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2014

The results for the annual NFPA Fire Safety Educational Memorial Fund Committee awarded scholarships are in! These awards are given to students who have demonstrated strong leadership potential, exhibited academic achievement and who have contributed to fire safety activities. So without further ado, let’s meet our four extraordinary winners!

MeredithHawes

Meredith Hawes, who is pursuing a master’s of science degree in public administration at Central Michigan University, has won the coveted George D. Miller Scholarship. She is the Fire and Safety Educator at Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department and is currently aiding her department in a study to determine the feasibility of merging their at-will, combination department with their city’s full time, professional and unionized department.

She embarked on a mission to create a Risk Watch Coalition for youth in her area and received the Michigan Public Educator of the Year Award for that program. And with that success in her back pocket, she was offered and accepted the role of Education Advisor for the NFPA.

Hawes future goal is the pursuit of a City Manager or Assistant City Manager position.

The George D. Miller Scholarship was established in honor of the former NFPA president and CEO and is awarded to students in fire service or public administration programs. 

Not too long ago, I received an email from one of my colleagues at NFPA.

“Here is something of general interest.  I met Mark Catlin at a NIOSH DSRI (Disaster Science Research Initiative) last week in Atlanta.  He is with SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and has put together a database of over 1,000 videos (mostly open access on you tube) that address a wide range of historic workplace and environmental health and safety issues.  I took a look at some of the videos, and this could be a valuable tool for safety and education purposes, among other uses.  I’m forwarding this along in case this is of interest.  Please feel free to share... FYI…”

Some of these are from film footage and there are many case studies. Get past the vintage and look at them from the perspective of, “could this still happen to us [emergency responders] today”. I think you’ll agree that while they will bring back memories of sitting through hazardous materials courses, that they may offer a retrospective and a look at the present. Have we learned all there is to know, have we changed the way respond to these types of incidents, and can we still improve the way we reaction to these incidents?  

Mark, thank you for sharing. Everyone, take a few minutes to watch the video below - and I will be sharing more over the next few days. 

Gasoline Bulk Storage Plant Fire BLEVE 1959 Kansas City (1:14 min)

 

In August 1959 the Kansas City Fire Department was hit with their largest loss of in the line of duty deaths to date, when a 25,000 gallon gas tank exploded during a fire on Southwest Boulevard killing five firefighters. This was the first time BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Evaporating Vapor Explosion) was used to describe a burning fuel tank.  This video shows firemen in Kansas City, Kansas, in a desperate 6-hour battle with a raging gasoline fire that starts at a bulk service station, and touches off  huge storage tanks, sending flames hundreds of feet in the air and rocking the city.  In 1991, the Firefighters Fountain was dedicated at 31st Street and Broadway in Penn Valley Park to all firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty throughout the city's history. A Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion or BLEVE (pronounced "BLEV-ee") can occur when fire heats and weakens the walls of a storage tank, particularly in the region above the stored liquid where cooling is less effective. For more on BLEVEs, go to the Chemical Safety Board website.  This is taken from the Universal Newsreel Volume 32, Release 67, 08/20/1959 available at the US National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

-Tom McGowan

Sprinkler myths and factsI recently came across a sprinkler-related report that's quite the page-turner. Written by Kent State University student Christiana Stegman and highlighted by the U.S. Fire Administration in one of its recent news roundups, the thesis underscores efforts by sprinkler opponents in Pennsylvania to nix sprinkler requirements for new homes that would have taken effect in 2011. Persuaded by convincing lobbyists, the state's lawmakers repealed the sprinkler requirement that year. 

Learn how the author counters home fire sprinkler myths with facts by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Last weekend, NJATC’s National Training Institute (NTI) Trade Show shook up the NEC Challenge with some special appearances, new platforms and record breaking scores. At our first 2014 trade show stop (and the trade show where the NEC Challenge first began last year), participants answered quiz questions about the NEC posed from NFPA staff members and got the chance to explore the all new NEC Challenge online game at the booth.

The action heated up with the live questions as some of the country’s top NEC Code masterminds competed for the top spot on the Leaderboard. All participants that answered their first NEC Challenge question correctly were entered into a drawing for our prizes. The select few who proved their expert knowledge of the code competed to win the Leaderboard by correctly answering as many questions in a row as they could.

Paul HolumThe Leaderboard came to a showdown between two members of NJATC Local 292. Derrick Atkins and Paul Holum are friends, co-workers, and according to last year’s champion Derek Vigstol, “They taught me everything I know about the code.” Paul led the field at the conclusion of day one with a score of 22, which was matched early on day two by Atkins. Looking at the rules and seeing that a tie at the top of the Leaderboard would be determined by a random hat drawing, Paul stepped up to take fate in his own hands. Answering a record-setting 36 straight code questions, Paul established himself alone at the top of the Leaderboard and in the annals of NEC Challenge history.

More prizes were handed out to those who answered at least one code question and Beau Burton won the iPad drawing of over 170 entries.

Derek Vigstol, last year’s NTI Leaderboard winner and first ever NEC Challenge champion, stopped by the booth to show off his championship belt, comparing it to this year’s all-new version up for grabs, and told this year’s challengers how his experience with the NEC Challenge has helped in his classroom teachings.

Look forward for another opportunity to play the NEC Challenge and earn a spot in our 2014 championship Sept. 28-30 at the NECA Conference and Trade Show in Chicago. If you won’t be in attendance at NECA, play along anytime online to sharpen your skills and for more opportunities to win weekly and monthly prizes.

Thank you to all the participants and NTI for a fun show! And, congratulations to our winners Paul Holum and Beau Burton. See you in Chicago this September!

Smoke Alarm
I don’t know why it happens this way, but common themes for smoke alarm success stories seem to come in waves. Last week, I reported on three home fires where smoke alarms had recently been installed in homes through local fire departments’ installation programs. In each incident, the working smoke alarms alerted the occupants to fire, enabling them all to escape safely.

A similar success story occurred early this morning when a family in Cherry Hill, NJ, awoke to smoke alarms sounding and discovered a fire on the first floor of their home. Just two months prior, the Cherry Hill Fire Department had replaced the family’s smoke alarms.

Clearly, smoke alarm installation programs carry life-saving potential.

Smoke alarm guide imageFor fire departments and/or safety educators who want more information on how to conduct an installation program in their communities, NFPA’s newly updated guide, “Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program”, includes everything you need, from tips on how to select volunteers, to pointers on soliciting donations and publicizing the program.

SeasideParkJuly30
Shortly after 7:00 p.m. on July 30, 1985, a fire erupted from beneath a steam table located inside the main dining room of the Bayview Restaurant in Seaside Park, New Jersey.  At the time the fire broke out, between 75 and 80 patrons were in the room of fire origin, and all of them, including employees, and two occupants of the second floor narrowly escaped.  Upon fire department arrival, flames were coming out of the window openings, and an adjacent two-story residential unit was beginning to burn.  Fire fighters successfully provided exposure protection and extinguished fires in the adjacent residence.  A large part of the restaurant, however, received heavy fire damage before final extinguishment.

The Ocean County Fire Marshal has determined that the fire was caused when a flexible metal hose, connecting a 20-pound LP-Gas cylinder to a steam table, failed allowing LP-Gas to escape.  Ignition quickly followed, producing intense flame which spread rapidly to adjacent combustible interior finish within the dining room.

NFPA 58, Standard for the Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases, with minor exceptions, prohibits the use of LP-Gas cylinder inside buildings.  This incident clearly demonstrates the extreme hazard that improper use of LP-Gas can pose to life and property, and the importance of complying with the provisions of NFPA 58.   

For more information on this fire NFPA Fire Investigations.  To learn more about NFPAs Fire Analysis and Research statistical report on Eating and Drinking Establishments. For Free access to the 2014 edition of NFPA 58.

NEC app screen shotMany codes, standards and other NFPA publications are available in digital formats to better accommodate your work style. Now, you can stay up to code with the electrical safety industry standard, the 2014 edition of NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code on your Andoid device. The NEC® 2014 Android Edition app is a mobile companion to the code to allow you access wherever and whenever you need it.  Benefits of using the mobile app version include:

  • Ability to browse sections of the standard by keyword for easy information retrieval
  • Access to important electrical safety news and code development information from the NFPA at your fingertips 

To download the NEC Android mobile app visit the Google Play store. The 2014 NEC is still also available for your Apple device through iTunes

George Esbensen
George Esbensen, chief of the Eden Prairie (MN) Fire Department, tells CBS Minnesota that the combination of working smoke alarms and fire sprinklers saves lives.

Minnesota lawmakers have passed new requirements for fire sprinklers in new homes larger than 4,500 square feet, effective Janaury 24, 2015.

“This is a great move to keep our residents safer in single-family home construction,” George Esbensen, chief of the Eden Prairie Fire Department, and legislative chair of the Minnesota Fire Chiefs Association told CBS Minnesota.

Chief Esbensen says houses today are built with lighter materials and furnished with more synthetics than older homes. “It burns literally like gasoline or petroleum when it gets under fire,” he told CBS Minnesota.

