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October 16, 2015 Previous day Next day

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>



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