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2013

David B. Gratz Scholarship

Who is eligible: Graduate students enrolled in fire science or fire engineering programs outside of the United States.

Distribution: There will be a minimum of one scholarship awarded per year of at least $5,000.

About Mr. Gratz: Chief Gratz entered the fire service as a volunteer with the Silver Spring, MD, Fire Department in 1949. He became the first career Chief of the department in 1961 and served in that capacity until 1973 when he became the first Director of the Montgomery County, MD, Department of Fire and Rescue Services. He led NFPA's International Operations division for 22 years until his death in 1998.

Learn more, apply for the Gratz Scholarship. The deadline is April 1, 2014.

Iroquoisj3A fire at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago on December 30, 1903, killed 602 people and injured 250 others. It remains the fifth deadliest fire in U.S. history and the deadliest U.S. theater fire ever. The investigation showed that the fire was sparked by an arc light which ignited scenery curtains. An asbestos fire curtain was dropped on the stage, but was snagged on the way down and stopped about 10 feet above the stage, which allowed toxic smoke and flames to flow into the auditorium. Many deaths were due to crowd-crush, and the fire was brought under control in about 15 minutes by firefighters.

The fire alerted the country to the need for improved fire safety regulations in theaters. But for those who were there, it was a horror they could never forget. Read "A Tragedy Remebered" from the July/August 1995 issue of NFPA Journal® , which includes an eyewitness account from Eddie Foy, one of the actors performing on that fateful day.

Arthur E. Cote Scholarship

Who is eligible: Undergraduate students enrolled in fire protection engineering programs in the United States or Canada.

Distribution: There will be a minimum of one scholarship awarded per year of at least $5,000.

About Mr. Cote: Arthur Cote dedicated his career to the fire protection engineering community and is well known nationally and internationally. He is recognized as one of the leading authorities in fire sprinkler protection and technology. Prior to his retirement, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Engineer at the NFPA, overseeing ten operating divisions.

Learn more, apply for the Cote Scholarship. Deadline: April 1, 2014.

Attention fire departments: February 7 is the deadline to apply for the NFPA's Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant. The $5,000 grant is presented annually to a local fire department to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign. Funded by the RJA Group, the grant is open to any fire department –career or volunteer– in the United States or Canada.

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Photo: Roscomare Valley Association

Some people choose to keep Christmas trees up for a few weeks after the holiday. But did you know that nearly 40 percent of homes fires that began with Christmas trees occurred in January?


 

“The longer Christmas trees are in the home, the more dangerous they become," says Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. "The continued use of seasonal lighting and dried-out trees can pose significant fire hazards in and outside the home. Proper disposal of the tree from your home will minimize the risk and will keep the holiday a joyful one.”


Although these tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be fatal. On average, one of every 40 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home structure fires.


 

NFPA offers tips on disposing of your Christmas tree and safely removing and storing your holiday decorations.</p>

The issue of cost has long deterred many homeowners from considering a residential fire sprinkler system to protect their new homes. An article on Explorernews.com, a weekly newspaper serving Tucson, AZ, reminds its readers of a study that shows the price of residential fire sprinkler systems has actually dropped significantly in recent years.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation report compared current home fire sprinkler system costs against its 2008 study to gain a better understanding of how increasingly widespread adoption of sprinkler ordinances impacts system cost. In the new report, the average cost for sprinklers in new homes is $1.35 per sprinklered square foot. In the 2008 report, the average cost per sprinklered square foot was $1.61.

Tucson, incedentally, is home to the newest VISION House®, the latest in Green Builder® Media's series of sustainable homes being built around the country. Among the home's many features: home fire sprinklers, which have been proven to reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment if a fire does occur.

mikehazell

Happy holidays from NFPA

Posted by mikehazell Employee Dec 25, 2013

NFPA extends its best wishes to you and your family for a happy and safe holiday season! Why not send a free Sparky e-card to your friends to let them know you're thinking of them?

Sparky card

WinterfactsIt's that time of year -- families and friends are gathering to celebrate the holidays. But that means there is a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips from NFPA that will help ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season at your home.

  1. Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  2. Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  3. Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  4. Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  5. Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
  6. Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

Download our free winter holiday safety tip sheet for more information.