A representative of the local builders association tells CBS Minnesota that the requirements are "unecessary".

“We are all for safety, but we know that this really not going to save lives and it’s going to cost people $9,000 to $20,000 a home, " said Builders Association of the Twin Cities executive director David Siegel.

According to a Fire Protection Research Foundation national study in 2013, the average cost per sprinklered square foot is $1.35. That would put the cost of sprinklering a 4,500 square foot home at $6,075.

Related: Ken Peterson and Scott McLellan of Minnesota's Department of Labor and Industry talk about their push to expand residential sprinkler use in the state. (NFPA Journal®, January/February 2014)

Total Cost of Fire 2014

NFPA’s latest infographic highlights the total cost of fire in the U.S. The cost was estimated at $329 billion in 2011, based on latest available data, a 34 percent increase over 1980 and roughly 2.1 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

NFPA's total cost of fire report defines the core total cost of fire as the sum of economic loss (e.g. property damage, business interruption) and the cost of provisions to prevent or mitigate the cost of fire (e.g. fire departments, insurance, and the fire protection part of construction).

The complete total cost of fires adds costs that cannot be measured every year or do not involve direct payments. This includes costs of compliance with fire safety standards for equipment and other products, the value of the time donated by volunteer firefighters, human loss (e.g. lives lost, medical treatment, pain and suffering), and federal government costs for fighting wildfires.

Easily download the infographic now.

7014SBNFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®:

  • NFPA 70, Errata 70-14-4, referencing 517.18(A) Exception No. 2 and 690.13(A) Exception, issuance date: July 29, 2014

An errata is a correction issued to an NFPA Standard, published in NFPA News, Codes Online, and included in any further distribution of the document.

Playing with Fire final - July 25 2014
by NFPA's Cathy Prudhomme

I try and set aside a few minutes each Friday to read trade articles and email that’s piled up during the week, and when I got to that place on my calendar today a piece from a colleague was calling my name. That article was from authors Rachel Cleetus and Kranti Mulak with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Their recently released report, “Playing with Fire – How Climate Change and Development Patterns are Contributing to the Soaring Costs of Western Wildfires” was screaming for me to open it. The report strives to explain why western wildfires are worsening; why current policies and practices may be increasing risks and costs; and the impacts and recommendations on limiting costs. It also includes case studies from California, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico; and the issues occurring in those states.

They outline steps that need to be taken that include: building resilience in communities on the frontlines of risk, reducing the expansion of development near fire-prone areas and cutting the emissions fueling climate change; all of which will be crucial to limiting the impacts of wildfires on people and forests.

There's also a lot of great data, maps, photos and charts that you'll virtually dog-ear to include in future PowerPoints. So when you’re carving out time for some work related reading, add this one to your list!

SMOKE ALARM GUIDE COVER SHOTby NFPA's Lisa Braxton

A number of fire departments find that an effective way to reach residents in need of smoke alarms is to keep alarms on the truck. That way, smoke alarms are with firefighters when they answer a call.

“It is important to always be prepared for “on-the-spot” installations because the greatest challenges with outfitting every home in our community with a working smoke alarm are identifying the homes that need them,” says Austin Fire Department Battalion Chief David Girouard.

Additional helpful hints from Girouard and other fire and safety officials are included in NFPA’s “Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program.”

The guide, which can be downloaded at no cost from the NFPA website, helps communities plan and implement their own smoke alarm installation programs in which firefighters and trained volunteers install smoke alarms and batteries. More smoke alarm safety information is available on the NFPA website.

Lightning

by NFPA's LisaMarie Sinatra

Oregon and Washington have seen their share of wildfire activity this past month. News reports say that a combined 940,000 acres in both states have burned to date. Fire officials point to lightning as the cause of several of the large fires. Northwest Interagency Coordination Center spokeswoman, Carol Connolly, said this morning that 3,000 lightning strikes were reported in Oregon as storms moved from Northern California into southern Oregon and points north. These same storms, according to California news reports, created more than 20,000 lightning strikes across much of that state, including dozens in the Bay Area of San Francisco.

Living in the Northeast, I tend to associate lightning with heavy rain storms. So while California and much of the Pacific Northwest is experiencing severe drought conditions and high temperatures, I started wondering, how do these storms produce enough lightning to ignite wildfires while at the same time, not produce enough rain to end the drought?

After reading a few news reports, I think I found my answer. Brenda Belongie, a meteorologist with the U.S. Forest Service explains it this way:  “Lightning can hit a tree and just hang out, particularly after rain. It can smolder for several weeks. Think of a long, slow, glowing ember. Then, when it warms up and dries, a fire emerges.”

The Forest Service says lightning is the leading cause of wildfires in California, and as I mentioned above, lightning is the source of many of the large fires in Oregon and Washington. With more thunderstorms in the forecast for the Pacific Northwest, fire officials are worried about the potential for additional flare ups.

So while there are things we can do to reduce the number of “human-caused” wildfires, what can we humans do about lightning-caused fires? The U.S. Forest Service says that firefighters are using aircraft to monitor sites identified by our country’s “lightning detection system” which, through radio signals, can report a lightning strike within 15 seconds. The idea is to identify and extinguish as quickly as possible any fires ignited by these lighting strikes.

As for us homeowners, while we can’t stop lightning from hitting trees in our forests or rush to extinguish the fire after they've been hit, we can do something to reduce the amount of damage it can cause to our homes and property. Start by working around your yard, getting rid of dead and downed debris, cleaning out gutters and limbing trees. Creating defensible space, as this technique is called, is a great way to keep wind-blown wildfire embers from sparking a fire on your home or in your yard. You can find specific information about defensible space on our Firewise web page.

And it might be good to note that with all of these lightning strikes happening around our communities, we need to exercise caution to keep our own selves safe. NFPA has produced a great tips sheet and video, which provide important information to help you and your family stay safe during a storm. Take a look today and share this information with friends and neighbors. You (and they) will be glad you did!  

Photo courtesy of Wildfire Today blog

Smart phones, smart cars, smart homes… “smart” technology is just about everywhere. In the world of fire protection, smart firefighting is no exception.

Innovative ways for the fire service, fire fighters and emergency responders to conduct their work are continually emerging as an ever-increasing amount of “sensor rich” data becomes available. Figuring out how to identify, retrieve, compile and disseminate this information is still being explored, but one thing’s for sure: The way fire fighters and emergency responders do their jobs will steadily shift and change as digital data becomes increasingly accessible through mobile apps and other technologies.

This video clip, which highlights the Frisco, TX, fire department’s use of real-time data at an awards ceremony in 2010, demonstrates how smart technologies can and are already impacting firefighting, and reinforces that smart firefighting isn’t an abstract concept to be implemented at some point in the future – it’s an existing, burgeoning one. (The video is 11 minutes overall; the example starts at 5:43.) 

In its ongoing efforts to actively explore smart firefighting, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, NFPA’s research affiliate, has launched a new online section that addresses smart firefighting. Included are details about its current project, “Developing a Research Roadmap for Smart Firefighting”, as well as other related initiatives, information and resources.

The Foundation is always looking to learn more about smart technologies out in the field and how they’re being used by fire departments and emergency responders. Please feel free to email related video clips, articles, etc., to Eric Peterson.

FSI July 2014 newsletterFind out why one newspaper is calling home fire sprinklers "the next big trend coming down the pike" in the July edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter.

The latest edition also includes information on:

  • joining or starting a state sprinkler state coalition with assistance from NFPA
  • a house fire that killed seven people, including three children, that has reignited the push for sprinkler requirements
  • a new survey confirming that homeowners truly prefer a sprinklered home

Stay up to date on the latest sprinkler news across North America by subscribing to this free newsletter. You'll receive monthly editions directly to your inbox. Sign up today.  

July 26
On July 26, 1980, a later-evening fire in a licensed hotel in the resort town of Bradley Beach, New Jersey, was responsible for the deaths of 24 of the 38 residents of the facility.  Most of the residents were elderly and mentally impaired, and many of them had be referred to the hotel by state mental health care institutions of by the county welfare department.

The fire, most probably of electrical origin started in a concealed space above the ceiling of a basement recreation room and spread to upper floors by means of an open door from the basement and a three-story stairway.

Factors that contributed to the fatalities were;

  •     a delayed alarm caused by fire ignition in a concealed space,

  •     the lack of an early-warning fire detection system,

  •     lack of a second means of egress from upper floors,

  •     presence of louvers on guest rooms doors, and

  •     a basement door that was left open.   

July 26 2
For more information on this NFPA Fire Investigations.  To learn more about electrical fires NFPA Fire Analysis and Research statistical report on Electrical Fires.           

Hoarding Fire Engineering Magazine
Photo courtesy of Fire Engineering Magazine

by NFPA's Lisa Braxton

The latest issue of Fire Engineering Magazine features an article about the dangers of hoarder fires. Writer Ryan Pennington points out that an often overlooked danger to firefighters is tackling the overhaul phase. After a fire has been knocked down, he says, research shows that many firefighters overexert themselves and are unaware of the dangers. Sifting through pounds of collected material can lead to respiratory problems, broken limbs, pulled backs, and even death. Hoarding InfoHe says that the overhaul phase can become more manageable with increased on-the-scene staffing, heavy machinery, and shorter work phases.

