the Commissioners would recommend for these bodies today? Let’s take advantage of the web tools the Commission did not have to start a national conversation.  NFPA is making some companion videos to start the ball rolling.  Listen to David Lucht, the first Deputy Administrator of the USFA, describe the early years at USFA. 


This is the first of a series of posts related to America Burning.&#0160; Check back for more on this topic.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation has released a report on a study of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The Foundation and its affiliated Property Insurance Research Group (PIRG) requested a study of the flammability of Li-ion batteries in bulk storage to inform the development of sprinkler protection criteria.


Video: Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation provides an overview of the project.

The study was conducted in collaboration with commercial and industrial insurer FM Global and contained two test series conducted at their research facility. The first evaluated the free burn fire growth patterns of three types of common Li-ion batteries stored in cardboard cartons with an external ignition scenario. The second evaluated the performance of sprinklers in protecting analogous commodities. Videos from three fire tests, which were part of the research, can be viewed on YouTube.

It was learned through this project that cartoned Li-ion batteries burn similarly when compared to other cartoned commodities in the early stages of fire growth. This is valuable information in understanding how to protect this commodity in storage facilities. Precluding battery involvement in the fire prior to sprinkler actuation makes us optimistic that water-based suppression systems, similar to those that are typically recommended for a variety of storage scenarios, is a viable option for Li-ion battery storage.

The Foundation’s report, “Li-ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment Phase IIB: Flammability Characterization of Li-ion Batteries for Storage Protection” is a summary of the companion detailed testing report by FM Global.


!|src=|alt=West Texas explosion|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=West Texas explosion|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eeb04fe5f970d!The Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the federal agency charged with investigating industrial accidents, recently released a video underscoring the damage from the ammonium nitrate fertilizer explosion in West, Texas, that killed 14 people and injured about 200 others. Narrated by a CSB investigator, the video illustrates the destruction of schools, residences, a nursing home, playgrounds, and other locations.

"The community damage we saw in West was the worst of any chemical accident in the CSB's history," says CSB Managing Director Daniel Horowitz in the video.


Watch the chilling video on CSB&#39;s Facebook page, and review NFPA&#39;s relevant resources:

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 .</li> </ul> </span> Kearns Goodwin, world-renowned historian and author of the best-selling book Team of Rivals:  The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, will be giving the keynote address at the NFPA Conference & Expo on Monday, June 10.  Team of Rivals was re-released to coincide with Steven Spielberg's new film Lincoln, based in part on the book.  Following the general session, there will be a book signing in the exhibit hall at booth #695 near the grand prize drawing area.  Stop by to meet Doris and bring one of her books to have it signed.  Since many of you are reading e-books these days we will also have complimentary photographs of Doris available for her to autograph. 

On Sunday, June 9th you can spend a full day at Chicago's Quinn Fire Academy! This is truly an experience that you will remember if you aren't a trained firefighter.


!|src=|alt=FFTrainingP1010705|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=FFTrainingP1010705|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eeaef378a970d!I participated in similar training at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy where you receive instruction, put on the HEAVY gear, and participate in actual evolutions. We did search and rescue in darkened buildings, used the breathing apparatus, used different extinguishers, pulled hoses up flights of stairs, went up in the ladders and more! At the end of the day I was tired, exhilarated and had a new appreciation for the fire service!

In Chicago, you'll learn how NFPA Standards are utilized in the design of personal protective equipment, self contained breathing apparatus, fire apparatus, and fire service training. After being briefed on how the Standard applies, you will receive basic safety instructions, don the equipment and participate in several firefighting evolutions, including: 

exterior fire attack

*advancing a hose line </span><span style="color: #111111;">up a staircase*

search and rescue

*fire apparatus overview and use of fire </span><span style="color: #111111;">extinguishers for flammable liquid fires*

This is your opportunity to experience what firefighters face and how NFPA Standards make a dangerous job safer. Past participants have included: fire protection engineers, architects, plan reviewers, building/code enforcement officials, facility owners/managers, fire protection systems designers, life safety consultants/special experts, and project managers.


!|src=|alt=FFTrainingP1010812|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=FFTrainingP1010812|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eeaef3b5a970d!Class size is strictly limited due to hands-on instruction. The day’s activities comprise 6 firefighting skill evolutions and observing live fire demonstrations. You&#39;ll be offered firefighter protective clothing, consisting of fire coat and pants, boots, helmet, protective hood and gloves and it is recommended you wear comfortable work clothing such as jeans and work shirt. You&#39;ll be allowed to participate in the evolutions to your level of comfort and safety and can observe any evolution at any time, as opposed to direct participation. This is a rain or shine event. Departure from McCormick Place at 8:15 am and return at 3:45 pm. Get more registration info.

