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January 15, 2015 Previous day Next day

NEC Challenge
Ask and you shall receive. Back by popular demand, the NEC Challenge Championship has returned for its second year, and we are less than one month away from the live Championship event where our three finalists will put their code skills to the test and duke it out for our $5,000 grand prize!

This year, the NEC Challenge was bigger and better than before – with more prizes and more ways you could play along at home. We hit the road to bring the game to even more trade shows and launched, bringing the game directly to you so electrical professionals everywhere could put their code knowledge to the test.

And since every challenge can only have one champion, we invited the best of the best to compete once again in the NEC Challenge Championship.

Ladies and gentleman, meet your finalists:

Click on the links above to hear and see how they’ve made it to the Championship event. On Friday, February 6 at 12:00 p.m. EST, they will be competing for the $5,000 in our live webisode event, consisting of three rounds of gameplay, including a head-to-head final round challenge between the top two contestants for the grand prize.

If you were smart enough to watch last year’s Championship, you know it’s a one of a kind event. And you can watch this year’s all happen live. Visit to find out how you can register to view the crowning of our next NEC Challenge Champion. 


!|border=0|src=|alt=Canada|title=Canada|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d0c0a801970c image-full img-responsive!
Mirroring the position of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, Cynthia Ross Tustin says the time for mandatory installation of home fire sprinklers is now. "You need a home escape plan, you need working smoke alarms, and you need home sprinklers," says the fire chief for the Essa Township Fire Department in Ontario, Canada, who was interviewed by a Canadian news publication. "It's not one or the other."


Delaying the issue of requiring sprinklers, she says, makes no sense, especially since cities like Vancouver have seen life-saving successes in implementing a sprinkler ordinance. The story also cites Scottsdale, Arizona, which has required sprinklers in new homes since the mid 1980s. (A report by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition highlights data following the adoption of this ordinance.)


Visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog for additional information on how safety advocates in Canada are taking a stance on sprinklers.

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Deadly blaze underscores Connecticut's home fire problem and growing group of safety advocates working towards a solution

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Latest Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter highlights decline of fire deaths in a state requiring home fire sprinklers

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Mayor hears convincing pitch for home fire sprinklers from fire chief, initiates local ordinance

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Home fire sprinkler ordinance the result of fire chief's vocal support and educational efforts

MC_TabortourGary Tetz_optIn 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began requiring nursing homes without sprinkler systems, or with inadequate systems, to retrofit them. The new rule, which reflected changes made in the 2006 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, called for upgrades to be completed by August 13, 2013. Facilities that failed to meet the deadline risked penalties, ranging from violation notices to withholding Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

In an article  in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, Ashley Smith details how one such nursing home, Marquis Mt. Tabor in Portland, Oregon, rose to the challenge and completed the retrofit on a tight deadline while continuing to care for patients. The project went so well that Marquis Mt. Tabor might serve as an example of how to plan and manage a complex sprinkler installation project with a building full of patients for another important group of health care facilities: hospitals. 

For more information on how to plan and execute a sprinkler retrofit in a functioning health care facility, read Smith's article "Old & New" in the January/February issue of NFPA Journal.

Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today.


On Tuesday, January 15, 1985, a fire occurred in a 102,900-sq ft, 85-year-old warehouse built of mill construction undergoing demolition in the light manufacturing section of Hoboken, New Jersey.  At the time of the fire, the roof and top floor of the four-story warehouse had been dismantled.  The automatic sprinkler system that once protected the warehouse complex had been taken out of service two weeks prior to the fire.

In an effort to keep warm while working inside the building, demolition crews lit small fires in metal containers.  It is believed that the fire was caused when burning materials from the container fires came in contact with accumulated combustible rubble located on one floor below where the demolition crew was working.  The warehouse was totally consumed and burned to the ground within 30 minutes of detection of the fire.  The extremely rapid development and spread of the fire were large largely due to the geometric configuration of the fuel load, i.e., large areas of exposed, well-seasoned timber, unprotected vertical openings and inoperative automatic sprinkler system.

A five-story, 85,000-sq ft building that abutted the warehouse was an extreme exposure problem from the onset and was eventually destroyed by the fire along with all of the small miscellaneous buildings contained in the block.  Two hundred and sixty-five fire fighters with 36 pieces of apparatus battled the fire for over 5 1/2 hours before bringing it under control.   Twelve other fires caused from burning embers being carried by high winds to other locations in the city, along with the complete destruction of a city block and 77 automobiles, resulted from this fire.

In spite of below freezing temperature and high winds, fire fighters were able to successfully contain the fire to one block.  If their efforts had failed, the potential for the destruction of additional property was greatly increased.

This fire illustrates the extreme exposure hazard of buildings undergoing demolition.  The following are considered to be significant factors contributing to the large property loss in this fire:

   •     Failure to provide adequate safeguards during the demolition operation.

   •     Automatic sprinkler system impairment in an exposure building.

   •     Adverse weather conditions, i. e., high winds on the morning of the fire.    

   NFPA members Download this Hoboken, NJ report 

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