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Within NFPA 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments, there are 13 essential job tasks firefighters must be able to perform to become a firefighter. Certain pre-existing health conditions, such as monocular vision (a.k.a. vision in only one eye), use of a hearing aid, and a history of seizures, prevent pre-employment members from becoming a firefighter. Meanwhile, incumbent firefighters who develop one of these conditions may remain on the job.

Fire engine

  • Should there be a different set of health requirements for pre-employment members and incumbent firefighters?
  • Should incumbent firefighters be expected to meet the same standards of employment as pre-employment members?
  • Should medical conditions accepted for post-employment firefighters also be accepted for pre-employment members?
  • Are there circumstances where there should be exceptions to the current eligibility rules?
  • What are your recommendations on addressing this issue?

Let us know your thoughts on this issue, so that your thoughts and perspectives can be heard! Public Inputs on NFPA 1582 can be submitted through July 6. Your Voice Matters!

To learn more ways you can participate in our codes and standards, visit Standards in Action: Your Voice Matters.

NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, is facing issues that directly impact firefighter health and safety. Read on to learn what’s at stake, and make sure your opinions and perspectives are heard! Public Inputs on NFPA 1500 can be submitted through July 6.

Work Hour Requirements

Right now, NFPA 1500 does not set requirements on the maximum number of hours a firefighter can work within a given shift. Clock

  • Do you think there should be a requirement on the maximum number of hours a firefighter should work in one shift? If so, what do you think the maximum should be?
  • If you don't there should be a requirement, why?


Exposure Control

While we know that cancer-causing toxins and carcinogens remain on firefighters’ PPE after fighting a fire, there’s still much question as to what cleaning and maintenance procedures are needed to minimize firefighters’ exposure to these toxins.

  • What cleaning, maintenance and training requirements/procedures should be included in NFPA 1500 to minimize firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens and toxins?
  • What flaws do you see in current cleaning/maintenance requirements that can be improved?
  • What changes in NFPA 1500 would better protect you?

Pump & Roll

NFPA 1500 requires all firefighters be seated and belted while riding aboard a fire apparatus. NFPA 1906 has approved an exception to this requirement, which accommodates a new fire apparatus designed specifically for fighting wildfires. The change in NFPA 1906 could directly impact the current NFPA 1500 requirement.

CFSI ad image of firefighters in truck_SM (2)

  • Do you think it’s safe for firefighters to ride unseated and unbelted in specific fire engine designs?
  • Do you think the proposed change should be accepted? Why or why not?

Let us know your thoughts on these important NFPA 1500 issues. Your Voice Matters!

To learn more ways you can participate in our codes and standards, visit Standards in Action: Your Voice Matters.

Each year when we promote fireworks safety, we get a lot of flak from people who think our stance is downright absurd. In response to yesterday’s Facebook post, which stated that there’s no safe way to use consumer fireworks, one person commented, “That is the dumbest statement I’ve read today, I’ve never met one person injured by fireworks.”

Ban on fireworks image

Anyone who tracks fireworks injuries knows that thousands of people are, in fact, injured from fireworks each year. Many of those injuries are serious or even fatal. Just this past weekend in Michigan, a 47-year-old man died when a large mortar fireworks shell he was holding next to his head exploded.

According to Walled Lake, MI, Police Chief Paul Shakinas, when first responders arrived, they found the man unresponsive, not breathing, and suffering from severe trauma to the back of his head.

“Hands down, the worst I’ve ever seen,” Shakinas said. “I’ve seen (fireworks) accidents, but never causing a fatality. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Firefighters and first responders can attest to the damage fireworks cause each year. An article in today's Boston Globe today reinforced that message. According to Rick DeLorie, Wellesley, MA, fire chief and president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, firefighters respond “to all types of fires and medical emergencies” over the holiday because of fireworks. “In fact, July 4 is the busiest day for fires after Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Massachusetts officials also noted that over the past year, rescuers have responded to several fireworks incidents resulting in car and home damage, serious burns, and, in one case, the amputation of a person’s hand.

Smoke alarms can make the difference between life and death in a fire, but they have to be working. That’s a message the New York State legislature clearly understands. Last week, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed legislation requiring all battery-operated smoke alarms sold in New York State be equipped with non-removable, 10-year batteries. Smoke_alarm

The bill, which is now pending Governor Cuomo's signature, prompted applause from Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) President Robert McConville. “As firefighters, we frequently encounter the horrific effects of fires in homes without working smoke alarms,” McConville said. “This bill makes New York State a safer place and will undoubtedly go a long way toward preventing future home fire deaths. We look forward to working with the Governor in the coming weeks to see this bill become law.”

NFPA requires a smoke alarm in each bedroom, near all sleeping areas and on every level of the home, including the basement, and smoke alarms should be tested monthly. For more information on smoke alarm safety, visit

Fire BreakThe June issue of Fire Break, NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division newsletter, is now available for viewing. Here’s what you’ll find in this month’s issue:

  • An update on NFPA’s Backyards & Beyond wildland fire conference in October in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • An announcement of the second phase of the Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire campaign - ACT
  • Information about using landscaping equipment (lawn mowers, chain saws, etc.) responsibly to reduce grass fires
  • News that focuses on two insurance companies and their work to support wildfire safety

...and much 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.

Sprinkler advocates
Through its Bringing Safety Home Grant Program, NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative awarded sprinkler advocates across North America up to $10,000 apiece for advocacy and educational efforts.

The recipients are highlighted in the latest issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. Also underscored in this issue are stories on:

  • a recent radio program that tackled the topic of home fire sprinkler costs
  • a father's emotional push for sprinkler laws following his daughter's death
  • a town making history by sprinklering its first home

Subscribe today to receive the monthly newsletter directly to your inbox. This free publication keeps you up-to-date on sprinkler news from across North America. Already a subscriber? Please forward the subscribe link and make sure others are they're getting their monthly dose of important sprinkler news.


We are now accepting proposals for educational presentations at the 2016 NFPA Conference & Expo. We invite you to share your knowledge with your peers as a presenter in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 13-16, 2016. Please complete this application and submit by Monday, September 14, 2015 at 5:00 pm EDT. 

Submissions emphasizing a specific product, process or manufacturer will not be considered.
NFPA will review all presentation proposals. Selections will be made based on quality, relevance, focus, practical application, and on the presenter’s experience and credentials. 

If your proposal is accepted, you will be required to submit a handout by May 1, 2016. Continuing education credits (CEUs) will be awarded for all education sessions. Submit your proposal now.

There is an open Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Foundation project on Fire Department Connection (FDC) Inlet Flow Requirements for NFPA 14.  The RFP is accessible from the Foundation website.  Proposals are due July 15th.  Please contact Amanda Kimball ( at the Foundation with any questions. The Foundation Policies and Guidance for Contractors can be found on the website.

Save the date 2016 NFPA Conference and Expo.jpg

Thank you to all attendees, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers for making this year's Conference & Expo a successful event! Make sure you check out the C&E blog for a recap of the event in case you missed anything.


Save the date for next year in Las Vegas from June 13-16 as well! We are accepting proposals for educational presentations at the 2016 NFPA Conference & Expo. We invite you to share your knowledge with your peers. Please complete this application and submit by Monday, September 14, 2015 at 5:00 pm EDT.


Submissions emphasizing a specific product, process or manufacturer will not be considered. NFPA will review all presentation proposals. Selections will be made based on quality, relevance, focus, practical application, and on the presenter’s experience and credentials.


!|border=0|src=|alt=Sprinkler demo|title=Sprinkler demo|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7a49f23970b image-full img-responsive!
Looking for an effective approach to home fire sprinkler advocacy? Pay close attention to the efforts made by the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition. 


Coalition members turned out in droves to a recent public hearing on a sprinkler bill introduced by state Rep. Ruth Balser and Sen. Kenneth Donnelly and another sponsored by state Rep. Michael Brady. Balser, who spoke at the public hearing and at summits initiated by the Fire Sprinkler Initiative, has been a vocal ally in the push for sprinkler requirements in Massachusetts. 


Joining Balser at the hearing were staff from NFPA and the National Fire Sprinkler Asssociation, staunch sprinkler supporter State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, state fire service organizations, and the burn survivor community, including Paul Machado, the newest member of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative's Faces of Fire Campaign. 


For additional highlights from the event, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Firefighter, home fire sprinkler advocate Paul Machado tells tale of survival

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA president joins Massachusetts state fire marshal in lauding national sprinkler efforts

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA team interviewed by radio program to set the record straight about home fire sprinklers

There’s no safe way to use consumer fireworks. If that sounds a bit Debbie Downer, we get it. Fireworks are festive and even mesmerizing at times. But take a look at these statistics, and our firm stance on fireworks safety starts to make a lot of sense:

Debbie Downer

  • On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire.
  • Over 11,000 injuries resulted from consumer use of fireworks in 2013.
  • More than half of fireworks injuries in 2013 were to extremities, including the hand or finger, leg and arm. Most of the remaining injuries were to parts of the head, including the eye.
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2012 Fireworks Annual Report shows that two out of five people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for the children under five, followed by children 10 to 14 years of age. Males accounted for 57 percent of the injuries overall.