Tall wood buildings

A new report has just been published, titled "Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings" and authored by Robert Gerard and David Barber with Arup North America Ltd. Recent architectural trends include the design and construction of increasingly tall buildings with structural components comprised of engineered wood referred to by names including; cross laminated timber (CLT), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), or glued laminated timber (Glulam). Construction is currently underway on a 10-story apartment building in Melbourne, Australia, with taller structures up to 30 stories under design in Norway, Austria and Vancouver. These buildings are cited for their advantages in sustainability resulting from the use of wood as a renewable construction material. Claims have been made that they are designed to be safer than buildings fabricated using structural steel due to the formation of an insulating char layer that forms on the perimeter of a laminated wood beam when exposed to a fire.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation initiated this project to gain an understanding of the performance of these buildings under credible fire scenarios to ensure the safety of the occupants to emissions and thermal hazards, as well as the property protection of the building and nearby structures. The goals of this first phase project was to gather information and data from relevant studies and analyze the knowledge gaps. In addition, a framework prioritization of research needs was produced.

Read the entire report through the Foundation website. 

Phil with Pope
Chief Phil Stittleburg meeting Pope Francis

 

Helmet presentation
President Ferlise presenting the personalized fire helmet to Pope Francis.

 

On November 20, 2013, Chief Phil Stittleburg (Chair of the NFPA Board of Directors) was a member of a delegation to the Vatican from the Organization de Bomberos Americanos (OBA). The delegation was able to meet Pope Francis and present him with a personalized fire helmet. The delegation included OBA President Carlos Ferlise from Argentina and representatives from Paraguay and Ecuador as well as Chief Stittleburg. The group also met with members of the Argentine government at the Argentine embassy in Rome.

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Green Builder Media President Ron Jones addresses the crowd in front of VISION House Tucson.



 

What do home fire sprinklers have in common with floor tiles made from recycled toilets, countertops crafted from glass bottles and sea shells, a low flow showerhead that plays music from your bluetooth device and solar panels on the roof? They were all featured this week at the grand opening of the VISION House® Tucson, the latest in Green Builder ® Media's series of high performing, sustainable homes being built around the country.


 

While the fire safety benefits of sprinklers have long been recognized, the green aspects are now becoming&#0160; more widely recognized. According to a groundbreaking study conducted by FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition , greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study also found that automatic fire sprinklers: reduce fire damage by up to 97%; reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90%; and reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment.


greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study, a collaborative effort of FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, also found that automatic fire sprinklers: reduce fire damage by up to 97%; reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90%; and reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment. - See more at: http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/research-reports/environmental-impact-of-fire-sprinklers.aspx#sthash.RBf3kkuQ.dpuf


how that greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study, a collaborative effort of FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, also found that automatic fire sprinklers: reduce fire damage by up to 97%; reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90%; and reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment. - See more at: http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/research-reports/environmental-impact-of-fire-sprinklers.aspx#sthash.RBf3kkuQ.dpuf


how that greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study, a collaborative effort of FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, also found that automatic fire sprinklers: reduce fire damage by up to 97%; reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90%; and reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment. - See more at: http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/research-reports/environmental-impact-of-fire-sprinklers.aspx#sthash.RBf3kkuQ.dpuf


NFPA and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition have been working with Green Builder Media to showcase home fire sprnklers as an integral part of sustainable homes. Our first project Green Builder Media’s VISION House® exhibit in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which opened on Earth Day 2012. VISION House Tucson will remain open for 90 days. If you visit either house, check out the home fire sprinklers!


 


Green Builder® Media’s VISION House® exhibit in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which opened on Earth Day 2012 - See more at: http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/research-reports/environmental-impact-of-fire-sprinklers.aspx#sthash.RBf3kkuQ.dp


 


Green Builder Media President Ron Jones talks about the project and the importance of home fire sprinklers.


 

- by NFPA&#39;s Lorraine Carli</p>

On December 18, 2013 NFPA hosted a virtual training event featuring Christel Hunter. This event was a 1-day, interactive training event focused on the critical highlights of the 2014 NEC. Given that this was an online only event, we wanted to know what people thought of the format, the speaker, the technology and the content. The review below was sent to us by guest blogger Tammy Gammon, PHD, PE. Tammy was a registrant for this event and agreed to share her feedback with the NFPA community. 

NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) Softbound, 2014 Edition

December 19, 2013

The National Electric Code is the foundation of electrical power distribution and utilization for buildings. Since the 2014 NEC was released in August, I have wanted to attend a multi-day 2014 NEC Training Seminar; unfortunately, my busy schedule, which does not involve designing, installing or inspecting building electrical systems, has not permitted the time and resources necessary. I am a fan of the live shows and webinars on NEC Connect, and learned through NEC Connect that NEC expert, Christel Hunter, would be teaching a live, one-day seminar.

