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Yarnell Hill Fire
A KPHO-TV / CBS-5-AZ.COM image shows fires that raged in the hills near Yarnell, Arizona on June 30, 2013 (Kpho-Tv/Cbs-5-Az.Com/AFP)

My commute from my Boston apartment to NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Mass., via public transit gives me ample time to peruse the massive array of magazines that weigh down my work bag. A feature story that recently had me hooked was a detailed look at the Tahoe Hotshots, a fearless group of California wilderness firefighters, and their tactics for battling last year's Mill Fire in Tahema County.

While reading the article, I was reminded of Arizona's Yarnell Hill Fire and its tragic outcome a few months ago. The incident was a devastating loss for the fire service; nineteen firefighters were killed during the June fire, which NFPA deemed the deadliest incident for firefighters since the September 11 terrorist attacks. (NFPA also attended the memorial service.)

The details in the feature, which appeared in the July issue Outside Magazine, help paint a vivid picture of a job not for the faint of heart. There are tales of chainsaw mishaps, heat exhaustion, and quick decisions that place these firefighters in the thick of a raging inferno and into extremely precarious situations. At the end of the day, or whenever the Tahoe crew is able to reflect on their work, it's evident that they are fueled by a sense of pride that trascends the promise of a paycheck.

This newfound insight into the life of a wildland firefighter has only deepened my admiration for the 19 brave men who lost their lives--and the number of other firefighters who have battled similar blazes across the country this year. Such deeds should never go unrecognized.  

The NFPA Standards Council considered the issuance of two proposed Tentative Interim Amendments on NFPA 1981, Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for Emergency Services, and NFPA 1982, Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS).  These two TIAs were issued by the Council on August 26, 2013:

  • NFPA 1981, TIA 13-1, referencing 4.1.11 and 4.1.12  
  • NFPA 1982, TIA 13-1, referencing 4.1.8 and 4.1.9

Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) are amendments to an NFPA document processed in accordance with Section 5 of the Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards (Regulations Governing Committee Projects).They have not gone through the entire standards development process of being published in a First Draft Report (formerly ROP) and Second Draft Report (formerly ROC) for review and comment. TIAs are effective only between editions of the document. A TIA automatically becomes a public input (formerly proposal) for the next edition of the document, as such is then subject to all of the procedures of the standards development process.  TIAs are published in NFPA News, NFCSS, and any further distribution of the document after being issued by the Standards Council.

Do you want to make a difference?  We have an ideal opportunity for an engineer to assist technical committees in the development and maintenance of specific technical committee projects involving industrial and chemical engineering facilities and fire and life safety protective measures.  The committee projects are of moderate complexity and offer the opportunity to assist members and constituents from various industrial and chemical sectors by providing technical services.  Serves as technical project manager for assigned technical committees.

Principal responsibilities include managing technical committees, product development, technical services, external liaison, budgetary reporting, cross-functional acitivies and special projects. JOb requirements include a bachelors degree in chemical, industrial or fire protection engineering, the ability to prepare correspondence, data and presentation materials using Microsoft Office and 3 – 5 years experience.

For more information or to apply for this position, visit the careers page of our website. 


!|src=|alt=Air conditioner|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Air conditioner|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff0e24b3970d!The unofficial end of summer is near, but that hasn't stopped Mother Nature from turning up the heat. With many residents still dependent on their air conditioners, the following story should serve as a late-summer warning that even these units can be prone to fires.


This week, a family of eight was displaced from their Kansas home after an outdoor air-conditioning unit caught fire. Investigators deemed the fire accidental after they attributed the cause to the unit's faulty air compressor, according to the +Topeka Capital-Journal.+ The family escaped the fire without any injury, but the home sustained structural damage from the incident.


NFPA has analyzed similar fires involving air-conditioning units. A 2012 report, for instance, states that in 2010, air conditioners, fans, or related equipment were involved in an estimated 7,400 reported U.S. fires that resulted in 29 deaths, 249 injuries, and $207 million in property damage.


The report, "Home Fires Involving Air Conditioning or Related Equipment," also provides the following safety tips:

    • Use electric-powered equipment safely, in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

    • Inspect and maintain electric-powered equipment regularly for safety.

    • Make sure your equipment has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory. 

The Association of Electrical Equipment and Medical Imaging Manufacturers (NEMA) have recently posted a valuable new resource for the electrical industry on their website.  Evaluating Fire- and Heat-Damaged Electrical Equipment is available in a free, downloadable PDF format.  This new guide, published on August 26, 2013 provides guidelines for evaluating the condition of electrical equipment that has been exposed to fire, heat, and products of combustion.  Installers, inspectors, suppliers and others involved in assessing whether electrical equipment can be safely reenergized and reused following exposure to heat and fire will find this new document to be extremely useful.  This new document is a companion to another well known NEMA publication, Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment. 

The preliminary draft of NFPA 350 has been approved by the NFPA Standards Council and is now open for public input.  This guide, with non-mandatory language, incorporates the best practices that organizations and confined space professionals have utilized to comply with regulations and standards for the past 20 years since the initial publication of OSHA’s final rule.  It also draws on NFPA’s experience with a number of confined space activities including hot work, the maritime industry and emergency rescue operations.