NFPA has a free guide about hoarding and issues for the fire service to be aware of. The document covers what members of the fire service can do when they become aware of a hoarding situation, how to talk to someone about hoarding, and some of the risks hoarding poses to the fire service.

More information on the topic is available on the Hoarding and Fire Safety page on the NFPA website.

Lightweight constructionFire sprinkler requirements for new homes in Crest Hill (IL) have been repealed by the community’s city council.

According to a report on MySuburbanLife.com, fire officials say the lack of a fire sprinkler system decreases the safety of future homes. Lockport Township Fire Chief Dave Skoryi said that city council's decision was unwise, and that the sprinkler systems are necessary for today’s homes.

Tom Lia from the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board said the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) and home builder groups presented the city with misinformation about the impact of fire sprinkler units in homes.

In the report, an official from IAR is quoted as saying that the cost of a fire suppression system is "a conservative $10,000 for a 3,000-square-foot building".

However, according to a recent national survey that looked at 51 homes in 17 communities, the average cost to install a sprinkler system is $1.35 per sprinklered square foot. That would put the price for a 3,000-square-foot home at $4,050.

Mr. Lia also stated that new lightweight construction and open construction designs are making homes susceptible to more dangerous conditions compared to older, lumber-based construction. Learn more about the dangers of lightweight construction under fire conditions.

Wyoming Fire Sprinkler CoalitionSeventeen minutes.

That's the amount of time it took for a recent fire, initiated by a malfunctioning dishwasher, to turn a Wyoming home from livable to uninhabitable. Firefighters from the Casper Fire Department, acting as tour guides, ushered interested parties through the building; children gasped upon viewing the destruction, while the firemen probed the parties about their knowledge of escape planning and smoke alarms.

The open house was also an opportunity to educate the public on how home fire sprinklers, had these devices been installed, could have led to a different outcome. Find out more by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Safety SourceThe July issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find; 

  • Fire Prevention Week theme announced
  • Free FPW printable for kids
  • NFPA and local fire departments team up with Domino's Pizza 
  • 10-minute mini-lesson on carbon monoxide 
  • Carbon monoxide tip sheet updated. New Spanish CO tip sheet

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be the first to get the latest information on happenings in the public education division, activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, Sparky the Fire Dog® and more.

Jim Pauley - July Insider - Membership facebook
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. Recently, the July episode aired, featuring new NFPA President, Jim Pauley, and NFPA's Ryan Depew with the public fire protection division. 

As incoming President, Jim Pauley provided his first NFPA Insider segment on his thoughts about NFPA and his upcoming tenure. Being involved with NFPA for years through technical committees and fourteen years on the Standards Council, including six as Chair, he had a good understanding of NFPA before taking over. He credits Jim Shannon for creating a culture where advocacy - advocating on behalf of people and saving lives - is a priority, and thinks that he has left the organization in a better place than when he started. Moving forward, Jim plans to continue along the path that NFPA is currently heading in and knows that one of the biggest challenges ahead is the protection of our intellectual property. 

Also featured in the episode, was NFPA's Ryan Depew. One of Ryan's documents, NFPA 1670 - Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents, now includes a chapter on animal technical rescue. The chapter was added after Dr. John Haven, a director of the University of Florida's College of Vet Medicine, attended a techncial committee meeting to inform the group about the potential hazards to rescuers and some of the best ways to approach animal rescue. Before this chapter was included, local fire departments would get rescue calls and would do the best they could, but there was never much training. Federal agencies and funding were also never available for this cause until Hurricane Katrina proved the need - leading to the PETS Act in 2006. 

Members, watch the full INSIDER episode to hear more about Jim Pauley's plans for his Presidency at NFPA as well as more detail on the new animal technical rescue standard. Dr. John Haven and NFPA 1670 are also the focus of a feature in the latest NFPA Journal - be sure to give it a read! 

Not a member? Learn more about the many benefits and join today!

NFPA 13While it seems obvious that a gymnasium might need a different type of sprinkler design than a theater, it is nevertheless critical that designers to do their homework when determining the proper occupancy classification for a building, writes Matt Klaus, principal fire protection engineer at NFPA, in his “In Compliance” column in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.

Chapter 5 of NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, includes detailed descriptions of the various occupancy classifications. To help designers determine the correct classification, there is also a list of examples in the annex for each of the hazard classifications.

It is important to use both resources, Klaus writes.

“Unfortunately, many people have taken these lists as the sole source of information on assigning occupancy classification and fail to read the descriptions,” he writes. “While the lists in the annex may be appropriate for many cases, they do not always capture the features and fuel loads that may ultimately dictate the appropriate classification.” 

 

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Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today

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

  • Updated information about the FAC Learning Network and its pilot community project
  • Tips on how to keep your campfire from becoming a wildfire
  • A story that highlights the “bright spots” of fire safety even in the middle of a tough wildfire season
  • A link to our national wildfire activity map

… 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.

NEC Challenge
At NFPA, we’ve always been excited to see the experts in the field who know their stuff when it comes to the code. That’s why, in 2013, we hit the road to trade shows across the country to let electrical professionals show off their National Electrical Code expertise with the NEC Challenge.

Now, we are bringing the NEC Challenge to you. The NEC Challenge online game allows electrical professionals everywhere to test their code knowledge. So brush up on those NEC Handbooks, ladies and gentleman, and see if you can rise to the NEC Challenge earning a spot on the leaderboard!

You could even win one of our weekly or monthly prizes, or have a chance to become our champion and bring home the $5,000 grand prize. 

Beschloss on stage

For a limited time, NFPA members have exclusive access to a video featuring author and historian Michael Beschloss, keynote speaker at NFPA's Conference & Expo in Las Vegas last month. During his presentation, Mr. Beschloss encouraged attendees to learn from the past as he presented anecdotes of U.S. presidents skilled in leadership. 

Following his presentation, Mr. Beschloss met with meeting attendees in the Expo Hall and signed copies of his latest book, Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989.

Beschloss book signing 4

Beschloss book signing 2

 

In three separate home fires, smoke alarms previously installed by local fire departments made a life-saving difference:


 

Yesterday, in Manchester, UK, the Whitefield Fire Station attended two fire incidents within hours of one another.


The first fire was caused by a bathroom fan, which the family was alerted to by working smoke alarms. “It was an alarm that had been fitted by the fire service that alerted the family,” said Crew Manager Dan Brown.


Hours later, the same crew attended another incident, where a neighbor heard smoke alarms sounding from a ground floor flat. When crews arrived, they found a man fast asleep in his bed while a pan of food was burning downstairs. “It was fortunate that we had fitted the alarm about 10 months ago because it alerted the neighbor to the problem,” said Brown.


 

Meanwhile, smoke alarms installed as part of a local fire department program in West Iredell, NC, last fall were credited with saving the lives of five people on Sunday. In fact, two of the firefighters who installed the alarms were among those responding to the fire.


Everyone in the home was sleeping at the time of the incident, but having smoke alarms outside the sleeping areas provided early warning that allowed the family to escape without harm.


“This is definitely a documented save,” said Iredell County Fire Marshal Garland Cloer.


!http://a7.typepad.com/6a01a73dad0bd2970d01a511e79967970c-320wi|src=http://a7.typepad.com/6a01a73dad0bd2970d01a511e79967970c-320wi|alt=53cc2454bd8f0_preview-300|title=53cc2454bd8f0_preview-300|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a01a73dad0bd2970d01a511e79967970c img-responsive!

This smoke alarm, which was installed last fall as part of the West Iredell Fire Department’s installation program, awoke five people to fire, enabling them to escape safely.


BF814B33A2BE408389B5EBEF7E4A1F93.ashxEvery morning, Sanne Esque, a pilot for the Florida Forest Service, flies her single-engine Cessna 182 over south-central Florida looking for wildfires. From her plane, she can see where a fire is going and help an incident commander identify the resources that will be needed and the areas that are at risk.

Her vantage point allows her to see a fire from beginning to end, says Lucien Deaton, manager of the Firewise Communities and Fire Adapted Communities Programs in NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division. It also gives her an appreciation of all the ground work that goes into fighting a wildland fire—a perspective appreciated by too few residents, who are primarily concerned with an immediate fire service response when fire threatens their property.

For more on the wildland fire issue, read Lucien’s column “Up in the Air” in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.

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Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today. 

Sprinkler Saves Tree
The NFPA report, "U.S. Experience With Fire Sprinklers,” notes that these systems “operated in 91 percent of all reported structure fires large enough to activate sprinklers.” However, if a fire sprinkler controls or puts out a fire, it’s often a story that does not make headlines. The general public and municipal officials never really hear about successful fire sprinkler activations. Unfortunately, that means that when it is time to review code considerations that require fire sprinklers, many times the initiative fails because the public and local decision makers typically do not know the value or impact that fire sprinklers have in saving property, lives, sales tax revenues, and jobs.

