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Kudos to The Brockton Enterprise for expressing their concerns over the series of smoking material fires that have occurred in Massachusetts over the past few months. Their recent op-ed, “No butts about it, extinguish cigarettes safely”, cited two fires that resulted in total losses; another occupancy was deemed uninhabitable.

The importance of throwing out cigarette butts properly, including those that are discarded outside, was emphasized throughout the piece.

The op-ed concludes, “We don’t want to report on another tragedy. So before you reach for another cigarette, have a plan to put it out. Safely.”

We couldn’t agree more: Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S., but they’re highly preventable when discarded properly.

For more information about using smoking materials safely, take a look at NFPA’s smoking safety tips. You can also find related data in NFPA’s The Smoking-Material Fire Problem report by John R. Hall, Jr., July 2013.

As part of NFPA’s communications team, it’s my job to stay on top of fire safety news and issues. Just about every day as I read through my Google Alerts, I come upon at least one news story that underscores smoke alarms’ life-saving power.

Here are three that were reported in the past week:

  • A man who’d replaced the batteries in his home’s smoke alarms just days earlier safely escaped a fire in his Hazel, KY, home while taking a late afternoon nap.  “I had been in a dead sleep downstairs; I wasn’t going to hear anything. Then those things went off.” According to the local paper, the working smoke alarms likely prevented a tragedy.
  • In South Bend, IN, a couple escaped a home fire with their small child and dog after their smoke alarms sounded at about 11:30pm; the local ABC news affiliate aired the story, “Working smoke alarms save family from fire”. 
  • "Smoke alarm helped limit damage" was the news headline about a home fire in Wiltshire, England, that occurred in the early hours of the morning. Although no one was in the home at the time, a neighbor heard the smoke alarms and contacted the fire department, who rescued a pet rabbit from the ground floor and promptly brought the fire under control.

These are just a few real-life stories that reinforce the real power of working smoke alarms. Take a look at our smoke alarms safety tips for more information on proper installation, testing and maintenance.

NFPA-lightweight-construction-presentationResearch has shown that fire and lightweight construction materials are a dangerous combination. For more information on this modern-day threat, review NFPA's revamped presentation, "The Threats of Lightweight Construction and Modern Furnishings to Firefighters," which includes updated fire statistics and recent news stories underscoring threats to firefighter and homeowner safety. The presentation also underscores how home fire sprinklers reduce these risks.

Review the free presentation on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative site, where you can also request a free copy.

NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public is open for public comment. Deadline for submitting comments is May 16, 2014.

The NFPA Standards Council considered the request of Jim Crawford of Vision 20/20 Project that NFPA establish a standard that helps departments follow the process steps for a Community Risk Reduction plan.  The Community Risk Reduction (CRR) plan is the identification and prioritization of risks followed by the coordinated application of resources to minimize the probability or occurrence and/or the impact of unfortunate events. After review of all the material before it, the Council voted to publish a notice to solicit comments on the need for the project, information on resources on the subject matter, those interested in participating if established, and other organizations actively involved with the subject. Deadline for submitting comments is June 23, 2014.

BatteriesA fire destroys a home. The owner barely gets out alive. The fire department investigation determines that the fire’s place of origin is a kitchen “junk” drawer. The cause? Nine-volt batteries loose in the drawer. A metal object touched the posts of the batteries, causing a short circuit, which created enough heat to start a fire.

These types of fires have made headlines in Colorado, New Hampshire, Kansas, and other places. Some homeowners, like the one pictured below, have launched their own public awareness campaigns, posting video warnings online.

9-Volt-Battery3 (2)

NFPA’s 9-volt battery safety tip sheet warns that it is unsafe to store 9-volt batteries in a drawer near paper clips, pens, coins, or other batteries. This goes for all 9-volt batteries, whether they are recently purchased or have only a weak charge left in them.

Common household items such as steel wool, aluminum foil, and keys should not be stored near 9-volt batteries. If these items touch the two posts, there is a greater risk of a fire starting.  

Batteries should be kept in original packaging until ready for use. If loose, keep posts covered with masking, duct, or electrical tape.

Whether we’re changing the batteries on our smoke alarms that use 9-volt batteries or using the batteries for other purposes, it’s important to follow these and the additional precautions the tip sheet provides.

You can read more about 9-volt battery safety and all of our safety tip sheets on the NFPA web site.

by NFPA's Lisa Braxton

NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletterResearch has shown that fire and lightweight construction materials are a dangerous combination. If you're looking for more information on this modern-day threat, check out the April edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter, which highlights an updated PowerPoint presentation on this issue and the concerns surrounding upholstered home furnishings. The presentation is completely free.

Read the newsletter for additional information on:

  • Same-day house fires in California--one involving sprinklers and one without--that led to starkly different outcomes
  • A municipality becoming the first in Ontario to require home fire sprinklers
  • A homeowner's change of heart on sprinklers after a devastating house fire

Subscribe to this free, monthly newsletter to stay current on all sprinkler efforts. You'll receive noteworthy updates on sprinkler legislation, advocacy, and news from across the globe.

SMOKE ALARM BOYNine-year-old Hector Montoya, of Texas, really wanted a Playstation 4. He’d been saving up for months to purchase his dream toy. But then he saw a sad story on the news. A mother and daughter in a nearby town died in a fire. Officials say the home didn’t have a smoke alarm.

CNN quotes Hector as saying, “Saving a life is more important.”

The child, pictured in this photo from CNN, took all of his cash and bought nearly 100 smoke alarms and with the help of the local fire department, installed them for older adults and others who needed them.

Hector’s example has made national and international headlines, highlighting for people around the world young and old the importance of smoke alarms.

NFPA’s smoke alarm safety information, safety tips sheet and Sparky School House fire safety music videos, featuring some of the most popular kids’ bands  around are great tools for reminding everyone how to stay safe.

by NFPA's Lisa Braxton

Food blog conference and expo imageWhile Las Vegas is renowned around the world for its luxurious casinos and extensive list of nightlife offerings, there are few places that can compare to the almost overwhelming variety of food choices that can be found in Sin City. With each casino and resort on the Strip proudly offering exclusive restaurants and other dining options, it may be hard to choose where to find the cuisine best suited to your tastes.

But fear not! Jim Begley, a longstanding NFPA member as well as an associate of NFPA’s own Robert Solomon, writes extensively about his various dining adventures so as to “defray his obscene restaurant spending” in his blog for Las Vegas Weekly.

