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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

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