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7014SBThe following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, is being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the April 18, 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.

Fema courseIndependent Study Course, IS-368: Including People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in Disaster Operations, is a new, online training course available now. The course has been developed by FEMA and the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) in order to increase awareness and understanding of the need for full inclusion of disaster survivors and FEMA staff who are people with disabilities, and people with access and functional needs. The course provides an overview of disabilities and access and functional needs and explains how disaster staff can apply inclusive practices in their disaster assignments, and should be attended by all personnel involved in disaster operations at the Joint Field Office (JFO) as well as anyone else involved in disaster operations.

At the completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in disaster operations at the JFO and field locations.
  • Describe how JFO and field staff can support and include people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in disaster operations.
  • Describe principles and FEMA initiatives that provide a foundation for the integration of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in disaster operations.
  • Describe the history of the treatment of and services for people with disabilities.
  • Identify laws that provide the legal foundation for issues related to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
  • Describe the function of the Disability Integration Advisor.
  • Describe personal actions to support the integration of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in the JFO and field disaster operations.

Participants can take the course, and the final exam, online

To learn more, NFPA also has an information and resource page on people with disabilities that includes an emergency evacuation planning guide

We recently told you about the kick off of a contest to help determine the winners of twenty State Farm $500 monetary awards. Individuals or groups are being asked to submit Wildfire Community Preparedness Day project ideas, and the winners will be able to use the money to help them carry out those ideas.

Well, we already have more than 20 entries! There is still plenty of time to submit if you are considering doing so - the deadline is March 19th.

In the meantime, please be sure to visit the contest widget on our Wildfire Community Preparedness Day webpage, or through the Firewise Facebook page, and vote for your favorite submission. Winners will be selected based on assessment of eligibility, number of votes and project description!  

!|src=|alt=Suicide chart|style=width: 450px;|title=Suicide chart|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a014e86dfab17970d01a3fcc5e5a8970b img-responsive!
Fig. 1 Suicides by Year - credit to Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance.


<br />“He was a good guy!”, “He was always there.”, “I’ll miss him.”, “He was a fire fighters fire fighter!”

These are just a few of the comments that were spoken at a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD)* for a fire fighter who recently retired from the service.


“I’ll remember him as the guy helped me learn what I know about the fire service and helped me get through recruit training,”, “He was hard on me but for good reason.”, “I’m pissed!”, “I’ll remember him as a friend.”

Why CISD… because Mike died suddenly and tragically a few weeks ago. Not because of cancer, not because of old age, but because he took his life!

We’ll never know exactly what the circumstances were behind the tragic ending. We can say with certainty that it wasn’t for his lack of love for Sue, his wife. That relationship was a model for everyone to admire. Mike and Sue loved each other and they loved their dogs. They hiked together. They did everything together. They just finished building a new home. She helped him through some pretty difficult times.

It might have been that the job finally ‘got to him’. It might have been that he didn’t have the job any longer, except as a memory. What’s noteworthy, is the different ways many of us who were at CISD expressed our emotions. One in particular may have caught your attention: “I’m pissed!”

This came from one of the new firefighters, but also a veteran of Afghanistan, and he’s seen what emotions can play out when under tremendous stress. He was pissed because he didn’t see it, Mike’s death, coming. Many knew that Mike was leaving the fire service after nearly 25 years. Many knew that he was seeking help. Many knew that he was leaving not because he wanted to. But many also thought that he had been preparing himself and was ready for the transition to civilian life. This guy was upset because he couldn’t do anything to help Mike.

This is not a eulogy. This is not a means to vent. This is not where this needs to end! This blog is to make all of us in the fire service and in public safety aware of the stresses of the job or home life or a combination and to say something, Out Loud, Early! Don’t hold it in, don’t be a hero. Get the help from others who have been there, from the professionals like EAP, and from the department chaplain.

There appears to be limited resources and information on the topic of Fire Fighter Suicide. I’ve listed a few below. Feel free to add to the list by leaving a comment below:

Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance:

Uniformed Service Program:

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation:

National Volunteers Fire Council:


* NFPA 1500 +Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program +chapters on Behavioral Health and Wellness Programs and Occupational Exposure to Atypically Stressful Events

-[Tom McGowan |]

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

  • Find out the winners of the 2013 Firewise Challenge.  
  • Get the details on our Preparedness Day webinar that will explain how you can start your own neighborhood wildfire risk reduction project.
  • Discover how a group of kids concerned with wildfire safety produced a Firewise video that was entered in the First Lego League competition.
  • Learn about NFPA’s online “Firewise Toast” in March.

… And lots more! We want to continue to share all of this great information with you so don’t miss an issue! So subscribe today. It’s free! Just click here to add your e-mail address to our newsletter list.

