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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.


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. 

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.

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