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On October 31, 2006, a fire occurred in the Mizpah Hotel in Reno, NV, a residential hotel housing mainly low income people. At the time of the fire there were 85 occupants within the building. The fire spread rapidly in the corridor on the second floor of the building and then upward, preventing many occupants from promptly exiting the building. Several mattresses stored in the second floor corridor provided fuel for the fire as it grew in size. First arriving fire units were confronted with an acute situation, with occupants awaiting rescue at several windows and several more unaccounted for.

Twelve occupants died in the fire, and over 30 were injured. The building was destroyed and had to be demolished in the aftermath of the fire and investigation.

Investigators determined that the fire was deliberately set by a resident who ignited one of the mattresses in the corridor and left it against a dwelling room door in the second floor corridor. The suspect in the fire, a 47 year-old female was charged with twelve counts of murder and one count of first degree arson. She pled guilty to these counts in January, 2007 and was sentenced to multiple life sentences in March, 2007.

For the full NFPA report Download this Reno, NV report.  To learn NFPA statical information Download Hotel and Motel Structure Fires


Here's further proof that today's home fires are a cause for concern: when compared with the number of civilian home fire deaths in 2012, there was a 16 percent increase in the number of deaths for 2013.  


NFPA's new report,"Fire Loss in the United States During 2013," notes that nearly 2,800 people died from home fires in 2013. The new report also states that home fires accounted for 85 percent of all civilian fire deaths that year. 


Get additional facts from the report and watch a related video by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.


!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA President Jim Pauley gives overview of Fire Sprinkler Initiative in new video

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Image via Scott Wolfson


As temperatures drop and consumers begin cranking up their heating systems, NFPA and the [U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission |] (CPSC) have launched a new online toolkit to help local fire departments educate the public about the associated risks of carbon monoxide (CO) in the months ahead. November through February represent the leading months for CO poisoning in the U.S., with a peak in December. 


NFPA and CPSC announced the toolkit at a press conference today at a Philadelphia fire station with Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick J.V. Sawyer, NFPA President Jim Pauley, CPSC Vice Chairman Robert Adler and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. The event highlighted CO safety, prior to the upcoming winter season, and included a local resident who spoke about how his CO alarm recently saved his life from CO traced to a faulty hot water heater.  

Carbon monoxide is created when fuel burns incompletely, and is often called the ‘invisible killer’ because it’s a poisonous gas that’s invisible and odorless. When home heating equipment isn’t installed or working properly, the risk of higher levels of CO increases significantly. 

In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire incidents in which CO was found. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 1999-2010, an average of 430 people were killed by unintentional CO poisoning per year. 

NFPA and CPSC’s online toolkit provides a wealth of resources, safety tips and advice for properly maintaining heating systems to prevent the buildup of CO in the home, while strongly advocating for the installation of CO alarms.


Fire departments can access all toolkit materials from NFPA&#0160;at&#0160; &#0160;or CPSC at&#0160;[ |]. For more information on carbon monoxide in the home, visit&#0160;NFPA’s carbon monoxide web page&#0160;and&#0160;CPSC’s carbon monoxide information center. &#0160;</p>

Boston FF
Two days ago, Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, the two Boston firefighters who died battling a nine-alarm fire on Beacon Street last March, were posthumously awarded the state’s highest firefighting honor.  

The ceremony was attended by the late firefighters' families and comrades, as well as an array of dignitaries and both received Medals of Honor during the 25th annual Firefighter of the Year heroism awards ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester.

“Within minutes of responding to the Beacon Street fire, we lost two great firefighters,” said Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph E. Finn. “Their devotion to duty compelled them to rush into what would become a perilous situation.”

Walsh’s wife and two of his children, along with Kennedy’s mother and father, accepted the awards on behalf of the men. The Boston Fire Department received a group award for their attempts to rescue the pair, who became trapped in the basement.

Firefighters from 10 communities were also honored during the ceremony. Governor Deval Patrick and other state and fire officials presented a total of 22 awards for acts of heroism. Several awards went to off-duty firefighters who charged into burning buildings without safety gear to search for people trapped inside.

Read the full Boston Globe article for more details on the Awards

It’s hard to believe we’ll be turning back our clocks this weekend, and that the days will be getting noticeably shorter. If that idea doesn’t thrill you (and really, who’s happy about this?!), here’s a significant benefit to the day: the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program. Energizer

For 27 years, Energizer® has partnered with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to help keep families safe by reminding people to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks back on November 2.

As part of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery campaign, Energizer® and IAFC will be hosting fire safety events in 20 cities around the country, with the Energizer Bunny making special appearance in select markets. Click here to see where these events will be held.

And, of course, remember to test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they’re working.

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Circuit Breaker Failure Caused by Surge Voltage

Every year there are widespread anecdotal reports of homeowners’ property damage to electrical and electronic equipment resulting from electrical surges. The revision cycle of the 2011 edition of [NFPA 70, National Electrical Code |] (NEC) included several proposals (e.g. NEC 4-53 and NEC 4-127) to add new requirements for a Surge Protective Device for all dwelling units. These proposals were rejected by the respective Code Making Panel (i.e., CMP-4) due to a lack of reliable data to support such requirements. 

The goal of this project is to develop a data collection plan to assess loss related to electrical surge in homes, and address the potential impact electrical surge protection devices would have in mitigating these losses. The deliverables from this project represent a Phase I study in support of a potential second phase (not included in the scope of this effort).


Download the full report, "Data Assessment for Electrical Surge Protection Devices,” authored by Eddie Davis, Nick Kooiman, and Kylash Viswanathan from Hughes Associates, Inc.</p>

On Friday, October 30, 1992, an explosion and fire resulted in the total evacuation of the Woburn Nursing Center, a 101-bed facility, in Woburn, Massachusetts.  The explosion occurred when natural gas was accidentally released during construction activities at the facility.  The natural gas filled combustible concealed spaces in the building's core area and was ignited by some undetermined heat source.  When ignited, the gas-fed fire spread vertically from the basement to the third floor blowing off a section of the building's roof.  Twenty-one sprinklers operated controlling the fire while staff members evacuated all patients.  Construction workers, neighbors and others provided limited but valuable assistance during the evacuation.  Since the evacuation activities were already in progress when they arrived, most of the first-alarm fire fighters were able to concentrate on fire suppression.  Twenty-one civilians and two fire fighters sustained injuries though most of these injuries were minor.  The damage to the building and its contents was estimated at $1.5 million.

Based on the NFPA's investigation and analysis of this fire, the following significant factors contributed to the successful outcome during the fire at the Woburn Nursing Center:

  • The installation and operation of a supervised and approved automatic sprinkler system
  • The existence of and administrative commitment to programs and procedures describing staff emergency response
  • The immediate actions of trained staff members following the explosion
  • The quick response of fire department, emergency medical and other personnel who, through a coordinated effort, were able to perform their respective tasks as well as assist the nursing home staff in the care of evacuated residents.

To read the full NFPA report Download this Woburn, MA report.  For NFPA statistical information Fires in Health Care Facilities

Station photo
Under the authority of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Act, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has established a National Construction Safety Team to determine the likely technical cause(s) of building failures. The team's reports include recommendations, but to date, there has been no systematic method available to evaluate the impact of these recommendations. 

