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First responders from the U.S. and Canada, subject matter experts and NFPA staff address fire fighter safety


The second half of the inaugural NFPA Responder Forum in Indianapolis concluded in much the same way as it started – with incredible energy, camaraderie, information and passion. 

Day two began with three team leaders reporting back to approximately 85 Responder Forum invitees, speakers and NFPA staff members about the strategy, action and outreach efforts that will take place in the months to come to proactively address the emerging topics of robotics, civil unrest and data collection and analysis. The groups did a deep dive on a specific topic for more than two hours the night before.


Attendees then heard from another round of subject matter experts who offered different perspectives on the topic of presumptive cancer - a very poignant issue for the first responder audience.  In fact, Eddie Buchanan, chief of Hanover County VA FD/EMS who was speaking later in the day about fire dynamics, was so fired up after sitting in on the midday presumptive cancer session that he came home and wrote a [blog about PPE for Fire Engineering |]. His passionate appeal to his brothers and sisters in fire services, via a very public and respected news outlet, really gets to the core of what the Responder Forum is all about – addressing and advocating for issues that pertain to firefighter safety. Buchanan’s blog implores his colleagues and OSHA to ask questions, explain and extinguish the problem of personal protection equipment and firefighter cancer.

The final topic of the forum focused on fire dynamics and application for firefighting tactics. Fire professionals from across the U.S. and Canada listened intently to presentations from thought leaders about fire department, residential, structural and industrial considerations. Questions from the audience then stimulated an intelligent dialogue that covered trends, techniques, resources and opportunities for outreach.

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Dr. Tom Hales from NIOSH shares federal presumptive cancer research



Invitees from thirteen major fire organizations, panelists and NFPA staff acknowledge there is a lot to be done to continuously keep first responders safe; but all agree that the Responder Forum and the collective insight of this forward-thinking group will go a long way in connecting research with standards. 








Breaking-news-3Fox 5 News in Washington DC reports that a fire occurred in a chemistry lab at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax County, VA around 9:40 a.m. today. According to a tweet from Fairfax County Public Schools, five students were injured, including two students who were seriously burned and airlifted to the Washington Burn Center at MedStar Hospital in the District. The other three students were taken by ambulance to nearby Inova Fairfax Hospital. A teacher was also injured, but was not taken to the hospital and remained at the scene. Lab safety cover

The high school was quickly evacuated. Fire officials say the fire was swiftly extinguished with the help of a sprinkler system and that Hazmat crews are on the scene. The cause remains under investigation. Students were taken to the school's stadium where they were addressed by school officials and attendance was taken. 

Today's unfortunate accident calls to mind the timely September/October NFPA Journal cover story, Unsafe Science which tackles the issue of school lab safety with video content, tip sheets and relevant news content.



NFPA's recently released report, "Fire Loss in the United States During 2014," is a grim reminder of the annual losses experienced by home fires. Culling through the data, one thing is definite: home fires are still a major problem in the U.S. 

For instance, in 2014:

  • there were more than 367,000 home structure fires
  • 2,745 people died in home fires, meaning that 84 percent of the country's fire deaths that year happened at home
  • home fires caused 11,825 injuries, or 75 percent of all civilian fire injuries
  • property loss from home fires totaled $6.8 billion 

For additional data on home fires, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.


NFPA 13 changes and "THEY"

Posted by seanryan Employee Oct 30, 2015

I have been travelling to trade shows for NFPA this week and found myself sitting on a runway in Orlando waiting for weather to clear in Boston. We sat on the tarmac for two hours. So what do you do for two hours on the runway without being able to get up and move around? You take out your Surface Pro and type up a blog post about semantics from one of the education sessions I attended.

At one of the education sessions about fire suppression, I visibly shuddered every time the speaker referred to NFPA as "THEY." When referring to changes to the 2016 edition of NFPA 13, I kept hearing things like "THEY changed Article......." and THEY changed the line about.........." Offended is not the right word I would use but I was concerned about the constant references NFPA. THEY have names. THEY have faces. THEY are the folks who manage, guide and wrangle codes and standards to the finished product you see in a handbook or on the Web.

I know enough about the changes to the 2016 edition to NFPA 13 to know when someone has an understanding of the code and some of the nuances within but there was something missing from this presentation. One vital detail the presenter missed was the new commodities classifications in the 2016 edition. This is a huge change that people need to know about especially for the folks in the audience who have thousands of square feet of warehouse space. I started to think about who "THEY" were and the one name that kept popping into my head was Matt Klaus, the Principle Fire Protection Engineer at NFPA. I've seen Matt speak about NFPA 13 on dozens of occasions and in my opinion, there is no one more knowledgeable on the subject. Matt works with the technical committees and travels the world presenting to groups, teaching NFPA 13 material to private organizations and serving as an NFPA instructor. When I need technical review of NFPA 13 related materials, I go to Matt.  So if Matt is the "THEY" that other presenters keep referring to, I have a few questions:Matt Klaus--Blog

If you want to know about the changes to the 2016 edition of NFPA 13 would you rather hear them from the presenters who only know NFPA as a nameless, faceless entity or would rather hear it from the source or "THEY." Would you like to know about the changes to commodities classifications directly from Matt? Would you like to ask him questions?

I invite you to join Matt Klaus next week for a live online training event aptly titled NFPA 13 Changes Between the 2013 – 2016 Edition. For more information on Matt's 2-hour presentation, click here.


NFPA 13 changes and "THEY"

Posted by seanryan Employee Oct 29, 2015

I have been travelling this week to two trade shows for NFPA and found myself sitting on a runway in Orlando waiting for weather to clear in Boston. We sat on the tarmac waiting for clearance to take off for two hours. So what do you do for two hours on the runway without being able to get up and move around? You take out your Surface Pro and start to type up a blog post about one of my observations from one of the education sessions I attended.

At one of the education sessions about fire suppression, I visibly shuddered every time the speaker referred to NFPA as "THEY." When referring to changes to the 2016 edition of NFPA 13, it may have looked like I was having a seizure because I kept hearing "THEY changed Article......." and THEY changed the line about.........." Offended is not the right word I would use but I was chagrined about the constant references to my beloved organization. THEY have names. THEY have faces. THEY are the folks who mange, guide and wrangle codes and standards to what you see in a handbook or on the Web. Because our technical committees are made up of volunteers from the industry, the term of reference should really be "WE." But let's stick with the term "THEY" for a moment.

I started to think about who the presenter was and he was pretty knowledgeable. I know enough about the changes to the 2016 edition to NFPA 13 to know when someone has enough codes and standards knowledge to

NFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, on October 29, 2015:

  • NFPA 13, Errata 13-16-1, referencing Figures and (c) on the 2016 edition

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

NFPA, The Center for Campus Fire Safety (The Center) and Campus Fire Safety for Students recently held a contest for college students to teach them about fire safety. Now, we want to announce the three winners who were chosen from the more than 100 students who participated from 31 schools nationwide!

DominosTo participate, students watched a one-minute campus fire safety video and entered their name and school information into a sweepstakes where two winners were randomly selected to win a Domino’s-sponsored pizza party for 50 of their friends. The winners are:

  1. Jake Akstins, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois
  2. José Luis Garcia Cintora, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Students were also encouraged to enter the second-tier of the contest to win an iPad mini 4 by submitting a 200-word paragraph about the steps they will take to help keep themselves and their peers safer from fire on campus. One winner was chosen based on the clarity and thoughtfulness of the written statement, as well as the creativity in the development of the fire safety idea. The winner is:

  1. Asante Knowles, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee. Read Knowles’ winning essay.

The two-tiered contest, which ran September 1 – 25 in conjunction with Campus Fire Safety Month, targeted students currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning and was created to help raise awareness of campus fires and encourage students to put safety first. Most college students, many living on their own for the first time, don’t often think to ask or even consider the fire safety implications of their housing choices, and most states don’t require colleges to tell them. The contest encouraged students to learn about and share important fire safety messages with their friends and roommates.

