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Read the story
of how the affordable home smoke alarm came to be and why this innovation was chosen to receive the inaugural Philip J. DiNenno Prize and the $50,000 prize in the “In a Flash” section of the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.

Lyman Blackwell was presented the prize at the 2015 NFPA Conference and Expo this past June in Chicago for his key technological role in the alarm’s development. The DiNenno Prize, which aims to be akin to “the Noble Prize” of fire and life safety, is named after the late Philip DiNenno, the highly regarded former CEO of Hughes Associates who passed away in 2013.

The July/August edition of “In a Flash” also includes an article detailing the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s just released report “Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting,” which aims to chart a path forward for a new era of firefighting that uses sensors, data and analytics to make firefighters more effective and more safe.

There are also articles on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative's new grant program, “Bringing Safety Home”; NFPA’s revamped grilling safety website,; a preview of the Backyards & Beyond wildland fire education conference; a preview of the upcoming 2015 Fire Prevention Week; as well as numerous briefs and news items.

Read it all at  


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.

NFPA and The Fire Protection Research Foundation recently embarked on a “smart-firefighting” project in an effort to help the fire service use data to enhance firefighter safety and operations, says Kathleen Almand, vice-president of NFPA’s Research Division.

“The NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division has invited input from the fire service on how we can make the data we collect more useful to our fire service constituents,” she writes. “We’ve made several big changes as a result, including the development of an electronic survey tool, and changes to how we present our results. The annual fire experience survey is a cornerstone of NFPA’s fire loss data collection and analysis program, so these changes represent a path for us to learn and do more.”

To that end, the Foundation and the Research Division are developing new methods to make it easier to analyze the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data from the U.S. Fire Administration and, with other organizations, to envision the next version of NFIRS. The Foundation is also collaborating with the International Association of Fire Fighters to develop national estimates from fire department data to aid in the development of the National Fire Operations Reporting System, a new data collection system related to fire operations.

For more on the challenges the Foundation and the Research Division face as they devise solutions to better use data to address the nation’s fire problem, read Almand’s column “Data Connection” 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 Wright FPA Australia

In an effort to learn more about the work we do at NFPA, Matthew Wright, chief technical officer/deputy CEO of Fire Protection Association Australia, has been our guest over the past week.

"I’ve been very impressed with all the great work you are doing to develop standards and improve community safety," said Wright.

But when the fire alarm in his hotel sounded at 3:45 this morning, he gleaned a few more insights he shared with us: 

“Being a fire protection industry professional, I recognized what was occurring and evacuated the building via the exit stairs to a safe place outside the hotel...

I wasn’t surprised to hear that some people initially thought the alarm was their wake up call, some thought they would wait some time before leaving their room in case it stopped, and others where grateful for the arrival of the fire department. It turned out it was a false alarm.

I’m glad to report all the fire systems in the building and evacuation procedures seemed to work well and that people followed instruction in an orderly fashion without resistance.

Fire and other emergencies don’t happen to everyone every day, but when they do they can have catastrophic consequences.  Communities in the United States should rest assured that a great organization like NFPA produces life, property and environment protection resources to keep them safe.

Thank you to everyone at NFPA.”

Wright's comments are appreciated by all of us here, and it was a pleasure meeting him as well. But his observations are also an important reminder that everyone should take hotel fire alarms seriously, and promptly exit the building when they sound.


!|src=|alt=Quiz|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Quiz|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d135dcf5970c img-responsive!Take a minute (maybe less) to see if you can answer some basic information on home fire sprinklers. 


[NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative |] has developed an online quiz in an effort to gauge the public's understanding of these life-saving devices and sprinkler requirements across the U.S. If you're able to answer all questions correctly, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, don't fret. We've embedded the quiz on our popular Fact Sheets page so you can obtain more information on a particular question.


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Take the quiz, and use social media to share it with your work contacts, family, friends, and anyone else who could use a dose of sprinkler education. Tell us how you scored in the comments section below!



!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Illinois fire and building officials enlightened on home fire sprinklers during kickoff event at NFPA Conference and Expo

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA announces recipients of its Fire Sprinkler Initiative Grant Program

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If you weren't able to attend one of the conference sessions or if there is one in particular that you'd like to hear again, the [audio recordings |] of all the education sessions are available for purchase via Fleetwood Media. All of the education sessions were captured live during the conference. 


!|src=|alt=Fleetwoodfull|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Fleetwoodfull|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7abeef5970b img-responsive!

Alternatively, you may prefer to have all the conference recordings synchronized with the slides and the complete package offers just that -- all in one place.

*Complete NFPA 2015 Conference Recordings *


Available on CD-ROM or USB Flash Drive

This package features PowerPoint slides with Synchronized live Audio for selected sessions, and MP3 Audio recordings from all sessions, Plus all available Slides and Handouts.


Recorded at the 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo held June 22-25, 2015, in Chicago, IL.

[For more information and how to purchase click here. |]


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