Skip navigation
All Places > NFPA Today > Blog > 2014 > March
2014

Nat_Anthem_Contest FBCast your vote!  Choose your favorite rendition of the "The Star-Spangled Banner" to help us select this year’s National Anthem Singer at the 2014 NFPA Conference & Expo. Our contest began a few weeks back; since then we received many strong submissions and a panel of judges have narrowed it down to 3 finalists. 

You may vote for your favorite finalist between now and April 4th through our contest webpage, or through NFPA’s Facebook page

The winner(s) will enjoy the privilege of leading us in the time-honored tradition during the Opening General Session of NFPA C&E in Las Vegas on Monday, June 9, 2014!

Good luck to all of our finalists!

Boston is a stones throw from Quincy, and many of our staff have deep ties to the area.We also have deep ties to the fire service, with children, in-laws, siblings, parents and co workers serving in the local fire service. So the tragic loss of two of Boston's Bravest, Lt. Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy hits us hard and we send our condolences and support to the families and members of BFD in these difficult times.

To honor these fallen guardians of life safety, we took a moment yesterday to pause and reflect on the dedication of the BFD and firefighters everywhere and how dangerous answering this call to duty can be.We listened to students from Berklee College, a neighbor to the fire house where Engine 33 and Ladder 15 are stationed, salute the fallen with a musical tribute.

Take a moment and listen, remember our fallen brothers, and give thanks for those who sacrafice their lives to protect us.

 

Strand screenshot

In January, Edward Burrell, a career firefighter with the Brockton (Massachusetts) Fire Department, died at the age of 99. He'd been with the city's fire department for 40 years, 16 of them as chief. 

One of the most memorable and harrowing nights of his career occurred in 1941, when Burrell was 26 and a member of a firefighting crew that responded to a blaze at the city's Strand Theatre. A roof collapse killed 13 Brockton firefighters and injured 17 more, making it one of the deadliest fires in U.S. history in terms of firefighter deaths. Burrell narrowly avoided the calamity, later telling a reporter that it was "just an act of God" that he was spared.

The story of Burrell and the Strand Theatre is told in the "Looking Back" feature in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal. 

7014SBThe Annual 2016 revision cycle schedule for NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, has been posted.

Some information relating to the revision cycle schedule is listed below:

  • Submit public input via the online submission system until the closing date of November 7, 2014.  Paper submission (any submission other than the online system) deadline is October 3, 2014.
  • First Draft Report posting date is July 17, 2015.
  • Second Draft Meetings will be held during the first two weeks in November 2015 with a meeting location change from Redondo Beach to San Diego, CA.

Read the full Annual 2016 revision cycle schedule for NFPA 70.

Foundation NewsThe March-April issue of Research Foundation News is available for your viewing.  Featured items include:

  • Global Research Update seminar in London to feature high challenge warehouse storage protection advances
  • Highlights of successful SupDet symposium
  • New projects underway:
    • Lithium Ion Batteries Storage Sprinkler Protection
    • Revolutionizing the Modern Turnout Suit
    • Egress Modeling in Health-Care Occupancies
    • Validating the Fire Safety Evaluation System for Healthcare Occupancies
  • New reports issued:
    • Evaluation of Fire Flow Methodologies
    • Non-Fire Hazard Provisions in NFPA Codes and Standards: A Literature Review
    • Commercial Roof-Mounted Photovoltaic System Installation Best Practices Review
    • Evaluation of Fire Service Training Fires

Thanks for having a look! 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.

 

Following the tragic fatal Boston townhouse fire on Wednesday night, where the lives of two heroes, Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy, were lost, many people started to search for answers about how the fire started and spread so quickly. 


NFPA's Ken Willette, division manager of our Public Fire Protection division and past fire chief and Don Bliss, vice president of field operations and past state fire marshal appeared on several local news broadcasts last night to discuss the dangers of backdrafts as well as firefighter safety. 


 

Watch the clips below from WGBH and WBZ Boston to hear what they had to say. 


 


E8A08D8092B34F21815AFC18670DAA44In North Carolina, a 36-year-old man and his two daughters, ages 4 and 6, died in a fire that investigators believe started when a charcoal grill on the wooden deck of their home ignited decking material during the night. In Ohio, a 78-year-old woman died of burns she received when her pajama sleeve caught fire as she cooked breakfast for her husband. And in Connecticut, a 43-year-old man died of smoke inhalation in a fire he intentionally set by igniting books and magazines in his apartment.

But the news wasn't all bad. In Arizona, firefighters extinguished a small fire burning in a plastic trash barrel in a student's room at a college dorm before spread and injured anyone. In Iowa, a single sprinkler controlled a fire in a 36-unit apartment building housing older adults until firefighters arrived to extinguish it. And in Florida, another sprinkler controlled a fire in a clothing store that started when the store's owner left a cigarette burning near some combustibles.

For more on these and other incidents, read Ken Tremblay's new "Firewatch" in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal.

The following NFPA statistics are for the years 1993-2012 and are for structure fires only.


Of the 488 firefighters killed at structure fires, there were:


    • 354 single-fatality fires

    • 44 two-fatality fires

    • 9 three-fatality fires

    • 1 four-fatality fire

    • 1 six-fatality fire

    • 1 ninefatality fire


 Of the fires where firefighters were killed while operating inside, there were:



    1. 171 single-fatality

    2. 37 two-fatality

    3. 8 three-fatality

    4. 1 four-fatality

    5. 1 six-fatality

    6. 1 nine-fatality


Source: NFPA&#39;s Fire Incident Data Organization</div>

The fire that killed two Boston firefighters on March 26 occurred in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, which runs parallel to the Charles River. Following are photographs taken by Sara Bosshart, from her vantage point just across the river in Cambridge, MA.

Boston fire 1 Bosshart

Boston fire 4 Bosshart

Boston fire 3 Bosshart

Photos: Courtesy of Sara Bosshart

A dramatic video from BostonFireVideos.com, posted on Boston.com, captures the fire explosion at the four-story brownstone building in Boston on March 26. "There was some kind of extraordinary event that happened in the basement," Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald is quoted is saying on Boston.com. The fire killed Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. and Michael R. Kennedy. Boston.com reports the firefighters sent out a mayday call from the basement of the building, indicating they may have been trapped.

The Boston Fire Department is on the scene of yesterday's deadly blaze in the city's Back Bay neighborhood that killed two on-duty firefighters and injured several others.

An article on Boston.com quotes Boston Fire Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn saying that the fast-moving fire may have started in the basement. Firefighters also battled against strong winds which made conditions more difficult.

Related: A 2010 Fire Protection Research Foundation report looked at building ventilation or presence of an external wind during a fire situation that could increase the energy release of a fire and/or the spread of fire gases through a building. Download a free copy of the "Fire Fighting Tactics Under Wind Driven Conditions" report.

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a73d9af5b2970d-200wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a73d9af5b2970d-200wi|alt=Two Boston firefighters killed|width=179|title=Two Boston firefighters killed|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a73d9af5b2970d img-responsive!

Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy (left) and Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh (right) were killed in Boston on Wednesday. Photo: Boston.com



Two firefighters who died in a Boston townhouse blaze on Wednesday are being hailed as heroes. Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy were among the crews fighting a fire in a four-story townhouse in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.


“In 30 years I’ve never seen a fire travel that fast, escalate that quickly, and create such havoc in such a short period of time,” Boston Deputy Chief Joseph Finn tells The Boston Herald. “The wind was blowing in off the Charles (River), it drove the fire and combustibles and everything with it to the front of the building where two members of Engine 33 were assigned trying to make headway on the fire.”


 

Related: NFPA's "Firefighter Fatalities in the United States" report.


[The Boston Herald | http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2014/03/two_boston_firefighters_die_battling_back_bay_blaze] reports that the firefighters issued a mayday call just minutes after they rushed into the building's basement. Deputy Chief Finn said he believes a window in the front of the building shattered and the wind pushed the fire toward them.


In 1972, Boston experienced its worst firefighter loss just a few blocks from yesterday's fatal blaze. The Hotel Vendome fire killed nine Boston firefighters; a memorial near the site of that fire commemorates the loss.

 

Yesterday's tragic loss of two on-duty firefighters in Boston brings to mind other fires and disasters that have occurred in Boston.

In 2011, NFPA Journal® featured an article "Boston Fire Trail" in which author/historian Stephanie Schorow provided a walking tour of the city's major fires and disasters, including the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire, the molasses flood of 1915, the 1872 Great Fire of Boston, and the Hotel Vendome blaze that killed nine firefighters.

"Celebrated and much imitated, the Freedom Trail winds through Boston marking highlights of the American Revolution, ranging from Paul Revere’s home to the Battle of Bunker Hill," wrote Ms. Schorow. "An unmarked trail, more somber but no less significant, also winds through Boston, a city that has seen more than its share of major fires and disasters." Read the full article.


Video: Author/historian Stephanie Schorow presents three infamous fires that took place in the city of Boston: The Great Boston Fire of 1872, the 1942 Cocoanut Grove Fire, and the collapse of the Hotel Vendome in 1972.

Back Bay fire

Photo: Boston.com

Updated: 11:00 pm. According to a report on Boston.com, two firefighters have died while battling a nine-alarm blaze in a 4-story brick townhouse in the city's Back Bay section. The firefighters, ages 33 and 43, both worked out of the Engine 33, Ladder 15 firehouse, less than a mile from the scene of the blaze. According to Boston.com, 13 other firefighters were injured in the fire. Boston Fire Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn is quoted as saying the blaze was "like a blowtorch" and that it was incredibly fast-moving.

In 2012, the last year for which data is available, there were a total of 64 on-duty firefighter deaths  in the United States. According to NFPA's report, "Firefighter Fatalities in the United States 2012", the annual total of firefighter deaths has been well below 100 for the past four years, dropping the annual average over the past 10 years to 88 deaths. In 2012, it was the second consecutive year that the total has been below 65 deaths. 

