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Images of firefighter Phil Tammaro's injuries flashed on screens filling one of NFPA's conference rooms. Photos showcased burns on his legs he sustained at two years old during a 1971 home fire. For four decades, doctors had to treat these burns.


NFPA staff had mixed reactions to the images; some turned away while others couldn't take their eyes off the screens. However, they collectively applauded Tammaro for sharing his story in the hopes of increasing safety at home.


Tammaro is one of NFPA's newest Faces of Fire, a component of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative that humanizes today's home fire problem and necessity for fire sprinklers in all new homes. Since NFPA released his video last year, Tammaro has been promoting these devices as a component to his work as a fire and life safety educator with the Billerica Fire Department in Massachusetts. He's also sharing his story via his involvement with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and the International Association of Fire Fighters.


Watch the following video underscoring how Tammaro didn't let his burn injuries stop him from fulfilling his dreams, and why he now champions for home fire sprinklers:

On January 29, 1985, a fire occurred on the first floor of a boarding home in Washington D.C.  The fire, thought to be caused by smoking materials, involved a couch in the facility’s smoking room and a small amount of other materials, before the smoke detectors alerted occupants and automatic sprinklers controlled the fire.  Although smoke had spread throughout most of the structure, occupants were able to escape with fire department assistance, and the only injuries were minor in nature.


This fire was significant because it demonstrated the value that an automatic sprinkler system can have on improving the level of protection in an occupancy with an identified fire problem – boarding homes.


NFPA members can download the full investigation report .

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c80dd8fc970b-300wi.jpgNFPA Xchange™ is our new, free online community, and we want to invite you to join us there! NFPA Xchange lets you connect with professionals worldwide, explore content, share ideas, and ask questions, as the latest way to stay up-to-date on codes and standards related information.


NFPA Xchange allows users to search or browse information on topics ranging from fire protection systems, electrical, building and life safety, emergency response, and more. Content is submitted by community users and NFPA staff and subject matter experts alike. We want to invite the public to join and share their expertise, discuss emerging issues in their industry, and identify the latest trends in their field and hope it will become an invaluable resource for all community users and that they participate and engage with each other, and with us on a regular basis.


NFPA members will find additional benefits within the exclusive ‘Members Only’ section of NFPA Xchange. Members are able to access the Technical Questions Service membership benefit in Xchange, where they can connect directly with technical staff and submit technical standards questions. Plus, only in Xchange are NFPA members able to search and view other technical standards questions that have already been submitted and answered, allowing all members to benefit from individual questions. Please see the full terms of use for the Technical Questions Service membership benefit.


Visit NFPA Xchange and join this new community today at NFPA Xchange!


While NFPA has long been a global leader and advocate for fire protection and life safety, in recent years the organization has made expansion of its reach internationally an even greater priority.


“NFPA has many reasons to expand its global influence,” writes Don Bliss, NFPA’s vice president of field operations, in his new “International” column for NFPA Journal, which debuted in the January/February issue. “Through this column, I will describe NFPA’s work around the world to help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge, and passion. We are doing a lot of great work with our partners and stakeholders, and there are many stories worth telling.”


Bliss’s new column will focus on NFPA’s many global efforts, from advising the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety to help improve basic safety conditions and worker awareness for Bangladesh’s garment workers, to NFPA's extensive work in South America and the Middle East.


“In my travels around the world, I have learned that NFPA’s reputation and brand are readily recognized and highly regarded,” he writes in his column. “Our standards are in use in more than 50 countries and in 14 languages, and there is no shortage of requests for training and technical guidance from the international fire service, our members, industry, and governmental (and non-governmental) organizations. Developing nations can face huge challenges with population growth, urbanization, substandard building construction, and overwhelmed fire services. NFPA has an inherent social responsibility to share our 119 years of experience and knowledge to help solve these problems and make the world a safer place.”


Read Bliss’s new column in the January/February issue of NFPA Journal.


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

On January 29, 1985, a fire occurred on the first floor of a boarding home in Washington D.C.  The fire, thought to be caused by smoking materials, involved a couch in the facility’s smoking room and a small amount of other materials, before the smoke detectors alerted occupants and automatic sprinklers controlled the fire.  Although smoke had spread throughout most of the structure, occupants were able to escape with fire department assistance, and the only injuries were minor in nature.


This fire was significant because it demonstrated the value that an automatic sprinkler system can have on improving the level of protection in an occupancy with an identified fire problem – boarding homes.


NFPA members can download the full investigation report .

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1968f1d970c-250wi.jpgChimney top devices are used throughout the world, but to provide clearer guidance, the NFPA 211 Technical Committee wanted to develop a clearer vision of the international use of chimney top devices. A Fire Protection Research Foundation report entitled, Impact of Chimney-top Appurtenances on Flue Gas Flow, was previously completed in December 2014 and included a look at existing chimney-top devices and their effect on the flow of gas. It also included a review of available chimney-top devices. However, it did not consider international implications. This project reviewed international codes and standards as they pertain to the use of chimney top devices.


The purpose of the project,was to provide a review of the current requirements and the prescribed application of chimney top devices throughout international codes and standards for solid-fuel, oil-burning and gas-burning chimney/vent systems which includes fireplaces and heat producing appliances.


The project is documented in the newly published Fire Protection Research Foundation report, "Chimney Top Devices in International Codes" authored by Pegah Farshadmanesh, Mehdi Modares, and Jamshid Mohammadi with the Illinois Institute of Technology.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08b136c3970d-320wi.jpgIn the latest issue of our Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter, read how a New Jersey homeowner got a shocking response from his builder after requesting to have fire sprinklers installed in his new home. You’ll also find stories on:


  • NFPA’s response to a commentary filled with fire sprinkler inaccuracies and misstatements
  • why Kermit the Frog has it wrong: it’s easy being green (with fire sprinklers)
  • how air flow and a lack of home fire sprinklers impacted two deadly fires


Subscribing to our free, monthly newsletter is easy; simply fill out this simple form to make sure you're receiving top sprinkler news throughout North America directly to your inbox.


Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe


A man died in a house fire on Boston’s South Shore after fire fighters could not access his extremely cluttered home due to hoarding.


Sean Gorman, 42, died Tuesday night after fire consumed his Scituate, Mass. home. The home, which was already enveloped by flames by the time fire services arrived, was so cluttered that fire fighters could not immediately enter it, according to officials. Ultimately, they pulled Gorman through a window of the single-story structure. He was pronounced dead two hours later.


