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6a01bb0859dfa7970d01b7c800d91b970b-400wi.pngA massive high-rise fire broke out today at The Address Hotel in Dubai, a five-star property near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper. Right before midnight, as tens of thousands of spectators awaited New Year's Eve fireworks on the streets surrounding the hotel, large explosions erupted inside the burning building.


Fire engulfed at least twenty stories of the 63-story luxury hotel. Plastic was reportedly melting off the exterior of the hotel and raining down from the building as first responders rushed to the scene. Dubai's Media Office wrote on its official Twitter account that the fire appears to have originated on a 20th floor terrace, and that the cause of the blasts is unknown.

National Fire Protection Association(NFPA) provides safety information for high-rise buildings. Download this Fire Protection Research Foundation report for more details on Fire Hazards of Exterior Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components.

The 2016 edition of NFPA 11 Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam is now available. Here are 8 important changes that are worth noting.

#1) Manufacturers are now required to publish acceptable ranges of density (or specific gravity), pH, refractive index, and viscosity for the foam concentrates that they produce. These values are intended to be used by laboratories to establish pass/fail criteria for annual quality testing. Because this information has not been consistently available in the past, laboratories have been required to make assumptions about the appropriate tolerances. To further support the measurement of foam quality, new definitions for “film formation” and “spreading coefficient” were also added.

#2) The suction inlet in an atmospheric concentrate storage tank must be located a minimum of 25.4 mm (1 in.) above the bottom of the tank. This creates a settling basin to reduce the risk of sediment entering the system. The volume of foam concentrate located below the inlet is not considered to be usable and cannot be counted as part of the minimum foam supply.

#3) The system piping section has been reorganized to clearly indicate separate requirements for foam concentrate and foam solution. The options for foam solution piping materials have been expanded to permit non-galvanized pipe, while ensuring compatibility of the pipe material with the foam solution.

#4) The allowance to provide seal-only protection for outdoor covered (internal) floating roof tanks has been extended to certain composite floating roofs that have been deemed to provide similar performance to metallic roofs. The specific roof features are considered adequate to resist burn through and/or submergence of the roof, in the event of a fire.

#5) Chapter 8 has been expanded to identify key components of system plans, including new details for hydraulic calculations and water supply graph sheets. The list of information to be included, as appropriate, has increased from 13 items to 33.

#6) Valves and hose connections must be installed to facilitate testing of proportioning equipment. Although certain acceptance and maintenance tests are required by Chapters 11 and 12, the standard did not previously include an installation requirement to provide a means of conducting these tests.

#7) The requirements for acceptance testing now include a water supply test and an operational test of control valves. A sample Material and Test Certificate was also added to Annex A to provide a means of documenting the acceptance test results.

#8) Descriptions of new foam proportioning test methods that do not require the discharge of foam concentrate were added to Annex D. Chapter 12 already supported alternative test methods, but specific test descriptions or procedures were not provided.

For a complete revision history of NFPA 11 or to read the 2016 edition for free, please visit the NFPA 11 Document Information Page at

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07cdeb97970d-450wi.jpgOn December 31, 1986, a mid-afternoon fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel and Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico resulted in 97 fatalities and over 140 injuries.  The NFPA analysis of the data indicates there were four major factors contributing to the loss of life.  Those factors are:


   •     Lack of automatic sprinklers in the south ballroom (room of origin).


   •     Rapid fire growth and spread.


   •     Lack of automatic fire detection systems/ inadequate exits for the casino.


   •     Vertical opening between the ballroom and the casino levels.


Additional findings are:


   •    Smoke movement to the high-rise tower by way of vertical penetrations.


   •     Hotel tower occupants were not aware of a severe fire.



For the full NFPA Fire Investigation report.


NFPA's state sprinkler coalition map, underscoring 28 states with a coalition in place


In 2015, there were hellos (thank you, Adele) and goodbyes. NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiativeteam welcomed a handful of new state sprinkler coalitions--including newcomers South Dakotaand Delaware--that brought the national coalition total to 28. We read with interest commentary by Fire Chief Rick Ennis and burn survivor Rob Feeney, who added their unique perspectives to NFPA's blogs in 2015. We bid farewell to a state sprinkler requirement in Minnesota (a decision that is being appealed).

Taking a look back, here are the top 10 stories from NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog that wowed readers in 2015:

10. Lawsuit filed against builder for failure to follow home fire sprinkler requirements

9. What does research tell us about today's home fire victims?

8. The seven benefits of home fire sprinklers you need to know

7. Open spaces, lightweight construction, flammable furniture--oh my! The modern dangers of today's homes

6. Fire Chief: Homebuilders misinformed about home fire sprinklers

5. NFPA, fire service react to false claims made by Maryland media on home fire sprinklers

4. Burn survivor from The Station Nightclub Fire now NFPA's newest blogger and fire sprinkler champion

3. The disastrous consequences of lightweight construction and modern home furnishings under fire

2. Meet burn survivor Jeff Jordan, an important voice in the push for home fire sprinklers

1. Fire Chief: Why are we not giving the fire death of a two year old in a new home the attention it deserves?

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d189c3de970c-250wi.jpgWith the holiday now behind us, O Christmas tree, how saggy are your branches? The gifts have been removed from under the pine, the tree is swiftly losing its coat of green, and the needles are piling up on the floor, which means it’s time to remove the tree from your home.