So how can you celebrate the holiday safely? Attend professional fireworks displays put on by trained professionals. Let’s face it, they’re far more spectacular than anything you’d see in someone’s back yard. Even Debbie Downer would be hard-pressed to complain.

Check out our fireworks safety page for videos like the one below and infographics to learn just how dangerous consumer fireworks can be. More fireworks statistics can be found in our 2013 Fireworks Report.


Kerry M. Bell, PE, Chair of the NFPA Standards Council, presides over the Technical Meeting in Chicago. Mr. Bell is a Principal Engineer and Corporate Fellow at UL.

The following eight NFPA documents will be considered by NFPA members today in Chicago as part of NFPA's Technical Meeting at McCormick Place. 

  • NFPA 1710, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments
  • NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus
  • NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances
  • NFPA 652, Standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust
  • NFPA 24, Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances
  • NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
  • NFPA 13R, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies
  • NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code

Download the full agenda for the meeting (PDF), which includes Certified Amending Motions for NFPA standards in the Fall 2014 and Annual 2015 revision cycles that will be considered at the 2015 Technical Meeting in Chicago.

Read full coverage of the NFPA Conference & Expo on our blog.


As we wrap up our Conference & Expo in Chicago, we invite you to submit a proposal for educational presentations at our 2016 Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Submissions emphasizing a specific product, process or manufacturer will not be considered. NFPA will review all presentation proposals. Selections will be made based on quality, relevance, focus, practical application, and on the presenter’s experience and credentials.

The first day of NFPA's Association Technical Meeting has concluded with action on NFPA 33, NFPA 520, and NFPA 11.






During today's NFPA Technical Meeting in Chicago, the following action has taken place on NFPA 11, Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam 

  • 11-1 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 30 was not pursued.
  • 11-2 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 23 was not pursued.
  • 11-3 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 24 was not pursued.
  • 11-4 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 25 was not pursued.
  • 11-5 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 26 was not pursued.
  • 11-6 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 27 was not pursued.
  • 11-7 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 28 was not pursued.
  • 11-8 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 29 was not pursued.
  • 11-9 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 31 was not pursued.
  • 11-10 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 32 was not pursued.
  • 11-11 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 33 was not pursued.
  • 11-12 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 34 was not pursued.
  • 11-13 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 20 was not pursued.
  • 11-14 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 21 was not pursued.
  •  11-15 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 12, thereby recommending First Draft text passed.

NFPA 11 was passed with 1 amending motions. NFPA 11 COMPLETED.

Read full coverage of the NFPA Conference & Expo on our blog.

During today's NFPA Technical Meeting in Chicago, the following action has taken place on NFPA 520, Standard on Subterranean Spaces

  • 520-1 Motion to Accept Public Comment Nos. 1 and 2 failed.

NFPA 520 was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 520 COMPLETED.

Read full coverage of the NFPA Conference & Expo on our blog.

During today's NFPA Technical Meeting in Chicago, the following action has taken place on NFPA 33, Standard for Spray Application using Flammable or Combustible Materials

  • 33-1 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 14 failed.
  • 33-2 Motion to Accept Public Comment Nos. 10, 11, 12 and 13 failed.

NFPA 33 was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 33 COMPLETED.

Read full coverage of the NFPA Conference & Expo on our blog.

The First Draft Report for NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®, in the Annual 2016 revision cycle is now available.  Review the First Draft Report for use as background in the submission of public comments. The deadline to submit a public comment through the online submission system is September 25, 2015. The deadline for paper submittals (submissions other than the online submission system) is August 21, 2015.

The First Draft Report serves as documentation of the Input Stage and is published for public review and comment. The First Draft Report contains a compilation of the First Draft of the NFPA Standard, First Revisions, Public Input, Committee Input, Committee Statements, and Ballot Results and Statements. Where applicable, the First Draft Report also contains First Correlating Revisions, Correlating Notes, and Correlating Input.


A new vision. A new mission. A new perspective on becoming an information and knowledge organization.

In President Jim Pauley’s address at the General Session at NFPA’s Conference & Expo on June 22, he described an association in transformation. 

He said NFPA must continually ask itself – Who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? And how can we have the greatest impact? He described a long-range strategic planning exercise that helped NFPA formulate its ideal future state. 

The new NFPA vision - “We are the leading global advocate for the elimination of death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards” - provides direction for the Association to change in other ways to help our members, customers, and partners save lives.

Video: Watch Mr. Pauley’s entire presentation from the 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo.


Have you answered Jim Pauley's questions on the idea wall outside NFPA Conference & Expo's expo hall? Come by and give us your thoughts on these questions:

  • What does NFPA as an information and knowledge organization mean to you?
  • What can we do for you and with you to move us closer to our vision of eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards? 

You can also just give us any suggestions or comments you may have, so come on by!

Visit the NFPA Conference & Expo blog for the latest updates from Chicago. More than 65 education on tap for today, and our Expo - featuring more than 330 exhibitors - is now open for the day!




Members of Team Rubicon provide aid in the aftermath of a devastating 2013 typhoon in the Philippines.

The leaders of three new and innovative disaster relief organizations were the featured keynote speakers at the 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo general session today in Chicago.

All three organizations, Reaction,, and Team Rubicon, are different in approach, yet each is effective and inspiring in its methods. Using slideshow photos and engaging stories, the speakers told of the founding of their respective organizations and how, through the use of technology and human spirit, they are saving lives and helping communities recover from disaster.

° Inspired by the horrific conditions endured by the victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, designer Michael McDaniel cofounded Reaction, a company in Austin, Texas, that manufactures smart and lightweight emergency shelters. Starting with nothing more than a vision, over the years McDaniel has overcome numerous hurdles to secure investors, hire a team of experts, invent new lightweight fireproof materials, and is now just weeks away from opening a 50,000 square-foot manufacturing facility. His hope is to produce thousands of comfortable emergency shelters, called Exos, that will keep displaced victims safe in the aftermath of a disaster so the events of post Katrina will never be repeated.


Reaction founder Michael McDaniel standing next to an image of an Exo shelter on the stage of the NFPA Conference & Expo general session Monday in Chicago.

° In the days following a devastating tornado that struck Monson, Massachusetts, in 2011, Morgan O’Neill and her sister Caitria scrambled to organize recovery efforts. They quickly learned not only how difficult it is to figure who needs help and what kind of help, but also who is available to provide that help. The experience led the sisters to launch, a website where any local community can create a webpage and database linking volunteers with victims. Both groups can alert the other of their needs and capacity to help, facilitating more efficient local disaster response. The site has been used by local citizens to self organize and effectively respond to disasters ranging from Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey, to wildfires in California.

Recovers pauly founder Morgan O'Neill, middle, and Chief Operating Officer Chris Kuryak, right, are greeted by NFPA President Jim Pauley after their talk at the NFPA Conference & Expo general session Monday.

° After witnessing the difficulties of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans returning home and the apathy many in the public had toward them, Navy veteran Ken Harbaugh looked for a way to help. One of the first efforts he helped launch was Team Rubicon. The brainchild of two Marines, Team Rubicon today has about 30,000 highly trained veterans and first responders in its ranks. Harbaugh found that, with a little retraining, veterans—most of whom have a deep desire to continue to serve in some capacity—can repurpose their military skills to provide incredibly effective disaster relief. To date, Team Rubicon members have deployed on more than 90 missions around the world, including to the Philippines in the aftermath of historic Typhoon Hayian in 2013, providing aid, emergency rescue and medical services, cleanup, and much more. 


Team Rubicon Chief Operating Officer Ken Harbaugh addresses the audience at the 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo general session Monday afternoon in Chicago.


Brian Papagni of the FAA (left) and David Clark of Protection Engineers LLC, present Monday morning at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Chicago.


Even when you're in a plane taxiing on the runway, air traffic control towers are probably nowhere near the forefront of your mind—not so for Brian Papagni and David Clark. Clark, an engineer at Protection Engineers LLC, and Papagni, a safety manager at the Federal Aviation Administration, kicked-off today's NFPA Conference & Expo education session lineup with a broad discussion on the unique challenges these towers present to fire protection engineers. Factors such as delayed egress for employees, limited egress, critical mission continuity as well as structure height all make it difficult to design for both life safety and fire suppression elements.

Several codes including NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, as well as NFPA 75, Fire Protection of Information Technology Equipment, inform much of how fire protection engineers and the FAA deal with these challenges. 

To view a pdf of today's presentation, "Protection the Skies—Fire Protection Challenges at Airport Control Towers," visit

In his first official remarks to attendees at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Chicago, President Jim Pauley shared examples – historically, globally, and locally – of how NFPA and its members have been at the forefront of fire and life safety for nearly 120 years. 

But as times changes, he said, with new safety challenges, NFPA needs to continually ask itself – Who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? And how can we have the greatest impact? Mr. Pauley described a long-range strategic planning effort that helped the association identify its “end point”. 

“Through this process, we had lots of discussion of what we aspire to be, what our view is of an ideal future state, our vision for NFPA,” he said. 

Read Mr. Pauley's remarks on our Conference & Expo blog.


“You use the codes, you enforce the codes, you carry our message. You keep people safe and you save lives.”

With those words, NFPA Chair Ernest Grant, welcomed attendees to the Opening Session, and expressed his appreciation for their collective work to make the world safer. 