I was excited about the seminar – it was very feasible for me with such a minimal time and cost investment. I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn about some of the many changes to the 2014 NEC, as well as deepen my own level of understanding. The seminar exceeded my expectations.  Mrs. Hunter was extremely knowledgeable about, not only the 2014 NEC, but also remarked on how some of the code sections evolved over various previous NEC editions. Several times, she cited documents and standards published by UL, ANSI, NEMA, NFPA and CSA which could provide additional information, substantiated the NEC requirements, and/or were cohesive with current NEC requirements.

The seminar was interesting, interactive and fast-paced – the diametric opposite of a number of sleep-inducing, didactic monologues (before computer-aided instruction) that I endured while growing up. I watched and listened to Mrs. Hunter as she spoke and showed specific Code passages. Her slide presentation contained many easy-to-understand diagrams, as well as photos illustrating practical examples of the subject matter. We attendees could ask questions with the simple chat function available or through email – our choice. We were kept engaged through occasional polls -- questions about the NEC, several challenging quizzes (which were not turned in), and keeping up in the 2014 NEC Handbook provided for the seminar. Mrs. Hunter also showed several short videos where other experts discussed subject matter, as well as one video “on the lighter side.” At brief intervals, the camera shifted to the control room, and we engaged with the NFPA staff, even getting a glimpse of Mark Earley, editor-in-chief of the 2014 Handbook.

After attending the seminar yesterday, I am more up-to-date on the changes to the 2014 NEC, as well as more appreciative of the NEC’s depth. However, the seminar was so informative, if I have the opportunity, I am even more interested in additional training by NEC Code experts on the NEC, as well as better understanding the Code making and Code adoption processes.

NFPA released its latest Home Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Fires Report which offers statistics on fire hazards that typically accompany the winter holiday season. 

In 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 230 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees. Although these fires are not common, when they do occur, they are likely to be serious.

 

Video: A demonstration showing how flammable a dry Christmas tree can be as opposed to a tree watered regularly. This test was conducted by NFPA and Underwriters Laboratories.

NFPA offers the following safety tips:

  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
  • If using a real tree, select one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1" - 2" from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree:

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.

NFPA offers safety advice and informational resources at www.nfpa.org/holiday that can be used to minimize fire risks this season.

 

The Huffington Post recently interviewed a Washington State resident whose home was damaged from a fire initiated by a Christmas tree. Check out the following video, which includes before- and after-fire photos of his house. And don&#39;t let this happen to you—please read all of NFPA's Christmas tree safety tips.




 

Since the Columbine shootings in 1999, more than 250 people in the U.S. have been killed during active shooter and mass-casualty incidents. The more recent incidents—the Newtown, Conn., shootings last year and the Boston Marathon bombings in April—aren't any less tragic, and serve as an unfortunate reminder of the realities of modern American life.

Addressing this concern, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has released a new emergency response guide that provides an array of response tactics for "complex and demanding incidents that may well be beyond the traditional training of the majority of firefighters and emergency medical technicians." Outlined in a recent article in The New York Times, the guidelines recommend first responders safely enter areas known as "warm zones"—where they could possibly encounter an assailant—as a means to assist victims in rapid fashion.

Saving victims "in warm zones is a different risk for firefighters, but not more of a risk than firefighters already take in responding to a burning structure," Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Firefighters, told the Times. His organization supports and has helped create the new guidelines. 

For more information on how NFPA and the fire service are developing an integrated approach to mass-casualty shootings, read the recent feature in NFPA Journal. In the following video, NFPA's Robert Solomon explains how NFPA is addressing mass shootings:

 

Training more than 1,400 code enforcers on the National Electrical Code® (NFPA 70®) over the course of 10 days is no small feat, but Tim McClintock and Jeff Sargent, NFPA’s Regional Electrical Code Specialists recently spent the first two weeks of December in sunny, but cold, California doing just that.

Free access to the National Electrical Code (NEC).

Every three years the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) updates the California Electrical Code which consists of the NEC plus the amendments promulgated by the five state agencies involved in the code update process. The latest version of the California Electrical Code, the 2013 edition, is based on the 2011 edition of the NEC and becomes effective on January 1, 2014. California’s adoption has historically lagged one revision cycle behind the most current edition.
 
NFPA supports statewide adoption of the NEC by providing free training for the authorities having jurisdiction. This training consists of a 1-day program on the significant changes in the newly adopted edition, plus a free copy of the new code. California’s large geographic area and population presents a unique challenge to reaching as many of the enforcers as possible, so the road show consisted of 10 training sessions in 10 different locations, five in southern CA and five more in northern CA.
 