More NFPA statistics on the U.S. fire service.

 

Video: Dr. Rita Fahy provides an overview of NFPA's 2012 firefigher fatality report.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, and NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®, are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the May 16, 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.

Want extra credit? New ISO rating schedule gives points for fire prevention and education

This is a great resource, plus there are links to all the NFPA Standards utilized in the ISO Rating Schedule and links to NFPA Public Education materials. One stop shopping!

You've got to see this video...

 

Still wondering what to do if you have to fight a fire in a vehicle powered by high voltage electric batteries?The Fire Protection Research Foundation has completed its research project where they did burn ev batteries in a vehicle fire training props.

Based on that research, here's three things to remember about extinguishing an EV fire involving the batteries:

1. Have lots of water available

2.Monitor the vehicle and batteries after you have completed extinguishment, ev batteries have reignited several hours after the fire was extinguished

3.Wear full PPE and follow safe firefighting practices, just as you would for an gasoline powered vehicle.

Here is a recent webinar the Foundation presented with the research results and more information on suppressing ev battery fires.

 

3FF062BD78B746E8843A761A5FF017BFAccording to Matt Klaus, designing suppression systems is often as simple as turning to NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems. But NFPA 13 may be only one of several NFPA codes and standards you need to review when dealing with industrial facilities, where the required suppression system may encompass special features and design requirements.

In addition to NFPA 13, you may have to consult NFPA 15, Water Spray Fixed Systems for Fire Protection, for example, or NFPA 16, Installation of Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray Systems, or NFPA  2001, Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems. Relying solely on NFPA 13 can be a costly mistake, says Klaus in his new column “When 13 Isn’t Enough” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.  If you want to avoid delayed openings and costly change orders, make sure you understand the hazards and system requirements for your occupancy, and consult all the codes and standards that apply.

64CB1B2FF8FA452781105421E75D6701Where do safety codes, particularly the NEC®, fit into the movement toward cleaner, greener, more reliable energy? A revision to a 2014 NEC requirement on lighting load calculations is a great example of how energy and safety codes can be made compatible when the right balance of interests is struck, says Jeffrey Sargent in his new column “Common Interests” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.

Since the 1970s, proposals have been made to amend the NEC load requirements so that they align more closely with energy code requirements. However, members of the code-making panel were reluctant to accept these proposals because they believed that they would reduce the level of safety established by the NEC requirements. So how can you make the NEC more compatible with the energy codes? By developing a new exception to Section 220.12 in the 2014 NEC allowing the lighting load to be calculated based on the value prescribed by the “energy code adopted by the local authority.” This new exception offers a safe alternative and may also provide considerable cost savings in the electrical distribution infrastructure. It’s a win-win approach for everyone involved.

March 2014 Fire Sprinkler Initiative NewsletterUpon examining an astounding 12,000 home fires, researchers have concluded that home fire sprinklers play a significant role in protecting property and saving lives, regardless of a building's materials.

Find more information about this study in the latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. You'll also find stories on:

  • a house fire that ended a firefighter's career
  • a deadly rise in house fires in Minneapolis, and what fire service officials are doing about it
  • new funding by the Department of Homeland Security to investigate fire safety concerns of green buildings

Subscribe to the free newsletter to receive this monthly news update directly in your inbox.

John Hall as SpockAfter three decades of leading NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division, Dr. John R. Hall, Jr. is retiring from NFPA on April 30. 

I have worked with John for over 20 years but I still learned some new things about John through a few questions I recently posed to him. 

For instance, I knew that John came to NFPA from the National Bureau of Standards but I didn’t know that John had also worked at the United States Fire Administration (USFA) during the early years of the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).  It was John’s work using NFIRS that caught the eye of NFPA.  NFPA was looking for someone to provide statistical support to the technical committees and John was the man.

One of John’s first accomplishments was creating NFPA’s One-Stop Data Shop.  John’s vision for the One-Stop Data Shop was to use it as a vehicle to get NFPA recognized as the national #1 source for fire statistics.  It is through the dozens of reports, many authored by John, and the ability to do custom work that the One-Stop Data Shop is now a go-to source for fire statistics.

It is impossible for me to name all that John has done or even begin to measure the impact that John has made in the risk management and fire statistical world.   Some of John’s proudest accomplishments are building consensus on good fire statistics by co-authoring a peer-reviewed article on the national estimates methodology; building analysis capability at NFPA; connecting to models and serving customers.  It is through these accomplishments that John has contributed to something he believes in “making people safer and making more people safe.”

When I asked John about his retirement plans he said “I am going to do lots of stuff around my home and around my town.”  John also wants to stay in touch with his friends at NFPA and will be rooting for NFPA’s success. 

We all wish John a happy & healthy retirement and thank him for all his hard work!  Congratulate John on his retirement by sending him an email

8F251904FEBE4CBF933714049E4EBC32Most building occupants are trained to evacuate as soon as fire alarm system activates. In some industrial occupancies, however, that might not be feasible, says Ron Coté in his new column “First Things First” in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal. Fortunately, NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, provides requirements for protecting such personnel and helping ensure that, when they are ready to leave the building, a safe route will be available.

Such requirements demonstrate a feature of NFPA 101 that makes it so effective: its occupancy-based format. Each occupancy chapter of NFPA 101 recognizes the characteristics of the occupants and the functional needs of the occupancy, and tailors its requirements accordingly. This means that life safety requirements do not interfere unnecessarily with an occupancy's day-to-day operations—just one reason the code is so widely used.

06AC06D0B76B43049A52EBCD3F76555FNFPA Journal columnist Wayne Moore was interested in a recent post on one of NFPA’s LinkedIn pages that asked how far smoke detectors should be installed from fluorescent light fixtures, presumably to avoid electromagnetic interference. Commenters could give no concrete answers except to confirm that the 2013 edition of NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, did not contain an answer, either. So where, Wayne asks in his column “Proximity Question,” does one look for help?

How about installation manuals and manufacturers instructions? Many installation manuals tell installers to segregate fire alarm system circuits from other circuits to minimize the chance that the other circuits will cause the fire alarm system to malfunction. And fire alarm equipment manufacturers may require a minimum separation distance between fire alarm circuit cables and those of other services.

As Wayne notes in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal, good practice is at least as important as any minimum code requirement.

At its March 2014 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council considered and reviewed the following four new projects/documents and is seeking public review and comments by the June 23, 2014 deadline:

Anyone interested in commenting on these new projects, should include the following information: resources on the subject matter, the names of those interested in participating on the Committee (if established), the names of other organizations actively involved with this subject, and whether there is a need for such a project.  Submit your comments to the Codes and Standards Administration Department, NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471

Read the NFPA Standards Council preliminary minutes to see the results of the items addressed at its meeting on March 3-4 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
At its meeting, the Council considered some of the following items:

  • consider a standard of a new test method to evaluate fire/ignition resistance of upholstered furniture subject to a flaming ignition source
  • consider a standard on the selection, care, and maintenance (SCAM) of wildland fire fighting clothing and equipment
  • reorganization of the Forest and Rural Fire Protection Committee
  • consider requests from Committees to change revision cycle schedules

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.


Jim screen shot

We do not have to choose between the environment and fire safety. We have an important stake in both.

So writes James M. Shannon, president of NFPA, in his latest "First Word" column in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal. The piece, appropriately titled "Having It Both Ways," offers a variety of examples where NFPA is working to balance fire safety and the push for environmental sustainability in the built environment, our vehicles, and elsewhere.

He writes of a fire chief who decided to keep firefighters off the roof of a burning building because it was covered with thousands of energized photovoltaic panels, even though protecting his people ultimately contributed to the loss of the building. "The chief's dilemma illustrates a tension between fire safety and environmental concerns," Shannon writes, "and the issue of how we balance these crucial societal interests will only grow." 

At its March 2014 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council considered the issuance of several proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIA).  The following TIAs on NFPA 13, NFPA 30A, NFPA 30B, NFPA 59A, NFPA 70, NFPA 99, NFPA 664, NFPA 1981 and NFPA 1982 were issued by the Council on March 3, 2014:

  • NFPA 13, TIA 13-3, referencing Figure 17.2.1.4(f)
  • NFPA 30A, TIA 15-1, referencing Table 12.6.2
  • NFPA 30B, TIA 15-1, referencing 5.15 and A.15(New)
  • NFPA 59A, TIA 13-2, referencing Table 15.8.4.2
  • NFPA 70, TIA 14-3, referencing Table 820.154(a)
  • NFPA 99, TIA 12-6, 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
  • NFPA 664, TIA 12-1, referencing 8.2.2.2.3 through 8.2.2.2.6
  • NFPA 1981, TIA 13-1, referencing 4.1.11 and 4.1.12
  • NFPA 1982, TIA 13-1, referencing 4.1.8 and 4.1.9  

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

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

  • Get an overview of the 2013 wildfire season
  • Find out what kinds of mulch work best in high-risk wildfire areas
  • Learn about the insurer’s perspective and how homeowner loss mitigation actions actually matter when it comes to recovering from the impact of a wildfire
  • Get the “skinny” on the WFOD’s latest project:  the 2015 Firewise calendar contest, which will feature artwork submitted by youth
  • Find additional resources and activity ideas for the National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event

… 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.

E2EFD616B75C44778E71E8B7DEB16EC1.ashxHere we go again. In a repeat of last year, says Don Bliss, NFPA vice-president of Regional Operations, some state legislatures are considering bills that would limit code-adoption and -revision cycles to a minimum of every six years. Proponents argue that the existing code cycles create unnecessary costs for home builders and consumers. They also say that a six-year cycle would reduce the cost of code update training for inspectors, design professionals, and facility operators.

Opponents of the six-year cycle argue that it will delay the inclusion in the codes of many new scientific research findings and that “skipping” an edition could preclude the opportunity to take advantage of a host of important changes.Failing to adopt the latest code could also create risks for first responders dealing with the risks posed by new technology.