The victim lived with his mother, who was not at home at the time of the fire. The residence had already come to the attention off town officials over concerns about hoarding, officials said.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers hoarding and fire safety resources that explain the dangers posed by hoarding to both residents and responders, and tips for talking to someone who may be hoarding.  Compulsive hoarding, a psychological condition that occurs when those affected accumulate or are unable to discard excessive belongings, poses a real threat to fire safety. It increases the risk that fires will ignite and makes it easier for them to spread. It also hinders egress from a structure and precludes fire fighters from entering a building easily.


A 2012 article in NFPA Journal® looks at a Toronto public housing complex fire that began in a man’s extremely cluttered apartment and spread to the rest of the building, and dives into the larger issue of compulsive hoarding.


A growing awareness of compulsive hoarding means additional tasks for fire services including making plans for responding to fires in homes occupied by hoarders and coordinating with social agencies to address the problem’s root causes. Compulsive hoarders can be reluctant to accept help, and the problem is not eliminated by a one-time cleanup.


Resolving a hoarding issue can be challenging and complex but it is an important, proactive  process so that those that live in  these homes, their neighbors and first responders can avoid a tragic outcome like the one in Scituate.


In the aftermath of the Black Forest Fire in June of 2013 near Colorado Springs, which resulted in the loss of 488 homes, a local newspaper, The Gazette, ran a series of articles finding fault in the response by county commissioners who both tabled wildfire code adoption and relaxed existing structural fire code requirements following the Black Forest Fire. Local officials claimed they made the decision to relax requirements on residential sprinklers to help homeowners better afford rebuilding.


The “Wildfire Watch” column in the new January/February NFPA Journal looks at the issue of what happens in the aftermath of a wildfire and how, in many cases, communities are missing opportunities to learn from the lessons wildfire provides.


“The balance between long-term progressive change and the immediate need to make people and budgets whole again is real, but we cannot afford to miss the critical lessons we can use to help shape a workable wildland/urban interface (WUI) landscape, writes Lucian Deaton, who manages the Firewise Communities and Fire Adapted Communities programs at NFPA. “What is needed to meet the WUI threat today is the collective conviction to stand by comprehensive rebuilding plans that reflect those lessons, and balance redevelopment with the assurance of a resilient WUI future.”


Read more about this issue in the "Wildfire Watch" column 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.


Fire demonstrations. Opinion editorials. TV appearances.

These have been some of the tactics used by Maryland's safety advocates to defend the life-saving capability of the state's sprinkler requirement. Threatened by recent legislation to weaken this requirement, advocates have ramped up their effort to promote sprinklers in new homes. Their efforts seem to be working.

An editorial that appeared in the Carroll County Times stated that it hopes the legislation goes "up in smoke."

"We understand the burden on developers, particularly in recent years as the real estate bubble burst with ever-increasing federal and state regulations on homebuilding have cut into their profits. But this is one regulation we can get behind," stated the editorial.

Addressing cost concerns about installing sprinklers in rural communities that are on well and septic systems, the editorial noted that sprinklers are inexpensive in the grand scheme of home construction. "Spread [the average installation cost of $1.35 per sprinklered square foot] over a 30-year mortgage, and it's likely something you'll barely notice. Having fire sprinklers can also reduce your homeowner's insurance."


Big Data is now being used to affect changes and find efficiencies seemingly everywhere you look, and even in many places you would never suspect. Data sets help fight the spread of malaria, grow better crops, and even identify ways to improve world happiness.


In September, NFPA took a decisive step further into the world of big data analytics by hiring former IBM data scientist Nathaniel Lin as director of data strategy and analytics. Shortly after being hired, Lin sat down for a long form interview with NFPA Journal Staff Writer Jesse Roman for the “Perspectives” feature in the new January/February issue of NFPA Journal.


Lin believes NFPA is sitting atop a “gold mine” of information; opportunities are everywhere, he said, from data-driven models that inform wildfire risk reduction strategies to analytics tools to help enforcers improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their inspection programs.


Find out more about the kinds of tools Lin hopes to develop from harnessing the troves of fire data; learn about NFPA’s ambitious data and analytics plans to support it’s goals, and read about how “data, with the right type of advanced analytics, is truly transformational,” all in the “Perspectives” feature 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.


There is a dramatic shift beginning to happen with how healthcare is delivered in the United States, and fire departments could have a big role to play, according to Thomas Breyer, the director of Fire and EMS Operations at the International Association of Fire Fighters.


In the feature article “Community Coverage” in the new January/February NFPA Journal, Breyer writers about the rise of community paramedicine, or mobile integrated healthcare as it’s sometimes called, where non-emergency medical care is provided outside of a hospital setting, usually in patients’ homes, by fire-based paramedics or emergency medical technicians.


These types of home services “are intended to keep people out of hospital emergency rooms and thereby reduce health care costs while keeping emergency resources free for true emergencies,” Breyer writes. “Such programs represent a dramatic reinvention of healthcare delivery in this country, where the fire department, rather than a hospital, is the central connector in a patient-centric system.”


Learn much more about these programs, where they are working, what issues they raise, how hospitals benefit, and how NFPA is involved, in the “Community Coverage” feature story 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.

The 2016 edition of the NFPA Glossary of Terms (GOT) has been published and is available for FREE online. Visit to download your copy.


The GOT is a list of the defined terms in all of NFPA's published codes, standards, guides and recommended practices. Over 15,000 terms are listed alphabetically and assembled into a free PDF available on the NFPA website. The document is used in a number of ways. It helps NFPA Technical Committees who are looking to define new terms or compare existing terms. It also helps members of the public who are interested in learning about how NFPA documents define specific terms. The GOT contains the following details about each term:

Term: The word being defined.

Definition:The description of the term.

Document (Edition): Where the term and definition are found (document #) and the edition year of that document.

Document Defining Same Term: A list of all documents that also define the same term.

Document Using Same Definition: A list of all documents that also define the same term in the exact same way.

See the figure below for an example of how the GOT is organized. The term "Barrel" is defined in 4 documents- NFPA 1, 30, 59A, and 80.  NFPA 1 and NFPA 30 both define the term in the exact same way. The first 3 definitions refer to a unit of volume while the last  definition, from NFPA 80, refers to a rolling steel door component.To learn more about any of the documents defining a term, visit the NFPA Document Information pages- doc #). For example, NFPA 80 can be found at



6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08afa92e970d-250wi.jpgHow can home builders and developers address the daunting risk of wildfire? A beautiful new e-book from Green Builder Media and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shows how in just eight pages.


