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On August 30, 1989 at approximately 5:15 a.m., a fire occurred in a guest room at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.  The entire building is equipped with smoke detectors in corridors and guest rooms and with occupant evacuation alarms.  The hotel has two high-rise towers that contain guest rooms. One tower is fully sprinklered, and the other tower, where the fire occurred, was scheduled for the installation of sprinklers.

Boston fire investigators have determined that the fire was suspicious in nature, and the ignition likely involved a king-size bed.  After ignition, the smoke detector in the room activated, and guests in adjacent rooms notified the hotel operator.  The hotel operator immediately called the Boston Fire Department and initiated the hotel's fire emergency plan.

Several employees who were members of the hotel's incipient fire brigade responded to the floor of fire origin, found smoke coming from the guest room, and called the operator to confirm the fire.  Shortly after the fire brigade reached the room, Boston fire fighters also arrived and began their fire attack with their hose which was connected to a standpipe.  The fire was extinguished while it still involved the king-size bed.  Though the room of fire origin was heavily damaged by flames, heat, and smoke, very little damage occurred outside this room.  

To Learn more about this fire NFPA Fire Investigations. For more information on NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research Hotel and Motel Structure Fires

The NFPA Standards Council acted on the issuance of documents in the Annual 2014 revision cycle and considered several appeals at its August 11-14, 2014 meeting.

The NFPA Standards Council decisions have been issued and include the following:

Final Decisions

  • NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code
    Decision on Standards Council Agenda Item 14-8-2-a-1
  • NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®
    Decisions on Standards Council Agenda Items 14-8-4-d and f
  • NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment
    Decision on Standards Council Agenda Item 14-8-57-a
  • TIA No. 1133 on NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®
    Decision on Standards Council Agenda Item 14-8-15-d
  • TIAs on NFPA 1, NFPA 10, NFPA 101, NFPA 102, NFPA 400, and NFPA 5000
    Decision on Standards Council Agenda Items 14-8-9,10, 25, 26,27,29, 35, 36,37,38 and 39

Short Decisions

  • NFPA 101, Life Safety Code
    Short Decision on Standards Council Agenda Item 14-8-4-c

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.


Welcome to the second News Letter from Surrey Fire & Rescue Service. It has been especially busy over the last few weeks with Firewise meetings and presentations and other Wildfire related projects here in Surrey in the UK.

At the end of July, Area Commander Alan Clark and Watch Commander Dave Medley visited the Peak District In Derbyshire. Alan was a guest speaker at the MoorLIFE launch of their new project “Be Fire Aware” & Wildfire Awareness day, an exciting new prevention/ education initiative The visit was a great success with the chance to network with other Fire & Rescue Services and other agencies and to inform them of our work with regards producing a Fire Adapted Community here in the UK.

In the middle of August, a further meeting was held by Dave and Alan with the Thursley Parish Councillors who unanimously gave the go ahead for Thursley Village here in Surrey to become the first Firewise Community not only in Surrey but in the whole of the UK. Dave is now working closely with the councillors to identify the properties most at risk from wildfire in the village and surrounding areas. In October there will be an event in Thursley to promote the Firewise programme to the local residents and we are hoping to attract substantial media attention for the event. It goes without saying that it is the local communities ‘buy in’ that we need and – whilst early indications are good – we are taking nothing for granted!

Alan had a request from Cat Edgely, who is currently studying for a Masters at Durham University (focusing on identifying and communicating wildfire risk within Northumberland National Park), to be involved in the Firewise launch in Surrey / the UK. She attended the Thursley Firewise meeting and gathered a lot of information that she hopes will help her realise her dream to be offered a fully funded PhD at the University of Idaho in the States, looking at community resilience and wildfires. She is looking to compare and contrast the US and the UK's community approaches to Firewise and the lessons we can learn from its application in the UK. During her visit, Dave took her to the local fire stations to see the Wildfire appliances utilised at Wildfire incidents to help make her trip memorable.

Dave is also part of ongoing Wildfire Patrols here in Surrey where once a month he meets up with other agencies to carry out “High Viz” patrols in specific areas known for fire setting. These areas include Common Land, Forestry Commission and Crown Estates properties. These patrols are carried out jointly with the Heath land Conservation Society, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Crown Estates, Bracknell Forest Rangers and both Surrey and Thames Valley Police Forces. 4x4 vehicles are used during the patrols and engagement and educating the public about the threat of Wildfires plays a prominent role.


Lastly – and most importantly - we are looking forward to a Firewise workshop in September with Shawn Stokes, in London, and hoping to confirm shortly an October visit by Michelle Steinberg to Surrey. We will be looking to make full use of Michelle’s time and expertise to help us develop further the Firewise materials for the UK and hope that the trip will provide her with the opportunity to deliver a presentation to the wider CFOA Wildfire group.

Take a quick glimpse into the life of smokejumping...


Read more here….

Fire Sprinkler Initiative August 2014 newsletterHere's a success story out of Minnesota: come 2015, all new homes of a certain size must include sprinkler systems.

Learn how this requirement came to be by reading the August 2014 edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. The latest edition also includes information on:

  • the new "Advocacy Tools" section on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative website
  • a college thesis that shoots down arguments by residential sprinkler opponents
  • a compelling op-ed by a burn survivor, who questions the logic behind sprinkler pushbacks 

If you haven't done so already, sign up for the free, monthly newsletter today. You'll receive the latest sprinkler news from across North America directly in your inbox. 

NFPA has created a new cooking safety infographic for you to use on your website, in blogs and newsletters, and on your Facebook and Twitter platforms. The graphic speaks to an important message when it comes to cooking at home:  Install smoke alarms at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances. This includes built-in microwaves, stoves and ranges. 

CookingTake a look around your kitchen? Where does your smoke alarm reside? Use our handy infographic to help guide you!

Just download the graphic and place it wherever you want to use it. And don't forget to share it with your friends and family. More information about cooking safety can be found on NFPA's cooking safety web pages.

For additional resources and safety tips regarding smoke alarms, visit NFPA's Smoke Alarm Central web page where you'll find reports, videos, tip sheets and more.

It also just so happens that this year's Fire Prevention Week (FPW) theme is: Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month. Learn more about how smoke alarms can help keep you and your family safer from fire, including using this 10' rule when it comes to your appliances in the kitchen. Check out our FPW web page for great resources like videos, worksheets, and artwork to promote your safety campaign.

And don't forget to share your stories with us. We'd love to hear from you!

-LisaMarie Sinatra

NFPA 1The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations (BFPR) voted to adopt a national model fire code at a recent meeting. The new code adopts the NFPA Fire Code (NFPA 1, 2012 edition) with Massachusetts amendments. Massachusetts joins nearly 20 other states in the country that use this model code as the backbone of their fire code. The new Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code (527 CMR 1.00) will take effect on January 1, 2015.

The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations is a 16 member board responsible for promulgating a comprehensive fire safety code for the state. The board was created in the wake of the 1942 Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire in Boston that killed 492 people, to write the first statewide, uniform fire code. Since the 1940’s, this Governor-appointed board has written, revised and administered the state’s fire code.

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said, “The adoption of a model code sets the stage for a code that is adaptable to new technologies and emerging trends, while also being easily maintained going forward. It taps into the depth and expertise of the NFPA's voluntary code development process.” 