For more on this topic, read Don's column "Safety Threat" in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal.

Sprink screen shot

Conventional wisdom has long held that the "heavier" the occupancy, such as industrial, the more damaging fires tend to be, especially when those occupancies aren't sprinklered.

In a fascinating feature story in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal, Fred Sanford, director of special projects with Liberty Mutual Insurance's property risk engineering group, describes a 14-year study of hundreds of fires by Liberty Mutual that illustrates the dramatic impact sprinklers can have in minimizing damage in industrial occupancies. In the story, "The Sprinkler Difference," Sanford writes that "overall, in a comparison of estimated fire damage in non-sprinklered versus sprinklered industrial occupancies, fires in non-sprinklered facilities averaged an estimated $1.9 million in damage compared to $638,000 in sprinklered facilities, or a ratio of about 3:1." 

The story is part of the industrial + storage occupancies focus in this latest issue of NFPA Journal. 

Education and awareness are critical components of the NFPA mission to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life. One of the best ways for us to keep the mission moving forward is to team up with other organizations that share our passion for safety and progress. This week, NFPA Staff (Erik Holden and Matt Klaus) along with NFPA Instructor Bob Caputo spent two days at SPP Pumps training lab in Norcross, Georgia. SPP Pumps is an international leader in the fire pump industry, that maintains a state of the art, hands-on training facility is equipped with fully-functional fire sprinkler systems, fire pumps (diesel and electric) and a complete range of fire sprinkler industry components. Spp Our host, SPP Pumps Director of Sales James Hunt and the SPP Pumps team(pictured), was gracious enough to allow NFPA the use of their lab to film a series of training videos on how fire pump churn tests and annual flow tests are conducted. Understanding how to conduct these tests, which are mandated by NFPA 25, is vital to ensuring that the fire pump will function as designed during a fire event. SPP Pumps training lab provided the perfect environment for developing training videos on these important concepts. 

p>The NFPA has recently released two fun and exciting music videos for kids featuring Public Broadcasting System (PBS) personality Steve Rosnolek of “SteveSongs” fame and the top-ranked Seattle children’s band, Recess Monkey. The videos, which focus on the importance of smoke alarms, are currently available on its Sparky School House website. The videos, “Little Rosalie” and “What’s That Sound?”, teach young children the importance of fire safety and help children remember what they should do in the event of a fire.

To learn more about these new music videos, check out the full press release here!

 

 

 

Music videos for kids


Nat_Anthem_500x300

NFPA is holding a contest to determine the talent who will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at this year’s Opening General Session of the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas on Monday, June 9, 2014 in front of about 3,000 attendees!

Submit your audition video by March 23rd of you or your group (consisting of no more than 5 members) singing the National Anthem a cappella! Please also include a spoken statement describing your interest in NFPA's mission.

Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges at NFPA, and public voting will take place between March 31 and April 4 to help determine the winning performance. The winner(s) will receive the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at General Session, as well as a 2-day/1-night trip to Las Vegas, Nevada June 8-9, and full admission to the NFPA Conference & Expo.

Enter through our contest webpage, or through NFPA’s Facebook page. Also, please be sure to read the full contest rules.

Good luck!

!http://lbackstrom.typepad.com/.a/6a014e86dfab17970d01a73d94a669970d-450wi|src=http://lbackstrom.typepad.com/.a/6a014e86dfab17970d01a73d94a669970d-450wi|alt=PV on roof|style=width: 450px;|title=PV on roof|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a014e86dfab17970d01a73d94a669970d img-responsive!

Dietz and Watson Fire Aftermath (FOX, 2013)



 

A new literature review report from the Fire Protection Research Foundation has now been published, titled, "Commercial Roof-Mounted Photovoltaic System Installation Best Practices Review and All Hazard Assessment" and authored by Rosalie Wills, James Milke, Sara Royle and Kristin Steranka with the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland.


The purpose of this literature review is to compile information on a wide variety of hazards and damage potential created by the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems on commercial roof structures. The hazards addressed are: structural loading; wind loads; hail; snow; debris accumulation; seismic; fire (panel flammability, impact on roof fire ratings); and electrical hazards affecting fire fighting operations.


 

Download the full report, for free, through the Foundation website. </p>

LucianDeaton2535-800pxlsNFPA Journal welcomes Lucien Deaton, new manager the Firewise Communities and Fire Adapted Communities Programs for NFPA’s  Wildland Fire Operations Division. Lucien comes to NFPA after eight years with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the last three of which he spent developing the national model of the Ready, Set, Go! Program created by California’s Ventura County Fire Department and Orange County Fire Authority to connect firefighters with the residents they serve on wildfire preparedness outreach.

Among the things he learned working on the Ready, Set, Go! Program—and that he's bringing to his new position—is that wildfire preparedness programs must respect a community's residents and acknowledge the reality of private home ownership while working tirelessly to ensure that residents understand and act upon the wildfire mitigation responsibility they have assumed.

For more of Lucien's thoughts on wildfire preparedness, read his new column "Local Intel" in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal.

Green buildings
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is funding a three-year project through the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) aimed at identifying and reducing potential risks posed by "green" elements in newer buildings. The $1 million project is a follow-up to the 2012 report commissioned by the Fire Protection Research Foundation that identified dozens of these concerns and how research could pinpoint mitigation tactics.

In his initial research, Brian Meacham, associate professor of fire protection engineering at WPI, compiled a list of 78 green building features and construction elements that could pose risks to firefighters and occupants. Lightweight engineered lumber, for instance, uses less material and could present risks during fires for its propensity to collapse more quickly than conventional timber construction.

For more information on the new research, check out NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Office Hours
The next episode of NFPA's Office Hours will take place on Monday, March 24th at 2:00pm ET. Open to all NFPA members, please join NFPA Principal Life Safety Engineer, Ron Coté, P.E. as he discusses the proposed changes to NFPA 101, Life Safety Code that received NITMAMs (challenges) for Association action at Conference & Expo in June in Las Vegas. This live, streaming video presentation is your chance to gain critical insight into the proposed changes to NFPA 101, and ask Ron Cote what impact these proposed changes can have.

  • Determining occupant load for business uses
  • Requiring video monitoring of high-rise building exit stair enclosures
  • Increasing allowable size of hospital smoke compartments

Have questions? Get the answers during this live event by submitting them to NFPAOfficeHours@gmail.com in advance or Tweeting with the hashtag #OfficeHours during the presentation.

Office Hours is a live, interactive, streaming video presentation for NFPA Members featuring NFPA technical staff discussing NFPA codes and standards. Members are encouraged to ask questions throughout the presentation and be a part of the discussion.

Register for this event today!

PPE
Fire fighting personal protective equipment (PPE) is an essential part of the gear used by fire fighters. Like all equipment, fire fighting PPE requires appropriate care and maintenance. The goal of this project was to provide a data collection summary of current practice and policies for fire service PPE care and maintenance, with resulting deliverables that help guide standards revisions as well as to support future research on this topic.

Collection of the data resulted in a recently published report, "Data Collection Summary for PPE Care and Maintenance" authored by Paul Kashmanian and Casey C. Grant, P.E. of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. 

The Fire Protection Research Foundation expresses gratitude to members of the project’s technical panel for their guidance throughout the project and to all others who contributed to this research effort. Special thanks are expressed to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for providing the project funding through the NFPA Annual Code Fund.

NFPA 1401, Recommended Practice for Fire Service Training Reports and Records, NFPA 1402, Guide to Building Fire Service Training Centers and NFPA 1403, Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions are accepting electronic public inputs until January 5, 2015.  Click on the links above to go to that documents doc/info page for more information or to submit public inputs.

mikehazell

Buyer Beware!

Posted by mikehazell Employee Mar 18, 2014

Chesapeake

At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Monday, March 18, 1996, Chesapeake, Virginia fire fighters responded
to a fire in an auto parts store.  They found nothing showing on the exterior of the building at the time they arrived.  Two fire fighters entered the building and found a small amount of fire at the rear of the store.  The fire fighters extinguished that fire and began checking for fire extension.  Approximately 15 minutes after their arrival, the roof of the building collapsed trapping the two fire fighters.  They both died of burns with smoke inhalation being a contributory factor.

The building involved was approximately 12 years old.  Two of the building’s exterior bearing walls were constructed with unprotected steel frames and two were constructed with masonry block.  Light-weight wood trusses with a clear span of 50 feet (15.2 m) supported the store’s roof.  Because the facility was an auto parts store, it contained a wide variety of parts made of combustible and non-combustible materials, flammable auto paints (liquid and aerosol), and other flammable and combustible liquids.  Most packaging materials and some shelving materials were also combustible.

The fire occurred when a utility worker damaged the electric service drop conductors on the outside of the store. Electrical arcing inside the store ignited wood trusses supporting the roof and electric hot water heater.  Though some of the fire was visible to anyone in the occupied area of the building, much of the fire was hidden in the concealed space above the store's ceiling, and the fire was spreading in that area.

The fire fighters who died in this fire were most probably unaware that the building was constructed with light-weight wood roof trusses.  Approximately seven minutes after they had arrived on the scene, the crew inside the building radioed their battalion chief and reported that they had found the fire.  They asked for a second crew to come into the building and they asked for a pike pole.  Approximately eight minutes after this transmission, the roof collapsed intensifying the fire and trapping the fire fighters inside the building.  They radioed for assistance but, for an undetermined reason, the incident commander did not understand that transmission.  Two other chief officers who were responding to the scene heard the transmission and relayed that information to the on-scene commander.  By the time the on-scene commander realized that fire fighters were trapped inside the building, the fire had become sufficiently intense that rescue attempts were not possible.

 On the basis of on the NFPA's investigation and analysis of this fire, the following significant factors contributed to the loss of the two Chesapeake fire fighters:

 • The presence of light-weight wood roof trusses.