“Design with Fire in Mind: Three Steps to a Safer New Home,” is based on principles from NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program, which addresses site design, construction and landscaping, as well as property maintenance and wildfire safety education of residents.


These principles are based on solid fire science research into how homes ignite, and comes from the world’s leading fire experts (we’re looking at you, Drs. Jack Cohen and Stephen Quarles) whose experiments, models and data collection are based on some of the country’s worst wildland fire disasters.


In addition to links to educational resources and videos that can easily be downloaded and shared for free, readers will be able to get a more in-depth look at the e-book’s three main topics:

  • Creating a Firewise landscape, including limiting the amount of flammable vegetation and materials immediately surrounding the home
  • Considering the impact of flames, embers and radiant heat when building homes
  • Understanding the role of home and property maintenance in reducing damage from wildfire


Download this free e-book resource HERE, or visit and for more information

3.jpgThe January 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:


  • Information about how to apply for a funding award from State Farm and NFPA for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day
  • A year-end wrap up focusing on the new communities that became recognized Firewise sites
  • Tips for cleaning out gutters to help resist ember ignition during a wildfire
  • Four ways to take compelling Firewise photos


...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.


In his “First Word” column in the new NFPA Journal, NFPA President Jim Pauley reflects on his first full year at the helm of the organization.


There was a plethora of highlights for NFPA in 2015, Pauley writes. That includes big organizational changes, such as introducing a new vision and mission for NFPA and reorienting the organization’s strategy, to important ongoing work such as the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s completion of nearly two-dozen projects, and the 20 reports produced by NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division.


“NFPA has accomplished much in its 120-year history, and we have much yet to do. Last year marked the beginning of our journey to accomplish more for fire and electrical safety,” Pauley writes. “We made progress last year, and the we is all of us—you, NFPA employees, the NFPA board and leadership, and our thousands of volunteers and partners who support our work each day. Here’s to a successful 2016.”


To read more about NFPA’s highlights from 2015, read Pauley’s “First Word” column 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.


Tom Clark of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition invites attendees at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas to play the "Built for Life" game. By answering a question about sprinklers - and addressing some of the most common myths about sprinklers (ie. did you know that smoke cannot make a sprinkler operate? Only the high temperature of a fire will set it off), attendees get a chance at the slot machine, where they can win a cap, a commuter cup, a tool tote bag, and a Smart TV.




Matt Klaus
, NFPA's principal fire protection engineer, and the team from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, which provides information and materials about home fire sprinklers for consumers, the fire service, builders, and other professionals, do final prep for the grand opening of the NAHB International Builders' Show in Las Vegas.

At this year's show, Matt is working the booth to help answer questions from builders about the installation of sprinklers in homes: how they work, water supply, options, maintenance requirements, and how the installation fits with builder production schedules. Matt will host five half-hour forums in the booth this week - and we're looking forward to a lot of good discussion.


Register today for NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative webinar, Home Fire Sprinklers: Enhancing Your Grassroots Effort, on Wednesday, February 3 @ 12:30 p.m. EST.

Why is this free webinar so important? Every community has their own challenges when planning and implementing home fire sprinkler educational programs. Challenges may be related to code activities, limited resources, housing starts, or anti-sprinkler activities. Thisfree, half-hour webinar will discuss the importance of recognizing those unique challenges, identifying target audiences, and how the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition's free resources can enhance your grassroots efforts.

Register today!


Much of the Western United States is locked in a long and ongoing drought and the pressure is on to conserve water in anyway possible.


One of the areas that has been flagged for conservation is the inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) program for mechanical building systems, including fire sprinklers, writes Matt Klaus, a principal fire protection engineer at NFPA, in his In Compliance column in the new January/February NFPA Journal.


NFPA 25 Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, has been adopted in many states, and often requires ITM service providers or building owners to discharge water onto the ground to make sure the systems are working properly, Klaus writes.


“While these tests require a considerable amount of water to be flowed, they are vital to ensuring that the sprinkler system and its water supply (in the case of the pump test) will be available when called upon,” Klaus writes. “The NFPA 25 technical committee is aware of concerns over water usage … (and) has already taken steps to provide options for limiting water usage and continues to address the problem.”


Learn more about this issue and about the proposals on the table to alleviate these water usage concerns in the new NFPA Journal.


Also in "In Compliance" in the new NFPA Journal, there has been a lot of discussion among code developers and safety officials recently about food trucks. But what about another fad: shipping containers modified as mini take-out restaurants?


It is these types of interesting mixed occupancy questions that NFPA Principal Life Safety Engineer Ron Coté writes about in his "In Compliance" column in the new January/February NFPA Journal. The containers present several questions. Should they be treated as a food establishment, or an industrial occupancy? Or, perhaps a combination of both?


The "In Compliance" section also looks at highlights of the proposed changes to the 2017 National Electrical Code® (NEC® ), including new articles for generation, distribution, and utilization; as well as a look at NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, and why it's important to plan carefully around fire alarm system testing impairments.


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.

A Fire Department Connection (FDC) is “A connection through which the fire department can supplemental water into the sprinkler system, standpipe, or other system, furnishing water for fire extinguishment to supplement existing water supplies.” FDCs are required on all standpipe systems per NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems, and sprinkler systems per NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.


In 2007, the Technical Committee for NFPA 14 added the requirement for one 2 ½ inch inlet per every 250 gallons per minute (gpm), but this requirement lacks supporting scientific documentation, so there was a need to conduct flow testing to determine the amount of water that is possible to flow into an FDC inlet.


The new report documenting the testing has been published by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, titled, "Fire Department Connection (FDC) Inlet Flow Assessment" and authored by Y. Pock Utiskul, Ph.D., Neil P. Wu, P.E., and Elizabeth Keller, all with Exponent, Inc.


The overriding goal of this research project was to provide a technical basis to the NFPA 14 Technical Committee for a possible change to the standard. A full listing of project observations as they relate to the current NFPA guidance is provided in Section 8 of this report.


Download the full report, for free, from the Foundation website.


There were many nuggets of truth during a recent story on home fires that appeared on NBC's "Today" and reported by Jeff Rossen:


  • Confirmed by research and the segment's dramatic demonstration, homes and the furniture housed in them are burning hotter and faster then ever before
  • Home escape plans should be created and practiced regularly (NFPA's free resources can help you accomplish this goal)
  • During a fire, if a smoke alarm sounds, leave your home immediately


However, there was a crucial component of home safety missing from the news story. As Rossen reported, the National Association of Home Builders told NBC that "building codes make actual homes safer these days." Improvements have included "draft stopping in concealed spaces, safer appliances, changes to the electrical code, and requiring hardwired, interconnected smoke alarms."