Countering that potential situation, the Pleasantview, Illinois, Fire Protection District’s Chief John Buckley and Fire Marshal Joe Lyons, along with Cybor Fire Protection, keep an active record of successful activations using a “tree” (see the photo above) that displays every fire sprinkler save within the fire district.

Learn more by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Solar fire truck
We found this interesting article by Robert Avsec online today titled, "How to solar power an ambulance or fire truck," and wanted to share. He starts out by explaining that the electrical load on today's apparatus and ambulances has increased substantially over the years as departments have increased their scope of services. Added to that in an increased amount of time spent away from plug-in power. This is where he brings in solar panels that are apparatus-mounted. He calls out five benefits (beyond improving batter performance) for using solar panels:

  • Reduced operating hours on the vehicle motor.
  • Reduced maintenance costs (less frequent replacement of filters and lubricants).
  • Reduced fuel consumption.
  • Reduced diesel engine emissions.
  • Reduced energy use at the station as the apparatus can be outside during the daylight hours in lieu being plugged into a shoreline.

Check out the full article to learn about two cities with fire departments who have rolled out solar panels on their apparatus as well as some additional information on ambulance application. 

July 23

On July 23, 1971, in New Orleans, Louisiana, six people died when fire erupted in a twelfth-story room of the high-rise hotel building.  Five victims were trying to escape from the motor hotel by using an elevator from the fifteenth floor.  When the elevator reached the twelfth floor it stopped and the doors opened.  Five of the six passengers died from heat and smoke ion the twelfth-story corridor.  The sixth victim was a guard who also died in the twelfth-story corridor. July 23 2

 To read more about the Modern Motor Hotel Fire download this NFPA Fire Journal article For NFPA Fire Analysis and Research statistical report US Hotel and Motel Structure Fires.

9821975DC73B4A2EA255FC20D0FFBFB6.ashxIn 2013, 97 firefighters died while on duty in the United States, a sharp increase over recent years due primarily to the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona, which claimed the lives of 19 wildland firefighters, and the explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas that killed nine firefighters, an EMT, and five local residents. Of the 97 men and women who died last year, 56 succumbed while operating on the fire ground. According to the 2013 NFPA report on firefifighter fatalities, this is the highest number of fire ground deaths since 1999, aside from the deaths at the World Trade Center in 2001.

Overexertion, stress, and medical issues accounted for 32 deaths, the largest share of firefighter fatalities last year. The second leading cause of fatal injury was being caught or trapped by rapid fire progress, including flashover, and explosions. These events resulted in 30 deaths.The firefighters who died last year ranged in age from 19 to 76, with a median age of 40. However, a much higher number of younger firefighters died in 2013 than in other years, mostly as a result of the Yarnell Hill Fire, which killed 19 firefighters, 15 of whom were between the ages of 21 and 30.

For more information on the firefighter deaths of 2013, read "Firefighter Fatalities in the United States, 2013" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. You may also read the full report, as well as case studies of the fatalities, online. 

Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today.

The Second Draft Reports for NFPA documents in the Fall 2014 revision cycle are now available. Some of the proposed NFPA documents with Second Draft Reports are as follows:

  • NFPA 12, Standard on Carbon Dioxide Extinguishing Systems
  • NFPA 16, Standard for the Installation of Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray Systems
  • NFPA 33, Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials
  • NFPA 45, Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals 
  • NFPA 85, Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code
  • NFPA 600, Standard on Industrial Fire Brigades
  • NFPA 701, Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films
  • NFPA 850, Recommended Practice for Fire Protection for Electric Generating Plants and High Voltage Direct Current Converter Stations
  • NFPA 950, Standard for Data Development and Exchange for the Fire Service
  • NFPA 1003, Standard for Airport Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications
  • NFPA 1201, Standard for Providing Emergency Services to the Public
  • NFPA 1584, Standard on the Rehabilitation Process for Members During Emergency Operations and Training Exercises
  • NFPA 1620, Standard for Pre-Incident Planning
  • NFPA 1952, Standard on Surface Water Operations Protective Clothing and Equipment
  • NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems 

View the full list of NFPA documents in the Fall 2014 revision cycle.
The deadline to submit a notice of intent to make a motion on any of these documents is August 22, 2014.

972679
Shortly after the Columbian Exposition opened in Chicago in 1893, the acting chief of the World’s Fair Fire Department called the exposition’s Cold Storage Building “a miserable fire trap” that would “go up in smoke before long.”

He was right.

The “Looking Back” department in the July/August NFPA Journal explores the factors that caused the deadly fire that killed 14 men. Prioritizing aesthetics over safety as well as a poor choice in building materials played a role in the destruction, which was witnessed by about 50,000 fairgoers.

Eventually, 21 engine companies from the Chicago Fire Department extinguished the blaze before it could spread and cause further damage.

_____________________________________________________________

Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today.

The NFPA Standards Council will be meeting on August 11-14, 2014 at NFPA Headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts. At this meeting, some of the topics the Council will address include:

  • appeals on the issuance of NFPA 1, NFPA 54, and NFPA 101
  • issuance of the Annual 2014 documents with Certified Amending Motions
  • issuance of proposed TIAs on NFPA 1, NFPA 10, NFPA 37NFPA 45, NFPA 58, NFPA 70, NFPA 70E, NFPA 85, NFPA 99, NFPA 101, NFPA 102, NFPA 400, NFPA 402, NFPA 1192, NFPA 1952, NFPA 1963, NFPA 5000 
  • new projects/documents on selection, care, and maintenance of tactical operations video equipment; selection, care, and maintenance (SCAM) of wildland firefighting clothing and equipment; Community Risk Reduction (CRR) plan; professional practices for facility fire safety planning and fire safety directors.
  • consider requests from Committees to enter new documents NFPA 1616, Standard on Mass Evacuation and Sheltering Program, and NFPA 1072, Standard for Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Emergency Response Personnel Professional Qualifications, into revision cycles.
  • consider requests from Committees to change revision cycle schedules and committee scopes

Read the full Council agenda for further information.

The NFPA Standards Council is a 13-person committee appointed by the NFPA Board of Directors that oversees the Association's codes and standards development activities, administers the rules and regulations, and acts as an appeals body. The Council administers about 250 NFPA Technical Committees and their work on nearly 300 documents addressing topics of importance to the built environment.

Obesity is still a problem in the fire service.According to a recent study, at an even greater rate than the general public. This article highlights the problem and offers some suggestions to combat it.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/18/health/firefighter-obesity/index.html?c=us&page=3

B2EFB4D9C97249B387A22F48A118C58D.ashxLast August, a Texas man swimming a in Houston-area hotel pool noticed a child in distress in the deep end. He swam to the child and helped him safely out ot the water but could not get out of the pool on his own. When rescuers pulled him out, he went into cardiac arrest and died six days later, a victim of electrocution. The City of Houston and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation determined that shoddy electrical work performed by licensed electricians resulted in the pool being electrically unsafe.

That was not an isolated incident, says Jeff Sargent in his column “Pool Rules” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. However, it might have been prevented if the electricians had complied with the requirements of Article 680 in the National Electrical Code® (NEC®).

 For more information on the requirements for electrical installations in swimming pools, read Jeff’s column or consult the NEC itself.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today.

WA

Photo: Firefighters try to hold the flames on the front lines of the Carlton Complex Fire in Central Washington on July 20, 2014.(Photo: Alex Rozier, KING-TV, Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.)

by NFPA's LisaMarie Sinatra

According to Washington Governor Jay Inslee, about 50 fires are now burning across the state and residents continue to brace for the worst as firefighters battle the blazes that have been sparked by hot, dry weather, powerful winds and lightning. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources said over the weekend that firefighters from New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming have made their way to Washington to help fight the fires.

The Carlton Complex Fire, which began as four small fires and now has merged into one, was ignited by lightning, and has burned more than 238,000 acres across the central portion of the state. Fire crews, according to news reports, have been able to hold the fire back, and with cooler temperatures and lighter winds forecast for the next few days, many are hopeful they can make more progress in containing the flames. At the same time, Sheriff Frank Rogers said in a recent news report that the blaze is now moving away from populated areas and into timber.

The Chiwaukum Creek Fire, according to reports, has now burned more than 10,000 acres and thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries nor damage to structures. Residents in the area of Leavenworth, however, remain under an evacuation order.

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) reports that high winds caused the Watermelon Hill Fire, burning southwest of Spokane, to grow from 5,000 acres to 13,000 acres. The good news is, there have been no reports of damaged or destroyed homes there, and the fire has not moved towards populated areas. Few evacuation orders have been made, but residents in the area are all on alert.