Be sure to check out Jim’s blog to learn more about where to find the best food in Vegas during your time at the 2014 Conference & Expo!

by NFPA's Ryan McGinnis

Total Cost
NFPA just released an updated report on the total cost of fire in the U.S. which showed that the total cost of fire in 2011 was estimated at $329 billion, or roughly 2.1% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Adjusted for inflation, the total cost represents a 34% increase over 1980, while its proportion of U.S. gross domestic product has declined by about one-third.

However, both the total cost of fire and its associated percentage of GDP have been roughly steady for the past decade and a half.

Find out more about all of the items that are factored together to determine the complete total cost of fire by taking a look at the press release and research report

Following are other key findings from the report:

  • Although the core total cost of fire has increased by 40 percent from 1980 to 2011 to a total of $108.4 billion, the economic loss due to fire decreased by 31 percent, totaling $14.9 billion, with all figures adjusted for inflation.
  • Fires in 2011 caused $13.3 billion in direct property damage (reported or unreported), which represented 89 percent of economic loss that year. The other 11 percent was indirect loss, such as temporary housing and business interruption.
  • New building construction for fire protection was estimated to cost $31 billion in 2011.

For a fact sheet on the total cost of fire, please visit


A Selfless Act...

Posted by mikehazell Employee Apr 24, 2014

NFPA 921NFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations:

  • NFPA 921, Errata 921-14-1, referencing Figure of the 2014 edition, issuance date: April 24, 2014

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

South Carolina Fire Sprinkler CoalitionA South Carolina fire inspector is not keeping quiet after two residential fires claimed the lives of four people over one weekend. Both incidents occurred within South Carolina's Grand Strand section, one at a condo unit and the other at a single-family home. Both structures lacked sprinklers.

"They would have had water flowing," Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire Inspector Gary Mocarski recently told WPDE NewsChannel 15. "They would have had a fire sprinkler going off and increase their chances of survival or at least their chances of staying put until they were rescued."

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

Guidance docThe Fire Protection Research Foundation released the "Guidance Document: Emergency Communication Strategies for Buildings", which was derived from a full project report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The guidance document was developed in response to information and messaging needs identified by the NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code Technical Committee for Emergency Communication Systems.

While we know that effective communication strategies are critical in the event of a building emergency, there’s been little guidance on how to best communicate to occupants and ensure an effective, safe emergency response. This guidance document helps system designers, building managers, and/or building emergency personnel create and disseminate effective communications in the face of rapid-onset disasters.

NFPA 72Along with providing guidelines for the planning, design, installation and use of emergency communications systems, "Guidance Document: Emergency Communication Strategies for Buildings" addresses ways to test messaging from a comprehension and occupant-response perspective. It also offers sample messaging for five different emergency scenarios, along with identifying questions and issues that need to be addressed in the future.

Find out more, and read the complete report and guidance document

NFPA 85The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 85, Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code, is being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the June 20, 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.

NFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®, and NFPA 260, Standard Methods of Tests and Classification System for Cigarette Ignition Resistance of Components of Upholstered Furniture:

  • NFPA 70, Errata 70-14-3, referencing various sections of the 2014 edition, issuance date: April 21, 2014
  • NFPA 260, Errata 260-13-1, referencing 2.3.1 of the 2013 edition, issuance date: April 17, 2014

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

NFPA Conference & ExpoLast chance! The Early-Bird discount for the NFPA Conference & Expo ends this Friday, April 25. Register now for savings! 

  • Attend the entire 3-day Conference for $935!
  • And if you are a Technical Committee Member, your dedication makes you eligible for additional savings: $880.

Your registration will give you access to the entire Conference program including the General Session, more than 150 education sessions (that you can mix and match), the NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) and the Expo.

After April 25, the regular registration rates apply: $990 for Members and $1100 for Non-Members. Learn more about NFPA Membership.

Christine JurusChristine Jurus was only 14 when she peeked out of her neighbor’s window and saw her childhood home in flames. Earlier that evening, firefighters responded to the blaze, which was initiated by a mini fridge plugged into an extension cord. Once the firefighters left the scene, the fire rekindled. "There were 15-foot flames shooting out of the window," Jurus, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, tells NFPA. "I looked out my neighbor's window, saw it once, and was so overwhelmed by it that I didn't look at it again."

Unfortunately, the fire was a prelude to another catastrophic event. Three years later, an explosion occurred while Jurus was conducting a high school chemistry experiment involving liquid methanol. She suffered third-degree burns on 18 percent of her body.

Following her burn injury, Jurus linked up with the Phoenix Society, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering burn survivors via a variety of programs. (The organization's executive director, Amy Acton, is an NFPA board member.) “I found out about residential sprinklers through Phoenix,” says Jurus, 31. “It was that ‘a-ha’ moment. I remember watching my first side-by-side burn demonstration and just thinking, ‘how could a person not want this in their house?' I told myself that one day, when I build my own home, it’s totally going to have that [system].”

Jurus is a woman of her word. She’s now in the process of finalizing designs for her new, 4000-square-foot home in Alto, Michigan, where she will live with her soon-to-be husband. “He knew that sprinklers was nonnegotiable. When you really crunch the numbers, the cost isn’t some undue, added expense. I have been doing some research and noticed the average cost per square foot has gone down.”

Spreading the sprinkler message has brought some meaning to Jurus' past tragedies; she’s taken sprinkler advocacy trainings initiated by the Phoenix Society and has shared her story at code hearings. “There’s a piece of mind knowing that if anything were to happen, my home is so much more protected than merely having a fire alarm,” she says. “But it’s more than that. I also want the people in my home protected.”

FW BYB Call Banner 2015
The loss of lives, homes and businesses in recent wildfires across the country serves as a sobering reminder of a fire's destructive effects. It is not a matter of "if" a wildfires strikes an area but when, and many residents are looking for more information about what they can do to reduce their risk before the next wildfire burns.

Now, we may be a wee-bit biased, but we think NFPA’s bi-annual Backyards & Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference is the premier place for wildfire safety and preparedness education! Community leaders, researchers, insurance professionals, emergency responders, homeowners and others involved in wildfire issues can share their knowledge and best practices on key topics that they can then take back to their communities and workplaces.

That's why it's our pleasure to announce the 2015 Backyards & Beyond conference date and location is confirmed:

October 22-24, 2015 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Mark your calendars now and save the date!

Do you have a great story, experience or case study you would like to share at the 2015 conference? Submit your session proposals through NFPA's webpage. The deadline is Friday, August 29, 2014.