While accurate, the statement falls short in mentioning that all model building codes used in the U.S. have the requirement--not the option--to install fire sprinklers in all new homes. For more information, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.


In his “First Responder” column in the new January/February issue of NFPA Journal, Ken Willette looks at how a deadly fire in Boston and a mother’s loss has been the driving force behind an effort now underway to improve fire hose technology.


Cathy Crosby Bell’s son, Boston firefighter Michael Kennedy, died along with fellow firefighter Ed Walsh fighting an apartment fire on March 26, 2014, in the Back Bay section of Boston. Early investigation found that the fire hose that Kennedy and Walsh had brought into the basement to attack the fire had failed to the point where it would not allow water being pumped from the attack engine to reach the nozzle.


Since that moment Crosby Bell has tirelessly worked to make sure a similar tragedy never happens again.


“Her passion and loss were certainly felt by the technical committee and NFPA staff,” Willette writes in his column.


See what work NFPA and other groups are doing to try and make fire hoses safer by reading the “First Responder” column in the new January/February issue of NFPA Journal.


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


Only two persons were able to escape from the Pennsylvania House Hotel when flames quickly spread through the building on January 16, 1972, leaving 12 others dead.  The hotel building was typical of many old, small community hotels built to serve the travelers of 75 years ago -- hotels that for the most part have been replaced by motels as transportation has changed through the years.  The owners of older buildings have attempted to keep a hotel business going, with the result that many of the hotels have changed in character, serving as residential hotels for local citizens rather than lodging a transient population.  In this case the building served as a residence for the owner and his family as well as a combination residential-transient hotel.

NFPA members Download this May 1972 Fire Journal article


Plan a wildfire awareness, risk reduction, or post-fire project to be implemented during NFPA's third national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 7, and your activity could receive one of 125 project funding awards in the amount of $500 each to cover expenses related to grassroots efforts. The project funding awards opportunity along with additional outreach components is being generously provided by State Farm.


Applying for a project funding award is easy and takes only a few minutes to complete. Submit a brief description of the project you or your group will complete on May 7 and include who will be participating. Get family and friends to vote for the project on the official site or on Facebook as a way to demonstrate local support. To be considered applications must be submitted by February 28.


Find easy-to-do project ideas to get you started in planning an activity, or customize one to specifically meet local needs. Take a look at projects from the 2015 campaign and see what others have accomplished. Your actions will contribute to increasing the safety of both residents and wildland firefighters. Commit a couple of hours or an entire day to helping your community and accomplish something great!


Activities can be coordinated by a wide-range of stakeholders: individuals, neighborhoods, recognized Firewise Communities, civic groups, fire departments or forestry agencies working to reduce wildfire risks, advance general wildfire preparedness, or minimize post-fire impacts from a recent wildfire.


Funding awards can be applied for by anyone 13 years or older. Read the Official Rules for complete details and join individuals and groups of all ages on Saturday, May 7 as they participate in national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and make where they live safer.


Once your project details become finalized add them to the Put Your Project on the Map. Include your information and help demonstrate the efforts taking place in communities everywhere. Together we will illustrate the magnitude of risk reduction activities occurring throughout the U.S. during the first Saturday in May.


Promoting your activity is simple when you use free customizable flyers, the official logo, an email signature or web banner, postcard and social media cover photos. Let everyone know what you have planned and encourage them to get involved too!


Share your efforts through social media on Facebook and Twitter using #WildfirePrepDay.

6a01bb08a9454e970d01bb08ace978970d-400wi.pngIn the winter months, it’s especially important to be conscious of how snow-covered fire hydrants can delay fire services, costing crucial seconds or minutes that can mean the difference between saving a structure and its inhabitants and not doing so.


The Boston Globe reported last winter that the city’s fire department was deploying teams of fire fighters to dig out hydrants covered by the city’s record snow fall. According to the article, a hydrant needs about a foot of space below its valve, and another two feet of space all around it. This space allows fire fighters to attach hoses to the valve and rotate the hydrant wrench.

As Lieutenant Kevin Jordan of the Boston Fire Department explained to the Globe, a fire engine holds about two to five minutes’ worth of water. When that is used up, hydrants become indispensable, as every passing second allows a fire to grow.


In 2013, a fire destroyed a Boston home when firefighters were delayed by a hydrant obstructed by snow. In contrast, this past winter a New Hampshire home was saved because a neighbor cleared the hydrant off before fire services arrived.


In many regions of the country, shoveling out fire hydrants become a necessity during the winter. While property owners are legally obligated to clear their sidewalks, no such regulations govern the clearing of hydrants. It’s important, then, that private citizens do their part by clearing snow away from hydrants in a timely manner. The app Adopt-a-Hydrant allows community members to take responsibility for clearing off specific hydrants in their area. The work of just a few minutes might later prove to be vital to the safety of you or your neighbors!

With the world still reeling over deadly active-shooter attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, in late 2015, public safety officials continue to discuss the best way to prepare and respond to these events, including providing civilians with more training about how to prepare and respond in these incidents.


The “In a Flash” section of the new January/February issue of NFPA Journal looks at these incidents, which are often over in a matter of minutes, before law enforcement can respond. The best course of action, many experts now say, may be to better prepare civilians for what actions to take in the first moments of a shooter event, where split-second decisions can mean life or death.


In January, NFPA will co-host a high-level meeting in Arlington, Virginia, to discuss active-shooter preparation and response, with a focus on what civilians can do to better protect themselves.


Learn more about what programs currently exist, what NFPA is doing, and read statistics from studies about active-shooter incidents in the new NFPA Journal.

Also in this issue’s “In a Flash,” read about firefighting jetpacks in Dubai, and NASA’s plans to deploy dozens of satellites that will be able to detect wildfires from space.


Read about the why healthcare facilities need to bone up on their fire-protection rated doors, and the changes made to the 2016 edition of NFPA 80, Fire Doors and other Opening Protectives. Also, read news briefs about the latest fire and life safety happenings, read about NFPA Journal’s new columns on NFPA’s initiatives in Washington D.C. and abroad, all in the “In a Flash” section of the new January/February 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.