For more information about the Campus Fire Safety for Students campaign, including the contest winners, please visit The Center’sstudent committee webpage or




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On Thursday evening, October 28, 1998, a fire occurred in a nightclub in Gothenburg, Sweden.  A Halloween party was being held in the second floor hall, and it was estimated by officials that there were approximately 400 people in attendance.  According to personnel from the fire brigade, one of the survivors reported that there were so many people that it was impossible to even dance because people were crowded shoulder to shoulder.  The area had an occupancy rating of approximately 150 people.

Once the fire was extinguished, about 20 bodies were found in a small room on the northwest end of the building.  It appeared that these victims were attempting to flee the fire and were not able to make it through the door at the northwest end.  They then attempted to take refuge in the room, but were overcome by the smoke.  One officer reported that the bodies were piled approximately three feet deep in this room. A total of 64 people died in this fire, mostly from smoke inhalation.  Their ages ranged from 14 to 20 years old.  150 people were injured.  The fire brigade estimated that they rescued 40 to 50 people.

Based on the NFPA's investigation and analysis of this fire, the following significant factors were considered as having contributed to the loss of life and property in this incident:

    • • Overcrowding

    • • Lack of a sprinkler system

    • • Lack of a fire alarm system

    • • Fire ignition through arson

    • • Combustible storage in a stairwell 


To read the full report&#0160;Download this Gothenburg, Sweden report. &#0160;For NFPA statistical information Download Eating and Drinking Establishments</p> </div> </div>

200115NFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, on October 26, 2015:

  • NFPA 2001, Errata 2001-15-2, referencing and (b) equations on the 2015 edition

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.

 The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 52, Vehicular Gaseous Fuel Systems Code, is being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the December 18, 2015 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.

October 2015 Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletterIn the latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter, read how a Minnesota appeals court overturned the state’s home fire sprinkler requirement the day before a Minnesota father and his two sons died in a home fire.

On a more positive note, the newsletter also highlights: 

  • NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Phoenix
  • FPW events that promoted smoke alarms—and home fire sprinklers
  • An array of sprinkler activations, from Alaska to Maryland, that had a hand in saving lives





Not receiving the newsletter directly in your inbox each month? Subscribe for free today to make sure you're staying on top of crucial sprinkler news from across North America.

Jim PauleyThe first day of our new, invitation-only Responder Forum think tank was held today in Indianapolis. The event brings together long-respected fire services leaders, up-and-coming first responders and innovative subject matter experts in one space to tackle the emerging issues that fire departments are now facing. The main goal of this new Forum was to have representatives from thirteen major fire services organizations partner with government officials, regulators, researchers, analysts, academics and others to create a pathway from research to standards. Forum attendees represent different fire service disciplines, regions of the country, and skill sets.  Invitees were nominated for a three year commitment by leading fire organizations because they bring intellectual curiosity and invaluable on-the-job perspective to the discussion.

IMG_6539 The audience listened to panel presentations by an impressive lineup of panelists who addressed different aspects of three hot topics: Smart Firefighting/Robotics; Data Collection, Analysis and Results Delivery and Civil Unrest. During the day, attendees asked the experts questions, discussed each topic at length, raised questions, identified gaps in infrastructure, protocol, staffing, budget or communications, and determined what type of work needed to be done to further develop the understanding of these issues. Forum attendees have been charged with creating that piece of work over the next five months, which can include things like a white paper, a request for a change in standards, identifying a need for new research, or a must-have strategy for outreach and advocacy.

We are excited to see how much of an impact these attendees and their work will have on the future of the fire service, their constituents and the communities that they serve. 

IMG_6555With one NFPA Responder Forum welcome dinner and jam-packed day of innovation on the books, Responder Forum invitees, speakers and NFPA staff look forward to an equally stimulating Day Two covering key issues such as Presumptive Cancer and Fire Dynamics and the Application for Firefighting Tactics. Stay tuned!  

With Halloween just around the corner, children will soon be out in costume trekking through festive displays in search of candy. However, more than ghosts could be lurking amongst the mid-fall fun, as Halloween costumes and decorations present a number of hidden fire hazards.

Follow these tips from NFPA to help ensure a day of safe fun for your family and trick-or-treaters:

  • Costumes: stay away from billowing or long-trailing fabric. Choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.
  • Visibility: Give children flashlights glow sticks. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see clearly.
  • Flammable decorations: Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Candles/Jack-o-lanterns: It is safest to use a glow stick or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. If you choose to use candle decorations, keep them well attended at all times. Do not leave them near flammable objects or where trick-or-treaters may walk. Remind your children to avoid open flames. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit.
  • Exits: Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes

NFPA’s most recent statistics show that decorations were the first items to be ignited in an average of 860 reported home structure fires per year from 2009-2013, causing an estimated average of one civilian death, 41 civilian injuries and $13.4 million in direct property damage. Nearly half of all decoration fires in homes are the result of decorations being too close to a heat source.

Find more resources about Halloween safety on the NFPA website. Additional material for teachers, parents and children can be found on the Sparky the Fire Dog® website.

NFPA 409The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 409, Standard on Aircraft Hangars, is being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the December 18, 2015 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.

Lincoln Bramwell
Friday morning, the second day of the Backyards & Beyond conference, Lincoln Bramwell, PhD., chief historian from the USDA Forest Service, talked to participants about homeowners and fire on the forest edge.

Bramwell started his presentation with an example of a large wildfire in a community on the south coast of Maine, which that year had received only 50% of its normal rainfall. Burning 17,000 acres in and around Arcadia National Park/Mount Desert Isle by the time it was contained, it was known as The Year that Maine Burned. It was 1947.

Fast forward to 2015 and Bramwell explained that the fires of today very much mimic the wildfire problems in the 19th century. More specifically, he explained that fires today continue to loom, especially in the east and south, where a growing population has moved out of the urban areas into more rural places he calls the "wilderburbs." Wilderburbs, says, Bramwell, make up about 77% of the nation, and this housing trend is having a huge impact on wildfires, namely how they are impeding our fire fighting efforts.

"We have to prepare in the east as they do out west," says Bramwell. Raising awareness and educating people that fires do exist here and will continue to happen, is imperative, he says, we can't assume that wildfire is only a western problem anymore.

One of Bramwell's observations in his research focuses on this challenge: that there continues to be a disconnect between those that live in these rural areas and what they expect, and reality, especially when it comes to wildfire. As fire fighters, researchers, planners, forestry service professionals and others, we need to continue to communicate more honestly and openly, educate and raise awareness about how homeowners play a huge role in helping prepare and protect their neighborhoods in the wildland/urban interface. While we are still able to contain 97% of the fires, says Bramwell, there are more fires coming that we may not be able to stop unless everyone takes responsibility for their own homes.

The more that people are aware of the fire problem where they live, the more they will come to realize that fire fighters can't save all of their homes and that they should take action. And the more we as professionals collaborate with each other, and talk to residents, the more we can create safer places for all of us to live when the threat of wildfire comes our way.

Lightweight construction
I mentioned in a previous post that fire does not burn any differently than it ever has. This statement is based on the fact that fire is a science. With that being said, I’m about to emphasize that fires do burn differently today than they have in the past. This statement is based on the fact that the built environment has changed, thus impacting the fire dynamics we are now facing. Notice the significant difference the placement of the letter “s” in fires has on the meaning of the two, italicized statements.

The evolution of the built environment includes the increasingly common use of lightweight, low-mass, engineered wood structural components; petroleum-based fuel loads; and, open floor plans. The evolution of these three aspects of the built environment has combined to form the perfect storm of fire dynamics impacting both occupants and firefighters.