Christmas trees are very flammable, dry out the longer they remain in the home, and can be consumed by fire in a matter of seconds.” All trees can burn, though dry ones can be engulfed by flames significantly more quickly.


NFPA statistics indicate that nearly 40 percent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although these fires are not common, they are much more likely to be serious when they do occur. On average, one of every 31 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death. Compare that to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires.


Christmas trees are decorations, and people may want to continue the festive spirit and leave up their ever-drying pines long after the last of the gifts have been opened. It’s good to remember, however, that the longer the tree remains in the home, the greater the fire risk becomes.

We hope that by educating people about the extreme fire hazards, people will be prompted to remove their trees in a timely manner, giving their families the gift of fire safety as the season winds down!


If available, NFPA recommends using the local community’s recycling program for tree disposal. Trees should not be put in the garage or left outside.


NFPA also offers tips on removing lighting and decorations from trees to ensure they are taken down safely this year and in the right condition for Christmas 2016:

  • Use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet, as this can harm the wire and insulation of the cord, increasing the risk for shock or electrical fire.
  • As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
  • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap them around a piece of cardboard.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children and pets where they will not be damaged by water or dampness.

For additional resources and information for a fire-safe winter season, visit “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires.”

Chris Farrell

Whatever it takes

Posted by Chris Farrell Employee Dec 23, 2015

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d187fbe1970c-450wi.pngFirefighters are known to do whatever it takes. We get called for all sorts of situations: cats in trees, resident assistance calls, etc. We also collect Christmas trees when the season is over, bring smoke alarms to folks in need, and act as good examples in a myriad of ways in the community. When there’s an accident, any one of a number of things can happen. Here’s one more thing to add to that number: firefighters reading to a scared little boy.

This image came from FireRescue1 and was originally posted to a Facebook account in the name of Steffani Blair. Thank You for sharing!

At its December 2015 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council considered the issuance of several proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs).  The following TIAs were issued by the Council on December 8, 2015:

  • NFPA 30B, TIA 15-2, referencing 3.3.2 Aerosol Container
  • NFPA 55, TIA 16-1, referencing 1.1.1
  • NFPA 59A, TIA 16-1, referencing various sections
  • NFPA 80, TIA 16-1, referencing 19.4.4, 19.4.6, and
  • NFPA 105, TIA 16-1, referencing 7.5.4, 7.5.5
  • NFPA 5000, TIA 15-7, referencing

Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) are amendments to an NFPA document processed in accordance with Section 5 of the Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards (Regulations Governing Committee Projects).They have not gone through the entire standards development process of being published in a First Draft Report and Second Draft Report for review and comment. TIAs are effective only between editions of the document. A TIA automatically becomes a public input for the next edition of the document, as such is then subject to all of the procedures of the standards development process.  TIAs are published in NFPA News, NFCSS, and any further distribution of the document after being issued by the Standards Council.


I'm wondering if the writers of these popular ditties were considering fire safety while crafting these lyrics:

It doesn't show signs of stopping, and I bought some corn for popping...

Popcorn, yum. But I'm hoping someone is watching over the corn while it's being popped to perfection. (Admit it: stove top popcorn is the tastiest.) According to NFPA, two of the peak days for home cooking fires are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

With care, and hopefully with safety in mind. Between 2009-2013, more than 850 home fires were started by holiday decorations. In nearly half of those fires, reports NFPA, decorations were way too close to a heat source.

Please have snow, and mistletoe, and presents on the tree...

Umm, don't forget water in that tree stand, too. Trees should be watered daily to prevent this sort of travesty:


One of the best ways to fight human error during the holidays is through fire sprinklers. Understanding how fire can easily disrupt any holiday host's well-thought-out party, a sprinkler advocate has come forward to promote this life-saving device. "The cost of fire during the holiday season is staggering," writes John Viniello in a letter to a local publication. "There is a solution, however. Quite simply, newly constructed homes must have an automatic fire sprinkler system. It's like having a 24-hour firefighter standing by you to protect you and your loved ones from fire."

While urging readers to learn more about these devices (NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative site is a good place to start), Viniello also noted that not installing sprinklers in new homes is like having a cure for a deadly disease and not using it. "It will be the best Christmas present ever given to your family," says Viniello, retired president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association.