New to the world of Backyards & Beyond? Check out our website that provides videos, blogs, presentations and more from our 2013 conference in Salt Lake City. We think you'll find there's lots of great information there!

As we get more information about the 2015 conference including sessions and speakers, and all the great things you can do while visiting Myrtle Beach, we'll post it on the conference web page. Be sure to check back often. We look forward to seeing you there!

How many times have you responded simultaneously with other units to a fire or other emergency?  Do you communicate your location as you are approaching intersections in or around the incident?  This information can make all the difference between arriving at the incident safely and becoming involved in a separate emergency.  Check out this news report from yesterday’s apparatus crash in California.  Access the complete article here


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Illinois fire service officials convened near the Firefighter Memorial in Springfield, Illinois, during an April rally prompted by an anti-sprinkler bill.

On March 24, a report came from the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield that an anti-sprinkler amendment to a legislative bill had been filed. Its premise: ban fire sprinklers and form a task force comprised of special interests to recommend future fire and building codes.  


While the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition had been expecting legislation opposing residential sprinklers, it was still a shock in many ways when the actual text of the bill was read and the implications understood. The amendment would essentially make fire sprinklers “illegal” in any occupancy, not just residences, and give Illinois a distinction of being the most regressive fire safety state in the country. The proposed legislation was also designed to strip the state fire marshal of his authority through the formation of a “code task force,” which would review and recommend new codes that include fire sprinklers. The makeup of the task force’s membership, as I understood it, would have heavily favored opponents of fire sprinklers.


Learn more about this proposed legislation by reading the post from guest blogger Tom Lia on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.</p>

Office HoursMembers, join Dick Roux, Product Specialist in NFPA’s Electrical Division, as he discusses code changes and improvements to the 2013 edition of NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code during our next episode of NFPA Office Hours on April 24th at 2:00pm ET.

Some of these changes and improvements he will discuss include:

  • The new addition of Chapter 7: Documentation
  • Revisions made to Chapter 14: Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
  • Updates made to Chapter 26: Supervising Station Alarm Systems

Register today! Have questions? Get the answers during this live event by emailing in advance or tweeting to #OfficeHours during the presentation.

Office Hours is a live, interactive, streaming video presentation for NFPA Members featuring NFPA technical staff discussing NFPA codes and standards. Members are encouraged to ask questions throughout the presentation and be a part of the discussion.

Find out more about smoke alarms, including safety tips and information, shareable videos and research through our Smoke Alarms website

At approximately 12:25 p.m., on April 16, 1984, workmen were performing arc welding operations on a NacogdochesTXhot press in the International Paper Company's Nacogdoches, Texas plywood manufacturing plant.  During welding operations, deposits of oil, pitch, and wood dust which collected on the press, the catwalks, the wood structural members of the roof assembly, and the plywood roof deck ignited.  The fire spread rapidly over the accumulated deposits both above and below the automatic sprinklers.  Fire department units began arriving at the plant at 12:28 p.m. and found the plywood manufacturing facility heavily involved in fire.  Within five minutes after the arrival of the initial fire department units, the building was "fully involved."  Roof collapse began approximately ten minutes later.  The fire destroyed the plywood manufacturing facility, resulting in an estimated loss of 32.5 million dollars.

Construction of the plant facilities began in 1969, and the plant was operational in August 1970.  The plywood manufacturing building encompassed approximately 218,000 undivided square feet of all wood construction.  In 1979, a 19,000 square foot addition of steel construction was added to the south end of the original building.  This addition housed the jet dryers and other processing equipment.

The building was protected throughout by twelve dry-pipe automatic sprinkler systems and two dry-pipe standpipe systems.

Three factors were identified during the investigation as significant in the rapid fire spread and loss of the building.  These factors were:

The accumulation of highly combustible deposits of oil, pitch, and wood dust generated in the plywood manufacturing process;

The lack of adequate fire prevention measures during arc welding operations;

The obstructed piping with in the dry-pipe automatic sprinkler systems.  

For more information on this Fire Investigation report Plywood Manufacturing Plant Fire Those who would like more information on industrial and manufacturing fires Fires in U.S. Industrial and Manufacturing Facilities

     Chambersburg Fire Winner Cropped

Chambersburg Fire Department Assistant Chief Butch Leonhard, Captain Jackie Umberger and Fire Chief William FitzGerald

Officials from the Chambersburg Fire Department, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, recently celebrated receiving their plaque for the 2014 Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant. The plaque honors the department for its dedication to fire and life safety education through the program, “The Smoke Alarm is Sounding: Know What to Do.” Along with the individual plaque, the department’s name is inscribed on the grant winners’ plaque displayed at NFPA headquarters. The department also received $5,000 to implement the program, which includes education on fire escape planning and installation of smoke alarms.

The 2015 application has been posted. The deadline is February 6, 2015. The grant committee encourages applications from new and previous candidates.

Today, on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon attacks last year, we reflect on the positive - the good & selflessness of others towards those in need and the strength of this city.

What does the Boston Strong ribbon and message mean to you? Please leave us a comment to let us know!

Boston Strong-Tom McGowan

The NFPA Conference & Expo brings to life the products and services needed to meet and maintain compliance with prevailing codes and standards in the design, construction and operation of buildings and facilities of every kind. As of today, there are over 300 exhibits booked for NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. 336 to be exact. Keep up-to-date on the growing list with our newest feature - Exhibitor Search -  just released this week!  View the full list of exhibitors in real-time, or conduct a search on company name, keyword, or product category. 


If you are looking for a particular product or service, you now have the opportunity to search on specific categories. For example: Fire Sprinkler Systems/Services, Life Safety Equipment, Suppression Systems, and many more options.

You may also try searching on “Frequently Searched” categories such as: 10+ Year Exhibitors, Exhibitors Demonstrating Chair Evacuation Devices, Exhibitors Presenting on the Exhibit Hall Floor, Featured Exhibitors, First Time Exhibitors, Media Promotional Partners, and NFPA Sections. Try it out now

  Exhibitor search

Residential sprinkler mythsEvery so often, I'll come across a news story that includes statements from homebuilder's associations similar to this one, which was made during a recent report from a local ABC news affiliate: "The homes built today all have smoke detectors that are wired, and we have the national statistics that show that 99.4 percent of lives are saved because you're awake, you're woken up, you get out of the house."