Changes in modern structural components stem from architects and engineers attempting and succeeding at increasing the load-carrying capacity and cost-efficiency related to those components. 

For additional insight on this topic from NFPA blogger Rick Ennis, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

George baker
The Backyards & Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference kicked off today with lots of enthusiasm and energy. At its General Session Thursday, keynote speaker George Baker , Fire & Ice Coaching, and retired fire chief from Mashpee, Massachusetts brought his own brand of humor and passion to the Session through his presentation Building High Energy Relationships for Successful Project a packed room.

Through his own personal stories and anecdotes from his days as a firefighter, paramedic and chief to his current position as an executive/business and life coach, Baker explained the meaning behind group process, which stems around the idea that the success of a project depends largely on how we react to challenges and work with others, trust,l energy levels of the team working on tasks, the team leader and his/her relationship with the other team members. He used example of the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge Habitat Management and Fuels Reduction Program to explain his points, how communication played a key role with those working on the project, and the ups and downs along the way.

You can find more about Baker's work, along with tips and ideas for successful project outcomes at


Through the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention (CFFP) Program, the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), and the Advertising Council sponsor the national Smokey Bear Awards to recognize outstanding service in the prevention of human caused wildfires and to increase public recognition and awareness of the need for continuing wildfire prevention efforts. The Smokey Bear Awards are the highest national honor one can receive for outstanding work and significant program impact in wildfire prevention. This merit award has been bestowed on well-deserving groups and individuals annually since 1957.

This year, the highest honor, the Golden Smokey Bear Award, was given out to its deserving honoree at our Backyards & Beyond Conference. Gene Kodama with the South Carolina Forest Service, Jim Hubbard with the USDA Forest Service and Fred, the nominator, presented Gwen Hensley with this year's award. Gwen has worked internationally as a visual information specialist with the US Forest Service. She has taken safety and prevention messages and graphically represented them. In doing so, she is able to help people relate to the messages by bringing them to life. 

Gwen, we are honored to share in the celebration of you and all of your outstanding wildfire prevention efforts, and congratulate you wholeheartedly on winning the Golden Smokey Bear Award!

Darryl Jones
In April 2009, the most destructive wildfire in South Carolina history burned almost 20,000 acres adjacent to Myrtle Beach. This "Highway 31 fire" as it was coined, was the topic of featured presenter Darryl Jones' session at Backyards & Beyond today

The fire exhibited extreme fire behavior, long-range spotting, and resulted in two entrapments. The initial fire destroyed 76 homes and significantly damaged 97 additional homes in a 28 hour period. Major highways into the Myrtle Beach area were closed, schools shut down and tourism was interrupted during peak travel season. Darryl detailed the efforts to control the fire, manage the evacuation and the difficulties found in this peat fuel type of the region. 

Limited resources prevented the teams from fighting the fire itself, and instead the worked on fuel breaks and trying to protect housing developments in the initial path of the fire. Golf course communities on the edges of the fire used their course sprinklers which helped keep the ember storms from igniting more of the area. Rapidly changing winds and unique weather conditions caused this fire to threaten a community within minutes, and despite the evacuation going well, this area was where most of the losses were. In the end, they fought the fire from April 22 through September before it completely burned out. A lot of outside support was offered to help from federal, state and local agencies, the Red Cross, DOT, police, etc which was critical. 

In 2013, there were only 20 days of the entire year that South Carolina Forestry did not fight wildfire. This statistic as well as the large fire highlighted in Darryl's talk demonstrate how much of a myth it is to say that wildfire is only a western issue. This fire became a great educational tool as well to teach communities about Firewise and reducing risk. We hope everyone can learn from some of his lessons learned, no matter where they live. 

Brian Leahy and Lorraine Carli, HFSC president and NFPA VP of Outreach and Advocacy
NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) awarded Fire Chief Brian Leahy from the Clarendon Hills, Illinois, Fire Department with the 2015 Bringing Safety Home Award, presented at the Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Phoenix, Arizona. 

The award recognizes fire service members and other safety advocates who use HFSC's home fire sprinkler educational materials and Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources to ensure that decision-makers have accurate information as new or updated home fire sprinkler codes are considered.  

Fifteen years ago, Chief Leahy spent hours meeting with his mayor and elected officials to educate them about the benefits of home fire sprinklers. His village manager presented him with 33 “concerns” brought up by those who opposed a fire sprinkler requirement. With limited resources, Leahy addressed every concern. His efforts resulted in the passage of an ordinance requiring fire sprinklers in all new, one- and two-family homes. Clarendon Hills became the fifth community in Illinois to do so, but the ordinance was the first in one of the state’s teardown-and-rebuild community. Leahy’s list to the village manager is known as the Clarendon Hills “List of 33” and is still used as a resource in other communities looking to enact home fire sprinkler requirements in new homes.  

Today, more than 700 Clarendon Hills homes and the families that occupy them are protected with fire sprinklers.

Congratulations, Chief!


For previous Bringing Safety Home Award winners, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is the gracious host of the 2015 Backyards & Beyond Wildland Education Conference, and this morning Jim Pauley, NFPA's President, opened the conference with his remarks. We are currently living through severe drought conditions and rising temperatures that are transforming a region's typical wildfire season into a year-round problem, Jim began by explaining. According to NIFC, so far in 2015, more than 50,000 fires have burned more than 9 million acres, more than three times the amount of land burned in the same period of 2014: a staggering statistic that shows how much work we all still have to do. 

While the wildfire problem is complex, we do know that local behavior change and resident safety action can begin to change outcomes, and continuing to encourage communities to take steps to reduce their risk is important. Jim welcomed the representatives from the Forest Service, fire departments, land management agencies, educational institutions, insurance industry and homeowner associations to this year's conference, and acknowledged that by working together we can all make a difference. 

Jim also hopes that if there is anything NFPA can do to help support efforts to raise awareness and reduce wildfire risks, that people come to us and ask. He reminds us that sharing knowledge and experience will help each other do more to create safer communities, and realizes that this conference is one way to do that. So we share in Jim's thoughts by welcoming everyone to this year's conference, we look forward to a great week!

Great news for candidates who successfully complete the NFPA process for the Certified Fire Inspector I (CFI-I), Certified Fire Inspector II (CFI-II), or the Certified Fire Plan Examiner (CFPE) certifications: They'll now be automatically registered with the Pro Board and receive an NFPA certificate bearing the Pro Board logo.

Pro Board Logo - Accredited (00000002)

“Our customers have been asking for Pro Board recognition of these three certifications for several years,” said Leon Katcharian, NFPA’s director of NFPA certifications. “We heard those requests and have worked diligently with the Pro Board team to meet their high accreditation standards.”

Groups or individuals that achieve Pro Board accreditation are recognized as having met the rigors of review by an independent organization, assuring candidates and governance bodies that those entities meet the national standards.

“It was very important to the Pro Board that our certification exams assess candidates at the appropriate level and are aligned to NFPA 1031, Professional Qualifications for Fire Inspector and Plan Examiner. It was equally important that our certification policy and procedures were fair to our customers while remaining thorough in execution,” added Katcharian.

“You can’t be in a better place for thinking about the future than Palo Alto,” City Manager James Keene said today as he kicked-off proceedings of the first ever Smart Homes Summit this morning at the Mitchell Park Community Center in the heart of Silicon Valley, California.

Pondering the high tech future of the fire service is the aim of the summit, hosted by the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Gathered are more than 80 participants spanning the fire service, technology professionals, data analytics experts, and others, including a slate of more than 30 speakers over a day and a half.

“We have a problem: We kill a couple thousand people per year in the U.S. in fires, and we want to solve this problem,” said Casey Grant (at right), the executive director of the Foundation. “As we see organizations with better ways of doing things, whether it’s through data analytics, hardware, software, or something else—there are lot impressive things going on—we, as fire professionals, want to be connected at hip with technology. That’s our aim here.”