Marshfield Fire Chief Kevin Robinson, chairman of the BFPR, said, “This adoption reflects many years of work consisting of constituent input, community outreach and stakeholder collaboration. However, the hard work is about to begin as the fire service transitions to the new code and attends training to understand how to navigate and enforce it uniformly across the Commonwealth.”

The Department of Fire Services and NFPA are offering a number of two-day training opportunities this fall intended to prepare fire service personnel for the implementation and use of the revised code document.


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In 1999, Robert Gorvett, fire chief for the Village of Hoffman Estates in Illinois, proposed a residential fire sprinkler ordinance. Hoffman Estates was to be the largest municipality in Illinois at the time to require fire sprinklers in homes. It was no ordinary effort due to the village’s vast acreage for new subdivisions--a true Midwest “cornfield” community that would set a precedent for many of the 90-plus Illinois municipalities that now have residential fire sprinkler ordinances. 


Although Chief Gorvett had the backing of his fire marshal, Hank Clemmensen, there was much external opposition. Learn how he was able to get a sprinkler ordinance on the books by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Life safety pioneer paved the way for sprinkler requirements in Illinois

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Branching out: Bolster your fire safety education efforts by creating a "sprinkler saves" tree

Chemical Safety Board (CSB)
Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso wrote an opinion piece, which appeared in Saturday’s New York Times where he chronicled a number of horrific manufacturing accidents in recent years that had significant fatalities and worker injuries. All were attributed to combustible dust. The most recent example was an explosion in a metal products factory in China this month that claimed the lives of 75 people and injured 185. He voiced his frustration about a lack of action to prevent these tragedies.

I share his frustration for two reasons. First, while combustible dust is a normal by-product of the manufacturing process for a variety of items, if it is effectively managed it will reduce deaths and injuries should a fire or explosion occur. Second, NFPA codes and standards provide the means to manage combustible dust but are not being adopted and/or enforced to the extent they should be.

NFPA has published fire protection standards for various solids processing industries that generate combustible dusts, for over 70 years. The similar fundamental approach exists within our standards today to that first established in the 1920's - limit the generation and release of the combustible dust (fuel side of fire triangle), identify and control ignition sources, and if an explosion still occurs, limit its spread by construction, isolation, housekeeping and explosion prevention methods (like suppression).

Over the years investigations by CSB concluded that if existing NFPA standards had been followed incidents would have not occurred or certainly results mitigated. The issue was further highlighted in a CSB comprehensive dust study in 2006 showing the problem was more than an isolated series of events and continued to call on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop federal standards and initiate increased inspections.

OSHA did initiate the National Emphasis Program (NEP), which includes policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that create or handle combustible dusts. The NEP states that NFPA combustible dust standards should be consulted to obtain evidence of hazard recognition and feasible abatement methods.  Unfortunately, the movement to establish the mandatory regulation of combustible dust in all industries has stalled.

NFPA combustible dust standards are included in fire codes; so, in theory, our standards are referenced and adopted; but awareness within segments of the industry lags and overall enforcement is inconsistent.  OSHA should initiate the process to adopt NFPA standards as the national standards.

Standards developed through NFPA’s voluntary consensus process provide a practical, cost-effective solution for better fire, life and electric safety. There is a long history of government agencies and jurisdictions on all levels adopting privately developed standards.  These standards then must be enforced. It takes the complete package – develop, adopt, enforce - to better protect individuals and property from hazards, including fires and explosions from combustible dusts.

Texas Fire Sprinkler CoalitionHome fire tragedies in Texas have made some unfortunate headlines this month. First, there was a story of a houseful of young boys who frantically escaped a burning home. One of the boys, a nine year old from Fort Worth, died in the fire despite valiant efforts by local firefighters. One neighbor told the Star-Telegram that "it's one thing to watch a fire on television, but it's another to watch your neighbors trying to save kids in a fire. That's why I'm shaking so much."

More recently, a mother and her five children were all burned in their home following what fire officials believe to be the ignition of a natural gas leak. 

Learn how one Texas fire department is trying to eliminate home fire deaths by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Fire Chief Magazine started this Cold Water Challenge face-off a few weeks ago to determine which leaders in the fire service industry completed the challenge first. NFPA's Lorraine Carli made it through the first round after voters thought she had completed her video before Robert Avsec. Now, she is up again against Vickie Pritchett.

For those new to the game, the face-off challenge is simple: vote for who you think took the challenge first; and Fire Chief will reveal the true order after the bracket is complete.

Their mission is also simple: give firefighters a reason to have a bit of fun and keep the challenge alive — and the associated donations made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Cast your vote on their website for Lorraine by the end of the week. She has been the face and voice of the National Fire Protection Association since 2006 as its vice president of communications; she now serves as its vice president of outreach and advocacy. 

Lorraine is up against Vickie Pritchett in this round, who became involved in the fire service in 1997. She currently serves as the Director of Public Fire Protection with the National Fire Sprinkler Association.

A reminder that the 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. 

Papers are sought on new developments with a focus on the following topics. 

Detection and Signaling:

  • Advancements in Detection and Signaling Technology
  • Integrated Systems and “Smart Buildings” 
  • Smoke Characterization 
  • Human Response and Emergency Communications 
  • Improving Effectiveness of Systems 


  • Advancements in Protection of High Hazard Commodities 
  • Developments to Address Environmental Factors 
  • Computer Modeling of Suppression Applications 
  • Improving Effectiveness of Systems 
  • Wildfire Applications

-Amanda Kimball


A reminder that the 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. 

Papers are sought on new developments with a focus on the following topics. 

Detection and Signaling:

    • Advancements in Detection and Signaling Technology

    • Integrated Systems and “Smart Buildings” 

    • Smoke Characterization 

    • Human Response and Emergency Communications 

    • Improving Effectiveness of Systems 


    1. Advancements in Protection of High Hazard Commodities 

    2. Developments to Address Environmental Factors 

    3. Computer Modeling of Suppression Applications 

    4. Improving Effectiveness of Systems 

    5. Wildfire Applications

Redding Fire Department officials said a homeowner’s foresight prevented a home vegetation fire last week, from growing out of control.

HIZCrews quickly knocked down the fire that started after a eucalyptus branch knocked down power lines near the property, Battalion Chief Steve Reilly said. The fire burned a 50-foot swatch of dry grass on the property. Reilly said that the homeowner's efforts to keep dry grass cut around the home prevented the fire from spreading to the building.

“It definitely helped reduce the threat to the homeowner,” Reilly said. “We’re glad he took those precautions.”

Gallegos maintained the space around his home throughout the summer, fearing drought conditions and the risk a fire could pose to his home. He plans to remove the trees surrounding the property to prevent them from becoming ensnared in the electric lines again. Learn more about some basic Firewise principles that can help to reduce your home's risk from wildfire. 

Homeowners should have about 100 feet of defensible space around their homes, according to California law. Firewise has further information on the "home ignition zone" which includes different criteria and suggestions for the spaces 30, 100 and up to 200 feet around your home. Helping to maintain this defensible space around your home can help to reduce your wildfire risk, as well as reduce the risk wildfire may pose to firefighters who work to protect the neighborhood. 

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on August 23, 1986, a fire occurred in a rooming house located in the village of Massapequa on Long Island, New York.  This fire claimed the lives of five residents and resulted in heavy damage to the wood frame structure.

The Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office has determined the fire to be incendiary in nature.  Although the facility had operated over 10 years, its existence was not known by code enforcement officials, it was not licensed, and, consequently, no inspections had been conducted.

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

  •     The ignition scenario;

  •     Delay Delayed detection of the fire due to an inadequate fire detection system;

  •     The spread of products of combustion throughout the building by means of

         the open stairway;

  •     The combustibility of interior finish;

  •     A delay in notifying the fire department.

For more information on this fire NFPA Fire Investigations. To learn about NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research statistics on Intentional Fires.

Sprinklered homes
Six special-needs residents of Kingsport, Tennessee, will be receiving the utmost level of protection in their homes. The Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority is in the process of sprinklering two, 2,200-square-foot houses for six residents. Anticipated for completion in October, the sprinklered homes will either completely douse a fire or give these residents enough time to seek safety. 

Learn more about these new homes by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

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Sprinkler Supporters: Tom Thornberg (left) and Tom Clark with the International Association of Fire Fighters

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team is exhibiting at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) this week for the purposes of informing elected officials on the many benefits of home fire sprinklers. Since NCSL is taking place in Minnesota, where state lawmakers recently published a new mandate requiring sprinklers in new homes larger than 4,500 square feet, we decided to chat with fire service officials also at the conference to get their take on the new requirement. 


Find out what they had to say by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.</p>

Fire Sprinkler Initiative
Advocating for home fire sprinklers just got a tad easier. 

The new "Advocacy Tools" section on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site is now the go-to place for free materials and resources that help make an effective case for home fire sprinklers. This section is where you'll find an array of shareable videos (including NFPA's Faces of Fire), case studies, and fact sheets (some of them are now downloadable) that underscore fire at its worst and sprinklers at their best. 

Also worth noting in this section is the new "Advocacy Materials" page. Download a template that will help you craft a letter to your legislator or code-making official, use one of NFPA's ads that promote sprinkler statistics, or gather signatures supporting sprinklers using NFPA's sprinkler petition. 

Check out the new section when you get a moment and let us know what you think. 

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NFPA's Beth Kelley, Mark Cloutier and Bill Mello (left to right) encouraged electrical professionals to take the NEC Challenge at Granite City Electric's vendor showcase today in Brockton, MA.


&#0160;A tremendous thanks to Granite City Electric , a premier electrical distributor in New England, for hosting today’s Champion Vendor Showcase in Brockton, MA. It was a great opportunity for us to introduce electrical professionals in the area to the NEC Challenge .


The NEC Challenge is an interactive competition that invites electrical professionals across the country to put their code knowledge to the test. Two upcoming Challenges will be hosted at electrical trade shows this fall, and an online version of the Challenge can be played at .


At today’s event, anyone who answered at least one Challenge question correctly received a free NEC t-shirt and was entered into a raffle&#0160;to win&#0160;a $100 gift card. Needless to say, there were a lot of t-shirts handed out, so kudos to all the electricians who clearly know their stuff.

Thanks again to Granite City Electric for including us in this worthwhile event, which ultimately helps strengthen electrical safety for everyone.


For more information about the NEC Challenge, visit .</p>

On August 20, 1984, a fire onboard the Cruise ship M/V SCANDINAVIAN SUN, while docking at the Port of Miami, resulted in two fatalities and fifty-seven injuries among passengers, crew and City of Miami fire fighters.  The rapidly spreading fire forced many of the passengers, who were in the process of disembarking, to remain on board until the fire was extinguished.  The fatalities, one passenger and one crew member, were eventually found in their cabins during the search of the ship.

The fire was discovered just after the ship had completed docking.  The fire, which originated in the auxiliary engine room, was caused by the ignition of atomized lubricating oil leaking from a diesel engine driving one of the ship's generators.

Products of combustion were able to extend vertically six decks above the main engine and auxiliary machine rooms by way of a ladder access way and through an open passageway and watertight doors.  Doors leading to passageways on several of the upper decks were also open during the initial stages of the fire which allowed dense smoke and heat to extend horizontally into crew and passenger cabin areas.

The spread of fire and heavy smoke conditions were mainly confined to the port side of the ship, although starboard side portions of the cruise ship were also affected.

The following are considered to major factors contributing to the loss of life in this fire:

  •     The failure to extinguish the fire in its incipient stage by either automatic

            of manual means.

   •     The rapid and intense flash fire resulting from the ignition of a combustible

            lubricating oil.

   •     The rapid horizontal and vertical spread of products of combustion throughout

            the ship caused mainly  by  open fire doors.

    •     The presence of combustible interior finish materials in passageways and

            in the stair tower.   

For more information on this fire NFPA Fire Investigations

As I looked at my calendar this morning I thought … wow, can we really be this deep into August already!? Well, for some of us, we know what the middle of the month means; waving goodbye to beach parties and saying hello to college exams. This year, as you write out a list of what you need to take to school, why not add something new to that list, something you might not have thought about before … NFPA’s Campus Fire Safety infographic!

Campus SafetyThe infographic is a great way to remind you and your friends about the importance of fire safety while living away from home. Go ahead, download it and post it to your bulletin board or keep it on your desk for quick reference.

Remember, September and October are peak months for fires in college housing so as you settle into your new "digs", please use this time to pay close attention to your surroundings and follow NFPA’s safety tips so you’ll always know how to prevent fires, check smoke alarms and prepare escape plans. You can find the infographic and all of our resources on NFPA’s campus fire safety webpages created for students and their parents.

And stay tuned right here to our Safety Source blog where we’ll highlight one post per week in September and October on specific things you can do to stay safer on campus.

This fall, make it a point to keep you and your roommates and friends safe. Got questions? Contact NFPA at to learn more.

-LisaMarie Sinatra

Smoke_alarmWhile smoke alarm success stories are powerful reminders of the potentially life-saving difference working smoke alarms can make, there are just as many home fire incidents in the news where dead or missing smoke alarm batteries, or a lack of smoke alarms altogether, carry deadly consequences.

That was the case in Milwaukee, WI, early yesterday morning, when a man died after a kitchen fire broke out in his apartment. There were no working smoke alarms in the unit.

According to Deputy Chief Aaron Lipski of the Milwaukee Fire Department, yesterday's fire death represents an unfortunate pattern for the city. “Every fire related fatality this year in the city of Milwaukee has been in a place that’s had no working smoke detector,” he said.

Clearly, smoke alarms play a pivotal role in home fires. When working properly, they can save lives. When they’re not, the consequences can be deadly.

So remember these basics: Test your smoke alarms each month, change the batteries annually, and replace all smoke alarms in your home every ten years. For more information on smoke alarms, visit NFPA’s Smoke Alarms Central page.

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

  • An article published in National Geographic that highlights how (even) the small steps, including the principles of Firewise, can help save homes from wildfire
  • A link to two NFPA-hosted webinars; the August webinar focuses on mulch combustibility, and the September webinar discusses how to prepare for wildfire beyond home landscaping
  • A link to a new webpage on the Firewise site that features artwork from kids from around the country who have expressed their feelings about wildfire and fire safety
  • A perspective on America’s wildfire strategy from a leader in the world of environmental history …

… 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.