A protocol for conducting these evaluations has been launched through a project of the Fire Protection Research Foundation and NFPA. The incident chosen to demonstrate the protocol is The Station Nightclub Fire, which occurred on February 20, 2003 in West Warwick, RI, and resulted in 100 fatalities. The project considers NCST recommendations that relate to changes in the rules and practices that define local environments and fire department effectiveness, changes to model codes and standards, as well as research on fire-related phenomena and mitigation methods.

Download a free copy of the Foundation/NFPA report, "Pilot Demonstration of an Impact Evaluation Protocol: NIST NCST Recommendations Arising from The Station Nightclub Fire," authored by John R. Hall, Jr., PhD, Michael Karter, Amanda Kimball, P.E., and Minchao Yin. 

October 2014 Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletterHome fire sprinkler advocates across the U.S. participated in an ABC News investigation that underscored the concerns surrounding lightweight construction and modern home furnishings under fire. 

The latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter highlights this and other sprinkler stories from across North America. You'll read about:

  • Habitat for Humanity partnering with NFPA to sprinkler new homes in Massachusetts
  • A sprinkler activation in California that has placed the state's sprinkler requirement in the limelight
  • A regional summit that has energized sprinkler advocacy efforts 

Receive this free, monthly newsletter by signing up today. These stories will keep you abreast of the latest legislative updates, new advocacy tools, and activities of sprinkler advocates.  


On Thursday evening, October 28, 1998, a fire occurred in a nightclub in Gothenburg, Sweden.  A Halloween party was being held in the second floor hall, and it was estimated by officials that there were approximately 400 people in attendance.  According to personnel from the fire brigade, one of the survivors reported that there were so many people that it was impossible to even dance because people were crowded shoulder to shoulder.  The area had an occupancy rating of approximately 150 people.

Once the fire was extinguished, about 20 bodies were found in a small room on the northwest end of the building.  It appeared that these victims were attempting to flee the fire and were not able to make it through the door at the northwest end.  They then attempted to take refuge in the room, but were overcome by the smoke.  One officer reported that the bodies were piled approximately three feet deep in this room. A total of 64 people died in this fire, mostly from smoke inhalation.  Their ages ranged from 14 to 20 years old.  150 people were injured.  The fire brigade estimated that they rescued 40 to 50 people.

Based on the NFPA's investigation and analysis of this fire, the following significant factors were considered as having contributed to the loss of life and property in this incident:

  • • Overcrowding
  • • Lack of a sprinkler system
  • • Lack of a fire alarm system
  • • Fire ignition through arson
  • • Combustible storage in a stairwell 

To read the full report Download this Gothenburg, Sweden report.  For NFPA statistical information Download Eating and Drinking Establishments

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 December 19, 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.


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Electrical Safety Foundation International
(ESFI) is hosting the first in a new webinar series, on Wednesday the 29th at 11:00am ET. The free webinar titled “Counterfeiting: Understanding Your Risk and Liability,” will delve into recent trends in counterfeiting as well as the legal responses aimed at addressing the issue. Citing specific court cases and seizures, panelists will describe the ongoing fight against counterfeit goods and the new technologies, practices, and collaborations that are helping to thwart these dangerous products. 


The live event will kick off ESFI’s “Zero Tolerance for Counterfeits” webinar series that that will feature industry experts discussing various topics related to counterfeit electrical products.&#0160; Each webinar will be broadcasted live and the public is encouraged to submit questions to the speaker panel before and during the event.

 Speakers participating in the first webinar include:

DeeJay Smith&#0160;- Brand Protection Group Manager,&#0160;Proctor and Gamble – North America, Latin America, Asia,&#0160;who will discuss recent trends and evolving threats to the legitimate supply channel

Clark Silcox&#0160;– General Counsel,&#0160;National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA),who will review recent cases involving counterfeit products and discuss legal trends in accountability for counterfeits

[Register for this free webinar now |]. Questions can be submitted in real time during the discussion, or can be sent to [ |] in advance.  Participants are also encouraged to join the Twitter conversation during the event using the hashtag #ESFIAntiCounterfeiting.


Data and the unknown

Posted by mikehazell Employee Oct 27, 2014

Data and the collection of data are big topics around the fire service. We are collecting more data than we ever have, and it will only keep growing. Much of it comes in the form of the reports we complete after an incident. The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has recently published a report on the “unknowns” in incident data as well as a training video stressing the importance of obtaining good data.


Chris Farrell

On Sunday October 25, 1987, at approximately 8:45 a.m., three fire fighters were killed and three others injured during a multi-department, live fire training exercise involving a vacant, two-story, wood frame farmhouse in Milford, Michigan.

The following factors are considered as having significantly contributed to the fire fighter fatalities:

   •     The use of flammable and combustible liquids in a live fire training


  •     The presence of combustible wall paneling and ceiling tiles within the

            training building;

  •     Lack of adequate planning and of communication of the training exercise

            objectives to all individuals;

 •     Lack of adequate assessment of the hazards of the training exercise and the

            hazards presented by the structure in such an exercise;

  •     Lack of adequate training (fire) ground command structure to ensure safe

            and coordinated procedures.  

NFPA members download the full report  For more information on NFPA statistical reports firefighter fatalities and firefighter injuries

by NFPA's Karen Berard-Reeed

NFPA is sad to hear the news of the passing of Alonzo King, Jr. from Columbus, Ohio.  Our hearts are with the city of Columbus as they celebrate the life of a great public servant.  Firefighter King was the Fifty Year Plus Program Coordinator within the Community Relations Office at the Columbus Division of Fire.  He was involved with NFPA public education programs for many years and a faithful advocate for fire safety in his community.  In 2008, Alonzo was involved in the first NFPA Urban Fire Safety Project set in Columbus. He, along with Lt. David Sawyer, was instrumental to the success of this endeavor.    

Alonzo smoke alarm installationAlonzo was a key player in working to reduce the fire incidence in high-risk neighborhoods and headed up an installation program for interconnected smoke alarms in the homes of older adults.  Alonzo further demonstrated his passion for fire prevention when partnering with NFPA to develop an arson safety program which was used across North America.  Firefighter King cared deeply about the older adults in his community and was a strong proponent for the NFPA Remembering When program.  He worked with hundreds of older adults in Columbus over the years to help them prevent fires and falls in the home and established important partnerships with other community organizations to strengthen his efforts.

I am sure anyone who had the pleasure of working with Alonzo will remember his infectious smile, his ability to connect with his audiences with humor and music, and his dedication to helping his community.  The city of Columbus is left with big shoes to fill. 

Alonzo with NFPA

Station photo
Under the authority of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Act, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) establishes a National Construction Safety Team to determine the likely technical cause(s) of building failures. These reports include recommendations, but there has been no systematic method available to evaluate the impact of these recommendations. 

A general protocol for conducting such evaluations cannot be created from scratch and still be detailed and validated enough to be useful for NIST’s purposes. Therefore, the Fire Protection Research Foundation and NFPA conducted this project with the goal to develop a systematic method to evaluate the impact of NCST recommendations by focusing on a single incident as an example. This specific evaluation also serves as the basis for a general protocol. 