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team wishes you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season! Here's to a safer New Year!

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code, is being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed TIA by the February 19, 2016 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.


Firefighters have a natural propensity to help others. You could say they have the ultimate giving spirit. They display bravery, heroism and selflessness each time the alarm sounds. They run into burning buildings when others look to escape - and they offer comfort when people need it most. Dealing with the emotional needs of victims is a big part of a firefighter's job. And it matters.

As we celebrate the season of giving, yet another uplifting story of firefighter kindness has gone viral. It reminds us of the inherent empathy that firefighters bring to their roles; and calls to mind the September story about a firefighter who calmed a young boy injured in a Mississippi car accident by lying on the ground next to him and watching the animated movie “Happy Feet” as they awaited the ambulance. The firefighter's compassion was a gift to the boy's mom as she tried to calm her other injured children and answer questions about the accident. This week, in Arizona, yet another family benefited from the gift of firefighter sensitivity when a young boy needed some TLC in the aftermath of a car crash. Check out The Today Show's coverage of how the firefighter engaged the child and put his fears to rest.

At its April 2015 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council approved a new Technical Committee on Building Fire & Life Safety Directors. This committee is charged with the development of national standards relating to facility emergency action plans and criteria for building fire and life safety directors. The committee’s scope is:


“This committee shall have primary responsibility for documents related to the duties, requirements, and competencies required of Building Fire and Life Safety Directors. This committee shall also have primary responsibility for the establishment of minimum requirements for emergency action plans addressing all-hazard emergencies within occupied structures having an occupant load of greater than 500."

+ This committee shall not have responsibility of such qualifications, roles, responsibilities, or emergency action plans within industrial occupancies.+


Its first project is to develop a standard that shall establish the duties, requirements, and competencies for building fire and life safety directors related to all-hazard emergencies in structures having occupant load of greater than 500.”

The committee held its first hybrid (web/conference call) meeting on December 10, 2015 and is beginning to collect materials and information with which to develop a strategy and an outline for its work plan in order to logically and systematically go about creating a draft document or documents to properly address the large scope of this project. Watch for further news in the coming months.

The Committee currently has twelve (12) principal members and two (2) alternates. This will be a very large and important project and we'd like to see a full committee of thirty (30) members and thirty (30) alternates. Applications for membership can be completed online at:

Building Fire &amp; Life Safety Directors (BLF-AAA): &#0160;Submit online application</li> </ul>

We are now accepting applications for the 2016 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal. This award recognizes outstanding advocacy efforts that further NFPA’s mission of helping to save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge and passion. The James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal honors an individual or group that shares the values of former NFPA President Jim Shannon. Candidates will be involved in advocacy efforts that advance NFPA’s mission, take into account cost-effectiveness, and involve collaboration with NFPA and other organizations.


Nominations are open to members of the fire service or any other person or group whose advocacy efforts meet the above criteria. The award recipient will be honored at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. in June 2016. NFPA will cover the recipient’s travel and lodging.

Former NFPA President, James Shannon, was honored with the inaugural award in his name at the 2014 NFPA Conference & Expo, after serving 12 years as the organization's president and spearheading the Coalition for Fire Safe Cigarettes as well as leading our home fire sprinkler initiative.


Nominee applications for the 2016 award are available for download on the NFPA website, and are due January 30, 2016, sent to

Shortly before 5:00 p.m. on December 20, 1965, a fire of suspicious origin started in the balcony of the auditorium in the second and third stories of the Jewish Community Center in Yonkers, New York.  The evidence suggests that someone, using a flammable liquid as an accelerant, set a fire at one end of the balcony, beside the stage.   Within a few minutes, the fire had spread to involve large plastic panels and other combustibles in the balcony.  Some occupants of the upper floors of the building took refuge in various rooms in the building or on outdoor balconies.  One of these rooms had its door open, and all 12 people in this room were killed.

6a0162ff1d4766970d01bb08a0b5c0970d-800wi.pngNFPA President Jim Pauley

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team came across a blog post written by a Massachusetts policy and communications adviser. In his post, titled "Outcry for Mandating Sprinklers Not Coming From the Public", he questions the importance of home fire sprinklers in all new homes while listing an array of inaccuracies and misstatements, including:

  • home sprinklers don't seem to offer significantly greater protection than smoke alarms, a statement countered by NFPA research
  • sprinkler requirements will negatively impact the housing market
  • firefighters will "be in the position to benefit financially" from sprinkler requirements, since home fire sprinklers require annual inspections from the fire service

Not taking these inaccuracies lightly, NFPA President Jim Pauley drafted a response to the blog post. "NFPA does not only back the installation of fire sprinklers in new homes for their ability to significantly reduce the risk of dying in home fires; sprinklers are also a requirement found in every model building code used in the U.S.," states Pauley in his letter. "Most Americans wouldn’t dare get into a new vehicle if it lacked seatbelts and airbags, since my guess is they would consider it a substandard vehicle lacking all of the modern features developed to keep them safe. Living in a new home without sprinklers is synonymous to entering a new car devoid of these features."

Visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog for more on this story.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08a0b1d8970d-250wi.jpgThe December 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:

  • Highlights from the 2015 wildfire season
  • An important wildfire mitigation message to all WUI residents from community members in Kittitas County, Washington
  • The 2014 (top) large loss fires report that includes a CA wildfire in the list
  • Research that explores social behavior in wildfire science


...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.

The holidays are upon us and NFPA wishes you and your family a very joyous and safe season! To celebrate this special time of year, NFPA's president, Jim Pauley, takes a moment to relax and read one of our favorite holiday stories - with a fun NFPA twist, of course! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did when he read it at our recent holiday breakfast get together!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Eight-year-old Isaija Hodge helped his 86-year-old great grandmother and four-year-old Chihuahua safely escape a home fire this week, thanks to working smoke alarms and fire safety lessons he learned at school.


In October, smoke alarms were installed in the home by the Covington, VA, Fire Department and Rescue Squad in coordination with the American Red Cross’ smoke alarm installation program. Around the same time, Isaija and his classmates were visited by Sparky the Fire Dog and the fire department, who taught fire safety lessons to students, including how to call 911 and get outside safely.


Isaija was clearly paying attention: When he heard a crash in the front of the house, he went to see what happened and saw flames and smoke coming from the porch. Then the smoke alarms began to sound. Isaija found his great-grandmother and dog, grabbed a cellphone on their way out and dialed 911.


“The prevention part is the key to any fire department,” said Kevin Pettitt, fire chief of the Covington Fire Department and Rescue Squad, who spearheaded the school visits and the smoke alarm installation program. “Education of kids is critical.”


Sadly, a series of deadly fires in Worcester, MA, this year, including one that occurred earlier this week, reinforces the consequences of not having basic fire safety measures like working smoke alarms in place.


Deputy Chief John Sullivan of the Worcester Fire Department noted that they’re doing all they can to remind residents about the extreme importance of working smoke alarms. “It is frustrating when we have these cases of no working smoke detectors or, in this case, none at all,” said Deputy Chief Sullivan. “We’re trying to do everything we know within budget constraints to get that message out.”


Photo courtesy of Amy Friedenberger/The Roanoke Times

6a014e88ccce39970d01b8d1856a78970c-320wi.pngThe following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 69, Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems, are being published for public review and comment:


Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the February 19, 2016 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d18514da970c-500wi.jpgAcross the globe, fire incidents associated with hoverboards are being reported at an alarming rate prompting internet giants Overstock and Amazon to stop selling some hover boards. One tragic incident in Louisiana earlier this month involved a hoverboard on top of a mattress that burst into flames. Fire quickly engulfed the entire house, and the home and its contents were determined to be a complete loss. Other reported fire episodes occurred when hoverboards were being used, stored or transported.


After numerous media inquiries, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issued fire safety tips urging hoverboard owners to read product guidelines and be aware of potential fire hazards when using these trendy devices.


If you have had a fire or injury event involving a hoverboard contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7fa8f39970b-250wi.jpgThe December issue of Safety Source, NFPA's public education enewsletter, is now available for viewing. In this issue, you will find;

  • NFPA’s annual holiday fire-safety campaign, “Project Holiday”
  • New Dan Doofus video, Yule Light Up My Life
  • Live burn video shows how quickly Christmas tree fires can turn deadly
  • Deck the Halls with Fire Safety video
  • The James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal


Don't miss an issue! Sign up now and be the first to get the latest information on happenings in the public education division, activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, Sparky the Fire Dog® and more.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced the recognition of its certification team as a Pro Board accredited entity. Candidates who pass the latest NFPA Pro Board accredited exams and complete the certification process for the Certified Fire Inspector I (CFI-I), Certified Fire Inspector II (CFI-II), or the Certified Fire Plan Examiner (CFPE) will now be automatically registered with the Pro Board and will receive an NFPA certificate bearing the Pro Board logo. For more information go to: .


Watch this video interview to learn what accreditation means to NFPA, why NFPA sought out accreditation, what it means and how you can apply for one of the certifications.


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.


“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.” &#0160;For more information go to: .








The State Fire Prevention Commission in Maryland has adopted the 2015 editions of NFPA 1, Fire Code™, and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. 

Both codes are used to protect people and property in new and existing buildings. The Life Safety Code, used in all 50 states, mandates building design construction, operation, and maintenance requirements to protect building occupants from the dangers caused by fire, smoke, and toxic fumes. NFPA 1 provides requirements necessary to establish a reasonable level of fire safety and property protection from hazards created by fire and explosion.