The statistic, when used in this context, is misleading. There's no doubt that smoke alarms are necessary tools that can significantly reduce fire deaths and injuries. These devices, however, do nothing to extinguish a fire. The 99.4-percent figure estimates the likelihood of surviving a home fire when smoke alarms are present, which is not the same thing as reducing the risk of death.

Get all the facts by checking out the post on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

HillsboroughOn April 15, 1989, 96 people died and hundreds were injured at Hillsborough Stadium in Britain's worst sporting disaster. Award-winning producer/director Daniel Gordon directed a new ESPN program, "Hillsborough" that lets viewers see the tragedy through the eyes of those there that day, many of whom spoke publicly for the first time. The program's overview can be seen below:

"Hillsborough" is a comprehensive account of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster, a tragedy that occurred during an FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. The film focuses on the events that unfolded before, during and after the horrifying afternoon that led to the deaths of 96 people as well as the injuries to several hundred more and the traumatization of countless lives.

Beginning on the fateful day in 1989, "Hillsborough" explores what happened and why. It offers a detailed examination not only of the horrific loss of life but also of key developments in the preceding years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes leading to the disaster. Featuring first-hand accounts of fans in attendance as well as police officers -- many speaking on camera for the first time -- the film also explores the tragedy through the experiences of families who lost their loved ones and undertook a painstaking journey in a quest for justice that is still ongoing.

HIllsborough airs tonight at 8pm ET on ESPN. 

For more information, you can also take a look at our Fire Protection Research Foundation report, "A Literature Review of Emergency and Non-Emergency Events” in which the Hillsborough tragedy is featured as a case study. 

The following letter to the editor, authored by NFPA President Jim Shannon, appeared on the website of The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA) on April 13, 2014.

I was outraged to see the House of Representatives take an initial step on a bill that would legalize sparklers and other small fireworks, which are currently prohibited in Massachusetts (“Bill to legalize smaller fireworks advances in House,” March 27). This is a dangerous and misguided idea that should go no further.

For more than 100 years, the National Fire Protection Association has opposed the use of consumer fireworks for the simple reason that consumer fireworks are so inherently dangerous; there is no safe way for the public to engage in this activity.

Rep. George Peterson, who introduced the bill, was quoted as saying the legislation is “nothing … that is really offensive” and would allow people to “celebrate with a little more pizzazz on holidays and the Fourth of July.” What Rep. Peterson did not say is that sparklers can burn to a dangerous 1,200 degrees, and more than 80 percent of emergency room injuries involve fireworks that consumers are permitted to use. Many of those injured are young children.

It is also true that on Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

Passage of this harmful legislation would cause additional burden on an already overworked fire service and on emergency room staff who must deal with the onslaught of fires and devastating injuries caused by consumer fireworks. As responsible adults, it is imperative that we set a good example and leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Legislators should reject the fireworks bill and allow Massachusetts to remain a national leader in opposing the use of consumer fireworks.


NFPA 1Do you use the NFPA 1 Fire Code?! NFPA is looking for consumers to try out a new ‘Code Builder’ product that we are considering releasing into the market place. To preview this ‘Code Builder’ and participate in user testing please email Jason Chou, Product Marketing Manager, at

We value your feedback and look forward to hearing from you!

Hawaii blog post

During a special ceremony held on December 3, 2013, the Firewise committee of Kohala by the Sea (KBTS), a homeowners association, on the Big Island of Hawaii received a crystal recognition award for maintaining their Firewise Communities/USA recognition status for 10 years. In 2013, only 34 communities were able to earn this esteemed honor. Denise Laitinen, the Firewise Communities Coordinator for Hawaii, presented the award to the proud and well-deserving members of the KBTS.

To read more about the KBTS and their award, read the full story in the 2014 spring edition of the Firewise How-To Newsletter!

The featured presentation on Tuesday, June 10 is entitled, "The 2013 Boston Marathon: How the Multi-Discipline, Multi-Jurisdiction Approach to Planning for the Marathon Affected the Response to, and Recovery from, the Bombings."

Registration is required to attend the Featured Presentation. See registration options.

Kurt Schwartz




Pictured at the podium is Kurt Schwartz, Undersecretary, Homeland Security & Emergency Management; Director, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

Kurt Schwartz will review the local, regional, and state planning process for the 2013 Boston Marathon and discuss the multi-discipline, multi-jurisdiction response to the bombings and the intense manhunt several days later that resulted in the death of one suspected terrorist and the capture of the other. This session will highlight planning challenges, lessons learned, and best practices of the response to and recovery from the attack. Pictured below is the multi-agency coordination center.

CoordinationcenterCONFERENCE PROGRAM

You may be interested in a related session (scheduled for Monday, June 9) entitled, "A Mile from the Finish Line: When the Hospital Closest to the Boston Marathon Explosions has to Evacuate Its Emergency Department." 

The Conference program has 25 case studies and more than 150 sessions overall. To navigate the program, there are 13 tracks and a new online session search tool that allows you to search sessions, speakers, tracks, and keywords for the Conference. 

You may also be interested in a previous post regarding the new registration packages and the new Conference icons

Check out the entire Conference & Expo blog.

Martin Myers is the retired Fire Marshal of the City of Kalamazoo and Coordinator of Fire Inspectors Program for the State of Michigan. Marty recently spent a few minutes with us recalling his promotion to Fire Marshal in 1985 and sharing his experiences with NFPA Certification programs. His dedication to the mentorship and development of new inspectors as well as the development of training programs is impressive.  In 2011, he was awarded the Michigan Fire Inspectors Society President's Award for his efforts in coordinating and leading NFPA training programs.

When I was promoted to Fire Marshal in 1985, I was promoted on a Tuesday and moved into the office on Wednesday.  It was a quick transition and the department advised me that I would be trained as schools became available.  I did attend Fire Investigation Training but did not receive any training on code inspections.  I had been in the office for one week when the phone rang. On the phone was a property owner; he had questions about fire codes for his property.  He was looking to me to be the expert.  I immediately looked at all the NFPA codebooks and other codebooks but wondered where to begin.  I had to tell the owner I would call him back with an answer.  The next day an architect brought in plans for a 400-unit apartment complex he wanted to build and wanted me to review the requirements for him to start.  I had motivation to do a good job for the department and community, to make the community safer, but I was limited by the lack of good training available.

Twelve years ago the fire service organizations of Michigan got together and began to ask the question -- how can we train our Inspectors and Fire Marshals better? The Michigan Fire Inspectors Society was the lead organization to meet with the NFPA Certification Department to begin the discussion of what programs they had to offer.

