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December 2, 2014 Previous day Next day

The Industrial Fire Protection Section Executive Board Meeting was held in October 2014 at NFPA Headquarters in Quincy, MA. As part of the board's agenda, we were able to meet with top NFPA officials from different areas of the organization to learn about different projects. Our first speaker was Don Bliss, Vice President of Field Operations at NFPA. 


Don explained that NFPA has offices in the United States, Latin America, China, Europe, the Middle East and Canada. "One of the main jobs of our field operations office is for the adoption of NFPA Codes and Standards around the world. Field operations likes to establish partnerships with other organizations to achieve its goals----like partnerships with fire chiefs."  A lot of the work done "on the ground" in the United States setting up partnerships is handled by our Regional Directors.

The role of our Regional Directors  is to educate local communities about the latest NFPA codes and standards. One of the projects underway across the U.S. is the home fire sprinkler initiative. New York and New Jersey are two states that came very close to passing this initiative and the team will continue to push for adoption all over the U.S.

In other parts of the world, our field operations team works with governments and partner organizations to improve codes and standards development but in some cases this presents a challenge. Don explains that "Developing nations often don’t have the infrastructure to institute full codes and standards so we try and work within their systems to establish parts of the standards."

At the end of the day the main goal of Don's team is to help relieve the burden of fire all over the world. Our international stakeholders allow NFPA to receive input from outside the United States and help acieve our mission. Don gave the example of Brazil as a country his team is working with to adopt NFPA codes and standards. Rio De Janero and Sao Paulo are two of the cities in line to adopt NFPA 1. Don also gave an update on two other foreign locations:

1. In the Middle East, our training programs  hit a milestone as we have been able to translate our training to Arabic

2. In India, we are working with the rail system on their codes and standards adoption

Don ended his presentation by thanking the members of the Executive Board for their commitment to NFPA.

For more information about the Industrial Fire Protection Section, go to:

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Oily rags in an open trash can in the kitchen of an assisted-living facility spontaneously ignited, starting a fire that spread to a wall until heat activated a sprinkler. The three-story, wood-frame building, which measured 100 feet(30 meters), contained 80 unites in addition to common spaces. The building's fire alarm system monitored the water flow of the wet-pipe sprinkler, which was installed in compliance with the local code. A building occupant who heard the fire alarm activate discovered the fire in the kitchen and tried unsuccessfully to extinguish the blaze using a dry chemical portable fire extinguisher. by the time firefighters arrived at 9 p.m., however, a single sprinkler head had already extinguished the fire. Investigators determined that someone had improperly disposed of oily rags in the regular trash and that they had ignited spontaneously. The sprinkler spared the building significant fire damage, keeping losses to $5,000. There were no injuries.

Kenneth J. Tremblay, 2014," Firewatch", NFPA Journal, November/December 32.

To read more fire incidents NFPA Journal Firewatch

There are two open Requests for Proposals for Foundation projects.  The projects are "Protection of Storage Under Sloped Ceilings - Phase 1" and "Use of Gaseous Suppression Systems in High-Airflow Spaces: Capabilities and Knowledge Gaps".  Both RFPs are accessible from the Foundation website.  Proposals for the protection of storage under sloped ceilings project are due December 18th.  Proposals for the use of gaseous suppression systems in high-airflow spaces are due January 9th.  Please contact Amanda Kimball ( at the Foundation with any questions.

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