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Cohen blog

Jack Cohen in the USDA Forest Service's Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana.


In the “Perspectives” feature in the new November/December NFPA Journal, prominent fire scientist Jack Cohen talks about the discoveries that he and a team of researchers at the USDA Forest Service’s Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Montana have made about wildfire spread.

Their breakthroughs, published in July in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have called into question some long-held beliefs about wildfire dynamics and suggest that most models for how wildfire spreads are based on a false narrative.

In the Journal article, called “Flame Fundamentals,” Cohen explains in detail why understanding wildfire spreads is crucial for protecting firefighters, communities and the environment. The knowledge could also allow fire officials be more selective in which fires they extinguish and which they let burn naturally. That’s important, Cohen says, because “our cultural kneejerk approach of eliminating fire at all cost” by suppressing every possible fire has resulted in a fuel-rich landscape primed for big, uncontrollable wildfires. One has to look no further than the huge and costly 2015 wildfire season for proof.

To learn much more about Cohen’s research and what he and his team have discovered about the science behind wildfire spread, read the new issue of NFPA Journal, and online at

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

With Thanksgiving in our rear view mirror (already???), it's now fast forward all the way to Hanukkah and Christmas!

And as a content partner with our friends at Martha Stewart Living, NFPA recently shared a few of its fire safety tips for the holidays with her audience. Everyone enjoys being part of the holiday preparations, right? From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, the possibilities are endless, and Martha and her readers know how to come up with some beautiful creations. But when there are a lot of people and lots of activity going on around you, it's easy to get distracted. DSC_1770

Read our latest blog and get eight simple fire-safety tips that touch on cooking, baking with the kids, using and storing cooking equipment and more - everything that can help you and your family reduce the risk of kitchen fires during this joyous time of year.

For more great info about holiday fire safety, don't forget to check out (and share!) our newly designed winter holiday safety web page, and stay tuned for some great new holiday assets you can use and share ... coming soon!


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Until recently, there was no sound literature documenting why homeowners opt to purchase a home with fire sprinklers, their opinions on these devices, or how their opinions relate to policies supporting mandatory sprinkler requirements. Identifying this research gap, the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Injury Research and Policy initiated a study gauging public opinions of fire sprinklers in one- and two-family homes.


Noted in the study's report as a "preventable public health problem," home fire injuries and deaths are still a cause for alarm in America; more than 42,000 people have died in U.S. home fires between 2000 and 2014, according to NFPA. Understanding the life-saving successes fire sprinklers have had in other occupancies and current code requirements for home fire sprinklers, researchers surveyed more than 2,300 homeowners living in sprinklered and unsprinklered homes to understand how home fire sprinklers are perceived and the role these devices can play in future fire prevention strategies.


For results from the survey, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.


!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!The truth about home fire sprinklers--from a former homebuilder

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Your feedback is needed! Take our new poll on home fire sprinklers

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA President Jim Pauley rallies safety advocates at NFPA sprinkler summit

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Fire chief passionate about home fire sprinklers becomes latest NFPA blogger

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!What are your thoughts on a National Fire Sprinkler Week?

NEC blogIn his column in the new November/December issue of NFPA Journal, Jeffrey Sargent, details the Alabama Energy and Residential Code Board’s consideration of a proposal to remove the requirement of arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) from the state’s Residential Building Code. The proposal, supported by a homebuilders group, would affect new construction of one- and two-family homes. AFCIs were simply too expensive, the homebuilders argued; by their own estimate, AFCI installation in a typical home costs about $300.

In the column, “Sweet Home Alabama,” Sargent, a regional educational code specialist at NFPA, details the fight, what’s at stake, and how opponents of the measure to change the code are rallying against it.

Read Sargent’s column in the new November/December issue of NFPA Journal, or online at

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


!|src=|alt=NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d17b0347970c img-responsive!In the latest issue of our Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter, read about anti-sprinkler legislation filed in Maryland, one of two states with a requirement to sprinkler all new homes. (California is the other.) You’ll also read about:

    • a magazine catered to the homebuilding industry instructing this group to pay more attention to fire safety at home, particularly home fire sprinklers

    • startling stats on home fires from NFPA’s new report

    • a New Hampshire fire marshal who let NFPA into his new home to document his sprinkler installation




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Stay on top of sprinkler news from across North America by subscribing to the monthly newsletter today. It takes but a few seconds.


!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Another U.S. state takes a big step in support of home fire sprinklers
!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Practicing what he preaches: State fire marshal sprinklers his own home
!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Builder Magazine: Fire safety is an issue homebuilders can't afford to ignore
!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Looking to convince legislators to support sprinklers? Start with relationship building





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On Sunday, November 25, 1990, a fire occurred at a flammable liquid tank farm supporting Denver’s Stapleton International Airport.  Eight of the farm's twelve storage tanks contained jet fuel A totaling almost 4.2 million gallons.  The fire was considered as accidental in nature, and it burned for approximately 55 hours.  Seven tanks were destroyed or damaged, and over 1.6 million gallons of jet fuel was consumed.  There were no reported fire fighter or civilian injuries as a result of this incident.

At approximately 9:22 a.m., the Stapleton control tower saw smoke in the area of the tank farm and called the airport fire department.  Both airport and structural fire suppression crews responded to the reported location.  Upon their arrival, airport fire fighters found a large pool fire in a pit containing piping and valves.  In addition, there was flaming fuel which was apparently under pressure spewing high into the air.  They were able to knock down the pool fire using Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) but were unable to extinguish the fire involving the spewing fuel.  Each time the airport fire fighters stopped agent application for replenishment of water or agent, the fire would burn back and increase in intensity.  When the structural fire fighters arrived, they discharged water through master streams and ladder pipes to protect exposures. In addition, the structural fire fighters also laid hose lines to the aircraft fire fighting vehicles to maintain uninterrupted water supplies to these vehicles.


For the full&#0160;NFPA Fire Investigation report.&#0160; Download&#0160;NFPA's statistical reports Fires at Outside Storage Tanks and LP-Gas Bulk Storage</p>




Do you want to make a difference? We are hiring an Online Community Manager to drive the adoption of our Online Community, NFPA Xchange through increasing engagement and interaction with NFPA members and non-members. Our Community manager will ensure our users become enthusiastic evangelists because of their exceptional online experience in our community. Primary success in this role will be through leveraging technology to create engaging interactions and experiences for our stakeholders and ultimately creating and incorporating member only exclusive content. As such, you will contribute to the evolution of the community based on data-driven insights, user input, content marketing and business needs.