Once a new edition of the code is adopted by a promulgating body, it is the efforts of the code enforcement community that furthers NFPA’s fire and electrical safety mission by making sure that installations are performed according to the requirements of the newly adopted edition. The AHJs vital role in our safety system cannot be understated. 
 
Tim and Jeff were provided with great support at each training venue by their “roadies” who handled the logistics necessary to make this training successful. Working with NFPA Southwest Regional Director Ray Bizal, Tim coordinated with Jim McGowan from the California Building Standards Commission, local chapters of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), the local building officials associations, Underwriters Laboratories, QPS Evaluation Services, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association to make this a hugely successful effort.  
 
California is to be applauded for moving forward with the adoption of the 2013 California Electrical Code and its commitment to public safety by providing quality code enforcement. The effort to train the code enforcers on the newly adopted California Electrical Code helps ensure Californians are provided with safe electrical installations where they live, work, and play.

- by NFPA's Jeff Sargent and Tim McClintock

Safety SourceThe December issue of Safety Source is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find: 

  • Holiday safety tips sheets
  • For the kids: Christmas Mad-lib, Sparky color by number activity and a new holiday E-card featuring Sparky the Fire Dog.
  • Project Holiday (including free fire-safety gift tags) 
  • Remembering When Conference held in Boston, MA

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be the first to get the latest information on happenings in the public education division, activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, Sparky the Fire Dog® and more.

I’ve always had artificial Christmas trees, but this year my husband would like to purchase one fresh from the farm. Since we’re in a small condo, we were challenged to figure out the safest place to put it: next to the entertainment center and it would block the exit to the balcony, next to the couch and it would be near a heating vent. A section of the wall away from both locations turned out to be the best spot. With that figured out, the next step wasn’t to go shopping for the best pine, spruce, or fir we could find, but for the tree stand.

NFPA’s Christmas Tree Safety tips sheet reminds us of the dangers of dried-out Christmas trees. Tips include adding water to the tree stand daily and getting rid of trees after Christmas or when they are dried out. In addition, dried out trees should be disposed of properly so they aren’t a fire hazard.

When home Christmas tree fires occur they can be serious, causing an annual average of six deaths, 22 injuries, and $18.3 million in property damage.

Christmas tree safety is among the topics of the “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” campaign by NFPA and the United States Fire Administration. NFPA’s safety information, including my new video on Christmas tree safety help us to deck the halls while being fire smart.

- by NFPA's Lisa Braxton

Skinny Banner

A woman in Washington has been awarded $30 million after laser surgery at a local hospital left her unable to speak. According to a report in The Wenatchee World, the 55-year-old woman was in surgery and on a breathing tube in February 2012 when a fire occurred in her throat while she was having polyps removed from her vocal cords.

Operating room fires are rare compared to the number of annual surgeries in the U.S. According to "Operation Fire Safety" in the January/February 2012 issue of NFPA Journal®, the National Center for Health Statistics reported 22 million in-patient surgical procedures in the U.S. in 2009 and 50 million outpatient procedures in 2006. The FDA estimates that about 600 surgical fires occur annually, though the actual figure is likely higher.

Fires not resulting in death or serious injury tend to be underreported, since only about half of U.S. states are required to report "adverse events" at health care facilities. And while not all of those fires produce burns, the FDA points out that "some result in injury, disfigurement, or even death."

Fires during surgery have gotten the attention of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , which regulates surgical components that might cause fires. Its "Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative" educates health care professionals on the root causes of fires in operating rooms and highlights risk-reduction practices and safety procedures that match provisions in NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities, and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. Read the full article in NFPA Journal.

 
NFPA's Rich Bielen talks about the dangers of fires in a hospital operating room and how NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code can mitigating the frequency.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Lucian Deaton2093G-800pxls

The Wildland Fire Operations Division is pleased to announce that Lucian Deaton has joined their team as senior project manager. Based at the NFPA field office in Denver, Colorado, Deaton will will be the manager of the public outreach efforts of the Division, including the Firewise Communities and Fire Adapted Communities programs.

NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division works with organizations across the country and around the globe to raise awareness of wildfire and what residents can do to help prevent loss of lives and property in their community.

Before coming to NFPA, Deaton served as the wildland fire program manager for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), responsible for the development and implementation of the National Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) program in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service and various partners. Previously, he worked in government relations at both IAFC and the National Association of Police Organizations. 

We are excited to have him join the NFPA family, congratulations Lucian!