The Michigan Fire Inspectors Society (MFIS) created a partnership with the NFPA to offer the NFPA Fire Inspector-I course in the state of Michigan.  This course was turned into an 80-hour course administered by the MFIS.  Following completion of the course all attendees would take the NFPA exam and practical inspection.  Passing all assessments would result in the individual becoming certified by the NFPA.  The NFPA certificate would be recognized by the State of Michigan and that individual would be a state certified fire inspector in Michigan.

100x100.CFIThis Fire Inspector-I course allowed anyone wanting to become an inspector or Fire Marshal to be trained.  The new trainings would allow new inspectors or Fire Marshals to be trained on the codes and answer questions for the professionals on projects in the community.  This course also trained fire personnel on how to properly adopt fire codes in their community.

In February of 2014 the state of Michigan passed a law stating that anyone certified in NFPA Fire Inspector-I, NFPA Fire Inspector-II, and NFPA Fire Plan Examiner (NFPA Plan Review) can now be registered with the State of Michigan Fire Marshals office. This was a long-term result of the improvements in the quality of education and training of fire personnel.  This new level of recognition will allow anyone that has all 3 levels of certification to inspect certain levels of mechanical and fire protection systems.

100x100.CFI-IIThe high level of education and certification from the NFPA Fire Inspector-I, NFPA Fire Inspector-II, and NFPA Fire Plan Examiner (NFPA Plan Review) class and examination has become a minimum standard for any department to follow when their Fire Inspectors are promoted to Fire Marshal and required to perform these jobs.  The partnership between the State of Michigan, Michigan Fire Inspectors Society, and the NFPA Certification Department has greatly impacted the quality of personnel conducting fire inspections and code related work in the community.  The Michigan Fire Inspectors Society offers an 80-hour class for Fire Inspector-I and 32-hour class for NFPA Fire Plan Examiner (NFPA Plan Review) and 32-hour class for NFPA Fire Inspector-II.

100x100.CFPEThe private industry has noted they like the diversity of the program and graduates are not limited to one area, so the graduates of NFPA Fire Inspector-I, NFPA Fire Inspector-II and NFPA Fire Plan Examiner (NFPA Plan Review) can assist where needed.  In the state of Michigan the development of the NFPA Certification in Fire Inspector-I, Fire Inspector-II, and Fire Plan Examiner has created a high level of training available to all agencies.  It has demonstrated to the community and citizens that because of this improvement in education and certification the citizens are safer and future developments have been revised and will continue to create a safe environment.   

Marty Myers
Retired Fire Marshall City of Kalamazoo
Coordinator of Fire Inspector Certification Program State of Michigan

Do you have a certification story? Let me know. I'd love to hear it! - Leon

Safety Week 2014Every year, more than 80,000 workers suffer an injury on construction job sites across the U.S. Any one incident is one too many. Life is too precious to not make safety the number one focus in the U.S. construction industry.

Because of this, 31 national and global construction firms comprising The Construction Industry Safety (CISI) group and the Incident and Injury Free CEO (IIF) Forum have joined forces with a single aim: to inspire everyone in the industry to be leaders in safety. Banding together, they have created the first US Industry Safety Week, running this year from Sunday May 4 to Saturday May 10.

For information on how to conduct a safety week, or to join in the conversation in the Safety Week Forum, visit the Safety Week 2014 website

For information on NFPA's worksite construction standards, take a look at the document information pages for NFPA 51B and NFPA 241

Congratulations to Captain Mark Ware, Sandy Springs Fire Department, Sandy Springs, GA and Lieutenant Rodney Brooks, Henry County Fire Department, McDonough, GA, winners of a national contest held by NFPA with 15 total entries and over 2,700 votes!

View their winning entry video:


Fellow brass players in the Stockbridge High School band in their hometown of Stockbridge, Georgia, Mark and Rodney soon discovered their talent for singing duets would bring life-long opportunities.  They worked their way to the Henry County Fire Department where—when they weren't busy training or saving lives—they began singing the national anthem.  Their regular appearances at private functions and small community events soon turned into invitations from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to sing for larger events such as Firefighter Recognition Day at the state capitol, the Georgia Republican Party Convention, the Georgia Public Safety Center's Firefighter Appreciation Day, Georgia Association of Fire Chief's Convention, and more.  They hope to continue singing together well into their retirement years and are honored to be chosen by NFPA and the public to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 2014 annual NFPA Conference & Expo!

Join us at the General Session to see them live!

Firehouse Zen

Michael "Mick" Mayers, battalion chief with the Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire and Rescue, says that during a recent discussion with fellow firefighters, he was surprised - and encouraged - by the fact that no one brought up "the usual" complaints about standards developed by NFPA and other consensus standards organizations.

"As a participant in the standards process, I get a little frustrated when people complain about standards," he writes on his blog Firehouse Zen. "Why, you may ask? Well, because while standards may seem to be prohibiting aspects of our jobs, the fact is, standards are necessary to help us define things, to establish our expectations in regard to a certain item, title, or discipline."

Chief Mayers, who also serves as an Emergency Response Coordinator with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Coordination Team, says he's heard complaints about standards being developed by those who don't understand the firefighting profession.

"In fact, the standards are actually written by those who have a vested interest in the job," he writes. "People like you and I are invited to come sit on committees and working groups to help define these standards, and the committees go to great lengths to ensure balance between users, enforcers, manufacturers, educators, and any other number of interest groups, to act as a check and balance to the accusations that the only people writing standards are those making a buck in the effort."

Read his entire blog post on Firehouse Zen.

NFPA codes and standards are developed by approximately 7,000 volunteer committee members with a wide range of professional expertise. See committees seeking members.

You can also learn about how to get involved with NFPA's more than 300 codes and standards by selecting a document from this list on NFPA's web site.


Teams from NFPA's Public Fire Protection and Public Education groups are exhibiting at the FDIC Conference this week in Indianapolis. FDIC gives attendees the chance to view the latest products and technologies in today's fire service industry and provides a place to gather and exchange information about today’s changing world. 

NFPA will be in booth #2601 this week, and we would love to have you stop by to learn more about our standards and our public education tools and resources. See you there! 

Michael "Mick" Mayers, battalion chief with the Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire and Rescue, says that during a recent discussion with fellow firefighters, he was surprised - and encouraged - by the fact that no one brought up "the usual" complaints about standards developed by NFPA and other consensus standards organizations.