The successful candidate will be curious, action-oriented and able to bring a whole-systems perspective and consultative approach to understanding and improving NFPA’s understanding of and engagement with our stakeholders. Success will be achieved by eliciting data from and making connections across a diverse set of constituents and ideas to result in deeper relationships with; more comprehensive data and knowledge regarding; and new and more relevant offerings in service to our stakeholders.

For a complete listing of job responsibilities and requirements, please visit our careers webpage.

Pauley_resized for web

In his “First Word” column in the new November/December issue of NFPA Journal, NFPA President Jim Pauley makes the case for why it is important that the fire service participate in NFPA’s U.S. Needs Assessment Survey.

The survey was recently mailed to fire departments in all 50 states. It asks general questions about departmental needs, resources, and capabilities, as well as more targeted questions on topics ranging from fitness and health programs to advanced technology applications. This is the fourth needs survey NFPA has conducted.

“This assessment is an extremely important data gathering effort that is used to identify gaps within the nation’s fire service,” Pauley wrote in his column. “By using proper analytics, we can provide a picture of improvements that have been made since the last survey and identify where gaps still exist. Once completed, that analysis becomes a key tool for Congress and the U.S. Fire Administration to use in allocating funding to fill the gaps. It also serves as a great benchmark for individual fire departments at the local or state level.”

In addition to snail mail, the survey is available online for the first time to make it easier for fire departments to provide their information.

To read Pauley’s column, to watch a video and learn more about the U.S. Needs Assessment Survey, visit



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On Wednesday, November 23, 1983, a fire occurred at the Travel Master Inn Motel located at 225 W. First Street in Dayton, Ohio.  The motel was a rectangular, four-story building, with basement, of mixed construction.  The ground floor contained a registration and lounge area, and the upper floors contained 66 guest rooms.

Earlier in the evening, on November 23, the building's fire detection and alarm system sounded throughout the building.  The hotel's desk clerk deactivated the system and went to the guest room portion of the building to determine the source of the alarm.  The clerk discovered a trash can fire on the third floor exit corridor and extinguished it with a portable fire extinguisher.  The detection system was not reactivated due to the residual smoke present in the corridor.  Approximately two and a half hours later, a third floor guest notified the desk clerk of a fire on the third floor.  The fire department was notified at 4:01 a.m.

First arriving fire fighters observed fire and heavy smoke conditions showing in the top two floors at the north end of the building.  In addition, an estimated 25 guests were located at windows on all the guest room levels awaiting rescue.  The fire ultimately resulted in one fourth-floor fatality, in over 20 persons being injured and in an estimated $700,000 property damage.

Fire investigators have listed the cause of the fire as undetermined; however, they determined that the fire originated at the north end of the third floor exit access corridor.

The following are considered to be major factors contributing to the loss of life and injury in this incident:

    • The location of the area of origin in the exit access corridor and the lack of automatic extinguishment in the incipient stage.

    • The presence of highly combustible interior finish materials in the exit access corridor.

    • The deactivation on the hotel's automatic fire detection and alarm system.

    • The lack of prompt notification of the fire department. 


For the full&#0160;NFPA Fire Investigation report.</p> </div> </div>

Casey ESS

About 60 leading professionals from across a wide range of sectors gathered in New York City yesterday to participate in one of the most comprehensive and high-level discussions to date on energy storage system (ESS) safety.

New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro kicked-off the proceedings by thanking attendees for coming together to tackle an issue that is a growing safety concern for the city. New York now has received more than 100 applications to install energy storage systems in various structures across the city, but large knowledge gaps in safety still remain.

The systems, ranging in size from a small laundry hamper storing just a few kilowatts, to an entire building with capacity of more than a megawatt, are being installed for various uses inside residential and industrial buildings, on rooftops, and outdoors.

The workshop, sponsored by NFPA, the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), and ConEdison, and hosted by the Fire Department of New York, brought together fire service leaders, utility representatives, system manufacturers, government officials, insurers, codes and standards developers, and many others, to try and narrow the knowledge gap.

“The greatest challenge is that codes and standards often lag behind technological development,” said David Conover, a presenter from the U.S. Department of Energy, in framing the problem. “For some new ESS and new applications of ESS, the specific criteria used to define safety may not exist.”

A report from the proceedings will be developed to help New York and other cities across the country better evaluate ESS applications to ensure that the installation and use of these systems is done as safely as possible. The report will also inform code and standard development, and could inform development of new ESS products.

“We’re being proactive, we’re not waiting for the disasters to happen,” said Casey Grant (above at podium), the FPRF executive director. “When a new technology comes along it only takes one event to give an entire industry a big black eye and then you have a huge hill to climb. We want to see this technology succeed. It’s to all of our benefit.”

The clear potential benefits of using large batteries to store energy for use later have led to an increase in demand for ESS systems for both residential and industrial use. The systems allow customers to save money by using stored energy during peak demand when energy prices are high, and pull electricity off the grid and store it in the battery when prices are cheap. The batteries can also work with solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewables, making those technologies more efficient and less prone to swings in supply. ESS also helps with stability across the electric grid, allowing utilities to meet demand during peak times and ensure reliability.

Panel 2

A panel of experts that included the fire service, manufactures, government officials, energy utilities, and others, answered questions at the NFPA sponsored energy storage workshop in New York City yesterday

While the case for energy storage is obvious, what’s less clear is what happens when something goes wrong. How do batteries of various chemistries and technologies react in a fire? How do firefighters make sure batteries are fully extinguished? How do firefighters handle a damaged battery that is still charged with power? What are the risks to first responders and the public from exposure to toxic fumes, electricity, and other hazards if a fire or other incident were to occur?

"In order to address an issue like this we need a very diverse group of people coming at it from every angle,” Grant told attendees yesterday morning, in explaining what they were there to accomplish. “We are keenly focused on generating proceedings from this event, so we have something to build on for this issue.”

The proceedings from the workshop will be available on the Research Foundation’s website sometime next year.

FDNY Deputy Fire Chief Nicholas Del Re concluded the workshop by thanking the attendees and reiterating how important the event will be to New York City officials going forward, as well as the fire service at large.

“Once this issue gets addressed by FDNY and NFPA, I’m sure the rest of the fire service is going to stand up and pay attention,” he said.

13 blog
When it comes to NFPA codes and standards, many people skip right to the meat of the code, looking past the scope and purpose statements in Chapter 1, writes Matt Klaus, in his new column, “What It’s All About,” in the new November/December NFPA Journal. Not a good idea, says Klaus, a principal fire protection engineer at NFPA and staff liaison for NFPA 13, 13R, & 13D.