“We are proud to support you in that effort by providing you with the latest information and resources,” he said. “We are grateful for that but also want to make sure we are making it as easy as possible for you to work with us now and into the future.”

Mr. Grant, a burn nurse at UNC Chapel Burn Center, gave several examples of how the world is changing – and how the NFPA family around the globe must be ready to meet the challenges that come with rapid change. 

Read Mr. Grant's remarks on our Conference & Expo blog.

Conneally pic

Chris Connealy of the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office addresses traditional firefighting culture and the risk it places on firefighter safety

Firefighters want to protect people from fire, and that’s a noble cause. But they also like fighting fires and the battle scars that come with it, proving to their peers that they’ve done their job well.  That tough, aggressive culture can put firefighters’ safety at risk, and it’s one that needs to be changed, said Chris Connealy of the Texas State Fire Marshal’s office, during this morning’s “Changing the Fire Service Culture to Ensure Everyone Goes Home”.

Connealy says that we need to “confront the elephant in the room”, and start actively working to change the culture of patting firefighters on the back when they employ aggressive tactics to fight fires and put themselves at unnecessary risk. "Firefighters need to the courage to be safe," he says.

Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) must be followed, implemented and updated regularly; risk vs. gain needs to be considered when determining what tactics should be employed in fighting a fire and attempting to save lives; and an established incident command system must be in place that reinforces firefighter accountability.

How can these culture changes be implemented? Leadership and training. Establish standards for what is and isn’t acceptable – company officers and chiefs set the tone of the fire department. And train firefighters well – provide them with a robust, hands-on training program that’s conducted on a regular basis, at a total of 20 hours a month.

Firefighters want to protect people from fire, and that’s a noble cause. But they also like fighting fires and the battle scars that come with it, proving to their peers that they’ve done their job well.  That tough, aggressive culture can put firefighters’ safety at risk, and it’s one that needs to be changed, said Chris Connealy of the Texas State Fire Marshal’s office, during this morning’s “Changing the Fire Service Culture to Ensure Everyone Goes Home”.

Connealy says that we need to “confront the elephant in the room”, and start actively working to change the culture of patting firefighters on the back when they employ aggressive tactics to fight fires and put themselves at unnecessary risk.

According to Connealy, Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) must be followed, implemented and updated regularly. He also says that risk vs. gain needs to be considered when determining what tactics should be employed in fighting a fire and attempting to save lives. In addition, there should be an established incident command system in place that reinforces firefighter accountability.

How can these culture changes be implemented? Leadership and training. Establish standards for what is and isn’t acceptable – company officers and chiefs set the tone of the fire department. And train firefighters well – provide them with a robust, hands-on training program that’s conducted on a regular basis, at a total of 20 hours a month.

Registration area

Visit the NFPA Conference & Expo blog for regular updates from McCormick Place in Chicago, home this week to our 119th annual gathering.

Do not panic! The Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 600 has just completed a revision of their document which is now titled Facility Fire Brigades instead of Industrial Fire Brigades!  The Committee wanted to emphasize that fire brigades are not limited to just industrial settings but exist in other facilities such as hospitals, universities and airports.  Although work on fire brigade standards has been going on for over 100 years, with the first document on private fire departments published in 1902, the Committee recognizes that the world of fire brigades has changed.  As a result the Committee is already beginning work on the NEXT edition of NFPA 600, looking at a number of issues that they feel need to be addressed such as “Is there a need to do anything different for fire brigades that look and operate like a full-fledged fire department?“  And “Is there a need to address the issue of fire brigades that also have duties other than fire suppression such as confined space rescue and first aid?”


If you are coming to the NFPA Conference in Chicago next week, and have an interest in fire brigades and NFPA 600, there will be a presentation on the changes made to NFPA 600-2015 and the issues that the Committee is grappling with for the next revision cycle bright and early on Monday morning at 8 AM in room S503ab.  If you cannot attend but are interested in following the work of the committee please sign up for email alerts at    Hope to see you there!

Anyone out there as passionate about confined space safety as I am?    If you are at all involved with confined space entry then come hear about the new NFPA 350 Guide to Confined Space Entry and Work at the NFPA conference next week in Chicago!   The Technical Committee has completed the second draft revisions and, absent any NITMAMs, the new guide will be released this coming November!  This document explains  “how to” comply with provisions in the existing confined space regulations and standards by providing more detailed guidance on subjects such as hazard identification, air monitoring, ventilation and rescue.   It also addresses some of the gaps in the existing standards and provides best practices for confined space entry. 

A presentation on NFPA 350 is scheduled for Wednesday June 24th 9:30-10:30 in Room S404bc.   For those who are not attending the conference, you can stay on top of what is happening with NFPA 350 by signing up for email alerts at  Hope to see you at the conference!

Charleston 9Eight years ago today, a call was received for a fire in a Sofa Super Store in Charleston, SC. The fire would start in the loading dock behind the store and eventually would take over the rest of the 42,000 square foot structure. 

The Charleston 9, as the victims came to be known, died at the scene of the fire on the evening of June 18, 2007. 

The victims were Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, of Engine 19; Capt. Mike Benke of Engine 16; Firefighter Melvin Champaign, of Engine 16; Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton, of Engine 19; Asst. Engineer Michael French, of Ladder 5; Capt. William Hutchinson, of Engine 19; Engineer Mark Kelsey, of Ladder 5; Capt. Louis Mulkey, of Engine 15; and Firefighter Brandon Thompson, of Ladder 5.

The building had no fire sprinkler system. The fire started at approximately 7:00 p.m. in a covered loading dock area built between the showroom and warehouse buildings which was attached to both buildings.

At the time, the business was still open and employees were present. Charleston firefighters arrived on the scene within three minutes of the alarm.

The Charleston Chronicle details some of the events of that day and how the fire spread throughout the building in an article posted yesterday. They ask us all, and we agree, to never forget these men or their sacrifice. 

Read about how NIST worked to reconstruct the fire dynamics of the fire to help learn from the tragedy.

SFF Cover Revised 5-20-15 - Cropped

When firefighters arrive on-scene at a fire, they typically lack critical information about the structure, such as its floor plan, which puts them at significant risk.

Today’s communication, computing, sensor and networking technologies could change all that, according to the new "Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting" which was officially released today by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation), the research affiliate of NFPA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The roadmap report charts steps toward overcoming technical obstacles so that interconnected technologies, known collectively as cyber-physical systems, or CPS, can be harnessed to significantly improve fire protection and fire fighting capabilities.

“The ultimate aim of the roadmap is to enable real-time delivery of useful information before, during, and after a fire incident or other emergency—to get actionable intelligence to the first responders who need it, when they need it,” said Anthony Hamins, who heads NIST’s Fire Research Division.

The fire service and other first responders are already benefiting from today’s enhanced technologies and access to ‘big data’, notes Casey Grant, executive director of the Foundation. "But that existing level of access and usage merely reflects the tip of the iceberg," said Grant. "Our ever-increasing sensor-rich environment is continually generating vast amounts of potentially useful information, so that the ‘smart’ fire fighters of tomorrow will be able to perform their work more effectively and efficiently than ever before.”

The Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting report is now available and can be downloaded for free. For more information on smart fire fighting, visit the Foundation’s website.

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In the latest episode of NFPA Journal Podcast, host Jesse Roman speaks with NFPA engineer Jacqueline Wilmot about the fire and life safety considerations of food trucks, a rapidly growing industry with an estimated 117,000 vehicles now on the road in the U.S. While the trucks are becoming wildly popular, recent events have called into question whether there needs to be more robust fire and life safety standards and inspections for these trucks.

On July 1, 2014, in the Feltonville neighborhood of Philadelphia, a leaking propane tank on the La Parrillada Chapina food truck ignited, resulting in an explosion that sent a fireball 200 feet into the air, shook nearby buildings, and shot the propane tank 95 feet into a neighboring yard. Truck operators Olga Galdamez, 42, and her daughter, Jaylin Landaverry-Galdamez, 17, suffered third-degree burns and died three weeks later. Ten other people were injured in the blast, some critically.Throughout the country have been numerous other examples of food truck fires and propane explosions, but as of now NFPA codes and standards are silent about these truck and safety regulations.

In the Podcast, Wilmot, the NFPA staff liaison for NFPA 96, Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, talks about the problem, as well as the discussions underway at NFPA to address this issue. If you’re interested in learning even more, read the article “All Up in Our Grill,” in the May/June issue of NFPA Journal, which highlights the Chicago Fire Department’s robust fire safety permitting process for food trucks, as well as takes from leading food truck organizations.

To make sure you don’t miss an episode, please subscribe to NFPA Journal Podcast on iTunes. You can also listen to the episode directly on your computer.

Are we really approaching the last week of June already?! Wow. I'm sure for most of you, you're putting your finishing touches on your work for C&E, and I'm sure everyone is excited! For me, I'm mentally preparing for the bitter-sweetness of approaching my last week here at NFPA. Although I was very (very,very, VERY) happy to say goodbye to the dreadful winter we had, and what was the worst commute of my life (3 1/2 hours to and from Boston), I'm very sad that now I have to say goodbye to everybody here. 