 • Fire officers and fire fighters not being aware that the Chesapeake auto parts store's roof was constructed with light-weight wood trusses.

 • The lack of a fire attack strategy that could minimize the risk to fire fighters while suppressing a fire involving light-weight wood trusses.

 • The lack of automatic sprinklers.

 NFPA members can download the full investigation report Fire Fighter Fatalities Chesapeake VA For more information on fire fighterfatalities Firefigher Fatalities in the United States Those interested in more information about mercantile fires can download NFPA's report and fact sheet on  Stores and Other Mercantile Properties


Tall building screenshot

If some architects and designers are to be believed, the future of tall buildings has little to do with structural steel and everything to do with new timber products and engineered wood components. Wooden buildings as tall as 10 stories are under construction around the world, while others with 30 or even 40 stories are in the design phase. As the design world embraces the sustainability concepts behind tall wooden buildings, the fire protection community is raising questions around protecting such structures.

In her latest "Research" column in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal, Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, looks at some of these issues, and at how this new consideration of tall wooden buildings is forcing the fire safety community to rethink some of its assumptions about fire protection. "With timber buildings, we have an "old" material transformed for use in new structural forms," she writes. "As we attempt to define the performance we expect from timber in high-rise buildings, we will also gain a more explicit understanding of some of the fundamental assumptions underlying our standards—an extremely valuable process." 

Screen shot 2014-03-14 at 4.41.36 PM

Peter Drucker, the respected management consultant, educator, and author, once said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast"—meaning that even the most strategically sound plan can fail if the culture of an organization is unprepared or unwilling to accept it.

That's the idea behind "Pass the Syrup," Ken Willette's latest "First Responder" column in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal. Willette looks at a discussion currently taking place in the fire serviuce—the effect ventilation activities have on a structure fire and promotion of revised firefighting tactics, where the initial fire attack starts from outside the structure and transitions to an interior attack—and how some proposals around this issue are being met with resistance from firefighters. "Yet another case," he writes, "of culture wolfing down strategy like a stack of waffles." 

-Scott Sutherland 

795E2CA3573741FBB0FB674DBF2E21E7The technical committee responsible for NFPA 32, Dry Cleaning Plants, is currently revising the standard to address the new technology and solvents now in use in the industry. The 2016 edition of the standard will distinguish the different types of equipment and solvents and will consolidate the requirements for older dry cleaning machinery into a single chapter to better differentiate between the stricter requirements needed for older technology. For more on the subject, read Nancy Pearce's article, "Hold the Starch," in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal.

At approximately 10: p.m. on Sunday, March 17, 1996, and accidental fire occurred at the Scotch LaurinburgNCBoardandCareFacilityFireMeadow Rest Home in Laurinburg, North Carolina.  According to state fire investigators, faulty electrical wiring in a patient room's wall receptacle caused the ignition of bedding materials.  Eight elderly male residents died of smoke inhalation and two other residents sustained smoke related injuries.

The facility involved was a state licensed domiciliary care facility approved for 60 residents; 58 residents were in the building at the time of the fire.  This type of facility would be classified as a Large Board and Care Facility according to Life Safety Code criteria.  The building was a single- story, protected wood frame structure.  It had been equipped with heat detectors in the resident rooms and a building-wide fire alarm system.  Fire doors were installed in the corridors and provided smoke separation between building wings.  These fire doors were interlocked with the fire alarm system.  The facility had been inspected by state personnel approximately one month before the fire and no deficiencies were noted during that inspection.

According to local fire officials, the building's fire alarm system operated releasing the corridor fire doors.  As a result, the most severe smoke spread occurred on the wing of fire origin, and this was the area where the residents died.        

NFPA members can download the full investigation report Fire Investigation Board and Care Those interested in more information about board and care fires can download NFPA's report and fact sheet on Structure Fires in Residential Board and Care Facilities   To learn more about NFPA 101: Life Safety Code®

Screen shot 2014-03-14 at 4.41.36 PM

Peter Drucker, the respected management consultant, educator, and author, once said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast"—meaning that even the most strategically sound plan can fail if the culture of an organization is unprepared or unwilling to accept it.

That's the idea behind "Pass the Syrup," Ken Willette's latest "First Responder" column in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal. Willette looks at a discussion currently taking place in the fire serviuce—the effect ventilation activities have on a structure fire and promotion of revised firefighting tactics, where the initial fire attack starts from outside the structure and transitions to an interior attack—and how some proposals around this issue are being met with resistance from firefighters. "Yet another case," he writes, "of culture wolfing down strategy like a stack of waffles." 

MembersThe Technical Committee on Forest and Rural Fire Protection (FRU-AAA) submitted a request to the NFPA Standards Council at its October 2013 meeting to reorganize into two new technical committees with more well-defined scopes.  The proposed committees would separate the current document workload, increase the number of wildland fire protection experts involved, and increase the capacity for the committees to take on new projects.  The NFPA Standards Council approved the proposed reorganization of FRU-AAA at its quarterly meeting just this past week in San Juan, PR.  NFPA is currently seeking members to develop balanced rosters for the two new committees.  The application deadline for the development of the new committee rosters is May 12, 2014.  These rosters will be submitted for approval at the August 2014 meeting of the NFPA Standards Council.  Please take a look at the details below, and submit an application online to the committee, or committees, of your expertise. 

The Technical Committee titles below contain links where applications can be submitted online.  The approved reorganization of FRU-AAA will result in the following new committees and corresponding document assignments:

 

Technical Committee on Wildland and Rural Fire Protection

Scope:  This committee shall have the primary responsibility for documents on fire protection in wildland, rural, and suburban areas.

Responsibilities:

• NFPA 1141, Standard for Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Wildland, Rural, and Suburban Areas

• NFPA 1142, Standard for Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Firefighting

• NFPA 1144, Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire

 

Technical Committee on Wildland Fire Management

Scope:  This committee shall have the primary responsibility for documents on wildland fire management.

Responsibilities:

• NFPA 1143, Standard for Wildland Fire Management

• NFPA 1145, Guide for the Use of Class A Foams in Manual Structural Fire Fighting

On March 14, 1981 an early morning fire in the first floor laundry room area spread to a nearby stairway Captureand trapped many of the 62 occupants of this 4-story residential hotel.  The fire resulted in the deaths of 19 tenants and in the collapse of a major portion of the structure.

The structural aspects of this building were contributing factors in both the fire spread and the number of fatalities.  These structural aspects include:

   •     lack of proper protection in hazardous areas,

    •     penetration of corridor walls by floor joists,

    •     improper enclosure of stairways, and

    •     combustible construction of stairways.

Although classified as a hotel, the occupants of this building ranged in age from the very young to elderly and, the physical and mental condition of some tenants probably effected the number of fatalities.

Individual tenant rooms were protected by single-station, battery-operated smoke detectors; however, a post-fire examination revealed that several of these detectors did not have batteries. 

NFPA members can download the full Fire Journal article Chicago Hotel Fire Those interested in more information about residential hotel fires can download  NFPA's Fires by Occupancy 2007-2011 Annual Averages report More information can also be found in  NFPA's Smoke alarms in US Home Fires Report

March safetyThe March issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find; 

  • New 9-volt battery safety tip sheet
  • Free Sparky the Fire Dog bookplates
  • Celebrate Sparky's birthday 
  • Addressing the behavior behind the problem through Remembering When
  • NFPA national anthem singer contest
  • Play the Remembering When trivia game

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.

Twenty years ago 1st responders used lessons learned from days of training to perform on scene. Today, the job of a first responder requires a whole new toolkit when you arrive on scene of a motor vehicle incident. Hybrid and electric vehicles present a different and sometimes dangerous challenge to the fire service, law enforcement and the tow/salvage industry.

EV App

Automomobile manufacturers create more and more versions of electric/hybrid vehicles each year and each model presents a different layout of batteries and cables that can be hazardous unless you know where to find the safe points to cut during an extrication. In a field where minutes can mean the difference between life and death, having the right tool on hand is vital.

A new mobile app has been released by NFPA to help 1st responders---the NFPA EV Guide. Access interactive diagrams of EV/hybrid vehicles "on scene" with this new mobile app from NFPA and Moditech. The National Fire Protection Association presents the NFPA EV Guide—your portable app used for electric and hybrid vehicle incidents involving damaged high voltage batteries, battery fires, extrication challenges, submersion, and charging stations. This vital app features 32 new vehicles and updated technical data reviewed by auto manufacturers.

“Today, with the advanced technology appearing on our roadways, first responders require new tools at the scene of an incident. This APP for smart phones and tablets provides vital information about possible dangers firefighters can encounter with electric and hybrid vehicles.  It provides procedures for disabling the power in each vehicle, and shows where to cut safely if extrication is necessary.  Tools like this will play an increasingly important role in keeping first responders safe.” -Andrew Klock, NFPA

For more information about EV safety training and other related products offered by NFPA, go to: www.evsafetytraining.org

 

 

On Tuesday, March 13, 1990, a fire of an undetermined cause struck the 90-bed Dardanelle Nursing DardnelleHome in Dardanelle, Arkansas.  This home was a skilled nursing facility and was licensed and inspected by the State of Arkansas.  Of the 85 patients in the building, four died and at least ten others were sent to the hospital.

The building, which was constructed in 1969, was designed for use as a nursing home.  The one story, noncombustible structure had poured concrete floor slabs and concrete block exterior and interior walls.  Most of the walls for the corridor extended from the floor slab to within a few inches of the underside of the roof decking, and walls between rooms extended a few inches above the non-fire-rated, noncombustible suspended ceiling assembly.  The building’s built-up roof was constructed over corrugated metal pans supported by unprotected steel bar joists that were set on top of the corridor and exterior walls.