NFPA recently distributed an advisory to a number of states experiencing increased wildfire activity, including Washington. The advisory lists a number of resources and information like what to do “before, during and after” a wildfire, the basics of defensible space, a Firewise homeowners checklist and safety tips sheet. All of these are available to help people learn what they can do to reduce their risk of injuries and prevent damage to their homes, property, businesses and more. Check out NFPA’s wildland fire web page for these and other resources to help keep you and your family safe this summer.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 1951, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Technical Rescue Incidents, and NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, are being published for public review and comment:

  • NFPA 1951, proposed TIA No. 1158, referencing 5.2.4(8) (New), 8.16.4.2, and A.8.16.4.2 (New) of the 2013 edition
  • NFPA 1971, proposed TIA No. 1159, referencing  5.4.4(8)(New), 8.27.4.2 and A.8.27.4.2(New) of the 2013 edition

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs 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.

FoundationThe July-August issue of Research Foundation News is available for your viewing.  Featured items include:

  • SupDet 2015 Call for Papers issued
  • Proceedings available for London symposium on high challenge warehouse storage protection
  • New reports issued:
    • Fire Hazards of Exterior Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components
    • Report of insurer’s forum on photovoltaic panel fire risk
    • Sprinkler Protection Criteria for Exposed Expanded Group A Plastics
    • Quantifying Heavy Snow Loads in NFPA 58
    • Aircraft Loading Walkways; Literature and Information Review
    • Development of a Permeation Test Method for Zippers and Other Closures
    • Literature Review on Hybrid Fire Suppression Systems

Thanks for having a look! This bi-monthly Research Foundation newsletter describes new projects, research planning developments, newly issued reports, upcoming symposia, and other activities of the Foundation.

Don't miss an issue! Sign up now.

ArizonaJim and Leslie McDonald were enjoying a recent Tuesday afternoon when Leslie suddenly heard a loud bang. "I thought Jim had just put something up against the wall," Leslie told the Prescott, Arizona, Fire and Medical Department.

In actuality, it was the couple's neighbor banging on their door, screaming that their house was on fire. Leslie ran outside (Jim had been in the backyard) and saw smoke and flames shooting from their garage, which housed an SUV, classic car, motorcycle, radio-controlled airplanes, and other items.

Read what happened next by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Outreach blog artAt last year’s NFPA Urban Fire Forum, fire department chiefs took turns recounting for the group how they had dealt with the pain and shock in the aftermath of one of their firefighters committing suicide. Sadly, it wasn’t an uncommon experience.

“It was stunning to hear how every current and retired chief had dealt with the issue of firefighter suicide,” writes Gregory Cade, NFPA’s division director of government affairs.

In his new “Outreach” column in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal, Cade looks into the issue of firefighter behavioral health and where opportunities exist in government to address the problem. For instance, legislative efforts are underway to provide worker’s compensation benefits to first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder. Cade is also currently speaking with members of Congress and staff members at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to explain the scope of the problem and brainstorm what can be done to help.

Cade’s column is in part a response to “Trouble in Mind,” a feature article published in the April/May edition of NFPA Journal about behavioral health in the fire service. Acknowledgement of the problem is long overdue, he says.

“We’ve seen the value of providing mental health support following large-scale incidents,” Cade says in the column. “We need to expand those efforts to responders who may suffer from the long-term effects of smaller, continuous impacts that can build quietly until they explode.”

-Jesse Roman

 


Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today.

ArizonaJim and Leslie McDonald were enjoying a recent Tuesday afternoon when Leslie suddenly heard a loud bang. "I thought Jim had just put something up against the wall," Leslie told the Prescott, Arizona, Fire and Medical Department.

In actuality, it was the couple's neighbor banging on their door, screaming that their house was on fire. Leslie ran outside (Jim had been in the backyard) and saw smoke and flames shooting from their garage, which housed an SUV, classic car, motorcycle, radio-controlled airplanes, and other items.

Read what happened next by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.


NFPA 1401
, Recommended Pratice for Fire Service Training Reports and Records, NFPA 1402, Guide to Building Fire Service Training Centers and NFPA 1403, Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions as ope for public input.  The public input closing date is January 5, 2015. Click on the link above, then click on  The next edition of this standard is now open for Public Input (formerly proposals). to submit your suggested changes.

Football
Paul Villotti a vice-president of FP&C Consultants, a fire protection engineering consulting firm, has been involved with hundreds of large assembly projects in his 28 years with the firm. One of them is the $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. The stadium is scheduled to open in August.

Planning a new stadium is a lot of work, as Villoti will tell you. “We looked at the design and did the basic building code review, and identified areas and design features that weren’t in compliance with the code, and began a series of meetings with the building’s architects and with officials from the City of Santa Clara to work through those things…It took about a year and a half to get to a position where everybody agreed that all of the outstanding items could be properly addressed.”

The hardest part of the planning, as far as compliance with the building code is concerned, was the design of the stadium’s tower, which had to be addressed as a high-rise building. “A lot of the suites and clubs and premium amenities are located in a high-rise structure that’s part of the stadium. From a life safety standpoint, there are 11,000 people sitting in a high-rise tower watching a game, and that really isn’t the same thing as what the building codes, or even NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, envisions as a ‘stadium.’…A lot of our work on Levi’s Stadium was spent addressing this hiccup in the code.”

For more on the process of designing and building Levi’s Stadium, read Scott Sutherland’s article “Thoroughly Modern” the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.

 


Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today.

NFPA and Domino’s Pizza are teaming up for the 7th year to deliver fire safety messages and pizza during FPW, October 5-11, 2014. To continue the campaign's success, we’re encouraging fire departments to join forces with their local Domino’s Pizza store and implement the program in their communities. Domino's logo

Here’s how it works: Over a one- to two-day period (it’s up to each team to decide) for an hour each day, anyone who orders a Domino’s pizza may be randomly selected to receive a surprise visit from Domino’s and the local fire department. Upon arrival, firefighters will do a smoke alarm check in the home. If the smoke alarms are working, the pizza is free. If not, firefighters will replace the batteries or install a fully functioning alarm.

Fire departments that sign up to participate in the Domino’s program this month will automatically be entered into Domino’s FPW sweepstakes. Five randomly selected winners will receive NFPA’s “FPW-in-a-Box 300”, which includes:

  • 1 FPW Banner
  • 75 FPW Posters
  • 300 Adult FPW Brochures
  • 300 Kids FPW Brochures
  • 300 FPW Stickers
  • 300 FPW Magnets
  • 300 Copies of FPW NEws
  • 300 FPW Bags

To enter the sweepstakes, complete the FPW/Domino's form and email it to jeannette.conklin@dominos.com between July 16 andJuly 31. The winners will be drawn and announced on August 8. Good luck!

!http://a2.typepad.com/6a01a73dad0bd2970d01a3fd33200a970b-320wi|src=http://a2.typepad.com/6a01a73dad0bd2970d01a3fd33200a970b-320wi|alt=Lightning fire|title=Lightning fire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a01a73dad0bd2970d01a3fd33200a970b img-responsive!

A lighting strike ignited the home's attic, sending it up in flames.



 

On Monday morning, a home in Winfield, WV, was struck by lighting and burned to the ground. According to local reports, the homeowner, Mr. Mihai Istrate, awoke to a loud boom of thunder, followed by smoke alarms sounding. He, his wife and seven-year-old son, along with their three dogs, made it out safely.


“I’m definitely thankful to have the alarm system,” said Istrate. “They save lives. Maybe they saved our lives, too.”


 

That evening, a Missouri resident awoke to the smell of smoke and sounding alarms, and promptly got his wife and seven-year-old out of the house. “Thank god for smoke detectors,” he said.


 

Once again, these real-life stories show that smoke alarms can and do make a life-saving difference.Visit NFPA’s Smoke Alarms Central page for a wealth of information on proper smoke alarm installation, maintenance and testing.</p>

 

The Massachusets State Fire Marshal&#39;s office has concluded that the fire that killed seven people, including three young children, was caused by an electrical problem. According to the Lowell Sun, that fire on July 10 caused the largest number of fatalities from a single fire that the state has seen in two decades.


 

Appearing on FOX25 in Boston, Ruth Balser, State Representative for the 12th Middlesex District in Massachusetts, spoke about the tragedy and her efforts to advocate for the expansion of fire sprinkler requirements for all new homes in the state.



[Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston | http://www.myfoxboston.com]


 

Speaking at NFPA&#39;s Fire Sprinkler Initiative summit in Chicago last year, Representative Balser talked about the biggest challenge to home fire sprinkler requirements.


 


 

Visit NFPA&#39;s Fire Sprinkler Initiative web site for more information about home fire sprinklers.


!http://i.zemanta.com/162559864_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/162559864_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Rep. Ruth Balser: Advocating for fire sprinklers in Massachusetts

!http://i.zemanta.com/171513176_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/171513176_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!MA state representative: how I got involved in the fight for home fire sprinklers

!http://i.zemanta.com/220141962_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/220141962_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Live burn in Massachusetts highlights importance of home fire sprinklers

Concert halls, sports stadiums, arenas and other buildings that host large events with big crowds rely on a bevy of both visible and behind-the-scenes measures to keep people safe.