"As a participant in the standards process, I get a little frustrated when people complain about standards," he writes on his blog Firehouse Zen. "Why, you may ask? Well, because while standards may seem to be prohibiting aspects of our jobs, the fact is, standards are necessary to help us define things, to establish our expectations in regard to a certain item, title, or discipline."

Chief Mayers, who also serves as an Emergency Response Coordinator with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Coordination Team, says he's heard complaints about standards being developed by those who don't understand the firefighting profession.

"In fact, the standards are actually written by those who have a vested interest in the job," he writes. "People like you and I are invited to come sit on committees and working groups to help define these standards, and the committees go to great lengths to ensure balance between users, enforcers, manufacturers, educators, and any other number of interest groups, to act as a check and balance to the accusations that the only people writing standards are those making a buck in the effort."

Read his entire blog post on Firehouse Zen.

NFPA codes and standards are developed by approximately 7,000 volunteer committee members with a wide range of professional expertise. See committees seeking members.

You can also learn about how to get involved with NFPA's more than 300 codes and standards by selecting a document from this list on NFPA's web site.

At approximately 11:10 p.m. on Thursday April 9, 1998, a fire was reported at a large turkey farm in BLEVETurkeycoopAlbert City, Iowa.  The fire began when teenagers riding an all terrain vehicle (ATV) struck two pipelines carrying liquid propane from an 18,000- gallon (68,220 L) capacity LP-Gas tank to two vaporizer units creating a leak.  The ensuing cloud of vapor was ignited by a near-by ignition source. The teens were able to escape the area prior to ignition.  They went to a near-by farmhouse to phone 911.

On the basis of the fire investigation and analysis, the NFPA has determined that the following significant factors directly contributed to the explosion and the fire fighter deaths:

Lack of protection around the LP tank installation and associated equipment.  This lack of protection allowed the ATV to strike the vaporizer piping.

The impingement of flame on the propane tank (in the vapor space), causing the tank shell to weaken and fail.

The close proximity of fire department operations to the LP tank while the tank was being exposed to direct flame contact.

The lack of an adequate and reliable water supply in close proximity to the site to allow for hose streams to be rapidly placed in service to cool the LP-Gas tank that was being impinged upon by flames from the broken pipes.

The decision to protect the exposed buildings and not relocate all personnel to a safe location given the lack of an adequate water supply.

Members can read the full NFPA investigation report BLEVE, Albert City, IA Those who would like to learn more about LP-GAS fires can read the NFPA Fires Starting with Flammable Gas or Flammable or Combustible Liquid For more information on Firefighter Fatalities and Firefighter Injuries

IBCNFPA knows that education and awareness are important tools for fire prevention. To promote this mission, NFPA, the Fire Protection Research Foundation and the insurance industry recently launched the “Contain IBC Fire Risk” campaign to educate the fire service and industry about the serious yet often overlooked risk created when combustible or flammable fluids are improperly stored in Intermediate Bulk Containers.

As part of this effort, NFPA and campaign partners created an educational video to show how this risk can result in hazardous pool fires and encourage proper storage of flammable and combustible liquids. NFPA interviewed representatives from the Waxahachie Fire Rescue squad about their experience with a devastating Chemical Plant fire in 2011. In this instance, the improper storage of IBCs contributed to the spread of a catastrophic fire.

“The IBCs … as one would rupture [from the fire], it would get in front of the next one and weaken it – also causing it to rupture. It was a chain reaction of fluid running toward us.” --- Randall Potter, Assistant Chief, Waxahachie Fire Rescue


As this video shows, pool fires, if not contained, are catastrophic events that can endanger the lives of warehouse personnel and firefighters. Contain IBC Fire Risk intends to correct improper storage of combustible and flammable liquids in IBCs by encouraging compliance with NFPA 30 rules published by NFPA. This code governs storage, handling and use of flammable and combustible liquids, and is law in many states.

You can learn more about this campaign through our IBC website

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

In this issue:

  • Proposed TIAs seeking comment on NFPA 1, 10, 58, 70E, 99, 101, 102, 400, and 5000
  • Four new projects seeking comment
  • Wildland documents reorganized
  • National Electrical Code schedule for Annual 2016 revision cycle
  • Motions Committee Report for Annual 2014 documents
  • TIAs issued from March Standards Council meeting
  • 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.

Smoke alarm nuisanceA new Fire Protection Research Foundation report, "Smoke Alarm Nuisance Source Characterization - Phase 1" has been published, authored by Joshua Dinaburg and Daniel Gottuk, Ph.D. with Hughes Associates. 

During the revision cycle for the 2010 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, the Technical Committee on Single- and Multiple-Station Alarms and Household Fire Alarm Systems (SIG-HOU) focused renewed attention on nuisance alarms. Based on the information in the NFPA report "Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires" authored by Marty Ahrens, during the development of the 2013 edition of NFPA 72 the SIG-HOU Technical Committee added several new provisions to Chapter 29 to further reduce nuisance alarms. At present there is a lack of characterization of common nuisance sources for the development of new performance test protocols. Accordingly, the Foundation initiated a project to work toward characterizing common nuisance sources for the development of new test protocols to meet the NFPA 72 requirements. This Phase 1 project involved a literature review, gap analysis, and development of a research plan for Phase 2.

Read the full report from Phase 1, and stay tuned for the results of Phase 2's research. 

The Report of the Motions Committee addresses eight Annual 2014 documents with Certified Amending Motions for consideration at the Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas on June 9-12, 2014:

This Report also addresses four documents with Certified Amending Motions from the Fall 2013 cycle: NFPA 37, NFPA 731, NFPA 750, and NFPA 1192; identifies a list of 18 Consent Documents receiving no NITMAMS and, therefore, will be forwarded to the NFPA Standards Council for balloting; and includes a list of NITMAMs that were not certified.

Smoke AlarmThree out of five home fire deaths in 2007-2011 resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms, according to a newly released report, “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires.” The report examines the number of reported fires in U.S. households with and without working smoke alarms, as well as the effectiveness of smoke alarms in preventing fire-related deaths.

Working smoke alarms in homes are key to saving lives from fire since you may have as little as three minutes to get out before a fire becomes deadly. The early warning provided by smoke alarms gives you critical time to escape safely. Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms so when one sounds, they all sound.

Take a few minutes to view the video below on smoke alarm safety tips, and visit our website for key report findings and safety recommendations to help keep your family safe. 

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 1, Fire Code, NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, NFPA 102, Standard for Grandstands, Folding and Telescopic Seating, Tents, and Membrane Structures, NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code, and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code®, are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the May 16, 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.

