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January 4, 2016 Previous day Next day

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!

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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 EVSafetyTraining.org to take our free online training and utilize our various resources.

 

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


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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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