The Guide primarily focuses on addressing gaps in standards and on providing prescriptive guidance on how to implement requirements in existing standards, particularly those found in 1910.146. While the OSHA 1910.146 standard simply requires verification of a safe atmosphere prior to entry, the NFPA Guide provides prescriptive guidance on exactly how to do such testing and includes information about gas monitor selection, calibration and limitations and tells you how to select and locate ventilation equipment to eliminate and control atmospheric hazards.  

The Guide incorporates information on requirements not specifically addressed in existing standards such as adjacent space hazards and competencies for personnel involved in confined space entry.  It also addresses best practices not typically found in regulations and standards such as management of change and prevention through design.

The document is a great step in the right direction towards improving confined space safety.  However, the committee recognizes there is still a lot of work to be done on the preliminary draft.  We encourage you to take the time to read the full document or those chapters of particular interest to you and submit public input prior to the closing date of January 3, 2014.   Every public input will be considered carefully by the committee at the First Draft meeting to be held between January and June of 2014.   To view the document and submit input go to   You may also want to sign up for email alerts above the tabs so that you are notified about upcoming meetings and when additional drafts are posted.  

We look forward to your input on this important document!  

NFPA hosts a members only webcast each month called "Office Hours." It's a live event where NFPA staff present code content and answer questions from an online audience. The most recent show aired on August 22, 2013 and was focused on the 2014 edition of the NEC. I put together some of the training related content for the show and had one of those "Aha" moments when all of the data was compiled.

NFPA achieved something really special. During the week of August 19th, NFPA hosted the first NEC 2014 training seminar. Not a big deal, right?  Actually--It's a huge deal. Let's look at some recent history:

June 12, 2013 - NFPA Conference and Expo - the NEC Technical Committee met to vote on the revisions to the NEC code

August 1, 2013  - Revisions to the 2014 edition of the code are approved

August 19, 2013 - The first 2014 NEC training class starts at NFPA headquarters

August 21, 2013 - The 2014 edition officially goes into effect  

Looking at the chronology, I thought about the extensive process we go through to launch a seminar. Hundreds of man hours are necessary with dozens of meetings to create a top-notch seminar. We also added another level of complexity by offering an exam with a Certificate of Educational Achievement. Oh----and we used our new software program to deliver a course review and exam online. Did I also mention that we changed the number of days for this seminar from 3 to 4? The engineering staff along with our professional development team did a fantastic job putting together this seminar and launched it 2 whole days before the code went into effect.

The Marketing team recites a tag line in all of our marketing material when it comes to training. "We write the code. We develop the code. We teach the code." Now we can add that we teach the code before anyone else on the planet. I am just amazed and proud to be part of the team here at NFPA. Our attendees agree with us and it was great to hear their feedback. Here's what one of the attendees said after attending this class: "Great experience. Great value. Knowledgeable instructor. Great facility. Great 4 days." 

The man hours. The meetings. The creation of materials. It takes a village to do what we do and for the 2014 edition of the NEC, the village here at NFPA headquarters is celebrating a major accomplishment. Hats off for a job well done.

The same seminar is being offered again in Quincy at NFPA headquarters in September along with 16 other locations before the end of 2013. 

Hazmat decontamination guidelinesThe U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is offering free resources for first responders in its updated Guidelines for Mass Casualty Decontamination During a HAZMAT/Weapon of Mass Destruction Incident. The updated guidelines include concise descriptions of procedures and checklists, as well as in-depth discussions of HAZMAT/WMD mass casualty decontamination issues. Also included are high-resolution graphics developed for emergency reference and training materials for use in multi-lingual communities.

View the updated guide and the reference and training materials


!|src=|alt=FPW|style=width: 450px;|title=FPW|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019104ff2458970c!
NFPA’s 2013 Fire Prevention
will be held October 6-12. This year, we are encouraging the public to
prevent kitchen fires. The kitchen is the leading area of origin for home
fires, with nearly 3,000 reported daily in the United States.

The  [Fire Prevention Week website |] as always , is a
central portal of information and resources to help families, teachers,
community leaders, and fire officials spread the word about fire safety.

The site includes fire safety tip sheets, fire statistics, a
family safety checklist, Sparky the Fire Dog activities for kids and public
service announcement videos. Videos on the site include "Sparky’s
Kitchen Rules
," a fire safety song for kids, and safety
tips from Sparky’s Aunt Dottie


Visitors can also test their knowledge of fire safety with the Fire Prevention Week Quiz, a fun, interactive resource that lets families see how well-prepared they are for an emergency.

NFPA will also be continuing the Sparky’s Wish List
, a program designed to help fire departments connect with their
local communities. Fire departments across the country have registered for
public safety education materials they need. Individuals can then help their
local fire department prepare for Fire Prevention Week by fulfilling the

NFPA offers these important fire safety tips:

    • Be
      alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or

    • Keep
      an eye on what you fry! Stay in the kitchen while you are frying,
      grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short
      period of time, turn off the stove.

    • If you
      are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly,
      remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you
      that you are cooking. 

    • Keep
      anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food
      packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stovetop.

    • Have a
      "kid-free zone" of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas
      where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.


For more information on Fire Prevention Week, visit the official site ; or check out the official
news release

!|border=0|src=|alt=Church image|width=153|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Church image|height=172!Churches, temples and mosques play vital roles in our
communities.   They host weddings, funerals and many of the most important events of our lives.  In addition, they often provide space for a variety of social service activities and community organizations such as day care centers, support groups, soup kitchens, and more.  Many are historic structures and architectural gems. 