Office hoursNFPA is hosting a free webinar called Office Hours today at 2pm EST for all NFPA members. The topic for the webinar is the 2014 NFPA 921.  The presenters will be Technical Committee Chairman Randy Watson and NFPA Staff Liaison Orlando P. Hernandez.  The webinar will discuss the following points; 

  • Issues surrounding 'Inappropriate Use of Process of Elimination'
  • Benefit of newly added color photography
  • Electrical Arcing
  • Analyzing the incident for cause & responsibility
  • New Fire Protection Systems chapter in support of NFPA 1033: Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigations

Register today! Have questions? Get the answers during the live event today by submitting questions to in advance or to Twitter (#OfficeHours) during the presentation. 

The High-Rise Building Safety Advisory Committee has recently completed and published a new document related to developing emergency action plans for high rise office buildings.  The management of building occupants within high-rise buildings is a critical concern during emergencies. While procedures for fire evacuation have been developed and adopted by major fire and emergency services throughout North America, there remains considerable variation in practice in the field.  This guide can be used to develop emergency action plans that are required by many occupancies in other NFPA codes such and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®.

With the increased recognition of the need to prepare and respond to non-fire threats such as extreme weather, workplace violence, and utility disruptions in the high-rise environment, the traditional building fire safety plan and organization are a logical starting point. In fact, the document recommends that a single, integrated plan and preparedness and response organization be utilized to assist building management and emergency responders in an all-hazard approach to building emergencies. The Committee recognizes that while there is a considerable body of practice in this area, research into and evaluation of these methods and policies are limited. This document is an attempt to fill that void and to inspire AHJs and building management to embrace the challenge.

The guide addresses the development of the emergency action plan, the roles and responsibilities of those executing, training, and participating in the plan, evacuation strategies, response to all-hazard emergencies, training and education, tabletop exercises, and procedures for reviewing and updating an existing emergency action plan. 

The document is available to download, for free, at NFPA’s high-rise building safety page

Last year, I interviewed Robert Feeney, a survivor from The Station Nightclub Fire in 2003, at the actual site of the blaze. The horror of that incident came flooding back to him while we were surrounded by a makeshift memorial of wooden crosses, stuffed animals, and weathered photos of some of the 100 victims who died from the fire. A decade had passed since the incident, but he remembers the details with vivid clarity.

This week marks the 11th anniversary of the fire, which is still one of the top 10 deadliest nightclub fires in U.S. history. Check out the story in NFPA Journal, and watch the video of Feeney at the site, which includes footage from the actual incident.


Training buildingEach year thousands of fire fighters are injured during training, and occasionally some are fatally injured. Live fire training evolution is an effective and popular training method, but it’s also one that exposes the trainees to significant hazards. One common cause of fire fighter death and injury is a lack of understanding of the hazard assessment of live fires used for training.

A new report was just published, authored by Chad M. Lannon and James A. Milke of the University of Maryland on this topic. This research effort is intended to further clarify the hazards of live fire training evolutions and provide data and information to support a fire hazard assessment methodology for fire training officers and fire fighters. The goal is to analyze specific fuel configurations in certain training fire evolutions and to supplement currently available practical guidance for use by training instructors based on the hazards associated with live fire training evolutions.

This project is intended to directly supplement an earlier project on a "Hazard Assessment for Fire Service Training Fires" that was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, AFG Fire Prevention & Safety Grants. This latest effort was funded by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) through the NFPA Annual Code Fund.

The content, opinions and conclusions contained in this report are solely those of the author. Download the complete report through the Fire Protection Research Foundation website

NFPA is hosting a free webinar called Office Hours on February 20, 2014 at 2pm EST, the topic for the webinar is the 2014 NFPA 921.  The presenters will be Technical Committee Chairman Randy Watson and NFPA Staff Liaison Orlando P. Hernandez.   The webinar will discuss the addition of the new Fire Protection Systems Chapter, Negative Corpus, Electrical Arcing and Analyzing the Incident for Cause & Responsibility. There will be a Question and Answer period at the end of the webinar.  Please join us for this free webinar by registering using the link below. 

 [ |]


!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!The first NFPA standard to be published in color, NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigation, is now available

1313NFPA has issued the following errata on the 2013 edition of NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems:

  • NFPA 13, Errata 13-13-1
    Reference: various sections
    Issuance: February 19, 2014

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.

We saw this story on the news this morning, and knew that our first responder community would rally around this cause - so we wanted to share!

The mother of a little boy with leukemia said she wants his seventh birthday to be special, and is looking to first responders for help. Tyler Seddon will turn 7 on March 6, and his mother, Rachel, said she wants it to be the best day of his life.

“He goes crazy over firefighters and police,” she said. “We want this to be a special birthday, because you never know what could be next.”

Seddon said Tyler loves firefighters and other first responders, so she wants as many of them as possible to send him birthday cards.