Two slab-to-slab, concrete-block fire walls divided the building into three areas (west wing, center section, and east wing).  Corridor openings in the fire wall were protected with 1 1/2-hr fire-rated doors equipped with magnetic hold-open devices.  The doors were also equipped with a coordinator for proper sequencing during closing.  Room doors were nonrated, solid core, wood doors with positive latching hardware.

The nonsprinklered building had a fire detection/alarm system that included smoke detectors in the corridor and resident rooms, audible local alarms, alarm lights outside of each patient room, manual pull stations, and interlocks to the HVAC system and the magnetic door holders.  In addition, fire extinguishers and emergency lighting were provided.  A partial automatic sprinkler system was provided protecting the kitchen area, an adjacent storage room, a soiled linen storage room, and the laundry.

The cause of the fire was not determined.  It appears, however, that the first materials ignited were the contents of a clean-linen cart in a linen storage room.  The fire then spread into the space above the room’s suspended ceiling.  Once in the concealed space above the ceiling, the hot gases and flames caused the asphalt in the built-up roof assembly to melt.  Combustible material dripped, and flammable vapors vented into the void space, intensifying the fire and causing heavy smoke.

 The following factors appear to have contributed to the loss of life and property:

    •    The absence of a complete automatic sprinkler system.

    •    The failure of the compartment of origin to contain the fire.

    •    The spread of fire and smoke through concealed space.

NFPA members can download the full investigation report NFPA Fire Investigation Health Care Those interested in more information about nursing home fires can download NFPA Health Care Facilities report and fact sheet

NFPA JournalA massive explosion that occurred just before 8 p.m. on April 17, 2013 violently jolted the sleepy town of West, Texas (population 2,800). Fire had come in contact with large bins of fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate stored at the West Fertilizer Company's storage and distribution center, creating a detonation that rocked the entire town. A nursing home, an apartment building, schools, and homes were damaged. About 200 people were injured. An even grimmer fact was that three civilians and 12 emergency responders died from the incident, making the explosion the third-highest line-of-duty death toll for firefighters in the state's history.

On a mission to spread crucial information on chemical storage safety since the explosion is Texas State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy. He and U.S. agencies have been using NFPA as a valuable resource as they try to bolster safety at these settings. The cover story in the latest issue of NFPA Journal highlights these efforts, including action by the NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code, Committee to incorporate lessons learned into the code's 2016 edition. Furthermore, an executive order by President Barack Obama has directed the federal government to improve safety and security at chemical facilities, and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and the Environmental Protection Agency have also followed suit.

"We're trying to do everything we can to reinforce and create new best practices to avoid another situation like what happened in West," says Connealy. "There are some challenges out there ... but as a society you have to have some regulatory requirements to make sure people follow at least some semblance of best practices to minimize the risk."

Read the full story in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal.

050DE551B6E94BCB8F21938CE7E6B89D.ashxA member of the NFPA 921 Technical Committee on Fire Investigations since the release of the first edition of NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, Randy Watson has used the guide in investigating approximately 3,000 fires. In the March/April issue of NFPA Journal, he talks about the evolution of NFPA 921 into a standard that is used worldwide to conduct fire investigations in a scientific manner. Read the entire interview in "Guided by Science."

mikehazell

2014 Edition of NFPA 921 

Posted by mikehazell Employee Mar 11, 2014

Portions of the new edition of NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations is being discussed and taught at the National Association of Fire Investigation (NAFI) 2014 International Fire, Arson, and Explosion Investigation Training Program at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond Kentucky.  I am attending the training program to answer any questions on the 2014 edition of 921 and 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigators.  The NAFI program is being attended by Public and Private Fire investigators, Engineers, Attorneys and Students from Eastern Kentucky University.  The program started with the Randy Watson from SEA Limited and Chair of the 921 Technical Committee discussing Methodology of Fire Investigation according to the 2014 edition of NFPA 921.  EKU Professor Greg Gorbett is teaching Fire Pattern Analysis and Fire Dynamics.

The overall opinion from conference attendees on the new colorized edition of 921 has been very positive and some stated this was a long time coming and the color photographs will enhance the use of NFPA 921.

20140310_082124_Richtone(HDR)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, and the National Fallen Fighters Foundation Everyone Goes Home Program is hosting Tampa2: Building for the Future.  The multi-day event, March 10-12, is being held in Tampa, FL “…to reaffirm our commitment to the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, to identify future directions of LODD prevention efforts and to help nurture the development of a new generation of fire service leaders.“ 


The 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives


  • Define and advocate the need for a cultural change within the fire service relating to safety; incorporating leadership, management, supervision, accountability and personal responsibility.

  • Enhance the personal and organizational accountability for health and safety throughout the fire service.

  • Focus greater attention on the integration of risk management with incident management at all levels, including strategic, tactical, and planning responsibilities.

  • All firefighters must be empowered to stop unsafe practices.

  • Develop and implement national standards for training, qualifications, and certification (including regular recertification) that are equally applicable to all firefighters based on the duties they are expected to perform.

  • Develop and implement national medical and physical fitness standards that are equally applicable to all firefighters, based on the duties they are expected to perform.

  • Create a national research agenda and data collection system that relates to the initiatives.

  • Utilize available technology wherever it can produce higher levels of health and safety.

  • Thoroughly investigate all firefighter fatalities, injuries, and near misses.

  • Grant programs should support the implementation of safe practices and/or mandate safe practices as an eligibility requirement.

  • National standards for emergency response policies and procedures should be developed and championed.

  • National protocols for response to violent incidents should be developed and championed.

  • Firefighters and their families must have access to counseling and psychological support.

  • Public education must receive more resources and be championed as a critical fire and life safety program.

  • Advocacy must be strengthened for the enforcement of codes and the installation of home fire sprinklers.

  • Safety must be a primary consideration in the design of apparatus and equipment.


 



)

<p>The Foundation is conducting a multi phase research program  to develop guidance for the protection of lithium ion batteries in storage.  The first two phases of this project, <a href="http://www.nfpa.org/research/fire-protection-research-foundation/reports-and-proceedings/hazardous-materials/other-hazards/lithium-ion-batteries-hazard-and-use-assessment" target="_self">a hazard assessment</a> and a large scale <a href="http://www.nfpa.org/research/fire-protection-research-foundation/reports-and-proceedings/hazardous-materials/other-hazards/lithium-ion-batteries-hazard-and-use-assessment-ph-iib" target="_self">flammability characterization</a>, were completed in 2013.  The latter program provided good information on the performance of cartoned small format batteries in storage and indications are that a practical sprinkler protection solution, similar to that used for other common stored commodities will be effective.</p>
<p> In order to confirm this finding, a third and final phase of the test program – a validation phase is required.  This will consist of large scale testing (8-24 pallet loads) to ensure that the sprinkler system proposed will be effective in controlling the fire hazard.  The insurance industry will donate all the costs associated with this testing, as well as the engineering services to coordinate and report on the results. Due to the high retail cost of the batteries (in excess of $500,000), we are seeking additional sponsors. </p>
<p>If you are interested in participating, please contact me at kalmand@nfpa.org.</p>
<p> </p>

1936NFPA 1936 is the standard to which powered rescue equipment is tested to assure the end user has safe tools to perform rescue operations.

Only manufacturers whose rescue tools have been certified to the rigorous requirements of NFPA 1936 can receive conformity documentation and adhere an NFPA compliance label.

NFPA 1936 is the only certification standard for rescue tools in North America. The standard specifies the minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing, and certification of powered rescue tool systems and the individual components of spreaders, rams, cutters, combination tools, power units, and power transmission cables, conduit, or hose. 

Approved rescue tools to NPFA 1936 use NFPA standards that are developed through a consensus standards development process approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This process brings together volunteers representing fire service personnel, insurance, special experts and industry professionals to achieve consensus on fire and other safety issues.

For rescue tools certified to NFPA 1936, product conformance verification is required to be performed by a product conformance verification organization, such as UL, SEI and TUV. The product conformance verification program requires manufacturers to establish and maintain a quality assurance program that meets the requirements of NFPA 1936. In addition, continued product conformance verification shall be maintained by a product conformance organization by means of random inspections.

For further information, and to read the entire document, please go to www.nfpa.org/1936.

The First Draft Reports for 36 NFPA documents in the Annual 2015 revision cycle are now available.  Review the First Draft Reports for use as background in the submission of public comments. The deadline to submit a public comment on any of these documents is May 16, 2014. Some of the proposed NFPA documents with First Draft Reports in the Annual 2015 revision cycle are as follows:

  • NFPA 2, Hydrogen Technologies Code
  • NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
  • NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes
  • NFPA 13R, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies
  • NFPA 24, Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances
  • NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
  • NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives
  • NFPA 105, Standard for the Installation of Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives
  • NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code
  • NFPA 1126, Standard for the Use of Pyrotechnics Before a Proximate Audience
  • NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public
  • NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances

See the full list of documents in the Annual 2015 revision cycle.

The First Draft Report serves as documentation of the Input Stage and is published for public review and comment. The First Draft Report contains a compilation of the First Draft of the NFPA Standard, First Revisions, Public Input, Committee Input, Committee Statements, and Ballot Results and Statements. Where applicable, the First Draft Report also contains First Correlating Revisions, Correlating Notes, and Correlating Input.

The CFPS® Nominating Committee is preparing for the annual election of CFPS Board members.

The Board of Directors Election is a two-part process. Part One consists of the Call for Nominations which will take place from March 12-April 2, 2014. Part Two consists of the actual voting which will take place from April 17-May 8, 2014. The annual election is conducted electronically through e-mail and a secure web site.

On or around March 12, 2014 Certificate Holders will receive an email announcing the Call for Nominations. Those interested in running for a position on the Board of Directors should nominate themselves in accordance with the guidelines. All nominations must be submitted by Wednesday, April 2, 2014. 

The CFPS Board of Directors has 4 positions to fill this year. Board members serve for a 3 year term. Voting will take place from April 17 through May 8.