Presentations from the Foundation's recent Suppression, Detection, and Signaling Research and Applications (SupDet) Symposium are highlighed in the April 1 edition of the Journal of Risk and Crisis Communication:

To see the full proceedings from SupDet 2014, please visit the Foundation's website.

The Foundation and NFPA, with support from the insurance industry and coordination from other relevant groups, has launched an awareness program to reduce a serious yet frequently unknown risk for dangerous pool fires associated with intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) storing flammable and combustible liquids. The program provides factual information on the hazard and means to address it, using the provisions of NFPA 30, the Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code.

Visit the program website for details - and spread the word.

At 3:08 a.m. on April 6, 1990, the Miami Beach Fire department received a telephone call reporting a FontanaHotelFLfire at the Fontana Hotel.  First-in fire units found the hotel's lobby area heavily involved in fire and began simultaneous suppression and rescue operations.  Before the fire had been extinguished 9 patrons died and the building was extensively damaged.

Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire which appeared to have originated in a crawl space above a storage room.  Once the fire burned out of the crawl space, it ignited combustible ceiling tiles and other combustible materials in a lobby area.  Smoke and fire in the lobby area spread to the second and third stories through a utility shaft, normal cracks and voids in the structure, and HVAC ductwork.

Retroactive application of the NFPA Life Safety Code by the Miami Beach Fire Department contributed to
 the large number of survivors in this incident.  This is especially remarkable when the general construction of the building, advanced age of the majority of guests, and the time of alarm are considered.  More than 90 percent of the building population survived.  Well-constructed stair towers contributed to the evacuation of guests in the building.

For full NFPA investigation report members download this Miami Beach, FL report  For those interested in hotel fires Hotel and Motel Structure Fires

To learn more about NFPA 101: Life Safety Code® 


On March 14, 2014, a Sparky The Fire Dog Statue was unveiled on the grounds of the Convention Hall in Enid, Oklahoma in dedication to the late Fire Chief Philip Clover. The statue, in addition to being a touching image of remembrance, will also will provide the city with a unique outdoor classroom area to deliver fire safety messages to future generations of Enid children. 

PR Director Steve Kime interviews Enid Fire Department - Enid, OK's Fire Marshal Ken Helms at the dedication in the video below. 


Investigators say a spark from a welding operation caused the fire that took the lives of two Boston firefighters on March 26, 2014. According to a report on, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said he was “confident” that the fire was unintentional, but that the Suffolk District Attorney’s office would have final say whether anyone would be held legally responsible for the blaze. There were no sprinklers in the building.

NFPA report: Home and Non-Home Fires Involving Torches, Burners and Soldering Equipment

Free access: NFPA 51B: Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work

NFPA report:&#0160;Firefighter Fatalities in the United States

Strong winds challenged Boston firefighters during deadly blaze. Fire Protection Research Foundation report: Fire Fighting Tactics Under Wind Driven Conditions</li> </ul>

We recently shared the news with you all that after three decades of leading NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division, Dr. John R. Hall, Jr. is retiring from NFPA. We appreciate all he has done for NFPA and will miss him, but wish him the best in retirement. 

While filling his shoes may be tough, we know there is someone out there who will be perfect for the job! If you want to make a difference, we have an ideal opportunity for you to become the new Division Director, responsible for the Association’s data collection, research and analysis programs.

Principal responsibilities for this position include:

  1. Setting strategy, objectives and priorities, plans and programs related to the Association’s data collection, research and analysis initiatives. 
  2. Monitoring operations and supervising staff to implement and ensure the quality of these programs. 
  3. Managing, leading and contributing to analysis and interpretations of conclusions drawn from fire data in support of the Association’s advocacy, standards development and other activities.
  4. Developing strategy and overseeing implementation of internal and external communications programs to maximize the technical and policy impact of Division activities. 
  5. Maintaining liaison with policy and technical organizations to ensure the relevance and impact of the Divisions’ activities.
  6. Participates in Association advocacy and policy planning and development.
  7. Seeks funding sources, prepares proposals and manages funded projects in support of the Division’s mission.
  8. Planning, preparing, budgets and overseeing expenditures to support the above activities.

Job requirements can be found on our careers website. Interested candidates may also apply through our website. 

NFDM photoAmerica has spoken, and one of the newest monuments in the nation’s capital has been voted its most popular. After a hard-fought final round, the National Fire Dog Monument took home top honors in the Washington Post’s “Monument Madness” tournament, besting some of the most worthy and famous contenders, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and other longtime favorites by popular vote. The monument, co-sponsored by State Farm Insurance and American Humane Association, the country’s first national humane organization, honors the work that accelerant detection canine teams (commonly known as arson dogs and their handlers) do to investigate suspicious fires in homes and businesses around the country.

The challenge followed a bracket format with 16 monuments around the Washington, D.C. area filling out the field. A seven-seed, the National Fire Dog Monument faced tough competition in each round before making its Cinderella run to the finals.

The National Fire Dog Monument is a life-size bronze sculpture depicting an arson dog handler gazing down at his dog after a job well done. Austin Weishel, the monument’s sculptor and a firefighter himself, wanted to capture the powerful link between people, animals, and the world we share. His work captures the  connection between arson dogs and their handlers, who rely on one another to do their heroic work. The monument was unveiled in D.C. late in 2013 after an eight city cross country tour

“The National Fire Dog Monument is unique in that it honors the roles of both human and animal heroes who work to create a better world, protect our families and our communities, and save lives,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association President and CEO. “We are also humbled that this monument won the hearts of so many when we were in the same company with such iconic American symbols as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery’s National Seabee Memorial.”

The National Fire Dog Monument is on permanent display outside Engine Company 2 at 500 F Street Northwest in Washington, D.C., and is always available for public viewing.


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Do you use natural gas or propane in your home for heating or cooking? In a natural gas system, the pipe that connects your home to your natural gas supplier is called a distribution pipeline.&#0160; Distribution pipelines are an integral part of the natural gas delivery system in the United States.&#0160; In fact, there are over 2.1 million miles of lower-pressure natural gas distribution pipelines crisscrossing the Unites States, and most of them are underground. &#0160;In a propane system, the pipe that connects your propane container to your home is also probably buried underground, similar to a distribution pipeline.&#0160;

Digging in to a distribution pipeline can result in catastrophe.  Excavation damage – or digging in to pipelines – is one of the leading causes of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline accidents that cause property damage, injury, and death.  Even scraping or nicking a pipeline can cause a future leak.  But the good news is that damaging pipelines while digging is entirely preventable.


