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."