Inherent in this event is a level of risk and physical exertion. Participants will be required to be properly attired in work clothing, wear firefighter protective gear as offered by the Chicago Fire Department, and sign a waiver holding NFPA harmless from any loss, cost, damage or injury. NFPA may deny participation in appropriate circumstances.


There are still a handful of slots open for Sunday, June 9th. Firefighter for a Day:&#0160; NFPA Standards at Work . Experience it with NFPA Technical Staff and City of Chicago Fire Department Staff at Chicago&#39;s Quinn Fire Academy!&#0160;

- Kate Greene

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

We are just over a month away from NFPA's Annual Conference in Chicago.  An important part of the Foundation mission is communication of our research and the NFPA Conference provides a great venue for this.  There will be twenty sessions highlighting Foundation research including:

  • Flammability Characterization of Lithium Ion Batteries for Storage Protection (M39)
  • A Risk-Based Decision Support Tool to Assist Fire Departments in Managing Unwanted Alarms (T11)
  • Emergency Responder Research to Practice (T02)
  • The Intersection of Fire Safety and Sustainable Building Design (T35)
  • Best Practices for Emergency Response to Incidents involving Electric Vehicle Battery Hazards (T40)
  • Looking Ahead: The Fire Protection Research Foundation’s Strategic Research Agenda (W48)

For a full listing of conference sessions, please visit the education session listing.  We hope to see you there!


Five women were tragically killed Saturday evening in a limousine fire that happened on a bridge above the San Francisco Bay, according to news reports.  The limo passengers were a bride-to-be and her friends out for a bachelorette party to celebrate an upcoming wedding. We have had many people reach out to us today for information on automobile fires. Does this incident leave you wondering about how often automobile fires happen and how many people die because of them?  


NFPA’s Fire Analysis & Research Division tracks vehicle fire statistics and estimates that on average, 17 automobile fires were reported per hour and these fires killed an average of four people every week in 2006-2010.  During the same period, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 152,300 automobile fires per year in 2006-2010. These fires caused an average of 209 civilian deaths, 764 civilian injuries, and $536 million in direct property damage. The top causal factor in automobile fires was “mechanical failure or malfunction” at 45 percent and leading the list for automobile fire deaths was “collision or overturn” at 60 percent.

Do you know what steps you can take to prevent a car fire or what to do if your car is on fire?  Visit to check out our tip sheet and find out.  

Have you experienced a car fire? 

Smoke AlarmFrom 1980 to 2009, the number of fire department emergency responses more than doubled, from 10.8 million to 26.5 million, primarily driven by the more than tripling of medical aid calls, from 5.0 million in 1980 to 17.1 million in 2009. Fire department budgets have not kept pace with this rising volume of workload, and particularly in recent years, there has been increased concern about the cost of unnecessary responses. From 1980 to 2009, the number of emergency responses to fires fell by more than half, from 3.0 million to 1.3 million, and the number of emergency responses for fires or mutual aid fell by about one-fifth, but emergency responses to “false” alarms more than doubled, from 0.9 million to 2.2 million. The unwanted alarm issue changed over the past third of a century from a problem of malicious false alarms to an issue of non-fire activations of automatic detection and alarm systems.

From the point of view of the fire department, a response to a condition that does not need fire department action in order to avoid loss is both a waste of resources and a needless risk of injury during the response. Response to unwanted alarms is an issue that is receiving increasing attention at the community level. 

This project was initiated by the Fire Protection Research Foundation to develop and implement a tool that can be used at the community level to assess risk, sand cost/benefit of strategies to reduce these risks, including appropriate emergency response protocols, enforcement of inspection and maintenance requirements, community education, etc. The goal of this project was to develop a practical, model-based tool that can be used by local fire departments with local data (to the extent possible) when deciding among courses of action to deal with unwanted alarms. The tool uses a generic model, combined with local data when available and national data when necessary, to estimate costs, fire losses and other impacts of strategies. 

Three reports were produced for this project. The first is a literature review, Development of a Risk-Based Decision Support Tool to Assist Fire Departments in Managing Unwanted Alarms, the second, Development of a Risk-Based Decision Support Tool to Assist Fire Departments in Managing Unwanted Alarms, is a report that describes the tool and the underlying model that estimates costs, losses and other impacts for alternative strategies. It includes national data needed for calculating fire losses under alternate strategies. A third report, Development of a Risk-Based Decision Support Tool to Assist Fire Departments in Managing Unwanted Alarms, details a local data form that was also developed to collect data for use in the tool.