Tyler needs a bone marrow transplant, and he is currently undergoing chemotherapy to buy him some time while the search for a marrow donor continues. A website, "Tyler's Troops," is currently being set up for more information. In the meantime a GoFundMe account was also started to help with donations for Tyler.

Any first responders who would like to send Tyler a birthday card can send them to 96 South Main St., Pascoag, R.I. 02859.

We saw this story on the news this morning, and knew that our first responder community would rally around this cause - so we wanted to share!

The mother of a little boy with leukemia said she wants his seventh birthday to be special, and is looking to first responders for help. Tyler Seddon will turn 7 on March 6, and his mother, Rachel, said she wants it to be the best day of his life.

“He goes crazy over firefighters and police,” she said. “We want this to be a special birthday, because you never know what could be next.”

Seddon said Tyler loves firefighters and other first responders, so she wants as many of them as possible to send him birthday cards.

Tyler needs a bone marrow transplant, and he is currently undergoing chemotherapy to buy him some time while the search for a marrow donor continues. A website, "Tyler's Troops," is currently being set up for more information. In the meantime a GoFundMe account was also started to help with donations for Tyler.

Any first responders who would like to send Tyler a birthday card can send them to 96 South Main St., Pascoag, R.I. 02859.

With the winter season in full swing, the use of heating equipment is on the rise. However, the coldestHeater safety
season of the year is also one of the most dangerous for home fire risk due to the very appliances that keep us warm during these chilly months. In fact, according to the NFPA, half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Thankfully, the NFPA has released an extensive list of heater safety tips that, if followed, can help to ensure a safe and cozy winter season this year. 

Among the tips include:

  • Test smoke alarms monthly
  • Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional

To get the complete list of safety tips and other information about heater safety, read the full press

Coalition for fire safe cigarettes

According to a new study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, the six-year-old Massachusetts law that requires that only “fire-safe” cigarettes be sold in the state has resulted in a 28 percent decrease in unintentional residential fires. The results support a study conducted by the National Fire Protection Association back in October 2013, which showed a 30 percent drop in smoking Capture material fire deaths since the full implementation of fire-safe cigarette laws throughout the country. The studies reveal the efficiency of fire-safe cigarettes in the prevention of both smoking material fires and deaths caused by these fires.

NFPA established the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, a group of organizations who shared the goal of getting cigarette manufacturers to produce only cigarettes that adhere to an established safety performance standard. As of 2011, all 50 US state laws were in effect.

NFPA has also developed a wide range of safety information and tips to prevent smoking material fires and fatalities caused by them.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®, and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code®, are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the April 18, 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.

!|src=|alt=DLI|style=width: 450px;|title=DLI|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01a5116c0bf1970c img-responsive!

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Ken Peterson (left) and Scott McLellan, the department's executive director of Construction Codes and Licensing (Photo by Thomas Strand)


+NFPA Journal+ recently interviewed officials from Minnesota&#39;s Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) regarding the possibility of home fire sprinkler requirements in their state. That possibility is seeming more like a reality.


This month, an administrative law judge concluded that DLI has the statutory authority to adopt requirements for installing automatic fire sprinkler systems in new single-family homes more than 4,500 square feet. DLI anticipates an effective date of Fall 2014. Read more about DLI's efforts in the January/February issue of +NFPA Journal.+</p>

NFPA 86NFPA has issued the following errata on the 2011 edition of NFPA 86, Standard for Ovens and Furnaces:

  • NFPA 86, Errata 86-11-1
    Reference: A.
    Issuance: February 13, 2014

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.

Have you heard that drones,or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) as some prefer they be called, were becoming commercially available and could be available to emergency service agencies before to long. Possible uses, providing real time view of an incident scene, wildfire reconnaissance and  searching for lost persons to name a few.

Well, it appears UAV's are now affordable and are hovering over incident scenes.Sometimes with good results, like this video footage of a working fire in Providence,R.I. from the Rhode Island Fire Drone.


But as with all new technology, there are still some issues to work out. Given the sensitive nature of many incident scenes, ensuring the security of tactical and operational strategies along with the privacy of those involved cannot be compromised, so controls will need to be in place.  As reported in the Boston Globe today, the lack of these controls was experienced by the Hartford CT. police department when a freelance reporter used a UAV to record graphic video of a fatal motor vehicle accident.

Looks like somebody may be looking down at you from above the  next time you respond, and it isn't your guardian angel.

Wildfire Prep Day 2014As part of the NFPA and State Farm partnership, a campaign focusing on wildfire education will become the first nationwide Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, slated to take place May 3, 2014. 

In an effort to assist with our Preparedness Day outreach and promotional efforts, State Farm will be providing monetary awards of $500 to 20 individual projects that will be undertaken during the May 3 event! To determine which community projects will receive the awards, a contest kicks off today. 