The incident chosen for the example to demonstrate the protocol was The Station Nightclub Fire, which occurred on the night of 20 February 2003 in West Warwick, Rhode Island, and resulted in 100 fatalities.

The full report, "Pilot Demonstration of an Impact Evaluation Protocol: NIST NCST Recommendations Arising from The Station Nightclub Fire," authored by John R. Hall, Jr., PhD, Michael Karter, National Fire Protection Association, and Amanda Kimball, P.E. and Minchao Yin, Fire Protection Research Foundation is available as a free download. 

The 2014 edition of the NFPA Glossary of Terms (GOT) has been published and is available for FREE online. Visit to download your copy.

The GOT is a list of the defined terms in all of NFPA's published codes, standards, guides and recommended practices. The 14,575 terms are listed alphabetically and assembled into a free PDF available on the NFPA website. The document is used in a number of ways. It helps NFPA Technical Committees who are looking to define new terms or compare existing terms. It also helps members of the public who are interested in learning about how NFPA documents define specific terms. The Glossary of Terms Advisory Committee helps regulate the number of unnecessary duplicate definitions to try and make the GOT easier to use. The GOT contains the following details about each term:

Term: The word being defined.

Definition:The description of the term.

Document (Edition): Where the term and definition are found (document #) and the edition year of that document.

Document Defining Same Term: A list of all documents that also define the same term.

Document Using Same Definition: A list of all documents that also define the same term in the exact same way.

See the figure below for an example of how the GOT is organized. The term "Barrel" is defined in 4 documents- NFPA 1, 30, 59A, and 80.  NFPA 1 and NFPA 30 both define the term in the exact same way. The first 3 definitions refer to a unit of volume while the last  definition, from NFPA 80, refers to a rolling steel door component.To learn more about any of the documents defining a term, visit the NFPA Document Information pages- doc #). For example, NFPA 80 can be found at



Earlier this month, the University of New Haven Fire Science Club was on hand during the launch of the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition to create structures for the event&#39;s live burn/sprinkler demonstration. Their efforts didn&#39;t stop there.

A club member also manned a thermal imaging camera during the demonstrations to document the disparity of temperatures inside the sprinklered and unsprinklered structures during a fire. First, watch this video of Keith Flood, chair of the Connecticut coalition and fire marshal of the West Haven Fire Department, narrating the fire spread in the unsprinklered structure:


Here's the video of the same burn taken by the fire science club using the thermal cameras. In the latter part of the video, notice the stark difference in temperature taken inside the sprinklered structure:



Learn everything you wanted to know about home fire sprinklers by visiting NFPA&#39;s Fire Sprinkler Initiative site. &#0160;

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Firefighter death adds significance to new Connecticut sprinkler coalition


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Kudos to fire officials at Estero Fire Rescue, who have initiated a study on the cost and benefits of a potential sprinkler ordinance for new, one- and two-family homes.


Though the town is nearing build out, the +Naples Daily News+ reports that community planners are considering "higher density" developments for some of the remaining parcels. Moreover, sprinklers would protect the town's higher-than-average high-risk groups, which include children and the elderly, populations that have a greater risk of dying in a house fire, per NFPA research.


For more on this story, check out NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.


!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!How an Illinois fire chief became a powerful spokesperson for home fire sprinklers

The recall by Navistar is for International 4800 trucks built between 1999 and 2002 that are equipped with Fabco TC-200 transfer cases. The recall notice says the driveshaft may separate and cause axle lockup if a joint in the driveshaft seizes.  Read the full article for more details…

Drive Shaft

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One contender posing with the NEC Championship Belt

This year, more than 700 electrical experts and professionals across the country have been able to put their knowledge and experience to the test once again in the 2nd year of the +NEC +Challenge. And this week, the +Challenge +will make its final trade show stop of the year in Baltimore at the IEC Electric Expo in booth #210, where we will find the next of our five 2014 championship contenders.  

Thus far this year, we’ve traveled across the country to NFPA C&E in Las Vegas, NJATC NTI in Ann Arbor and most recently to NECA in Chicago. From there, three worthy competitors who have demonstrated their superior code knowledge have earned spots in this year’s championship for the chance to compete for the $5,000 grand prize. By Friday, one more of those coveted spots will be filled.


Even if you aren&#39;t at IEC to play in person, there are plenty of chances to get in on the NEC Challenge action wherever you are. Additional challenge questions will be released on Twitter by @NFPA throughout the trade show. Simply follow the NFPA Twitter account and stay tuned for your chance to win. You’ll have one hour after each question is released to respond with the correct answer and earn your entry into the iPad drawing.


What’s more, even if you are unable to make it to IEC, you can still earn one last spot in our championship by climbing to the top of the online game&#39;s leaderboard. &#0160;&#0160;

So will you be joining Jeff Bernson (NECA), J.W. “Jim” Walker (NFPA C&E) and Paul Holum (NJATC NTI) in our championship? Take on the Challenge this week at IEC or to find out!


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

  • New Halloween tip sheet graphic
  • Electrical safety during Homecoming Weekend
  • Fire-safety fashion show for older adults -- video and Powerpoint
  • Red Cross campaign focuses on smoke alarms
  • Fire escapes: safety feature/safety hazard
  • Fire-safey songs now for sale on iTunes

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.

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David LaFond (left), regional manager for the National Fire Sprinkler Association, presents certificates of appreciation to Massachusetts fire officials recognizing their home fire sprinkler advocacy efforts.


As highlighted on this blog, NFPA and sprinkler advocates from the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition collaborated for the sprinklering of two, new Habitat for Humanity homes in the town of Hanover.&#0160;David LaFond, New England regional manager for the National Fire Sprinkler Association and member of the coalition, recently presented &quot;certificates of appreciation&quot; on behalf of the coalition to Hanover Fire Chief Jeffrey Blanchard and Deputy Fire Chief Barbara Stone In recognition of their advocacy on home fire sprinklers and their ongoing support to add this life safety requirement to Habitat homes in their community. &#0160;

"This type of partnership is essential to the success of our homebuilding efforts," says Martine Taylor, executive director of the South Shore Habitat for Humanity. "These contributions enable us to help families move out of unsafe and substandard housing and into decent, affordable homes of their own." 


On site the day of the September sprinkler installation were fire service members, sprinkler installers, sprinkler contractors, and others who showcased the ease and cost-effectiveness of sprinkler installations in new dwellings.&#0160;NFPA documented this experience and obtained testimonials with the people who had a hand in the sprinkler installation. Some of the topics they tackled were installation costs and sprinkler myths.


Visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog for a new video of the event.&#0160;</p>



Glowing jack-o-lanterns, festive decorations, spooky costumes – Halloween offers so much fun, but it does come with hidden fire dangers that can be truly scary. Fortunately, by following some simple safety precautions from NFPA , you can ensure a day of safe fun for your family and trick-or-treaters.


NFPA’s most recent statistics show that&#0160;decorations&#0160;were the first items to be ignited in 920 reported home structure fires on average each year.&#0160;In addition, nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source. 41% of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den.&#0160;

The [Sparky the Fire Dog® website |] features tip sheets, kids' activities, an e-card, and a Sparky pumpkin-carving template. For parents and teachers, NFPA also created a simple Halloween [fire safety tip graphic |].  


