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2014

Over the past week, quite a few home fire success stories have been popping up in the news; in all of them, the entire family escaped safely due to working smoke alarms. Here are snapshots from a few of the headlines:

The common thread in all these stories remains the same: working smoke alarms alert people to fire and give them the time needed escape safely, particularly when they’re sleeping.

Test your smoke alarms today and remember to change the batteries once a year!        

GMA"Good Morning America" wants to see you and your fellow firefighters in action!

Send "GMA" a video, up to two minutes in length, of you and your fellow firefighters' performing your own rendition of "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities. Lucky finalists will compete live on "GMA" this July for a $10,000 prize for their fire department!

Submit your video through the GMA site by this Friday, July 4th. (Also, be sure to check the site for official rules and guidelines). 

Sept 15Submit your session proposals online now through September 15 for the 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo in Chicago. The event will be held June 22-25, 2014 at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

Download a calendar reminder.

The NFPA Conference & Expo is widely regarded as the most comprehensive event in the industry. With approximately 5,000 attendees, it is the year's largest and most important event for the fire protection, life safety, and electrical industries. If you'd like to share your knowledge and best practices, we invite you to send us your session proposals in any of the following topic areas: 

  • Electrical
  • Fire Protection Engineering
  • Fire & Emergency Services
  • Emergency Preparedness/Business Continuity
  • Building & Life Safety
  • Health Care
  • Loss Control/Prevention
  • Detection & Notification
  • Fire Suppression
  • Codes & Standards
  • Public Education
  • Sustainability & Research

This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise, increase your exposure and visibility in your industry, add to your resume and your list of achievements, and receive a complimentary registration to NFPA Conference & Expo. 

For assistance regarding the content or format of your proposed presentation, please contact Stacey Moriarty. For questions regarding the submittal process, please contact Andrea White.

NFPA is the coordinator of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, which comprises nearly 25 national and state organizations that work together to help keep the public safe from consumer fireworks. The Alliance urges people to only attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals.

Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Steve Coan, a member of the Alliance, reinforced those messages at a press event in Lowell, MA, last week, demonstrating the inherent risks of consumer fireworks; in Massachusetts, use of consumer fireworks is illegal.

Lowell Presser_web
Massachusetts SFM Steve Coan welcomes local press to fireworks event that demonstrates the dangers and unpredictability of consumer fireworks.

    

A recent article in the International Business Times, "Fireworks Injuries Flare Up as Some Accused of Glorifying Illegal Displays", also addressed these issues, siting Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics which show that fireworks were involved in 8 deaths and 11,400 injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2013. Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of outreach and advocacy, was quoted in the story as well, stating, "Consumer fireworks are inherently dangerous. There's really no safe way to use them."

Take some time to review NFPA's videos, resources and safety tips on fireworks safety to ensure a festive, safe holiday for you and your loved ones.

On June 30, l989, a rapidly developing fire occurred on the sixth floor of an occupied office high-rise in Fivedie Atlanta, Georgia.  The accidental fire killed five people, injured twenty others, and caused heavy damage on the floor of fire origin.

The building involved is a 10-story, fire-resistive structure with concrete columns, beams, and floor slabs and interior partitions constructed with gypsum wallboard on metal studs.  Fire protection systems include a standpipe system equipped with occupant hose stations and a fire alarm system.  The alarm system is initiated by manual pull stations throughout the building and by smoke detectors on some floors and is connected directly to the Atlanta Fire Department.  The building is not equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.

The fire occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m., when an electrician, working in a sixth floor electrical room, attempted to insert a fuse into an energized circuit with a load on it.  Massive arcing occurred and ignited the interior finish materials (including floor and wall coverings) in an exit access corridor.  Many sixth floor occupants were not able to reach the exit stairways.  Because smoke began to fill the tenant areas, several of the trapped occupants broke exterior windows and waited to be rescued.  Occupants on other floors used interior stairways to escape without injury.

The Atlanta Fire Department was automatically notified when the building's alarm system was manually activated.  Once on the scene, fire fighters worked to rescue occupants and to suppress the fire.

Approximately one-half of the sixth floor occupants were trapped.  One woman jumped and received multiple injuries, and 14 people were rescued by aerial ladder.  Two of the five fatalities were found in a suite at the east end of the floor.  Another victim was found in a suite directly across the corridor from the electrical room and the last two victims were found in suites at the west end of the floor.

The NFPA's analysis of this incident points to the following major factors as having contributed to the loss of life and property:

    •     The rapid development of a severe fire as a result of arcing in the electrical room;

    •    The immediate blockage of the egress path due to:

                 a.  the location of the room of fire origin;

                 b.  rapid spread of fire in the corridor;

   •    The absence of automatic sprinkler protection to control fire growth and   

            spread in the exit access corridor.

To read the full NFPA Fire Journal article  For more information on statistical data NFPA's High-Rise Building Fires report

Don Corkery, newly-elected president of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, is calling for the the adoption of the new ICC Residential Building Code which includes requiremetns for fire sprinklers in all new 1- and 2-family homes. "This will be my # 1 priority as president of this association," he said. 

 

Chief Corkery, speaking at the recent NY State Fire Chiefs Convention, said his group wants state legislators to be heroes and pass this bill, saving lives and property in New York for generations to come.

Visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initaitive web site.

Yarnell Hill Fire memorial 

Photo Credit:The Republic

This Monday, June 30 marks the one year anniversary of the tragic day when 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew were killed outside Yarnell, Arizona in the Yarnell Hill Fire. To honor their loss the City of Prescott AZ is observing the anniversary with a moment of silence and ringing of the bell at 4:42pm; along with an honor guard ceremony beginning at 4pm. A reading of the names of the 19 firefighters that perished will be read by Patrick McCarty, a former Granite Mountain Hotshot; along with words from newly appointed Prescott Fire Chief Dennis Light. 

Take just five seconds right now and add an entry into your electronic calendar and join the residents of Yarnell in paying tribute to these 19 firefighters at 4:42pm (MST) on Monday, June 30. 

Prescott is also planning the following tributes:

Tribute hike:  Participants will follow members of the Prescott Fire Department along the Thumb Butte Trail, a popular workout spot for the Granite Mountain Hotshots at 9am on June 30.  The hike to the summit takes approximately 45 minutes.

"A Fire Department Remembers": An exhibit honoring the lives of the 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots will be on display from June 29 – July 5 at the Hotel St. Michael. The exhibit includes items left outside the team's base at Fire Station 7.

Tribute Fence Preservation Project: Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records and Prescott Public Library will unveil a virtual museum containing some of the more than 10,000 items collected and archived from the fence at Station 7 – the former home of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Hundreds of visitors left t-shirts, photos, artwork, candles, crosses and more that filled a chain-link fence surrounding the station. The digital project debuts June 30.

Please share this blog with your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email friends and ask them to also add it to their calendars, and to share it with their friends too.  Let's all take time to honor their lives with a simple moment of silence!  

Homeowner Survey

"Today's homes are safer than ever and don't need sprinkler systems."

"One sprinkler head goes off, they all go off. Sprinklers will flood your home."

"Sprinkler systems add unnecessary costs that deter would-be homeowners from making a sale."

Apparently, educational efforts are helping the public distinguish fact from these popular sprinkler myths. Case in point: a new survey released this week by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition confirms that nearly 75 percent of U.S. homeowners are more likely to buy a sprinklered home versus one without. Moreover, nearly 80 percent of survey participants said sprinklers provide the ultimate protection for residents.

For more information on the groundbreaking study, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Denenno

Philip J. DiNenno, the renowned former CEO of Hughes Associates who passed away in 2013, left behind an impressive legacy in the field of fire protection, earning such prestigious awards like the NFPA Standards Medal and the Lamb Award, along with his countless contributions to both the NFPA and other major figures in the fire protection profession. To honor his memory, the NFPA and Hughes Associates have established the DiNenno Prize to recognize significant technical developments that enhance fire safety. 