To enter, visit the NFPA/State Farm Wildfire Preparedness Day Neighborhood Project Award Promotion contest app powered by SnapApp through either:

From either location, you may post your neighborhood’s planned activity (or activities). Include your name and potential participants, your contact information, city and state, and how you will use the project funding. The deadline to post your project idea is March, 19, 2014.

Then, recruit votes! Encourage your friends, family, colleagues and neighbors to vote for your project idea through the contest app on the website or NFPA’s Firewise Facebook page. The deadline to vote for your favorite project is March 19, 2014.

Votes will be considered in NFPA’s final determination of the winning project ideas. 

For more information about the National Wildfire Preparedness Day and offcial contest rules, please visit

NFPA 1123NFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 1123, Code for Fireworks Display:

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.

Red_SF_logo_horz_small_CMYK_3207With the Firewise Challenge completed and Preparedness Day around the corner, NFPA is really excited
to announce that State Farm®, a leading provider of home insurance in the U.S., is generously providing monetary support for both campaigns. State Farm has a long history of proactive wildfire safety education to its policyholders in high-risk regions, including the use of Firewise materials and concepts. NFPA and the Wildland Fire Operations Division is incredibly pleased to partner with State Farm on these important campaigns! 

ButtonAs you know, the Firewise Challenge is a campaign that began in 2013 as a way to encourage increased neighborhood participation in the national Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program. Communities in the five states with the most participation will receive $5,000 each provided by the State Farm grant to implement safety projects including chipping of brush, removal of vegetative material and similar activities that will reduce wildfire hazards. Five additional communities will receive a runner-up prize of $900 to use on safety gear, tools or mitigation projects.

Visit the Firewise Challenge webpage to learn who the winners are! 

ServiceDay-Logo-NEW_TMThe second major campaign focusing on wildfire education is the first nationwide Wildfire Community Preparedness Day slated to take place on May 3, 2014. The national Preparedness Day gives people of all ages a chance to participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes their community a safer place to live.  A portion of the State Farm grant funding will be awarded to 20 neighborhood wildfire safety projects being implemented during the May 3rd event.

Information about Preparedness Day and how you can get involved can be found at

Read the entire press release about State Farm’s generous support of NFPA's wildfire campaigns and join us as we strive to hit all wildfire disasters out of the park!

Do you want to make a difference? We have an ideal opportunity for an Emergency Services Specialist to provide staff liaison support to technical committees and provide technical support and advisory services on subjects related to the emergency services and emergency management, including fire protection, fire investigation, emergency responder safety and occupational health, emergency medical services, fire science education, and law enforcement. In addition, the person in this position would participate in research and analysis projects related to fire investigation and fire service occupational health and safety.

This Emergency Services Specialist would work in our Quincy, MA headquarters. For a complete listing of job requirements and responsibilites, please take a look at our careers webpage

If you, or someone you know, are interested in this position, apply today



Posted by mikehazell Employee Feb 11, 2014

If you are planning on attending FDIC April 7-12, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN stop by NFPA Booth 2601 in the Exhibit Hall. There will be staff from the Public Fire Protection Division to discuss fire service standards, Public Education programs, the new EV Project and other programs at NFPA.  Hope to see you there. 

The NFPA Standards Council will be meeting on March 3-4, 2014 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At this meeting, some of the topics the Council will address include:

  • issuance of proposed TIAs on NFPA 13, NFPA 25, NFPA 30A, NFPA 30B, NFPA 59A, NFPA 70, NFPA 99, NFPA 664, NFPA 780, NFPA 1981, NFPA 1982
  • consideration of an appeal on NFPA 11 regarding public inputs and comments submitted by the appellant
  • consider a standard for professional practices for facility fire safety planning and fire safety directors
  • consider a standard for the use of consumer fireworks by the public
  • consider a standard that assists departments in following process steps for a community risk reduction plan
  • consider a standard of a new test method to evaluate fire/ignition resistance of upholstered furniture subject to a flaming ignition source
  • reorganization of the Forest and Rural Fire Protection Committee
  • consider requests from Committees to change revision cycle schedules

Read the full Council agenda for further information.

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.

Sam Davis

Sam Davis (center) works at the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition booth during the 2013 International Builders Show. Photo: Sprinkler Age

Sam Davis, president of Island Harbor Construction in Cape Coral, FL, and Alan Carter, fire marshal of Cape Coral Fire Rescue and Emergency Services, were recently honored by the Florida Chapter of the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) for their support of home fire sprinklers.

According to an article in the new issue of AFSA’s Sprinkler Age, while so many in the home building industry spend time fighting against home fire sprinklers, Mr. Davis offers fire sprinklers as a standard feature in the homes he builds. Mr. Davis is also featured in the “Faces of Fire” campaign on NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative website, part of an educational campaign created to show the impact of home fire sprinklers.