"Life safety is always our top priority," said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. "The latest editions of these widely used codes will continue to allow us the ability to provide the highest level of protection for the people accessing structures in Maryland. When such substantial codes are updated with the latest safety advancements, people deserve to have those protections in place."


In the early morning hours of December 13, 1977, a fire occurred at Aquinas Hall, a dormitory at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.  This fire resulted in the deaths of ten female students who were resident s of the fourth floor.  The primary fuel for the fire was highly combustible Christmas decorations that had been put up in the corridors.  Physical evidence indicates that the fire started near a fourth floor sleeping room.

Aquinas Hall was of mixed construction with a majority of the building being protected by non- combustible construction.  It's a four story building with the first floor being used for class rooms and a chapel, and the second, third, and fourth floors occupied as girl's dormitory space.  Interior finish was primarily non-combustible with exception of the concealed fiber board ceiling above the suspended non-combustible mineral tile.  Fire alarm system which consisted of manual pull stations and three combination rate-of-rise, fixed temperature heat detectors.  The heat detectors were located at the top of each stairway.

The most significant factors which led to the multiple life loss in this fire were the presence of highly combustible Christmas decorations, and the long dead end corridor near the room of fire origin.  Contributing factors were the absence of an early warning fire detection system, no automatic suppression system and poor compartmentation of the room of origin, as indicated by the fire spread even though the door was closed.

For the full NFPA Fire Journal article.  To learn about Home Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Fires and Home Structure Fires that Began with Decorations storage systems (ESS) – and more specifically questions around how to handle them safely in a fire situation - are getting lots of attention these days. An online article posted on Engineering & Electrical News, Inc. addressed this very issue, covering the proactive role fire departments like the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and the San Jose Fire Department are taking to better understand and manage them. On a related note, NFPA recently hosted a workshop in New York with FDNY to explore potential risks posed by ESS and best practices for moving forward.

For a wealth of information and resources on ESS, check out the National Renewable Energy Laboratory website.

Your cat lets you know he’s delighted you’ve finally bought some great toys!


Keep pets and children at least three feet away from burning candles and electrical cords to prevent burns and electrical fires.


That ever-growing pile of fallen pine needles on the living room floor is receiving more comments than the decorations for your Christmas tree.


A dry tree in your home is a fire danger. Think of it as a huge pile of kindling in your home. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.


You’ve spent more time trying to free yourself out of the tangled lights than actually decorating the tree.


Check the manufacturer’s instructions to find out how many lights can be connected to prevent electric shock and fire.


You know it’s bad to put flammable material near a fire, but you can’t help yourself. These stockings just look so darn cute and festive!


Keep anything that can burn away from a heat source, despite how awesome it looks. Flameless candles are also a great alternative to real ones when decorating.


Your house is a holiday tourist attraction and you couldn’t be prouder.


An overloaded electrical outlet is a major fire hazard. Plug strings of lights directly into the wall and keep the number to a minimum.


Some of the bulbs on your string of lights have already taken time off for the holidays.


Replace any string of lights that has worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. These can easily start a fire.


You’ve remembered to keep yourself well hydrated, but the same can’t be said for your Christmas tree.


Always keep water in the tree stand. Check daily and add water as needed. Dried-out trees are a major fire hazard.


You’re convinced those strings of Christmas lights make the perfect hat to complement your holiday outfit.


Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. And most certainly, not for your head.


You’ve been a bit lazy about taking down your Christmas tree so you got creative and came up with a new tradition: a Valentine’s Day tree!


Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.


Let’s face it, the holidays are never perfect, no matter how they’re portrayed in magazines and on television. But by following a few simple practices and precautions, you can create a perfectly fire-safe holiday for you and your loved ones!

And remember, have working smoke alarms in your home and create a home escape plan. Practice it with your family so everyone knows what to do if a fire does occur.

Happy Holidays from NFPA!

Rob Feeney
If there was ever a story underscoring the atrocities of fire, this is it. 

Rob Feeney was at The Station Nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, the night a fire claimed the lives of 100 people, making it the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. A staunch advocate for fire sprinklers in all buildings, including homes, Feeney is now the Fire Sprinkler Initiative's newest blogger. Here is his inaugural post, a powerful and gut-wrenching recap of what happened that night from his perspective. 

Signs were telling us to stay home the night of February 20, 2003. I was supposed to work but managed to switch for a day shift. It had recently snowed…a lot. It was cold and icy. Donna, my girlfriend, fell on the sidewalk in front of our Fall River, Massachusetts, apartment. She wasn’t feeling well and had no interest seeing ’80s hair band, Great White, at a nightclub. I complained about the pain from an inch-long splinter I got from a railing while running up a stairway. That didn’t stop me, though.