“While the scope and purpose statements in some documents are fairly straightforward, many others contain nuances that are critical for the correct application of the standard,” he writes. 

Klaus encourages even longtime users to read these purpose statements in NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes, and NFPA 13R, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies.

Read why Klaus thinks that’s important in “What It’s All About,” in the new NFPA Journal.

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





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On Sunday, November 20, 1994*, *at approximately 3:41 pm, a series of explosions occurred at a furniture manufacturing facility in Lenoir, North Carolina.  There were two fatalities and four injuries as a result of this incident.  The North Carolina Special Bureau of Investigations determined that the nature of the incident was accidental and not criminal.

The incident occurred in the particle board manufacturing portion of the plant.  Raw dust was taken in and refined into finished sheets of particle board that was used in the construction of furniture in other portions of the plant.  This manufacturing line was the sole source of particle board for the plant's furniture-making operations.

Based on NFPA's site inspection and subsequent analysis, it was determined that there were three potential sources of ignition: a stray piece of metal in a grinding machine that sparked, a leak in an overhead oil line that atomized and subsequently ignited, or a natural gas leak in the vicinity of the thermal transfer unit that was ignited explosively.

Following the initiating event, four explosions occurred throughout the facility.  These explosions were caused by dust in the facility that was placed into suspension in the air by each prior explosion.  The dust in suspension then came into contact with an ignition source and ignited explosively.  It was observed that there were large amounts of dust throughout the facility, and there were minimal efforts to control electrical ignition sources.

Two employees were killed and four were injured.  Damage to the facility covered 139,000 square feet.  Production will be interrupted for over nine months.  An estimate of the property damage is not available.  However, much of the building, as well as the production equipment, will have to be replaced.


For the full&#0160;NFPA Fire Investigation report. To read about NFPA&#39;s statistical report on&#0160;Fires in U.S. Industrial and Manufacturing Facilities.


Ninety one years ago this month, Jersey City was struck by 2 large fires in the short span of just 3 days. One fire destroyed nearly 2 entire blocks and caused approximately $1 million in damage, the second fire burned 2 piers, 15 vessels and caused at least $300,000 of losses. JerseyCity1

The first fire started the morning of Friday November 14, 1924 in the Battelle and Renwick saltpeter works.  The actual cause of the fire is unknown, but it is known to have begun in the cellar of the plant. Workers did attempt to extinguish the flames but, hastily retreated. The building had been used as a saltpeter plant for more than 20 years.  Saltpeter is a form of potassium nitrate which was commonly used in the manufacture of fireworks, gunpowder, or fertilizer. It is thought that the floors and timbers were dry and the residue of chemicals contained in the wood, coupled with a strong NW wind blowing in the direction of the basement opening, fanned the flames and allowed the fire to grow quickly.

The entire force of the Jersey City fire department was called out to fight the fire. The force included 350 men, 16 pumping engines, 2 steamers and 4 truck companies. Additionally 2 fire boats from New York, the John Purroy Mitchel and the New Yorker responded to the call and provided aid in fighting the fire from the waterfront. Tugs from Lehigh Valley and Central Railroad of New Jersey also aided. At the same time, the fire departments of Hoboken and Newark covered for the Jersey City fire stations left vacant.    

Fanned by a strong wind, the fire spread quickly to other industrial properties in the area, as well as to several tenement buildings. By 3:00 pm, just 6 hours after the start, the fire was under control. Eight tenements were burned in entirety, with many others evacuated temporarily due to smoke and chemical fumes.   Although many people lost their homes, there were no fatalities.   At least 30 nurses were on hand to assist surgeons attending to injuries from burns, falling debris and chemical fumes. The Red Cross attended to residents displaced by the fires, and the Armory was used as a temporary refuge.

Early reports stated that dynamite was used to take down structures in advance of the flames however, these reports were erroneous. During the first hour of the fire, explosions occurred in the saltpeter factory, sending bricks and other debris in all directions, and these explosions, felt several blocks away, were mistaken for intentional demolition.  


Three days later, and just 20 blocks away, a second fire began in the Erie cooperage pier (no. 5). It quickly leaped to pier no. 6 lighting several barges and tugs which were moored between the piers. Once again the entire Jersey City fire department turned out to fight the fire. Also like the earlier fire, the John Purroy Mitchel and the New Yorker and a third fire boat, the Thomas Willett, all from New York, rendered aid. The barges and tugs moored between the piers were towed to mid-river where the fires were extinguished.   The Erie passenger station, the railroad post office, and several other buildings of economic importance to the city lay in the path of the fire. The Jersey City fire department focused efforts on saving these buildings with great success, only the roof of one of the buildings caught fire but was soon extinguished.

Although the dollar loss was high, fortunately there were no fatalities in either fire, however a total of fifteen firemen were injured. An article from Fire and Water Engineering compliments the efforts of the fire department: "Much favorable comment was made on the work of the Jersey City fire department in handling these two large fires and especially in the saving of the railroad and express company's properties in the second fire, considering the fact that the men were complexly worn out from their grueling experience in the first blaze and hardly had time to get their breath when the second alarm sounded."

The Charles S. Morgan Library supports the research activities and maintains the archive of NFPA.   We have resources including "The Jersey City Conflagration", NFPA Quarterly, V. 18, No. 3, P. 269-275; the article "One Large Fire Follows Another in Jersey City", Fire and Water Engineering, November 26, 1924, p. 1167-1168 as well as photos by T.K. Flannagan (shown above).  Learn more about the Library and Archives, our resources, and services.

Wildfire study blog
In terms of sheer numbers, municipal fire departments—better equipped and trained for structure fires—are handling a larger portion of wildfire duties. But until now there was little understanding or information about how well trained and capable these departments are to handle the job.

“Local Focus,” a feature story in the new November/December issue of NPFA Journal, explores this topic through the lens of a first-of-its-kind new NFPA study. Over the course of several months, NFPA researchers interviewed 46 high-ranking fire officials from urban and rural departments on a variety of topics related to wildfire operations. The report relies heavily on the observations of participants, and interviewees were granted anonymity to encourage candor.

The NFPA Journal article by Jesse Roman highlights some of the most revealing themes and quotes from the extensive study. Mitigation, communication issues, education, and other logistical issues all factor heavily in a local department’s ability to tackle the nation’s wildfire problem, according to those interviewed. Read about these insights and what various local fire service leaders had to say about these challenges, in "Local Focus" in the new NFPA Journal.