One of the safety tools in NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, that spectators don’t see is the life safety evaluation (LSE), an assessment aimed at ensuring that the venue has adequate safety features for the events it is intended to host.

The 2015 edition of the Life Safety Code improves the effectiveness of the LSE in a couple ways, explains NFPA principal life safety engineer Ron Coté in his “In Compliance” column in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.

The changes are meant to harmonize, prior to construction, a venue’s physical design with how it will be managed. 

“The new LSE provisions will facilitate better communication among the designers and those who manage the facilities after construction,” Coté writes. “The goal is to provide managers with safety systems that are compatible with actual building use.”

Colorado Fire Sprinkler CoalitionFire is fire, whether you live in the U.S. or...Antarctica?

Some 200 Colorado residents currently live on the wintry continent, which can mask the reality that fire there is a real and dangerous threat. What better way to showcase the power of fire and automatic sprinklers to soon-to-be Antarcticans than with a live burn demonstration?

Members of the Colorado Fire Sprinkler Coalition were on hand to assist with such an event at Lockheed Martin's Centennial, Colorado, facility. Since Lockheed hires at least 1,000 people a year to work in Antarctica, the goal of the demonstration was to school employee's on fire's fierceness before they even set foot on the continent, according to a local news broadcast.

Learn more about this event by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

 

A family of five in Charlotte, NC, was able to escape their home this past Saturday when smoke alarms woke them up, giving them the time to get out safely. More than 20 firefighters were on scene to put out the fire; the home was considered a total loss. 

The same day, another Charlotte, NC, home fire occurred in the early hours of the morning. The fire department, which credited smoke alarms with alerting the occupants, pulled one family member through a second-story window. The other three were carried down the stairs. It took 26 firefighters to bring the fire under control.

Smoke alarms save lives: Test yours every month to make sure they're working!

mikehazell

Are you fit for duty?

Posted by mikehazell Employee Jul 15, 2014

1582Most fire departments throughout the Unites States require applicants to pass a physical exam prior to being hired for the position of firefighter.  However, in many instances fire departments do not continue to monitor the firefighter’s physical fitness on a yearly basis thereafter.  NFPA 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments, 2013 Edition, requires that all members receive an annual evaluation in Chapter 7 Occupational Medical Evaluation of Members. 

Chapter 7 Occupational Medical Evaluation of Members

7.1 General.

7.1.1 The fire department shall establish and maintain a confidential occupational medical evaluation program for members.

7.1.2 Occupational medical evaluations shall be conducted as a baseline for surveillance and annually thereafter.

7.1.3* An occupational medical evaluation shall be performed following a member’s occupational exposure, illness, injury, or protracted absence from the job.

One department, although not conducting medical evaluations in accordance with NFPA 1582 on an annual basis, has established a wellness/fitness policy that requires firefighter’s to engage in physical fitness for one hour on eight out of every ten shifts.  The policy has been met with resistance, and members could face disciplinary action for their lack of participation. Check out the full article on the Ohio firefighters here…  Are you and the members of your department fit for duty??? 

A call for papers has been issued for the 19th annual Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium (SupDet 2015) which will be held March 3-6 at the Wyndham Orlando Resort. Abstracts are due September 15.

Also, presentations from SupDet 2014 are available for download, including the Carey and Mengel Award-winning papers. 

[Fire Technology | http://www.springer.com/engineering/journal/10694] brings the latest fire research to practical fire protection problems.  Recent editions have covered such topics as an international comparison of firefighter injury, an assessment of aspects of the residential fire problem, wildland fire spread, and many other topics of interest to the NFPA community. Online access to Fire Technology is a benefit of NFPA membership.



 

 

NFPA members: to read the online version of Fire Technology, [log into your profile page on NFPA's web site | http://www.nfpa.org] and select "Access Fire Technology" from the "My Membership Tab”. 


 

All readers: Sign-up to receive the Fire Technology table of contents for every new issue.</p>

</div>


First Responder column artNo, there’s no name change in NFPA’s future—the organization has and always will be associated with preventing fire. However, many of the codes that NFPA develops stretch well beyond the fabled “F” word, and there’s good reason for NFPA to broaden its scope even more, argues Ken Willette, a division manager for Public Fire Protection at NFPA.

In “Getting Past the ‘F’ Word,” his “First Responder” column in the July/August NFPA Journal, Willette writes that NFPA’s time-tested process for developing codes and standards allows it to extend its reach across a range of industries and fire and life safety issues—in fact, it already has. NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, are good examples.

Despite this track record, some Emergency Medical Services (EMS) officials demurred when, several years ago, NFPA’s Standards Council established a Technical Committee on Ambulances, Willette writes. The creation of NFPA 1917, Automotive Ambulances, caused a stir among some EMS directors who had concerns with the document. However, through engagement, inclusion, and education about NFPA and its processes, all of the important stakeholders in the industry were able to provide input for the first draft of the 2015 edition of NFPA 1917.

Collaborations like that on NFPA 1917 need to continue as NFPA expands its code development further in recognition of the changing needs of America’s responders.

“That participation will certainly be a measure of our success,” Willette writes.

E3E562A7CFA04D81B8C4B1EEAFAC4A11.ashxOnce upon a time, rescuing an animal from a desperate situation was a matter of judgment and luck. But that’s all changing, says Ryan McGinnis in his article “Rescue Me” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.

As of 2014, NFPA 1670, Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents, includes a new chapter detailing animal technical rescue designed to give first responders a better understanding of how to handle the risks posed by rescuing an animal in danger. Chapter 17 and Annex K of the 2014 edition of NFPA 1670 covers a wide range of material, from animal behavior cues, such as a dog’s tail position or an animal’s posture, to commonly used equipment, such as makeshift muzzles and harnesses, for animals large and small.

For the hows and whys of this new chapter, read Ryan’s article on line or turn to page 46 in your new copy of the July/August issue of Journal.

Are you an NFPA member? Receive the print edition and browse member-only archives by becoming one. Learn more about the many benefits and join today!

SprinklerHands-free doorknobs that open doors. Electrical outlets that pop out of walls with a light touch. Home fire sprinklers that are barely noticeable to the naked eye.

Innovation was on display for the thousands of developers, architects, contractors, and manufacturers attending the recent Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in San Francisco. Covering the event was the San Jose Mercury News, which called residential sprinklers "another big trend coming down the pike."

For more information on this event, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

A fire sparks backstage at a big Broadway production just before show time. Smoke slowly begins to seep from under the curtain, the fire alarm sounds, and the audience begins to move toward the exits. The smoke thickens, and patrons begin to panic.

In this scenario, and particularly in any emergency involving large assembly venues, quickly getting information and instructions to people is critical for saving lives.

In his NFPA 72 “In Compliance” column in the latest NFPA Journal, Wayne Moore, vice president at Hughes Associates, looks at how NFPA codes address emergency messaging in large assembly buildings.

NFPA 101â, Life Safety Codeâ, and NFPA 72â, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, work in tandem to address this topic. Among other things, NFPA 101 ensures that emergency voice/alarm communications systems meet minimum requirements, such as making sure messages can be heard over surrounding ambient noise. NFPA 72 provides a number of related guidelines, including making sure the communications system is protected against tampering, and requiring a professional inspection of the system to ensure that it meets performance requirements. 

Fire Marshal Tonya HooverCalifornia Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover, who also serves as a member of the NFPA Board of Directors, is being honored with the 2014 Excellence in Fire and Life Safety Award from the International Code Council (ICC) and the Fire & Life Safety Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).

“Tonya Hoover’s work in fire safety and prevention undoubtedly has saved countless lives,” said ICC Board President Stephen Jones. "Her dedication has been inspirational to many. Tonya is a hero in every sense of the word.”

Fire Marshal Hoover has been actively involved in fire prevention, public education and risk mitigation for more than 20 years. She has been a strong advocate for home fire sprinklers. In 2011, California became one of two states (joining Maryland) that requires fire sprinkler systems be installed in new one- and two- family homes.

Congratulations to Fire Marshal Hoover on this ICC/IAFC award.

Warehouse
Exposed expanded Group A plastics rack storage represents a growing challenge for sprinkler protection in warehouses. A new research report has been published that looks into this issue, titled "Protection of Expanded Group A Plastics," authored by UL LLC.

This report presents the results of eight full scale fire tests that explore the effectiveness of the combination of an innovative vertical barrier protection feature with ceiling only sprinkler protection. The project objective was to develop cost effective sprinkler protection criteria for rack storage of exposed expanded Group A plastic commodity with a particular focus on ceiling only protection. 

Take a look at the results from all eight tests as well as their findings by downloading the report from the Fire Protection Research Foundation site. 

 
Mike croppedAt the end of July, NFPA’s Senior Statistician Mike Karter will be retiring from NFPA and heading up to Maine after four decades with NFPA.  Mike created, oversaw and analyzed results from NFPA’s fire department experience survey to provide estimates of number of fires and other incidents handles by local fire departments, as well as civilian fire deaths and injuries, and firefighter injuries from all types of incidents.  Every year, the results are published in Fire Loss in the United StatesHis first survey was for calendar year 1977.  The trend tables based on these annual reports have helped us measure the progress we are making.   These results are also used with the USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to provide national estimates of specific fire problems.