To learn more about the award and DiNenno’s efforts surrounding fire protection, read the full press release here!

A home fire broke out Sunday morning in Beverly, England, when a fire pit used earlier that day ignited nearby garden furniture and spread to fencing near the home’s garage. It was an extensive fire that caused significant damage.

Thanks to working smoke alarms, two adults and three children escaped unharmed prior to the arrival of the fire service.

Smoke alarms central“The smoke alarm did its job and alerted the family to the fire, it could have been a far different outcome had this not happened. I urge all residents to ensure they have working smoke alarms in their homes. If a fire does break out, it could save your life,” said Steve Hellewell, community safety manager at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service.
 
Smoke alarms can and do make a life-saving difference in a fire. Use this story as a reminder to test yours today!

Burton.200 We congratulate Alan Burton of Atlanta, Georgia for earning his CFPE!

Last year Alan Burton earned his Certified Fire Plan Examiner certification. To achieve this level, he has also dedicated himself to complete training and passing the exams for the Certified Fire Inspector-I, and Certified Fire Inspector-II. He is now the Section Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department-Airport Division (Fire Prevention & Community Risks Reduction Section).

As the Chief of Fire Prevention & Community Risk Reductions at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Alan wears many hats. His duties and responsibilities are to:

  • oversee Community Risk Reduction (i.e. fire extinguisher training, pre-fire planning, evacuation drill, etc.) and permitting
  • provide fire safety classes to airport stakeholders and enforcement of Federal Aviation Administration FAR 139.321 and all applicable City of Atlanta codes
  • evaluate and approve submitted construction plans
  • and respond to life safety complaints

 

Atlantaairport 

Alan is in a unique position in that the Atlanta Fire Rescue Fire Department is a partner agency with the NFPA and offers NFPA training for Georgia. He received his NFPA certification as Certified Fire Plan Examiner at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport last year.  Leon Katcharian, NFPA’s Director of Certification, explains that “like the CFI-I and CFI-II certification programs, the CFPE is based on the NFPA 1031, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Inspector and Plan Examiner. In addition to the NFPA 1031, the CFPE certification program also includes NFPA codes related directly to the plan examiner’s field-of-practice.”

Alan commented "with this training and certification, I've enhanced my knowledge, skills and abilities in my profession as a Community Risks Reductions Chief Officer. NFPA certifications offer a greater understanding of the fire codes and why they exist.  They’ve given me a better understanding and appreciation of Fire Prevention and Community Risk Reductions and how we prevent fire through education and training.  Having NFPA certifications has helped me obtain the rank of Section Chief and requested to return back to the airport."

More on the NFPA Certified Fire Plan Examiner

FpelogoIt is the particular mission of the NFPA Certified Fire Plan Examiner (CFPE) program to promote professionalism within the fire plan examiner field-of-practice through a widely accepted, recognized, appreciated, and practical certification program.

 

 The program goals include: 

  • Recognize and provide evidence of competence as related to NFPA 1031, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Inspector and Plan Examiner
  • Enhance professionalism
  • Ensure proficiency in the use of codes and standards
  • Promote professional development
  • Ensure a uniform, fair process for certification that is accessible to everyone

Learn more about CFPE and other NFPA Certification programs. 

Ken IsmanThe University of Maryland's Department of Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) just announced the appointment of the department's first endowed Clinical Professor, to Ken Isman (B.S. '86, fire protection engineering). Isman is a 27 year veteran at the National Fire Sprinkler Association where he most recently served as Vice President. Since 1987, Isman served on over 19 Technical Committees for NFPA including the Correlating Committees on Automatic Sprinklers and Safety to Life.  From January of 2000 until December of 2006, Ken additionally served as a member of the NFPA Standards Council. Ken’s knowledge of the regulatory landscape and his deep familiarity with so many NFPA codes and standards will serve the University and the students quite well.  

Isman's appointment was made possible by FPE's Legacy Campaign for a Professor of the Practice. Launched in 2012 by a group of FPE alumni, departmental and Clark School leadership, the campaign has raised almost $1.3 million toward its $2.5 million goal. Financial support from A. James Clark School of Engineering Dean Darryll Pines enabled Isman's hiring and arrival this August, while the campaign is still ongoing.

Congratulations Ken!

Read more information on the announcement from the University of Maryland.

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

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the August 22, 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.

At 9:35 a.m. on June 25, 1985, a series of explosions and subsequent fires occurred at the site of the FireworksExplosionJenningsOKAerlex Fireworks Manufacturing Corporation, near the town of Jennings, Oklahoma.  In all, 21 people were killed and 5 injured in what was the second-deadliest fireworks factory explosion in the United States reported to the NFPA between 1950 and 1986.

The company was federally licensed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and produced approximately 90% display-type special fireworks and 10% common fireworks.  As a result of increased demand created by the upcoming July 4th holiday, the plant had temporarily increased its staff and extended the hours of operation.

As determined by the Oklahoma Stated Fire Marshal's Office, the incident was most likely the result of careless unloading of pyrotechnic materials from a pickup truck to an adjacent assembly building.  Investigators estimate that it was only a matter of seconds from the initial ignition before the explosions, which were felt 13 miles away, leveled most of the facility.  Factors such as unbarricaded process buildings coupled with the quantity and type of explosive composition on hand are believed to be responsible for the magnitude of the loss.   

To read more about this NFPA Fire Investigation Report   To learn about NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research fire statistics on Fireworks.

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

  • A link to the 2014 Preparedness Day photo album and a recap of the day’s events
  • Stories about the Firewise Challenge grand prize winners
  • A comprehensive Q & A about the USAA discount to California policy holders who live in Firewise communities
  • Information about our July 15 virtual workshop that will feature a discussion on the challenges of roof ignitions and the steps folks can take to reduce their risk

… 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.

On June 24, 1973, a fire in a second-floor cocktail lounge in the French Quarter of New Orleans killed 32 UpstairsLoungeFront patrons and injured 12 others.  The fire was deliberately set on the stairway of the main entrance, blocking the normal exit route from the lounge.  Combustible wood paneling and carpet in the stairway provided fuel for the fire.  In the confusion that followed, 20 people
escaped through a rear door, 15 others escaped through windows, and 28 bodies were recovered from the lounge after the fire. of those who escaped, one died before reaching the hospital, three died later if burn injuries, and seven others were critically burned. Upstairsloungeinside

 

To read the full NFPA Fire Investigation report  To learn more about NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research fire statistics Eating and Drinking Establishments

Live burn demonstration
Stunned city officials in Wyoming recently got up close and personal with fire's fierceness during a live burn demonstration organized by the Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Held in Casper, the event coincided with the annual Wyoming Association of Municipalities (WAM) Conference, which brought together mayors, city council members, clerks, and others.

Visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog for more information on this event.

On Sunday morning just before 5:00 a.m., a man slept through his smoke alarm sounding due to a cooking fire. Fortunately, four-year-old Trystan Dezalia heard the alarm and awoke his family, worried about the “strange noise” coming from the other side of the wall. Trystan’s parents could smell the smoke from the next door apartment, then promptly contacted 911 and woke up all their neighbors. 

When fire departments arrived, they encountered heavy smoke but no flames. They removed the man from the apartment, who was still sleeping but uninjured. According to Fire Chief Mark Burrows of the Vischer Ferry Volunteer Fire Company, there’s no telling how much how much smoke the man might have inhaled – and what kind of injuries he might have suffered – had the little boy next door not heard the alarm.

Download our smoke alarm safety tip sheet and learn more about the potentially life-saving impact of smoke alarms on NFPA's Smoke Alarms Central, which includes a wealth of information on properly installing and maintaining smoke alarms throughout your home and much more.

Lightning safety

This year, from June 22rd to 28th, the National Weather Service is commemorating Lightning Safety Awareness Week. This is an important educational week for them, and us, because summer is the peak season for one of the nation's deadliest weather phenomena--lightning. Though lightning strikes peak in summer, people are struck year round. In the United States, according to the latest NFPA report, local fire departments respond to an estimated average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning. These fires cause an average of nine civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries, and $451 million in direct property damage per year. 

The National Weather Service has provided many educational resources on their website, including information on;

  • Safety: Learn what you need to do to stay safe when thunderstorms threaten.
  • Victims: Learn what happens to people who are struck by lightning and look at fatality statistics for the U.S.
  • Science: Learn how thunderstorms develop and what happens during a lightning discharge.
  • Myths and Facts: Get answers to many of the questions you have always wondered about
  • Teachers: find curriculum guides, presentations games, activities, and more.
  • Kids: Download games, videos, coloring pages and other fun stuff.
  • More Resources: Download toolkits, posters, pamphlets, and other information to help communities, organizations, and families stay safe from the dangers of lightning

In addition, NFPA offers lightning safety tips in an easy to read tip sheet. Check them out above or download these NFPA safety tips on lightning. 

Two early morning fires that occurred this Wednesday underscore the life-saving impact of working smoke alarms, particularly when people are sleeping:

A man in Jacksonville, FL, escaped a massive fire in his home when he heard his smoke alarms sound.bowden

“If the smoke detector hadn’t woke me up, I might not have made it out,” said homeowner Robert Koon. Koon's brother, who was sleeping when the alarms sounded, also escaped safely.

Similarly, in Pueblo, CO, a mother and daughter escaped a home fire when the smoke alarms sounded and woke them up as well.Photo

These incidents represent two more powerful reminders why it's so important to test your smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries each year.

Check out NFPA’s Smoke Alarm Central page for a wealth of information on smoke alarms, including guidelines for installing and maintaining them properly.

JimThe Pro Board honors NFPA President Jim Shannon with a donation to support the research efforts of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. The Pro Board donation recognizes Shannon’s leadership in fire safety issues and his support of Fire Service Professional Qualifications Accreditation and Certification Systems. 

The Pro Board was created as the “National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications,” a non-profit organization, to establish internationally recognized credentialing for fire and emergency services personnel based on the NFPA 1000 series of professional qualification standards. The Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates research on a broad range of fire safety issues in support of the NFPA mission. 

Shannon will conclude his 12-year tenure as NFPA president in June, with a legacy of support for the nation’s fire service. Under his leadership, NFPA has advanced its mission of fire and life safety for the general public and members of the fire service. 

Throughout his career at NFPA, Shannon has been an ardent supporter of the needs of the fire service, especially its ability to respond to ordinary and extraordinary events. He testified before congressional hearings, advocated for increased funding through grant and government programs, and committed the support of NFPA staff and resources to every major fire service organization in the country.

House-fire
A house fire claimed the lives of an elderly couple a month after a local board voted to omit a sprinkler requirement in new construction.

According to a news report, the Illinois couple, one of whom had mobility issues and used an oxygen tank, was unable to escape in time. Older adults are one of the groups at highest risk of fire death and injury. "This fire is a tragic reminder of the need for fire sprinklers in homes," said Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board and Fire Sprinkler Initiative blogger. "National studies have shown that people tend to feel the safest in homes. However, homes are where the greatest fire risk is present."

For more information on this event, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative site.

John Little, 66, was confused when he heard his smoke alarms sound at about 11pm. That’s because he’s diligent about testing them regularly. “I thought that’s odd because I’d only just checked and changed the batteries,” he said.

When Little entered the kitchen, he saw flames coming out the back of his refrigerator. He grabbed a bucket of water and threw it on the fire. From there, he and his older brother Bruce, 77, escaped their home safely.THANKFUL: Smoke alarms warned John, 66, (left) and Bruce, 71, when their fridge caught fire recently after they went to bed. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA

The local newspaper noted that Little doesn’t like thinking about what might have happened had he not been alerted to the fire by smoke alarms. “It could have taken hold really quickly and we’d have probably been killed by the smoke… We got out in time.”

What’s Little’s advice? “ …make sure your smoke alarms are working. It could save your life.”

Yet another success story that reinforces why it’s so important to test your smoke alarms once a month and replace the batteries each year.

During the NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) held on June 11-12, 2014, the following 12 NFPA codes and standards in the Annual 2014 and Fall 2013 cycles were presented for action to the NFPA membership:

  • NFPA 37, Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines
  • NFPA 750, Standard on Water Mist Fire Protection Systems
  • NFPA 731, Standard for the Installation of Electric Premises Security Systems
  • NFPA 1192, Standard on Recreational Vehicles
  • NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment
  • NFPA 59,Utility LP-Gas Plant Code
  • NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code
  • NFPA 70E®, Electrical Safety in the Workplace®
  • NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code
  • NFPA 703, Standard for Fire Retardant—Treated Wood and Fire-Retardant Coatings for Building Materials
  • NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®
  • NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code®

Read the final results of the floor action on these NFPA codes and standards.

Insider

NFPA INSIDER is a live, bi-monthly online session — an added benefit for NFPA members only — that features expanded news and content from the latest issue of NFPA Journal® and other NFPA sources.

James LathropIn this month's NFPA INSIDER, on Thursday, June 26th at 1:00 pm (EDT), members will hear:

  • NFPA President Jim Shannon, discussing some of the proudest moments of his tenure and shares his thoughts on incoming President Jim Pauley.
  • James Lathrop, FSFPE, Vice President, Koffel Associates, Inc., discussing emerging issues related to interior finish materials in assembly occupancies.
  • Dawn Bellis, Division Manager of Codes & Standards, NFPA Standards Council Secretary, discussing highlights from the NFPA Technical Meeting that took place at the 2014 NFPA Conference and Expo.

Members: register today to attend. Not a member? Learn more about the many benefits and join today!

A new 30-second public service announcement encouraging people who are building new homes to ask for home fire sprinklers has been making the rounds on HGTV. The spot, created by the non-profit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, was featured during popular programs like “Property Brothers”, “Curb Appeal”, “Love It or List It”, and “House Hunters International”, and was expected to reach some 32 million viewers with its important message.

“Thinking of building a new home? Now is the time to think about protecting it with fire sprinklers. Nine out of 10 fire deaths happen where you least expect them, at home. And those at greatest risk are children, older adults, and people with disabilities. Despite what you see in the movies, the entire system does not go off; only the sprinkler closest to the fire activates and stops the fire from becoming deadly. If you are building a new home ask for fire sprinklers to protect your family and your home.”

 

If you’re a homeowner or someone who’s looking to build a new home, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition has free online materials to help you understand why fire sprinklers are needed, how they work, and how they are installed.

Workshop graphToday’s firefighters do more than fight fires when they occur.  Through the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), NFPA’s annual fire department experience survey,  the International Association of Fire Chief’s Near-Miss Reporting System, and other data collection activities, they provide the data that helps us understand the causes and circumstances of fires so we can prevent the fires in the first place and better protect the public, firefighters themselves, and property from fire.  Almost everyone appreciates the value of good data.  Not surprisingly, both the firefighters who provide the data and those who use it have many suggestions for improvements.

NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division, in cooperation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) convened an interdisciplinary workshop on Today and Tomorrow’s Fire Data on March 26th and 27th.  Firefighters, fire data users, codes and standards participants, representatives from federal agencies including USFA’s Fire Data Center, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, NIST, wildland fire agencies and from fire service and kindred organizations learned about the various approaches and projects underway to help ensure the best data possible.  At the end of the workshop, the four highest priorities were to:

  1. Improve the quality of fire data input;
  2. Address reasons for under-reporting of fires and undetermined fire causes;
  3. Identify and link all relevant existing data systems and
  4. Develop a strategy for long-term maintenance and future updates for NFIRS. 

Read the full report at Today and Tomorrow’s Fire Data. What do you see as the greatest issues in fire data today?

<p><a class="asset-img-link" style="display: inline;" href="http://www.nfpa.org/research/fire-protection-research-foundation/reports-and-proceedings/for-emergency-responders/personal-protective-equipment/development-of-permeation-test-method-for-zippers-and-other-closures" target="_blank"><img class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a3fd1f11ba970b img-responsive" style="width: 450px;" title="Zippers" src="http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a3fd1f11ba970b-450wi" alt="Zippers" /></a><br />A new report, "<a href="http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Research/Research%20Foundation/Research%20Foundation%20reports/For%20emergency%20responders/RFDevelopmentofPermeationTestMethodforZippersandOtherClosures.pdf" target="_blank">Development of Permeation Test Method for Zippers and Other Closures</a>," authored by R. Bryan Ormond, Ph.D. from the Textile Protection and Comfort Center and North Carolina State University has been published. </p>
<p>The NFPA Technical Committee on Hazardous Materials Protective Clothing and Equipment had identified a number of deficiencies in the current permeation tests used to characterize barrier layers in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) events. One of the issues is the design of the current test cell, which does not accommodate seams, zippers and other closures.</p>
<p>This project supports the initial steps necessary to develop a test cell that complies with the requirements of the evolving permeation test method, but which provides robust closure technologies that can accommodate the irregular geometries inherent for seams, closures and zippers.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.nfpa.org/research/fire-protection-research-foundation/reports-and-proceedings/for-emergency-responders/personal-protective-equipment/development-of-permeation-test-method-for-zippers-and-other-closures" target="_blank">Download the complete report from the Foundation website</a>. </p>

S&H WeekInternational Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week is a joint initiative of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), and sponsored by NFPA. The event is coordinated by the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program and the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section, and is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations as well as health and safety-related organizations and agencies.

The 2014 event is taking place this week, June 15-21. Fire departments are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activity during Safety and Health Week in order to focus on safety and health training and education. An entire week is provided to ensure all shifts and duty crew can participate.

The theme of this year's Safety and Health Week is "Train Like You Fight." The IAFC and NVFC have provided many resources and tools to help your department focus on health and safety through the website, including resources to help your department keep a safe training ground as well as get the proper training to prepare for fireground operations.

Two free webinars will also be held during Safety and Health Week. Plan to attend as part of your Safety and Health Week activities. Learn more and register on the Planning page of the Safety & Health Week website.

2014 coin
Recently, we ran a fun, interactive quiz, reinforcing the training messages behind this year’s International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week (June 15-21) theme, "Train Like You Fight".

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NFVC) co-sponsored this quiz and sweepstakes with NFPA. Career firefighters, volunteer firefighters and other fire department employees and fire service members were invited to take the online, interactive quiz, featuring 15 questions related to firefighter health and safety.

Now that the quiz period has ended, 200 randomly selected winners were chosen based on completion of the quiz, to win a specially designed challenge coin (shown above)! Check the website www.nfpa.org/fireservicequiz to see if you are a winner. Congratulations!

Air bridges
There are several boarding bridge manufacturers that build glass bridges, which are currently permitted in countries that have not adopted NFPA standards. The Technical Committee for NFPA 415, Standard on Airport Terminal Buildings, Fueling Ramp Drainage, and Loading Walkways, would like more information about the global experience using glass boarding bridges including fire resistance of the bridges, fire test methods, use of alternate/additional escape routes from the plane, and psychology/sociology of occupants that must egress through a glass boarding bridge with a large fire outside/below.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) responded to the NFPA 415 committee request by sponsoring a project to investigate the many factors associated with glass loading walkways. This involved a literature search/information gathering project performed by a student intern. This intern was mentored by a senior engineer familiar with aviation safety and fire protection. A technical panel, comprised of professionals in the field of aviation safety and fire protection, was formed to provide input as well as review the results.

Download the complete review, authored by Joshua D. Swann and Joseph L. Scheffey with Hughes Associates, through the Foundation website.

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Ann Jeffers (right) accepts the Bigglestone Award on behalf of her team from Kathleen Almand of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

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Erica Kuligowski accepts the Bigglestone Award from Kathleen Almand of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

This year Harry C. Bigglestone Award for Excellence in Communication of Fire Protection Concepts is shared by two papers:  “Probabilistic Evaluation of Structural Fire Resistance” by Ann Jeffers, Qianru Guo, Kaihang Shi, and Zili Jia of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan and “Predicting Human Behavior During Fires”by Erica Kuligowski of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Out of the 44 papers published in 2013 which were eligible for the award, these two papers were first among those nominated by the Editorial Board and then judged to be the best papers by the panel formed by the Associate Editors.

“Probabilistic Evaluation of Structural Fire Resistance” and “Predicting Human Behavior during Fires” both appeared in quarterly 2013 issues of Fire Technology, which is available for free access to NFPA members.

Jeffers’ paper reveals the full power of the probabilistic approach to evaluate the fire resistance of a structure given the uncertainties of key fire and structural parameters. It serves as a major boost for the structural reliability of fire protection and will help close the gap with more mature structural hazard calculations such as wind and earthquakes where the probabilistic evaluation is already in use.

Kuligowski’s paper serves as an in-depth review of human behavior models during building fires, an emerging topic gaining great strength and a promising future in Fire Technology. In addition, the paper also addresses the importance of model robustness and validation while identifying knowledge gaps within the material.

The Harry C. Bigglestone award is presented annually, along with a $5,000 cash prize, to the author(s) of the most outstanding paper submitted to Fire Technology during the previous calendar year, as voted by the International Editorial Board. This award is named after the late Harry C. Bigglestone, a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and fellow and president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

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Bangladesh Fire Chief speaking during Conference



 

Robert Solomon, PE, NFPA Division Manager for Building Fire Protection and Life Safety, was a featured speaker and panelist at the International Conference on Globalization and Sustainability of Bangladesh Garment Industry. This symposium, held at Harvard University on Saturday, June 14, 2014, was co-sponsored by NFPA .&#0160; Robert provided guidance on how NFPA's codes and standards can improve fire safety in developing nations for an audience of over 100 business leaders, government officials, labor leaders and academics from the U.S. and Bangladesh.


 

NFPA hosted a delegation from Bangladesh at the 2014 NFPA Conference &amp; Expo &#0160;last week as well.&#0160; In addition to meeting with President James Shannon, the group had the opportunity to learn about fire and electrical safety technologies and strategies that will support their efforts to improve garment factory safety.&#0160;</p>

FW Virtual Workshop
Don't miss out on your opportunity to "Ask the Expert" by participating in our upcoming virtual workshop on July 15th. The workshop will teach you about how embers ignite roofs in a wildland fire and how to make your roof more survivable. 

Join Firewise residents throughout the country through a one-hour format including a thirty minute presentation by Dr. Stephen Quarles, Ph.D. from IBHS, followed by a thirty minute live “Ask an Expert” interactive opportunity for pre-selected homeowners to ask a question related to the session’s topic. This unique learning format provides wildland/urban interface homeowners with information on how to make important mitigation modifications at their homes. Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Register now for the virtual workshop on July 15th at 1:00pm EDT.

Mark your calendars for the next “Ask an Expert” Virtual Workshop and join us August 19 at 2pm MDT for Mulch Combustibility – Choosing the Right Type for Your Wildland/Urban Interface Home.  Pre-registration information will be available following the July 15 session.

Chesapeake AP Broadcasters AssociationThe 10-part radio series "Firefight," an all-encompassing look at residential sprinklers and the battle for mandatory installation in Virginia, recently won the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association award for "outstanding news series."

The 2013 report thoroughly examines nearly every aspect of home fire sprinklers and how eliminating the sprinkler requirement mandated in all model building codes is placing firefighters and homeowners in harm's way. Per the report, safety seems to be getting trumped by politics and profit.

For more information on this award-winning series, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

During this year's NFPA Conference & Expo, Jeff Donahue, the First Vice President of IFMA (International Fire Marshals Association), received the Robert W. Gain award from the National Code Services Association, Inc. This award is a memorial award in honor of Robert W. Gain, a founder of the uniform fire code, whose professional abilities and leadership stand as a continuing example to all fire prevention and fire protection professionals.

Jeff Donahue becomes the 2014 recipient for his outstanding contributions, dedication and leadership in the field of fire code development and administration. Congratulations Jeff!

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L-R.  NFPA President Jim Shannon, James F. McMullen, NCSA Exec. Dir, Jeff Donahue, and James Weigand, NCSA Chair.

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Residential sprinkler panel: (from left) Tony Fleming, Metro Fire Protection; Paul Emrath, National Association of Home Builders; Tonya Hoover, California State Fire Marshal; Liza Bowles, Newport Partners




During a well attended education session at NFPA&#39;s Conference &amp; Expo, a panel of experts discussed the evolution of sprinkler costs highlighted in two groundbreaking reports from NFPA.


 

Leading the discussion was Liza Bowles with Newport Partners, which conducted the sprinkler research on behalf of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Numerous comparisons were made between Newport&#39;s 2008 cost study and its latest released in 2013. For the latter, researchers sampled a larger pool of homes and communities where sprinkler ordinances are in place. &quot;Since the first study, California and Maryland enacted a statewide ordinance, so we wanted to see how costs may have changed,&quot; said Bowles, president of Newport Partners.

One of the more important findings was the average of a sprinklered square foot, down from $1.81 in the 2008 study to $1.35 in the 2013 study. Maryland and California, noted Bowles, have experienced significantly lower costs since its mandates were put into effect.


 

What did other panel members have to say about sprinkler costs? Find out by reading the post on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.</p>

When a water flow test is taken to determine the available flow and pressure of the community's water supply for sprinkler system design, that data is used to define the system for the remainder of its useful life. If that test is not taken at a conservative time in regards to water usage and water distribution operations, the system has the potential to be under designed. Water usage varies with the time of day, as well as the time of year. In addition, over time the water availability to an area can change due to a multitude of reasons, including but not limited to development. Currently no method is specified to adjust for this time centric variable, and as a result tests are being conducted without consideration of an adjusting factor regardless of the actual water usage and demand during the completion of said tests.

The Foundation is seeking a contractor to clarify the varying demands on a typical water supply system and determine available methods to quantify an adjustment to water flow tests based on both the time of day and the time of year at which the test was conducted, while also identifying the numerous other variables affecting the testing of water flow.

During today's NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the following action has taken place on NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®:

  • 101-1 Motion to Reject an Identifiable Part of Second Correlating Revision No. 4, thereby recommending First Draft text Failed.
  • 101-2 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 20 and any related portions of First Revisions, Reject Second Revisions No. 22, No. 24 and No. 23, thereby deleting the new section, corresponding annex and references Failed.
  • 101-3 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 123 and any related portions of First Revision No. 427, thereby recommending previous edition text Passed.
  • 101-4 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 117 and any related portions of First Revisions No. 434 and No. 540, and Reject Second Revision No. 118 and any related portions of First Revisions No. 486 and No. 572, thereby deleting new sections and corresponding annex Failed.
  • 101-5 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 124 and any related portions of First Revision No. 482, thereby recommending previous edition text Passed.
  • 101-6 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 8 and No. 9 Passed.
  • 101-7 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 107 Failed.

NFPA 101 was passed with 3 amending motions. NFPA 101 COMPLETED.

During today's NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the following action has taken place on NFPA 703, Standard for Fire Retardant—Treated Wood and Fire-Retardant Coatings for Building Materials: 

  • 703-1 Motion to Reject an Identifiable Part of Second Revision No. 2 and any related portions of First Revision No. 3, thereby deleting new sections 4.1.1.1, 4.1.1.6 and 4.1.1.7 Failed.
  • 703-2 Motion to Reject an Identifiable Part of Second Revision No. 2, thereby recommending First Draft text Failed.
  • 703-3 Motion to Accept an Identifiable Part of Public Comment No. 4 Failed.

NFPA 703 was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 703 COMPLETED.

During today's NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the following action has taken place on NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code® 

  • 5000-1 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 2 thereby retaining First Draft text Passed.
  • 5000-2 Motion to Reject an Identifiable Part of Second Correlating Revision No. 6, thereby recommending First Draft text Not Pursued.
  • 5000-3 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 115 and any related portions of related First Revision No. 434, thereby recommending previous edition text Passed.
  • 5000-4 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 25 Passed.
  • 5000-5 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 71 and any related portions of First Revisions, Reject Second Revisions No. 79, No. 72 and No. 73, thereby deleting new sections, corresponding annex and references Not Pursed.

 NFPA 5000 was passed with 3 amending motions. NFPA 5000 COMPLETED.

During today's NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the following action has taken place on NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code: 

  • 99-1 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 5, thereby recommending First Draft text Passed.

NFPA 99 was passed with 1 amending motion. NFPA 99 COMPLETED.

During today's NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the following action has taken place on NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®:

  • 70E-1 Motion to Reject an Identifiable Part of Second Revision No. 37, thereby recommending First Draft text Not Pursued.

 NFPA 70E® was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 70E® COMPLETED. 

During today's NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the following action has taken place on NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code:

  • 54-1 Motion to Accept an Identifiable Part of Public Comment No. 72 Failed.
  • 54-2 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 12 and any related portions of First Revisions No. 68 and No. 69, thereby deleting the new section and corresponding annex Passed. 

NFPA 54 was passed with 1 amending motion. NFPA 54 COMPLETED.

During today's NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the following action has taken place on NFPA 59, Utility LP-Gas Plant Code:

  •  59-1 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 9 Not Pursued.

 NFPA 59 was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 59 COMPLETED.

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During today&#39;s NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the following action has taken place on NFPA 720 , Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment


720-1 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 14 Not Pursued.

720-2 Motion to Accept an Identifiable Part of Public Comment No. 20 Not Pursued.


 

NFPA 720 was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 720 COMPLETED.


 

The NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) is an important step in developing a complete record to assist the Standards Council in determining the degree of consensus achieved on proposed changes to NFPA documents. During this meeting, NFPA members are given an opportunity to vote on proposed changes and members of the public can voice their opinions on these actions.


The Tech Session today in Las Vegas will consider the following NFPA documents:


 

Thursday, June 12, 2014


During the NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas on June 11, the following action has taken place on NFPA 1192, Standard on Recreational Vehicles

  • 1192-1 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 5 Failed.
  • 1192-2 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 6 Passed. 

NFPA 1192 was passed with 1 amending motions. NFPA 1192 COMPLETED.

During the NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas on June 11, the following action has taken place on NFPA 731, Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems

  • 731-1 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 9 and Reject Second Revision No. 10, thereby recommending First Draft text Passed.

NFPA 731 was passed with 1 amending motions. NFPA 731 COMPLETED.

During the NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas on June 11, the following action has taken place on NFPA 750, Standard on Water Mist Fire Protection Systems

  • 750-1 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 17 and any related portions of First Revisions No. 72, No. 123 and No. 88, thereby recommending previous edition text Failed. 

NFPA 750 was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 750 COMPLETED.

Tech session 1

During the NFPA Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas on June 11, the following action has taken place on NFPA 37, Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines.

  • 37-1 Motion to Accept an Identifiable Part of Public Comment No. 7 Failed.   
  • 37-2 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 8 Failed.

NFPA 37 was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 37 COMPLETED.

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) are teaming with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to present a national award that recognizes the local efforts of a fire chief who has worked to increase the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems in his or her service area.

Nominations for the award are now being accepted, and must be submitted by July 11, 2014. Nominations are not restricted to IAFC members but you must be an IAFC member to submit a nomination. 

The recipient will be selected from nominees that have used HFSC's educational materials along with NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources as the foundation of a local, regional or statewide program to educate about the need for more home fire sprinkler system installations as a method to reduce fire injury and death.

The "Bringing Safety Home" Award during the IAFC's Fire & Life Safety Section at the 2014 Fire-Rescue International in Dallas this August.

Chief Kyle Minick

The 2013 recipient of the "Bringing Safety Home" award was Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Minick from the North Charleston (SC) Fire Department. Presenting the award are NFPA's Lorraine Carli and HFSC's Peg Paul.

The NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) is an important step in developing a complete record to assist the Standards Council in determining the degree of consensus achieved on proposed changes to NFPA documents. During this meeting, NFPA members are given an opportunity to vote on proposed changes and members of the public can voice their opinions on these actions.

The Tech Session that kicks off today in Las Vegas, and continues on Thursday, June 12, will consider 12 NFPA documents:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 starting at 2:00 pm

  • NFPA 37, Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines
  • NFPA 750, Standard on Water Mist Fire Protection Systems
  • NFPA 731, Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems
  • NFPA 1192, Standard on Recreational Vehicles

Thursday, June 12, 2014, starting at 8:00 am

  • NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment
  • NFPA 59, Utility LP-Gas Plant Code
  • NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code
  • NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®
  • NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code
  • NFPA 703, Standard for Fire Retardant-Treated Wood and Fire-Retardant Coatings for Building Materials
  • NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®
  • NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code®

Follow the NFPA Conference & Expo blog for updates as they happen from the Tech Session.

The NFPA Expo is open today from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm - giving attendees one more chance to meet with exhibitors from more than 320 companies. There's a definite buzz in the Expo as attendees move booth to booth, surveying the latest technologies and services.

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Expo 34

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Fires raging in the hills near Yarnell, Arizona on June 30, 2013 (KPHO-TV/CBS-5-AZ.COM/AFP)




The deaths of 97 on-duty firefighters in 2013a sharp increase of this type of fatality in recent yearswas largely attributed to two significant fires.


 

The new statistic comes from NFPA's latest U.S. Firefighter Fatalities report, which was unveiled today at NFPA's Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. While overall firefighter deaths rates have declined in recent years, 2013 saw a spike due to 19 firefighters killed during the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona. The incident is considered the deadliest incident for firefighters since the September 11 terrorist attacks.


 

Moreover, a powerful explosion at a Texas fertilizer company killed nine firefighters. "This was the fifth consecutive year that the total number of firefighter deaths was below 100, but the 2013 death toll was much higher than it has been in recent years," says Rita Fahy, NFPA's manager of fire databases and systems, who presented the report's findings during a conference education session. "Our hope is that next year's report reflects the general decline in firefighter deaths we've seen in the past few years."


 

Read the full report for more details.</p>

In his last formal presentation as Chair of the NFPA Board of Directors, Chief Philip Stittleburg of the La Farge (WI) Fire Department, reflected on how NFPA's efforts reach beyond the confines of North America. He said that although NFPA has long had international inititiaves, in the past 20 years, the associaiton has committed more resources to worldwide efforts. Read an overview of Chief Stittleburg's remarks.

Watch his remarks from the NFPA General Session in Las Vegas on June 9, 2014.


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A panel of NFPA experts, Orlando Hernandez, Ken Willette, Tom McGowan and Nancy Pearce, this morning presented on the NFPA codes that prevent and respond to chemical catastrophes. Chemical catastrophes resulting in significant loss of life and property seem to be increasing in occurence. There are many NFPA codes that have been developed to help prevent these types of incidents and to protect emergency responders and the community. 

These codes include NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code, NFPA 472, Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents, NFPA 1620, Standard for Pre-Incident Planning, and NFPA 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications.

NFPA 400 is the code that works to prevent these catastrophes, by classifying materials and provides you with the maximum amount that should be stored in a particular occupancy before requiring special construction requirements. It then provides you with methods for increasing the amounts using special protections. NFPA 1620 details all of the pre-incident planning that needs to be done before catastrophes occur. Of note, it was mentioned that it is imporant for all developers, facility management, operations staff and responding personnel to work cooperatively on developing this plan. NFPA 472 and NFPA 1001 protect fire fighters and emergency responders at hazardous materials incidents. 

The application of these standards using a mock chemical facility and community was also presented. Download the handouts from this panel presentation through the Conference website (registration required). 

Samantha Hoffmann, public and life safety officer and PIO for the Barrie Fire & Emergency Service in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, received the 2014 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year award today at NFPA’s 2014 Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

NFPA’s Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award recognizes a fire and life safety educator who works for a local fire department, uses NFPA's materials in consistent and creative ways, demonstrates excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community, and views NFPA as the source for safety information.

Hoffmann has used NFPA materials since 1989, implementing the Learn Not to Burn program for use among younger hospital patients, as well as successfully introducing the program in every school in North York after joining the North York Fire Department in Toronto in 1996. Hoffmann also reaches out to older audiences with the Remembering When™ program.

NFPA recognizes that educators like Hoffmann are instrumental in the distribution of NFPA materials and messages, and in keeping their communities safe. Along with the award, she has also earned a $1,000 honorarium and free travel to Las Vegas. The Barrie Fire and Emergency Service will also receive a $1,000 donation to support public education activities.

Read the full news release for more details about Sarah Hoffmann's accomplishments using NFPA's programs.

Club 12
While cruising through Las Vegas for NFPA’s 2014 Conference and Expo, NFPA’s official mascot Sparky the Fire Dog® made a special visit to the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Las Vegas (BGCSLV) this morning. In front of some 50 children ages 5 to 11, Sparky held a fun, informative fire safety lesson that focused on the importance of smoke alarms and testing them monthly. He also wagged his tail to NFPA’s “What’s that sound?” video, which reminds everyone that if you hear a “beep, beep, beep, if there’s a fire, you’ve got to move your feet!”

A special thanks to the Northern Las Vegas Fire Department who also participated in the event and brought along their fire truck, sharing cool facts about how they use it to fight fires. Last but not least, a huge kudos to the parents of all the BGCSLV children – they were an incredibly polite, well-behaved group!

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Phil Stittleburg  and sparky


At this afternoon's Opening General Session during the first day of NFPA Conference & Expo, we announced the theme of the 2014 Fire Prevention Week. To make the announcement, Chairman of the Board Phil Stittleburg joined NFPA's very lovable mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog. 

“Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives:  Test Yours Every Month!” is the theme for Fire Prevention Week 2014, October 5-11. 

Smoke alarms can make a life-saving difference in a fire, but they need to be working. Unfortunately, many home fire deaths result from fires where a smoke alarm is present but does not operate. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme focuses on motivating people to test their smoke alarms each month to make sure they’re working properly.

Please visit our FPW website, www.fpw.org for information, statistics, tools and other FPW related assets that will be useful for your campaigns this year. 

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Shannon award

In recognition of outstanding leadership, vision and commitment to reducing fire loss through advocacy, the NFPA honored outgoing President Jim Shannon with the first James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal. The special honor was presented to Mr. Shannon at the Opening General Session of NFPA’s Conference & Expo in Las Vegas on June 9, 2014.

The James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal was established to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the fire loss problem through advocacy. The Medal Selection Committee considers several criteria, including the impact of the individual’s efforts toward NFPA’s mission, reducing fire loss, and the extent to which the efforts are collaborative beyond NFPA.

Mr. Shannon will conclude his 12-year tenure as NFPA president in June with an exceptional record of advocacy to reduce fire loss. Under his leadership, NFPA has considerably advanced its mission of fire safety, better protecting the general public and members of the fire service.

Shannon spearheaded the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, which quickly led to every state passing legislation requiring that cigarettes meet a specific fire safety standard. In collaboration with the fire service and others, this initiative will save hundreds of lives including the lives of firefighters who are at risk every time they respond to a cigarette related fire.

Following the success of the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, Shannon intensified NFPA’s work to advocate for mandating home fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes, another critical safeguard to enhance public safety and better protect our nation’s fire service. 

Watch the presentation of the Advocacy Medal to Mr. Shannon and a special video tribute made in his honor.

Bunge

Robert Marshal (center) of Bunge North America accepts the Industrial Fire Protection Section award from Tom Fangman, Corporate Risk Managera for SunCoke Energy, and chair of NFPA's Industrial Fire Protection Section, and NFPA Chair Philip Stittleburg.

The winner of the 2013 Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention Week 2013 Award is Bunge North America from St. Louis. Bunge North America is the largest operating division of Bunge Limited, a global agriculture and food company. This award was created to recognize businesses that promote fire and related safety messages to its employees and their communities during 2013 Fire Prevention Week.

Bunge North America is receiving this award due to their commitment to spreading fire safety messages throughout the company and their communities. Some of the activities included hosting office-wide safety talks on the proper use of fire extinguishers and reviewing office evacuation procedures. They also hosted an information session on home fire prevention tips, featuring an inspector from the Missouri Division of Fire Safety.

Harry C. Bigglestone Award

This year Harry C. Bigglestone Award for Excellence in Communication of Fire Protection Concepts is shared by two papers:  “Probabilistic Evaluation of Structural Fire Resistance” by Ann Jeffers, Qianru Guo, Kaihang Shi, and Zili Jia of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan and “Predicting Human Behavior During Fires”by Erica Kuligowski of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Out of the 44 papers published in 2013 which were eligible for the award, these two papers were first among those nominated by the Editorial Board and then judged to be the best papers by the panel formed by the Associate Editors.

“Probabilistic Evaluation of Structural Fire Resistance” and “Predicting Human Behavior during Fires” both appeared in quarterly 2013 issues of Fire Technology, which is available for free access to NFPA members.

Jeffers’ paper reveals the full power of the probabilistic approach to evaluate the fire resistance of a structure given the uncertainties of key fire and structural parameters. It serves as a major boost for the structural reliability of fire protection and will help close the gap with more mature structural hazard calculations such as wind and earthquakes where the probabilistic evaluation is already in use.

Kuligowski’s paper serves as an in-depth review of human behavior models during building fires, an emerging topic gaining great strength and a promising future in Fire Technology. In addition, the paper also addresses the importance of model robustness and validation while identifying knowledge gaps within the material.

 The Harry C. Bigglestone award is presented annually, along with a $5,000 cash prize, to the author(s) of the most outstanding paper submitted to Fire Technology during the previous calendar year, as voted by the International Editorial Board. This award is named after the late Harry C. Bigglestone, a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and fellow and president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

James K. Lathrop, vice president of Koffel Associates, Inc., received this year’s Standards Medal for his longtime dedication and contributions towards NFPA technical committees. Colloquially known as “Mr. Life Safety,” Lathrop has spearheaded numerous projects including the NFPA Life Safety ® Project, and has edited four editions of the NFPA Life Safety Code® Handbook. He has also testified on a wide range of fire safety issues before U.S. House and Senate subcommittees, as well as serving as NFPA’s Chief Life Safety Engineer from 1983 to 1991.

The Standards Medal is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to fire safety and the development of codes and standards. It is also the most distinguished award given by NFPA’s Standards Council.

The winning project of the 2014 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal is “Best Practices for Emergency Response to Incidents Involving Electric Vehicles Battery Hazards: A Report on Full-Scale Testing Results.” The Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal recognizes a project completed in 2013 that best exemplifies the Foundation’s fire safety mission and the collaborative approach to execution that is the hallmark of all its projects. The winner is recommended to the chair of the Foundation’s Board by an awards committee made up of members of the Board, Research Advisory Committee, and NFPA technical staff members. Exponent, Inc. employees R. Thomas Long, Jr., Andrew F. Blum, Thomas J. Bress, and Benjamin R.T. Cotts, authored the report.

This project was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (the Idaho National Laboratory), the U.S. Department of Transportation (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. In addition, three groups of panelists (main panel, emergency responder panel, and battery technology panel), provided guidance and expertise to the project. The purpose of the project was to conduct a research program to develop the technical basis for best practices of emergency response procedures for electric drive vehicle battery incidents. Additionally, the research considered certain details, including suppression methods and agents, personal protective equipment (PPE), and clean-up/overhaul operations. Full-scale testing of large format Lithium-ion batteries used in these vehicles was also a critical component of the project.

Mandalay Bay

We are in Las Vegas this week for the NFPA Conference & Expo. We're spreading across the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to cover the big events. Be sure to keep up on the latest news by reading our conference blog

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NFPA Conference & Expo education sessions have kicked off this morning and one of the first attendees got a chance to sit in was done by Casey Grant of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Casey's presentation covered an ongoing Foundation research project funded by NIST, titled, "Creatng the research road map for the smart firefighter of the future." 

The key concept of this project, SMART, refers to specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and timely items. Gathering of data (using sensors), processing the data (computation), and use of the data (targeted decision making) are the three areas that the world of cyber physical systems cover. As a point of reference, in 2013, we produced 5 exabyte of data every 10 minutes, however from the dawn of civilization to 2003, humankind generated 5 exabytes of data in total, so you can see the progression of how much faster and more readily available this information is becoming. 

Smart clothing, augmented reality, robotics, satellitel information, drones, smartphone apps, fully interoperable equipment are all examples of smart, data rich tools that firefighters may use to make their jobs safer, more efficient, or reducing loss of lives and property. PPE and equipment, apparatus and equipment, building systems, and infrastructure & community data systems can be utilized to gather this data. 

To learn more or stay up to date on future research, the project's status and information is available on the Foundation website

Download the handouts for Casey's presentation on smart fire fighting through the Conference website (registration required). 

Becki WhiteBecki White with the Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Fire Department, provided some pointed comments to homeowners and potential homebuyers in a recent op-ed for Fire Engineering. Her thought-provoking argument ties home fire sprinklers to carbuyer's options--leather interior, heated seats, and others--and the safety features not up for discussion.

"There are many features we expect to be included, like seat belts, air bags, crumple zones," stated White. "They aren't priced out as amenities. If the salesperson asked you to choose between air bags and heated, leather seats, you'd be outraged as a consumer. How dare he?"

That same outrage, added White, should occur when looking at a spec sheet for a new home. Read the post on this issue by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

On Monday, June 8, 1998 at approximately 9:20 a.m., a series of explosions occurred at a grain GrainSiloFireelevator facility in Haysville, Kansas (five miles south of Wichita).  There were seven fatalities as a result of the explosions.  Ten workers were injured by the blasts.

NFPA Fire Investigator Robert F. Duval arrived at the site on Tuesday, June 9, 1998 and joined a team of investigators from: Sedgwick County, the City of Wichita, the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

This grain elevator was one of the largest in the world.  The facility contained 246 concrete silos, each measuring 30-ft. (9.1 m) in diameter and over 120-ft. (36.6 m) in height.  Each silo could hold approximately 70,000 bushels of grain, making the total capacity of the facility nearly 21 million bushels (including the 7 million bushels contained in the headhouse bins). At the time of the incident, the facility was at about 50% of capacity.  The facility measured over 2,700-ft. (823 m) or approximately 1/2 mile in length.  Wheat was the main product being stored in this facility.The explosions occurred as the facility was being prepared for the early summer harvest of wheat in the mid-west.  Workers were preparing the facility for the harvest by cleaning the gallery houses at the top of the silos as well as the conveyor tunnels under the silos.  Routine maintenance was also taking place throughout the facility.  That included greasing bearings on the four conveyor lines.

To see the full report NFPA members download Grain Elevator, Haysville, KS. To learn more about other storage facility fires go to NFPA's Reports and statistics, Storage 

4511NFPA has issued the following formal interpretation on NFPA 45, Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories using Chemicals:

Formal interpretations are for the purpose of providing formal explanations of the meaning or intent of the Technical Committee on any specific provision or provisions of any NFPA Standard in accordance with Section 6 of the Regulatons Governing the Development of NFPA Standards.

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

In this issue:

  • Proposed TIAs seeking comment on NFPA 58, 400, 402, and 1963
  • Formal Interpretation issued on NFPA 45
  • Standards Forum
  • Tech Session schedule and agenda available
  • 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.

Jody Guida contacted her son the minute she saw smoke billowing from his housing complex in Pennsylvania. The fire, burning in a neighboring unit, could have created havoc for all residents had a sprinkler system not been installed in the residence, which likely kept the fire at bay. 


 

According to the +Pocono Record, +sprinklers were activated during a cooking fire. (Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, per NFPA.) Firefighters finished the job with extinguishers, but sprinklers likely saved the home and others from destruction.


Following the incident, Guida praised the system that prevented the fire from spreading to her son's home. "Thank God for sprinklers."


 

Interested in additional sprinkler saves? Read NFPA&#39;s latest "Sprinkler Successes in One- and Two-Family Homes" report. Conversely, watch this dramatic video by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition on how quickly fire can spread in a home:


 


 


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/239925218_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/239925218_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Single sprinkler extinguishes Colorado kitchen fire

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NFPA President James Shannon and Metro Chiefs President Keith Bryant



 

The&#0160;Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association&#0160;honored NFPA president James M. Shannon&#0160;with the Metro President’s Award of Distinction and the special Metro designation of Honorary Metro Fire Chief earlier this week.&#0160;


The President’s Award of Distinction is presented to a person who has gone above and beyond to promote Metro values and its mission. Honorary Metro Fire Chief status is reserved for non-members who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in fire and life safety. In the Metro’s 49-year history, Shannon is the second person to receive this honor following former NFPA President George Miller.


Shannon will conclude his 12-year tenure as NFPA president in June, with a legacy of support for the nation’s fire service. Under his leadership, NFPA has considerably advanced its mission of fire safety, better protecting the general public and members of the fire service. 

 

Sprinkler NewsAn interesting email from a colleague recently landed in my inbox. I clicked on the link embedded in the body and was taken to a this-day-in-history page that highlighted a sprinkler save from 1939. A fire had apparently activated a sprinkler system at a Sears & Roebuck. The fire didn't amount to much, stated the report, but caused water damage.

Granted, this incident doesn't involve a house fire, but the story--now more than 75 years old--reminded me of recent news reports where the successes of a sprinkler save are sometimes downplayed in lieu of other details. What about the lives that were potentially saved? What about how sprinklers significantly reduce the amount of water gushing from a firefighter's hose during a fire? What about how quickly these systems operate during a fire and can prevent flashover?

Read more about this issue on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code, NFPA 402, Guide for Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Operations, and NFPA 1963, Standard for Fire Hose Connections, are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the July 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.

Are you planning on attending the 2014 Technical Meeting (Tech Session) and want a sneak peak at the upcoming changes? Recently NFPA’s Standards Administration hosted a webinar on the changes that will take place at this year’s Tech Session during the 2014 NFPA Conference and Expo

 If you missed the live event, don’t worry.  It’s not too late to take advantage and watch! The topics covered include:

  • a review of the new electronic agenda for the tech session
  • how motions will be displayed to the attendees
  • how to submit live votes in accordance with the text that is shown
  • and much more.

 


To prepare for this year's Tech Session, attendees are able to access a complete electronic version of the Tech Session Agenda and First and Second Draft Reports of the NFPA Standards that will be addressed at the Tech Session.

Since this year’s Tech Session will address standards that have been processed through the revised standards development process, you are also encouraged to attend the Standards Forum on Tuesday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m., where the new Tech Session process will be reviewed.
 
NFPA will be providing wireless internet access during the Tech Session so attendees have the option of downloading the agenda prior to or during the Tech Session. Other documentation such as First Draft Reports and Second Draft Reports can be viewed on the Next edition tab of each specific document information page.  The links for the 12 specific NFPA Standards are listed below for your convenience.

The Tech Session is an important step in developing a complete record to assist the Standards Council in determining the degree of consensus achieved on proposed changes to NFPA documents. During this meeting, NFPA members are given an opportunity to vote on proposed changes and members of the public can voice their opinions on these actions.

The 2014 Tech Session will held on June 11-12 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Only NFPA members of record as of December 13, 2013 who are currently in good standing are eligible to vote.

Wednesday, June 11, starting at 2:00 p.m.

  • Internal Combustion Engines
    NFPA 37, Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines
  • Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems 
    NFPA 750, Standard on Water Mist Fire Protection Systems
  • Premises Security
    NFPA 731, Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems
  • Recreational Vehicles
    NFPA 1192, Standard on Recreational Vehicles

Thursday, June 12, starting at 8:00 a.m.

  • Carbon Monoxide Detection
    NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment
  • LP-Gases at Utility Gas Plants
    NFPA 59, Utility LP-Gas Plant Code
  • National Fuel Gas Code
    NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code
  • Electrical Safety in the Workplace
    NFPA 70E® , Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®
  • Health Care Facilities
    NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code
  • Structures, Construction, and Materials
    NFPA 703, Standard for Fire Retardant—Treated Wood and Fire–Retardant Coatings for Building Materials
  • Safety to Life
    NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®
  • Building Code
    NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code®

More information on this year’s Tech Session.

At approximately 2:15 a.m., on Tuesday, June 2, 1992, a fire occurred at an adult foster care facility in Detroit MIBoardandCareDetroit, Michigan and resulted in the deaths of 10 occupants.  The building involved in this fire was originally a three-story, two-family dwelling.  However, in the early 1970s it was renovated for use as an adult foster care facility.  At the time of the fire, sixteen predominantly elderly individuals lived in the facility, and some of these residents were mentally or physically handicapped.  In addition to the residents, one night supervisor was in the facility.

Local investigators believe that the probable cause of the fire was smoking materials discarded in a wastebasket in a first floor kitchen.  Once ignited, the fire spread to the combustible interior finish materials in that room, and then the growing fire ignited combustible finish materials in other first-floor rooms.  Open stairways and other unprotected vertical openings allowed the combustion products to rapidly spread throughout the building.  Untenable conditions developed in the building before most of the residents could safely evacuate.

 The factors that significantly contributed to the loss of life were:

 The lack of an automatic fire sprinkler system,

 The presence of combustible interior finish throughout the structure,

 The lack of fire safety and evacuation training for staff and residents,

 The presence of open stairways and other unprotected vertical openings, and

 The lack of a second exit for the second floor.

For more information about this NFPA members can download the Full Investigation report .  To learn more about NFPA's statistical data go to Structure Fires in Board and Care Facilities

On the morning of Wednesday, June 2, 1993, an accidental fire occurred at the Elmwood Village Ashland KY NursinghomeConvalescent Home in Ashland, Kentucky and resulted in the evacuation and/or relocation of most occupants in the facility.  The combined impact of staff actions, sprinkler operation and fire department intervention prevented resident deaths and reduced the extent of property damage in the facility.

 

All visitors can download the NFPA Summary Nursing Home (sprinkler success), Ashland, KY.  For statistical data on nursing home fires you can download the NFPA report Fires in Health Care Facilities

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