NFPA provides&#0160;safety tips to keep everyone safe this Halloween, including:

    • When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can clearly see out of them.

    • Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

    • It is safest to use a glow stick or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times.

    • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes. 

Bill McCammonAccording to the, a memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, October 23 at the Alameda County (CA) Fairgrounds for Bill McCammon, retired chief of Alameda County, who died on October 13. He was 61 years old.

At the time of his death, Chief McCammon was treasurer of the NFPA Board of Directors. He was also the executive director of the East Bay Regional Communications System Authority, which built and operates an inter-operable communications system for 43 public agencies within Alameda and Contra Costa counties. He was also the current president of the Alameda County Fair Board of Directors.

Chief McCammon is survived by his wife Rose Padilla-Johnson and three children. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Davis Street Family Resource Center at 3081 Teagarden, San Leandro, CA 94577, or online to support the organization's  primary care medical clinic.

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

  • A link to Kathleen Almand’s Journal column highlighting the research behind the three ways structures burn in the WUI
  • Information about the October “Ask the Expert” webinar, which will focus on ways to improve access for wildfire personnel
  • Additional resources for the 2015 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event
  • A link to Jim Pauley’s “First Word” column in Journal about the role NFPA is playing to address the wildfire problem in the U.S.

… And lots more! We want to continue to share all of this great information with you so don’t miss an issue! So subscribe today. It’s free! Just click here to add your e-mail address to our newsletter list.

On October 20, 1973, an early morning fire spread throughout the first floor of this two-story motel killing two of the 250 guests and causing severe damage.  A major factor in this fire was a 35 minute delay in notifying the fire department.  The fire started in a guest room and, apparently, spread to other areas by burning through the plywood-on-wood-stud walls.  Combustible ceiling tiles and wood wall coverings contributed to the fire spread in the corridor.


To see the full NFPA March 9174 Fire Journal article.  For NFPA'  Fire Analysis and Research statistical report Hotel and Motel Structure Fires

A devastating conflagration occurred in the scenic hills above the cities of Oakland and Berkeley, California, on October 20, 1991.  Burning embers carried by high winds from the perimeter of a small but growing duff fire ignited overgrown vegetation and led to the further ignition of tree crowns and combustible construction materials of adjacent homes, including many with wood-shingle roofs.

The result was a major wildland/urban interface fire that killed 25 people including a police officer and a fire fighter, injured 150 others, destroyed nearly 2,449 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units, burned over 1,660 acres, and did an estimated $1.5 billion in damage.  

To read the whole NFPA Fire Investigation Report.  This story is also feature in NFPA's Newsletter Fire by the Numbers.  To Learn more about NFPA;s Fire Adapted Communities

On Thursday, October 18, 1984, an incendiary fire started on the third floor of the Alexander Hamilton Hotel in Paterson, New Jersey resulting in the deaths of 15 persons and injuries to over 50 persons.  The fire was confined to the third floor of the eight story steel frame fire resistive building, although products of combustion traveled to upper floors where the majority of the deaths occurred.

The hotel was a combination transient/residential hotel with 169 guest rooms or living suites on the upper six floors.  Although equipped with 3 enclosed stairways and a smoke detection system, the stairway doors were not closed and allowed early failure of the exit system due to smoke and heat spread.  Vertical ventilation shafts servicing the bathrooms of each guest room also spread smoke to the upper story guest rooms.

To learn more about this fire NFPA's Fire Investigations.


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When Chief Mike Figolah signed on with the Mount Prospect Fire Department, he became a strong supporter of their NFPA 13D, +Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes,+ ordinance passed in 2003, as well as the village’s requirements for sprinklers in all townhomes and low-level multifamily structures. A tear-down-and-rebuild community, Mount Prospect now has over 150 single-family homes protected with sprinklers.


As fire chief, Figolah regularly hosted Fire Prevention Week open house events. Each year, the &quot;grand finale&quot; included a live burn and sprinkler demonstration for large audiences that demonstrated the difference between sprinklered and unsprinklered fires in similarly furnished rooms. Figolah took the demonstration a step further by presenting the response timeline of firefighters, which allowed audiences to witness the time needed for firefighters to&#0160;don fire gear and set up hose lines. As the fire in the unsprinklered structure raged on, sprinklers in the protected structure doused the flames. He is the model example of a sprinkler advocate effectively using educational materials produced by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition .


As sprinkler advocates developed theIllinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition (IFSC), it became readily apparent that a spokesperson was needed to willingly speak as the IFSC voice without fear of retribution. Figolah became that voice. Learn how Figolah further advocated for home fire sprinklers by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Tom Lia details the Illinois experience with home fire sprinklers

For those in the blogosphere unfamiliar with NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative, here's the 1:40 version of this important endeavor. In the following video, NFPA President Jim Pauley gives an overview of the initiative, which was launched in 2009 to increase the number of sprinklered homes in North America via code adoption or legislation. Hear from Jim what the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site has to offer, and how it's assisting the array of sprinkler advocates that are gradually making America safer:



Thanks to the sound of a working smoke alarm, 28-year-old Lori Rainwater and her three young children safely escaped a fire that completely destroyed the first floor of her home and much of the upstairs. Darlington

Ms. Rainwater had put her children to bed, lit a candle in her living room and went upstairs to take a bath, when the smoke alarm sounded soon after.

“Less than 10 minutes later the fire alarm went off – I couldn’t smell smoke and was totally oblivious but I ran downstairs and saw the couch in flames and the curtains ablaze,” said Ms. Rainwater.

Without even taking the time to put on shoes, she swiftly got her three children ages six, one and nine months out of the home, carrying the two youngest in her arms.

"All I could think about was getting out - I thought we have to get out now or we're not going to get out at all," said Ms. Rainwater.

“Get smoke alarms fitted and get them tested. Without them there’s no way we would have known there was a fire until it was too late,” she added.

Visit Smoke Alarm Central for more information on smoke alarm testing, installation and maintenance.

Office hours new
Office Hours
 is a live, interactive, streaming video presentation for NFPA Members featuring NFPA technical staff discussing NFPA codes and standards. In this month's event, join Matt Klaus, Principal Fire Protection Engineer with NFPA, and James Golinveaux, Sr. Fellow Water Fire Suppression with Tyco Fire Matt& Building Products, as they discuss the latest on NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. Discussion topics for the live event include;

  • New storage protection schemes available in the 2013 and 2016 editions of NFPA 13
  • Current research projects related to storage fire protection
  • How you can get involved in committee activity dealing with storage and sprinklers

Register today! Have questions? Get the answers during this live event on October 22nd!

Use or Tweet to #OfficeHours during the presentation. Get involved! Join the conversation! Not a member but want to participate? Become an NFPA member today

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

In this issue:

  • Fall 2016 revision cycle documents open for public input
  • New projects seeking public comment: fire training and associated props; and tactical video cameras and equipment
  • NFPA 1616 and 1072 open for public input
  • Standards Council approves new projects: Community risk reduction plans; and SCAM of wildland fire fighting protective clothing and equipment
  • Call for nominations for committee awards
  • 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.