CFPSBoard2014ed2
2013 CFPS Board of Directors at NFPA Conference & Expo in Chicago, Illinois

Results will be announced at the Annual CFPS Certificate Holders meeting on June 9, 2014 at NFPA’s Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

 

If you have any questions, please contact the CFPS Certification Department at 617-984-7484 or cfps@nfpa.org.

mikehazell

NFPA 1730 Open for Comments

Posted by mikehazell Employee Mar 10, 2014

The First Draft report for NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public is posted at www.nfpa.org/1730.  Deadline for submittal of Comments is May 16, 2014 (April 11 for paper) at 5pm Eastern. Please submit your comments by the deadline for the committee to act on at its second draft meeting. 

mikehazell

NFPA 1710 open for comments

Posted by mikehazell Employee Mar 10, 2014

The First Draft report for NFPA 1710, Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments, is posted at www.nfpa.org/1710.  The committee has added new occupanices (garden style apartment and high-rise) to the deployment model.  

Deadline for submittal of Comments is May 16, 2014 (April 11 for paper) at 5pm (EST). Please submit your comments by the deadline for the committee to act on at its second draft meeting.

We thought a quick overview of the different registration packages would be helpful to highlight since there have been a few changes from previous years.

CandE_HmpgAdThe following is the schedule for the week:

  • General Session - Monday, June 9 from 1:00-3:00 pm
  • Education Sessions - Monday through Wednesday
  • Expo - Monday through Wednesday
  • Association Technical Meeting - Wednesday and Thursday
  • Pre-conference and post-conference seminars will not be held at NFPA Conference & Expo this year. However, seminars will be held September 15-19 in Las Vegas. The events calendar has a listing of upcoming dates and locations of NFPA Seminars.

Technical Committee Members

Due to your dedication and commitment to the codes and standards process, NFPA is pleased to offer you a discounted rate of $880 to attend the entire event all week.  Technical Committee Members may choose to attend only the Association Technical Meeting for $200. 

NFPA Members

NFPA Members are encouraged to register by April 25 to receive the discounted $935 rate. After April 25, the regular rate of $990 for NFPA Members.

Non Members

$1,110 gives you access to the General Session, Conference and Expo. This rate applies from now until June 12.

Expo Only

Free in advance ($95 Onsite unless you present a registration form.)

  Register Today

 

Association Technical Meeting voting eligibility requirements Only NFPA members of record as of December 13, 2013 who are currently in good standing are eligible to vote during the Association Technical Meeting, and must have either a full conference registration or an Association Technical Meeting registration.

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

In this issue:

  • Proposed TIAs seeking comment on NFPA 70, 101, 1192, and 5000
  • Errata issued on NFPA 13, 86, and 1123
  • Annual 2015 documents open for public comment
  • How to submit a public comment
  • Standards Council  March 2014 agenda
  • 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.

Day four of the Fire Protection Research Foundation's "Fire Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium" (SUPDET) being held this week in Orlando is focusing on fire sensitivity testing, detection technology, and modeling. The following papers are being presented this morning.

Update on UL PU Foam Task Group Activities
Tom Fabian, Ph.D., Underwriters Laboratories 

Impact of New Fire Sensitivity Test Criteria
Tom Cleary, Ph.D., National Institute of Standards and Technology

Joshua_Dinaburg
Joshua Dinaburg of Hughes Associates

Comparative Fire and Nuisance Performance of Beam Detectors
Dan Gottuk, Ph.D., Hughes Associates
Presented by Joshua Dinaburg, Hughes Associates

Ernesto _Vega-Janica
Ernesto Vega Janica of Rolf Jensen & Associates

Flame Detection for Silane & Other Non-Hydrocarbon Fires
Ernesto Vega Janica, Rolf Jensen & Associates 

Validation of Smoke Detector Activation Models
Kristopher J. Overholt, Kevin B. McGrattan, and Richard D. Peacock, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 

Validation of Modeling Tools for Detection Design in High Airflow Environments
Jason Floyd, Ph.D. and Joshua Dinaburg, Hughes Associates, Inc. 

Large Scale Data Center Testing at FM Global
Sai Thumuluru, Ph.D., FM Global

Friday session

Today is the last day of the Fire Protection Research Foundation's "Fire Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium" (SupDet) being held at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Download many of the more than 30 papers that were presented at the event, which covered a variety of topics:

  • sprinkler protection
  • high hazard challenges
  • suppression technologies
  • the environment
  • water mist
  • mass notification
  • signaling and notification
  • unwanted and nuisance alarms
  • fire sensitivity tests
  • detection technology research
  • fire modeling

A special workshop on Wednesday afternoon focused on "smart" buildings and fire safety.

Supdet crowd
Day three of the Fire Protection Research Foundation's "Fire Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium" (SUPDET) being held this week in Orlando is focusing on the latest technologies and research on fire detection. Paper topics included mass notification, signaling and notification, unwanted alarms, and nuisance alarms.

In addition to the papers already featured in previous blog posts, the following presentations were offered in Orlando:

Ken_Modeste
Ken Modeste of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

Security Implications Associated with Mass Notification Systems
Ken Modeste, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

Parameters for Indirect Viewing of Visual Signals Used in Emergency Notification
John D. Bullough, Ph.D., Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Robert P. Schifiliti, P.E., R.P. Schifiliti Associates, Inc.

Bruce_Olson
Bruce Olson of AMFG Technologies

Design for Speech Intelligibility Using Software Modeling
Bruce Olson, AMFG Technologies 

Lance_Ruetimann
Lance Ruetimann of Siemens Switzerland, Ltd.

Reducing False Alarms - A case study of selected European countries
Lance Ruetimann – Siemens Switzerland Ltd.

Analysis of the Response of Smoke Detectors to Smoldering Fires and Nuisance Sources 
Jim Milke, Ph.D., University of Maryland

Nuisance_Alarm_Panel
Tom Cleary of NIST, Tom Fabian of Underwriters Laboratories, and Amanda Kimball of the Fire Protection Research Foundation spoke about current research efforts on nuisance alarms.

Next Steps for Nuisance Alarms
Amanda Kimball, P.E., Fire Protection Research Foundation

UL 217 STP Task Group Development of Foam Tests
Tom Fabian, Ph.D., Underwriters Laboratories

NIST Research on Kitchen Fire Prevention and Nuisance Alarms
Tom Cleary, Ph.D., National Institute of Standards and Technology

Richard_Roberts
Richard Roberts of Honeywell Life Safety spoke about the requirements on nuisance alarms in NFPA 72 during the Research Foundation symposium in Orlando.

Smoke alarms and detectors are designed to detect a fire in its early stage and alert people so they have time to escape. Home fire fatalities have decreased dramatically over the past few decades. And while that reduction cannot be solely attributed to the use of smoke detection devices, many researchers agree that they played a substantial role.

According to Richard Roberts, Industry Affairs Manager for Honeywell Life Safety, nuisance alarms, most often caused by cooking, are the leading cause of home occupants disabling their smoke alarms. Disabled alarms account for roughly 20% of all smoke alarms, and that number may be higher in high-risk areas, such as inner cities and rural communities.

In the 2013 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, two new sections were added to the code to address nuisance alarms. The first would require that by 2016, home smoke alarm systems installed between 8-20 feet from a cooking appliance be listed for resistance to common nuisance alarms. The second would require that by 2019, all home smoke alarm systems be listed for resistance to common nuisance alarms.

However, Mr. Roberts said that performance test protocols need to be developed and added to the UL smoke detection product standards – a process that is expected to take up to five years. And because of a current lack of technical data needed to develop those protocols, a motion was filed and approved through the NFPA code development process to push out the effective date of the first requirement to 2019. 

Read an overview of Mr. Robert’s presentation on the requirements on nuisance alarms in NFPA 72.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation has launched Phase 1 of a new project, "Smoke Alarm Nuisance Source Characterization" that is intended to provide data for the development of test protocols in ANSI/UL 217 and ANSI/UL 268 product standards in order to meet the NFPA 72 requirements. A report on Phase 1 is expected to be released this spring.

During today's symposium, Dr. Daniel Gottuck of Hughes Associates, Inc., provided an overview of the Research Foundation project.

Mengel award
Thomas Fabian and Robin Zevotek receive the Ronald K. Mengel award from Amanda Kimball of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Professor Milke was not available for the award presentation.

Robin Zevotek, James Milke, and Thomas Fabian were honored this morning in Orlando for having the best presentation in the detection portion of last year's Research Foundation’s symposium.

The authors, who spoke last March on the “Cooking Fire Prevention” during the Foundation’s SupDet event, received the Ronald K. Mengel Award. The award, voted on by symposium attendees, was named in honor of Mr. Mengel who was a significant industry contributor to research in support of NFPA detection and signaling codes and standards.

Mr. Zevotek is a research engineer at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Professor Milke is chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland, and Mr. Fabian is a fire research manager at Underwriters Laboratories Inc.  