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Technical committees for NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, are considering proposed changes to the 2018 edition of the code that would address the risk of falls in baths and showers.

That’s the topic of “Grab Hold,” the In Compliance/NFPA 101 piece in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal.

Authored by Ron Coté, principal life safety engineer at NFPA, the article looks at grab bar changes being made to “address a significant public health problem, one raised in the substantiation for the Public Inputs proposing these new provisions.”

Coté writes that the substantiation documented some eye-opening findings:

» The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimates that for the product code of bathtubs or showers, there were more than 262,000 visits to U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2010;

» On a risk-per-use basis, each step into and out of a bathing facility without grab bars is more dangerous than taking a step up or down on a stair;

» Bathtub or shower users encounter wet surfaces that are generally hard and smooth, adversely affecting slip resistance; stepping over tub walls creates additional ambulation challenges; and that no countermeasures are commonly installed to mitigate the fall danger.

The latest issue of NFPA Journal is available in print and online now.

Fire breakThe November 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:

  • Details about a free virtual workshop that will focus on how residents and local agencies can build trust as they work together on wildfire preparedness activities
  • A new NFPA video that features Dr. Jack Cohen and provides recent research and shows how homes can survive a wildfire
  • An introduction to Gwen Hensley, a visual information specialist from the U.S. Forest Service who was recently awarded the 2015 Golden Smokey Bear Award
  • Information about proposed legislation to address drone use during wildfires

...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.

Fallout continues in the wake of the deadly nightclub fire in Romania on October 30th. With 54 dead as of November 12 and 66 still hospitalized, including a dozen in critical condition, this tragedy seems all too familiar, bringing back memories of similar events, especially 2003’s Station fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island and the KISS fire in Brazil in 2013.

Yahoo News reports the blaze began with errant fireworks in Bucharest’s Collectiv nightclub during a performance of the band Goodbye to Gravity, sending a crowd of around 400 rushing for the exits of the venue. Apparently, there were a lot of safety protocol violations in the club. Four of the five members of the band have died, according to the Associated Press, and three venue owners were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

The tragedy has triggered widespread protest of the Romanian government, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

In addition to the dangerous use of fireworks, The Guardian reports that other factors in this event included lack of emergency exits and use of illegal flammable insulation, making this terrible incident very preventable.

Six of the 10 deadliest nightclub fires in world history have occurred in the last 20 years:

  1. 11/28/1942 – Cocoanut Grove nightclub – Boston, MA – 492 deaths
  2. 12/25/2000 – Disco/dance hall – Luoyang, China – 309 deaths
  3. 1/27/2013 – KISS nightclub – Santa Maria, Brazil – 242 deaths
  4. 4/23/1940 – Rhythm Club dance hall – Natchez, MS – 207 deaths
  5. 12/30/2004 – Cromagnon Republic club – Buenos Aires, Argentina – 194 deaths
  6. 5/28/1977 – Beverly Hills Supper Club – Southgate, KY – 165 deaths
  7. 5/18/1996 – Ozone Disco Club – Quezon City, Philippines – 160 deaths
  8. 12/5/2009 – Lame Horse Nightclub – Perm, Russia – 154 deaths
  9. 11/20/1971 – Club Cinq – St. Laurent du Pont, France – 143 deaths
  10. 2/20/2003 – The Station nightclub – W/ Warwick, RI – 100 deaths

For more information on fire safety tips and history of nightclubs and other assembly occupancies, please visit the NFPA website.

Responder blog
As the fire service is asked to respond to a larger variety of incidents, and the world changes and new threats arise, there has been a blurring of the once sharp line between fire service and law enforcement, writes Ken Willette, the division manager for public fire at NFPA. Willette’s new column, “The Thin Purple Line,” in the new November/December issue of NFPA Journal discusses why this is happening and how NFPA is responding with new and updated codes and standards to reflect this new reality.

“NFPA is ready and able to draw on its areas of proven expertise to assist law enforcement,” he wrote. “Where responders go, NFPA goes, strengthening that thin purple line.

Read Willette’s column in the new issue of NFPA Journal, and online at

We have a new training event on November 19th at 11 AM for Fire Investigators regarding Alternative Fueled Vehicles (AFVs). I was trying to wrap my head around why this event was so important so I contacted someone who is currently in the field. One of my oldest friends is a firefighter with a town North of Boston who has many years of experience. I wanted him to give me an example of a situation where a Fire Investigator would need more knowledge about AFVs. Here’s what he said “Let’s say there’s been an accident at a major intersection in Downtown Boston and an AFV has caught on fire. When the fire is extinguished by the BFD, the vehicle is towed to a storage yard in Quincy, MA about 8 miles away. Your boss sends you to conduct an investigation. Do you have all the knowledge you need to conduct a safe investigation?  AFV Image

I also sought out our resident expert at NFPA. One of the great things about working at NFPA is that you have a building filled with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) that “ooze” knowledge and more importantly, they want to share that knowledge. Recently, I sat down with one of our SMEs, Michael Wixted, who is an Emergency Services Specialist and the staff liaison to NFPA 921 as well as NFPA 1033 to discuss the event.

Increasing Fire Investigator Awareness on Potential Alternative Fueled Vehicle (AFV) Safety Hazards is an online training event that covers many different types of vehicles including plug-in electric, hybrid, bio-diesel and gaseous fuels. You'll learn about the hazards associated which each type of incident and what practices are currently being employed to help negate those threats during an investigation. 

Q: Who should attend this event?

A: Public and Private Fire Investigators

Q: Why would someone want to take this training?

A: To get a better understanding of how to safely and properly investigate fires involving these vehicles

Q: What are the top 3 takeaways attendees will receive from the training?


  1. Increased understanding of alternative fueled vehicles (AFV) including what they are and how they operate
  2. Demonstrate how the investigation of fires involving these vehicles relates to the current NFPA standards 921 and 1033
  3. Increase awareness of potential personal AFV hazards that fire investigators face

Q: Who are the other speakers for this event and what experience/knowledge will they bring to the discussion?


  • Michael Wixted, Emergency Services Specialist, NFPA (NFPA 921/1033 Staff Liaison)
  • Edward Conlin, Emergency Services Specialist, NFPA (Experienced fire investigator)
  • Jason Emery NFPA Alternative Fuel Vehicle Subject Matter Expert (fire service professional)

Click here to find out more about this event and to register.