When such a place burns, it hurts so many.  NFPA recently released a new report+, +U.S. Structure Fires in Religious and Funeral Properties+, by +Richard Campbell.  During 2007-2011, an estimated average of 1,780 structure fires were reported in these properties, causing an annual average of two civilian deaths, 19 civilian fire injuries, and $111 million in direct property damage.  Only 4% were in funeral parlors.  

Cooking equipment was the leading cause of these fires, followed in equal numbers by fires caused by heating equipment and intentionally set fires.  Sprinklers were present in only 12% of these fires. 

Places of worship are an unusual kind of public assembly occupancy.&#0160;Most have very few paid staff. Members volunteer their time and skills to cook for functions and maintain and repair the property, just like they would at home. Many home fire safety tips would apply here as well. Property managers and religious leadership can find additional fire safety information in +NFPA 909: Code for the Protection of Cultural Resource Properties – Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship++. &#0160;Comprehensive safety information for reducing the risk of fire and promoting fire safety in buildings of all types is available in NFPA 101: Life Safety Code®.<em>+</em>

NFPA released the 2014 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) in digital format last week. The code, which has been published by NFPA since 1911, is one of the most widely used in the built world. This newest edition is available in PDF and through the National Fire Codes Subscription Service All Access (NFCSS), with a hard copy to be released at the end of August.

NEC 2014 capture

In addition to publishing the code, NFPA offers companion resources and education to help professionals learn how to understand and apply the latest code. A host of resources are coming soon including the 2014 NEC Handbook, pocket guides for residential and commercial applications, ebooks and an app.

A new online destination, nec connect, was recently launched to provide members of the electrical community and others interested in electrical issues with news, information, tips, learning resources and networking opportunities related to NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC). The website,, is a resource for installers and contractors, designers and engineers, code enforcers, and policymakers for all things related to the NEC. It is a place where participants can engage with others who share an interest in electrical safety.

For more information on the 2014 NEC, check out the official news release, or visit

NecconnectAs you may have heard, NFPA recently launched a new online resource for the electrical community – nec connect. Read our blog post detailing the new site for more information, if you missed it. 

Now, nec connect will host its inaugural nec connect Webisode on August 27th at 1:00pm ET. The nec connect Webisode is, and will continue to be, a live, monthly online session that features expanded news, learning sessions and content from the National Electrical Code. 

Bill BurkeThis month's NEC breakdown guest is the co-host, Bill Burke. Bill is the NFPA’s Electrical Division Manager. In this segment, he will take one of the newest articles to the code, and dive deep into both its meaning and implications. It is followed by a LIVE discussion in which you are given the opportunity to ask Bill any question you may still have, by using the hashtag #necconnect as you submit questions through Twitter. 

This is your chance to learn, interact and ask an industry expert questions about all elements of the 2014 National Electrical Code. Register for this nec connect Webisode on August 27th now!

Remembering WhenNFPA's 2013 Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults conference will be held December 1-3 at the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel in Boston, Mass. NFPA will host representatives from up to 30 communities to attend the conference in Boston to learn how to reach older adults through group presentations and home visits. This will be the first group trained on the updated version of Remembering When that will be released in October.

Fire departments are asked to partner with an agency whose main outreach to older adults is through home visits. To be considered for a scholarship award to attend this conference, submit an application no later than August 30.

According to NFPA statistics, adults age 65 and older are twice as likely to be killed in a home fire compared to the general population, and falls are the leading cause of death from injuries to those in the same age group. NFPA hosts this conference annually as part of its ongoing effort to help reduce fires and falls among older adults.

The training session includes helpful tips to prevent fires such as recommending that older adults who smoke should do so outside and never in bed. It reminds smokers that deep, sturdy ashtrays should be used while smoking and cigarette butts and ashes should be placed in water or sand before disposal. And when it comes to home heating, older adults are advised to keep space heaters at least 3 feet (1 meter) from anything that can burn and unplugged when no one’s home or at bedtime.

When it comes to preventing falls, the program reminds participants that taking it slow and regular exercise are the best defense. When getting out of chairs, it’s best to get up slowly and gain balance before walking. The training stresses the importance of exercising regularly to build strength and improve balance and coordination.

For more information on Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults, talk to your local fire department.


Actor and funnyman Dick Van Dyke, who was at one point NFPA&#39;s voice of Sparky in a series of NFPA public service announcements, was rescued from a burning vehicle this week.

According to NBC News, the 87-year-old actor was driving on the 101 freeway near Los Angeles when his white Jaguar burst into flames. Drivers immediately called 911 and another pulled him from the burning car after seeing the actor slumped over the steering wheel. Fortunately, Van Dyke did not suffer any injuries from the incident.


Automobile fires, according to NFPA statistics, account for about 10 percent of reported U.S. fires. NFPA has also a tip sheet highlighting car fire safety.

In typical Van Dyke fashion, the actor made light of the situation by placing a photo of the wrecked vehicle on Twitter with the caption: "Used Jag for sale REAL CHEAP!!" Watch the Vine video of the incident's aftermath below.

Glad to hear you're OK, and still have that sense of humor, Dick.

August Office Hours
Members, join Mark Hilbert, senior NFPA instructor, on August 22nd at 2:00pm ET for the next installment of NFPA Office Hours. Mark will be discussing the new NFPA seminar covering the 2014 version of the NEC. Specifically, Mark will discuss the major changes to the new edition as well as the re-organization of the seminar modules.