My future plans after NFPA? Well, I will be spending July 4th week home with my family and friends on Long Island (pronounced lawn-guyland), New York, and will be back returning back to Boston to begin summer classes on July 6 at Northeastern University. After that, I enter my senior year, and in May 2016, I'll be graduating with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Journalism with a minor in Oratory and Public Speaking. After graduation, as a congratulations gift to myself, I plan to finally take a trip I have been itching to go on - Birthright! Then comes the oh-so-fun job searching...

I want to take this time to thank ALL of you here at NFPA for welcoming me with open arms. For my first internship, I would say I got pretty lucky with this one. It isn't often you come across an organization filled with fun, enthusiastic, passionate people who enjoy coming to work and enjoy doing what they do. So, thank you for this wonderful experience!!

I cannot thank the Public Affairs department enough for their continuous support and encouragement since my first day, and of course all those in other departments who I've gotten to know. It has been such a pleasure working here, and I certainly learned a lot. I will now and forever be that annoying roommate who will nit-pick all the things my roommates are doing wrong when it comes to cooking in the kitchen, lighting candles, using up ALL the outlets of our extension cords, the list goes on. But they can definitely rest assured knowing our smoke alarms are working and being tested once a month. I hope this is not the last I see of NFPA, I certainly intend to visit at some point. According to my good friend Don Bliss, I hear Christmas time is a hoot!

The International Department here at NFPA, welcomed several Lund University Students from Sweden to the Quincy headquarters this week. Each year NFPA proudly hosts the fire protection engineer students. The students heard from many people around NFPA about all of the work going on here in the research, standards development, public fire protection, international, home fire sprinkler initiative, and building fire protection divisions. It is always a pleasure to teach the students the difference NFPA makes in their country and worldwide. Plus, we even learned how to say, “God morgon” (good morning) and "Välkommen till NFPA” (welcome to NFPA)!




Special NFPA® Office Hours event: Tuesday, 6/23/15 @ 2pm CDT (3pm EDT) at NFPA Booth 471

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



Usually, Office Hours is broadcast from a studio near NFPA Headquarters and is for Members only, but on June 23 we'll be LIVE from Chicago and all Conference attendees are welcome to join!  

Dick Roux, Senior Electrical Specialist at NFPA, will discuss the 2016 edition of NFPA 72®: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. NFPA Members and NFPA Conference & Expo® attendees will have a special opportunity to watch live in-person at NFPA booth 471. NFPA Members are also welcome to watch online from the comfort of your home or office!

The presentation will include anticipated revisions to the 2016 edition of NFPA 72 pertaining to:

  • Requirements for Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitters (DACTs)
  • Differences between high and low frequency alarm tones
  • Utilizing the internet infrastructure in a building per the requirements of Class N for fire alarm, life safety and mass notification

 Don’t miss out on this special event. Register Today!

The Fire Protection Research Foundation has a current phase 1 project on the impact of sloped ceilings on the sprinkler protection of storage commodities, which could result in new design guidelines for the sprinkler protection of warehouses with sloped ceilings. At this stage in the project we are gathering data to determine the full nature of the challenges associated with the design of these systems. If you have involvement with these systems in any capacity (building owner, system designer, AHJ, insurance agency, contractor, installer, etc.) please share your experiences with us through this brief survey. For each unique experience submitted you will be entered to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards. Thank you for your valuable feedback in support of code advancements.

NFPA's proposed standard, NFPA 1858, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services, is seeking public input on its preliminary draft.

The preliminary draft allows the public to review and submit any suggested revisions prior to the publication as a First Draft Report.  The deadline for submitting public input for this new standard is January 7, 2016. 

To submit a public input using the online submission system, select NFPA 1858 from the list of NFPA codes and standards. Once on the NFPA 1858 document information page, select the link "The next edition of this standard is now open for Public Input" to begin the process.  You will be asked to sign-in or create a free online account with NFPA before using this system.  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.

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.

MS07 - Accessibility Expo v05

The Accessibility Showcase will co-locate with the 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois from June 22 to 25, 2015. This showcase, first begun in 2013, features products specifically designed to empower people with disabilities and their families, friends, and caregivers, as well as building managers, supervisors, and first responders to help improve not only their safety, but the quality of life for people with disabilities far beyond those specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Accessibility Showcase at past NFPA Conference & Expos has been a huge success. To see a list of this year’s vendors, please click here.

“Fire and life safety are more important to people with disabilities than others because of the barriers to accessing information about the emergency and the physical barriers to evacuating within the built environment,” says Allan Fraser, senior building code specialist and staff liaison to NFPA’s presidential Disability Access Review and Advisory Committee.  DARAC was formed in the fall of 2004 to help NFPA identify existing needs and emerging issues in the disability community.  The DARAC works to deliver recommendations that need to be considered by NFPA technical committees and to identify and recommend various research agenda items that have specific application concerning access, use and safety issues in the built environment.  Beyond codes, DARAC also works to review elements of NFPA public education and outreach activities. “With each passing day, I marvel at the new technological innovations and advancements, particularly those that improve access to information, communications, and the ability of people with disabilities to be more empowered with respect to their own safety” says Fraser.

Examples of the many types of products at the Accessibility Showcase include enhanced alarming systems, directional sound devices, voice-to-text/text-to-voice devices, video phones for ASL users, power wheelchairs, accessible vehicles, signage, and accessibility training and preparedness programs for employers.

Supporting the Accessibility Expo will again be a series of conference sessions addressing one or more of the five categories of disability—mobility, vision, hearing, speech, and cognitive—and the creative, common-sense best practices and solutions available.

Educational sessions include:

  • Developing and Implementing a Building Evacuation for Safety Managers and Building Owners Program
  • America's PrepareAthon!
  • Moving Millions to Prepare
  • Emergency Action Plans: Are You Ready?
  • Occupant Evacuation Elevators: A Case Study on Design Implementation
  • Are You Ignoring 20 Percent of Your Population When Planning for Evacuations?
  • Evaluating the Remembering When Program
  • High-Rise Building Evacuation: Hold the Mayo (Clinic)

For more information go to

Journey Back
Helping children regain a sense of normalcy to their lives after burn injury and a reconnection with their peer community prompted the development of The Journey Back school re-entry program several years ago. When I was a child life specialist, I had been asked several times to present a school re-entry program on very short notice and without much preparation on how to implement such a program. School re-entry programs can be instrumental to a child’s transition in healing and after learning that many other colleagues were challenged with the same task -- and many schools and families were desperately searching for help -- it motivated me to figure out how we could make this process easier.

One of the wonderful benefits of Phoenix Society’s support is the national collaborative spirit that is an integral part of their program development and delivery models. The initial draft of The Journey Back was distributed to a wide range of experts from education to burn care. Each contributor took time to lend their expertise and perspective to this valuable tool. Their input insured that the materials were developed with both the survivor’s recovery needs and the professional’s application needs in mind.

Now, after seven years in circulation, we are excited to adapt this tool to utilize current technology and delivery platforms. Users can easily access the most current materials anywhere, anytime, online and free of charge. This new platform allows every child, whether close to the hospital or hours away, access to this supportive and informative back to school curriculum tools. Learn more about The Journey Back school re-entry program.  

Join over 100 hospitals and over 300 users that are currently accessing The Journey Back and support a child or teen to getting back to living their lives at school!

ULNFPA’s President, Jim Pauley shares some exciting NFPA Conference & Expo updates.

The General Session sponsored by UL, will be held in the Arie Crown Theater from 1:30-3:30 pm on Monday, June 22. The General Session will begin with a presentation of the National Anthem by the winner of the National Anthem Contest, Joe Cantone, a musician from Rhode Island. His energy and enthusiasm are a great way to kick off the show! 

Also, we are really shaking things up this year with a unique Keynote presentation as well.  We have three mystery speakers who are real-life examples of innovation and inspiration for disaster preparedness and response. 

For more information, visit our Conference & Expo web site.  For more information on UL, stop by Booth 925 at the Expo.

NFPA mobile app for ConferenceThe 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo mobile app is available to download on your smart phone or tablet. Navigate the event like a pro with the 2015 C&E mobile app, powered by

With the 2015 C&E mobile app, you can:

  • Stay organized with up-to-the-minute Exhibitor, Speaker, and Event information
  • Sync the app across all of your devices with Multi-Device Sync
  • Receive important real-time communications from the NFPA
  • Build a personalized schedule and bookmark exhibitors
  • Take notes and download event handouts and presentations
  • Rate the sessions you attend and comment on them, too
  • Interactively locate sessions and exhibitors on the McCormick Place maps
  • Visit your bookmarked exhibitors with the Quick Route
  • Find attendees and connect with your colleagues through Friends
  • Stay in-the-know and join in on social media with #NFPAConf
  • Watch NFPA videos
  • And much, much more!

Downloading the app is easy...

SEARCH the App Store or Google Play for “NFPA 2015” 

 Get it on Google Play        

SCAN the QR code to download the app.






FOR ALL OTHER DEVICE TYPES (including BlackBerry, Windows, and all other web browser-enabled devices):  While on your smartphone, point your mobile browser to to be directed to the proper download version for your phone.

Questions? Please contact


The 2016 Edition of NFPA 409 Standard on Aircraft Hangars was issued by the Standards Council at their April 2015 meeting. This new edition incorporates several significant changes that impact the design of fire protection systems in new Group I and Group II aircraft hangars.