Mr. Davis credits Chief Carter with his vision and support for the installation of home fire sprinklers in Cape Coral, saying the award he received “…would never had happened without the determination to see this through from a professional like Alan.” 


At approximately 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10, 1981, eight people died and 350 were injured as a result of a fire at the largest hotel in the United States.  This fire has a great deal of technical significance because of exterior, vertical fire spread that involved 22 floors of the 30-story building.  This was the second multiple fatality fire in a Las Vegas area hotel in a 2 1/2-month period; the first occurred November 21, 1980 at the MGM Grand Hotel and resulted in 85 deaths and almost 700 injuries

 The fire at the Las Vegas Hilton was incendiary in origin.  The fire quickly developed in an elevator lobby on the 8th floor that had carpeting as its wall and ceiling finish.  A flame front that formed on the exterior of the building exposed each elevator lobby on the floors above primarily by radiation.  The fire progressed vertically from floor to floor to the top of the building via the building's exterior.

 The most significant factors that contributed to the fire spread and subsequent fatalities, injuries and damage were:  Failure to extinguish the fire in its incipient stage, and the presence of highly combustible carpeting on the walls and ceilings of the involved elevator lobbies which, in turn, contributed to the exterior fire spread.

 NFPA members can  download the full investigaion report. Those interested in more information about hotel and motel fires can download  NFPA's free fact sheet, and members can read a full report

If you are following the buzz around the latest Undrwriters Lab (UL)  and National Institute of Standards  and Technology (NIST) research on fire suppression techniques, including transitional fire attack (starting outside then move in) and controling ventilation flow points, including the primary ingress door to a burning structure, you know not all firefighters are buying into the new research.
Strucutre fire
Capt. Dave Lablanc has a blog, The Backstep Firefighter , and he posted Don't Look Now But Someone Broke the Cookie Cutter , a pretty honest asessment of what I think many out there in the land of response are thinking.

Here's one of his thoughts:

What the UL/NIST studies have shown is that there is no silver bullet, no one thing you can change. The studies show that more than ever we need to look at and interpret what we are seeing. We need to think. We need to fight the fire in front of us, based on what we see, what we know and what we can do. The studies have shown more than ever that there is no one size fits all answer, no cookie cutter solution to today’s fire problem. Capt. Dave Leblanc

Check Capt. Dave's posting out, it's an interesting read.

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

In this issue:

  • Annual 2016 documents open for public input
  • NFPA 601 and 1407 issued as consent standards
  • 2014 Standards Directory now available
  • View submitted public input on Fall 2015 documents
  • Errata issued on NFPA 58, 79, and 400
  • New Standards Council members appointed
  • Important dates in the standards development process
  • News in brief
  • Committees soliciting public input
  • Committees seeking members
  • Committee meetings calendar

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

Thanks to Jim from Rochester NY FD for sharing how they are using Narcan with impressive results!

93A0E5C1CA924A8BB81DFF18F9D8AB32.ashx"This is not a drill.”

It was, in fact, a fire that had broken out on July 29, 1967, on the flight deck of the USS Forrestal, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) off the coast of North Vietnam.

The fire started when an armed rocket accidentally launched from a F-4 Phantom fighter, hitting another jet waiting to take off. Fuel began leaking from the damaged plane’s fuel tank, which erupted in flames at 10:52 a.m. 

Although the fire on the flight deck was extinguished by 12:15 p.m., fires continued to burn throughout the ship until the following day. By then, 134 of the Forrestal’s 5,000 crew members had died, and 161 were injured, 64 of them severely.

For more on the worst fire on a U.S. aircraft carrier since the Second World War, read "Disaster in the Gulf of Tonkin" in the January/February issue of NFPA Journal.


An investigative report from an ABC affiliate in Chicago provides some harrowing accounts of fires that have occurred in the operating room (OR). One of the incidents highlighted in the story is of a firefighter who claims he was burned while having a catheter implanted in his chest.


These incidents, while few in number, exemplify potential dangers found in the OR. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that some or all aspects of the fire trianglea heat source (electrosurgical units or lasers), fuel (flammable drapery or antiseptics), and oxygenmight be present during surgical procedures. In response, the FDA has developed the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative to educate health care professionals on the root cause of OR fires and highlights risk-reduction practices and safety procedures in line with provisions in NFPA 99, +Health Care Facilities,+ and NFPA 101®, +Life Safety Code+®<br />


Read the +NFPA Journal+ feature story highlighting the FDA initiative and how to develop a fire-risk assessment to safeguard hospital workers and patients. Also, check out the video of NFPA&#39;s Rich Bielen explaining how NFPA 99 mitigates these fire risks.