U.S. Fire Administrator Ernie Mitchell and California State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover also addressed attendees this morning, to convey the need to adapt, develop and utilize technology and innovation to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of fighting and preventing fire.

“There couldn’t be a better time than now to have this summit based on what has been going on in this state,” Hoover said. “With four years of drought, the wildfire behavior we’ve seen this summer and fall is beyond anything what a scientist could model.”

Just the Valley and Butte fires in Northern California this fall burned thousands of structures and caused an estimated $2 billion worth of property loss, in addition to at least six deaths.

The Summit continues through today and concludes at noon tomorrow. 

MinnesotaDelivering a blow to Minnesota's fire safety advocates, the state's Court of Appeals recently overturned a ruling by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to sprinkler all new, one- and two-family homes greater than 4,500 square feet.  

Sued by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, the department saw the sprinkler requirement as a necessity, telling NFPA in 2014 that the the cost of installing sprinklers isn't significant enough to discourage someone from purchasing a home, particularly when weighing the cost against the potential threat to life and property. 

For more on this court decision, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

October201991 A devastating conflagration occurred in the scenic hills above the cities of Oakland and Berkeley, California, on October 20, 1991.  Burning embers carried by high winds from the perimeter of a small but growing duff fire ignited overgrown vegetation and led to the further ignition of tree crowns and combustible construction materials of adjacent homes, including many with wood-shingle roofs.

The result was a major wildland/urban interface fire that killed 25 people including a police officer and a fire fighter, injured 150 others, destroyed nearly 2,449 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units, burned over 1,660 acres, and did an estimated $1.5 billion in damage.  

To read the whole NFPA Fire Investigation Report.  This story is also feature in NFPA's Newsletter Fire by the Numbers.  To Learn more about NFPA;s Fire Adapted Communities

Fire BreakThe October 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 the Firewise community renewal process
  • Information on wildfire funding awards for youth
  • A link to the pet safety component of our TakeAction campaign
  • The latest news from USAA regarding insurance discounts for Firewise communities in Colorado and Texas, and California

...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.

Halloween Post
As I have mentioned in past posts, NFPA has been working with the folks at Martha Stewart Living to provide important fire safety tips for all of the projects and activities we do at home and with our families.

And now, we're excited to share our newest post with you! If you're like me, you probably can't even believe we're talking about Halloween (wasn't it just summer??) but it's just around the corner. So, you'll want to check out our latest "creepy crawl-y" Halloween fire safety tips on Martha's site. There are some great ideas for costumes, decorations and candles that are easy to implement in your own home and can really help keep your family, trick-or-treaters and others who visit your house over the next few weeks and on October 31, fire safe.

Find other great resources for Halloween fire safety on our updated Halloween webpage. You'll discover activities for kids and families, a video, tips sheet and much more.

Remember to stay fire safe this Halloween holiday, everyone, and have a fun and festive All Hallows Eve!

The Report of the Motions Committee addresses one Fall 2015 NFPA Standard with Certified Amending Motions that may be presented at the NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) in Las Vegas, NV on June 15-16, 2016:

  • NFPA 75, Standard for the Fire Protection of Information Technology Equipment

This Report also identifies a list of 22 additional standards that were determined by the Motions Committee to be Consent Standards and, therefore, will be forwarded to the NFPA Standards Council for balloting.  The final date to file an appeal on these Fall 2015 Consent Standards is October 31, 2015

October181984 On Thursday, October 18, 1984, an incendiary fire started on the third floor of the Alexander Hamilton Hotel in Paterson, New Jersey resulting in the deaths of 15 persons and injuries to over 50 persons.  The fire was confined to the third floor of the eight story steel frame fire resistive building, although products of combustion traveled to upper floors where the majority of the deaths occurred.

The hotel was a combination transient/residential hotel with 169 guest rooms or living suites on the upper six floors.  Although equipped with 3 enclosed stairways and a smoke detection system, the stairway doors were not closed and allowed early failure of the exit system due to smoke and heat spread.  Vertical ventilation shafts servicing the bathrooms of each guest room also spread smoke to the upper story guest rooms.

To learn more about this fire NFPA's Fire Investigations.

Getting the word outWell, another successful Fire Prevention Week is in the rear view mirror. We have a lot to be proud of – most notably that we made America a little bit safer in the course of seven days. Thank you for getting the message of “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs A Working Smoke Alarm” out. By creatively, collaboratively, and proactively sharing fire prevention safety tips via marketing efforts, outreach initiatives and educational campaigns – we have once again ensured that our communities are well informed about fire safety and the importance of working smoke alarms.

We often say that we don’t create NFPA codes and standards in a vacuum. We stress that we rely heavily on more than 6,000 volunteers who sit on our technical committees, 65,000 members and other stakeholders who use our material and carry the messages to help save lives. The same “strength in numbers” philosophy rings true when it comes to Fire Prevention Week.

We are very fortunate to have corporate sponsors that help us deliver fire safety tips, often year-round, to men, women and children across the country. Our Fire Prevention Week mantra is amplified because of partners like Domino’s who promote Fire Prevention Week and the importance of smoke alarms while delivering pizza to customers. LEGOLAND honors our first responders and engages families visiting their popular theme parks in California and Florida during October with fun contests, discounts, giveaways, safety tips and NFPA swag. Then there’s the United States Fire Administration who ensure that the President signed a National Fire Prevention Week proclamation, continuing a proud tradition that stems back to 1922. Kudos to Safe Kids, too, for hosting a webinar to educate its coalition members and for encouraging participants to spread the word to their audiences. We are also thankful that Home Depot shared our smoke alarm infographic with 2,000 stores and hosted educational events across the country; and that CVS shared tips with thousands of their employees. Newcomer Cardi’s Furniture promoted Fire Prevention Week in seventeen showrooms throughout Southern New England, in their full page Providence Journal ads, during an interview with Lorraine Carli on the Fox News Rhode Show and via their community calendar. Billboards donated by Carroll Advertising in the Greater Boston area, our friends at the Wollaston School near our corporate headquarters in Quincy, Mass., FEMA’s Colorado office, and fire departments and educators across the country also generated buzz for NFPA’s annual awareness campaign.

The media played an important role, too, in promoting Fire Prevention Week. During just one 5-hour block on October 6th, twenty-five broadcast media companies scheduled back-to-back, English and Spanish, live and taped interviews with NFPA Public Education team member Lisa Braxton and Lieutenant Maria Pelchar of the Holyoke Fire Department so that they could share fire safety tips with their viewers and listeners. This media coverage doesn’t begin to tell the story of the vast penetration that Fire Prevention Week enjoys via other news outlets and bloggers that simply access information from our website or share details from NFPA press releases.

And then there’s you. WOW, as a new Fire Prevention Week disciple, I am impressed. The NFPA team is really passionate about fire prevention – and rightfully so. Employee enthusiasm was evident in the weeks leading up to Fire Prevention Week – and was downright palpable as we celebrated NFPA’s hallmark educational campaign with outreach, food, contests, trivia and festivities from October 4th-10th.

My mother used to advise, “There’s safety in numbers.” And as I look back on this year’s Fire Prevention Week efforts, I have to say that I couldn’t agree more.

NFPA is proud to announce that we have added a 4-day classroom training program for the Certified Fire Inspector certification. As a Pro Board accredited certification, this program is an exciting addition to our roster of classes. The instructor for this program is Pete Cutrer. Pete brings a wealth of experience to the classroom as he is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) with a focus on Code Compliance and Fire Inspection. He is also an IAAI Certified Fire Investigator, is certified as a NFPA CFI-II, and a Certified Fire Plan Examiner (CFPE). Peter's focus is on energetic, progressive training in the fire prevention and investigation fields. His service included working full time as a Fire Marshal and Deputy Chief for two cities.Cfi_logo

I had the opportunity to sit down with Pete and ask him how this training was different, why the CFI-I certification is so important and what people will take away from this training:

Q: Why is the CFI-I certification so important?