#1 - Foam System Zoning. Low-level foam systems in Group I hangars can now be divided into zones that are independently activated, based on activation of an associated sprinkler zone or automatic detection zone. Manual activation is still required to cause all zones to discharge simultaneously and to provide coverage over the entire storage and servicing area. However, automatic activation of smaller zones may limit the affected area and the consumed quantity of foam solution in the event of an isolated fire or accidental discharge.


#2 - Water Reservoirs. The standard has long required water reservoirs to be divided into equal parts, in order to ensure that at least half of the required supply is always maintained in service. This has been changed to a recommendation, because the water reservoirs for hangars are dedicated supplies that do not require redundancy in all cases.


#3 - Redundant Fire Pumps. Historically, NFPA 409 has attempted to ensure the reliability of hangar protection systems by requiring the installation of a redundant fire pump, such that the minimum water demand can be met with the largest pump out of service. This has been relaxed in recognition of the reliability of modern fire pumps that are maintained in accordance with industry standards. The 2016 edition requires a minimum of two pumps, but a redundant pump will not be required for systems that use two or more pumps to meet the minimum demand. All pumps must be of equal capacity.


#4 - Reserve Supplies of Foam Concentrate. Previous editions have required the installation of a connected reserve supply of foam concentrate with a manual means of switching between the main and reserve supplies. The reserve supply is now permitted to meet the requirements of the 2016 edition of NFPA 11 Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam. This edition of NFPA 11 does not require a connected reserve (though it is obviously permissible to provide one). Instead, the reserve supply must be either stored on-site or available within 24 hours in order to put the system back into service after operation.


To review all of the changes in the new edition of NFPA 409, see the Second Draft Report.

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!List of Annual 2015 documents issued by the NFPA Standards Council as Consent Standards


Pop sensation Taylor Swift may sing a lot about her romantic mishaps, but she seems to keep getting just about everything else right…

T. Swift

This past Saturday, a Texas firefighter named Aaron VanRiper responded to a serious car crash, only to find that the victims were his wife and son, who have both undergone surgery in the days since.

A family friend set up a GoFundMe page to help the family pay their medical bills, since they don’t have medical insurance. Yesterday, a $15,000 donation from Taylor Swift was posted on the page, and it’s the real deal.

A tremendous kudos to Ms. Swift for generously supporting this firefighter and his family in a time of need, and best wishes to the VanRiper family in the aftermath of the incident. 


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Earlier this year, NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative announced its Bringing Safety Home Grant Program, giving home fire sprinkler advocates across North America the chance to secure up to $10,000 for localized advocacy and educational efforts. The incredible number of applications that came our way was nothing short of amazing and showcases how dedicated safety advocates are to this important cause.

The Fire Sprinkler Initiative team had the challenging task of selecting winners from a high number of high-quality applications. Sixteen applicants were selected for their ability to create a forward-thinking approach to sprinkler advocacy.


[View the list of recipients, |] which include many state sprinkler coalitions and a couple sprinkler-friendly associations in Canada.

The grants will fund an array of sprinkler advocacy endeavors, including: 

    • local sprinkler summits that aim to bring together key stakeholders to work on the acceptance of home fire sprinklers

    • local advocacy programs to showcase the impact of home fire sprinklers at community events

    • outreach programs for local officials and policy-makers

    • efforts to assess a state’s true cost of fire and how sprinklers can mitigate future risks


We will be highlighting the efforts made possible by these grants throughout the year on this blog. Please follow the Fire Sprinkler Initiative on Twitter (@NFPA_FSI ) for additional updates.

Congratulations to the winners! 

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter highlights essay receiving national attention for its strong stance on home fire sprinklers
!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!The many myths associated with NFPA's residential sprinkler standard countered by sprinkler expert

Sparky and Ace on the field

Framed Cards photo cropped

by NFPA's Lisa Braxton

More than 40,000 school-age children across greater Toronto and Ontario waved their fire safety banners at the special home game yesterday of the Toronto Blue Jays marked as “Fire Safety Day.” The event took place as part of the fifth annual “Swing into Summer Safety” campaign conducted by the Fire Marshal’s Fire Public Safety Council in partnership with the Toronto Fire Services, and the Toronto Blue Jays.

The first 25,000 kids to attend received a special edition baseball collector card deck, showcasing their favorite Toronto Blue Jays players with fire safety tips included. Pre-game activities also included getting to hang out with firefighters, Sparky the Fire Dog®, and Ace, the Toronto Blue Jays mascot.

Five fire departments from different areas of Ontario hosted a kickoff at the same time as the launch at Rogers Centre: Huron Shores Fire Department, Fire Department of North Huron, Prince Edward County Fire Department, Timmins Fire Department, and Welland Fire and Emergency Services.

The day was capped off with a win by Toronto. The team beat the Miami Marlins, 7 to 2.

"The Council is most grateful to the Toronto Blue Jays and NFPA for their support of this very worthwhile, summer-long fire safety initiative,” said NFPA Public Education Field Advisor for Canada, Art Pullan, pictured above, right with executives from the energy delivery company, Enbridge, one of the campaign’s sponsors, and Chief Lee Grant of the Oakville, Ontario Fire Department. “Together Sparky and Ace bring a fun element to delivering important lifesaving messages to young children throughout Ontario.”

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

  • The launch of Fire Prevention Week 2015
  • New American Sign Language video
  • NFPA teams up with Domino's
  • Firework safety tip sheet
  • Educators and behavior change
  • New gas grill safety video
  • Family's escape story featured on PBS Kids

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.

Fire Engine Dead

by NFPA's Lisa Braxton

In less than two weeks, summer will officially be here. I’ve compiled my summer reading list and the “hottest” choice at the top of my night table stack is a light mystery called Fire Engine Dead. It’s part of the publisher’s “Museum Mystery” series. The synopsis on the back of the book is enticing: "Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia, has to spark her intuition to find an arsonist/murderer whose identity is veiled in smoke. Valuable pieces in storage from the Fireman's Museum go up in flames and a guard is killed in the blaze.”

Now here’s your challenge: How many fire-themed novels can you come up with that feature “Fire,” “Flame,” or “Smoke” in the title? Click on the “comments” link below to respond. I just might add your titles to my list.

HFSCThe Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) announced that the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have joined its all-volunteer Board of Directors. Chief Ron Siarnicki, executive director of NFFF, and Chief Kevin Quinn, chairman of NVFC, will represent the groups on the Board.

“Our Board of Directors is pleased to welcome the NFFF and NVFC to the table,” says HFSC Board President Lorraine Carli. “We look forward to having the benefit of these national groups’ leadership, experience and expertise. The constituents of both these groups recognize the life-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers and are important resources to help educate others.”

The NFFF works to honor and support the families of fallen firefighters, and to reduce firefighter injuries and fatalities. Fire sprinkler advocacy is among the NFFF’s Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives. The NVFC represents the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services nationally, and provides resources and advocacy for first responders.

Other members of the HFSC Board include: American Fire Sprinkler Association, Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association, FM Global, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Association of State Fire Marshals, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Fire Sprinkler Association, Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, State Farm Insurance, Underwriters Laboratories, and U.S. Fire Administration/FEMA.

NFPA and Stop & Shop New England Division are teaming up to promote a healthy, safe grilling season aimed at helping ensure an enjoyable summer for all and one that reduces the risk of grilling fires.  S & S

Three out of five households own a gas grill, according to NFPA’s "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment," report, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires. Each year an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do so year-round, July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by May, June and August.

This summer, participating Stop & Shop stores in New England will reinforce grilling fire safety messages as well as provide tips for preparing healthy meals with events on Cape Cod and in Rhode Island. Stay tuned for more information about these events. If you're in the area, we hope to see you there!

For more information about grilling fire safety and additional tips and resources, visit

NC waste storage fire
The Fire Protection Research Foundation has just published a new report, "Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility Fire Code Gap Analysis" authored by Elizabeth C. Buc, PhD, PE, CFI with the Fire and Materials Research Laboratory, LLC. 

Fires are adverse events with tangible costs for property and human life. Quantification of the immediate and direct costs of fire provide a metric for understanding the social and economic impact of fire and for assessing progress in fire prevention and protection. In addition to their most manifest physical costs, however, fires have a range of less immediate and obvious adverse consequences on the natural environment. These include air contamination from the fire plume (whose deposition is likely to subsequently include land and water contamination), contamination from water runoff containing toxic products, and other environmental discharges or releases from burned materials.

Current efforts to improve the sustainability of buildings focus on increasing energy efficiency and reducing the embodied carbon. This overlooks the fact that a fire event could reduce the overall sustainability of a building through the release of pollutants and the subsequent re-build. Several pieces of work exist on the quantification of the environmental impact of fire, but there is a need to pull this information together in a format suitable to be published in a mainstream technical publication and to identify the technical gaps that still exist. The Research Foundation initiated this project to compile and review the existing literature on the environmental impact of fire and document the knowledge gaps for future work.

Download the full report, free of charge, for more information. 

Members of the NFPA team traveled to Hannover, Germany this week for Interschutz 2015, the largest international exhibition for fire prevention, rescue, disaster relief, and safety and security.   