Mark HilbertMark R. Hilbert is a retired Chief Electrical Inspector for the State of New Hampshire and a licensed master electrician in two states. He is a principle member and Chair of the NFPA 79 Committee (Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery) representing IAEI and a former member of Code Making Panel 4. He is a principle member and chair of CMP 2 on the NEC Committee and 1st Vice President of the IAEI. He is an Executive Board member of the Electrical Section of NFPA and a seminar instructor for NFPA and IAEI. He has taught the NEC and NFPA 70E nationally and internationally.

Be sure to join us for this live, interactive discussion. Attendees are encouraged to send their questions via email ( or Twitter (#OfficeHours) during the presentation.

Get involved! Join the conversation! Register today!

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

  • Find information about how to host (hazard) preparedness parties in your neighborhood
  • Learn how and where to access wildfire activity information through traditional and social media outlets
  • Discover what the U.S. Joint Fire Science Program is doing to increase collaboration between the scientific research community and national resource and wildland fire professionals
  • Learn how to create and share emergency plans with teens and young children
  • Find a link to Smokey Bear’s latest media campaign video

… 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.

The NFPA Standards Council acted on the issuance of the Annual 2013 documents along with considering several appeals at its July 29-31, 2013 meeting.

Some of the NFPA Standards Council decisions have been issued and include the following:

Final Decisions:

  • NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water- Based Fire Protection Systems
  • NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code
  • NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® (Decision on Agenda Item 13-8-3-d, D#13-10)
  • NFPA 130, Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems
  • NFPA 502, Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridges, and Other Limited Access
  • NFPA 1061, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Public Safety Telecommunications Personnel

Short Decisions

  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code
  • TIA No. 1097, NFPA 70, National Electrical Code

The NFPA Standards Council is a 13-person committee appointed by the NFPA Board of Directors that oversees the Association's codes and standards development activities, administers the rules and regulations, and acts as an appeals body. The Council administers about 250 NFPA Technical Committees and their work on nearly 300 documents addressing topics of importance to the built environment.

The FPRF in partnership with NFPA is excited to be hosting a symposium this summer to set the stage for their new five-year research agenda. "The Next Five Years in Fire and Electrical Safety – Updating the Foundation’s Strategic Research Agenda" will take place November 13-14, 2013 in Washington, D.C. and will serve to identify new issues and explore needed new areas of focus based on the progress of the 2008 agenda.  Rfheader

Registration for the event is now open.

The two-day symposium will feature architects, engineers, researchers, government officials, as well as 10 sessions and 20 presentations including:

  • Changing urban landscape – the challenges it poses for fire and electrical safety
  • SMART buildings – how sensor and information technologies are transforming the built environment and its fire safety context
  • Sustainable building – maintaining fire safety with changing building contents

Represented at the conference will be: American Architectural Foundation, Aon Fire Protection Engineering; Austin Fire Department; CalPoly University, City of Alexandria, VA; Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Clarion Associates; FM Global, IKEA, LUND University, Underwriters Laboratories, National Fire Sprinkler Association, NFPA, NIOSH, NIST, the UK Government, University of Illinois, and University of Maryland.

For more information on the conference, visit the official news release. Further information and registration is also available at

The Fire Protection Research Foundation recently received a grant from Project Paradigm, a private foundation, to support research initiatives related to preventing cooking fires.

The Foundation typicall facilitates research that impacts a broad range of fire-safety areas. This includes projects to help bring cooking fire prevention technologies to market by assisting in the development of a technical basis for test methods that are repeatable and reproducible. Performance criteria gathered using these test methods can then be used by product approval organizations to evaluate cooking fire prevention technologies. Project Paradigm's grant will be helpful in these endeavors. 

Project Paradigm is a national nonprofit private foundation headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Project Paradigm's current grant programs focus on fire prevention technology research, residential fire prevention initiatives, and burn survivor support. In 2012, Project Paradigm awarded $142,000 to 24 burn organizations across the country operating youth burn survivor summer camps. In 2013, Project Paradigm awarded $402,000 to support fire prevention and youth burn survivors.

For more information on the Foundation or to view its current projects and reports, visit

Philip DiNenno (center) received the Lamb Award from Thomas Jaeger and Philip Stittleburg at NFPA's 2011 Conference & Expo.

Philip DiNenno, president of Hughes Associates, Inc., and a member of the NFPA Board of Directors, died on August 18, 2013. He was 60 years old.

“Phil will be remembered as one of the most outstanding leaders that NFPA has ever had,” said President Jim Shannon. “He was an extraordinarily effective advocate for fire safety and the most respected person in fire protection engineering of his generation. He served in leadership positions on NFPA’s board, chaired the Standards Council, and received our highest honors, the Paul C. Lamb Award and the Standards Medal. His contributions to NFPA and our mission are incalculable.”

Mr. DiNenno had a long professional history with NFPA, serving on many Technical Committees, including Gaseous Fire Extinguishing Systems, Merchant Vessels, Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems, Halon Alternative Protection Options, Fire Investigations, and Fire Tests.

He served on NFPA’s Standards Council from 1998-2007 and was Chair from 2002-2007.

In 2011, Mr. DiNenno received the Paul C. Lamb Award from NFPA in recognition of his volunteer spirit, leadership skills, tact and diplomacy, and dedication to the goals of NFPA. In 2013, his outstanding contributions to fire safety and the development of codes and standards were recognized when he received the NFPA Standards Medal.