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season. Check out NFPA's "Project Holiday" page for free safety resources and helpful tips such as:

  • Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.

Here are a few more shots from today's satellite media tour with NFPA's Judy Comoletti. She's being beamed to dozens of TV stations around the United States for interviews about holiday fire safety.

Judy Comoletti satellite media tour 3
NFPA's Judy Comoletti awaits her cue.

Judy Comoletti satellite media tour 4
All the gear it takes to make NFPA's "Project Holiday" satellite media tour a success.

Twitter_logo_blueToday at 2:00pm ET, NFPA and United States Fire Administration (USFA) will be holding a live Twitter Q&A all about holiday fire safety. 

NFPA and USFA are working together to remind everyone this year that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season, due in part to an increase in cooking and heating fires. During the Put a Freeze on Winter Fires campaign, safety information on cooking, heating, holiday decorations, candles, Christmas trees, and electrical issues will be emphasized so that you can stay safe all season. 

To participate in this Twitter Q&A, please follow along with both @NFPA and @USFire on Twitter, and use the chat's hashtag - #HolidaySafety to submit questions that you would like answered by experts from both organizations related to holiday fire safety. Questions may be submitted in advance, but be sure to tune in TODAY at 2:00pm ET for the answers. 

Winter fires 2013-14_600x90 banner

Projectholiday2011

If you watch your local TV news this morning, there's a chance you'll see Judy Comoletti of NFPA's public education division sharing tips on how to keep your holidays fire-safe. It's all part of NFPA's "Project Holiday" campaign, where we're offering a free online toolkit filled with safety tips, reports, talking points, videos, and fun gift and tree tags to help your family and community understand the importance of fire safety this winter. Get all of the details on our Project Holiday page.

This morning, Judy is stationed at a private home north of Boston, and through the magic of a satellite media tour, is participating in more than 2 dozen television interviews with stations across the country.

Judy Comoletti satellite media tour 2
Judy Comoletti prepares to conduct another interview about holiday fire safety with one of more than two dozen TV stations around the United States.

Judy Comoletti satellite media tour 1
It's showtime!

Satellite media tour control room
The crew running the satellite media tour is set up in the basement of the home.

In honor or Fire Prevention Week this year, NFPA hosted a series of four contests, one per month, beginning in October. The fourth and final contest in that series, December's contest, is now open and will be accepting entries though December 22nd at midnight. At the end of this month's contest, like each before it, one lucky randomly selected winner from all those who participated, will be chosen to win an Apple® iPad mini®. Congratulations to November's winner, Susan Hastings of Sunrise, FL!

For your chance to win December's iPad Mini, we're asking that you view a new FPW music video - found at www.nfpa.org/2013fpwcontest. Then, answer the short quiz we've developed underscoring the key takeaways of the video before midnight on December 22nd. 

Good luck to everyone! 

Week 4

mikehazell

Give space heaters space

Posted by mikehazell Employee Dec 10, 2013

For many folks, it is time to start thinking about safety when using home heating devices.  Whether using space heaters, fire places, or woodstoves, there are guidelines to consider to ensure safety.  First and foremost, it is critical to make sure there is adequate clearance for space heaters. The heat source should be at least 3 feet from anything that can burn – including people. Blankets, furniture, and newspapers pose fire risks when placed too close to heaters and fire places. Give space heaters space is one of the fire prevention messages in the Remembering When™ program, but this message is important for people of all ages.

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

HeathGarrison.200 Heath Garrison is the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for electrical safety and electrical installations for the entire laboratory at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. The 327-acre campus in Golden, Colorado, houses four LEED-rated buildings.

Heath is a Certified Master Electrician and an ICC Certified Electrical Inspector with 15 years of commercial, industrial, and residential experience. He recently passed the exam to earn the NFPA Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional (CESCP) certification.  The CESCP is the newest certification offered by NFPA and is specifically designed to meet the certification requirements of supervisors managing electricians and other facilities personnel who work with electrical power systems.

In his current role, Heath is responsible for assuring the compliance of the latest current edition of NFPA 70®:  National Electrical Code®, NFPA 70E®: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®, IEEE C2 National Electrical Safety Code, and OSHA 1910.  He enforces the requirements of the Electrical Safety Program and ensures the workplace safety of electrical, instrument, electronics, and refrigeration technicians.

Career Path

He began his training as an apprentice and he continues by taking classes towards earning his Electrical Engineering degree. Recently, he’s had the opportunity to train in specific areas related to NFPA 70®, NFPA 70E®, and electrical circuitry.