If you are interested in exploring the application of this methodology in your community, please contact the Foundation for more information. 


National EMS Weekkicks off on Sunday, May 19. This week honors the men and women who deliver pre-hospital 9-1-1 emergency medical care throughout the United States. The role of pre-hospital care falls to these fire department-based emergency responders, among them those who serve the dual positions of firefighter/EMTs and firefighter/paramedics.

The Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates coalition- Congressional Fire Services Institute, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Fire Protection Association, and National Volunteer Fire Council- recognizes the week as a time to pause and say “thank you” to the entire EMS Community, our nation’s ‘all hazards’ response professionals.


!|src=|alt=Arson Awareness Week logo|style=width: 450px;|title=Arson Awareness Week logo|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01901be13c9a970b!
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) chose “Reducing Residential Arson,”&#0160;as the theme for the 2013 Arson Awareness Week (AAW) which got kicked off yesterday, May 5th. &#0160;

USFA and its partners will use the week of May 5-11 to focus public attention on residential arson and provide communities with tools to reduce the incidence of this crime. The goal for this year’s Arson Awareness Week is to provide all residents with strategies to combat arson in their neighborhoods.


The topic of arson if a very timely and important one. As detailed in a recent Fire Service Today blog post, recent research showed that April of 2013 saw a spike in the number of arson fires.&#0160;

Here are some of the resources and information provided by USFA to help you learn more:

NFPA also has several research reports, stats and even a free presentation,&#0160;“[Preventing Arson Together |]” available as resources on this important subject.&#0160;

As NFPA continues to move forward with implementation of the Standards Development Process, many of the new benefits of online submission process continue to take hold.  When Public Input/Comments are submitted online the proposed changes are integrated in-line on the draft document.  Once the closing date has passed online submissions allow the Committee Members to see all of the proposed changes integrated into one complete document virtually immediately, maximize the amount of time each Committee Member has to review all of the proposed changes and prepare for any upcoming committee meeting.  However, while we want to provide as much extra time as possible to our Committee Members, we also want to consider the needs of those who still want to submit their Public Input/Comments on the “paper forms” via e-mail, fax or mail.  Beginning with the Fall 2014 submittals of Public Comments, we have implemented an earlier closing date for “paper submissions” of Public Input/Comments.  The earlier closing date will allow the necessary time to key and proof any proposed change to ensure the changes are presented for Committee consideration at the same time as the changes submitted online. 

Paper Submission Closing Dates.  The closing date for paper submissions, (this includes forms sent via e-mail, fax or mail), for the Fall 2014 comments will be October 11, 2013 and the closing date for the electronic submission system will be  November 15, 2013.  All revised schedules can be located on the respective document information page or

Please be advised, that it is anticipated that in the future, “paper submissions” will not be accepted so please take this opportunity to try out the new system – we think you’ll really like it!  As always we are here to help you participate in the NFPA process.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at 617-984-7240 or via email at .

For additional information on NFPA Standards Development Process, please visit NFPA’s website at

Recent events, such as the Carbide Industries explosion in Louisville, Kentucky in March of 2011, have raised questions regarding the technical basis for the separation distances between hazardous storage/processes and occupied areas in NFPA standards, many of which have an historical basis. Guidance which may inform a sound technical basis for adjusting these distances has been requested by NFPA Technical Committees and the Foundation has initiated a project to develop this guidance.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire, 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.


NFPA's Association Technical Meeting will begin at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, June 12 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.

Wednesday, June 12
Starting at 2:00 PM

Thursday, June 13
Starting at 8:00 AM

Read more about the Association Technical Meeting in Chicago, including the Fall 2013 and Annual 2013 Motions Committee Reports, which includes the list of Consent Documents in these cycles that received no "Notice of Intent to Make a Motion" (NITMAM) or were forwarded directly to the Standards Council for issuance.

Labels on fire doors, fire door frames, or other components of a fire door assembly, are the identifying mark that the door or component has been tested to the required first test standards and has passed the criteria required by those test standards.  Labels prove to inspectors, AHJs, building owners, or anyone else observing the fire door assembly that it (as tested) will protect the opening as it did when tested.