From June 8-13, 2015, the exhibition will showcase some of the latest equipment and innovative approaches to emergency rescue for firefighters, rescue workers and related professionals. Some 1,400 companies from 49 countries will be presenting their cutting-edge products and services in Hannover, Germany.

As the leading international event for firefighting and disaster relief, Interschutz puts the spotlight on the technologies of tomorrow.  Check out more at


Russ ryan
NFPA's Russ Sanders and Ryan Depew

From Left: Bill Mello, Ryan Depew, Sultan Javeri, Interschutz-Throwback Engineer, Don Bliss, Russ Sanders.




NFPA and Domino’s are teaming up for the eighth year in a row to deliver fire safety messages and pizza during Fire Prevention Week, October 4 -10, 2015. To make this year’s campaign a success once again, we’re encouraging fire departments to join forces with their local Domino’s store to implement the program in their communities.

Domino's logo

Here’s how it works:

  • Select a day and time period (usually 1-3 hours) to randomly choose 1-3 pizza orders to deliver aboard a fire engine. The participating Domino’s delivery expert will follow in his or her car with the pizza order.
  • When the pizza delivery arrives at the customer’s home, the fire department will check the home for working smoke alarms. If the smoke alarms work, the customer's order is free. If the batteries are dead, the fire department will supply the customer with new batteries.

Partnering with Domino’s presents a fun and powerful way to reinforce the campaign’s fire safety messages, so we strongly encourage fire departments to get involved!

Domino’s Fire Prevention Week Sweepstakes

Fire departments that sign up between July 15 and August 1 to participate in the program will automatically be entered into Domino’s FPW Sweepstakes. Domino’s will randomly select five winners who will receive NFPA’s “Fire Prevention Week in a Box 300,” which includes:

  • 1 FPW banner (super-sized 10' x 4')
  • 45 FPW posters (17" x 24")
  • 300 adult FPW brochures
  • 300 kids FPW activity poster
  • 300 FPW stickers
  • 300 FPW magnets
  • 300 FPW news
  • 300 FPW bags

Sign Up to Participate!

If your fire department would like to participate in the NFPA and Domino’s Fire Prevention Week program, please email Dani Nicholl at Sign-up emails that are sent between July 15 and August 1 will be entered into the sweepstakes.  The Fire Prevention Week sweepstakes winners will be drawn on August 7 and announced soon after. 

This year's Fire Prevention Week theme is "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm." Visit for a wealth of information and resources to help implement the campaign in your community.

June paradigm challengeProject Paradigm, in partnership with the American Red Cross, runs The Paradigm Challenge; an annual competition developed to inspire youth to affect positive change in the world. Each month we see a new contest, with great prizes, that helps accomplish this goal. June’s contest, Firefighter Spotlight, has been kicked off and you are invited to participate! 

Firefighters on are the front line when it comes to keeping us safe. This month, youth are being asked to use their creative talents to highlight what firefighters mean to them and their community with an original entry. Everyone else, you are being asked to vote for your favorite! Here's how to enter:

CREATE. Draw, design, sculpt (or whatever else you can dream up) an original entry that represents a firefighter.

SHARE. Upload a photo of your original entry with a message about what firefighters mean to you and your community. Then share with your friends and family to rack up votes. #FirefighterSpotlight

WIN! The 10 entries with the most votes by the end of the month will receive cash prizes of up to $1000.

The ten entries with the most votes will receive cash prizes of up to $1,000.  

Find more information on the Project Paradigm website

FPW 2015
How often should you replace your home's smoke alarms? And, how often do you need to test them?

The 2015 Fire Prevention Week theme is "Hear the Beep where you Sleep. Every bedroom needs working smoke alarms." As a fun way to test your knowledge on smoke alarms, we put together this short Fire Prevention Week quiz. Like years past, take the quiz and see how well you know your smoke alarm fire safety information, as well as find out what you might need a quick refresher on. We make it easy to share results with your friends on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Take the Fire Prevention Week quiz now!

Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half! Find more information on smoke alarms by visiting the Fire Prevention week website

NFPA 99-15 Code Cover Front 2015While those involved in health care engineering and life safety for health care facilities are still awaiting CMS adoption of the 2012 editions of NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®, believe it or not, it’s already time to look towards the 2018 editions of each of these important documents.

It may be hard to get overly excited for a 2018 edition while still being held to the 2000 Life Safety Code, but the changes made for this edition will certainly impact health care facilities at some point in the future. Whether it’s through an eventual outright adoption of later editions of the codes or categorical waivers, which CMS has lately been using to bridge the gap between adoptions, these changes will have an impact.

Your voice is an important part of this process. Both documents are open for Public Input until July 6th. Submit your Input to NFPA 99 and NFPA 101  to have your say in what the future of these important codes should look like.

As we continue to enhance our standards development site, NFPA looks for ways to make it easier for the public to get involved and participate in our standards development process.

A feature in the standard development site is the capability for the public to “View Public Inputs” and “View Public Comments” after the closing date has passed and all submissions have been completed. For documents in the Annual 2016 revision cycle that received public comments, links are now available to “View Public Comments” on each Next edition tab of the document information pages under the category “Second Draft”. You will be asked to sign-in or create a free online account with NFPA before using this system. Please note that NFPA 51A, NFPA 1124, and NFPA 1141 did not receive any public comments and, therefore, will not have a link available for viewing.

To view a complete list of the Annual 2016 documents, go to the document information pages and use the search feature in the upper right gray box to search by cycle.

As always we are here to help you participate in the NFPA process.

If you have any questions or need help with any feature on the standards development site, please feel free to contact us.

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NFPA 11, 2016 Edition


The 2016 edition of NFPA 11 Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam will be presented for action during the 2015 NFPA Technical Meeting, which will take place during the Conference and Expo in Chicago on June 22-25. In total, fifteen amending motions have been certified for this document.

If pursued, amending motions 11-1 through 11-14 will seek to accept public comments related to self-expanding foam systems, which are not currently addressed by NFPA 11. If the motion passes, the scope of the standard will be expanded to incorporate requirements for this new technology.

If pursued, amending motion 11-15 will seek to reject a second revision that limits the use of unprotected carbon steel pipe to wet pipe systems that are filled with foam solution or water (Second Revision No. 12). If the motion passes, the standard will return to the First Draft text, which permitted unprotected carbon steel pipe to be used for any system having outlets that are closed to the atmosphere.


For information regarding the NFPA Standards Development Process, visit .

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Download this year's NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) agenda

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

In this issue:

  • Standards Showcase being held on June 23
  • NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) agenda
  • Errata issued on NFPA 1, 241, and 400
  • New project on fire control of structures based upon fire dynamics
  • Review of upcoming changes to NFPA 13
  • Discussion of three proposed changes to NFPA 72
  • Research and Analysis Reports
  • 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.

While you prepare your agenda for NFPA’s C&E, you may have a little downtime to get out of the hotel and enjoy the great city of Chicago. If you do, here are some recommendations for taking in some of the city’s best attractions:

Millennium Park: Millennium Park is a 24.5 acre space Millennium Park showcasing cutting-edge art, architecture and landscaping, and serves as a backdrop for concerts and festivals. The park is located in the Loop Community area of Chicago. 

Brookfield Zoo: Also known as the Chicago Zoological Park, the zoo located in the Chicago suburb of Brookfield, Illinois. Encompassing 216 acres, this zoo houses around 450 species of animals. While you’re there, make sure to check out Tropic World, the first fully indoor rain forest simulation, one of the largest indoor zoo exhibit in the world!

The Field Museum: Recognized as one of the largest natural history museums in the world, the Field Museum’s some of the earliest fossils, including the Triceratops skeleton and skull. You can also expect to learn past and current cultures from around the world, such as life in ancient Egypt, and even get a glimpse at twenty-three human mummies are on display as well as many mummified animals.

Wrigley Field: Located in the north side community area of Lakeview, Wrigley field is the home ballpark of the Chicago Cubs. It is the oldest National League ballpark and is the second-oldest active major league ballpark.

Grant Park: Located in the Loop Community area of Chicago, the 319 the park's most notable features include Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. The park contains performance venues, gardens, beautiful art work, sporting and harbor facilities.

360 Chicago: 360 Chicago holds the most magnificent views of the city. Right above Lake Michigan and the city’s majestic skyline, this excursion offers visitors the most breathtaking views of downtown Chicago, the lakefront and four neighboring states, from 1,000 feet in the air! TILT – The thrilling new feature is known to forever change the way visitors see Chicago.

Navy Pier: The 3,300-foot-long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. Its primary purpose was as a cargo facility for lake freighters, and warehouses were built up and down the Pier. However, the Pier was also designed to provide docking space for passenger excursion steamers, and in the pre–air conditioning era parts of the Pier, especially its outermost tip, were designed to serve as cool places for public gatherings. Enjoy their parks, gardens, shops, restaurants and other shore entertainment.

Willis Tower Skydeck: The 108-story tower, commonly referred to as Sears Tower, is one of Chicago's most popular tourist destinations, and stands as the second tallest building in the United States. Step outside the building, at 1,353 feet in the air, on the Ledge’s glass boxes which extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck, offering spectacular views spanning up to four states.