Eligibility requirements to earn CESCP

An important eligibility requirement is completion of 40 hours or 4.0 CEUs of electrical safety training. Heath has spent the past several years diligently earning the following certificates:

CESCP-logoNFPA 70E®: Electrical Safety in the Workplace Seminar (2012 Edition)
NFPA 70E® - 2012 Update
• High Voltage Electrical Worker Safety
• Identifying and Installing Low Voltage Circuits
NEC® Overview for Lab Workers
• Continuing Education with the Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation, for electricians

CESCPcertificateTo pass you must reach a scaled score of 70 percent or higher, and we’re pleased to reward Mr. Garrison one of the first CESCP certificates! 

Congratulations!

The NFPA Certification Team is looking forward to sharing more profiles in Certification in the coming months!

Learn more about CESCP and NFPA Certification.

NFPA News The December issue of NFPA News, our codes and standards newsletter, is now available.

In this issue:

  • Comments sought on proposed TIAs on NFPA 13, 25, 99, 780, 1981 and 1982
  • View the submitted public comments on the Fall 2014 documents
  • Errata issued on NFPA 70 and 1500
  • Committees seeking members
  • Committees soliciting public input
  • Committee meetings calendar

NFPA News is a free newsletter, and includes special announcements, notification of public input closing dates, requests for comments, notices on the availability of Standards Council minutes, and other important news about NFPA’s standards development process.

Free subscription Sign-in on NFPA’s web site and then select “NFPA News” from your e-mail options.

Lakeland fire
A person living in a storage area behind a strip mall was responsible for a recent fire that damaged four businesses.

A candle used by the individual, who had permission to be there, had accidentally ignited a nearby mattress, states a report from Polk County Fire Rescue (PCFR) in Florida. A cluster of businesses in the building--including a tattoo parlor, barber shop, thrift store, and Latin restaurant--were fortunately empty at the time of the fire. Some businesses, however, sustained a collective $300,000 in damage. There were no injuries.

Review all of NFPA's tips on candle safety to prevent a similar event from occurring. Thanks to PCFR for photos of the event:

Strip mall fire

  Strip mall fire2

Strip mall fire3
 

Night LightBefore dawn during Thanksgiving weekend, my husband and I had to make an unplanned trip to Connecticut to attend the funeral of a beloved aunt. We were exhausted by the end of the day’s events. That night, we stayed at my parents’ house in my childhood bedroom on the second floor. When we turned off the lights, the entire floor was pitch dark. We both remarked on it, then dozed off.

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

9912The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, is being published for public review and comment:

  • Proposed TIA No. 1125 referencing 11.5.1.1.2 through 11.5.1.1.4 and A.11.5.1.1.2 through A.11.5.1.1.3 of the 2012 edition and proposed 2015 edition

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the January 17, 2014 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.

CowsFirefighters spent eight hours battling a destructive barn fire in Wisconsin this month that killed more than 60 cows.

The Wausau Daily Herald reports that the blaze was so intense, smoke blanketed nearby roadways and created hazardous driving conditions. Other news agencies have stated that the barn was a total loss, and the cause is still under investigation. Authorities believe at least 64 cattle died in the fire, reports WSAW-TV.

How common are these fires? From 2006 to 2010, 830 barn fires were reported to U.S. municipal fire departments each year, according to NFPA's "Structure Fires in Barns" report. Nearly a quarter of these fires were caused by heating equipment. NFPA 150, Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities, applies to these types of settings.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 1981, Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for Emergency Services, and NFPA 1982, Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS), are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the January 17, 2014 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.

0291294F321D434F8D936913F15768FFIt was the deadliest earthquake in Japan’s history, destroying approximately 45 percent of Tokyo and 80 percent of Yokohama. The great Kanto earthquake of September 1, 1923, was of the same magnitude as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake—7.9 on the moment magnitude scale—but the damage it caused was far greater. An estimated 142,000 people died, almost 140,000 more than in San Francisco. For more on the earthquake, read "Looking Back" in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal.

Space heatersAn ABC affiliate serving Knoxville, Tennesee, reported that a portable heater started a fire at a two-story home that injured two people, including a firefighter.

According to the news report, two adults in the home escaped the burning building before firefighters arrived at the scene. One had suffered minor burns on his head, and a firefighter was treated for charred debris that came in contact with his eye.

The cause, per investigators at the scene, was a portable, electric heater placed near combustible materials in a bedroom. NFPA recommends keeping anything that can burn at least three feet away from portable heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, and other types of heating equipment. Also, turn portable heaters off when leaving a room or going to bed. Review all of NFPA's heating safety tips.