Do you want to make a difference? We have an ideal opportunity for the Division Manager of our Wildland Fire Operations working from our Denver, CO office. This person will be responsible for developing and implementing multiple long and short term programs that support Association goals. They will be responsible for overseeing the creation of well-designed programs, products, services and outreach activities that empower people to take positive action to prevent fire and injury and maintaining NFPA’s integrity and leadership in wildland fire protection, nationally and internationally.

The ideal candidate will have 10+ years’ experience in management, fire protection, wildland fire, public administration, or the equivalent as well as a minimum of 10 years fire service or related experience in increasingly responsible roles. 

To learn more about the position's responsibilities and requirements, take a look at our careers website. From there, you can also apply to the job. 

On Friday, August 18, 1995 a fire at a chemical manufacturing facility in Tonawanda, New York killed one plant employee and injured five others.  In addition, the fire destroyed a 12,000 square-foot warehouse and several adjacent offices.  Local and state fire investigators considered the cause to be the decomposition of product stored in the warehouse. 

The chemical plant involved in this incident produced ammonium, potassium and sodium persulfate, and all of these materials were stored in warehouse that was destroyed.  The warehouse, which was of ordinary construction, was protected by a dry sprinkler system.  Fire extinguishers and manual hose stations were also provided for use by plant employees. 

Once ignited, the fire ignited combustible materials, such as packaging materials and wood pallets, that were close to the decomposing commodity.  The fire grew large enough to ignite the combustible materials in the roof assembly and to cause a roof collapse before the arrival of the fire department.  Due to the size of the fire upon arrival, fire fighters did not enter the building to attack the fire. 

The employee who died sustained a fatal injury when he jumped from a second-story window in a control room that was near the burning warehouse.  An open fire door allowed smoke to fill a corridor which provided access from the control room to an enclosed exit stairway that was approximately 25 feet away.  Investigators could not determine if the victim attempted to reach the enclosed stairway before breaking and jumping out of the control room window.


For more information on this fire NFPA Fire Investigations 

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Pam Elliott, before and after a house fire that burned her when she was five years old (Photos: courtesy of Common Voices)

To curb the more than 200 annual deaths of children killed in car backup incidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be requiring all light vehicles to have &quot;rear view visibility systems,&quot; according to a recent +USA Today+ article. What had prompted the mandatory installation of these cameras, states the story, was &quot;outcry&quot; from consumer groups and families impacted by these tragedies.


While lauding the new requirement, burn survivor Pam Elliott is frustrated by the slow process and pushback against a similarand provensafety measure in homes,&#0160;where children under 14 account for 15 percent of fire deaths, per NFPA&#39;s "Home Structure Fires" report. Moreover, children under five have historically faced a higher risk of fire death than the overall population.


Read highlights from Elliott&#39;s recent op-ed on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.&#0160;</p>

David_Ward_OptimistHello, fellow fire protection professionals.  As CFPS Chair I bring greetings from the entire Board, with hopes that you are having a fire-safe summer, and are having an opportunity to enjoy some vacation time.  We held our annual meeting at the NFPA Conference & Expo® in early June, and I have some news and developments from that meeting to share with you.

The immediate past-chair, Bruce Clarke has previously informed us all of the election results, and the addition of two new Directors to the Board.  But this is important information worth repeating: We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to retiring Directors, Ray Lonabaugh (after untold years of service to the organization), and Chris Butts (who served faithfully on the Board from 2010 thru 2014). It was my great privilege to present plaques to these two gentlemen at the annual Certificate Holders Meeting, in recognition of their service. While we regret saying goodbye to those individuals, we welcome two new Directors, elected this spring and sworn in at the annual meeting: Frank L. Keisler of Duluth, Georgia, and Kevin Sluss, of Dothan, Alabama. Welcome, gentlemen.

Obviously I am the “new-guy” in the Chairman’s seat.  I have been greatly blessed and honored to be elected to the Board for a final term, and to have been selected as Chair.  I have very big shoes to fill in the absence of Bruce Clarke, who served in this capacity for the past 5 years.  I am deeply grateful that Bruce is sticking around for a while to show me the ropes; and equally grateful that he will continue to do a great job of maintaining the CFPS page on LinkedIn. We have a tremendous following there, both Certificate Holders and future certificate holders, and it’s a great credit to Bruce’s leadership for helping that grow into the force that it has.

At our main, annual meeting each year, we always review and analyze the sheer numbers of the program as tabulated by our 3rd party administrator, NFPA. We are pleased to report continued growth in the organization. Figure 1 illustrates the growth in certificate holders over the years. Looking ahead to the future of the organization, of course it is our mission to see those numbers continue to increase. But with additional focus on marketing and reaching young fire protection professionals around the world, we wish to make that growth curve steeper.

Figure 1 – CFPS Program Growth Year/Year


In Figure 2 you may find interest in the number of CFPS Certificate Holders by state.  You’ll notice we have reached 49 of the 50 United States now, and it is our hope that North Dakota will come around pretty soon. With heavy energy exploration and production in North Dakota, perhaps that next CFPS from ND is already in the process of becoming certified. If one of you happens to relocate to North Dakota, please notify us of your updated address so we can check that milestone off our bucket list!

Figure 2 – CFPS Certificate Holders by State (US) & Province (Canada)



Finally, in Figure 3 we see that we are clearly no longer just a U.S. credential.  A full 9% of our Certificants are now from outside the United States, and we see that percentage to continue to grow each year.  Our charge as the Board of Directors is to recognize that growth potential, and to find ways to cultivate it.

Figure 3 – CFPS Certificate Holders Worldwide


Also at our annual Board meeting, we were fortunate to hear the presentation by longtime Certificate Holder and Director John Waters, on the history of CFPS. He also presented the historical overview to at the Certificate Holders Meeting.  John did an outstanding job of putting this material together, calling on the resources of John Strouse, Ray Lonabaugh, and other long-timers. We are working on possibly posting a video of his presentation, or a narrated slideshow in the near future. Keep an eye on the CFPS website for further information.

The Board takes very seriously the future of our examination process, and with the coming age of a digital Fire Protection Handbook, the implications of testing on a digital knowledge base is foremost in our minds. We have set up a “Testing Transition Committee” to keep close watch on the development of the digital handbook; and to work with NFPA, our testing vendor, ANSI, and other key figures to make sure our knowledge base remains relevant to our credential, and to keep the testing process secure, valid, and accurate. This will be a primary focus in the coming year(s) – for as long as it takes to shepherd the process along successfully. So you can expect to hear more about this on a regular basis.

CFPS.100x100Over the past couple of years, the number of candidates seeking Directorship on the Board has decreased significantly.  While we still have well-qualified and capable candidates involved and being elected, we are concerned about this trend. It is not too early to begin considering whether YOU might be interested in serving as a Director. It does not require a huge time commitment, there is little to no personal expense involved, but the work is vitally important to the future of the organization. Most employers I am familiar with are very supportive of having one of their employees serve on the Board. So consider running for the Board next year – and talk it over with your employer and family members. Please feel free to contact any of the twelve Directors for more insight about what it means to serve on the Board, the election process, or other questions of interest. In a nutshell for you, we meet in person at least annually at the NFPA conference, four times a year via teleconference as a full board; and periodically as needed via teleconference at the committee level.  

With that, I will end the Chairman’s Corner for this quarter.  I am quite honored to Chair the CFPS Board for the coming year, and am very excited about the future of our program. Please contact me if I may be of service to your needs as a Certificate Holder.