Mike’s reports on firefighter injuries and fire department profiles for the US and Canada and his report on US Fires by Region have helped local fire departments compare themselves with other departments and to identify what types of injuries were most common.  In collaboration with John Hall, the recently retired Director of NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division, Mike crunched the numbers for the national and state reports of the three Needs Assessments of the US fire service.  These assessments, published in 2004, 2007 and 2011, provided details on resource and training needs. 

Mike demonstrated a clear commitment to best statistical practices while making necessary adjustments to a world with declining survey response rates.  He provided advice on statistical methodology to others in the division.  In anticipation of his departure, he’s left lots of detailed notes.  Over the years, we've also enjoyed many conversations about sports, politics and movies. 

His contributions will last even longer than his tenure.  We want to say “Thank you” for all his accomplishments and his dedication and wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.  

The test drive -- a great tradition usually associated with an automobile purchase would not be complete without a smiling salesperson, the waft of a new car smell, and a nervous ride around the streets near the dealership. Why do we take that test drive? It's one of the most important decisions you'll make in a 3 year span.  NEC Online Demo Screen Shot

We've taken the concept of a test drive and applied it to one of our most popular self-guided online course series topics - the 2014 edition of the National Electrical Code. While this test drive of NFPA's new self-guided online course series might not come with the new car smell or the smiling salesperson, it will tie in with an important decision you must make every 3 years - the decision to stay up to code on the latest version of the NEC.

The demo is 30 minutes long and is free to everyone so forward the link on to your co-workers, friends and family. Click on the link below to access the demo.

2014 NEC Demo - General Installation Requirements 

Good luck and happy driving.

Buy the 2014 NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code® (NEC®) Self-Guided Online Course Series

!http://a5.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01a73de97425970d-450wi|src=http://a5.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01a73de97425970d-450wi|alt=Bringing Safety Home Award|style=width: 450px;|title=Bringing Safety Home Award|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01a73de97425970d img-responsive!

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.




Do you know a stellar fire chief that has advocated for home fire sprinkler installation? Here's your chance to honor him or her via a special recognition. 


 

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition have teamed up with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) for the Bringing Safety Home Award, which recognizes fire chiefs who have worked to increase the installation of home fire sprinklers in their area. *Nominations must be submitted by July 11. *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 on the importance of home fire sprinkler system installations. 


 

Check out the full details, and submit your nominations by July 11.</p>

Responder JulyThis month's First Responder column in NFPA Journal is titled, "Getting Past the 'F' Word." Author Ken Willette discusses how the word fire may be prominent in the organization's name, but that it doesn't mean we have to only develop codes and standards that are directly fire related.

He points out that one of our original standards, dating back to the late 1800s, addressed the threads on hose couplings used to supply water to sprinkler systems. Since then, we've developed hundreds of standards that make recommendations for safe practices in industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential settings. Widely used documents such as NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler SystemsNFPA 70, National Electrical Code, and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code are all NFPA supported codes, but there isn’t an “F” word in any of their titles.

Despite NFPA's history, practices, and diverse membership on technical committees, some still question the ability to develop codes/standards that aren't related to fire. Willette details a recent situation regarding the development of a new standard, NFPA 1917 on Automotive Ambulances focused on EMS. NFPA worked very hard to reach out the EMS community and involve them during the code process. The experience taught us to continue to develop relationships with those regulators, users, enforcers, and researchers engaged with EMS issues, to get their guidance and invite them to participate in the code process moving forward. 

Willette also notes that 'we're proud to be the National Fire Protection Association and to accommodate the changing needs of America’s responders.'

Read the full article from the current issue of NFPA Journal

3C53E9E722C44883AAA0F0151182200F.ashxEveryone in the fire protection community knows that interior finishes can present serious fire safety issues, having contributed in the past to significant loss of life in a number of assembly occupancy fires, from the 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire to last year’s Boate Kiss nightclub fire in Brazil. And some of today’s newer interior finishes, such as polypropylene and high-density polyethylene, present even more serious fire challenges if untreated.

NFPA 101
, Life Safety Code®, has regulated interior finishes since the 1920s, when it was known as the Building Exits Code. According to NFPA 101, large-scale tests must be used to measure the combustibility and smoke release characteristics of these new materials for the use intended under actual fire conditions. One means of evaluation is described in NFPA 286, Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Evaluating Contribution of Wall and Ceiling Interior Finish to Room Fire Growth. If a test does not evaluate smoke release, the material should also be tested per NFPA 286 to obtain smoke release data.

 For more on this subject, read James Lathrop’s article “Inside Threat” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.

If you are a member, and are interested in hearing James speak in more detail about his article, watch the full episode of the latest NFPA Insider presentation

Fatal_Rowhouse_Fire_Karr_t618

Fire officials have not yet identified the cause of a deadly fire in Southwest Philadelphia that killed four young children early Saturday morning, but they have said that the fire is believed to have started in a couch located on the front porch of one of the homes involved. Eight row-style homes were destroyed in the fast-moving fire, and 42 people were reportedly displaced by the blaze.

The fire offers another example of the role of furniture flammability in home fire losses, a topic covered in the September/October 2013 issue of NFPA Journal. In its cover story, “Hot Seat,” Journal looked at new aspects of the furniture flammability discussion, including the development of new testing methods to determine the flammability of upholstered furniture.

According to an NFPA analysis, in recent years fires involving upholstered furniture have annually accounted for the largest share—nearly 20 percent—of all home fire deaths in the U.S., as well as $442 million in direct property damage, when upholstered furniture was the first item ignited.

Research screenshot


Like everyone else in this information age, fire officials and researchers are awash with data and wondering how best use it all. For instance, there is a lot of information out there about fire loss, but how does a fire department go about gathering and analyzing it—and what’s the best way to use it?

Attendees pondered those questions and more at a recent NFPA-sponsored workshop attended by Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Almand reports back from the workshop in her new “Research” column in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.  

“We heard from federal, state, and local fire agencies about how they use [fire loss] data to make decisions about resource allocation, program priorities, and more. We also heard from insurers and public health researchers about other data sets they might use to inform the problem,” Almand writes. “Then we rolled up our sleeves to address some important questions”

The fire data experts discussed a wide range of ideas, including how they could work together to make data collection and analysis more effective; the role of technology; and how to improve data quality through better systems and training. 

Research screenshot


Like everyone else in this information age, fire officials and researchers are awash with data and wondering how best use it all. For instance, there is a lot of information out there about fire loss, but how does a fire department go about gathering and analyzing it—and what’s the best way to use it?

Attendees pondered those questions and more at a recent NFPA-sponsored workshop attended by Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Almand reports back from the workshop in her new “Research” column in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.  

“We heard from federal, state, and local fire agencies about how they use [fire loss] data to make decisions about resource allocation, program priorities, and more. We also heard from insurers and public health researchers about other data sets they might use to inform the problem,” Almand writes. “Then we rolled up our sleeves to address some important questions”

The fire data experts discussed a wide range of ideas, including how they could work together to make data collection and analysis more effective; the role of technology; and how to improve data quality through better systems and training. 

Jim screen shot for blog

Jim Shannon arrived at NFPA as vice president and general counsel in 1991, the same year the World Wide Web went public. He became president of NFPA in 2002, and when he retired from the post, in June, he had presided over what was arguably the most dynamic period in NFPA’s history, one driven by a technological revolution made possible by the Internet.

Shannon’s story, including his willingness to embrace the web and leverage it across a variety of NFPA initiatives over the past 12 years, is told in “The Good Steward,” the cover story of the July/August NFPA Journal.

The package also includes a video conversation with Shannon on some of the key moments of his presidency, as well as an introduction to NFPA’s new president, Jim Pauley.

Shannon’s digital legacy includes Internet-based advocacy initiatives, such as NFPA’s efforts aimed at fire-safe cigarettes and home fire sprinklers, as well as free access to all NFPA standards and a new, streamlined, web-based process for standards development.

Home improvement expert Ron Hazelton talks about why fires in newer homes can be more dangerous than fires in older homes. Ron also speaks about how fire sprinklers can prevent flashover and deadly smoke from spreading.

 

Ron is a spokesperson for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, a free online resource for information and materials about home fire sprinklers for consumers and professionals.

You can also learn more about NFPA's efforts to promote sprinkler requirements in all new one-and two-family homes on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative website.

 

 A small aircraft with engine trouble deployed an emergency parachute which saved the lives of the pilot and passenger. The incident occurred in the early afternoon of June 11 in Burlington, Massachusetts. The National Fire Protection Association’s Guide for Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Operations, NFPA 402 2013 edition, chapter 7, has a section on these ballistic parachutes. Incidentally, there is currently a Tentative Interim Amendment, #1154, on the ballistic parachute that is open for public comment with a closing date of July 18, 2014. To comment, please go to www.nfpa.org/402 and click on the Current & Prior Editions tab.   