Last week, the American Red Cross launched an ambitious home fire preparedness campaign to reduce the number of fire injuries and deaths nationwide. Central to the initiative is the distribution of 500,000 smoke alarms in targeted communities over the next five years.


Within 24 hours of the campaign's launch, one woman’s life may have been saved already.

According to firefighters, a woman in Albany, GA, fell asleep in her home after running a self-cleaning oven, not realizing that a pot with grease was in it. She awoke to the sound of a smoke alarm and promptly exited the home.

That smoke alarm had been installed the day before by Red Cross volunteers with the help of a local Boy Scout troop, who were going door-to-door in the two neighborhoods that have experienced the highest number of home fires, fatalities and injuries in Georgia.


Many organizations, including NFPA , are partners in this effort. To learn more about the initiative, visit Saving Lives with the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.</p>

Red Cross
The American Red Cross Home Fire campaign aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years. Along with installing smoke alarms, the Red Cross is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to canvass neighborhoods and teach people all over the U.S. about fire safety.

Red Cross 2Red Cross teams started canvassing across the country to help install smoke alarms, check existing smoke alarms and sometimes help families create fire escape plans.

Some communities developed creative ways to implement their fire campaign and interact with community members. In Greenville, South Carolina, firefighters worked with the Red Cross to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires. They delivered pizza through the local Domino’s Pizza last week, checking customers smoke alarms while at the home. 

The Red Cross fire prevention campaign comes at a time when a new national survey shows many Americans have a false sense of security about surviving a fire. The survey, conducted for the Red Cross, shows that people mistakenly believe they have more time than they really do to escape a burning home. Fire experts agree that people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home, but most Americans (62%) mistakenly believe they have at least five minutes to escape.

Please visit the NFPA website to learn more about smoke alarms, escape plans, and other fire safety topics.

Washington Fire Sprinkler CoalitionAn alarming 32 deaths from house fires occurred during the week of October 5, bringing the total number of media-reported civilian fire deaths this year to nearly 1,800, per a weekly report released by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

The outcome of a recent fire in Washington State was far less tragic, thanks to the rapid response of a home fire sprinkler system. Get the full story by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

WilliamMcCammonWilliam J. McCammon, Treasurer of NFPA’s Board of Directors, died in his sleep on October 13, 2014. Chief McCammon was appointed to the board for a 3-year term at NFPA’s Annual Meeting in June 2009, then was re-elected in June 2012 for a second 3-year term. During his tenure as an NFPA board member, he had served on the Governance, Executive, Finance, Compensation and Scholarship Committees. As Treasurer, he had chaired the Finance and Compensation committees. Chief McCammon also served on NFPA’s Wildland Advisory Committee.

Chief McCammon was the first Fire Chief of the Alameda County (CA) Fire Department from 1993-2006. He began his fire service career working for the Dublin-San Ramon Services District Fire Department (SLFD). During his 14 years with SLFD, he held the ranks of firefighter, Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief-Fire Marshal and Fire Chief.

Chief McCammon served in all positions on NFPA's Metropolitan “Metro” Executive Board including President. At the time of his death, he was representing the Metro as one of four vice chairs on the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) to the First Net Board. Chief McCammon also represented the Metro on SAFECOM, which is an advisory committee to the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) in the Department of Homeland Security. The Committee reviews issues surrounding interoperability and makes recommendations to the agency. 

He led the effort to create the East Bay Regional Communications System Authority (EBRCSA), which built and operates a communications system for 43 public agencies within Alameda and Contra Costa counties. He was currently serving as the Executive Director for EBRCSA. In 2012 he was appointed Vice-Chair for FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee.

John BryanJohn L. Bryan, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland's (UMD) Department of Fire Protection Engineering, has died at 87. Dr. Bryan, known as the "Prof" by his students, performed in various fire service, academic and professional consulting occupations for four decades. He served as Chair and Professor of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering from the establishment of the department in 1956 until his retirement from the University in 1993.

Since 1966, Dr. Bryan served on NFPA technical committees, including the Building Code/Life Safety Code Means of Egress and Life Safety Code correlating committees. A longstanding member of NFPA’s Board of Directors and Standards Council, Dr. Bryan was the first person to ever serve as chair of both groups.

In 1986, he received NFPA’s Paul C. Lamb Award, established to honor members whose service to NFPA characterizes the height of volunteer spirit and deed, and in 2005, received NFPA's Standards Medal, the highest award given by the Standards Council, which recognizes outstanding contributions to fire safety in the development of codes and standards. He also received the Society of Fire Protection Engineer’s "Fire Protection Man of the Year" honor in 1977.

Dr. Bryan was a widely published author whose professional affiliations include SFPE, UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) and ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials).

Dr. Bryan's family will receive friends from 2:00-5:00 pm on Sunday, November 16 at the Keeney and Basford Funeral Home, 106 East Church Street, Frederick, MD. Funeral services will begin at 10:00 am on Monday, November 17 at Calvary United Methodist Church, 131 West 2nd Street, Frederick, MD. More information.

FPWFireRescue1 published a great piece yesterday that included thoughts from the public on what they thought some of the best results of Fire Prevention Week in the past have been. 

They asked their fans on Facebook to tell them the most profound impact that came from their Fire Prevention Week efforts. Some said it inspired them to become a firefighter, and others applauded kids for teaching their parents what they learned. Below are some of the most compelling responses they received.

Be sure to add your own in the comment section below.

"Witnessing first-hand a child leading his sister out of the house by the hand, notifying adults of the fire and going to the pre-arranged meeting place — all while remaining calm. This child later became a firefighter." — Jennifer Moore-Warren

"Kids going home and making their parents put batteries in their smoke detectors. One family had a fire a week later. Thankfully they got out with the warning." — Michael Dobson

"Simple: public education." — John Riley

"Fire Prevention Week is what made me want to become a firefighter." — Marshall David

"Last year we did something different with one of the classes coming to fire station. Parents came with their kids to the station, so we taught the whole family. While I was teaching the class, we were filling the bay up with smoke from our smoke machine. And when it was time to go out in the bay, many parents were surprised that you could not see. We use it for all of our classes now." — Patty Harker

"Learning that the concepts we taught the preschoolers during the day were taught to the parents that night. A good amount of parents mentioned what their little ones had taught them about 911, etc." — Karen Morris 

"E D.I.T.H. fire prevention program from the '80s taught my kids how to get out of the house at least two ways and a safety place to meet." — Jackie Hatton

The NFPA Standards Council will be meeting on October 28-29, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. At this meeting, some of the topics the Council will address include:

  • appeal on a proposed TIA to NFPA 70
  • issuance of proposed TIAs on NFPA 70, 400, 1851, 1951, and 1971
  • new projects/documents on hybrid, gas, and fire water droplet systems; fire-based community healthcare provider (FBCHP) program.
  • consider a request from the Committee to enter new document, NFPA 1986, Standard on Respiratory Protection Equipment for Technical and Tactical Operations, into revision cycle.
  • 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.