We welcome Nathaniel LNathaniellinin, who recently joined NFPA as director of data strategy and analytics, and will lead NFPA’s new strategic initiative on big data acquisition, analytics and application. This is a newly created role for us, and in it, Lin will identify, assess and develop resources that enhance the association’s ability to deliver an expanded range of information, knowledge and advice to multiple audiences. We’re thrilled to have Nathaniel on board to guide us toward a whole new strategy for data acquisition, analytics and application to the fire problem. 

Nathaniel brings an extensive background in business and marketing analytics with strategic roles in both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. These include key analytics roles at Fidelity Investments, OgilvyOne, Aspen Marketing and IBM Worldwide. During his tenure with IBM Asia Pacific, he also built and led a marketing analytics group that won a DMA/NCDM Gold Award in B2B Marketing.

Lin served as adjunct professor of business analytics at Boston College, Bentley University and Georgia Tech College of Management. He is also the founder of two LinkedIn groups related to big data analytics and is the 2014 author of Applied Business Analytics – Integrating Business Process, Big Data, and Advanced Analytics. Lin has an MBA in Management of Technology, is a Sloan Fellow from MIT Sloan School of Management, and earned both a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and an honors B.S. from Birmingham University in England. 

Welcome to Nathaniel!

The NFPA Standards Council will be meeting on December 8-9, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. At this meeting, some of the topics the Council will address include:

  • an appeal on a proposed TIA to NFPA 85
  • the issuance of proposed TIAs on NFPA 30B, NFPA 55, NFPA 59A, NFPA 80, NFPA 85, NFPA 105, and NFPA 5000
  • consideration of requests from Committees to change revision cycle schedules, committee scopes, and committee titles
  • approval of Fall 2017 and Annual 2018 revision cycle schedules
  • action on pending applications for committee memberships

Read the full Council agenda for further information.

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.


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Maryland's fire service and other advocates stand ready to defend the state's sprinkler requirement following the filing of a bill this month to eliminate this feature in new, one- and two-family homes. Maryland is one of two states (California is the other) with a statewide, sprinkler requirement.


Sponsoring the bill is Maryland Delegate Chris Adams, who told a local newspaper that this legislation &quot;brings a responsible return of critical decision-making to the local level, where these decisions are&#0160;best made.&quot; Adams also fears sprinklers will halt economic growth, a myth that has been addressed by various reports by NFPA. For example, the report&#0160;"Comparative Analysis of Housing Costs and Supply Impacts of Sprinkler Ordinances at the Community Level," examined certain counties in the Maryland and Virginia area. It concluded that the enactment of sprinkler ordinances did not cause any detrimental effects on housing supply and costs. Furthermore, the data revealed that fire sprinkler requirements were a minor influence on regional housing costs compared to fees, population and job growth, and land availability.


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


!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!CBS radio report on the home fire sprinkler debate receives high honors from the Associated Press

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Fire deaths on the decline in a state requiring home fire sprinklers

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Maryland County enacts Building Safety Month, promotes building codes and home fire sprinklers

Susan Bershad is a Senior Chemical Engineer in the Industrial and Chemical Engineering division at NFPA® and is also the staff liaison for the Combustible Dust project. Susan has been working diligently on NFPA 652 which has the following scope: “This standard shall provide the basic principles of and requirements for identifying and managing the fire and explosion hazards of combustible dusts and particulate solids.”

I had a few minutes to talk to Susan about the challenges and importance of the document and about a training event she is hosting on December 3 about NFPA 652.

Q: What was your biggest technical challenge with updating the NFPA 652?

A: The biggest challenge for the committee with NFPA 652 was identifying those requirements that are fundamental to all facilities and processes where combustible dust hazards are possible.  

Q: How is NFPA 652 different from NFPA 654?

A: NFPA 652 provides the fundamental requirements for all industries with combustible dust hazards.  While NFPA 654 is more general than the other commodity-specific standards, its focus is directed towards the chemical processing industry.  NFPA 652 now provides a baseline for all other industries, while, as a commodity-specific standard, NFPA 654 contains additional requirements that go beyond those in NFPA 652.  

Q: Why is training needed for combustible dust hazards?

A: This training is needed to develop an understanding of the hazards of combustible dust.  A leading cause of incidents involving combustible dust is a lack of awareness of the hazards.  The new 652 standard contains the fundamental requirements for identifying and managing the hazards of combustible dust.  It works with the existing commodity and industry specific standards to provide a comprehensive framework for managing hazards associated with combustible dust.

Q: Who should attend this training?

A: Anyone who owns or operates a facility where combustible dust is or could be present should attend this training.  This includes facilities managers, EHS managers and operations personnel at these facilities.  In addition, anyone who insurers a facility where combustible dust is or could be present should attend as well as authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ's) responsible for these facilities.  Designers and consulting engineers, as well as installer/maintainers and manufacturers of explosion protection and suppression equipment should also attend.

Q: What are the top 3 takeaways registered attendees will take from this training?


  1. What is a combustible dust and how do I know that I have a combustible dust hazard
  2. What is 652 and how does it interact with the other commodity and industry-specific combustible dust standards.  
  3. What is a Dust Hazards Analysis and when and how do I complete for my facility.

Susan will be hosting a live, online training event on December 3, 2015 from 11 am to 1 pm EDT on the subject of “Combustible Dust Hazards – NFPA 652” Click here for more information or to register.

Combustible Dust Hazard – NFPA 652 Live Online Training

NFPA defines a large-loss fire as one that results in at least $10 million in damage. In 2014, there were 25 large-loss fires, which did almost $654.3 million in direct property losses, writes Steve Badger, fire data assistant in NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division, in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal. This represented a 19 percent increase from in the number of large-loss fires from the year before, but a decrease of $190.5 million, or 22.6 percent, in associated property losses.

While these fires accounted for just 0.002 percent of the estimated number of fires in 2014, they accounted for 5.6 percent of the total estimated dollar loss, as well as 5 civilian deaths, 15 civilian injuries, and 10 firefighter injuries. Twenty-one of the fires involved structures and resulted in a total property loss of $579.4 million, while the other four fires—three vehicle fires and one wildfire—resulted in combined losses of $74.9 million.

For the first time in several years, the largest of the large-loss fires was not a wildland fire but a pier fire in California, which resulted in more than $100 million in damage. The heavy timber pier, which contained a steel warehouse that had neither automatic detection nor suppression equipment, was 150 feet (46 meters) long and covered 20,000 square feet (1,858 square meters). During the fire, two cargo ships were moved to a safer location, port workers were evacuated, and several shipping terminals were closed. Investigators later determined that the fire was started by a welding operation.