!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Fire safety issues in the operating room

The news of 9 firefighters from the Buenos Aires, Argentina Fire Department losing their live after a wall collapse during a fire at a data storage facility is tragic and our condolences to the families of the fallen, Chief Carlos Ferlise and all the members of the BAFD.

We have seen our share of similiar fires and 
Buenos aires collapsetragic outcomes here in the states. Here is a 
 a partial list of such events:

Worcester, MA Cold Storage 1999 6 FF killed in storage building (lost/trapped)

Charleston, SC Super Sofa Store June 18, 2007 9 FF killed in furniture store with storage (overrun by rapid fire spread)


 Philadelphia, PA April, 2012 2 FF killed in wall collapse at large factory complex

Breckenridge, PA, 1991 4 FF killed in floor collapse at furniture factory (NFPA Report)

Chicago, IL 2011 2 FF killed in wall collapse at vacant building

NY City, NY June, 2001 3 FF killed in explosion and wall collapse in hardware store

Houston, TX July, 2013 4 FF killed in wall/roof collapse in hotel/restaurant.  

NY City, August 1978 6 FF killed in roof collapse of supermarket

NY City Oct 17, 1966 12 FF killed in floor collapse of mixed use building

Boston, MA November 15, 1942 6 FF killed in restaurant building collapse 

Boston, MA June 17, 1972 9 FF Killed in floor/wall collapse of hotel under renovation

This reinforces that fire treats all responders equally, and our international brothers and sisters face the same risks as we do in the USA.

 See fireground video and more information on this incident here.

Wood & pellet stovesAs the temperature drops outside, wood and pellet stoves may be fired up inside the home. What you may not realize is that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months.

We have a great safety tip sheet to remind you about how to stay safe this winter with your wood or pellet stove. Some of these tips include: 

  • Have a QUALIFIED professional install stoves, chimney connectors, and chimneys.
  • Stoves should have the LABEL of an independent testing laboratory.
  • In wood stoves, burn only DRY, seasoned wood. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.

To download the entire safety tip sheet, visit our safety tip sheet page on the website

The Fire Protection Research Foundation’s 18th annual Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium (SupDet 2014) will be held March 4 – 7 at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, Florida.

The program includes 30 presentations on the latest developments in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community including a session related to nuisance alarms.  This session will include the latest research on the topic from the Foundation, University of Maryland, NIST, and UL.

Register today for the full symposium, or choose either the Suppression Program or the Detection and Signaling Program.  Friday, February 7th is the last day for early registration pricing.


Firefighters and police unfurl a tarp during recovery efforts on January 25, 2014, at the scene of the fatal Residence du Havre seniors home fire in L'Isle-Verte, Qc. Saturday January 25, 2014. Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette

Here's a sobering reminder of why NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative works so hard to educate our lawmakers and communities about the life-saving potential of sprinklers. In this editorial from the Montreal Gazette, Christie Blatchford of Postmedia News pulls no punches while taking politicians to task for not getting serious about sprinkler requirements. And while her focus is on the tragic fire at a senior residence that killed more than 30 people last month, the theme of her argument is very similar to our efforts to get sprinklers installed in all new one- and two-family homes in the United States.

'The way Quebec politicians and others are carrying on, you’d think that the automatic sprinkler system was an untried, still slightly sketchy, cutting-edge technology and not one proven up the yin-yang in the 142 years since it was invented.

“It’s not a simple problem,” Quebec Health Minister Rejean Hebert told reporters Monday at L’Isle-Verte. “If it would have been simple, it would have been done.”

If the answer was simple? It couldn’t be more simple: Order all care occupancies housing those incapable of self-preservation — vulnerable by dint of age or physical or mental disability — to be retrofitted with sprinklers.

Or take what Premier Pauline Marois, who this weekend visited the site of the horrific fire that killed 32 vulnerable old people last Thursday, said. “If only we were able to stop this from ever happening again, this type of thing.”

If only we were able to stop such fires?

Automatic sprinklers do precisely that. They stop fires in their tracks, contain them and contain the spread of poisonous deadly smoke.'

Read the entire editorial from the Montreal Gazette.

RememberingWhenJeffrey McNeel, deputy chief/fire marshal for Beaumont Fire-Rescue in Texas has a problem. His department responds to 10 times as many calls from its older citizens regarding falls or slips than it does for structure fires. Looking for assistance with this issue, he attended NFPA's Remembering WhenTM: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults training conference.

NFPA Journal columnist Lisa Braxton recently chatted with McNeel, who received a handful of useful materials during the conference as well as peer advice. “We have been traditionally focused on getting the smoke alarms in and teaching children how to react to fire, but there’s so much more that affects a family’s safety," McNeel told Braxton at the event. "People can fall and have a life changing, life-ending injury. We have to become proactive.”

Read the rest of Braxton's conversation in the January/February issue of Journal.