As the fire safety sponsor of LEGOLAND® Parks, NFPA joined LEGOLAND® Florida yesterday to celebrate Fire Prevention Week with a special fire safety day in the Park. Fire safety day featured live performances by PBS personality Steve Rosnolek of “SteveSongs” fame, and special showings of the Park’s longest-running live show “The Big Test” an acrobatic comedy in which the Fun Town Volunteer Firefighters try to become “real” firefighters.  Legoland.logo.LLF.4C.Black.THICK.8-12

NFPA President Jim Pauley spoke to the audience at The Big Test about the importance of working smoke alarms in helping save lives in home fires. “Working with LEGOLAND to bring together fun and education is a great way to deliver important fire safety messages to families,” said Pauley after the show.

Throughout the day, SteveSongs and his band entertained families with a set of songs including “Little Rosalie” which informs kids about what to do when they hear the sound of a home smoke alarm. NFPA teamed up with SteveSongs this year to help educate children about fire safety through song, including the release of a popular children’s music video of “Little Rosalie.”

The event included a number of interactive learning stations with key safety messages from NFPA, highlighting smoke alarm testing. Families also had a chance to see a fire truck and try on firefighter gear with firefighters from Polk County Fire Rescue, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office joined the event with fire safety information.

“We’re excited to team up with NFPA and actively support Fire Prevention Week, and help educate children on the importance of smoke alarms and fire safety,” said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones.

NFPA also announced the grand prize winner of its smoke alarm pledge sweepstakes in partnership with LEGOLAND Parks. The winner, Laura Patterson, Woodland, Wash., will choose a prize trip for up to four people to either LEGOLAND Florida or LEGOLAND California. The pledge encouraged people to test their smoke alarms each month. Additional prizes are being awarded to 10 pledge participants who win free tickets to either Park.

This year represents the third year NFPA and LEGOLAND Parks have joined forces to promote Fire Prevention Week and its home fire safety messages. NFPA and LEGOLAND California Resort teamed up recently to reach families about testing home smoke alarms during an appreciation day for local firefighters.

Postshow shot 2 w_cast_photo (5)
Jim Pauley, NFPA president, Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of Outreach & Advocacy and Adrian Jones, LEGOLAND Florida general manager with The Big Test cast


RFcookingOn October 6th, the Association of Home Appliance  Manufacturers (AHAM) formally announced their
intent to request safety standards development for new technologies for electric stove cooktop coil elements which will automatically turn the element off when critical pre-fire conditions are reached.

The announcement was made during a meeting of the foundation's cooking fire mitigation technology research project steering team which, over the past three years, has guided research at the foundation in support of this goal. The steering team participants include representatives from AHAM, the consumer product safety commission, State Farm insurance, vision 20/20 and the national institute off standards and technology who have sponsored the foundation's work over the past three years. Each of these organizations has conducted research of their own on this topic and contributed important guidance to the foundation's effort and this result. Results of the Foundation's most recent research, conducted by Hughes Associates and Primaira, can be found on our website.

The team is committed to continuing working together toward our shared goal of reducing cooking fire loss, which represents the lion share of fire injury and property loss in the U.S.

For additional information on this topic NFPA Fire Protection Research Foundation  To learn about statistical information on cooking fires NFPA's Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment

Free Access widget
Want to help spread the word that NFPA codes and standards are available for free online access? We've developed several widgets that you can download and embed on your web site, newsletter, and social media sites to let your readers know how they can easily access any of NFPA's 300 technical documents.

NFPA is proud to have been the first organization to provide free public access to privately developed codes and standards. These documents are "read-only" - they cannot be downloaded or printed -- because we rely on the sale of our codes and standards to help fund our mission. But our codes and standards are all available online - and optimized for mobile devices and tablets - for anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with a code or check a requirement.

Download our new widgets today or visit our web site to learn more about online access to NFPA codes and standards.

More ABC news videos | ABC Entertainment News 

Ken Willette, NFPA’s division manager of public fire protection, was interviewed by ABC’s Good Morning America as part of a story that aired this morning on higher flammability rates in newer homes.

During the interview, Ken addressed the factors that have contributed to the increased speed at which flashover occurs in newer homes, highlighting that the lighter weight materials used in today’s construction burn much more quickly. The story also noted that synthetic fibers in newer furniture and other products throughout our homes are often highly flammable. The importance of having a home escape plan and testing smoke alarms monthly was mentioned as well.

Ken did a great job on this interview - we're lucky to have him as a spokesperson!

At its August 2014 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council considered and reviewed the following new projects and is seeking public review and comment by the February 1, 2015 deadline:

Anyone interested in commenting on these new projects, should include the following information: resources on the subject matter, the names of those interested in participating on the Committee (if established), the names of other organizations actively involved with this subject, and whether there is a need for such a project.  Submit your comments to the Codes and Standards Administration Department, NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471

Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition
This week, Hartford, Connecticut, firefighter Kevin Bell, 48, died after suffering critical injuries while battling a fire at a multi-family home. According to the Hartford Courant, Bell was searching the home when "fire conditions forced him to bail out of a second-floor window." Another firefighter suffered burns on 10 percent of his body, noted the paper. 

The tragedy only seemed to underscore the importance of the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition, which officially launched a day later at the University of New Haven. (Coalitions now exist in 21 states.) More than 100 people attended the event, which brought together the state's fire service, elected officials, and fire safety advocates to express the importance of home fire sprinklers.

"The ultimate goal of the coalition is to move forward with legislation on a statewide level, or codes we can adopt on a statewide level, that require residential sprinklers in new, one- and two-family dwellings," said Keith Flood, fire marshal of the West Haven Fire Department and coalition chair.

Visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog for more details about the event.


by NFPA's Lisa Braxton

The event of the season was held at NFPA headquarters this week, a fashion show called “Safety Style Down the Aisle.” As part of Fire Prevention Week, NFPA worked with the Quincy Council on Aging to invite older adults in the community to have lunch and enjoy an injury prevention fashion show. Family and friends of NFPA employees attended as well.

As guests cheered them on, NFPA employees strutted down the runway in costume to showcase safety messages from NFPA’s Remembering When program and this year’s FPW theme: "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month." Attendees were invited to join the models “on stage” and some did.

In a nod to the glitz and glamour fashion shows are famous for, the cameras rolled and pictures were snapped to capture every moment.

NFPA staff also volunteered as greeters and servers. And, of course, Sparky the Fire Dog got into the act, delighting the crowd.

DinennoAs announced in June by NFPA and Hughes Associates, the DiNenno Prize is a memorial to Philip J. DiNenno (1953-2013), the highly regarded former CEO of Hughes, to honor his tremendous contributions to fire safety. This prestigious award recognizes important innovations that enhance public safety, including building, fire, and electrical safety.

Nominations are due by November 1, 2014 by public safety experts and leading organizations which have been invited to participate. A prize selection committee, consisting of Hughes and NFPA senior staff, will consider invited nominations submitted from around the world.

The DiNenno Prize, considered the “Nobel Prize of public safety,” presents a Diploma and Medal to the distinguished recipient as well as a monetary award funded by an endowment.

“Phil was one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met, someone who really had vision,” Craig Beyler, a technical director at Hughes and a member of the DiNenno selection and prize committees, said in a recent interview for an NFPA Journal article about the Prize. “That’s what’s perfect about this award—it really fits with his persona.”