For more in-depth information on last year's large-loss fires, read Badger's article "Large-Loss Fires in the United States in 2014" in the new issue of NFPA Journal. Or visit NFPA's web site for the full report.

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





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On November 13, 1997, at approximately 6:00 a.m., a fire occurred in an occupied, four-story apartment complex in Bremerton, Washington. Four residents died in this fire, and twelve were injured.

The complex was comprised of 142 units, of which approximately 130 units were occupied at the time of the fire. The main portion of the complex was a U-shaped building. The ground floor, which contained storage areas, laundries, parking areas, and utility rooms, was made of noncombustible construction. The upper three floors contained the apartment units and were constructed of wood studs covered with fire-rated gypsum wallboard on each side. However, the exterior face of the walls was covered with 5/8-in. thick plywood that was not fire-rated. A two-story building occupied the open portion of the U and was built in a similar style as the main portion of the complex.

    • Lack of automatic fire sprinklers

    • Combustible exterior wall construction

    • The door to the apartment of fire origin being left open after the fire was discovered

    • Inadequately protected means of egress

    • Lack of proper fire separations in the combustible void space

    • Lack of a complex wide fire alarm system incorporating automatic detection


To read the NFPA full Investigation&#0160;Download this Bremerton, WA report&#0160;</p> </div> </div>

When most of us think about Thanksgiving, images of turkey, stuffing and time spent with loved ones typically come to mind, not fire hazards. However, an increased risk of fire is, in fact, a reality of Thanksgiving. Three times as many home cooking fires occurring on Thanksgiving as on a typical day.


NFPA’s latest cooking estimates show that there were 1,550 cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2013, reflecting a 230 percent increase over the daily average. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of these fires. 

Here are NFPA’s top five tips for cooking safely this Thanksgiving:

  • Remain in the kitchen while you’re cooking, and keep a close eye on what you fry! Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Regularly check on food that’s simmering, baking or roasting, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the cooking area. 
  • If you have a small (grease) cooking fire on the stovetop and decide to fight the fire: Smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If you’re cooking a turkey using a disposable aluminum pan, consider doubling up and using two pans to avoid a puncture, as dripping turkey juices can cause an oven fire.
  • Be alert when cooking. If you're sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

Check out our Thanksgiving fire safety tips and recommendations for safe cooking all year long.

These days, says Kathleen Almand, vice-president of Research at NFPA, it seems that everyone is talking about smart firefighting, particularly the use of data to improve fire inspection and enforcement decision-making. In the November/December issue of NFPA Journal, Almand discusses several projects the Fire Protection Research Foundation is undertaking to further the discussion and inform NFPA’s initiatives and standards.

On November 19, for example, the Foundation will bring together fire prevention personnel from 15 jurisdictions to discuss how they use data, such as inspection records, real estate data, population risk factors, and fire department calls, to make enforcement and inspection programs more efficient and effective. Another program, undertaken at the request of the fire alarm industry, aims to develop data that will help enforcers better understand the unwanted alarm issue. And a third project is designed to compile and analyze fire pump testing records to help facility owners develop more efficient inspection programs.

For more detailed information on these projects, read Almand’s column “The Progress of Smart” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.

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

Bang Blog

Inside a garment factory owned by the Hameem Group in Dhaka, Bangladesh, one of the facilities visited by an NFPA group in August. A 2010 fire in the factory killed at least 28 workers. 


A series of tragic fires, building collapses, and other calamities in Bangladesh’s enormous garment industry prompted action in 2013 when a coalition of 26 American and Canadian retailers formed the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The aim is to improve safety for Bangladesh’s millions of garment factory workers. In August, about halfway through the five-year effort, a team from NFPA visited more than a dozen factories in Bangladesh, as well as governmental agencies, fire departments, workers and others, to assess how the safety improvement effort is going and how that progress can be sustained. The effort is featured in the article “Progress Report,” in the “In a Flash” section of the new November/December issue of NFPA Journal.

In addition to reading about the efforts underway in Bangladesh, you can hear an in-depth discussion on the Bangladesh initiative in a new edition of NFPA Journal Podcast. Host Jesse Roman chats with Kathleen Almand, NFPA’s vice president of Research and a member of the NFPA team that visited the country in August, as well asAlliance board member Randy Tucker, about some of the common life safety challenges they have seen in Bangladeshi garment factories, what the willingness is for change, and how the Alliance is going about transforming an industry where more than 700 people have died in fires and other accidents since 2005. Subscribe to NFPA Journal Podcast and download it on iTunes, or listen to it on your computer.

Podcast logo

In addition to “Progress Report,” the “In a Flash” section of the new NFPA Journal includes articles on the devastating effect the 2015 California wildfire season has had on pets; a look at the Smart Homes Summit meeting between fire professionals and the tech industry in Palo Alto in October; a year in review of sprinkler legislation; a reminder about Christmas tree safety; briefs about drones and other topics; and a whole lot more.

Read these stories and many more in the new November/December issue of NFPA Journal, and read online at

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


New research shows how sleeping with your bedroom door closed can help buy lifesaving seconds in a fire, that can be used to find a way out or to protect yourself until firefighters can reach you.

Research is showing how doors can keep smoke out of a room longer as well as change the flow of heat and toxic gases, acting as a shield for someone trapped and unable to get out of a fire. Steve Kerber, director of the Underwriters Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute, and a new committee member here at NFPA, has conducted hundreds of fire studies at UL working with fire departments across the country. He said along with smoke alarms, a closed door is the best possible thing.

In one UL test (shown in the above video), Kerber’s team lights a fire in a living room. The house is an open floor plan, like many homes in North Texas, with a great room that opens up to the second floor. Upstairs there are two bedrooms, one with the door open, the other is closed. Just a minute and a half after the fire starts downstairs, smoke is already entering the upstairs bedroom with the open door. After just three minutes, the room with the open door is full of thick, black smoke. But the room with the door closed, the air stays clear longer. Five minutes into the fire, there’s still some visibility in the room with the closed door. In the rest of the house smoke has choked out the light.

In 2012, UL conducted a series of tests On Governors Island, New York along with the New York City Fire Department. Researchers set 20 abandoned town houses on fire, to see how fires spread through modern homes. Among their findings, closed doors not only blocked smoke, they also kept out dangerous heat.