This video clip from the 2013 NFPA Conference & Expo in Chicago highlights Mr. DiNenno's accomplishments to NFPA.

Mr. DiNenno began work at Hughes Associates in 1985. Previously, he worked as a fire protection engineer at Benjamin/Clarke Associates and Professional Loss Control, Inc. He was a registered professional engineer in Tennessee and Arizona and held a B.S. in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland, where he also lectured from 1977-1990.

The family will receive friends at Pritts Funeral Home and Chapel, 412 Washington Rd., Westminster MD on Wednesday from 6-8pm and Thursday from 2-4pm and 6-8pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday at 11:00 am at St. John Roman Catholic Church, 43 Monroe St, Westminster MD. Interment will be at Meadow Branch Cemetery, Westminster.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. DiNenno's memory to the Carroll Hospital Center Foundation, for the development of the new Cancer Center, 200 Memorial Ave., Westminster, MD 21157 or to the Ivymount School for Autism, 11614 Seven Locks Road, Rockville, MD 20854.

Online condolences may be sent to Pritts Funeral Home and Chapel.

I have been working in the Public Education Division at NFPA for over 2 months now.  At this point, I can admit I wasn’t sure if the transition out of the world of academia would be an easy one.  Especially, since June and July are months I would typically spend visiting the beach, meeting friends for coffee, and hanging out with my boys.  But I have been busy and the summer is flying by.  I love the work I do at NFPA – it is interesting, varied, and purposeful.

The other day, I was having a chat with a long-time friend who works in the fire service.  I was rambling on about my new job and all the fun projects in which I am involved. I was speaking about theRemembering When™ program and recalling an interesting conversation I had with some folks down south about the mushrooming senior population and musings about potential adjustments to NFPA 101 to address new issues that may arise from the demographic changes.  My friend got a funny look on his face that made me stop and ask, “What?!”  He laughed and told me how, in past conversations, when I mentioned 101, I would be referring to an entry level course I might be teaching at the college rather than using NFPA code lingo.

Read the full post by NFPA's Karen Berard-Reed on our Safety Source blog.

The FPRF in partnership with NFPA is excited to be hosting a symposium this summer to set the stage for their new five-year research agenda. "The Next Five Years in Fire and Electrical Safety – Updating the Foundation’s Strategic Research Agenda" will take place November 13-14, 2013 in Washington, D.C. and will serve to identify new issues and explore needed new areas of focus based on the progress of the 2008 agenda. Rfheader

Registration for the event is now open.

The two-day symposium will feature architects, engineers, researchers, government officials, as well as 10 sessions and 20 presentations including:

  • Changing urban landscape – the challenges it      poses for fire and electrical safety
  • SMART buildings – how sensor and information      technologies are transforming the built environment and its fire safety      context
  • Sustainable building – maintaining fire safety      with changing building contents

Represented at the conference will be: American Architectural Foundation, Aon Fire Protection Engineering; Austin Fire Department; CalPoly University, City of Alexandria, VA; Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Clarion Associates; FM Global, IKEA, LUND University, Underwriters Laboratories, National Fire Sprinkler Association, NFPA, NIOSH, NIST, the UK Government, University of Illinois, and University of Maryland.

For more information on the conference, visit the official news release. Further information and registration is also available at

Interior finishes have contributed to many major fatal fires worldwide, but have often been overlooked by designers, owners, and enforcers. This FREE webinar presented by technical experts James Lathrop, FSFPE, from Koffel Associates, and NFPA's Kristin Bigda, P.E., and Tracy Vecchiarelli offers an in-depth discussion of the interior finish requirements in modern model codes used throughout the United States.

The presentation will cover NFPA 1: Fire Code, NFPA 101: Life Safety Code, NFPA 5000: Building Construction and Safety Code and the International Building Code. You'll learn about today's code provisions, the rationale behind them, and the test methods used to regulate interior finishes. Beyond an introduction to how codes regulate interior finishes, the webinar also addresses historical problems such as foamed and expanded plastics, and newer challenges associated with High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP).

This session offers 0.2 CEU value. Certificates of attendance are emailed to all session participants the day after the session.

Register now!

NFPA recently launched a new online resource for the electrical community – NEC Connect. The site offers an online destination where members of the electrical community and others interested in electrical issues can find news, information, tips, learning resources, and networking opportunities related to NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.

The website aims to be a “go to” source for learning, sharing and networking with others who share an interest in electrical safety. NEC Connect includes the latest in electrical safety, wiring, guidelines and equipment along with upcoming electrical code updates, tips, and the latest from NFPA. 
NEC connect capture

NEC Connect offers a free selection of on-demand multi-media presentations, industry articles and downloadable tools and technical content. Users are encouraged to join with a free subscription, which offers them premium content only available to subscribers and the option to create content for the site by sharing their own experiences, viewpoints, and feedback.

For more information, check out the official press release, or, visit to explore the new site for yourself.