Chris Dubay, the chief engineer at NFPA, told NFPA Journal, “Phil was so influential and impactful across the entire NFPA organization. Losing Phil so suddenly, everyone thought it was important to find a way to recognize the enormous contributions he made here.” Dubay is also a member of the DiNenno Prize selection committee.

The Prize is presented at the NFPA Annual Meeting, where the winner is invited to present a plenary lecture on the Prize winning innovation.

More information can be found at


!|src=|alt=EV|style=width: 411px; margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=EV|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a014e86dfab17970d01b7c6efd541970b img-responsive!NFPA is now offering an expanded, free online training for the fire service:  +Electric/Hybrid/Fuel Cell Safety Course for Trucks, Buses, and Commercial Fleet Vehicles+. The new course provides response training for incidents involving these advanced electric drive vehicles and builds on NFPA’s electric vehicle (EV) training program that focuses on electric and hybrid passenger vehicles.  


Estimates point to more than 13 million electric/hybrid vehicles on the world's roadways within five years. To help emergency responders handle the unique challenges presented by this new technology across vehicle types, NFPA developed the new training as a second course following its passenger vehicle training: +Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Safety for Emergency Responders Online Course+. In approximately four hours, the two self-paced programs train responders through engaging videos, animations, simulations, and review exercises.  

The fire service requested that we expand the training to other types of vehicles. So, we’ve carried that knowledge and experience into the new training, to help the fire service be prepared in responding to situations with electrified trucks, buses and commercial fleet vehicles.

The new online curriculum covers high voltage vehicle and safety systems, basic electrical concepts and identification techniques for electric, hybrid and the latest fuel cell vehicles. The course also covers immobilization and power-down procedures, extrication challenges, current recommended practices and tactics for dealing with vehicle and battery fires and incidents involving charging stations. 

Upon completion of five modules, emergency responders will be able to: 

    • Safely conduct emergency scene size-up and management

    • Identify an electric, hybrid and fuel cell truck, bus, fleet or passenger vehicle

    • Effectively immobilize the vehicle for scene safety

    • Disable the vehicle's High Voltage and SRS systems

    • Conduct occupant rescue more safely

    • Execute EV recovery and disposal safely

!|src=|alt=Owen Cathy Mike|title=Owen Cathy Mike|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a01a73dad0bd2970d01b8d07a48af970c img-responsive!

Owen Davis, NFPA’s senior communications manager (left) with Mike Vendetti and Cathy St. Onge, CVS pharmacy corporate safety managers, at CVS pharmacy on 6th Avenue in New York City.


In support of Fire Prevention Week, CVS pharmacy is donating 500 smoke alarms to customers&#0160;at five of its stores in New York City over a two-day period. Yesterday, they donated 100 smoke alarms at three locations; another two stores are handing out smoke alarms this afternoon. Meanwhile, Sparky the Fire Dog® has been sharing basic smoke alarm tips on monitors at each of the stores, while fire safety educators from the New York Fire Department (FDNY) have been on site as well, talking with customers and answering their questions.



!|src=|alt=Sparky laptop|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Sparky laptop|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb079581e9970d img-responsive!Partnering with CVS pharmacy during FPW has been a great way to connect directly with New York City residents, and to educate them about the importance of smoke alarms.


To learn more about our partnership with CVS pharmacy, read our news release.



One of the most rewarding parts of promoting Fire Prevention Week is seeing just how far and wide its messages spread. Check out this picture of our FPW banner, which was taken in Dripping Springs, TX (pop. 1,788). Happy FPW, Dripping Springs!

Dripping Springs TX


Sparky the Fire Dog® and Judy Comoletti, manager of our public education division, appeared on FOX & Friends in New York City yesterday morning to spread the word about Fire Prevention Week and the importance of monthly smoke alarm testing. Check it out!



On October 5, l989, a nursing home fire in Norfolk, Virginia, resulted in the death of 12 patients and required hospital treatment or relocation of 96 others.  The building, built in 1969, is a four-story, nonsprinklered, fire resistive structure housing 161 elderly patients at the time of the fire.  The first floor contained general administrative offices and support facilities and patient rooms were located on floors two through four.  The fire was discovered just after 10:00 p.m. by the nursing staff who immediately began to evacuate patients, activate the fire alarm system, close patient room doors, notify the fire department, and extinguish the fire.  However, during this process, the fire grew within the patient room of origin and extended into the exit corridor, forcing the staff to abandon their emergency procedures on the fire floor. 

Norfolk Fire Department received notice of the fire at 10:l8 p.m., and fire fighters arrived on the scene within four minutes of the notification.  Upon arrival, they observed fire extending from a second floor window and lapping to the floor above.  An interior fire attack was begun utilizing the building standpipe system while other fire fighters laddered the building, extended a handline and “knocked down” the majority of the fire.  Severe heat and smoke conditions existed on the fire floor and fire fighters began to realize many of the patients remained in their rooms.  Because of these severe conditions, fire fighters began to evacuate patients from the fire floor.

Other arriving fire fighters, summoned by additional alarms, found moderate to heavy smoke conditions existing on the third and fourth floors.  Eventually the entire nursing home was evacuated.

Local investigators have listed the probable cause of the fire as careless disposal of smoking materials.  An open flame ignition source ignited bedding materials on a patient’s bed which soon involved a polyurethane decubitus pad, and the bed’s mattress.  Investigators believe that the fire grew very rapidly while the staff was attempting to complete their emergency procedures.  Within an estimated three to four minutes of discovery, flashover conditions were reached in the room of origin and the fire extended into the corridor.

The following are significant factors in this fatal fire incident:

     •     The rapid growth and development of the fire within the patient room;

     •    The absence of automatic sprinklers that could have prevented full room involvement or


     •    The absence of automatic early detection and fire warning in the room of origin;

     •    The lack of compartmentation due to the open door to the room of fire origin;

     •    Failure of the fire alarm system to function properly.

For the full NFPA Fire Investigation report on this fire.  To learn about NFPA's  Fire Analysis and Research statistical data  on Fires in Health Care Facilities.

In recognition of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) recently commissioned a study to determine how often Americans test their household smoke alarms. The survey revealed that 90 percent of U.S adults don’t test them monthly. Survey image

“According to the NFPA, roughly two out of every three fire-related deaths happen in homes where a smoke detector isn't present or working properly,” said John Amann, Vice President of Operations, Cintas Corporation. “Testing a smoke alarm is as easy as pushing a button, and yet, our survey findings suggest most of us still neglect to test these devices each month. This puts us and our families in danger.”

The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll in September among 2,013 adults ages 18 and older, revealed that:

  • Some adults (10 percent) test their smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Nearly half of adults (48 percent) only test their alarms once or twice a year.
  • Almost a quarter of adults (23 percent) don’t have alarms present in their home, don’t test their alarms or don’t know how often their alarms are tested.

These findings reinforce the importance of this year's FPW campaign and the fact that we still have a long way to go in educating the public about montly smoke alarm testing.

Fore more information on Cintas fire protection services, visit

Home DepotNFPA and The Home Depot are working together to promote the importance of working smoke alarms in support of Fire Prevention Week’s 2014 campaign, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”. 