On January 11th, 2016 NFPA welcomed a guest visit from the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). There was a great discussion about some of the challenges ahead of the fire investigation community and how each organization can continue to support the industry. See below Dan Heenan, IAAI president ’15-16, George Codding, IAAI 1st VP, Scott Bennett, IAAI 2nd VP, Randy Watson, IAAI Director and NFPA 921 Chair, Deborah Keeler, IAAI Executive Director and COO, Kenneth Willette, NFPA Division Manager, Public Fire Protection, Michael Wixted, NFPA Emergency Services Specialist, Edward Conlin, NFPA Emergency Services Specialist, Ryan Depew, NFPA Technical Lead and Nicole Comeau, NFPA Segment Director.



Have you ever wondered what it takes to produce a new edition of our National Electrical Code?! In the most recent issue of NFPA Journal, our President Jim Pauley comments in his First Word column that he "want[ed] to offer a special thanks to the National Electrical Code® technical committee. As many of you know, this is our largest standards project. As [he] writes, the committee just completed its second-draft meetings.


We wanted to show everyone just how much work actually does go into the standard development process for the NEC, our largest standards project, and created the infographic above to highlight some amazing statistics. We also want to thank each and every one of our volunteers for their time, dedication to safety, and hard work.


According to the U.S. government, market research groups, industry experts, and almost everyone else who is paying attention, battery energy storage systems (ESS) are on the verge of becoming a ubiquitous part of modern life. They will soon be installed everywhere from homes, factories and businesses, to high-rise buildings, homes, urban neighborhoods, business parks, substations, and all manner of spaces and occupancies in between.


The cover story “Power to Spare” in the January/February issue of NFPA Journal, peers into the world of ESS, why the systems are coming into prominence, their uses, and how NFPA, emergency responders, researchers, and others are working to ensure they are deployed into the world safely.


More industries are turning to energy storage either to complement their wind and solar panel systems or to cut their electricity bills by peak shaving. Government incentive programs are making adoption even more appealing. As a result, large batteries of various technologies and chemistries are migrating from substations into homes, offices, and factories. “If you respond to an ESS at a power plant, you understand that going in and you know to be cautious—it has typically been a hands-off approach,” Ken Willette, a former fire chief and the division manager for Public Fire at NFPA, says in the NFPA Journal article. “But when you put ESS into homes and occupied buildings, there is a different risk analysis—you may need to interact with it to contain a fire or make a rescue. Responders are asking, ‘What do I need to know to make that risk analysis?’ It’s about understanding how the system works at a basic level.”


Find out more about what these systems can do, learn about some big projects being completed around the world, and what NFPA and others are doing to prepare for this new technology with vast potential to change the world, by reading “Power to Spare” in the new issue of NFPA Journal.


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

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d19100b0970c-320wi.pngEnergy storage systems, NFPA’s new forays into big data, issues around home healthcare and independent living, and much more—it’s all in the new January/February 2016 issue of NFPA Journal.


Our cover story, “Power Packed,” by staff writer Jesse Roman, offers a big-picture look at the burgeoning field of energy storage and its potential for reshaping how electrical power moves around the world. While energy storage systems hold great promise for users ranging from industry to individual homeowners, they also raise technical and safety issues for building owners, inspectors, first responders, and many others. NFPA is playing a critical role in identifying and addressing those issues, and is involved in a range of efforts designed to ensure the safe development and deployment of this revolutionary technology.


Our focus package in this issue is on healthcare, and takes an up-close look at issues related to home healthcare and independent living. These are areas that are transforming the face of American healthcare, from the number of people choosing to grow old in their own homes to trends that are resulting in more types of care being delivered at home rather than in hospitals. We also look at the emerging practice of community paramedicine, where non-emergency care is provided in patients’ homes by fire-based paramedics or emergency medical technicians.

Our departments are anchored by a “Perspectives” interview with Nathaniel Lin, NFPA’s new director of data strategy and analytics, on how big data can be used to enhance fire and life-safety initiatives inside the association and beyond. Our “In A Flash” section leads with a preview of a discussion hosted by NFPA on active-shooter preparation and response for civilians, a particularly urgent subject in the wake of deadly shootings in Paris, San Bernardino, and elsewhere.


Finally, if you haven’t downloaded the NFPA Journal app yet, go get it. It’s available for both Apple and Android mobile devices, looks great, and it’s free.

Registration is open for the Foundation's 2016 SUPDET symposium, which will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton San Antonio Downtown, San Antonio, TX from March 1-4, 2016.  This year's symposium will feature 30 presentations on suppression and detection and signaling research and applications.


The suppression session, which will take place March 1-2, will feature a keynote on the "History of Fire" by Dick Gann from NIST, presentations on the latest research on warehouse sprinkler protection, research on the protection of lithium ion batteries, and more.


The detection and signaling section will take place March 3-4 and includes research on residential smoke alarms, smart building applications, notification, smoke characteristics, and more.


Between the two sessions on the afternoon of March 2 will be a free half-day workshop on "Big Data and Fire Protection Systems" that is open to all SUPDET attendees!

Don't miss out - register today for the full symposium, or choose either the Suppression Program or the Detection Program.  For additional details and the full program visit:

The British Fire Prevention Committee, founded in 1897, was established with the goal "to direct attention to the urgent need for increased protection of life and property from fire by the adoption of preventative measures." Another objective of the committee was "to publish from time to time papers specially prepared for the Committee, together with records, extracts, and translations." Reports and records prepared include essays such as What is Fire Protection or updates on construction methods: "Fire-Resisting" Floors used in London, or reports on key fires.   The papers and records were published in pamphlets with red covers, and are more commonly known as the Red Books.


Red Book, no. 202, published one hundred years ago, covered a report on the fire at the Bon Marché (Annexe) in Paris, that occurred on November 22, 1915. At that time, the Bon Marché was a grand department store in the heart of Paris.   It was known for the collections of art and antique furniture offered for sale in the department store in addition to house goods, garden tools, toys, and gloves - they were known throughout the world for their gloves. A 1912 issue of Business, a magazine for office store and factory, stated that they sold more than one million pairs of gloves per year.


The annex of the Bon Marché was a large building, constructed in 1899 with a stone facade and an interior of metal work.   Interior walls were constructed of brick and of wood and plaster.  The interior floors formed galleries surrounding two central halls.   The roof consisted of framed metal work with a large portion of the roof over the central halls that was glazed. The Annex was connected to the main building via an underground passage.


