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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 [U.S. Fire Administration |] (USFA), the [International Association of Fire Chiefs |] (IAFC), and the 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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