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October 23, 2013 Previous day Next day

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Schematic of experimental laboratory (position of subjects not to scale).


A new Fire Protection Research Foundation report has been published, titled, "Parameters for Indirect Viewing of Visual Signals Used in Emergency Notification." This report was authored by John D. Bullough, Nicholas P. Skinner, and Yiting Zhu of the Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

A previous Foundation study on visual emergency notification suggested that a flashing light should increase the illuminance on the opposite wall by at least 7% in order for this increase to be detected reliably when being viewed indirectly.  This new report describes the results from a series of human factors experiments that investigated this suggestion. 


A [review of research performed for the Fire Protection Research Foundation by the RPI Lighting Research Center |] suggested that effective intensity may not be predictive of visual detection of signal lights when these are viewed indirectly or in the far-peripheral field of view. In particular, observers see the change in illuminance on room surfaces rather than the flashing light itself when it is not in the central field of view. To read more about the findings, please view the report on the Foundation website. </p>

Nearly 100 bushfires are reported burning across New South Wales state this week, threatening the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia's largest city, according to fire officials. The fires have already destroyed more than two hundred homes in the Blue Mountains region and one person has died. Firefighters continue to battle three particular blazes, concerned that they could turn into one "mega-fire" that would force Sydney residents to evacuate.

Reports on Tuesday forecasted hot, dry weather and strong winds for the next few days in addition to isolated storms, which were predicted to hit Blue Mountains earlier this week. Australian meteorologists have commented that it is unlikely there will be enough rain from these storms to dampen the fires and say they are concerned that high winds and even lightning could cause even further damage.

The causes of the Blue Mountains fires are being investigated and according to news reports, officials are looking into whether one major blaze was caused by a military training exercise.

NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations Division is concerned about these communities and continues to keep an eye on the situation. 

For more information on bushfires in Australia, check out an article in the special September 2011 wildfire issue of NFPA Journal, "Stay or Go," which provides a glimpse into Australia's wildfire policy and the current state of wildfire in the country.

- by NFPA's LisaMarie Sinatra

On Thursday, October 24, NFPA will be hosting a "member-only" online presentation, "NFPA 70E – A Discussion about OSHA, Compliance, Training and Certification".

This presention, part of NFPA's "Office Hours" series, will feature:

  • David M. Wallis, Director, OSHA Directorate of Standards and Guidance will explain the relationship between OSHA and NFPA 70E and the consequences of non-compliance.
  • Michael Fontaine, NFPA Senior Electrical Engineer will discuss why it is valuable to go beyond the NFPA 70E handbook and train to stay compliant.
  • Leon Katcharian, NFPA Director of Certification will provide an overview of the new NFPA 70E certification.

NFPA members: register now for this free presentation!

NFPA 70E is the Standard for Electrical Safety in the workplace. Learn more, view NFPA 70E online for free.

CESCPNFPA is pleased to announce the new Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional (CESCP) certification program, created to encourage electrical safety within the industry. The program is based on NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, 2012 Edition, which sets requirements for safe work practices to protect personnel by reducing exposure to major electrical hazards. 

The CESCP certification program consists of a set of eligibility requirements, a 100 question computer-based examination, and a set of recertification requirements that must be completed within a three (3) year time period following initial certification. 

Program application forms can be found in the CESCP candidate handbook as well as online at Participants have twelve (12) months after they are accepted as a CESCP applicant to take and pass the exam.  Once you become CESCP certified, you must recertify every three (3) years. 

For more information on this new program, check out the official news release.

How is the fire protection industry addressing green construction and technology? Sign up to attend the Fire Protection Research Foundation's Fire Safety and Sustainabile Building Design Symposium and learn about some of the issues and solutions identified throughout the industry. The 2 day event will be held in Chicago on November 7th-8th at the Courtyard Chicago Downtown . We have some really great speakers lined up from RJA, UL, FM Global, ARUP, NIST, WPI, BRE and many more. Check out a few of the presentation topics:

  • NIST Metrics and Tools for Sustainable Building Speaker: Barbara Lippiatt, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • The Integral Role of Fire Protection in SustainabilitySpeaker: Lou Gritzo, Vice President and Manager of Research, FM Global
  • Safety Challenges of Green Buildings Speaker: Brian Meacham, Associate Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
  • Is "performance-based" fire protection the best way to work towards sustainable building goals?Speaker: Ray Grill, Principal, Arup
  • What are the developers of automatic sprinkler systems doing to support sustainability needs of building?Speaker: Russ Fleming, President, National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA)

Learn more about the symposium and schedule HERE. You can earn 1.0 CEUs (10 hours). Hope to see you there!

-Tracy Golinveaux

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