<p><a class="asset-img-link" style="display: inline;" href="http://prezi.com/jiqhsjoijb-t/your-world-is-social/" target="_blank"><img class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a3fccdcd39970b img-responsive" style="width: 450px;" title="Devon_Coquillard" src="http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a3fccdcd39970b-450wi" alt="Devon_Coquillard" /><br /></a><em>Devon Coquillard of the Florida Division of Emergency Management speaks about social media at the Research Foundation symposium in Orlando.</em></p>
<p>If you want to use social media to help spread your agency’s message during an emergency, you need to get your platforms up and running now. <strong>Devon Coquillard</strong> of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), speaking at the <a href="http://www.nfpa.org/research/fire-protection-research-foundation/reports-and-proceedings/proceedings/2014-proceedings/supdet-2014" target="_blank">Research Foundation’s symposium</a> in Orlando, manages social media for FDEM. She says an increasing number of associations and agencies are jumping on the social media bandwagon – and says you can’t wait until a crisis occurs before you fire up your Twitter account.</p>
<p>The world has become a digital social society, with an estimated 20% of our computer time spent on social platforms. Ms. Coquillard says effective social media for crisis communication is about engagement -- both listening and messaging -- and taking advantage of having online “eyes and ears” throughout your community.  </p>
<p>Establishing a solid purpose and goals, as well as “voice and tone” for your social crisis communications are important first steps, she says. She suggests tapping into existing partnerships to build online followers and using analytic tools to measure your progress.</p>
<p><a href="http://prezi.com/jiqhsjoijb-t/your-world-is-social/" target="_blank">Watch Ms. Coquillard’s online presentation</a>. </p>
<p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://prezi.com/embed/jiqhsjoijb-t/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&features=undefined&disabled_features=undefined" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="450"></iframe></p>

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a3fccde3c8970b-450wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a3fccde3c8970b-450wi|alt=Bryan_Hoskins|style=width: 450px;|title=Bryan_Hoskins|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a3fccde3c8970b img-responsive!
Dr. Bryan Hoskins spoke about how to communicate safety messages to vulnerable populations at the Research Foundation symposium in Orlando.


 

How can we make sure vulnerable populations receive and understand emergency messages? During his presentation today at the Research Foundation symposium in Orlando, Bryan Hoskins, Ph.D. of Oklahoma State University, provided an overview of how vulnerable populations, including the visually and hearing impaired, those with cognitive disabilities or in unfamiliar locations, the elderly, children, and others, may experience difficulty in understanding warnings provided during an emergency.


With this wide range of impairments, Dr. Hoskins says that at any given moment, 50% or more of our populations may be considered to be vulnerable during an emergency.


Dr. Hoskins says traditional warning horns and strobes are effective in alerting many people to an emergency, but some vulnerable populations may be unable to respond or understand the actions they are expected to perform. In these instances, he says, voice or text notifications may be needed.  He noted that a literature review of this issue resulted in a series of recommendations on emergency messaging for a variety of populations, including:


    • All information should be provided both visually and audibly

    • Alarms should be distinct for each type of emergency

    • Messages should be simple in terms of vocabulary and number of instructions

    • Messages should have the more important information at the beginning and the end

    • Messages should be repeated frequently and at a slow pace


 

View Dr. Hoskins' presentation on communicating with vulnerable populations.


 

RELATED




    1.  

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a73d89039c970d-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a73d89039c970d-800wi|alt=NFPA Evacuation guide|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px; border: 1px #000000;|title=NFPA Evacuation guide|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a73d89039c970d img-responsive!NFPA's free "Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities" provides information on the general categories of disabilities (mobility, visual, hearing, speech, and cognitive) and the evacuation information that occupants need. It also includes a checklist that building services managers and people with disabilities can use to design a personalized evacuation plan.</p> </li> </ul>

The First Draft report for NFPA 1710 is posted at www.nfpa.org/1710.  The committee has added new occupanices (garden style apartment and high-rise) to the deployment model.  

Deadline for submittal of Comments is May 16, 2014 (April 11 for paper) at 5pm Eastern. Please submit your comments by the deadline for the committee to act on at its second draft meeting. 

There’s no doubt that the enormous amount of available data in our increasingly sensor-rich environment is changing how we live and work. But how does all of this data – and how it is shared and integrated – relate to the fire safety community and “smart” buildings?

A special workshop at the Fire Protection Research Foundation symposium in Orlando is looking at smart buildings and fire safety, and their implications for building owners, occupants, emergency responders, and other players in the built environment.

The goals of this workshop are to help clarify a baseline understanding of smart buildings, identify current and proposed methods and approaches for gathering data, and processing and using that data.

Overholt_Grant
Kris Overholt of NIST with Casey Grant, Research Director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation

Kris Overholt of NIST provided an overview of a new year-long project designed to develop a roadmap for the smart “firefighter of the future”, which would include integrating the creation, storage, exchange, and analysis of data.

Related:Data Deluge: For firefighters, how much information is too much?

During breakout sessions, attendees considered several aspects of the issue of smart buildings, including how to determine the needs of key target audiences, the challenges of data collection, knowledge gaps, and priority-setting.

Breakout 1

Breakout 2

Breakout 3

Breakout 4

Breakout 5

Breakout 6

Breakout 7

A trio of authors who wrote a research paper on testing the flammability of lithium ion batteries were honored this morning at the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s symposium (SUPDET) in Orlando. Their paper, which was offered at the Foundation’s symposium last year, received the William M. Carey award, which recognizes the best presentation in the Suppression portion of the symposium as voted by participants.

The award was presented to Christopher Wieczorek, Group Manager Fire Protection at FM Global; Benjamin Ditch, Senior Research Engineer at FM Global (who was unable to attend this symposium); and Tom Long, director of Exponent’s Maryland office, for their paper "Flammability Characterization Testing of Lithium Ion Batteries”.

William Carey, for whom the award is named, is a former senior staff engineer at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. He participated in many Foundation fire suppression projects, and throughout his career, was known for being "the bridge" between research and application of new fire safety knowledge.

Christopher Wieczorek receives Carey Award
Christopher Wieczorek, Group Manager Fire Protection at FM Global, accepts his award from Amanda Kimball, project manager of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. 

Tom Long receives Carey Award
Tom Long of Exponent with Amanda Kimball, project manager of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

Related:

Research Foundation report: Li-ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment Phase IIB: Flammability Characterization of Li-ion Batteries for Storage Protection

 

 

Video: NFPA's Kathleen Almand talks about the Lithium-Ion battery storage flammability study.

Jeffrey PfaendtnerSM
Why do fire protection systems sometimes fail? During a session today at the Research Foundation’s symposium in Orlando, Jeffrey Pfaendtner of Crane Engineering presented highlights of 13 different case studies that demonstrated a wide range of design, manufacture, installation, and environmental factors that eventually led to system failure.

“No component is immune to failure,” said Mr. Pfaendtner, adding that all materials have their own vulnerabilities and application issues. Failure prevention requires good system design, material choices, and good installation and maintenance protocols. he said.

See Mr. Pfaendtner’s presentation, which includes photos and descriptions from the 13 case studies. 

Steppan_Fjeldheim
Daniel Steppan and Ivar Fjeldheim present at the Research Foundation's SUPDET in Orlando.

Daniel Steppan of Underwriters Laboratories and Ivar Fjeldheim, product manager of Autostore, discussed a series of four fire tests to determine the effectiveness of a density/area ceiling sprinkler system to control burning plastic bins and cartons in a vertical racking configuration.

The presentation was part of the Fire Protection Research Foundation symposium being held this week in Orlando.

The tests looked at the storage set-up at AutoStore, which uses robots to collect bins from a tightly packed storage rack constructed of aluminum components. Because people do not normally access the storage area, the probability for unintentional or intentional ignition caused by personnel is considered low. But design challenges, from a fire suppression standpoint, include bins that have solid bottoms that are not permeable to water, and narrow flue spaces that would limit the amount of water from sprinklers that could reach the seat of the fire.

Autostore bins

The objectives of the fire tests was to develop an efficient sprinkler protection concept that could supress a fire at an early stage and protect the building, limit fire spread and damage, anda determine the most effective manual fire-fighting and post fire mitigation strategy.

Read an abstract of this presentation.

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a73d881209970d-450wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a73d881209970d-450wi|alt=TomMulter|style=width: 450px;|title=TomMulter|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a73d881209970d img-responsive!



 

Tom Multer of The Reliable Sprinkler Automatic Sprinkler Co. presented at the Research Foundation's SUPDET in Orlando.


The protection challenges for storage commodities have increased with the storage of more plastics, whether cartooned or uncartoned, expanded or unexpanded. The building heights have also increased, particularly with the use of high bay storage using automated storage and retrieval systems.


 

In his presentation at the Fire Protection Research Foundation symposium being held this week in Orlando, Thomas Multer of The Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co, Inc., described a series of fire tests using horizontal barriers and large k factor extended coverage storage sprinklers as in-rack protection. The goals of these tests included reducing the number of in-rack sprinklers required, reducing water demands, protecting buildings higher than 48’ with low water demands, and retrofitting existing facilities without changing the existing ceiling sprinklers or increasing water flows or pressures.


 

Read an abstract of Mr. Multer’s presentation.


 

RELATED


See the Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Protection of Rack Stored Exposed Expanded Group A Plastics with ESFR Sprinklers and Vertical Barriers (Final test)"</li> </ul>

Koffel
The inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) of water-based fire protection systems was the topic of a presentation at the Research Foundation’s symposium in Orlando.

Bill Koffel, president of Koffel Associates, Inc., who serves as Chair of the NFPA 25 technical committee that addresses the ITM of fire pumps, sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, and other water-based systems, explained that the document does not address deficiencies in the design or installation of these systems.

Mr. Koffel said a workshop was held in Chicago in December 2013 that addressed the performance of sprinkler systems. Attendees, which included manufacturers, insurers, AHJs, and other interested groups, considered what sprinkler performance issues might be effectively addressed by changes in NFPA 25, such as changes to the document scope and content or how it is implemented, applied, or enforced. Also considered were possible changes to other NFPA documents. For example:

  • should NFPA 3 address a periodic re-commission of systems?
  • should re-commissioning be addressed by NFPA 101?
  • should a new standard for conducting design evaluations of sprinkler systems be created?

The final report from the Chicago workshop will be published in the coming months.

View Mr. Koffel’s presentation from the Orlando symposium.

Free online access to NFPA 25.

The first two days of the Fire Protection Research Foundation's "Fire Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium" (SUPDET) being held this week in Orlando is focusing on the latest technologies and research on fire suppression. Papers on sprinkler protection, high hazard challenges, developments in suppression technologies, the environment, and water mist.