A: In today's world riddled with technicalities and liabilities, the fire inspector needs to credential himself to distinguish that he knows what he's doing. Along with the escalation of hazards such as lightweight construction, interior finishes, and higher population densities, the fire inspection business is no joke. Being certified as a CFI from NFPA the leader in fire safety, is a must.

Q: How will this training help you prepare for the certification exam?

A. The student will be immersed in the code from the start of the class until the end. This class will not only help students understand what code is used for a particular challenge, but will also hone the skill of quickly finding a solution to the problem. 

Q: Who are the people that will benefit the most from CFI-I training? Is it just the fire service or are there others?

A: Of course a fire inspector located within the fire department structure will benefit tremendously from this program. However, an increasing number of building officials and private industry loss prevention folks are finding that this certification not only helps their career, but allows them to remain confident when the codes overlap, as they often do.

Q: Why is this class different from other training programs?

A:  There are many fire inspector programs available on the market today. However, this program is being offered directly by NFPA the leader in code development. Furthermore, many fire inspector programs span over many weeks and involve numerous trips to the educational facility. This program is a true one – and – done program, with training for four days and then an exam on the fifth. Not only is this an efficient use of time, but because you are completely immersed in the code for several days, your chances of passing the exam are tremendously improved.

Q: What are the top 3 takeaways attendees will leave this training event with?

A: 1. Attendees will feel much more confident when performing inspections and doing plan reviews. Confidence is key when dealing with the public. After this training class confidence is built in the student, knowing the code and where to find it.

2. Attendees will understand not only the code development process but how the life safety code and NFPA 1 work hand-in-hand. They will understand how the different codes correlate with each other, again lending to confidence in the field and in the decision-making process.

3. With dedication to the class, and a diligent student, it is hopeful that the student will leave with a certificate and the credential of certified fire inspector. This is a tremendous credential that allPro Board Logoows the inspector to have confidence in his own abilities, but also to be able to speak with authority when rendering code decisions. With the recent addition of Pro Board accreditation, this truly is an unbelievable opportunity for inspection and code officials.

Pete will be leading the classroom training on two different dates and locations. Starting on December 7, 2015 Pete will be at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, MA. The following week starting on December 14, 2015 Pete will be in Orlando, FL. Click here for more information or to register.

As mobile and temporary cooking operations (a.k.a. food trucks) have become increasingly popular in cities throughout the country, related fire incidents have been on the rise, bringing much-needed focus and attention on how to minimize associated risks. NFPA Technical Committees are currently discussing the need for more comprehensive standards development activity on this issue.  In the meantime, we’ve put together a tip sheet* that can help food truck vendors use them safely.

Food truck image JPG

For more information and insights on fire safety issues regarding food trucks, visit XChange, NFPA's new online platform for sharing added resources and enhanced communication among our many audiences.

* This tip sheet provides some considerations for food truck operations. Operators should check with the local jurisdiction for specific requirements.  This tip sheet is not a comprehensive list, nor does it reflect the official position of NFPA or any of its technical committees.



On October 16, 1986, a tractor trailer veered off a road and struck the piping for two stationary LP-gas storage tanks about ½ mile outside of Woodruff, Utah.  One tank had a capacity of 18,000 gallons and the other of 30,000 gallons.  Immediately following the crash, fire involving fuel from the truck and LP-gas from the tanks erupted.

The Woodruff Fire Department responded and prepared to attack the fire, but a loud noise erupted and firefighters withdrew to a position about 800 feet from the area.  About ½ hour later, the 18,000-gallon tank BLEVE’d.  One piece of the tank struck a building and eventually came to rest about 2,600 feet from its mountings.  Following the BLEVE, firefighters stayed back, evacuated the town, and allowed the tank to continue to burn until the intensity of the burning decreased, and the fire eventually burnt itself out.




NFPA members can read the full investigation report  for free.&#0160;</p>



!|src=|alt=FPW with Mom|style=width: 550px;|title=FPW with Mom|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a01b7c7aee75c970b01b7c7de6dbf970b img-responsive!

NFPA fire protection engineer Jacqueline Wilmot during Fire Prevention Week 1994 with her mother Lorraine Schell, volunteer firefighter with the Merck Fire Brigade

Each year during Fire Prevention Week fire safety education messaging is spotlighted so that people, especially young children, are educated about fire prevention strategies and safety preparedness tips. During this year’s “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” campaign, NFPA employees dropped by the Wollaston School in Quincy, Mass. and read to young students, played fun games with fire prevention themes, and shared safety tips that will serve the kids well for years to come.

Molding young minds to know what to do in the event of a fire and demonstrating simple ways to keep families safe has an enduring impact. In fact, one of the most effective methods for bringing fire safety information into the home is through children. Young children, like the Wollaston School students, absorb information like sponges, and will remember the basics of fire safety for a lifetime.

A few months ago, a woman wrote to NFPA with a success story of the fire safety education, saying that the “stop, drop and roll” instructions that her 15-year-old nephew learned in grade school may have saved his life. He recently caught on fire, but luckily remembered the steps he had learned when he was younger, and escaped with only injuries when he “stopped, dropped and rolled.”

Early educational messages often leave impressions and not only provide a strong safety foundation for families, but they can also inspire a career path for some kids. NFPA fire protection engineer Jacqueline Wilmot recalled her mother, a volunteer firefighter, always making a visit to her school and others during Fire Prevention Week and throughout the year to share her safety preparedness knowledge and passion for fire prevention – a trait that it seems Jacqueline inherited. “I was listening all those years,” said Wilmot. “We can never underestimate the power of Fire Prevention Week!”


!|border=0|src=|alt=Boyd Smith|title=Boyd Smith|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01b7c7de5b79970b image-full img-responsive!

Burn survivor Boyd Smith received a standing ovation following his presentation on a home fire that forever altered his life

Despite what the opposition says, support for home fire sprinklers is spreading throughout North America. How best to capitalize on this increased awareness and acceptance of this life-safety device was the focus of an NFPA-sponsored event in Phoenix. 


NFPA&#39;s Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit convened some of the top sprinkler advocates and influencers from the western half of the U.S. and throughout Canada. For highlights from the event, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.</p>

In September, NFPA launched its newest wildfire safety campaign for youth called TakeAction. As part of the campaign, we focus on one of our favorite things in the world - our pets (check out our recent blogs about the campaign)!

Why are pets so important to the TakeAction campaign? Well, the truth of the matter is, when your family receives an evacuation notice, whether it's for wildfire or any other natural disaster, everything happens quickly - too quickly it seems - and often, we don't have time to gather all of the belongings we need to take with us and for our furry family members. PetLife Radio

Just recently, Megan Blake, host of Pet Life Radio/A Super Smiley Adventure invited Cathy Prudhomme from our wildfire division to talk about TakeAction and the importance of pet preparedness and safety during a wildfire. We invite you to tune in and share it with members of your family and friends.

Cathy joined Washington's Brinnon Fire Chief, Patrick Nicholson, with his K9 partner, arson dog Allie, Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office Captain Ross Holt and his K9 arson dog, Ember, and our wonderful partner and sponsor of the TakeAction campaign, State Farm’s Public Affairs Specialist, Heather Paul. During the interview you'll hear from the experts and our host about their personal experiences with evacuation, and learn some great tips and advice you can use for your own pets as you prepare.