At its July 2013 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council considered the issuance of several proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIA).  The following TIAs on NFPA 37, NFPA 58, NFPA 70, NFPA 99, NFPA 502, NFPA 1951, NFPA 1971, and NFPA 2112 were issued by the Council on August 1, 2013:

  • NFPA 37, TIA 10-2, referencing 9.3.3. (New)  
  • NFPA 37, TIA 10-3, referencing 6.6.3
  • NFPA 58, TIA 14-1, referencing 11.1.1, A.11.1.1, and 11.15.2
  • NFPA 58, TIA 14-2, referencing 6.12.9
  • NFPA 70, TIA 14-1, referencing 516.3(A)(1)(a) and 516.10(A)
  • NFPA 99, TIA 12-5, referencing and A.
  • NFPA 502, TIA 11-2, referencing 12.1.2 and A.12.1.2
  • NFPA 1951, TIA 13-1, referencing various sections
  • NFPA 1951, TIA 13-2, referencing 8.2.5(1)
  • NFPA 1971, TIA 13-3, referencing various sections
  • NFPA 2112, TIA 12-2, referencing various sections

Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) are amendments to an NFPA document processed in accordance with Section 5 of the Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards (Regulations Governing Committee Projects).They have not gone through the entire standards development process of being published in a First Draft Report (formerly ROP) and Second Draft Report (formerly ROC) for review and comment. TIAs are effective only between editions of the document. A TIA automatically becomes a public input (formerly proposal) for the next edition of the document, as such is then subject to all of the procedures of the standards development process.  TIAs are published in NFPA News, NFCSS, and any further distribution of the document after being issued by the Standards Council.

The Call for Presentations for the 2014 NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas is open! This short video highlights the perks that speakers receive by participating in the Conference program. It's easy to submit your ideas online, however, we need to hear from you by Monday, September 16!

And if you're busy and need a little reminder, download this 'calendar reminder' for August 30th. You’ll be alerted that there are 2 weeks left to send in your session proposals to meet the September 16th deadline. The 2014 NFPA Conference & Expo will be held June 9-12, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.



!|border=0|src=|alt=Dominos|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Dominos|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019104bc0caf970c!Domino&#39;s Pizza will once again partner with NFPA for Fire Prevention Week this year! In addition to sending fire safety messages on top of pizza boxes throughout October, participating Domino&#39;s stores will partner with their local fire departments to reward customers who have working smoke alarms. The fire department will deliver select orders from the store aboard a fire truck, checking the smoke alarms at the home. If the smoke alarms are working, the pizza is free!&#0160;


Want to participate?


**Fire departments and Domino&#39;s franchisees; for more information and instructions on how to execute the program in your town,&#0160;download the step-by-step toolkit. Fire service, please note that each Domino&#39;s Pizza store is independently owned and operated. Domino&#39;s Pizza Public Relations Team is happy to reach out to your local franchise owner on your behalf, but please be aware that program participation is up to the discretion of the store owner.</p>

Fire Departments interested in signing up to participate in the 2013 Domino’s Fire Prevention Week Program can&#0160;download the form, and submit to&#0160;[Jeanette Conklin |]&#0160;at Domino’s. Departments that sign up between August 14 and August 28 will be entered into Domino’s Fire Safety Sign up Giveaway for a chance to win a Fire Prevention Week in a Box.&#0160;Read official rules for details.

The Foundation has issued a request for proposals for a project contractor to develop information to provide guidance to the NFPA 58 Technical Committee on the criteria that should be used to determine threshold value(s) for heavy snowfall.

Cloud ceilings are panels that sit beneath a structural ceiling with gaps. They are becoming more and more popular in commercial and industrial buildings. NFPA 13, the Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, does not have definitive guidance on automatic sprinkler installation requirements for these ceilings. To remedy this, FPRF partnered with Hughes Associates, Inc. to conduct a study to better understand Sprinkler Protection for Cloud Ceilings.


The result provides guidance for sprinkler installation requirements for large, contiguous clouds by determining the maximum gap size between the wall and the cloud edge at which sprinklers located on the structural ceiling are not effective.

To read more about the project, check out the official news release. You can also read the full report.


!|src=|alt=Wildfire|style=width: 450px;|title=Wildfire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01901ec56502970b!

DoD photo by Master Sgt. Christopher DeWitt, U.S. Air Force

Warning: the Earth's changing climate will likely have a severe impact on future wildfire events in the U.S.

That&#39;s the takeaway from a recent NASA article, which backs up this statement with computer modeling and satellite imagery that paint a dire portrait of America&#39;s future fire landscape. Wildfires have already burned more than 2.5 million acres in the U.S. this year, and drier climates expected across the nation in coming decades will likely exacerbate the damage associated with these events.

What can we expect as the Earth heats up? According to the article, the country is in store for longer fire seasons, larger areas at risk of wildfire, and more frequent wildfire events.

"A 100,000-acre wildfire used to be unusual, you would see one every few
years," Carl Albury, a contractor with the Forest Service, tells NASA. "Those type of fires
are becoming a yearly occurrence."

All the more reason, says NFPA, to start preparing your homes and communities for today's wildfire threats before they worsen. Check out the[ Firewise |] website for tips on safeguarding homes and property, and watch the NASA video highlighting the new research:

China AgendaToday the China flag flies outside of NFPA headquarters in Quincy, MA in honor of 25 senior officials from the Fire Department of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China. Accompanying the delegation are 3 representatives from Rolf Jensen & Associates.

The delegates are interested in learning about NFPA’s Codes & Standard’s, Code Adoption and Public Education, so several NFPA staff members have been sharing their knowledge and expertise with our guests throughout the day on these subjects.

Please join the International Department in welcoming this important delegation to NFPA as we share our mission with them.