!|src=|alt=DigSafe_Locator|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px; width: 256px;|title=DigSafe_Locator|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a01a511953b3b970c01a73da0468a970d img-responsive!For natural gas customers, a call to “811” is the simplest way to prevent excavation damage to underground pipelines.&#0160; Call 811 from anywhere in the country a few days prior to digging, and your call will be routed to your local One Call Center. Tell the operator where you are planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing and your affected local utilities companies will be notified about your intent to dig.  They will send a locator to mark the approximate location of underground utilities (including pipelines) so you will know what's below and be able to dig safely.

For propane customers, a call to the propane supplier a few days prior to digging is the simplest way to prevent excavation damage.  The propane marketer will be able to identify the location of any underground propane piping in your yard. 


Whether you are a natural gas or propane customer, you should call 811 or your propane supplier before doing any digging, whether it’s to build a new fence, install a new mailbox, or plant a tree. &#0160;&#0160;Some distribution pipelines or propane supply lines are buried only 12-18 inches below the grass, so even digging with a shovel could result in a gas leak.&#0160; &#0160;To learn more about the requirements of your state’s excavation damage prevention law, visit or contact your local One Call Center.


!|src=|alt=Utility Locator Flags|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px; width: 261px;|title=Utility Locator Flags|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a01a511953b3b970c01a511953e2a970c img-responsive!April is National Safe Digging Month.&#0160; Be safe and understand your responsibility to dig safely.&#0160; Do not assume that you know what is underground in the area you are digging, and do not assume you are exempt from one-call requirements.&#0160; Do not make a judgment call.&#0160; Make a phone call before every digging project. &#0160;To learn more, visit these websites:

General information about calling 811:

Information about National Safe Digging Month: &#0160;;

U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration damage prevention website:&#0160; </li> </ul>

Tim McClintock, NFPA Regional Electrical Code Specialist, conducted 2014 National Electrical Code® training for code enforcers last month in Washington state.

Free access to the National Electrical Code.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries took an important step forward with public safety by adopting the 2014 NEC. The new code becomes effective on July 1, 2014.  

NFPA supports statewide adoption of the NEC by providing free training for the authorities having jurisdiction. This training consists of a 1-day program on the significant changes in the newly adopted edition, plus a free copy of the new code.

Once a new edition of the code is adopted by a promulgating body, it is the efforts of the code enforcement community that furthers NFPA’s fire and electrical safety mission by making sure that installations are performed according to the requirements of the newly adopted edition. The AHJs vital role in our safety system cannot be understated.   

Tim was provided with great support for the training. Working with NFPA Northwest Regional Director Gary Honold, training was coordinated with Rod Mutch, Chief Electrical Inspector and Trent Harris, Electrical Technical Specialist for the Washington Department Labor and Industries. Since Washington did not adopt the 2011 NEC, training entailed covering changes in both the 2011 and 2014 editions.

Washington is to be applauded for moving forward with the adoption of the 2014 National Electrical Code and its commitment to public safety by providing quality code enforcement. The effort to train the code enforcers on the newly adopted code helps ensure citizens of Washington are provided with safe electrical installations where they live, work, and play.

FPRF nfpa 25On December 9 and 10, 2013, the Fire Protection Research Foundation hosted a workshop in Chicago, IL that examined the performance of sprinkler systems. The objective of the workshop was to develop possible solutions to sprinkler system design and installation deficiencies that can lead to performance issues.

Some of the questions that were presented and discussed at the workshop included:

  • Should NFPA 25’s scope be reconsidered?
  • Should a new standard on conducting design evaluations be developed?
  • Should NFPA 3, Recommended Practice for Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems, address a periodic system “re-commissioning activity” for some or all occupancies?
  • Should these re-commissioning events be addressed by the occupancy chapters of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code?
  • Should the provisions in NFPA 1, Fire Code, be supplemented so as to require inspection reviews that can address the adequacy of a system?
  • Should this just sit with the owners and regulatory?

Download the full summary report from the Foundation website to get information on the results of the discussions. 

An the early hours of April 2, 1973, a fire involved the second floor "Blue Max" night club in the Hyatt HyattRegencyOHareHotelRegency O'Hare Hotel in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont.  This fire is of particular interest due to the fire exposure of a 10-story atrium in the center of the hotel.  Although property damage was high, exceeding $300,000, only one of the 1000 registered guests required medical attention.



For more information on this fire download this November 1973 Fire Journal article For those interested in fires in hotels Hotel and Motel Structure Fires

Having a major while still in high school is not common for most seventeen year olds, but at Quincy High School, many of us do have them. They can range anywhere from Carpentry to Culinary to Business. The Protective/ Legal Services major is for students with an interest in all things law enforcement and public service. The Protective Services major is a two period or hour and a half a day program that students can take for up to three years. I’ve been in this program for three years now, and through it I have been able to delve into the world of Legal Services and get many certifications that I never thought I would receive. I’ve become certified in CPR and First Aid, FEMA Disaster Awareness Certified. I’m also certified in 911 dispatch certified to NFPA 1061 Standard on Public Safety Telecommunicator Professional Qualifications. In the third year of the program, interns are introduced to various public safety and legal related offices. The students leave the classroom on Thursdays and Fridays from 1-2:30 to get a glimpse into what jobs are out there for students with an interest in this type of field.

Of the many student interns available, I was fortunate to be able to come to NFPA. Throughout my internship, I have been shown the different aspects of NFPA. I’ve attended “Coffee Time” and heard about one department’s role on certification and training based on the documents at NFPA. I’ve had the chance to research and write about fire fighter fatalities, and then the data and analysis people have reviewed my work for accuracy. They liked my work! Other opportunities include this blog, the review of professional publications, and lesson plans for training pertaining to Bakken Crude Oil. The cooperation between the school and the NFPA has let me experience an amazing work place, and I am grateful for the opportunity to intern at NFPA. 

-Shauna Canavan

Do you want to make a difference? We have an ideal opportunity for a senior staff writer for NFPA Journal to serve as the principal writer for the award-winning bimonthly magazine of the National Fire Protection Association. In addition to a variety of responsibilities on the print publication, the staff writer will also work on the magazine’s online version, assist with Journal’s blog and social media presence, and serve as an important face for the Journal brand as well as for NFPA.

Principle job responsibilites and job requirements can be found on our Careers website. This position works out of our Quincy, MA headquarters. If you are interested in this position (or know someone who might be!) apply today. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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