If you don't know about Pet Life Radio, it's the largest and #1 pet radio network on the planet, featuring weekly pet-related talk shows hosted by the most well-known pet experts, authors and radio and TV personalities in the world of animals and pets. With over six million monthly listeners Pet Life Radio has hosted celebrity guests like Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Betty White, Rachael Ray, Ryan O'Neal, and many more. Pet Life Radio just recently won a 2012 Genesis Award Honor (Humane Society of the United States), and is the official radio media sponsor of the 2013 and 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards (Read our announcement - Sparky the Fire Dog named Spokesdog for 2012 Hero Dog Awards)!

Check out Cathy's interview then go to our webpage and download the household pet and horse checklists and get started on building your pets' evacuation kit today! Find these checklists, videos, safety tips and more by visiting

NFPA News The October 2015 issue of NFPA News, our codes and standards newsletter, is now available.

In this issue:

  • Comments sought on proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) to NFPA 20
  • Errata issued on NFPA 24, 30B, and 2001
  • Standards Council minutes and final decisions
  • Fall 2016 First Draft Reports for submission of comments
  • NFPA news in brief
  • 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.

The NFPA Standards Council acted on the issuance of documents in the Annual 2015 revision cycle and considered several appeals at its August 17-19, 2015 meeting.

The NFPA Standards Council final decisions have been issued and include the following:

  • NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, Agenda item 15-8-2-b
  • NFPA 24, Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances, Agenda item 15-8-4-a
  • NFPA 33, Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials, Agenda item 15-8-5-a and b
  • NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, Agenda item 15-8-6-b
  • NFPA 111, Standard on Electrical Energy Emergency and Standby Power Systems, Agenda item 15-8-23-d
  • NFPA 520, Standard on Subterranean Spaces, Agenda item 15-8-7-a
  • NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, Agenda item 15-8-10-b 

The NFPA Standards Council is a 13-person committee appointed by the NFPA Board of Directors that oversees the Association's codes and standards development activities, administers the rules and regulations, and acts as an appeals body. The Council administers about 250 NFPA Technical Committees and their work on nearly 300 documents addressing topics of importance to the built environment.

Hey there NFPA blog followers and fellow bloggers! Summer has come to a close and we are in the midst of a beautiful, crisp, fall here in New England! Ahh, my favorite season!

NFPA has been a busy place since my last blog post; NFPA headquarters is undergoing renovations toward an open space concept to encourage collaboration between teams, opened up a snazzy new conference center (as part of the renovation), we conducted  an employee survey to gain employee feedback, and we are wrapping up Fire Prevention Week today. We've also introduced an Ambassador program that gives employees a chance to attend different conferences and interact with our constituents and members. 

Here in the HR world, we are also very busy - one important effort is to recruit professionals like


Right now is a very exciting time to join NFPA, as we are in the midst of transforming ourselves from a codes and standards development organization to an information and knowledge organization. We are the information and knowledge resource on fire, electric and related hazards and we use this knowledge to develop and offer the best tools for our stakeholders. 

As an employee of the NFPA, you are able to be part of something that is much bigger than yourself. You are part of keeping first responders safe, helping to provide architects with guidelines for building design and safety, providing education to children in schools, and so much more. Employees at NFPA bring a collective passion to work every day as they all contribute toward solving the fire problem...all while being offered great benefits that one would expect from an industry leader.

Does this sound rewarding? 

I encourage you to take a look at our current open positions by clicking here. 

Our featured job is the Fire Alarm Specialist Engineer. We have a great opportunity for a fire alarm specialist/engineer who will independently manage complex technical projects including technical committees, product development, and other association activities.



 Sound the alarm!!
We have an immediate opening for a Fire Alarm Code Specialist/Engineer.

Are you interested in working for world's leading advocate of fire prevention?

To submit your resume, click the link below.

Fire Alarm Specialist/Engineer

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

If you pay attention to food trends or live in/near a big city, then you know that mobile and temporary cooking operations (a.k.a. food trucks) are popping up all over. But as these operations have become increasingly popular, related fire incidents have been on the rise, bringing much-needed focus and attention on how to minimize associated risks.

Food truck image JPG

NFPA Technical Committees are currently discussing the need for more comprehensive standards development activity on this issue.  In the meantime, we've put together a tip sheet* that food truck vendors can use for safely operating their vehicles.

* The tip sheet provides some considerations for food truck operations. Operators should check with the local jurisdiction for specific requirements. This tip sheet is not a comprehensive list, nor does it reflect the official position of NFPA or any of its technical committees.

The average age of people living independently has risen with the aging post war generation.  Health care delivery for people of all ages has also dramatically changed in the last 20 years.    The number of safety, medical and health technologies as well as home health care services available to those who desire to remain in their own home is growing every day.   Recent fire events involving apartment buildings with a high concentration of seniors, including a fire in San Antonio where five people died, have raised questions related to the level of safety in buildings that are often times described as senior housing or senior apartments.   One category of these types of occupancies is known as Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs). 

NFPA and the Fire Protection Research Foundation are co-hosting a one day symposium on November 4th at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista that will bring together leaders in the residential, health care, independent living  and safety communities for a rare opportunity to understand these emerging trends to create a vision for the future of safe living in an independent environment.  The discussions from this event will be used to roadmap changes to NFPA codes and standards to address new challenges and enable new solutions.

Topics that will be covered at the summit will include:

  • Emerging Trends for Aging in Place
  • Healthcare Technology Moves into the Home: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Overview of HHS Tools and Resources
  • Panel on the Home Health and Emergency Services Perspective
  • Panel on Educational Resources
  • Current Status of NFPA Codes and Standards
  • Roundtable Discussion on Making Independent Living Safe

If you would like to attend the summit, please contact Eric Peterson at the Foundation with your name, affiliation, and contact information. The summit is free of charge and space is limited, so reserve your spot now!

For additional details, including a draft program, please visit the Foundation website.

NFPA and Safe Kids Worldwide are officially teaming up to promote fire safety through the Safe Kids Worldwide network. This partnership presents a great opportunity for NFPA to expand its fire safety education outreach through Safe Kids Worldwide’s local coalitions - many of which include fire departments - and have an established track record for effectively communicating safety messages to children and families. In addition, a Safe Kids Worldwide representative will begin serving on NFPA’s Educational Messages Advisory Committee (EMAC).

SafeKids logo

To kick off the partnership, NFPA and Safe Kids Worldwide are working together to promote Fire Prevention Week.

We strongly encourage fire departments and fire safety educators to join forces with their local Safe Kids Worldwide coalition when and where possible. It’s a great way to make new connections with others doing similar work in your community, and who are likely eager to support your fire safety outreach efforts.

We’ll make sure to keep you posted on events and programs we’re jointly supporting in the months ahead. To learn more about how you can work in coordination with a local Safe Kids Worldwide coalition, contact Judy Comoletti, NFPA’s divisional manager for public education, at

NFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 30B, Code for the Manufacture and Storage of Aerosol Products, and NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, on October 5, 2015:

  • NFPA 30B, Errata 30B-15-1, referencing Tables (e) through Footnote of the 2015 edition
  • NFPA 2001, Errata 2001-15-1, referencing various sections of the 2015 edition

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.

Leary NestFirefighters put themselves on the front lines everyday — protecting our communities and acting as first responders in emergencies. To support these heroes, Nest and the Leary Firefighters Foundation have teamed up to award two $25,000 grants for new technology and equipment to fire departments in need.  

To qualify for the grant, departments will need to be nominated by members of your community. Every vote counts. The ten departments with the most nominations will become grant finalists and the Leary Firefighter Foundation will award two grants through its formal grant application process. Nominations are accepted on from October 5 until midnight PT on October 31. 

To spread the word in your community, here are some suggested social media posts:

  • Twitter: Join @Nest and @LearyFF:  thank your local fire department & give them a chance to receive a $25K technology grant
  • Facebook: Join Nest and Leary Firefighters Foundation by thanking your local fire department & give them a chance to receive a $25K technology grant

You may also download free flyers to distribute to your community (two versions, one with full color and one with two color).