Best regards,

David W. Ward, CFPS Chairman, CFPS Board of Directors

  Campus safety

The start of autumn sees falling leaves, amber skies and pumpkin pies. But the end of summer also signals, for students across the country, the beginning of fall semester. While trying to navigate living in their new dorms and off-campus apartment, there are a lot of students who set off the fire alarm. And with an estimated average of 3,810 structure fires in college housing between 2007 and 2011, September and October are essentially peak months for fires in college housing.  

The Center for Campus Safety, with the intention of educating incoming students on fire safety, has marked September of every year as Campus Fire Safety Month.

The following are fire safety tips from the NFPA that can help college students living on their own:

  1. Try to find a fully sprinklered house when looking for a dorm or off-campus housing
  2. Double check that the building has interconnected smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom, and on every floor.
  3. Learn your building’s evacuation plan and practice all fire drills

The NFPA has published a report, “Structure Fires in Dormitories, Fraternities, Sororities and Barracks” that essentially says that 70 percent of fires begin in the cooking area and that fires are most common in the evening between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m...

A significant number of fires usually happen when a hot stove is left unattended. Students are advised to stay in the kitchen and be alert while preparing meals and to remember to test their smoke alarms every month.

Speaking of which, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!” is the theme for NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week 2014! The annual awareness campaign will be held this year on October 5-11. So information and resources that can help students learn about fire safety can be found of the Fire Prevention Week website.

Sparky bday surpriseSparky’s Birthday Surprise, a new storybook app, was selected as a 2014 Parents’ Choice Award winner by the Parents’ Choice Foundation, the nation’s oldest nonprofit consumer guide to quality children’s media!

Sparky’s Birthday Surprise teaches kids ages 3-6 important fire safety skills. The app is jam-packed with learning games, activities, coloring pages, and a sing-a-long. With bright graphics and kid-friendly “tappable” animations throughout, the app is aligned to Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math.

In the app, it's Sparky's birthday, and his friends are planning a surprise party. While enjoying this interactive, animated story, kids learn what to do if the smoke alarm sounds, how to exit the home safely, and how to choose an outside meeting place with their family. Also included is a special section for caregivers, which offers thoughtful questions designed to spark open-ended conversation and reinforce reading comprehension.

The Parents’ Choice Awards are designed to help parents and caregivers make informed decisions about which new products are right for their children. This app is available in English and Spanish and can be found on the iTunes App Store, Amazon App Store for Android, Google Play and the Barnes & Noble App Store for NOOK TM or

The Smart Firefighting Workshop Summary Report is now available for download through the Fire Protection Research Foundation site. 

This report summarizes the results of the Smart Firefighting Workshop held on March 24 and 25, 2014, in Arlington, Virginia and sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with support from the Fire Protection Research Foundation. The Workshop provided a forum to help identify and understand the research and development needs for implementation of smart firefighting, highlighting use of existing technologies, development and deployment of emerging technologies including cyber-physical systems (CPS), and use of standards for data collection, exchange, and situational awareness tools. The workshop brought together experts from various industry, educational, and governmental organizations involved in the cyber physical systems and firefighting areas. This report summarizes the workshop findings including prioritization of research needs according to those that have the greatest potential to enhance the safety and effectiveness of fire protection and the fire service. Small groups in each breakout session selected a high-priority task and completed detailed implementation plans for them.

Learn more about smart fire fighting

“Exult O shores, and ring O bells! But I with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.” ~ 1989 film Dead Poets Society

RWAs Hollywood says its goodbye to Robin Williams, “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon took time out of Tuesday’s episode to remember the Oscar-winning actor. “You would watch him, and you would cry laughing, and you’d think, ‘I am never going to see anyone like this human, ever…’”

It is a tragedy that we’ve lost another actor and comedian to this disease of depression. But this is not something exclusive to Hollywood, it just highlighted by the fact that it was a notable person. As with many diseases it takes the notable person’s death and life to realize its devastation and the toll it takes on someone’s life and other who surround them.

The tribute quote that Fallon had for Williams, could have come from anyone of us who paid tribute to a close relative or friend whose life was controlled by depression and overcome by suicide. 

Perhaps it’s not the depression but the tragic means to the end that finds this even more disconcerting. The desperation that one must feel for them to take their life. It’s not just actors or athletes or business executives who in their effort to relieve the pain or end the agony that torments their mind, but individuals like sisters and brothers, coworkers and collogues, friends and neighbors. We know them and cherish them. And then we say to ourselves, “I didn’t realize how desperate they were, if only I knew. Could I have helped?”

Over the course of the last few months NFPA has posted blogs and published articles (The Journal – May/June 2014) on this despicable disease. Recently, a local Boston newspaper ran this article and this one noting public safety and emergency services persons with noteworthy careers succumbing to depression but means of suicide.      

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline notes the in 2010 there were 38,364 suicides in the United States. That’s an average of 105 each day. Suicide Prevention Resource Center has information at its website and specifically points to public safety servants as one of its targeted audiences. 

So now we are aware all too soon again of the tragedy of depression. What are we going to do about it this time?

"O Captain! My Captain!"

-Tom McGowan

Physical disabilityPhysical disabilities can delay or thwart a person's chances of safely escaping a burning building. New data on just how many fatal fire incidences have impacted this population provides yet another reason why home fire sprinklers are necessary systems in new homes.

NFPA's recently released report, "Physical Disability as a Factor in Home Fire Deaths," estimates that physical disabilities were a contributing factor in about 15 percent of U.S. home fire deaths each year from 2007-2011. When physical disability was a factor, 60 percent of victims were at least 65 years old. Equally astounding is that 85 percent of victims were killed in one- and two-family homes.

Get the full scoop on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

The fire service and other emergency responders serve an important societal role by saving lives, reducing injuries and minimizing the adverse impact from unwanted fire and other emergency events. 

As the duties of emergency responders are numerous, they commonly utilize Standard Operating Procedures and Standard Operating Guidelines (SOPs/SOGs) to fulfill their mission. SOPs/SOGs are typically prescriptive documents that are not uniform and are customized between emergency response organizations. For example, in the United States there are more than 31,000 individual fire departments, and each is likely to use dozens of different SOPs/SOGs addressing numerous tasks. These ultimately represent best practice for a particular emergency response organization, and are used to facilitate training, support operational guidance, and to interpret policy during post event assessment.

A new information development tool that is becoming recognized in recent years is "crowdsourcing," and it offers intriguing potential benefits for the development of SOPs/SOGs. The transparent communication tools of today’s internet age have strongly enabled the concept of crowdsourcing. It offers a novel approach to synthesize and coordinate information on a common technical topic based on broad and on-going input from directly impacted stakeholders. This project focuses on the use of crowdsourcing techniques to develop and refine SOPs/SOGs for the fire service, with a prototype focus on addressing fires involving electric & hybrid vehicles. The goal of this project is to investigate the virtues of a novel approach for generating SOPs/SOGs for the fire service.

Download the full report, "Development of Emergency Responder SOPs/SOGs: Using Crowdsourcing to Address Electric Vehicle Fires" written by Ellie Burgess withCustos Fratris L3C, Tucson, AZ.

InsiderNFPA 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.