The Magnificent Mile: The Magnificent Mile is an upscale section of Chicago's Michigan avenue, running from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North side. Currently Chicago's largest shopping district, you can find various mid-range and high-end shops line this section of the street. Also occupied by great restaurants, museums and hotels.

Shedd Aquarium: Shedd Aquarium is an indoor public aquarium in Chicago containing over 32,500 fish, and was for some time the largest indoor aquarium in the world with 5,000,000 US gallons of water. The aquarium also holds 1500 other species including marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians and insects.

Connecticut Fire Sprinkler CoalitionIt's a living nightmare that Jeffrey Block doesn't want repeated. The Connecticut resident said an emotional goodbye to his 21-year-old daughter, Eva, in January 2012 after she and two others died in an off-campus house fire near Marist College in New York. A vibrant collegiate with a penchant for dancing and reading, Eva's zest for life was remembered at her funeral. "She wouldn't want us to be sad," Block told a Connecticut newspaper in 2012.

Three years later, the mourning process continues. Amid a tearful remembrance of Eva that he shared recently with a Connecticut news station, Block brought back the pain of the past in an effort to alter the future.

He's standing behind a legislative bill in Connecticut that would require landlords to inform tenants whether or not their property is sprinklered. Learn more by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.


Nancy Pearce, NFPA's Senior Fire Protection Engineer, Industrial & Chemical Engineer, Hazardous Chemicals/Materials, sits down to talk about the code making process for NFPA 400.  Nancy takes us from the day of the West Fertilizer Company explosion to where the Code stands today.  To learn more about the changes to NFPA 400, read the article in NFPA Journal and then check out the education session that will be presented at NFPA Conference & Expo at McCormick Place, Chicago.

T33 Addressing Ammonium Nitrate in NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code will be held Tuesday, June 23, 2015 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. Featured speakers include: Chris Connealy, Texas State Fire Marshal's Office, Elizabeth Buc, FMRL, Pam Guffain, The Fertilizer Institute, Marty Gresho, FP2 Fire, Inc., Paul Iacobucci, Akzo Nobel, and Robert James, UL LLC.

NFPA 400 has a chapter on ammonium nitrate (previously NFPA 490).  Since the tragic West, Texas, incident, the proper protection and storage of ammonium nitrate has been a focus of discussion and debate for the NFPA 400 Technical Committee on Hazardous Materials.

Issues considered included: Why do some facilities with AN burn and not detonate? When should sprinklers be required?  How should AN be classified by NFPA 400? How should emergency responders and the community be notified when AN is involved in a fire?  Is additional firefighter training needed for AN response? This presentation will describe the important issues discussed by the technical committee and the rationale behind the changes that were ultimately proposed to NFPA 400.

If you're interested in learning more and meeting these experts plan now to attend NFPA Conference & Expo.

NFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 68, Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting, NFPA 85, Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code, and NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations:

  • NFPA 68, Errata 68-13-1, referencing 8.2.5 of the 2013 edition, issued: June 4, 2015
  • NFPA 85, Errata 85-15-1, referencing of the 2015 edition, issued: June 4, 2015
  • NFPA 241, Errata 241-13-1, referencing 7.8, of the 2013 edition, issued: June 1, 2015

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.

There's a lot going on at NFPA these days, and you'll find out all about it in NFPA Journal's "In a Flash," a roundup of news NFPA members will find useful.  

“Pondering the Puzzle” will tell you everything you need to know about the process of choosing the education sessions to be presented at the NFPA Conference & Expo later this month. The annual treasurer’s report will give you a glimpse of NFPA’s current financial position. “Radio Free Journal” introduces NFPA Journal’s new monthly podcasts focusing on hot topics in fire and life safety, hosted by NFPA Journal staff writer Jesse Roman.

And that’s not all. Find out who won the NFPA’s 2015 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award, which fire department won the Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant, and how a 14-year-old girl wowed the crowd at the 2015 Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference with her research project.

For more highlights from the past few months, check out “In a Flash”  in the latest 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.


Matt Klaus, principal fire protection engineer at NFPA, gives five quick changes to the 2016 edition of NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.  Visit the recent article in NFPA Journal to learn more about the changes and why they are being made. In addition, the following topics will be addressed at the 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, June 22-25, 2015. Sessions include:

NFPA 13–2016, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, Changes (Panel 1 of 3)
Monday, June 22, 9:30–10:30 a.m.
Matt Klaus, NFPA; Russell Leavitt, Telgian Corporation; Ken Linder, Swiss Re

Sprinkler Technology for Storage Protection
Monday, June 22, 9:30–10:30 a.m.
James Golinveaux, Tyco Fire Protection Products

Sprinkler Protection for Cloud Ceilings
Tuesday, June 23, 9:30–10:30 a.m.

NFPA 13-2016, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, Changes (Panel 2 of 3)
Monday, June 22, 9:30–10:30 a.m.
Matt Klaus, NFPA; William Koffel, Koffel Associates, Inc.; James Golinveaux, Tyco Fire Protection Products

NFPA 13-2016, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, Changes (Panel 3 of 3)
Wednesday, June 24, 9:30–10:30 a.m.
Matt Klaus, NFPA; Ken Isman, University of Maryland; David Lowrey, City of Boulder Fire Rescue; Kerry Bell, UL

Sprinkler Installation Requirements: A Road Map to NFPA 13, Chapter 8
Wednesday, June 24, 9:30–10:30 a.m.
Audrey Goldstein, NFPA; Chad Duffy, NFPA

ESFR Sprinklers and Obstructions—The Latest Research
Wednesday, June 24, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Garner Palenske, Aon Fire Protection Engineering

The proposed changes to the 2016 edition of NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems will be voted on by members during the Tech Session on Thursday, June 25. Preview the full voting schedule for the Tech Session

Perspectives blogStoring and transporting flammable and combustible liquids is a high-stakes endeavor for life safety and environmental protection. However, many of the codes and standards in this area used by federal government agencies are outdated and deficient, according to David Nugent, who has worked in the field of industrial fire protection for more than 30 years. 

Nugent shares his thoughts on this issue, as well as the formation of a new group called the Industrial Packaging Safety Alliance, in the latest "Perspectives" feature in the May/June issue of NFPA Journal.  As Nugent explains in the article, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently using regulations based on the 1969 edition of NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code. That is unsafe for a variety of reasons, Nugent explains, and urging OSHA and other federal agencies to adopt the latest edition of the code is one of the main focuses of the new alliance. 

Read more about flammable and combustible liquid storage, federal regulations and what can go wrong when disaster strikes in the new issue of NFPA Journal

Do you want to make a difference? We have a great opportunity for a Senior Communications Manager to manage the public relations activities for the Association. This person will be responsible for developing communication strategies and providing communications support to expand the influence of the National Fire Protection Association. 

Principle responsibilities also include; 

  1. Develops and implements short- and long-term public relations activities, strategies and programs for NFPA.
  2. Actively participates in media relations, including strategic planning, targeted pitching and relationship building within numerous media contact groups.
  3. Advises and supports outside professional consultants and manages external consultant contracts.
  4. Identifies potential for and feasibility for new publicity campaigns and partnerships to promote NFPA messages and activities.
  5. Researches and writes news releases, articles, remarks and other content marketing materials.
  6. Offers counsel and support to staff of other divisions in planning and developing new public awareness tools and campaigns.
  7. Leads and participates in cross-functional teams to support communication goals of the association.
  8. Manages social media manager and two project managers.

If you think you might be a good fit for this position (located in the Quincy, MA NFPA headquarters) read a bit more about the qualifications and apply online today

If an NFPA Standard receives no Notice of Intent to Make a Motions (NITMAMs) that result in one or more Certified Amending Motions, the Standard is considered a Consent Standard. A Consent Standard is not presented at the NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) and is, instead, forwarded directly to the NFPA Standards Council for issuance (See Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards, Section

The following list of 27 Standards in the Annual 2015 revision cycle received no NITMAMs and have been issued by the Standards Council on May 26, 2015 as Consent Standards:

  • NFPA 2, Hydrogen Technologies Code
  • NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes
  • NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection
  • NFPA 40, Standard for the Storage and Handling of Cellulose Nitrate Film
  • NFPA 55, Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code
  • NFPA 73, Standard for Electrical Inspections for Existing Dwellings
  • NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives
  • NFPA 101A, Guide on Alternative Approaches to Life Safety
  • NFPA 105, Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives
  • NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems
  • NFPA 111, Standard on Stored Electrical Energy Emergency and Standby Power Systems
  • NFPA 150, Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities
  • NFPA 160, Standard for the Use of Flame Effects Before an Audience
  • NFPA 291, Recommended Practice for Fire Flow Testing and Marking of Hydrants
  • NFPA 303, Fire Protection Standard for Marinas and Boatyards
  • NFPA 307, Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals, Piers, and Wharves
  • NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code
  • NFPA 409, Standard on Aircraft Hangars
  • NFPA 415, Standard on Airport Terminal Buildings, Fueling Ramp Drainage, and Loading Walkways
  • NFPA 556, Guide on Methods for Evaluating Fire Hazard to Occupants of Passenger Road Vehicles
  • NFPA 557, Standard for Determination of Fire Loads for Use in Structural Fire Protection Design
  • NFPA 820, Standard for Fire Protection in Wastewater Treatment and Collection Facilities
  • NFPA 1126, Standard for the Use of Pyrotechnics Before a Proximate Audience
  • NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems
  • NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public
  • NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus
  • NFPA 1953, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Contaminated Water Diving

Three NFPA Standards, reporting in the Annual 2015 revision cycle, were previously issued by the NFPA Standards Council on July 14, 2014 as Consent Standards as they received no comments and the Committee determined that no second revisions were needed:  NFPA 318, Standard for the Protection of Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities, NFPA 423, Standard for Construction and Protection of Aircraft Engine Test Facilities, and NFPA 1071, Standard for Emergency Vehicle Technician Professional Qualifications.