Good luck!

Pic 3

Each October, The Home Depot runs a month-long fire safety campaign at all its stores (nearly 2,000 across the U.S.) to educate customers about ways to protect their homes and families from potential fire risks. As part of the effort, The Home Depot actively supports Fire Prevention Week by hosting a fire safety day in coordination with the local fire department. They also hold two in-store workshops - one involving a craft for kids and another that specifically targets adults.

Pic 4

These pictures taken at an event hosted by The Home Depot in Natick, MA, and the Natick Fire Department show how successful these events are, and how well the partnership works.

To find out details about fire safety day plans in your area, contact The Home Depot nearest you.

For more information about this year's campaign, "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm", visit


Pic 2

Sprinkler demo
While urging the public to "hear the beep where you sleep," this year's Fire Prevention Week theme focusing on working smoke alarms in all bedrooms, safety advocates across North America are also spotlighting a smoke alarm's necessary complement. 

Home fire sprinklers are also getting a fair share of attention during Fire Prevention Week. A series of live burn/sprinkler demonstrations and op-eds published this week are underscoring how the dynamic duo of a fire sprinkler and smoke alarm can significantly slash the risk of dying in home fires.

For more information about these nationwide events, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Smoke alarms were credited with reducing the potential damage in a Maine apartment building on Wednesday, September 23, according to the Kennebec Journal.

“There is no doubt that if detectors were not in place that this would have been a much more significant fire,” said Fire Chief Roger Audette. “I cannot say enough about smoke detectors.” The chief said that there were no injuries and only minimal damage in the area of the fire. Smoke_Alarms_04_0963-fin

The improper disposal of a candle in a trashcan led to the ignition that set off the alarm, and firefighters were able to respond within minutes and control the situation.

This is a timely reminder about the importance of smoke alarms as this week is Fire Prevention Week, which kicked off October 4 and runs through October 10. This year’s theme is “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!”

Audette referenced Fire Prevention Week, stating “this is a good reminder for people to check and maintain their detectors.”

Read the full story from the Kennebec Journal and check out NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week materials online. 

The Fire Protection Research Foundation is happy to announce the addition of two new project managers, Dan Gorham and Sreenivasan (Sreeni) Ranganathan.  Both are familiar faces at NFPA as Dan comes to us from the Industrial & Chemical Engineering Group, and Sreeni has been the Foundation’s co-op employee since January.  They bring diverse backgrounds and strong skills in support of the work of the Research Foundation. 

Dan has a Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Maryland both in Fire Protection Engineering, and has completed the NCESS Fundamentals of Engineering Exam.  Dan has multiple structural and wildland fire fighter certifications and fire fighting experience in both arenas.  He was the staff liaison for multiple NFPA codes and standards across a range of diverse technical topics.

Sreeni is currently on track to complete his Ph.D. in Fire Protection Engineering at Worcester  Polytechnic Institute later in 2016.  He has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras India, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the N.S.S. College of Engineering in Palakkad, India.  Sreeni brings solid technical skills to our staff with strengths on combustion and explosion protection, thermal and fluids. 

Dan and Sreeni will each take on multiple research projects conducted by the Foundation in support of the NFPA mission.

TakeAction_draft 4_tag and URL in corner w Sametz (WHT)
As you have heard recently through this blog, NFPA launched its TakeAction campaign aimed at youth who live in wildfire risk areas. (If you haven't, take a minute and check out my post from October 2 that explains the campaign, how it came to be, and offers a couple of great videos to watch, too!) The campaign was born out of the results of a number of workshops NFPA held a couple of years ago with teens and their parents who had experienced a wildfire, and we asked them to tell us their stories, their concerns, and their hopes.  

The second part of the TakeAction campaign focuses on one of the key messages the students shared with us in those workshops. It's one that we know will be near and dear to your hearts. Pets! I'm sure you can attest to this in your own homes: we treat our household pets and horses and other animals on our farms as members of our family. The students in the workshops told us that even more than material goods, they wanted to make sure their pets stayed safe during a wildfire evacuation, but they weren't sure how to do that.

I pose the same question to you. Do you know what happens when you're called to evacuate in an emergency? Has your family prepared your pets for an evacuation like you have prepared every human member in your home? For those of us living in a wildfire risk area, we know that once we get the call to evacuate, we need to move as quickly as possible. Being familiar with what happens in an evacuation, knowing how and when to leave, and building a kit for each animal increases the likelihood that all family members will leave safely and together long before a fire reaches their property. 

So where do you start? NFPA has developed a fun video created for teens and families to share with friends on social media as a way to encourage everyone to get involved. Take a moment to watch it with your family and talk about what you've learned. 

Pet Preparedness Video

After you watch the video, take a look at our great resources. We've got a checklist for horses and one for household pets that you can download and help you get started on creating that evacuation kit for each pet in your family. We even include a number of great tips and resources that'll help you prepare all year long. 

Evacuations are never easy, and it's especially unsettling when we know our pets and horses and other farm animals are also in danger. But there's something you CAN do to help make the situation easier, and give you greater piece of mind. Take advantage of the resources our TakeAction campaign has to offer. Start building your pet evacuation kits today so tomorrow, when a wildfire threatens your area, you'll be ready when your family gets the call to leave.

Find the video and all of our resources on For more pet preparedness tips, check out our pet safety tips sheet, available to download now on NFPA's safety information webpage.






!|src=|alt=October51989|style=width: 349px;|title=October51989|height=372! On October 5, l989, a nursing home fire in Norfolk, Virginia, resulted in the death of 12 patients and required hospital treatment or relocation of 96 others.&#0160; The building, built in 1969, is a four-story, nonsprinklered, fire resistive structure housing 161 elderly patients at the time of the fire.&#0160; The first floor contained general administrative offices and support facilities and patient rooms were located on floors two through four.&#0160; The fire was discovered just after 10:00 p.m. by the nursing staff who immediately began to evacuate patients, activate the fire alarm system, close patient room doors, notify the fire department, and extinguish the fire.&#0160; However, during this process, the fire grew within the patient room of origin and extended into the exit corridor, forcing the staff to abandon their emergency procedures on the fire floor.&#0160;

Norfolk Fire Department received notice of the fire at 10:l8 p.m., and fire fighters arrived on the scene within four minutes of the notification.  Upon arrival, they observed fire extending from a second floor window and lapping to the floor above.  An interior fire attack was begun utilizing the building standpipe system while other fire fighters laddered the building, extended a handline and “knocked down” the majority of the fire.  Severe heat and smoke conditions existed on the fire floor and fire fighters began to realize many of the patients remained in their rooms.  Because of these severe conditions, fire fighters began to evacuate patients from the fire floor.

Other arriving fire fighters, summoned by additional alarms, found moderate to heavy smoke conditions existing on the third and fourth floors.  Eventually the entire nursing home was evacuated.

Local investigators have listed the probable cause of the fire as careless disposal of smoking materials.  An open flame ignition source ignited bedding materials on a patient’s bed which soon involved a polyurethane decubitus pad, and the bed’s mattress.  Investigators believe that the fire grew very rapidly while the staff was attempting to complete their emergency procedures.  Within an estimated three to four minutes of discovery, flashover conditions were reached in the room of origin and the fire extended into the corridor.

The following are significant factors in this fatal fire incident:

     •     The rapid growth and development of the fire within the patient room;

     •    The absence of automatic sprinklers that could have prevented full room involvement or


     •    The absence of automatic early detection and fire warning in the room of origin;

     •    The lack of compartmentation due to the open door to the room of fire origin;

     •    Failure of the fire alarm system to function properly.