The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman has highlighted the availability of heroin and tragic outcomes resulting from addiction. Not even Vermont is immune from this crisis, having one of the highest per capita rates of heroin use in the nation, with thousands in treatment or in need of treatment. PD Narcan Spray

The Quincy MA, Police Department (which also happens to be where NFPA is located), has pioneered a way for police officers, who often are first on scene of an overdose emergency, to adminsiter Narcan, a drug that immediately reverses the respiratory depression caused by an opiate overdose, such as heroin. In the three years QPD has deployed Narcan, it has been used 221 times and reversed 211 overdoses.

Today, more police and first responder agencies are carrying Narcan and using it succesfully. Just another example of how first responders adapt to the needs of their communities and save lives!

Read about how  Quincy Police Use Narcan to Save Lives .

Do you know of any first responder agencies deploying Narcan? Post their name here so they can be recoginized for their life saving efforts.

A tip of the helmet to the Quincy PD!

Manuel EhrlichRecently, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate several individuals to key Administration posts. Among those nominated was Mr. Manuel Ehrlich, Jr. to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB).

Mr. Ehrlich is a member of the NFPA Technical Committee for Hazardous Materials Response Personnel. Manny has lead a distinguished career including for following: Principal at ESP Consulting, a position he has held since 2002. Mr. Ehrlich was a Site General Manager for Pitt Penn Corporation from 2007 to 2009. He served as the General Manager of the Emergency Response Training Center from 2006 to 2007 and was the Vice President of Health, Safety, and Labor Relations at International Specialty Products from 1998 to 2003. He served as the Director of Emergency Response at BASF Corporation from 1989 to 1998 and the Assistant Plant Manager at BASF’s Geismar Electrolytics Plant from 1980 to 1981. From 1976 to 1980, Mr. Ehrlich was the Assistant Site Manager at Wyndotte Electrolytics under the BASF Corporation. He received a B.S. from the Drexel Institute of Technology and an Ed.M. and M.A. from Columbia University.

Greg Noll, Chair of the Technical Committee, stated upon hearing of the news, “Manny’s membership on NFPA committees goes back to the early 1990’s, and he brings a long and experienced background to CSB. He is also the first person with an emergency response and preparedness background to be appointed to the CSB. This is tremendous news for Manny and is richly deserved. Likewise, this is tremendous news for both the NFPA Technical Committee and the HM response community, and is another “big rock” step in taking care of our responders.”

Congratulations to Manny! 

-Tom McGowan

Fire Flow methodologiesA new report, an "Evaluation of Fire Flow Methodologies" (PDF, 307 KB), authored by Matthew E. Benfer and Joseph L. Scheffey with Hughes Associates in Baltimore, MD, is now available for download. 

The basic method for controlling building fires by fire departments is through the use of water, which is typically applied with manual hose lines or water monitors. This water can come from a municipal water supply, a private water supply, or from the fire department itself (i.e., water tenders). In order to effectively fight a fire, the water supply available must be adequate for the threat from the building and contents. The water requirements for firefighting include the rate of flow, the residual pressure required at that flow, the flow duration, and the total quantity of water required. As described in the NFPA Handbook [1], the American Water Works Association (AWWA) [2] defines the required fire flow as "the rate of water flow, at a residual pressure of 20 psi and for a specified duration that is necessary to control a major fire in a specific structure." Each fire flow methodology may define the objective of the required fire flow differently. There are a number of methods currently used to calculate required water flow rates for sprinklered and non-sprinkleredproperties. These methods are, in general, based on decades-old criteria derived using data from actual fires. Over the years, building construction methods, building contents, and fire suppression equipment and tactics have changed.

The overall objective of this study is to assess the appropriateness of currently available fire flow methodologies. The first task in this project was a literature review of the existing fire flow calculation methodologies in the US and globally. The second task was a data analysis and GAP assessment to determine what additional information is needed to validate the existing fire flow calculation methodologies.

Download the full report from the Research Foundtion website

NFPA documents in the Annual 2016 revision cycle are now accepting Public Input (formerly proposals) electronically through NFPA's Electronic Submission System (e-PI). The system will automatically pull in the text and show any changes in “track changes” and even saves your input.

To submit input electronically, select the document from the list of NFPA codes and standards or search for documents available for public input using the search feature. Once on the document page, select "The next edition of this standard is now open for Public Input (formerly proposals)" to begin the process. You can submit input or just start and save your work in progress before the closing date.

Review further instructions on how to use the e-PI system

If you have any questions when you use the new system, you can contact Carolyn Cronin at (617) 984-7240 or by email.