Firefighters and those of us at NFPA say you should have a working smoke alarm inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and have an escape plan that you practice with your family, as well. Read the full story and watch the videos of each of the tests for more information


On the morning of November 12, 1992, an accidental fire destroyed most of the Dole Fresh Vegetables plant in Yuma, Arizona, and resulted in a loss estimated at $16 million.  The building was a noncombustible structure with light-gauge metal exterior walls and roof components.  Polyurethane foam insulation was sprayed over the interior surfaces of the exterior walls and roof.  In addition, wood-frame walls were constructed throughout the building in front of the foam insulation to permit washing of interior surfaces.  Automatic sprinklers were installed and provided protection in the occupiable spaces throughout the facility.

On the day of the fire, the construction of an addition to the facility was near completion.  It appears that welders, who were installing process equipment, may have accidentally ignited combustible materials including the sprayed-on foam insulation inside a wall assembly.  The fire spread in a combustible concealed space between the wood-framed interior walls and the metal exterior walls.  Sprinklers had not been installed in the combustible concealed space.  As a result, the sprinkler systems that operated were not able to control the fire spreading within the walls. 

Early in the incident, the fire appears to have also spread into the occupiable areas of the addition still under construction.  The sprinkler systems in this area were not operational.  As a result, the fire rapidly grew in the addition, and fire spreading from this area into the salad plant helped to overwhelm the operational sprinkler systems in the salad plant. 

Based on the NFPA's investigation and analysis, the following significant factors contributed to the loss of property at the Dole Fresh Vegetables plant:

  •  The presence of concealed combustible spaces in which the fire could readily spread.
  •  The ignition of combustible materials within a concealed space.
  •  The lack of sprinkler protection in the concealed combustible spaces.
  •  Sprinkler systems that were not operational due to ongoing construction activities.

To see the full report Download this Yuma, AZ report  For more information on NFPA Large-Loss Fires in the United States.

Wildfire blog photo

No matter how you look at it, 2015 was a significant year for wildfire in the United States. “The Year in Wildfire,” the cover story in the new November/December issue of NFPA Journal, explores some of the biggest takeaways of this year's season, which will go down in the history books. The article includes charts, graphs and big photos to help you put the historic 2015 wildfire season in perspective.

The numbers are staggering. With still more than a month to go in the year, 2015 could wind up being the largest wildfire season on record in terms of acres burned at more than 9.4 million. In terms of dollars and cents, 2015 already ranks as the costliest wildfire season ever, with about $1.7 billion spent on suppression efforts. It was also among the most destructive, with the Valley and Butte fires in California ranking among the largest property loss wildfires in U.S. history.

“The Year in Wildfire” cover story, by staff writer Jesse Roman, takes an in-depth look behind some of those incredible numbers, as well as many other key issues from 2015 including: Alaska’s near record-breaking wildfire season; the plight of ranchers in the Pacific Northwest; the historic fire season in Washington state; as well as the financial struggles of the U.S. Forest Service, which for the first time ever in 2015 spent the majority of its budget this year on wildfire related issues.

Read “The Year in Wildfire” in the new November/December issue of NFPA Journal, and online at


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

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

Read the latest NFPA News, our free monthly codes and standards newsletter
  • Comments sought on proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) to NFPA 52 and NFPA 409
  • Errata issued on NFPA 13 and NFPA 2001
  • Potential new project on hanging and bracing of water-based fire protection systems
  • Standards Council service awards
  • 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.

Cover1_Nov-Dec-2015-nfpaA special two-part feature package on wildfire headlines the November/December issue of NFPA Journal: a big-picture look at the 2015 wildfire season, and a report on a groundbreaking study on the role of local fire departments in combating wildfire. The new issue of NFPA Journal is available online now.

The issue also includes summaries of the 2014 Large-Loss Fire report and the 2014 Firefighter Injuries report, as well as a feature story on the theme of sprinklers and alarms.

Our cover story, "Scorched Earth," details six big takeaways from the ongoing 2015 wildfire season, from the number of acres burned nationwide (which is closing in on a record) to the budget challenges faced by the U.S. Forest Service as a result of its wildfire-related work—this year, for the first time, more than half of the Forest Service's budget was devoted in some way to addressing wildfire, with suppression being a major component. 

Our second wildfire feature, "Local Focus," reports on a groundbreaking study recently completed by NFPA that details the challenges faced by local fire departments in fighting wildfire. The study is based on interviews with fire chiefs across the country, and their first-hand accounts—unvarnished, honest, and always valuable—describe what's working, what's not, the resources they have, and the resources they need to get the job done. It's a fascinating and timely look at the nation's fire service as it takes on an ever-larger role addressing the threat of wildfire.

Other wildfire coverage in the issue includes an "In A Flash" piece on animals killed or injured in the recent California wildfires, and a "Perspectives" interview with Jack Cohen, a noted wildfire researcher, on new work that may help us understand how—and ultimately where—wildfire spreads. In his "Wildfire Watch" column, contributor Lucian Deaton explores the importance of social behavior research in wildfire science.

Our focus theme for the issue is sprinklers and alarms, and our feature entry, "Southern Comfort," is the story of how sprinklers were included in a large single-family residential development in South Carolina. The tale comes to us directly from the project's developer, Russ Davis, a featured speaker at an NFPA sprinkler summit held in May. 

Finally, if you don’t have your Journal app yet, go get it—versions for both Apple iOS and Android devices can be accessed by visiting our Journal apps page. They’re easy to use, look great on all of your mobile devices, and they’re free.


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Media outlets in Maryland continue to produce slanted stories on the impact of the state's sprinkler requirement, which fail to give the public the full story on these life-saving devices.


Case in point: An article recently appeared on a local news site with a headline&#0160;stating the requirement will &quot;dampen building.&quot; Only a sentence was devoted to sprinkler advocates, including NFPA, who support the statewide sprinkler requirement. The rest of the story focused on builders balking at the requirement, stating that it will &quot;unnecessarily add to the housing market&#39;s&#0160;woes.&quot;


The state fire marshal disagrees. In an op-ed Brian Geraci penned earlier this year, he places the average cost to sprinkler a new home in Maryland at $1 to $2 per sprinklered&#0160;square foot.&#0160;


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


!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!New NFPA Journal highlights the work of four passionate home-sprinkler advocates

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Court's reversal of state sprinkler requirement underscored in latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards Council is in receipt of a New Project Initiation Request for the development of an ANSI Accredited Standard on hanging and bracing of water-based fire protection systems. The following topics of requirements are proposed for inclusion in a new hanging and bracing standard for: 

  1. Automatic sprinkler systems;
  2. Watermist systems;
  3. Standpipe systems;
  4. Foam-water sprinkler systems;
  5. Fixed-spray systems;
  6. Fire pumps;
  7. Private fire service mains; and
  8. Water storage tanks.