In addition to the papers already featured in previous blog posts, the following presentations were offered in Orlando:

Analysis of Water Distribution Efficiency from a Sprinkler Head 
James Andy Lynch of Amped R&D, and Noah L. Ryder, P.E. of Custom Spray Solutions

High Discharge Pressures for Large Orifice and Extended Coverage Sprinklers 
Christopher Wieczorek of FM Global

Steve_Wolin
Steve Wolin of Code Consultants, Inc.

Alternatives to Antifreeze Sprinkler Systems
Steve Wolin and Jason Daniels of Code Consultants, Inc.

Sprinkler Protection of Non-Storage Occupancies with High Ceiling Clearance
Peter Thomas of Victaulic

Fixed Firefighting Systems – Oxygen Reduction Systems: Active fire prevention vs. passive fire protection
Peter Clauss of Wagner Group

Hybrid Water Mist Fire Protection
Michael Gollner, Ph.D. and Peter Raia of the University of Maryland

Preliminary Studies on the Efficiency of an Environmentally-Friendly Fire-Fighting Agent Based on Starch 
Paul Joseph, Dimitri Bakirtzis, and Quentin Richard of the School of the Built Environment and the Built Environment Research Institute, University of Ulster

J._Douglas_Mather
J. Douglas Mather, Ph.D., CGI Federal (Stanley Associates, Inc.)

U.S. Army Hand Held Extinguisher Development: Environmentally Acceptable Fire Suppression Agents and Hardware
 
J. Douglas Mather, Ph.D., Leonard Lombardo, and Timothy Helton of the U.S. Army

Helen_Lowery
Helen Lowrey of DuPont

Recent Developments of Zero ODP, Low GWP Clean Fire Suppression Agents
Mark L. Robin – DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts
Presented by Helen Lowery, Senior Account Manager at DuPont


Zachary_Magnone
Zachary Magnone of Tyco Fire Protection Products

The Science Behind Water Mist Protection of Typical Building Hazards
Zachary Magnone of Tyco Fire Protection Products

Water Mist in Buildings: Typical Challenges in Real World Applications 
Stuart Lloyd of Zurich Risk Engineering UK

Deluge and High Pressure Mist Systems in Highway Tunnels – the International State-of-the-Art 
Norris Harvey of Hatch Mott MacDonald 

A trio of authors who wrote a research paper on testing the flammability of lithium ion batteries were honored this morning at the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s symposium (SUPDET) in Orlando. Their paper, which was offered at the Foundation’s symposium last year, received the William M. Carey award, which recognizes the best presentation in the Suppression portion of the symposium as voted by participants.

The award was presented to Christopher Wieczorek, Group Manager Fire Protection at FM Global; Benjamin Ditch, Senior Research Engineer at FM Global (who was unable to attend this symposium); and Tom Long, director of Exponent’s Maryland office, for their paper "Flammability Characterization Testing of Lithium Ion Batteries”.

William Carey, for whom the award is named, is a former senior staff engineer at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. He participated in many Foundation fire suppression projects, and throughout his career, was known for being "the bridge" between research and application of new fire safety knowledge.

Christopher Wieczorek receives Carey Award
Christopher Wieczorek, Group Manager Fire Protection at FM Global, accepts his award from Amanda Kimball, project manager of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. 

Tom Long receives Carey Award
Tom Long of Exponent with Amanda Kimball, project manager of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

Related:

Research Foundation report: Li-ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment Phase IIB: Flammability Characterization of Li-ion Batteries for Storage Protection

 

 

Video: NFPA's Kathleen Almand talks about the Lithium-Ion battery storage flammability study.

Jeffrey PfaendtnerSM
Why do fire protection systems sometimes fail? During a session today at the Research Foundation’s symposium in Orlando, Jeffrey Pfaendtner of Crane Engineering presented highlights of 13 different case studies that demonstrated a wide range of design, manufacture, installation, and environmental factors that eventually led to system failure.

“No component is immune to failure,” said Mr. Pfaendtner, adding that all materials have their own vulnerabilities and application issues. Failure prevention requires good system design, material choices, and good installation and maintenance protocols. he said.

See Mr. Pfaendtner’s presentation, which includes photos and descriptions from the 13 case studies. 

Union
The latest news and developments in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community is being discussed in Orlando this week. The Fire Protection Research Foundation's "Fire Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium" (SupDet) is being held at the studeht union building at the University of Central Florida. More than 30 presentations will be offered this week, as well as a special workshop on Wednesday afternoon that will focus on "SMART Buildings and Fire Safety".

Unwanted alarmsUnwanted fire alarms are a problem for the fire service and the community.  NFPA® estimates that fire departments respond to more than 2 million false fire alarm calls each year.  According to NFPA 72®: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, an unwanted alarm is any alarm that occurs that is not the result of a potentially hazardous condition.  NFPA developed the Fire Service Guide to Reducing Unwanted Fire Alarms to provide the fire service with a free resource that offers guidance in the following areas:

  • Understanding  commercial and residential building fire alarm systems
  • Understanding  single-family alarm causes
  • Providing a framework for developing possible solutions

The Guide is an important tool for line firefighters, fire officers, and fire prevention personnel to provide basic knowledge on how fire alarm systems and detection devices operate and assess the cause of alarms where no emergency condition is apparent. The Guide can assist Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ's) in developing strategies to manage response to unwanted alarms thru practices reflective of risk assessment, resources management, and current Code recommendations.

Download your free copy of the guide to reducing unwanted alarms

A fire at a single-family home didn't initially appear serious to Angie Roach; when she and her fellow firefighters arrived on the scene, there was minimal smoke emitting from the structure. The fire, however, was raging in the basement, and when she set foot on the subflooring, it gave way, sending Roach directly into the flames.

Firefighters eventually rescued her, but the damage had been done. She suffered third- and fourth-degree burns on 45 percent of her body. It was a career-ending experience. "After my accident, my life  changed tremendously," says Roach. "I was a very active person. I've been married a couple of years. Everything was perfect in my life. Then I was burned. It took me several months to realize I was not the same person I was before the fire."

Read more about Roach on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog, and watch the following video highlighting Roach's life-altering incident.

 

 119211The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 1192, Standard on Recreational Vehicles, 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.

Fire Sprinkler Initiative NewsletterIn a recent edition of the Montreal Gazette, an editorial takes a firm stance in support of sprinkler requirements following a tragic fire that killed more than 30 people in January. Politicians, it states, should get more serious about the tried-and-true lifesaving aspects of sprinklers.

The new issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter highlights this editorial as well as important sprinkler news across the U.S., including:

  • Minnesota is now a step closer to sprinkler requirements in certain homes
  • Illinois continues to see a rise in the number of communities with sprinkler requirements
  • The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition releases new educational materials

Subscribe to the free newsletter to stay current on all sprinkler efforts. You'll automatically receive updates on sprinkler legislation, advocacy, and news from around the globe.

MGM Grand fireLas Vegas is a popular spot for tourists, gamblers, and even fire protection enthusiasts! NFPA is also headed there in a few months for our annual Conference & Expo. However, Vegas was also home to one of the worst fire tragedies in U.S. history and is currently home to some of the most unique fire protection systems in the world. 

NFPA's Tracy Vecchiarelli, P.E.contributed an article to Engineered Systems on this very subject. She notes that the fire protection industry has learned a lot from the 1980 MGM Grand Hotel and Casino fire, which resulted in 85 deaths, of which only 18 of the victims were located on the level of the fire's origin.

Her article discusses how it was determined that smoke control systems are another way to protect occupants from the effects of fire, and the path that led to NFPA 92, “Standard for Smoke Control Systems” being developed and published. 

Read Tracy's article for more information on NFPA 92 as well as some of the improvements Las Vegas has made to their fire protection practices. 

A brawl involving players and spectators broke out on the court following last Thursday night’s showdown of Western Athletic Conference college basketball tournament between Utah Valley and New Mexico State. 

Fans rushed onto the court after New Mexico State guard K.C. Ross-Miller apparently hurled the ball at a Utah Valley player seconds after the game ended, according to a report on ESPN.

In a recent issue of Campus Firesafety e-NewZone, NFPA’s Robert Solomon addressed the life safety issues involved with fans “storming the court” following a momentous victory or controversial call. 

“While competition, school spirit and pride are at the heart of why we care about these events, the safety side of managing the event is at the core of what campus fire marshals and administrators have to stay focused on,” wrote Robert. 

Read the entire article, including Robert’s take on provisions in NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, that can apply to non-fire emergencies within assembly occupancies, like a venue for a college sporting event.

Nat_Anthem_500x300

NFPA is holding a contest to determine the talent who will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at this year’s Opening General Session of the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas on Monday, June 9, 2014 in front of about 3,000 attendees!

Submit your audition video by March 23rd of you or your group (consisting of no more than 5 members) singing the National Anthem a cappella! Please also include a spoken statement describing your interest in NFPA's mission.

Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges at NFPA, and public voting will take place between March 31 and April 4 to help determine the winning performance. The winner(s) will receive the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at General Session, as well as a 2-day/1-night trip to Las Vegas, Nevada June 8-9, and full admission to the NFPA Conference & Expo.

Enter through our contest webpage, or through NFPA’s Facebook page. Also, please be sure to read the full contest rules.

Good luck!

Presenters at today's Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET) In Orlando highlighted how the U.S. Air Force has developed replacements for the fire suppression agent Halon 1301 to protect "hush houses," or jet engine noise suppressor systems.

The need to find an equivalency to Halon 1301 appears to be an environmental one--the agent is classified as an ozone-depleting substance. (The European Union discontinued use of Halon for noncritical applications in 2003.) SUPDET speakers Juan Font with the U.S. Air Force and William Meyring of 3M also outlined the steps taken to phase out the cleaning agent and develop alternative system solutions for the Air Force's critical facility. Read an overview of the presentation.

Related: Learn more about NFPA 12A: Halon 1301 Fire Extinguishing Systems

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: