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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.

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