In this month's NFPA INSIDER, on Thursday, August 21st, at 2:00 pm (EDT), members will hear:

  • Carl BCarl Baldassarra, Fire Protection Engineering Expert, will provide insight on the evolution of fire escapes, including new applications and concerns over the inspection and maintenance of older fire escapes.
  • Dawn Bellis, NFPA Division Manager of Codes & Standards, and Linda Fuller, Sr. Manager of Standards Operations, will discuss participation, applications and international directions of Committee Membership.

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

On August 12, 1984, a fire originating in a high voltage electrical feeder busway forced the evacuation and relocation of approximately 200 patients at the Forsyth Memorial Hospital located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  While the fire was confined to the busway and to exposed storage areas in the vicinity of a basement loading dock, smoke spread to several upper floors of the hospital.  Portions directly exposed to smoke conditions included operating suites, post-operative and critical care areas, and pediatric units of the hospital.  The exposure of these areas to smoke and the potential for exposure of oxygen and gas lines, along with loss of normal and emergency power and communications, precipitated the relocation and evacuation of patients and staff.  The smoke spread was also limited by construction features and the successful operation of smoke barrier and fire doors.

A short in the main electrical feeder busway also resulted in the loss of primary and emergency power to critical care units.  The loss of emergency power was due to fire damage to emergency generator control wiring which was located near the busway.

The successful relocation and evacuation of patients were due to the prompt actions of the hospital trained in fire emergency procedures and the support of the fire department and emergency medical services.  Effective fire and rescue operations were managed from fire and EMS command posts according to fire ground tactical and EMS disaster plans.

For more information on this hospital fire NFPA Fire Investigations 

To read about fire statistics   NFPA's Fires in Health Care Facilities

185114NFPA has issued the following formal interpretation on NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting:

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

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

In this issue:

  • Formal interpretation issued on NFPA 1851
  • Standards Council August agenda
  • Fall 2014 Second Draft Reports available
  • Errata issued on NFPA 70 and 921
  • Consent Standards issued
  • News in brief
  • Committees soliciting public input
  • Committees seeking members
  • Committee meetings calendar

Subscribe today! NFPA News is a free newsletter, and includes special announcements, notification of public input and comment closing dates, requests for comments, notices on the availability of Standards Council minutes, and other important news about NFPA’s standards development process.

LinkedInNot a member of the LinkedIn Fire Sprinkler Initiative sub group? Now is the time to join. 

There's a healthy discussion taking place in response to a recent blog post about a National Fire Sprinkler Week. The United Kingdom held one this year, which prompted a Canadian fire chief to propose the idea of mirroring something similar in North America. 

See what other sprinkler advocates are saying about this possibility, and add your thoughts to the discussion. Join the group today!

Firewatch column from NFPA Journal
In his most recent "Firewatch" column in NFPA Journal®, author Ken Trembay details nearly 20 fire incidents from across the United States, including this blaze from Iowa.

Woman dies in electrical fire

IOWA—A 42-year-old woman died of smoke inhalation in her single-family home when she became trapped in her living room by an electrical fire.  

The two-story, wood-frame home, which was 48 feet (15 meters) long and 38 feet (12 meters) wide, had balloon frame construction with several wall voids leading from the basement to the top floor. The house had no smoke alarms or sprinklers.  

The fire department received a 911 call at 3:49 a.m., and firefighters responded within three minutes to find the house involved in flames. Crews used several hose lines to knock down the fire, but they were unable to rescue the trapped woman, whose body was eventually located in the living room.

The victim’s mother told investigators that she had been wakened by her daughter shouting that she smelled smoke. The mother got out of bed and saw her daughter standing in the living room but did not see any smoke. Just as the victim asked whether she should call 911, however, the room erupted in flames, trapping her. The mother managed to escape unharmed.  

Investigators found several portable electric space heaters in the house, which only had a 60-amp service. The overloaded electrical circuits apparently ignited the house’s wooden structural framing and burned in the voids for quite an extended period before breaching the interior walls and spreading into the house.  

The fire destroyed the home and its contents, together valued at $85,000.

Read all of the Firewatch incidents 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.

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!


Looks like we have another two-time winner! A senior at University of Maryland, Catherine Hamel has once again won the Arthur E. Cote Scholarship! She joined the fire protection department and developed interest in the field due to its prospect of saving lives by utilizing engineering tactics and technology.

Over the past year and a half, she has been involved with departmental research, activates and scholarship. Her work includes a research of stovetop fires as part of a student team. One of her self-proclaimed biggest accomplishment was being inducted into the Salamander Fire Protection Engineering Honor Society in the fall of 2013.

She has also taken on multiple leadership roles, excelled in academics and still found time to give back to the greater College Park community. She plans to pursue a career is fire investigation and analysis.

This Scholarship was established in 2006 to honor Cote’s retirement from NFPA and is awarded to recognize and offer support for undergraduate students pursuing careers in fire protection engineering. 

Domino's logoDomino's Pizza today announced the five fire departments that were randomly selected to receive "FPW-in-a-Box 300" after signing up to particpate in the Fire Prevention Week/Domino's campaign this October. Here are the winners:

  • Assistant Chief Shane Gibbs - Oconee County Emergency Services/Walhalla, SC
  • Michael McAuliffe - Harvey Vol. Fire Co. No. 2/Harvey, LA
  • Chief Michael Vaughn - Washington Fire Dept./Washington, IL
  • LT Tom Mangiameli - Hoffman Estates Fire Department/Hoffman Estates, IL
  • Battalion Chief Rudy Khalaf - District 2 Fire/Rescue/San Antonio, TX

Congratulations to all of you! Once again, thanks to the nearly 60 fire departments across the country that have already signed on to participate in the program.

If you're a fire department that would like to implement the campaign in your community but haven't signed up yet, don't worry - there's still time! Simply fill out the downloadable form and send it to Jeannette Conklin at

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!

Brian E. Elias, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Fire Protection Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), is the recipient of the prestigious John L. Jablonsky Scholarship. A born leader, he was elected to the position of company president for a local ambulance service when he was only 19.

At WPI he was given the opportunity to work as a research assistant on a project that involved evaluating the safety of portable gasoline containers. His construction of an apparatus and test procedure that could evaluate the performance of flame arresting devices installed on portable gasoline containers was featured on NBC News Investigation.

A trained paramedic, Brian spends his free time driving the North Stonington ambulance.

He plans to continue complete his Ph.D. in one year and then pursue a career as a professor of fire science, while simultaneously continuing his work as a consulting engineer.

The John L. Jablonsky Scholarship is awarded to recognize the growth of fire science and fire engineering programs

Three NFPA Standards, reporting in the Annual 2015 revision cycle, have been issued by the NFPA Standards Council as Consent Standards.  NFPA 318, Standard for the Protection of Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities, NFPA 423, Standard for Construction and Protection of Aircraft Engine Test Facilities, and NFPA 1071, Standard for Emergency Vehicle Technician Professional Qualifications, did not receive any public comments and after holding a Second Draft meeting, the Technical Committee determined that no further second revisions were needed to the Standards. Following the appeal period on issuance of these Standards, no appeals were filed and the NFPA Standards Council acted on the issuance of NFPA 312, NFPA 423, and NFPA 1071 by letter ballot.

NFPA 312, NFPA 423, and NFPA 1071 were issued by the NFPA Standards Council on July 14, 2014.