Some of the Annual 2016 revision cycle documents:

  • NFPA 15, Standard for Water Spray Fixed Systems for Fire Protection
  • NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
  • NFPA 56, Standard for Fire and Explosion Prevention During Cleaning and Purging of Flammable Gas Piping Systems;
  • NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code
  • NFPA 80A, Recommended Practice for Protection of Buildings from Exterior Fire Exposures;
  • NFPA 130, Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems
  • NFPA 414, Standard for Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Vehicles; NFPA 450, Guide for Emergency Medical Services and Systems
  • NFPA 704, Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response;
  • NFPA 780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems;
  • NFPA 1124, Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles;
  • NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire

View the full list of Annual 2016 documents

For public input closing dates for the Annual 2016 documents, go to the Next edition tab on the specific document information pages.

Public input is a suggested revision to a proposed new or existing NFPA Standard submitted during the Input stage in accordance with Section 4.3 of the Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards.

Fire Adapted CommunitiesIn her final column for NFPA Journal, Molly Mowery recounts her experience as senior program manager for NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations Division and involvement with the Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) Coalition. Utilizing a series of tools, FAC prepares homes, businesses, neighborhoods, infrastructures, natural areas, and surrounding landscapes for wildfires.

"If we really want to stimulate and accelerate public action, we need to combine education with a process for changing behavior," says Mowery. "This process requires many key ingredients, such as clarifying at the beginning stage what is important to our audience and exploring their values; developing practices instead of checklists; and leaving more time for implementation rather than getting stuck in the planning phase."

Read all of Mowery's final thoughts in the January/February issue of Journal.

Brochure.200Now available!  A digital version of the 2014 NFPA Conference & Expo brochure! This year we added some special features that we hope you enjoy!

First, guess where we'll be? Las Vegas of course! Be one of the first to check out the schedule-at-a-glance, the Keynote Address and the special Boston Marathon speaker on pages 2-3.

Then get ready for something different! We added 2 new tracks and added images to show the dyanmic format of the sessions. Do you see a magnifier glass? That indicates it's a case study format. If you see a trio of people, then it indicates a panel discussion. I think you get the picture! In some instances, we pulled out the session description to give you an idea of what the session will be about! And very shortly all the session descriptions will be on web as well! We're just crossing our Ts on final details behind the scenes!

Next, check out the Sponsor and Exhibitor lists! We have a rock solid list of participants for you to prepare for! Page 12 provides important details on the 2014 Association Technical Meeting and list of documents that are up for review. And of course, there are significant hotel discounts associated ONLY with NFPA Conference & Expo plus an extensive listing of ideas for dining, entertainment, and more!

Most important, mark your calendar now and plan to meet us in Las Vegas! Much more to come! stay tuned!

-Kate Greene

Scald PreventionThis week, February 2-8, is the American Burn Association's Burn Awareness Week. Burn Awareness Week, is designed to provide an opportunity for burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in our communities. Burn Awareness Week, celebrated early in the year, is an excellent opportunity to “kick off” a year full of burn awareness education.

NFPA is proud to participate in this year's Burn Awarness Week by providing safety tips and information related to scald burns. Scald burns can be caused by any hot liquid, fluid, or vapor, including hot tap water, overheated beverages, steam, and hot oil. Interestingly, scald burns accounted for almost one-third (31%) of all non-fire burn injuries reported to hospital emergency rooms in 2012!

Take a look at our scald burn safety tip sheet for information on how to stay safe. 


In this video above (also seen on You Tube), NFPA's Amy LeBeau talks about the importance of testing the temperature of bathwater before putting children into the tub.

EE3C5502E2A64B2BB7CABDE8EB60BF4B.ashxIs today's first responder drowning in data? The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has asked the Fire Protection Research Foundation to develop a research roadmap to answer this question. The project will identify knowledge gaps that affect the technologies that gather data, the knowledge base and algorithms that convert data into meaningful knowledge and decision-making tools, the methods of communicating the information to those who need it, and more. The project is part of a larger NIST initiative to harness what it calls "cyber physical systems," in which networked systems interact with the real world. For more on this fascinating project, read Kathleen Almand's column "Data Deluge" in the January/February issue of NFPA Journal.

While investigating social media use during emergencies for my NFPA Journal feature, "#AreYouPrepared?," my research kept pointing me to zombies. Yes, zombies--those ghoulish creatures that refuse to rest in peace and have successfully invaded all forms of popular culture in recent years. They've also managed to grab the attention of social media users.

Let me explain: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a social media campaign in 2011 promoting emergency preparedness tactics helpful during a zombie takeover and other disasters. (NFPA has developed similar tips for emergencies.) Their philosophy was if you were prepared for the "dawn of the dead" (stellar zombie flick, by the way), you were prepared for tornadoes, fires, and other events. The CDC disseminated these tools and tips via its social media channels. What was the response? Check out the following video where I give an overview of the campaign:



For a recent example of social media's effectiveness, check out a recent Atlanta-Journal Constitution article on its use during the recent snow storm that sidelined Atlanta.

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