[NFPA 80 |], 2013 edition, contains the following language regarding labeled products:

4.2.1* Listed items shall be identified by a label.
4.2.2 Labels shall be applied in locations that are readily visible and convenient for identification by the AHJ after installation of the assembly.

Associated annex language to Section 4.2.1 sheds some light on the intent of the labeling provisions in NFPA 80:

A.4.2.1 Labels can be permitted to be of metal, paper, or plastics or can be permitted to be stamped or diecast into the item. Labels should not be removed, defaced, or made illegible while the door is in service. If the label on an existing fire door has been removed or is no longer legible, it is acceptable to verify the rating of the fire door through other means acceptable to the AHJ such as an inspection or certification service that provides acceptable documentation.

One of the most frequently asked questions that I received regarding labels is whether or not they can be painted.  Paint most often will render the label illegible, thus it is not recommended that labels be painted.  Proper training and education should be provided to those in buildings who may be doing repair or maintenance work to doors to ensure they are aware of the risks associated with painting fire door labels. 

Labels are required in a number of applications on all types fire door assemblies.  Where NFPA 80 mandates a label be present, it should meet the requirements of Chapter 4 as noted above.

Wf-2013-gld-whtbgNFPA’s fire safety video, “Be Rabbit Ready: Have Two Ways Out!” has won a 2013 Bronze Remi Award from the Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival. The video competed in the Safety/ First Aid category.

Included in the DVD are Sparky the Fire Dog’s various efforts to encourage fire safety in kids. A list of things that rabbits are truly terrible at is contrasted with their consistent two ways out. Conversations with kids on the street and a music video round out this silly and serious 10-minute film. A young girl even breaks out her family’s fire escape plan on her iPad.

Enjoy the clip from the video below.


Mark Earley, NFPA Chief Electrical Engineer, recently sat down for a discussion about the 2014 National Electrical Code® (NEC®).  As part of “[Office Hours |]”, NFPA’s series of online presentations featuring technical staff discussing important codes and standards topics, Mark talked about major changes to the new document.


Mark says that in response to input from the field, major revisions in the new document will impact electrical installations in residential, commercial, and industrial occupancies. In the 2014 NEC, you’ll find updated coverage on 600-volt systems, larger installations, renewable systems, small wind electric systems, DC systems, and electric vehicle charging systems.


NFPA Members: you can watch the full episode of Office Hours featuring Mark Early for free .


Limited time offer: Order the 2014 +NEC+ Code Book today and get a special pre-publication 25% discount!


Not an NFPA member? Learn about the benefits of joining .

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%; border: 0px; padding: 0px;!Get charged up for a full week of electrical classes

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%; border: 0px; padding: 0px;!Pre-conference Seminars... anyone? anyone?

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 37, NFPA 99, NFPA 1951, and NFPA 1971 are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs 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.


Put together a full week of electrical training at NFPA Conference &amp; Expo. Take a 1- or 3-day seminar, then mix and match 3 days of classes from over 150 total. The classes in the Electrical conference track give you insights into best practices in the electrical industry and how they are influenced by new electrical design issues, successful maintenance programs, effective inspection techniques, and safety programs. Plus, visit the expo and have access to over 330 companies , several of which are industry leaders in electrical products and services. Which ones have been on your radar this past year?




Pre-Conference Seminars

NFPA 70E® Electrical Safety in the Workplace Certificate
NEC® for Photovoltaics
Proposed Revisions to the 2014 NEC®


Conference Sessions - Monday, June 10

8:00 – 9:00 AM
M04 Emergency Power Standards for Health Care Under the 2012 Codes
M18 The Benefits of Your Community Adopting the Most Current NEC

9:30 – 10:30 AM
M34 Changes to NFPA 70E–2015, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
M44 Buyer Beware: Counterfeit Electrical Products


Conference Sessions - Tuesday, June 11

8:00 – 9:00 AM
Featured Presentation - The Pentagon, Fire and Life Safety — Ten Years Later

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
T25 2014 NEC Changes

2:45 – 3:45 PM
T47 NFPA 79 Significant Changes for 2015

4:15 – 5:15 PM
T59 Electrical Safety — A Shared Responsibility


Conference Sessions - Wednesday, June 12

8:00 – 9:00 AM
W11 The Basics of Electrical Hazardous Locations
W15 Hurricane Hardened Emergency Systems — What COPS Means to Your Facilities

9:30 – 10:30 AM
W26 NFPA 70E Approach to Considering DC Hazards
W32 The Investigation of NM Cable Ignition under Voltage Surge

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
W53  Applying Arc Flash Reduction Maintenance Systems

NFPA Conference & Expo -  [Register today. |]

Several members of NFPA's Public Fire Protection Division as well as Sparky the Fire Dog attended Quincy (MA) High School's Safety Day on Wednesday, May 1. This program allows the students to meet representatives of public safety agencies to learn about careers, safety and preparedness information.