Fire Adapted Communities
NFPA Journal
columnist Molly Mowery hits the "pause button" before 2014 makes its arrival to reflect on the successes of the Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) initiative. Launched by a coalition that includes NFPA, the initiative helps U.S. communities find tools and resources to reduce wildfire risks.

"Budget cuts, record-breaking home losses, and wildland firefighter tragedies can also make it hard to remember positive outcomes we're seeing from our collective actions to mitigate wildland fire," says Mowery in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.

She highlights new resources, successes of the Firewise Communities/USA® program, and the launch of the FAC Learning Network, which targets U.S. communities with the goal of connecting people and resources to become fire-adapted. 

Read about all of the FAC successes in the November/December issue of Journal.

7014SBNFPA has issued the following errata on the 2014 edition of NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®:

  • NFPA 70, Errata 70-14-2 referencing various sections of the 2014 edition, issuance: December 3, 2013

An errata is a correction issued to an NFPA Standard, published in NFPA News, Codes Online, and included in any further distribution of the document.

It's the first report we've seen this season of a Christmas tree fire. NBCMiami.com reports that a Christmas tree in an elementary school in Port Orange, FL, caught fire on Tuesday before classes started. The report says no students were injured, but eight classrooms were displaced by the fire. A school spokesperson is quoted as saying that the fire didn't cause much damage and it did not damage the school's electrical system. Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire.

Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they occur, they are likely to be serious. On average, one of every 66 reported fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in death. A heat source too close to the Christmas tree started one of every five (18%) of these fires. Download a free copy of NFPA's "Home Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Fires" report. See NFPA's fact sheet for more information and free resources.

Even thought it's early in December, it's a good reminder that Christmas trees need to be watered regularly. This NFPA/UL video demonstrates the flammability of a dry Christmas tree vs. a tree that has been watered regularly.

 

Watch this video on YouTube.

Research Foundation NewsThe November-December issue of Research Foundation News is now available for your viewing.  Featured items include;

  • Foundation invited to develop research agenda for Smart Fire Fighting
  • SupDet 2014 to be co-located with UCF Crisis and Risk Communication Conference
  • Cooking fire research continues
  • New reports issued:
    • Determining Self-Preservation Capability in Pre-School Children
    • Parameters for Indirect Viewing of Visual Signals Used in Emergency Notification

This bi-monthly Research Foundation newsletter describes new projects, research planning developments, newly issued reports, upcoming symposia, and other activities of the Foundation.

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now.

As we continue to enhance our standards development site, NFPA looks for ways to make it easier for the public to get involved and participate in our codes and standards development process.

A recent feature added in the standard development site is the capability for the public to “View Public Inputs” and “View Public Comments” after all submissions have been completed. For documents in the Fall 2014 revision cycle that received public comments, links are now available to “View Public Comments” on each Next edition tab of the document information pages under the category “Second Draft”. You will be asked to sign-in or create a free online account with NFPA before using this system. Please note that the following 17 documents did not receive any public comments and, therefore, will not have a link available for viewing: NFPA 122, NFPA 276, NFPA 326, NFPA 329, NFPA 410, NFPA 601, NFPA 853, NFPA 950, NFPA 1003, NFPA 1201, NFPA 1250, NFPA 1407, NFPA 1452, NFPA 1581, NFPA 1583, NFPA 1931, and NFPA 1932.

To view a complete list of the Fall 2014 documents, go to the document information pages and use the search feature in the upper right gray box to search by cycle.

Please be advised, that it is anticipated that in the future, paper submissions for public input and public comment will not be accepted so please take this opportunity to try out the system – we think you’ll really like it! As always we are here to help you participate in the NFPA process.

If you have any questions or need help with any feature of the Standards Development site, please contact us via email at standardsdev_support@nfpa.org.

UN Disabilities
Over one billion people, or approximately 15% of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. Please join us today, as we celebrate the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme of this year's International Day of Persons with Disabilities is: “Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all”.

A major focus of the Day is practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. To make the most of the Day, activities may highlight progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies, as well as promote public awareness to break barriers and open doors to realize an inclusive society for all. Also, beginning today, the outcome document of the HLMDD will be available and may be used to provide a blueprint for action to help realize the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society and shape the future of development for all!

Please check out the UN website on this important Day to learn more and for ideas on how you may participate. 

You can also check out NFPA's free fire safety educational materials for people with disabilities, including our Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide.