Mary was late picking us up, partly because the streets weren’t in the best driving conditions. We picked up Kathy before making our way to West Warwick, Rhode Island, to meet Pam at The Station. We arrived around 8:30 p.m., the club already packed. Once inside, we found a place inside to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a few hundred people. Mary joined me as I went to buy drinks because she wanted details on when I was going to give Donna the ring. Without saying much, she got me to tell her I already had (it was being sized). This was actually Donna’s night to tell her closest friends we were engaged.

Mary was late picking us up, partly because the streets weren’t in the best driving conditions. We picked up Kathy before making our way to West Warwick, Rhode Island, to meet Pam at The Station. We arrived around 8:30 p.m., the club already packed. Once inside, we found a place inside to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a few hundred people.

Read the rest of Feeney's story by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors
, the leading national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering anyone affected by a burn injury, recently elected new officers and members to its Board of Directors.

  • NFPA’s Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy Lorraine Carli was elected as the Board’s president. Carli is also president of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and serves on the boards for The Center of Campus Fire Safety and Electric Safety Foundation International. 
  • Karen Colligan was elected as vice president. Colligan is founder and principal of PeopleThink, is a recognized expert in leadership, team effectiveness and organizational development. A burn survivor herself, she has been an active volunteer with the Phoenix Society for many years. 
  • Peg Paul was elected as secretary. Paul is the communications manager for HFSC. She is the owner and director of Peg Paul & Associates (PPA), a marketing communications agency. The American Fire Sprinkler Association recognized her as the 2014 Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year.
  • Tony Burke was elected treasurer. Burke was in the fire service for nearly 20 years. He served as the volunteer executive director of the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund and was appointed to the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Burn Foundation.

In addition to the new officers, three new Board members were also elected. 

  • Sheryl Ramstad works as the burn survivor peer support representative at St. Paul Regions Hospital and Phoenix SOAR peer supporter where she was once a patient, being a burn survivor herself. After many years in the law field, she is currently working on her Doctorate in Nursing Practice.
  • Dean Elliott currently serves as vice president of Corporate Compliance for AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of skin, bone and soft tissue allografts for use in surgical procedures. He served as a firefighter and EMT for 14 years.
  • Victor C. Joe, MD, FACS, FCCP is a Board-certified general surgeon with added qualifications in Surgical Critical Care. He is the medical director of the UC Irvine Regional Burn Center, and he is a practicing trauma, burn and general surgeon. 

Phoenix Society collaborates with NFPA on such projects as the Faces of Fire video series, an advocacy tool to promote required installation of fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes as part of NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

To read more about Phoenix Society’s new Board, please visit their website.

The devastating damage Christmas tree fires can inflict on people and property – and just how quickly it can happen - were vividly demonstrated during a live burn event on Monday at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) research lab in Rockville, MD. The footage (above) underscores just how fast a dried out Christmas tree burns, with flashover occurring in about 30 seconds, while a well-watered tree burns at a far slower rate.

National news outlets covered the event, including The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, NBC, Univision and ABC News. Watch the ABC News featuring NFPA President Jim Pauley, who addressed the potential risks posed by Christmas tree and candle fires, while reminding everyone about the life-saving value of working smoke alarms in the home and a having a home fire escape plan.

Of course, the goal of the burn event isn't to scare people away from enjoying the holidays. It's to remind everyone about the importance of taking simple safety precautions that can ensure a festive and fire-safe season.

For a wealth of information, videos, tip sheets and other resources addressing the safe use of Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations, visit

NEW WinterSafety Chat 2015

Let this be your formal invitation! We are hosting a Twitter chat, tomorrow (December 9th) at 2:00pm ET along with our friends U.S. Fire Administration, Electrical Safety Foundation International, SafeKids and Consumer Product Safety Commission (plus, many other safety groups around the country!) We will be talking about all sorts of winter fire safety issues and providing tips and resources to make sure you and your family 'put a freeze on winter fires' this year. 

Follow along with the chat using #WinterSafety on Twitter. Feel free to submit your own questions related to fire safety topics as well. We hope to see you there!


!|src=|alt=Sprinkler Age|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Sprinkler Age|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb089ad471970d img-responsive!All new homes aren&#39;t&#0160;created equal.&#0160;

That was the lesson learned in 2015, a year when some state legislators took steps supporting home fire sprinklers while others sided with the opposition in keeping requirements for them out of state building codes.


NFPA highlighted these efforts in a recent issue of Sprinkler Age,&#0160;the magazine for the American Fire Sprinkler Association. Read about new sprinklers laws in Connecticut and Delaware as well as a&#0160;building code board who some advocates say failed to protect its citizens in the place where fires claim the most lives.

In New York, for example, an advocate slammed the New York Fire Prevention and Building Code Council for adopting the 2015 International Residential Code but opted not to adopt its requirement for sprinklers in new, one- and two-family homes. 