Sparky, along with NFPA's Kelly Galluzzo, Dawn Cedrone, Matt Sears and Orlando Hernandez represented NFPA. This is the second year NFPA has participated. It's a great initiative, and we were happy to be a part of it today. Here are some photos of the fun we had!

Question: Does your local fire department participate in career or safety events at your community's high school? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sparky at career fair


Photo (3)

Sullivan family
One year ago today, four members of the Sullivan family were killed during a fast spreading fire in their home in Carmel, NY. The blaze killed Larchmont Police Capt. Thomas Sullivan, his wife and their two teenage daughters. The lone survivor of the blaze was Tommy Sullivan Jr. His dad led him to safety before perishing in the fire trying to rescue the rest of his family. What was left of the home has been demolished and an empty lot remains as a reminder of this tragedy. Read the full post on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Green buildingsA year after a fire that killed a New York police captain, his wife, and two teenaged daughters, code and fire safety officials continue to weigh in on the safety of sustainable building materials that impacted the spread of the blaze.

Investigators determined that the fire at the Carmel, New York, home, which was built with a sustainable type of wood panel, was initiated by the police captain's son, who discarded a cigarette in a mulch bed near the home. A member of the Putnam County Fire Investigation Team told NFPA Journal last year that "the home's [lightweight] construction definitely aided the spread of the fire."

Since the fire, there hasn't been much headway in updating or altering the city's building codes, states a recent article in The Journal News. Experts say that lightweight construction, when combined with other measures, is safe. However, research reports, including one released last year by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, note that fire can compromise this material. "With fires, these types of products are more likely to cause structural failures than traditional lumber," Robert Solomon, NFPA's division manager of Building Fire Protection, tells The Journal News. "It's a concern for homeowners and firefighters."

Solomon said that home fire sprinklers are another safeguard against rapid fire spread in homes built with sustainable materials, but he also notes that "the building lobby has been effective in not making sprinklers mandatory." What has occured in the New York town where the fire occurred is outreach efforts by firefighters to instruct the public on fire prevention and home escape planning.

Read more about the concerns of green building design in NFPA Journal.

NESM logo
Each year, during the month of May, Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) asks us all to help them celebrate National Electrical Safety Month. And with electrical safety being so important, we are happy to help!

This year's campaign theme is Electrical Safety for All Ages.  Each year, electrical failures are the cause of 43,900 home fires, resulting in 438 deaths, 1,430 injuries and $1.47 billion in property damage.  While electrical hazards threaten the public at large, certain populations experience risks that are significantly higher than that of the general population.  Our youngest and oldest populations are exceptionally vulnerable. With that in mind, ESFI has developed a multifaceted campaign with valuable safety resources targeting our youngest and oldest populations, as well as up-to-date safety resources for the general public. 

ESFI's Electrical Safety for All Ages campaign features a comprehensive list of resources for use by electrical safety advocates, divided into the following categories:

Also remember, that NFPA has many resources on electrical safety, including an easy-to-read safety tip sheet. Check out NFPA's many electrical safety resources here. Dan Doofus is always a fun way to remember our safety information, so his electrical safety PSA (a crowd favorite) is below for viewing!


!|src=|alt=Harvard|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Harvard|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eeabaeb17970d!Each year, NFPA partners with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s&#0160;[U.S. Fire Administration |] (USFA), the&#0160;[International Association of Fire Chiefs |] (IAFC), and the&#0160;International Fire Service Training
 (IFSTA) to sponsor senior fire officer fellowships to
the Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.

This program lasts for three weeks in
the summer on Harvard University’s Cambridge Mass. campus. It aims to ensure public
officials are well-equipped to be effective public leaders. In- and
out-of-classroom learning experiences help further this goal.

Congratulations to the 2013 awardees!

    • *Joel
      Baker*, Deputy Chief, City of Atlanta Fire-Rescue Department

    • *Phil
      Eagleson*, Chief, Saugeen Shores Fire Department, Port Elgin, Ontario,

    • *Michael
      Romas*, Assistant Chief, Milwaukee Fire Department

    • *Derrick
      Sawyer*, Deputy Chief, City of Philadelphia Fire Department

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