“Teaming up with NFPA to promote Fire Prevention Week helps reinforce important fire safety messages among the thousands of customers who enter our stores nationwide each day,” says Hila Roberts, merchant, fire safety, for The Home Depot. “Where smoke alarms play a key role in home fire safety, NFPA’s information and resources help educate the public about the extreme importance of smoke alarms in the home. Partnering with them enables us to educate our customers to buy the right alarms to keep their families safe.” 

Each fall, The Home Depot helps educate customers about ways to protect their homes and families from potential fire risks with a month-long safety campaign. This year, that campaign includes the following two in-store workshops: 

  • On Saturday, October 4, The Home Depot stores all across the country are hosting a kids’ fire safety workshop, where kids can build their very own emergency medical truck. Plus, a fire engine or EMT truck will be outside most stores, where kids can check them out.
  • On Saturday, October 18, The Home Depot’s U.S. stores will host a workshop for adults to learn how to install and maintain smoke alarms.  

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and smoke alarms, visit

NFPA documents in the Fall 2016 revision cycle are now accepting Public Input through NFPA's online submission system. 

To submit public input using the online submission system, select the document from the list of NFPA codes and standards or search for documents available for public input using the search feature. Once on the document information page of a specific document, select "The next edition of this standard is now open for Public Input (formerly proposals)" to begin the process. The system automatically pulls in text and shows any changes in “track changes”.  You can submit input or start and save your work in progress before the January 5, 2015 closing date.

Review further instructions on how to use the online submission system

If you have any questions when using the online submission system, feel free to contact us by email.

Some of the Fall 2016 revision cycle documents:

  • NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • NFPA 51, Standard for the Design and Installation of Oxygen-Fuel Gas Systems for Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes
  • NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations
  • NFPA 301, Code for Safety to Life from Fire on Merchant Vessels
  • NFPA 402, Guide for Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Operations
  • NFPA 424, Guide for Airport/Community Emergency Planning
  • NFPA 472, Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents
  • NFPA 909Code for the Protection of Cultural Resource Properties - Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship
  • NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations
  • NFPA 1144, Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire
  • NFPA 1616, Standard for Mass Evacuation and Sheltering
  • NFPA 1961, Standard on Fire Hose
  • NFPA 1992, Standard on Liquid Splash-Protective Ensembles and Clothing for Hazardous Materials Emergencies 

View a list of Fall 2016 documents

The deadline for submissions of public input using the online submission system for Fall 2016 documents is January 5, 2015. 

Public input is a suggested revision to a proposed new or existing NFPA Standard submitted during the Input stage in accordance with Section 4.3 of the Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards.

The Technical Committee on Hazardous Materials Response Personnel is seeking public input for a new, proposed standard, NFPA 1072 Standard on Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Emergency Response Professional Qualifications.

For the past several months the Technical Committee on Hazardous Materials Response Personnel has been working on the initial draft of NFPA 1072. The Standards Council approved the draft and has now posted it to the Doc Info Page for Public Input. The closing date for Public Input is January 5, 2015.

The Input Stage provides the opportunity for the public and others to assist the Technical Committee in developing a draft of a new or revised NFPA standard and for submitting new material for the public and the committee to consider. The Input Stage is a preliminary stage for assisting the committee in developing its draft and for raising issues for review and consideration. While the technical committee must review all public inputs and provide limited responses, the technical committee does not act to formally accept or reject public inputs and is not required to address all specific issues raised in the public input.

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To access the draft for Public Input navigate to Click on the hyperlink “The next edition of this standard is now open for Public Input (formerly proposals)” found at the top of the “About”, “Current & Prior Editions” or “Next Edition” Tabs. Complete the “Sign-In” information. If you have signed in before or have already received a password from NFPA you can proceed. If you need a password, click on the “Create a Profile” hyperlink. You don't have to be a member of NFPA to create a profile, or submit a public input. 

Please review the Instructions provided to assist you in submitting Public Inputs.      

The Technical Committee will review all Public Inputs at its First Draft Meeting tentatively scheduled for late February 2015. Refer to the Doc Info Page for meeting details as they become available. As a convenience to our guests, click on the “Alerts: Receive e-mail updates on this document”. When updates are made to the Doc Info Page you’ll receive email indicating that there has been a change or update. 

-Tom McGowan

Vision 2020NFPA's Standards Council has approved a request to establish a standard for Community Risk Assessments and Reduction plans. The standard will provide a process for jurisdictions to follow in developing and implementing a Community Risk Reduction plan, which helps identify a community risk profile and allocate resources to minimize risks. The standard, which was requested by the Vision 20/20 project, is expected to be done in the next two years. 

There is a growing interest in Community Risk Reduction in the U.S. For example, the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) strategic planning platform now recognizes the need for the fire service to embrace an integrated approach to community risk reduction.  The concept is part of the National Fire Academy curriculum and is supported by the Institution of Fire Engineers and a growing number of fire service leaders nationwide. 

Other NFPA standards make reference to Community Risk Reduction and one standard requires the fire prevention organization perform a Community Risk Reduction plan (see draft NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public).

Recently, NFPA hosted the Urban Fire Forum, the annual gathering of 25 fire and emergency service leaders who are members of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs, a membership section of the NFPA and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The Forum endorsed a position statement on Fire and Smoke as a Weapon. This six page document contains background on why those who would harm citizens around the globe consider fire and smoke as weapons. More importantly, drawing on the collective experience of the Metro Chiefs and guidance from the US Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation, provides detailed information on planning, training, and operational needs when responding to such an event.



Members of the International Fire Marshals Association (IFMA) board, including President Steven Peavey, recently took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Before dumping the ice on their heads, the board challenged the presidents of the 34 chapters of IFMA.



A 34-year-old man died of smoke inhalation in a fire that began when smoking materials that had been carelessly disposed of ignited in a bedroom of his single-family house.  Two other occupants of the house escaped.

The one-story, wood-frame, ranch-style home, which measured 62 feet (19 meters) by 24 feet ( 7 meters), had smoke alarms in the living room, hallway, and basement, but they were not operational.  There were no sprinklers.

A neighbor reported the fire at 5:52 a.m., and firefighters arrived nine minutes later to find flames coming from the roof at the rear of the house.  The two occupants who had escaped from the burning home could not account for the victim, and crews began an offensive attack to initiate a primary search.  Shortly after they did so, however, the incident commander removed them and the roof collapsed into the kitchen and a bedroom.

Once the fire was brought under control, crews reentered the house and found the victim in a bedroom at the end of a hallway just beyond the bedroom in which the fire began.  Investigators determined that the blaze started when carelessly disposed of smoking materials ignited a chair and or some clothing in the room while the house's occupants slept.  The victim's bedroom was located just beyond the room of origin and escape was possible only through a window.  Investigators said delayed detection was a contributing factor in his death.

The home, valued at $245,000, and its contents, valued at $70,000, were destroyed.  One of the survivors, a 62-year-old woman, suffered smoke inhalation injuries.

Fore more Firewatch incidents NFPA Journal. To learn more about smoke alarm safety NFPA's Fire Prevention Week help us sound the alarm that working smoke alarms save lives.  


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