B9EF12C2F9D245A78AB8EAE2745C3C3ERevisions to the 2014 editions of NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® (NEC®), and NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, address the need for more receptacles for medical apparatus in hospitals to help reduce the use of  portable, multi-outlet devices such as power strips, which are often used improperly, according to NFPA's Jeffrey Sargent. In general-care spaces, the number of receptacles required has increased from four to eight, and in critical-care spaces, the requirement has increased from six to 14.The new NEC also increases the receptacle requirement for operating rooms. Read Jeff's column "Outlet Input" in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal for more information on these important code changes.

Ligus
Photo source:
oshonline.com

Not long ago, workers in the oil and gas, steel, and electrical industries had few, if any, preferred options with flame-resistant protective apparel. In an article, "Covering All the Bases" which first appeared in the December 2013 issue of Occupational Health & Safety, author Jay Skie says thanks to the actions of several organizations -- including the National Fire Protection Association, OSHA, and ASTM International -- workers exposed to flammable hazards can select from a variety of protective apparel to help reduce the likelihood and severity of injury during an accident. He says in recent years, many individuals have credited FR shirts, pants, and other garments with saving their lives.

In the article, Mr. Skie illustrates three ways that protective apparel has evolved to provide organizations and employees with improved protection, comfort, and peace of mind. Some of the NFPA documents he cites are:

Read Mr. Skie's full article.

Evac diagramsAll evacuation diagrams aren't created equal.

The latest "In Compliance" column in NFPA Journal discusses what important features these diagrams should include, and what should be left out. Guiding such requirements is NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, which lists where the diagrams are required to be posted in an occupancy and its specific features.

"Evacuation diagrams are certainly a good idea, provided they clearly and simply show occupants all of the choices available for evacuation," says columnist Chip Carson. Read all of Chip's tips in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal.

!http://a3.typepad.com/6a0111685e14d2970c019b01b1bd7b970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://a3.typepad.com/6a0111685e14d2970c019b01b1bd7b970c-800wi|alt=81iWt0ZNT2y_k7YG4rM4_F9tU9YJ4SywQyZ0pfQZcvg|title=81iWt0ZNT2y_k7YG4rM4_F9tU9YJ4SywQyZ0pfQZcvg|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0111685e14d2970c019b01b1bd7b970c image-full img-responsive!

NFPA's Lorraine Carli and Everett Captain Tony Carli



 

When I began working at NFPA almost eight years ago, my youngest brother Tony was the only one in the family that knew what NFPA was.  In fact, he was pretty excited that I was going to be working here. He told me about the importance of codes and gave me a quick primer on fire safety, getting me off to a good start.


 

Tony had joined the Everett Fire Department in 2000, a few years after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and jumped in with both boots. In the last 13 years he has fought a lot of fires. He has also prevented countless others from occurring when he came off the line to work in code enforcement and fire prevention.


Today, as I oversee NFPA’s outreach and advocacy efforts I still call on him for his perspective. We talk often about the challenges in urban firefighting and the intersection with NFPA. The job of a firefighter is different than it was decades ago as we rely on our fire service to be the first line of defense and the offense for every conceivable disaster that could strike a community. We rely on them to think about and prepare for the unthinkable. We trust they will respond in times of need. We also count on them to be the delivers of critical fire safety information in their communities. All of these things combined make us all safer from fire and other hazards.


But what has not changed is the dedication and commitment of those that become firefighters. We should all be grateful that these men and women are there every single day.


Last night I was proud to see Tony become a captain in my hometown – Everett, MA. Congratulations!


 

- by NFPA&#39;s Lorraine Carli</p>

Cocoanut Grove Lane
Crowds braved the morning chill on November 30 during a ceremony in Boston honoring the 492 people who died as a result of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire in 1942.Taking place on the street where the building once stood, the ceremony convened city officials, neighborhood advocates, survivors, and survivors' families to officially rename the small thoroughfare "Cocoanut Grove Lane." 

Survivors at the event--some gripping canes, others in wheelchairs--discussed the significance of the incident, which is still considered the deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. For the 70th anniversary of the fire last year, NFPA launched the Cocoanut Grove Coalition, which aims to collect and conserve the event's stories and artifacts. (Read the feature story in NFPA Journal on how the coalition came to be.)

Here are some photos from the event. Keep your eyes peeled for a story on the ceremony in an upcoming issue of NFPA Journal. 

Survivor board
Attendees perused the names of the 492 people who lost their lives from the fire.
Sign unveiling
City officials unveiling the new road sign.

Road sign

Amazing Grace
Members of the Boston Police Department Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums perform "Amazing Grace."

  Flowers

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