Two NFPA Standards, reporting in the Fall 2014 revision cycle, have been issued by the NFPA Standards Council as Consent Standards.  NFPA 1931, Standard for Manufacturer's Design of Fire Department Ground Ladders, and NFPA 1932Standard on Use, Maintenance, and Service Testing of In-Service Fire Department Ground Ladders, did not receive any public comments and after holding a Second Draft meeting, the Technical Committee determined that no further second revisions were needed to the Standards. Following the appeal period on issuance of these Standards, no appeals were filed and the NFPA Standards Council acted on the issuance of NFPA 1931 and 1932 by letter ballot.

NFPA 1931 and NFPA 1932 were issued by the NFPA Standards Council on July 14, 2014.


On Tuesday August 5, members of the NFPA Public Fire Protection Department and 10 NFPA interns had the awesome opportunity to visit and tour the Massport Fire Department and take a ride on the fire boat, American United. The American United, known as Marine 31, is a 2011, 79' Fire boat capable of flowing 6000 gallons of water per minute, has 500 gallons of foam concentrate on board, and contains life rafts for 300 people.


Marine 32, another Fireboat in the Massport fleet, is a 2009 37' Moose Boat with jet drive, can flow 500 gallons of water per minute, and has a life raft capacity for 130 people. After an extensive tour of the Massport facilities and Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting equipment all hands reported to the docks for a thorough tour of Boston harbor aboard Marine 31.


After nearly 34 years in the fire service I enjoyed our ride as if I was new firefighter taking a ride on a fire boat for the very first time. I want to thank the firefighters and officers who hosted our tour and gave a top notch tour of the facility and equipment along with a short history on the harbor.

The current 2013 edition of NFPA 1925 Standard on Marine Fire-Fighting Vessels will be open soon for public comment.

Dave Grupp
In 1988, Chief Dave Grupp of the Long Grove, Illinois, Fire Protection District proposed the controversial idea of a home fire sprinkler ordinance to the Long Grove Village Board. His focus was on the safety of the residents, other occupants, and emergency responders.

In a past interview, Chief Grupp said he did not know there weren't any communities in Illinois that required home fire sprinklers. “At that time there wasn’t even a smoke detector requirement,” he said. “I just thought the home fire sprinkler ordinance was the right thing to do.”

Long Grove did not have a municipal water supply and had to rely on rural water supply operations for structure fires. Fire sprinklers presented a solution to controlling or extinguishing fires early in their stages of development. Ultimately, thanks to the educational efforts of Grupp, the elected officials voted in favor of the standalone ordinance on April 12, 1988.

Learn about the effects of Grupp's sprinkler advocacy by reading the full post on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

185114NFPA has issued the following formal interpretation on NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting:

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

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! RichardEmberley

Congratulation are in order for Richard L. Emberley. The Ph.D. student from University of Queensland has won theDavid B. Gratz Scholarship for the second time in a row! Having graduated as a civil engineer from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with high distinction, Richard followed to complete an MSc in Fire Protection Engineering and a second one in civil engineering. He went through all three degrees with a near perfect GPA and was a recipient of every scholarship that is offered at WPI.

Richard has shown his leadership qualities when he was nominated and elected president of the ASCE Student Association and vice-president of the WPI Music Association.

He is currently working on understanding modern structural systems exposed to fire.

His long-term career goal is to be involved in the fire protection engineering research, consulting and/or teaching at the college level.

The David B. Gratz scholarship is awarded to recognize the growth of fire science and fire engineering programs.

In anticipation of our annual FPW campaign with Domino’s Pizza, Domino's hosted a sweepstakes last month, which worked to jumpstart fire department participation in the program. Domino's logo

From July 16 to 31, fire departments that committed to implementing the FPW/Domino's campaign in their communities were automatically entered into the sweepstakes. Five randomly selected winners will receive NFPA’s "FPW-in-a-Box 300”, which includes a host of FPW products and materials.

A tremendous thank you to the nearly 60 fire departments that already signed on! The sweepstakes winners will be officially announced this Friday, August 8, on NFPA’s FPW website, Facebook and Twitter, so stay tuned!

For fire departments that haven’t signed up yet but would like to implement the program locally, there’s still time. Download the FPW/Domino's participation form and email it to Jeannette Conklin at You can also visit NFPA’s FPW/Domino’s page to learn more about the campaign and how to get involved. (Remember: Fire Prevention Week is just two months away!)

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NY Giants' Steve Weatherford and the owners of his training facility donated 1,000 smoke alarms this week after learning about a fatal home fire in Newark, NJ, where no smoke alarms were present. From left to right: Fire Chief Robert Flanagan, Morristown Fire Department; Steve Weatherford, NY Giants punter; Lisa and Dan Schauger, Next Level Training owners


When New York Giants’ punter, Steve Weatherford, heard that six people died in a home fire where no smoke alarms were present, he stepped up to make a difference.

"When I learned that it could have been prevented if the family had a fire detector in the house, that was when I realized we needed to raise awareness – and provide fire detectors to families who cannot afford them – to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” said Weatherford.


[Six family members in Newark, NJ, died from smoke and carbon monoxide poisoning |] this past Father’s Day when a fire, reportedly fueled by flammable plastic flowers on the front porch, spread throughout the home. After learning about the incident, Weatherford and his training facility, Next Level Training, decided to take action and make a difference.


Through their efforts, 1,000 smoke alarms will be distributed to needy families with help from the Morristown Fire Department. &quot;We&#39;re glad they&#39;ll be put to good use,&quot; said Weatherford.

Weatherford noted that the deaths in this fire incident were as tragic as they were preventable. Kudos to him for not only understanding the life-saving difference smoke alarms can make, but actively working to help make people safer from fire. Definitely a fire safety hero in my book!


Visit NFPA&#39;s smoke alarms section for a wealth of tips and information on installing, testing and&#0160;maintaining&#0160;smoke alarms.</p>

2014 FPW quiz
The 2014 Fire Prevention Week theme is "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives; Test Yours Every Month." As a fun way to learn all about smoke alarm safety, we have developed a short trivia quiz for our website. Take the quiz on our website and afterwards, continue to click through to see what the correct answers were to any you may have answered incorrectly. Also, be sure to share your results on Facebook and Twitter.

Take the Fire Prevention Week quiz now!

Many people don’t test their smoke alarms as often as they should, but when there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms provide the time needed to get out safely. For further educational material and tip sheets on smoke alarms, visit the Fire Prevention Week website.

by NFPA's Karen Berard-Reed

A dangerous activity known as the fire challenge is trending on social media outlets.  This activity requires the participant to apply an accelerant such as nail polish remover or hand sanitizer to a body part and light it on fire.  Not surprisingly, as the YouTube views rise, we are also seeing an increase in visits to burn centers around the country from teens who take on in this hazardous dare. 

Fire challengeThe solution to this problem is more complex than educating adolescents about the perils of fire and pain of burn injuries.  Adults addressing the situation need to consider factors such as adolescent brain development, teens’ thinking processes related to risk and reward, and the impact of social media on teen decision making. 

In the next week, we will be sharing a detailed lesson plan to assist fire and life safety educators who are partnering with parents and caretakers to reduce this risky behavior.  In the meantime, take a look at our research-informed suggestions for adults who would like to take a step in the right direction.   

Jim Pauley - July Insider - Membership facebook
 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!