Jim PauleyAs I penned my first “First Word” column for NFPA Journal®, I thought about how excited I am to have made the journey to NFPA as the association’s new president. After almost 30 years in the electrical industry, some of you may be asking why I chose to make this career change. The answer is simple: the mission and the people at NFPA are second to none.
 
Throughout my career I have been involved in many organizations and societies, served on many different boards, and worked with a wide variety of people. I can say without a doubt that what NFPA does to tackle the burden of fire on people and property is head and shoulders above all others. I came here because the mission results in saving lives. I came here because the employees at NFPA are dedicated to that mission, and I came here because the volunteers are passionate about tackling tough issues and creating better codes, standards, programs, and initiatives.

Read Jim's column in the new issue of NFPA Journal.

July 4 boarding house
At approximately 4:00 a.m., on July 4, 1984, a fire in a three story, unsprinklered, wood-frame

structure in downtown Beverly, Massachusetts, used as a boarding house on its two upper floors, resulted in the death of 15 residents and injury to 9 others.

A total of 36 residents, including seven former mental patients, occupied the 17 second-floor and 18 third-floor guest rooms that opened onto two centrally located exit access corridors, one on each floor.  There was a single open stairway serving one end of the corridors and an exterior fire escape serving the other end.  The ground floor of the 48 foot by 97 foot building was occupied by several commercial establishments.

The residential portion of the building was equipped with a combination corridor smoke detection and guest room heat detection system.  Activation of a detector would sound an alarm horn on each level of the building.  The system was not designed to notify the fire department automatically.

Investigators from the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal's Office determined that the fire was incendiary in nature.  Once ignited, the fire spread quickly, involving the 3/16-inch wood paneling interior finish in the stairway and the exit access corridor.  Heat and smoke easily penetrated the upper levels of the building through the open stairway.  The fire spread rapidly throughout the remainder of the residential floors of the building.  Fire fighters, assisted by the police, rescued approximately nine guests over ground ladders from the building.

The significant factors contributing to the loss of life in this incident are considered to be:

  •     the nature of the ignition scenario,

  •     the open stairway,   

  •     the combustibility of the interior finish,

  •     a delay in notifying the fire department.     

To see the Full NFPA Fire Investigation report.

For statistical information NFPA's Structure Fires in Residential Board and Care Facilities

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a511d8d340970c-500wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a511d8d340970c-500wi|alt=Marmoz Fire|style=width: 500px;|title=Marmoz Fire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a511d8d340970c img-responsive!

Mermoz Tower, France during and after façade fire in 2012



In the commercial building industry, many combustible materials are used in exterior wall construction to improve energy performance, reduce water and air filtration and allow for aesthetic design flexibility. These exterior wall assemblies include Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS), metal composite claddings, high-pressure laminates, and weather-resistive barriers (WRB). Given a number of documented fire incidents involving combustible exterior walls, a better understanding of these incidents was needed to inform current material test methods and potential fire mitigation strategies.


 

The Fire Protection Research Foundation initiated a research project to develop the technical basis for fire mitigation strategies for fires involving exterior wall assemblies. The goal of this first phase project is to compile information on typical fire scenarios, relevant test methods and listing criteria, and approval/regulatory requirements for these systems. In addition, phase I worked to identify the knowledge gaps and the recommended fire scenarios and testing approach for potential future study.


 

The full report &quot;Fire Hazards of Exterior Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components&quot; is available as well as an executive summary.&#0160;</p>

insider.jpgNFPA 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. Yesterday, the June episode aired, and featured NFPA President Jim Shannon, Koffel Associates Vice President Jim Lathrop and NFPA's Division Manager of Codes & Standards, Dawn Bellis.

 

Jim Shannon gave his last 'First Word' and reviewed some important milestones of his tenure as President. He left members with this advice; get involved with the code making process, because the more people that do from a variety of backgrounds and industries, the better the codes are. Additionally, it is important to tell others about the value of our code making process as the copyright lawsuits that we face will most likely play out through public debate.

 

Jim Lathrop was this month's Journal Live segment guest, speaking about his upcoming article in the new issue of NFPA Journal regarding emerging issues of interior finishes. Historically, interior finishes have contributed to some large fires, including the Station and KISS nightclub fires. Combined with modern products that can be an issue, NFPA 286 now requires full scale room corner tests to be carried out and passed before materials can be used. The risk with some of these materials, like polypropylene for example, is that they can become the equivalent of a flammable liquid when on fire if untreated and untested. Read more about the risks of interior finishes and the full scale testing being used on them in Jim's article.

 

Dawn Bellis finished up the INSIDER segment by giving an overview of the results of the Association Technical Meeting at Conference & Expo.

 

Members, watch the full INSIDER episode for more information. Not a member? Learn more about the many benefits and join today!

If you’ve been reading our blogs over the past couple of weeks, you already know NFPA takes a strong stand against consumer fireworks, as they’re simply too dangerous and unpredictable to be used safely. Ban on fireworks image

A brief story in this morning’s edition of Boston.com reinforced hat message, featuring an image that literally demonstrates the impact of consumer fireworks in the hands of amateurs. (Be forewarned, the image is graphic.)

Robert Scalese, staff writer for Boston.com, wrote, “The fireworks ban in Massachusetts is nothing new, and New Hampshire is still right there, so if you want to risk a fine and your hand, feel free to do so. But it’s not entirely unjustified to have the ban in place.”

Visit NFPA’s fireworks page for a wealth of information, tips and resources on fireworks safety.

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A plaque commemorates the 15 people who lost their lives from the Elliott Chambers Rooming House fire in 1984. (Photo: Elliott Chambers Memorial Foundation Facebook page)




Usually a time for celebrating, the July 4th holiday began with a tragedy 30 years ago. Around 4 a.m. that morning in 1984, a fire started at the Elliott Chambers Rooming House in Beverly, Mass., and spread up the stairway to living quarters on the second and third floor. Escape was nearly impossible as people were trapped in their rooms. (Back then, rooming houses were known as "death traps" due to the high number of fatalities at these settings.) The incident killed 15 people, including a person who leaped to their death, and injured nine others.


 

For additional information on this event and its impact on sprinkler mandates, read the post on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.</p>

On the afternoon of July 2, 1994, lightning struck Storm King Mountain near Glenwood Springs,
Colorado, igniting a fire that claimed the lives of 14 fire fighters and burned for 8 days.  Named the “South Canyon Fire,” this incident is the most deadly wildland fire in the United States since the 1953 Rattlesnake Fire on the Mendocino National Forest which claimed the lives of 15 fire fighters.

The fire burned for several days, and during that period, suppression resources were gradually committed to the fire.  On afternoon of July 6, there were 49 fire fighters on the mountain.  These fire fighters included hotshot*, smoke jumper and helitack** crews.  Late that afternoon, a passing weather front caused wind speeds to increase and cause high wind gusts.  Shortly after 4:00 p.m., the fire “blew out”.  Flame heights were over 100 feet, and the flame front was moving at more than ten feet per second (7+ mph). July 2

Nine of the smoke jumpers apparently deployed their fire shelters in a previously burned area and survived.  Nine hotshots and three smoke jumpers who were working the fireline attempted to reach their safe area when the blow out occurred.  The rapidly spreading fire quickly overran them, killing all twelve fire fighters.  Fire fighters who were on the ridge saw the fire spread across the mountain’s southwest face towards their position.  The rapidly spreading flame front was only seconds away from them when they retreated down the ravine on the east side of the ridge.  All of these fire fighters were able to escape to a highway below the mountain.  Two helitack fire fighters also saw the approaching flame front.  Rather than retreating down the ravine, these fire fighters ran the ridge in a northeasterly direction.  They were trapped in a small ravine where they died.

For more information on this report NFPA Fire Investigation. To learn more about firefighter fatalities in the U.S. NFPA Fire Analysis and Research. Visit the Firewise Communities for more infomation on wildfire preparedness.

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.

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a511d8d340970c-500wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a511d8d340970c-500wi|alt=Marmoz Fire|style=width: 500px;|title=Marmoz Fire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a511d8d340970c img-responsive!

Mermoz Tower, France during and after façade fire in 2012



In the commercial building industry, many combustible materials are used in exterior wall construction to improve energy performance, reduce water and air filtration and allow for aesthetic design flexibility. These exterior wall assemblies include Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS), metal composite claddings, high-pressure laminates, and weather-resistive barriers (WRB). Given a number of documented fire incidents involving combustible exterior walls, a better understanding of these incidents was needed to inform current material test methods and potential fire mitigation strategies.


 

The Fire Protection Research Foundation initiated a research project to develop the technical basis for fire mitigation strategies for fires involving exterior wall assemblies. The goal of this first phase project is to compile information on typical fire scenarios, relevant test methods and listing criteria, and approval/regulatory requirements for these systems. In addition, phase I worked to identify the knowledge gaps and the recommended fire scenarios and testing approach for potential future study.


 

The full report "Fire Hazards of Exterior Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components" is available as well as an executive summary. </p>

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