Inside the annex there were basements and sub-basements for receiving and storage. The ground floor contained tapestries, china and works of art. Upper floors contained furnishing materials, carpets, furniture, bedding, and stocks of linen.   As part of the war effort the 5th and 6th floors had been converted from store use and used respectively as a temporary 130 bed hospital for wounded soldiers, and hospital administrative area. Prior to the devastating fire, there had been concerns of the open nature of the building, and precautions were made to enclose staircases and lifts leading to the hospital occupied areas.


The fire broke out near midnight the night of November 22nd, 1915. It started in the sub-basement and was contained for several hours to the basement levels. Fortunately, the evacuation of patients from the 5th floor hospital was conducted quickly and effectively. Although the fire was initially contained to the basement areas, smoke spread quickly throughout the building. After several hours, the fire spread throughout the building. By 8:00 am, the fire was under control, having been confined to the annex and not spreading to other buildings in the neighborhood.   There was no loss of life but the damage to the building and the goods was estimated at the time to be more than five million dollars.  The image above depicts the wreckage of the roof over the smaller of the two halls.


6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c805d438970b-100wi.jpgThe introduction to this report includes a forward comparing building regulations in London and Paris and is a valuable tool for historic building code researchers.


The Charles S. Morgan Technical library supports the research activities and maintains the archive of NFPA. We have a collection of the Red Books from The British Fire Prevention Committee as well as other materials on historic fires. Learn more about the Library and Archives, our resources, and services.

   The January 2016 issue of NFPA News, our codes and standards newsletter, is now available.


  • Reorganization of Supervising Station Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems Committee
  • Comments sought on proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) to NFPA 30B, 69, 400, and 1977
  • One day session for NFPA Technical Meeting
  • Potential new project on stationary energy storage systems
  • TIAs issued on NFPA 30B, 55, 59A, 80, 105, and 5000
  • Errata issued on NFPA 921
  • Standards Council service awards
  • NFPA news in brief
  • 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.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07d43cf3970d-450wi.jpgOn January 11, 1988 at 8:19 p.m., the New York City Fire Department was notified of a building fire at East 50th Street, Manhattan.  Arriving fire fighters found a fire involving several first floor rooms with trapped occupants on the floors above.  Before the fire was under control, the fire department had sounded five alarms bringing over 200 fire fighters to the scene; four civilians died, 13 fire fighters were injured, and another nine civilians were also injured.  Approximately 70 people were rescued by fire fighters.


The mixed-use building was a fire-resistive, 115 ft x 100 ft, 10-story high-rise structure.  The first two floors had commercial areas, and floors three through ten contained apartments.  A single-station, battery-operated smoke detector was provided in each apartment.  Other fire protection equipment included a standpipe system in one of two enclosed stairways, fire extinguishers, and a partial wet-pipe automatic sprinkler system protecting a storage room in the basement.


The fire originated in a first floor office and, before the fire department arrived, spread to other areas on that floor.  Combustion products spread to floors above because the first floor access doors for the two enclosed stairways were held open with wedges.


Coordinated suppression and rescue operations restricted the number of fatalities and injuries and limited the extent of damage to the building.


The following factors appear to have contributed significantly to the severity of this fire and to the loss of life:


    •     Building modifications that increased the fuel load;


    •     The absence of automatic detection or suppression systems;


    •     Stairway doors at the level of fire origin that had been blocked open, allowing heat and smoke to spread throughout the building.   



NFPA members, Download this Manhattan, NY report

For NFPA statistical data, Download High-Rise Building Fires

ffHistoryBW.jpgAt 9:32 a.m. on Saturday, January 10, a natural gas explosion killed 20 people in Fremont, Nebraska, and destroyed the Pathfinder Hotel and six adjacent buildings.  The exact cause of the explosion is unknown, but the natural gas leak that preceded the explosion was caused by an underground pipe separation.  The odor of the natural gas was first detected about four hours before the explosion.  However, hotel employees were unable to reach gas company personnel to request assistance for nearly two hours, even though they used emergency telephone numbers.

The fire that resulted from the explosion spread vertically through inadequately protected elevator shafts, stairways, and pipe chases.  The incident was remarkably similar to the Paramount Hotel disaster that occurred in Boston on January 18, 1966.   During that explosion, the Paramount Hotel was severely damage when flame from the subsequent fire traveled through non-fire stopped pipe shafts and inadequately protected elevator shafts.

NFPA members Download this July 1976 Fire Journal article For NFPA statistical data Fires Starting with Flammable Gas or Flammable or Combustible Liquid


Earlier this week, CBC reported over 40 racehorses perished in a fire that consumed a stable in Ontario, Canada reminding us how extreme weather can significantly hamper fire response and lead to catastrophic results. Although dozens of firefighters labored to extinguish the flames, temperatures in the single digits froze water lines, hindering the fire service’s efforts. Additionally, a lack of fire hydrants close by meant firefighters had to truck water in from surrounding areas. The barn did not have fire sprinklers. The result was that every horse inside the stable perished.

Along with debilitating factors like cold weather and insufficient hydrant placement, addressing the evacuation needs of horses and household pets is important. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests creating evacuation kits for pets to use in case of fire, and reminds pet owners not to delay their own evacuation to search for pets.

Without a full investigation, it is impossible to say with 100% certainty that sprinklers would have saved all of the horses in this tragic fire, however, it is safe to say that they would have played an important role in suppressing the fire, adding valuable time for rescue efforts and reducing damage to the facility. Unfortunately, incidents like this one are not unique. Thousands and thousands of animal lives are lost to fire each year, making the argument for fire protection stronger and stronger.

NFPA 150, Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities recognizes that installing automatic sprinklers is one of many ways to help protect animal housing facilities. The unique hazards associated with each facility and the specific needs of certain animal species prevent sprinklers from being an overall solution for all animal housing facilities, and therefore, sprinklers are not required in all animal housing facilities. While fire prevention is the easiest way to save animal lives, the hazards associated with barns or stables and the high value of racehorses makes installing sprinklers an attractive protection option. Where sprinklers are required, NFPA 150 requires compliance with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, which requires complete coverage - including attic spaces.

In 2010, fire sprinklers were credited with saving 35 racehorses from a fire at the Plainridge Racecourse in Massachusetts.

NFPA offers several resources related to animal housing structures and the evacuation of pets and horses in the event of a fire, including:

  • A preparedness guide for household pets, featuring tips for safely removing pets, an instructional video and a checklist for making a pet evacuation kit
  • A dedicated resource for horses, which focuses on the unique challenges posed when evacuating large animals
  • NFPA 150, the standard that applies to life safety in animal housing facilities

NFPA provides free access to more than 300 consensus codes and standards; and offers complimentary fire and life safety tip sheets for downloading, printing and sharing to spread the word about fire safety.