Read the agenda for other Annual 2015 NFPA Standards that will be presented for action at the NFPA Technical Meeting on June 24-25, 2015 at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Chicago.

The 2016 edition of NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, is up for adoption at this year’s NFPA Technical Meeting in Chicago later this month. Three of the proposed changes to the code will have a major impact on the design and installation of fire alarm and mass notification systems, says Wayne Moore, vice-president at the consulting firm of Jensen Hughes.

These changes include the use of non-listed fire alarm speakers, the use of existing computer networks to connect fire alarm systems, and the requirement of 520 Hz audible appliances in sleeping areas. Each has the potential to affect the life safety of those protected by fire alarm systems by reducing the instances of false alarms and to lower costs of initial fire alarm system installation and later upgrades or renovations to those systems.

For a more detailed look at these changes, read Moore’s article “Tech Trio” in the May/June issue of NFPA Journal.

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

The Canadians return to Chicago. No, not the hockey team from Montreal but the team of Shayne Mintz, Fred Leber and Cindy Leber.

Fred Leber, CEO of LRI Engineering and Cindy Leber, President of Building Reports Canada hatched a plan 3 years ago to bring Canadians together each year at the NFPA Conference & Expo by hosting a free luncheon. They would host their first luncheon in Chicago in 2013 to facilitate networking and foster business relationships. The first year was a success so they planned a second luncheon in Las Vegas in 2014. Shayne Mintz, NFPA's Regional Director for Canada, joined the team and helped secure sponsorship from NFPA. The luncheon grew in numbers and drew rave reviews from the attendees. 

This year, the team of Mintz, Leber and Leber return to Chicago and invite all Canadians attending the NFPA Conference & Expo to attend.   

If you are Canadian and you are attending the NFPA Conference & Expo, this is an event you don't want to miss. Learn more and register today!

School safety blog pic

Because schools have traditionally been considered safe havens for students and teachers, design features - including fire safety - are addressed in detail in applicable codes and standards, while security design typically receives less planning and attention. This approach has generally seemed acceptable and reasonable for school settings, until something goes horribly wrong.

Tragic incidents like the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, while extremely rare, underscore the need for appropriate security measures in school systems. However, implementing certain security features can be at odds with other building safety features needed to protect people from fire and other hazards.

In a concerted effort to balance security and fire safety features within codes, standards and planning, NFPA hosted a two-day workshop, “School Safety, Codes and Security”, last December, which included a broad cross-section of stakeholders who influence the decision-making process of school design, administration, operation, and the critical planning elements that first responders have to manage when an active threat occurs.

The findings from that workshop are now available in a free, downloadable NFPA report, "School Safety, Codes and Security," which can be accessed on our new Codes and Security Workshop resource page. 

The current challenge is to review the report content and determine how and where our codes, standards, recommendations and planning scenarios can be revised, updated and improved upon to ensure that security isn’t an afterthought. This will require a comprehensive effort from the standards and first responder (fire, EMS, law enforcement) community, as well as from the school administrators consisting of faculty, staff, parents and those who manage the finances.      


Amended:   At its August meeting, the Council reviewed all material presented and voted to establish the Technical Committee (TC) on Fundamentals of Fire Control within a Structure Utilizing Fire Dynamics and approved a Committee scope.  Once this Technical Committee develops and ballots a draft document (see Regulations, the Technical Committee may then make a request to the Council to enter an appropriate revision cycle. Kerry M. Bell, Chair, recused himself from the deliberations and vote on this issue.  Read more on the proposed new draft document.

APPROVED COMMITTEE TITLE:  Committee on Fundamentals of Fire Control within a Structure Utilizing Fire Dynamics

APPROVED COMMITTEE SCOPE:  This Committee shall have primary responsibility for documents relating to techniques and methods used in firefighting based on accepted scientific principles and research in the field of fire dynamics.




At its April 2015 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council  considered and reviewed a new project on fire control of structures based upon fire dynamics and is seeking public review and comment by the June 15, 2015 deadline.

Read additional information and justification for this new project submitted to the Council.

Anyone interested in commenting on this new project, 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 | for Fire control of structures based upon fire dynamics] to the Codes and Standards Administration Department, NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471


Also, anyone interested in participating on a potential new committee may submit an online application* by July 22, 2015.   *Please note:  Applications being accepted for purposes of documenting applicant interest in committee participation.  Acceptance of applications by NFPA does not guaranty or imply the Standards Council will ultimately approve standards development activity on this subject matter.

    1. *PROPOSED COMMITTEE SCOPE:  *This Committee shall have primary responsibility for documents relating to techniques and methods used in firefighting based on accepted scientific principles and research in the field of fire dynamics.

Troubled water blog

German Creek Marina in Bean Station, Tennessee, where electrical current leakage in the water killed two boys in 2012.

It might not be self evident, but marinas and boatyards can be very dangerous places to swim—but not just because of the boats.

Electric shock drowning, known as ESD, has gained national attention in recent years due to several high-profile incidents, including deaths, involving mostly children and young adults. As writer Ashley Smith details in the feature story “Troubled Waters,” in the May/June issue of NFPA Journal, ESD can occur when a leak in the marina’s electrical system electrifies the surrounding water. If a swimmer comes to close to that leak, the resulting electrocution can be fatal in and of itself, or it can paralyze the swimmer’s muscles and cause them to drown.

NFPA 303, Standard for Marinas and Boatyards, applies to facilities that house and service motor craft. The committee that oversees NFPA 303 has made some changes in the 2016 edition of the code to tighten the requirements for ground fault protection.

To learn more about this important issue, to learn more about NFPA 303, as well as efforts underway to prevent ESD, read “Troubled Waters” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal


!|src=|alt=Fire Sprinkler Initiative Newsletter|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Fire Sprinkler Initiative Newsletter|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7969679970b img-responsive!In an essay written for NFPA that has gotten national attention, Fire Chief Rick Ennis underscores a recent tragedy in a home built two years ago. He is baffled as to why this incident, which highlights the necessity of fire sprinklers in all new homes, has not gotten the attention it deserves.


Ennis' essay is featured in the May edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter, which also highlights:

    • a new NFPA video case study underscoring how a developer inexpensively sprinklered all new homes in a community

    • a builder being sued for failing to follow sprinkler requirements

    • NFPA's recent Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Boston


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!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!The many myths associated with NFPA's residential sprinkler standard countered by sprinkler expert
!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA president joins Massachusetts state fire marshal in lauding national sprinkler efforts


Working smoke alarms in the home provide life-saving potential from fire. That’s a fact we all know well, and it’s one that’s been strongly promoted over the years.

But how often do we educate the public about where smoke alarms should be located in the home? More pointedly, how often are we promoting the importance of having a working smoke alarm in each bedroom?

Not often enough, according to an informal, online quiz we posted last year, which showed that less than half (42 percent) of approximately 36,000 respondents did not know that a smoke alarm should be installed in each bedroom of the home.

In an effort to better educate the public about this “sleepy” smoke alarm requirement, NFPA – the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years – today announced “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm” as the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 4-10, 2015. NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, requires a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.

Half of all U.S. home fire deaths occur at night between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am, when people are most likely to be sleeping. Having a working smoke alarm in the home cuts the risk of dying in a fire in half. These facts underscore the extreme importance of having working smoke alarms in all bedrooms.

NFPA will be teaming up with its Fire Prevention Week partners – USFA, Domino’s, The Home Depot, CVS Health, LEGOLAND® Florida and LEGOLAND® California to promote “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm” through a series of fun, engaging events and activities this fall. For more information about smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, visit


!|src=|alt=Tech Session|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Tech Session!This year's Tech Session will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL on June 24-25, 2015 during the NFPA Conference & Expo . 


NFPA will be providing wireless internet access during the Tech Session so attendees have the option of downloading the agenda prior to or during the Tech Session. Other documentation such as First Draft Reports and Second Draft Reports can be viewed on the Next edition tab of each specific document information page .  The links for the 11 specific NFPA Standards are listed below for your convenience.

• Download the agenda for this year’s Tech Session. (PDF, 2.5 MB)

The Tech Session is an important step in developing a complete record to assist the Standards Council  in determining the degree of consensus achieved on proposed changes to NFPA Standards. During this meeting, NFPA members are given an opportunity to vote on proposed changes and members of the public can voice their opinions on these actions. Only NFPA members of record as of December 24, 2014 who are currently in good standing are eligible to vote at this meeting.

NFPA Standards presented for action on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 starting @ 2:00pm:<br />


NFPA Standards presented for action on Thursday, June 25, 2015 starting @ 8:00am:<br />

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