Get the full story by visiting 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%;!Firefighter injured on the job speaks out in support of home fire sprinkler bill - National Fire Protection Association Blog

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!How to get home fire sprinklers on the radar of your policymakers and legislators

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!In their push for a building code with sprinkler requirements, advocates produce fiery demonstration





!|src=|alt=1261985|style=width: 450px;|title=1261985|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c714b45f970b img-responsive!
At 3:56 p.m. on Friday, December 6, 1985, a natural gas explosion occurred at the River Restaurant in Derby, Connecticut.  It appears that a gas main may have been damaged during the refilling of a sewer excavation.  Before anyone became aware of the leak, escaping gas accumulated in the basement of the restaurant and came in contact with an undetermined ignition source.  The explosion killed six people in the restaurant, injured 12 other occupants, and completely destroyed the building housing the restaurant. Three people who were not in the restaurant were also injures by the explosion. 


For the full&#0160;NFPA Fire Investigation report. To see the most recent statistical information on eating and drinking facilities&#0160;download the NFPA Structure Fires by Occupancy 2007-2011</p>



!|src=|alt=San bernardino|style=width: 725px;|title=San bernardino|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a01bb0859dfa7970d01b8d17e9204970c img-responsive!

PHOTO: San Bernardino County Sun


It happened again. Sadly, it will continue to happen. If there’s one thing that is becoming abundantly clear, our world is changing. And so, too, are the ways that building owners, facility managers and first responders must prepare to keep communities safe.&#0160;


On Wednesday, December 2 as people throughout the nation – and in particular in a conference room in San Bernardino, California – got into the holiday spirit, another tragic active shooter incident unfolded and once again rattled our peace of mind. As the circumstances that led up to this recent mass execution emerge, the carnage and chaos are abundantly clear – and sadly familiar. Initial reports indicate that 14 people were killed and 17 others were injured in the San Bernardino massacre. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the US since Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

Three weeks ago we sat in disbelief when 130 men, women and children were killed by terrorists in Paris as they enjoyed Friday evening activities in the City of Lights. Two weeks later, and nearly 5,000 miles away from the capital of France, yet another deranged gunman entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing three people and wounding nine others with a semiautomatic rifle. 


What is happening to our world?


Whether we label it extremist behavior, terrorism, school violence, workplace vendetta or fame-seeking, the FBI notes in their 2014 Crime in the United States study that even as violent crimes fell slightly, the number of deaths attributed to mass shootings has been increasing. So how do we protect ourselves? How do we guard our loved ones or our cherished institutions? How do our first responders prepare for the unknown, the unfathomable - the worst of the worst?


[NFPA |] and ASIS International are continuing the discussion concerning active shooter events that started last year. Once again key stakeholders will gather in January to discuss and analyze effective management strategies, building design and technology methods that can help mitigate the likelihood and consequences of mass shooting events. Given the unpredictable nature and quick evolution of these tragedies, NFPA and ASIS recognize the need to collectively address the discipline intersections of security, safety and fire safety management to maximize protection of human and physical assets


The January think-tank will bring together standards developers, industry groups, law enforcement, government and academia to explore the administrative, management, and technology issues related to active shooter incidents. These considerations and similar prevention and response challenges were the topic of a December 2014 NFPA Workshop attended by a cross section of influencers.&#0160;Download the proceedings of the workshop. Although focused on the educational environment, the principles identified in the report are scalable to all occupancies.


!|border=0|src=|alt=Paul Machado|title=Paul Machado|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7f43f56970b image-full img-responsive!
Do you know&#0160;Paul Machado? We introduced him to our growing army of sprinkler advocates earlier this year, the first in a series of new Faces of Fire profiles highlighting fire service members impacted by fire.&#0160;A Massachusetts resident and member of the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition, Machado is now using his powerful story to exact change in his state.


A couple Massachusetts newspapers have picked up his op-ed on how the aftermath of a home fire in 2013 ended his friend&#39;s firefighting career, left him with debilitating injuries, and how it all could have been avoided if home fire sprinklers had been present.


Visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog for more information.&#0160;


!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Two families say hello to their sprinklered homes, courtesy of Habitat of Humanity

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA staff places their mark on fully sprinklered Habitat for Humanity homes

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Do your legislators know you support home fire sprinklers? If not, take action

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!The Boston Globe underscores need for home fire sprinklers


When you’re decking the halls this year, make sure to keep fire safety in mind. That’s the main message behind "Project Holiday," NFPA's annual holiday fire safety campaign, which works to educate the public about the increased risk of home fires during the holiday season.

Holiday decorations, Christmas trees, candles and cooking all contribute to an increased number of home fires during December, making it one of the four leading months for U.S. home fires. Consider these facts:

Holiday cooking: On Christmas Day in 2013, there was a 58 percent increase in the number of home cooking fires than on a typical day, and a 54 percent increase on Christmas Eve.