The proposed project seeks to address hanging and bracing requirements for a myriad of water-based systems, not merely sprinkler systems. 

Currently, Chapter 9 of NFPA 13 addresses hanging and bracing of automatic sprinkler systems. Although many other water-based system design standards refer to this chapter, these requirements were not written, nor intended, for application to alternative systems. To resolve any gap in hanging and bracing requirements, hanging and bracing requirements are sought to be developed which are system specific. 

Should the Standards Council ultimately approve the New Project Initiation Request, the initiator of the project recommends that a new Technical Committee be established given that currently established Technical Committees lack the expertise for development of a hanging and bracing specific standard. 

NFPA is currently soliciting comments from interested organizations and individuals to gauge whether support exists for the development of a standard addressing hanging and bracing requirements for water-based fire protection systems. NFPA specifically seeks input-- from any and all interested-- regarding the following:

  1. Are you, or your organization, in favor of NFPA developing an ANSI Accredited Standard on hanging and bracing?
  2. Your reason(s) for supporting or opposing such a project?  (Please provide in detail)
  3. Are you or your organization interested in participation on the Technical Committee should the Standards Council initiate a new project on hanging and bracing?

Please submit comments in support or opposition to hanging and bracing requirements for fire protection systems standards by the February 1, 2016 deadline.

Craig Morgan, Kidde
Country Music star and former first responder Craig Morgan joined representatives from NFPAKidde Fire Safety, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), fire safety advocate and multi-faceted entertainer Kix Brooks and national and state fire leaders to issue a call for support of U.S. volunteer fire departments. The U.S. has more than 30,000 fire departments, and 85 percent of them are staffed solely or mainly by volunteer firefighters. These men and women protect more than 60 percent of Americans, particularly in rural communities, however, volunteers have steadily declined. 

The initiative recognizes current volunteers and encourages civilians to learn how they can assist their local department. The campaign will also help increase fire safety, as Kidde will donate 1,000 Worry-Free smoke alarms to select fire departments along Morgan's 2016 tour. Our research reports show that three out of five fatal home fires occur in homes with either no smoke alarm or no working alarm; dead or missing batteries is the main reason for alarm failure in a fire. Kidde Worry-Free alarms contain a sealed-in lithium battery that provides nonstop power for 10 years, eliminating battery replacement. 

"Living in Dickson County, Tennessee, I see every day how committed these men and women are to their communities. As a former first responder, I want to continue to do what I can to help keep families safe. That means making sure our volunteer fire departments have the support they need," said Morgan. 

The NFPA and IAFC will host open houses at select volunteer fire departments along Morgan's tour, and Firehouse will host an online program that enables the public to vote for nominated volunteers. The winning volunteers' departments will receive training materials, funding and Kidde smoke alarms for community installation programs. The program will launch in 2016.

To learn more, visit






!|src=|alt=November51978|style=width: 450px;|title=November51978! Twelve hotel guests died November 5, 1978, when a fire attributed to arson raced through the 120-year-old Allen Motor Inn in which a large-loss-of-life fire could have been predicted.&#0160; The three-story hotel, labeled a &quot;fire trap&quot; by a county official, had open wooden stairs, no fire protection features except for portable fire extinguishers, and no fire alarm system.&#0160; Despite recent attempts by officials to enforce safety codes, the hotel owner had been granted three separate time extensions to make repairs, and the hotel had continued in use with major fire safety violations until the November 5 fire took the lives of more than half of its occupants.&#0160;


To see the full report&#0160;Download this March 1979 Fire Journal article. &#0160;To read NFPA&#39;s statistical information on arson fires &#0160;Download Intentional Fires report</p>



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Timo Juurakko gives a Remembering When presentation in Maple Ridge, British Columbia

Last week, a fire in a Birmingham, Ala. retirement community displaced 80 people from their high-rise apartments. Firefighters carried out residents by hand, and later discovered the body of a man on one of the building’s upper floors, who Birmingham Police say appeared to have died of natural causes.


In light of this recent event, we’d like to make you aware of +Remembering When++, +a Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help older adults live safely at home for as long as possible. Please also take a moment to learn the following high-rise safety tips.

For the best protection, select a fully-sprinklered building. If your building is not sprinklered, ask the landlord or management to consider installing a sprinkler system. !|src=|alt=Fire 5 Smoke alarms save lives|style=width: 250px; margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Fire 5 Smoke alarms save lives|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1713b32970c img-responsive!

    1. Meet with your landlord/building manager to learn about the fire safety features of your building (fire alarms, sprinklers, voice communication procedures, evacuation plans, and how to respond to an alarm). Insist all fire safety systems be kept in working order.

    2. Know the locations of all exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest is blocked by fire or smoke.

    3. Learn the location of your building’s fire alarms and how to use them.

    4. Make sure your apartment has smoke alarms. Push the test buttons on your alarms to make sure each alarm is working. If you can’t safely reach smoke alarms, ask for help. Be able to recognize the sound of your alarm.

    5. Make sure all exit and stairwell doors are clearly marked, aren’t locked or blocked by security bars, and are clear of clutter.

    6. If you use a wheelchair or walker or can’t make it down the stairs in case of an emergency, talk with your landlord or building manager about purchasing an evacuation chair.

    7. If there’s a fire, close all doors behind you and be sure to take your key. Pull the fire alarm on your way out of the building to notify the fire department and your neighbors.

    8. Leave the building by the fastest route but do not use elevators. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.

If you can’t get out of your apartment, STUFF wet towels or sheets around the door and vents to keep smoke out. CALL the fire department and tell them where you are. OPEN a window slightly and wave a bright cloth to signal your location. Be prepared to close the window if it makes the smoke condition worse. Fire department evacuation of a high-rise building can take a long time.

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Ted Beckman gives safety information to older adults in Fort Collins, Colo.


NFPA teaches people of all ages how to make responsible choices regarding health and safety. One of our most important commitments is to give people the knowledge and skills they need to lead safer lives. We invite you to download, print and share free tip sheets on a variety of fire and life safety topics including fire causes, escape planning, fire and safety equipment, household equipment, seasonal concerns, occupancies, populations, unintentional injuries, outdoors and vehicles.</p>

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