Meeting with Chinese delegates

Chinese delegates

In 2012, the Foundation brought together global owners and insurers of storage facilities and the research community to explore emerging fire protection  challenges in this environment and protection solutions.  Based on the success of this event, we will present the seminar again in May 22nd, 2014 in London at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel.

1/2 page abstracts on challenges and solutions are invited - please submit to



!|src=|alt=Sparky mobile|style=width: 200px; margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Sparky mobile|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0192ac6affd5970d!We are happy to announce that we have launched a new

mobile version of our popular Sparky the Fire
Dog website! The Sparky
the Fire Dog mobile site
, which is accessible on smart

phones and tablets, features kid-friendly short stories, comics, and an

interactive section about fire trucks.

The goal of the new mobile site is to provide
parents with tool they can use to let children explore and  learn about fire safety on the go with the
comfort of knowing the site is ad-free and age-appropriate.

The mobile site will also include a free deluxe interactive
storybook app for ages 3-7, and a free downloadable e-book for ages 7-10 later
this year.

To learn more about the new Sparky mobile site,
check out the official
news release
. You can also access the mobile site
through your smart phone or tablet or by going to [ |]. 

!|src=|alt=411F9CE164A3419CAC1821E66D6F140E.ashx|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=411F9CE164A3419CAC1821E66D6F140E.ashx|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019104a19438970c!On the morning of July 28, 1945, William Smith, Jr., a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Air Corps, flew his B-25 bomber straight into the Empire State Building, killing himself, a crewman, a passenger, and 11 people in the building.&#0160;The impact tore a hole in the building about 18 feet (5.5 meters) wide and 20 feet (6 meters) high, and ripped the fuel tanks off the plane&#39;s fuselage. One of the tanks shot through the 79th floor, trailing flames, and out the other side, while the second fell down an elevator shaft, starting a fire that ignited the fuel that had spread throughout the area of impact. For more of the story, read "Looking Back" in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.

 Tonycole.200x200Anthony R. Cole, P.E., CFPS, CFEI is an Assistant Professor at Eastern Kentucky University. He teaches in the Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology Program in the School of Safety, Security, and Emergency Management, which is part of the College of Justice, and Safety.  He also owns ARC Fire Engineering, a small firm specializing in various aspects of industrial fire protection, investigations, and emergency response.

Location: Nicholasville, Kentucky, a suburb just south of Lexington, Kentucky.

Current responsibilities: “For the longest time I was in the industrial fire protection and process industries field, spending time both as a HPR/Insurance Loss Control Engineer and a Fire Protection Engineer.  Recently, I joined the ranks of academia at Eastern Kentucky University.  My major responsibilities include curriculum development and instruction at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels.  Additional responsibilities include student advising, research, and promoting the fire protection and safety engineering field."

Career path: Tony's career has taken him around the U.S. and to the Middle East. He has a fascinating history beginning with a decade of experience in local fire departments. Then, he worked as a loss prevention engineer and project manager for several consultant firms. Tony made a life changing decision and moved to Saudi Arabia where he took on new roles as the fire chief of Saudi Iron and Steel and fire protection engineer for a Saudi Arabian Oil Company. Recently, he's managed two consulting businesses and joined the world of academia.

When and where did you take your last NFPA certification class or exam?
“I’ve been working hard for many years earning different certifications, starting with my first professional certification post college, the CFPS, which I earned in October 1997.  Since then I have earned several other certifications including my Professional Engineers License in Fire Protection.  I think back to when I first earned the CFPS certificate and the positive comments and questions I received about the program.  At the time, it was not under NFPA but nonetheless; I always felt that it gave me a clear advantage professionally.”

How has your NFPA certification changed or opened new doors for your career?
“I felt so strongly about the program and professional credentialing in general, that I was able to bring CFPS to Saudi Arabia for the first time some years ago while I was at Saudi Aramco.  I am happy that Saudi Aramco has embraced the program and it is now included as part of the development of young Saudi Engineers as they progress in their careers.”

Industry insights: “One of the things I have recently noticed on new job openings is the requirement for the CFPS listed in the job qualifications.  I think this speaks volumes for the certification program at NFPA and the CFPS certificate in terms of being more sought after by employers.  I think that with the tough job market, employers are looking for the best candidate to fill a position and this type of professional credentialing is becoming more important.

With CFPS now in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, I see the program really growing on the international market.  So many professionals abroad are looking for a way to distinguish themselves from others on a global scale, that the CFPS certificate is one of the best ways of doing so.  With my previous international experience, I hope to bring that additional skill to the CFPS Board of Directors in order to help grow the program even more.  I think there is an un-tapped market for international certifications in fire protection and the CFPS certificate is poised to capitalize on this.  With the backing of the NFPA brand name and the high level of professionalism the CFPS certificate has, it certainly is a winning combination."

Tony Cole was elected to the CFPS Board of Directors in June 2013. During the past 15 years, Tony has been involved in several NFPA Technical Committees and he is a prolific writer and lecturer.

Last weekend, we attended the 2013 NJATC National Training Institute Trade Show in Ann Arbor, Mich. and invited attendees to prove their electrical code knowledge by participating in the all-new NEC Challenge!

Conference goers were able to test their NEC knowledge against questions regarding the 2011 NEC in the hopes of winning an iPad, a copy of the 2014 NEC and pride for their local journeymen.