Christmas trees: Christmas tree fires aren't common, but when they do occur, they’re much more likely to be deadly than most other fires. One of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death each year, compared to an annual average of one death per 144 total reported home fires.

Candles: December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top four days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. In December, 11 percent of home candle fires began with decorations, compared to 4 percent the rest of the year.

Holiday decorations: Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 860 home fires that began with decorations (excluding Christmas trees). These fires caused an annual average of one civilian death, 41 injuries and $13.4 million in direct property damage.

Don’t let these numbers turn you all Bah Humbug! “Project Holiday” provides a wealth of simple fire safety tips, recommendations and other resources to help everyone enjoy a safe and festive holiday season.  The campaign also provides tools and resources for local fire departments to promote the campaign in their communities. Make sure to check it all out!

NFPA is currently soliciting comments from interested organizations and individuals to gauge interest in the development of a standard addressing fire protection guidance for low pressure dispensing containers (“LPDCs”).  LPDCs contain a liquid product, which may or may not be a flammable or combustible liquid, that is intended to be dispensed under pressure by means of a nonflammable (e.g., nitrogen) or flammable (e.g.,  liquefied petroleum gas - LPG) propellant. 

LPDCs are currently transported in interstate commerce as “Chemical Under Pressure” (e.g. UN3500 (Appendix A)) under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Fire protection guidelines for LPDCs are not addressed elsewhere in NFPA Standards currently, and falls beyond the scopes of NFPA 30, NFPA 30B, and NFPA 58.

If interested in commenting on this proposed new project, please do so in writing. Include information and known resources on the subject matter of which you are aware, the names of interested participants for a Technical Committee (if established), the names of other organizations actively involved with this subject, and whether there is a need for such a project. Email or mail your comments by February 1, 2016 to NFPA Standards Administration Department, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471.

Wildfire blog
How much can social behavior research help with wildfire education and research? A lot, actually, according to Lucian Deaton, who manages the Firewise Communities and Fire Adapted Communities Program in NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations Division.

In his column “Social Studies,” in the new November/December issue of NFPA Journal, Deaton writes that there is quite a lot of overlap in the two fields. Understanding how people think and why they do things is incredibly important in coming up with strategies to educate people about how to prepare for and react to a wildfire, Deaton writes.

“New research, for example, shows that it’s not always a community’s newly arrived residents who resist acknowledging risks like wildfire,” he writes. “Other post-fire evacuation studies have shown that residents got the evacuation message but waited to see what their neighbors did before reacting. Often, they waited too long.”

Read more about how these fields overlap and what can be learned from social behavior research in the new 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.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 52, Vehicular Gaseous Fuel Systems Code, NFPA 55, Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code, NFPA 68, Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting, NFPA 664, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities, and NFPA 780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems, are being published for public review and comment:

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the January 15, 2016 closing date. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.

How prepared are you for the holidays? For what Mother Nature will most likely throw at us this winter? Not so sure? Then you won't want to miss FEMA's upcoming free webinar, "'Tis the Season:  Preparing for a Winter Storm and the Holidays" on Thursday, December 10 from 2:00 - 3:00 PM (EST). 

During the webinar, you'll meet Matthew Lyttle from the FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division, who will discuss America’s PrepareAthon! and ways to prepare for a winter storm. You'll also get a chance to hear from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service, who will present on the winter seasonal outlook, El Niño, the Winter Weather Safety Campaign and driving safety. NFPA's own Judy Comoletti will also provide some great information on holiday safety and the risk of Christmas tree and cooking fires, and Sandy Facinoli from the FEMA U.S. Fire Administration, will present on holiday safety, the risk of electrical and candle fires, the danger of New Year’s fireworks, and heating safety. 

The hour-long webinar promises to be a fun and informative one. Won't you join us? 

Register today!

If you need help, feel free to reach out to FEMA's Zola Shaw at She'll be happy to help!


Just about everyone agrees that fuel mitigation is crucial for combating the nation’s growing wildfire problem, but culture, politics, and geography can be significant barriers keeping communities from doing the work.

That is more evident than ever in a just-released NFPA study on the wildfire capabilities and preparedness of local fire departments. For the study, NFPA researchers interviewed 46 high-ranking fire officials from urban and rural departments on a variety of topics related to wildfire operations, and by far, the most provocative topic was wildfire mitigation.

As detailed in the new NFPA Journal article on the study, there are arguments about who is responsible for doing the work, and how best to educate the public to the fact that the work needs to be done. In some places, the public gets it; in others not as much. Sometimes it’s the firefighters who need to be educated. Culture, politics, and geography all figure into the discord.

Question is: When it comes to wildfire mitigation, what is a fire department’s role?

Please feel free to expand on your opinion by commenting below.

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