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The marketplace offers an array of technologies designed to mitigate cooking fires, considered the leading cause of home structure fires and associated injuries in the U.S., per an NFPA report. Despite the options, a number of factors have prevented widescale implementation of these devices in U.S. households.

Placing this issue on the figurative front burner, researchers have begun a series of analyses seen as the first step in bolstering the use of these technologies. The Fire Protection Research Foundation, for example, is overseeing testing aimed at eventually producing standardized fire scenarios and performance test methods for cooking-fire mitigation technologies. Underwriters Laboratories, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are conducting similar research.

"Important parts of the fire world are focusing on cooking fires in order to limit them," EKU researcher Corey Hanks told NFPA Journal in a recent feature story highlighting the new research. "Finally, we're seeing more of a push."

Get the full story in the July/August issue of Journal, and watch the following video of Dan Gottuck from Hughes Associates talking about the Research Foundation study:

PatriotBuilderhome Patriot buildersAdvocates in the State of Texas are being creative to increase the use of fire sprinklers in new home

After a series of discussions with Patriot Builders, LP and Travis County planners, all new homes in Destiny Hills – Phase II, a development of 26 homes, will include an NFPA 13D fire sprinkler system.

Texas is one of the states passing legislation prohibiting local jurisdictions from adopting home fire sprinkler requirements. It is for this reason that the requirement will be incorporated into the homeowner association’s restrictive covenant. Restrictive covenants are deed restrictions that affect a group of homes or lots in a specific development or subdivision and are included at the inception of the process by the developer/builder.

Read the full post by Maria Figueroa on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Allied_safety_280x180.ashxThe last straw was the collapse of the temporary outdoor roof that had been erected over the main stage at the Indiana State Fair in 2011, killing seven people in the audience and injuring more than 40. Clearly, important parts of the safety message were being lost between existing regulations and "the boots on the ground," says Steven Adelman in his article "Allied in Safety" in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.

As event industry professionals began discussing the Indiana tragedy and others that preceded it, a group of them decided to form the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) to make it easier for their peers to work safely and create safe events. The starting point for ESA’s work is the Event Safety Guide, a work-in-progress that presents information in key operational areas in a form that busy event professionals are most likely to use. For more on the ESA and its work, turn to page 52 in the latest issue of NFPA Journal or read about it at NFPA's website. Alarm ImageParticipants of the NFPA Conference & Expo last month learned how quickly modern furniture can burn during the education session “Smoke Alarm Codes, Standards, and Listings: An Update from UL.” The session was sponsored by NFPA’s Building Fire Safety Systems Section and the Education Section. During the presentation, which also covered the topics of smoke alarm placement and types of alarms, Ronald Farr, lead regulatory engineer for Underwriters Laboratories, showed video of a UL experiment involving two side-by-side living room fires: one living room had modern furniture, the other, legacy furniture. The modern room transitioned to flashover in 3 minutes and 30 seconds, but the legacy room didn’t transition until 29 minutes and 30 seconds.

Read the full post by Lisa Braxton on NFPA's Safety Source blog.

Fire triangle forest
As an instructor for NFPA’s seminar “Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone," I know that wildfire is a common event throughout many areas of the United States.

Did you know that wildfire is the easiest natural peril to mitigate? And did you know that wildfire takes place outside of “forested” areas? Many believe that if they live in the city or a suburban area that they have no wildfire risk and their odds are good, but this is a common myth. As an instructor, I am a myth-buster!  Wildfire spreads by a “set of conditions” of fuel types, not only in the forested areas or “mapped” wildfire hazard zones, but also urban and suburban areas. 

Fire behaves according to the laws that guide the combustion process.  Fire spreads as a continual process of combustion.  It is not a moving force that cannot be stopped, as conditions must continue to meet the requirements of combustion for it to continue.  The “dragon,” as some firefighters and the media may call this combustion process, is where gasses from a fuel ignite from an energy source to create a flame.  The fire triangle demonstrates that three items are needed for this chain reaction called “fire” to happen: fuel, heat and oxygen.  Remove any one of the three and the fire will die.  No more Dragon. 

Read the full post by Gary Marshall on NFPA's Fire Break blog.

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