For the full&#0160;NFPA Fire Investigation report&#0160;on this fire. &#0160;To learn about NFPA&#39;s &#0160;Fire Analysis and Research statistical data &#0160;on&#0160;Fires in Health Care Facilities.</p>




Now that Fire Prevention Week is officially here, we’re launching the fourth and final “Smoke Alarm Smarts” video, where Sparky the Fire Dog® asks people to name three places smoke alarms should be installed in the home.

While this year's campaign theme, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”, promotes that you need a smoke alarm in every bedroom, this clearly isn’t common knowledge to many people. So please share this video wherever you can (Facebook, email, websites, etc.) and help spread the word!

Today is a big day. Fire Prevention Week kicks off, and will continue all the way through Saturday the 10th! 

Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep?

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! That's why, this year's Fire Prevention Week theme aims to keep your family safe with working smoke alarms in every bedroom. The official theme is "Hear the Beep where you Sleep. Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm."

We hope everyone will install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms.

NFPA is excited to share this important information so everyone better understands the life-saving value of home smoke alarms. Visit NFPA's "Smoke Alarm Central" and Fire Prevention Week website for more information, resources, messages, videos and a fun, interactive quiz to test your knowledge.

Also, be sure to join the conversation on social media using #FirePreventionWeek.


Now that Fire Prevention Week is officially here, we’re launching the fourth and final “Smoke Alarm Smarts” video, where Sparky the Fire Dog® asks people to name three places smoke alarms should be installed in the home.

While this year's campaign theme, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”, promotes that you need a smoke alarm in every bedroom, this clearly isn’t common knowledge to many people, as you’ll see in the video, so please share it wherever you can (Facebook, email, websites, etc.) to help spread the word!

If you haven't heard, NFPA recently launched a new campaign for teens called TakeAction, and it's proving to be a great resource for students and families across the country.

Specifically, the campaign targets middle and high school students living in areas with wildfire risks. Research shows that youth are a valuable resource in bringing information into their homes and being active participants in projects related to risk reduction. So, a few years ago, members of our wildland fire operations division organized a handful of workshops around the country and met with teens and their parents who had lived through a wildfire in their area, and asked them about their experience.

The students were honest and very forthcoming with their answers, telling us that 1) they didn't know a whole lot about wildfire and its effects, and 2) they wanted to do more to raise awareness about wildfires, take some action to help friends, neighbors and their own families prepare ahead of a threat in their area, but didn't know how. 

We took their answers and feedback to heart and TakeAction was born. We created a short video that explains what wildfire is, how it affects communities like the one you live in, and how teens and families can get involved in the campaign. The video can be shared easily through social media and in online newsletters. If you are one of the millions who live in a wildfire risk area, watch it together with the young people you love. Take the opportunity to discuss what you can do as a family to help stay safer from wildfire, then have everyone share it with friends and neighbors. 


As parents, we know our kids have to get involved in community service projects for school, right? Participating in school and club community service projects directly benefit the people, wildlife and neighborhoods where you live, and wildfire mitigation can be and is a part of that equation.

So, as part of the TakeAction campaign, NFPA and State Farm created a great way to reward teens who want to get involved in wildfire risk reduction projects. It's called Wildfire Risk Reduction Community Service Projects/Funding Awards.

By taking part in proactive service projects, students not only make important contributions in their area to reduce wildfire risks and mitigate post-fire impacts like flooding and mudslides, but they can earn $500 towards an educational scholarship or donate the money to a charitable organization of his/her choice! Talk to your kids about it, then watch this great video below that explains how they can get involved.


This year's wildfire season has proven to be one of the worst in many years. Why not take advantage of this campaign to involve family members in projects that can help you build a safer place to live. TakeAction has a number of great resources you can use to help you get started and guide you along the way like checklists and project ideas and other resources. Get inspired by the stories from other communities, just like yours, that have made it a point to take steps now to prepare.

When you get a chance, share your stories with us. If your kids have been involved in wildfire mitigation projects, we want to hear about it! Let your stories be the inspiration and encouragement others need to begin working on their piece of the bigger wildfire puzzle. We can't wait to find out what everyone is doing!

Learn more about the TakeAction campaign and the community service project funding awards by visiting And stay tuned for the second part of our campaign that focuses on pet preparedness! We know you'll love it!

Find the full report on youth and wildfire on our "youth and families" webpage on

New CTIF Vice President Donald P. Bliss (right) shakes hands with outgoing VP Luther Fincher


Donald P. Bliss, NFPA’s vice president of field operations, was recently named vice president for the Executive Committee of the Comité Technique Internationale de Prévention et d’Extinction du Feu – commonly referred to as CTIF. Bliss is just the fourth American vice president of the CTIF committee in modern history, taking over for outgoing VP Luther Fincher.


Bliss was elected to a four-year term and can serve two full terms. The committee is comprised of a president, secretary general, treasurer and six vice presidents.


“It is a great honor to be elected vice president of CTIF by my peers from around the globe,” Bliss said. “I am committed to furthering fire prevention and suppression efforts worldwide; and look forward to sharing the information and knowledge that NFPA has developed through more than 100 years of research, analysis and collaboration, as well as learning much from this esteemed group.”


CTIF was founded in 1900 to encourage international cooperation among fire experts. Membership is made up of 36 countries, each with its own president and one vote, and close to 50 associate member private and public organizations. Before his new election, Bliss was previously president of the U.S. delegation, a role that will now be filled by Russ Sanders, NFPA’s central region director.


Sanders, another former CITF VP, leaves the role of representing the U.S. on CTIF’s Training and Education Working Group and Fire Prevention Commission, and will be succeeded in this role by Ryan Depew, emergency services specialist of NFPA’s Public Fire Protection division.


The English translation for the group is the International Technical Committee for the Prevention and Suppression of Fire, although the working title for the organization is the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services (IAFRS).


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NFPA’s bi-annual Backyards & Beyond® Wildland Fire Education Conference is a great place for community leaders, researchers, insurance professionals, emergency responders, homeowners and others involved in wildfire safety and preparedness to share their knowledge and best practices on key wildfire issues that they can then take back to their communities and workplace. This year, Backyards and Beyond is scheduled for October 22-24, 2015 in Myrtle Beach, SC.&#0160;

Next summer in Las Vegas, we will introduce conference sessions focused on wildland fire at the NFPA Conference & Expo® so that you can keep the conversations going until the next Backyards & Beyond! Session proposals can be submitted online through October 14. 

Do you have knowledge to share?

Would you like to increase your exposure and visibility in your industry?

Maybe add to your resume and list of achievements?

How would you like a complimentary registration for the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, June 13-16, 2016?

Then we want to hear from you! We need your help now to submit session proposals.

We are seeking the industry's best and brightest to share perspectives, best practices, and case studies at our conference. So, we invite you to submit a proposal detailing the topic(s) you would like to address.

In addition to Wildland Fire, tracks for the conference include: Electrical, Fire Protection Engineering, Fire and Emergency Services, Emergency Preparedness/Business Continuity, Building and Life Safety, Health Care, Loss Control/Prevention, Detection and Notification, Fire Suppression, Codes and Standards and Public Education.

Deadline:* Wednesday, October 14*&#0160;

All proposals must be submitted online:* Submit Proposal *

For assistance or questions regarding:

Content of your proposed presentation, please contact Stacey Moriarty

The Call for Presentations process, please contact Andrea White</p>



Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletterIn the latest issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter, read how fire safety advocates are firing back at news outlets producing one-sided, anti-sprinkler stories. 

You'll also find stories on:

  • a housing boom in a state requiring fire sprinklers
  • Phil Tammaro, one of our newest Faces of Fire who is urging the fire service to take a stand in support of home fire sprinklers
  • a new study that calculates the exorbitant cost of treating patients injured in unsprinklered homes 

Don't miss crucial, sprinkler news from across North America. Subscribe to the free newsletter today. Since it's a monthly publication, we promise it won't clutter your inbox.

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