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The Foundation's Next Five Years in Fire and Electrical Safety is underway at the District Architecture Center in Washington DC. Antony Wood, Executive Director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), provided the opening keynote on the changing urban landscape. He discussed the trends in tall buildings: buildings are getting taller, there are an increasing number of tall buildings, there is a change in location away from North America, and tall buildings are changing functions, construction materials, and design aesthetics.  He also discussed the drivers behind the trends including population growth, urbanization, and changing social demographics.

Antony then covered the shortfalls in current tall building design and some design principles for new paradigms in tall building design.  These principles include representing the city’s culture and history in the design and accounting for the environmental characteristics of the location.

The CTBUH is currently in the news because the Height Committee just affirmed the height of One World Trade Center at 1,776 feet making it the tallest building in the United States. 

For more information about the conference including the conference presentations, please visit the Foundation’s website.

by NFPA's LisaMarie Sinatra

A kick-off to the Backyards & Beyond conference here in Salt Lake City, NFPA's 2-day HIZ workshop began this morning with over 65 people in attendance from such industries as forestry, insurance, fire service and others.

Instructors Pat Durland of Stone Creek Fire, LLC and Jack Cohen, physical research scientist, USDA Forest Service, led today's discussion and workshop modules that highlighted major issues contributing to WUI fire losses, how wildfires ignite and approaches that can be used to reduce home loss from wildfire exposure. Tomorrow, the class will visit a few neighborhoods to see first hand how wildfire mitigation is working in Utah communities.

During the next few days, stay tuned to our Fire Break blog as we cover the conference. You'll get all the latest coverage regarding session highlights, exhibits and special presentations. You can also check out photos, videos and daily commentary!

AB326F9D49AD4D338087872993205E3CLast June, the Yarnell Hill wildland fire in Arizona killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Over the past century, we have come to see events such as the Yarnell Hill fire as infrequent but inevitable, says NFPA President Jim Shannon in "First Word" in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal. We treat the wildfire problem as though it is some sort of fluke, when it is a problem that will grow steadily worse over the next generation, inflicting death on the scale of Yarnell Hill again and possibly much sooner than in the past.

The federal government's response has been uneven, pulling resources away from the most basic needs of communities threatened by wildfire. While the government supports excellent programs to help communities adopt policies to make them safer, such as the Firewise and Fire Adapted Communities, programs, those efforts are not enough. To prevent another Yarnell Hill, we need a better coordinated national effort to deal with fundamental changes in the nature, scope, and consequences of wildfires. Firefighter injuries
by NFPA's Maria Figueroa

NFPA released the latest edition of its Firefighter Injuries in the United States report, highlighting statistics on line-of-duty firefighter injuries in 2012 from NFPA’s survey of fire departments – including non-incident-related injuries, trends, and brief narratives on selected incidents.

NFPA estimates that 69,400 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty in 2012. An estimated 31,490 (45.4%) of all the firefighter injuries occurred during fireground operations.

Based on 2006-2010 structure fires reported to U.S. municipal fire departments, when compared to structure fires in homes with no automatic extinguishing equipment present, analysis of home structure fires with wet-pipe sprinklers present showed a 65% reduction in firefighter injuries at the fireground per 1,000 home structure fires.

Download the 2012 firefighter injury report

by NFPA's Ken Willette

Ever wonder what it actually costs to fight a fire?If you had to pay for fire and emergency services like you do for electricity, pay for actual use/consumption, how much would it cost?

There are some American Fire Departments that operate that way, they offer you a pre payment plan,(a subscription), that guarantees a specified level of service and response. There are also departments that will bill you for services if you live in an area with no organized fire department,(often called unincorporated areas). They will bill you for actual services rendered, and often, are not the closest fire department, but one that has the ability to respond.

Watch this news report and see what one Arizona homeowner found was the cost to fight a fire at his home in an unincorporated area:

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