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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.

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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.


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.

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