Attendees rose to the challenge, as trade show participants returned throughout the weekend for the chance to improve their scores and earn more entries into the iPad drawing – or better yet, earn a spot on our NEC Challenge leaderboard. Participants and those playing along at home could also earn an entry

Derek Vigstol
Derek Vigstol
into the drawing by playing along on Twitter. Questions about changes for the 2014 NEC were released by @NFPA throughout the weekend, allowing followers to learn about some of the key changes to the code from NFPA Chief Electrical Engineer Mark Earley via video.

In the end, two were able to walk away with the prize. David Gizzard, who earned his entries via Twitter, was selected from the drawing, and Derek Vigstol earned the top spot on the leaderboard by correctly answering 31 questions in a row!

If you want a chance to take on the NEC Challenge, find us at IEC in Portland, Ore. in September or NECA in Washington, D.C. this October. Unable to attend either upcoming shows? You can still play along via Twitter. Follow @NFPA on Twitter and stay tuned for your chance to earn a spot in the prize drawing at each show.

For additional information and updates about the 2014 NEC, including teaching materials – such as apps and NEC Challenge game cards – register

YesNfpa logoterday NFPA took an important step to ensure our ability to continue to protect public health and safety by preserving the revenues that sustain our ability to develop and maintain our codes and standards.

An organization called (Public Resource) has been copying and uploading copyrighted standards developed by NFPA and other private sector standards development organizations (SDOs). Public Resource is well aware that it is doing this without the copyright owners’ authorization. It nevertheless claims that it has the right to engage in unlimited copying and distribution of any standard — and to encourage others to follow suit — any time that even one single city, town or other governmental jurisdiction references the standard in an ordinance, regulation or other law.

NFPA together with ASTM International(ASTM) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have field a lawsuit to stop Public Resource from the flagrant violation of our copyrights and from undermining the enormously effective process of developing consensus codes and standards that over the past century has made all of our homes and workplaces safer.

The standards development system that has evolved in the U.S. for over one hundred years provides enormous public benefits that could not be replicated by governmental bodies without tremendous expense and needless chaos and confusion. Standards development is the original public/private partnership — and it works.

NFPA, along with numerous other SDOs, underwrites the substantial costs of developing standards, in whole or in significant part, by relying on revenues from the sales and licensing of our copyrighted standards. Copyright protection provides a revenue stream that allows NFPA to develop codes and standards with independence and effectiveness and to provide both the private sector and governments with the standards they need to keep the U.S safe and strong.

And the bottom line is, without this revenue our ability to develop future standards and update existing ones would be placed in serious jeopardy, as would the health and safety of the public.

Public Resource’s massive copyright infringement is a “solution” in search of a problem. SDOs have every reason to make their standards widely available, and they actively do so. Standards are available in a variety of formats and at a reasonable cost. SDOs work to meet public access requirements, by offering free access to standards on the Internet. NFPA, for example, has made of all its codes and standards available on its website for viewing at no cost. for more than a decade. For more information on viewing codes and standards online visit

The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages from Public Resource or its founder. It seeks simply to stop the illegal posting of our copyright protected materials.  

E05C7EE3DD4645E699FAD965A2A4850F.ashxThis month, NFPA will issue the 53rd edition of the National Electrical Code® (NEC®). While the logical next step is state and local adoption, says Jeffrey Sargent in his column "Staying Current" in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal, some wonder if adopting the 2014 NEC is worth it, given that the 2011 edition is “good enough.” But is the previous version of the code really good enough for today'sdynamic and fast-moving electrical world? According to Jeff, the only way to keep pace safely is by using the most up-to-date safety requirements. To see his reasons why using the most current version of the code is always the best and safest route, read his column online or turn to page 38 of the latest issue of Journal.

High risk groupsSince 2003, the Springfield, Massachusetts, Fire Department has seen the dramatic effects of budget cuts: more than 50 firefighters have lost their jobs, and a fire station and two companies have shuttered their doors. At the same time, the community's budding immigrant population has generated a large number of fire calls, most of which have been the result of unsafe cooking practices.

Since the fire department lacked funding to educate this group, it took action. NFPA Journal columnist Lisa Braxton explains how NFPA's Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant helped the department create a new safety initiative. "We needed a way to communicate with [the immigrant groups] effectively about fire prevention," Springfield's Fire Marshal David Rivera tells Braxton.

Learn about Springfield's new fire safety initiative and the Jensen grant in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, NFPA 70®,National Electrical Code®, and NFPA 1006, Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications, are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the September 9, 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.

104D6EEC1F14463BAF078020EC38DAAD.ashxOnce you have installed or repaired a fire alarm system, says Wayne Moore in his column "Right Test, Right Time" in the most recent issue of NFPA Journal, testing the system according to NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, is one of the most important things you must do. It is the only way to make sure that the system will meet its goals when needed. 

To find out what kinds of tests must be conducted when, read Wayne's column online or turn to page 34 of your July/August issue of Journal.

2013 FPW quiz
The 2013 Fire Prevention Week theme is "Prevent Kitchen Fires." As a fun way to learn all about kitchen fire safety and preventing kitchen fires, we have developed a short trivia quiz for our website. with this trivia quiz. Take the quiz on our website and afterwards, continue to click through to see what the correct answers were to any you may have answered incorrectly. Also, be sure to share your results on Facebook and Twitter.

Take the Fire Prevention Week quiz now!

For further educational material and tip sheets on preventing kitchen fires, especially since more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home—and about how people can keep cooking fires from starting in the first place, visit the Fire Prevention Week website.

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