Burnt, but not destroyed: the aftermath of a grease fire following a fire sprinkler activation


In no particular order, here are examples of fire sprinkler activations that have occurred over the past few months. For those doubting the necessity of these devices in new homes, pay close attention to the fire officials' statements in each anecdote:



Maple Ridge, British Columbia
Two recent home fires in this town had starkly different outcomes. Firefighters arriving to the first one reported heavy smoke and flames. They immediately performed an interior rescue involving a wheelchair-bound man and his daughter. Firefighters also had to rescue residents trapped on their balconies. During their efforts, a firefighter was injured and four occupants were transferred to the hospital. It took firefighters three hours and 24,000 gallons of water to control the blaze.



Firefighters responded to the second incident at a sprinkler-protected home. A single sprinkler kept the fire under control until the fire crews arrived. Fire damage was contained to the area of origin.


"The primary reason for the marked difference in outcomes of these two events was the presence of fire sprinklers," says Timo Juurakko, assistant chief with the City of Maple Ridge Fire Department. "No one can argue the difference that fire sprinklers make."

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c80474df970b-250wi.pngWith the winter months upon us, we want to remind homeowners about the fire dangers associated with heating equipment. Improper use of such equipment like portable or stationary space heaters, wood burning stoves and fireplaces can be incredibly dangerous, and their misuse is a leading cause of U.S. home fire deaths.


Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. More than half of the home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that started when something that could burn, like upholstered furniture, clothing, blankets and bedding, was too close to heating equipment.


During the colder months there is also an increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Fuel-burning equipment, including vehicles and generators running in an attached garage, can produce dangerous levels of CO and should be vented to the outside to avoid it from building up in your home. In a 2012 NFPA report, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of 9 such calls per hour in 2010. The number of incidents jumped 96 percent from 40,900 incidents reported in 2003. This surge, according to NFPA, is most likely due to the increased use of CO detectors, which alert people to the presence of CO.


Installing and maintaining CO alarms can also help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater or other appliance, do not light it. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.


To ensure a safe and cozy winter this year, NFPA offers some easy tips to follow:

  • Use your oven to cook food only. Never use it to heat your home.
  • Hire a qualified professional to clean and inspect heating equipment and chimneys every year.
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Place a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from flying into the room, and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing them in a metal container, and ensure that they are kept a safe distance from the home.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • Test smoke alarms and CO alarms monthly. Properly maintained alarms can save lives in the event of a fire.


Find additional resources including tips sheets, videos, reports and more about heating safety and carbon monoxide by visiting NFPA’s website.


New and emerging consumer technologies are popping up everywhere, with the goal of making our lives easier, healthier and more efficient than ever before.


A segment on The Today Show covered many of them at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which kicked off yesterday.


Overall, it’s exciting to see what’s on the horizon for our homes and lifestyles. Meanwhile, an app showing how people can preheat their ovens or turn off a burner when they’re away from home, which may sound like a true convenience to the average consumer, presents concerns that need to be carefully considered and addressed. Moreover, it underscores that while some technologies may make life more convenient for consumers, they may inadvertently compromise safety in the process.



Understanding that “smart” technologies will be increasingly used in homes in the years ahead, NFPA hosted its first-ever “Smart Homes Summit” in Palo Alto, CA, this past fall. The summit brought together emergency responders and fire safety professionals with the home building and technology communities in an effort to guide technology developers (i.e., Nest) in effectively addressing the home fire problem.



On a broader level, as new technologies begin to shift and change the way people live and function at home, we’ll continue to work collaboratively to ensure that we remain at the forefront of emerging technologies, and are fully ready to address and respond to them.


How do you think our lives will be impacted by emerging consumer technologies? Do you think they're cool, exciting, a bit scary? Let us know your thoughts!

June 16, 2016, 8:00 a.m. - completion
Mandalay Bay Convention Center Ballroom EFGHIJKL

If you are a frequent participant of the NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session), you have certainly noticed that the amount of motions presented has declined over recent years.

In 2015 we ended the first day after only two hours. Before concluding, we asked what you thought of the many changes within the process and the Tech Session. Many of you expressed that you would have preferred to have a single, extended day session rather than two short days for Tech Session.   We listened!!!!

With the new Standards Development Process and electronic submission system making revisions to NFPA Standards transparent, interested parties see the document in totality once the Technical Committees complete their work.

The NITMAM stage of the process remains an integral and important phase in NFPA Standards Development. However, with the noticeable decrease in the number of NITMAMs received, a smaller agenda at the Tech Session naturally results. We believe that hosting the Tech Session as a full day event on Thursday, June 16, will address your concerns and improve your experience in 2016.

As the 2016 event approaches, there are many channels to stay up-to-date with the changes being unveiled for the Tech Session and other Codes and Standards activities during the upcoming NFPA Conference & Expo. Please take advantage of NFPA News (a monthly electronic newsletter dedicated to Standards Activities); the Motions Committee Report (available May 2016 and includes the agenda of certified amending motions to be presented at the Tech Session); and the Conference & Expo website for all C&E news.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2016 Tech Session in Las Vegas!


As a "frequent flyer" to 2nd floor of NFPA headquarters I am consistently seeking out engineers for advice, technical review of material and to maintain relationships.  

I've visited Matt Klaus, NFPA's Technical Lead for Fire Protection, multiple times and we always seem to focus on one subject during our conversations.  As a fire protection guy Matt always said it would be ideal for NFPA to host a "hands-on" training program where attendees would be able to alternate between the classroom and a lab. "Wouldn't it be great if our students could learn on actual equipment and take that experience back to their jobs?" is what Matt would always say.

I am happy to report that Matt has finally made this happen. On February 3rd and 4th, Matt will be teaching an NFPA 25 course that will start in the classroom and move out to a state-of-the-art lab in Cranston RI.  To learn more about this new program, watch the brief video.


For more information and to register, go to our special web page.

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 30B, Code for the Manufacture and Storage of Aerosol Products, and NFPA 1977, Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting, 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

NFPA 921

NFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, on January 5, 2016:

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

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d18d4f4b970c-300wi.jpgBelow are the proceedings of a Summit we held last October that addressed planning for the application of Smart Homes. This day and a half Summit was hosted by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and is a supplemental effort to the earlier NIST funded project to address the “Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting.” Here, “Smart” is understood to be the use of emerging technology relating to cyber-physical systems, and “Homes” is interpreted as where people sleep.