What you may think is a hazardous location may not be what the National Electrical Code (NEC) considers a hazardous location. There is no way powdered sugar can create a hazardous location, right? Of course, this area is not a hazardous location because an explosive atmosphere is not present. If I were in a hazardous location, I would be required to wear special articles of clothing. An outdoor area cannot possibly be a classified location. If you were in a hazardous location you would know it, wouldn’t you?

Sound familiar? Then you could be in a hazardous location without knowing it.

Knowing that an area is hazardous is the only way to minimize the potential for an incident and the only way to know is by properly classifying the area.

To learn more about proper classification and determine whether you are in a hazardous location, download this whitepaper by NFPA Senior Electrical Engineer Chris Coache

Or, register for a free, informative online presentation on August 26th at 1pm as Chris discusses NEC Article 501 Class I locations, with a closer look into Section 501.15; Class I Division 1 and 2 conduit and cable seals at enclosures, terminations, and boundaries. 

Chris Coache

I have been sharing vintage haz mat training videos over the last few days and asked that while watching, you consider if any of these could happen today and how we can continue to improve our response to these incidents. Post 1 featured a gasoline bulk storage plant fire and the first time BLEVE was used, while post 2 demonstrated right and wrong versions of a hazmat response. In today's final hazmat training video blog segment, we will look at the Texas City Disaster Aftermath from 1947. 

Texas City Disaster Aftermath, Part 1 Texas Department of Public Safety 1947 (9:02 min)


Texas City Disaster Aftermath, Part 2 Texas Department of Public Safety 1947 (6:53 min)


The Texas City disaster which was begun with the Grandcamp's explosion triggered the worst industrial disaster, resulting in the largest number of casualties, in American history. Such was the intensity of the blasts and the ensuing confusion that no one was able to establish precisely the number of dead and injured. Ultimately, the Red Cross and the Texas Department of Public Safety counted 405 identified and 63 unidentified dead. Another 100 persons were classified as "believed missing" because no trace of their remains was ever found. Estimates of the injured are even less precise but appear to have been on the order of 3,500 persons. Although not all casualties were residents of Texas City, the total was equivalent to a staggering 25 percent of the towns estimated population of 16,000.   All firemen and practically all spectators on their pier were killed as were many employees in the Monsanto Chemical Company and throughout the dock area.  For more information on the Texas City disaster, go to the memorial website of Firefighters Union Local 1259. Twenty-eight Texas City Firefighters lost their lives in this disaster.  This clip is from the 1948 film, The Texas City Disaster April 16, 1947 by the Texas Department of Public Safety.  The entire film is available at the US National Archive in College Park Maryland.

-Tom McGowan

NFPA Conference call for papers
NFPA is accepting proposals for educational presentations at its 2015 Conference & Expo. Share your knowledge with your peers as a presenter in Chicago, June 22-25. Complete our application and submit by Monday, September 15, 2014.

The following list of Standards that reported in the Annual 2014 revision cycle, have been issued by the NFPA Standards Council as Consent Standards:

On August 2, 2000 a fire was discovered in a multi-tenanted warehouse in Phoenix, AZ at approximately 4:58 p.m. By the time the fire was extinguished the next day, it had completely destroyed the 85,000 sq ft warehouse. The damage to property and the commodities stored inside from the fire has been estimated at over $100 million.

Two tenants occupied the warehouse: a home and garden supply company and a pharmaceuticals distribution operation. The fire began in the home and garden supply portion of the building.

A first alarm structural response was assigned to the vicinity of 38th Place and Broadway as reports of the fire continued to pour into the 911 center. The Tempe Battalion Chief arrived shortly before the first Phoenix Fire Department units at 5:01 p.m. and reported a working fire in a warehouse building. The Tempe Battalion Chief established command and set up a temporary command post on 38th Place opposite the east side of the building. Phoenix Engine 23 was the next to arrive at 5:02 p.m. E23 established a water supply and proceeded to a position at the southeast corner of the building and began to apply water on the fire with the deluge gun on the engine. Engine 272 arrived at 5:05 p.m. and then supplied the automatic sprinkler system within the building through the fire department connection on 38th Place. E23 was confronted with a rapidly spreading fire within the building and numerous exposure fires comprised of stored materials outside the southeast corner of the building. At 5:07 p.m., Engine, Rescue and Ladder 22 arrived on the west side of the building and at 5:11 pm. reported that a portion of the west tilt-panel concrete wall was leaning outward and a collapse hazard existed. By 5:17 p.m. most of the south wall had collapsed. Fire had now begun to spread throughout the home and garden portion of the warehouse. A solid concrete wall separated the two sections of the building. However, as large section of the outer concrete panel walls began to collapse, the integrity of the wall between the two sections of the building became a concern.

Four alarms and numerous special requests for apparatus were dispatched to the scene throughout the next several hours and into the next day. By morning, on August 3, the entire building and all contents were destroyed. The fire department maintained a fire watch for several days extinguishing hot spots and monitoring the hazardous contents. Five fire fighters (including the crew from E23) were treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion. Several police officers that were handling site access and traffic control were also treated for breathing related problems. At the height of the fire over 80 civilians from the surrounding neighborhoods were evacuated from their homes. All were allowed to return the next day.

Investigation into the cause of the fire continues as of this report. For their initial entry into the building, fire investigators had to don protective hazardous materials suits and were limited to only several minutes in the rubble due to the presence of hazardous materials and air temperatures above 100°F. Based on this investigation and analysis of other incidents involving oxidizers, the NFPA has determined that the following significant factors may contribute to large losses in similar facilities:

 - Lack of segregation between incompatible materials

(i.e., oxidizers and hydrocarbon-based materials and other materials)

- Lack of proper storage configuration for oxidizers

- Inadequate sprinkler protection for commodities stored in the warehouse.

To see the full NFPA Fire Investigation report. For information on NFPA's Structure Fires in U.S. Warehouses  Research information on oxidizers can be found on the NFPA Fire Protection Research Foundation

Yesterday, I posted a blog letting everyone know about some classic or vintage videos I had been made aware of that I wanted to share with you. Part 2 of this series is below. Again, thinks about 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?  

HazMat Response Doing it Wrong CMA 1986 (3:05 min)


This clip demonstrates how NOT to approach a hazmat incident.  It is from the very good 1986 video, First On the Scene, produced by the Chemical Manufacturer's Association (CMA) for training first responders to the scene of hazardous materials incidents.  This video was widely used in early Hazwoper training classes.  A second posted clip, HazMat Response doing it better 1986, shows the same incident with a better response (but not perfect).

HazMat Response Doing it Better CMA 1986


This clip demonstrates a better (but not perfect) approach to a hazmat incident.  It is from the very good 1986 video, First On the Scene, produced by the Chemical Manufacturer's Association (CMA) for training first responders to the scene of hazardous materials incidents.  This video was widely used in early Hazwoper training classes. 

-Tom McGowan

2014 FPW quiz
The 2014 Fire Prevention Week theme is "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives; Test Yours Every Month." As a fun way to learn all about smoke alarm safety, we have developed a short trivia quiz for our website. Take the quiz on our website and afterwards, continue to click through to see what the correct answers were to any you may have answered incorrectly. Also, be sure to share your results on Facebook and Twitter.

Take the Fire Prevention Week quiz now!

Many people don’t test their smoke alarms as often as they should, but when there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms provide the time needed to get out safely. For further educational material and tip sheets on smoke alarms, visit the Fire Prevention Week website.

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