This effort focuses on the emerging trends in safe living where technology and fire safety intersect. The intent is to promote technological solutions for fire safety and emergency responder concerns. Summit participants represented a unique and rare gathering of the safety, homebuilding and technology communities. The program provided an overview of technological trends, technology and cyber physical systems, and the challenges of the residential fire problem.


A key deliverable from the Summit was the establishment of a collective voice from emergency responders and fire safety professionals to guide technology developers to effectively address the home fire problem. The event likewise clarified emerging trends, established networking dialogue, identified knowledge gaps/needs, and confirmed a vision for the future of safe residential living. Specific summary observations from the Smart Home Summit include the acknowledging the home fire problem, addressing technological solutions, and general overall observations on the Summit to assist with planning next steps.


Download the proceedings from our website.

The NFPA Standards Council, upon request, at its December 2015 meeting has decided to reorganize the Technical Committee on Supervising Station Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems to include broader regional diversity and representation from all affected technologies. Representation is sought in all member classifications; specifically applicants with expertise and experience related to performance based communication technologies (e.g. digital alarm communicator systems, two-way radio frequency (RF) multiplex systems and one-way private radio alarm systems) and operation professionals with experience in central, proprietary and remote supervising stations.



All existing members of the Committee, as well as other interested individuals, are asked to apply. NFPA Staff will return to the Council at the April 2016 meeting with a proposed start-up roster and a recommendation for a committee chair. Once the reconstituted roster for this committee is approved, the current Technical Committee on Supervising Station Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems will be disbanded.



To apply for membership on this Committee, you must first sign-in on (Note: If you do not have an sign-in, you will be asked to create a free online account before using the application system).  Go to the Technical Committee tab of the NFPA 72 Document Information Page and select the link “Submit Supervising Station Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems application online" to apply to this committee by the January 29, 2016 deadline.


Have you ever wondered where NFPA gets their educational safety messages? Or how often they are updated? Well, we have a new infographic that details out the whole process! It's just in time too, because we are looking for your input! Accurate messaging is the heart of safety education. NFPA and life safety experts in the field work together to build strong messages that can be shared.


We are currently looking for input and feedback on the 2015 Educational Desk Reference as we work to produce the new 2016 edition. After you have looked through the 2015 edition, please download the form and submit any thoughts you have for changes, updates, or additions by February 26, 2016!


Thanks in advance for your thoughts and assistance!

NFPA is seeking comments from interested organizations and individuals to gauge interest in the development of a new standard addressing the design, construction, installation, and commissioning of stationary energy storage systems.  Requirements developed are envisioned to include those necessary for safeguarding life and protecting physical property associated with buildings or facilities which utilize stationary energy storage systems. 

Currently, applicable codes and standards related to the installation of stationary energy storage systems are lacking which leaves an identified gap of potential safety hazards related to stationary energy storage systems.  Various working groups and workshops have confirmed that the incorporation and deployment of stationary energy storage systems is set to rapidly expand nationally. The standard to be developed is envisioned to assist officials with the review of system designs or to ensure safe installations. 


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

* *

We’ve got it all….(almost)! We have a great group of chemical and fire protection engineers who are highly motivated and work well as a team. We work hard, support and encourage each other-and we have fun!   Since we cannot clone our previous boss, we are on a mission to find a new leader who will continue to inspire our team to achieve and take on new challenges.


If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. (John Quincy Adams).   If you are that person, please apply to our Industrial and Chemical Engineering Manager Position!



With the increasing prevalence of electric (EV) and hybrid vehicles all over the world, it is important for the first and second responder communities to be educated on the various unique safety risk these vehicles may present. Since 2010, the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety Training Program has teamed up with major auto manufactures, subject matter experts, fire, law enforcement and safety organizations in order to address these safety needs.  Through our years of research and work in this field we have developed a comprehensive curriculum for first responders when dealing with alternatively fueled vehicles which include instructor led classroom courses, free interactive online learning, an Emergency Field Guide, and informational/educational videos.


Here are a few important takeaways on EV and hybrid fire safety for first responders:

  1. When suppressing a vehicle fire involving an EV or hybrid, water is the recommended extinguishment agent. Large amounts of water may be required, so be sure to establish a sufficient water supply before operations commence.
  2. As with all vehicle fires, toxic byproducts will be given off, so NFPA compliant firefighting PPE and SCBA should be utilized at all times.
  3. DO NOT attempt to pierce the engine or battery compartment of the vehicle to allow water permeation, as you could accidentally penetrate high voltage components.
  4. Following extinguishment, use a thermal imaging camera to determine the temperature fluctuation of the high voltage battery before terminating the incident, to reduce re-ignition potential.


For more information on EV and hybrid vehicle safety, we encourage all first and second responders to visit our website at to take our free online training and utilize our various resources.


For inquiries or questions please contact me at as the Project Manager of NFPA’s Alternative Fuel Safety Program.


On January 11, 1988 at 8:19 p.m., the New York City Fire Department was notified of a building fire at East 50th Street, Manhattan.  Arriving fire fighters found a fire involving several first floor rooms with trapped occupants on the floors above.  Before the fire was under control, the fire department had sounded five alarms bringing over 200 fire fighters to the scene; four civilians died, 13 fire fighters were injured, and another nine civilians were also injured.  Approximately 70 people were rescued by fire fighters.

The mixed-use building was a fire-resistive, 115 ft x 100 ft, 10-story high-rise structure.  The first two floors had commercial areas, and floors three through ten contained apartments.  A single-station, battery-operated smoke detector was provided in each apartment.  Other fire protection equipment included a standpipe system in one of two enclosed stairways, fire extinguishers, and a partial wet-pipe automatic sprinkler system protecting a storage room in the basement.

The fire originated in a first floor office and, before the fire department arrived, spread to other areas on that floor.  Combustion products spread to floors above because the first floor access doors for the two enclosed stairways were held open with wedges.

Coordinated suppression and rescue operations restricted the number of fatalities and injuries and limited the extent of damage to the building.

The following factors appear to have contributed significantly to the severity of this fire and to the loss of life:

    •     Building modifications that increased the fuel load;

    •     The absence of automatic detection or suppression systems;

    •     Stairway doors at the level of fire origin that had been blocked open,

            allowing heat and smoke to spread throughout the building.    

NFPA members Download this Manhattan, NY report For NFPA statistical data High-Rise Building Fires

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