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2016

The second edition of NFPA's Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities is now available for free and accessible online. With input from NFPA's Disability Access Review and Advisory Committee (DARAC) and other nationally recognized safety advocates, the guide was originally created in 2007 to create a comprehensive evacuation planning strategy for the disabled community, establishing the needs, criteria and minimum information necessary for proper planning.

 

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While the guide continues to outline the four elements of evacuation that occupants need in the event of an emergency (notification; way finding; use of the way; and assistance), the new edition features updated statistics, graphics, photos and links, along with an expanded, more detailed checklist for the personal evacuation planning process. It also incorporates technology that enables screen readers who are blind or low vision to access content online.

 

Allan Fraser, senior specialist for NFPA's Building Fire Protection Division, who played a key role in the guide's development, says that moving forward, the document will be updated more frequently with timely updates and information that reflect the continually changing and evolving built environments in which we all work and live.

This year's NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) will be held at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, on June 16, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. in Ballroom E-L.  NFPA will be providing wireless internet access during the Tech Session so attendees have the option of downloading the agenda prior to or during the Tech Session. Also, documentation such as First Draft Reports and Second Draft Reports can be viewed on the Next edition tab of each specific document information page.

 

Download the agenda for this year’s Tech Session in Las Vegas.

 

The Tech Session is an important step in developing a complete record to assist the Standards Council in determining the degree of consensus achieved on proposed changes to NFPA Standards. During this meeting, NFPA members are given an opportunity to vote on proposed changes and members of the public can voice their opinions on these actions. Only NFPA members of record as of December 18, 2015 who are currently in good standing are eligible to vote at this meeting.

 

Following is the order of the NFPA documents to be presented for action in Las Vegas:

  • NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
  • NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code
  • NFPA 75, Standard for the Fire Protection of Information Technology Equipment
  • NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®

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While it’s undisputed that smoke alarms save countless lives, they aren’t perfect. In 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to almost 2.5 million false alarms, almost twice the total number of reported fires and five times the number of structure fires.

 

“Unwanted alarms have also taken an increasing toll on the nation’s fire service in the form of fuel costs, apparatus wear and tear, risk of collision and injury during response, and a growing complacency when responding to automatic alarms,” writes Marty Ahrens, senior manager of Fire Analysis Services at NFPA, in a feature story in the new NFPA Journal.

 

In the article, “The Unwanted Conundrum,” in the May/June NFPA Journal, professionals from all sides of the issue—manufacturers, firefighters, researchers—weigh-in with commentary on the issues, challenges, and possible solutions to the unwanted alarm problem.


Read what they have to say in the all new NFPA Journal

On Saturday, May 28, 1977, a disastrous fire occurred at the
Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky, that claimed the lives of 164
patrons and employees, and injured some 70 other people. This fire was tZebra room beverly hill club.JPGhe worst
multiple-death building fire in the United States since the Cocoanut Grove
night club burned in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 28, 1942, taking 492
lives. The Beverly Hills Supper Club, classified according to the NFPA Life Safety Code,, NFPA101, as a place of assembly, was a sprawling, mostly one-story restaurant and night club that covered an area of about 1 1/2 acres. A small part of the building was two stories high, and there was a basement under approximately half of the complex. The original two-story portion was constructed in 1937 and additions were added at various times; a major rebuilding of the Beverly Hills Supper Club took place following a fire in 1970. There were no deaths in that 1970 fire. NFPA members can download the investigation report free.

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The Boston Fire Department (BFD) held its inaugural A. Michael Mullane Health and Safety Symposium recently with a focus on fire fighter and paramedic occupational health and safety issues. The 2-day conference was named for the late International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) 3rd District Vice President Mullane who gave 43 years of dedicated service to the Boston Fire Department, Local 718 and the IAFF.

 

The symposium was preceded by a half-day round table discussion on presumptive cancer, cancer prevention protocols and hood particle permeation. Several members of Boston Fire's command staff, including Commissioner Joe Finn, and Pat Morris from the IAFF Department of Health and Safety made presentations. During the second half of the round table format, attendees participated in open discussion about the next generation of personal protective equipment (PPE), NFPA's standards on PPE, obstacles to change, post-fire decontamination, and fire fighter turnout gear.BFD Health Symposium audience.JPG

 

The goal of the symposium was to provide timely information and resources to first responders so that they can enjoy long and prosperous careers. The workshop featured speakers from the fire service, the medical field, academia, wellness innovation, the fire fighter's union and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Topics ranged from labor/management cooperation, cancer awareness and prevention, heart disease, behavioral health, tactical athletics, survival in the fire service, and the protection and comfort of structural fire fighter gear. There was also an Ask the Doc session. An exhibit area and networking opportunities rounded out the successful education and engagement program.

 

NFPA was pleased to support the first-time event as a sponsor and exhibitor; and to reinforce BFD's efforts to make health and safety a priority in the fire service.

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Firefighter behavioral health and a new initiative to develop codes and standards related to large-occupancy facilities are two of the department highlights in the new May/June issue of NFPA Journal.

 

Issues related to firefighter behavioral health, including firefighter suicide, are covered in "Into the Open," the lead article in this issue's "In A Flash" section. "Large Load," this issue's "Perspectives" article, features an interview with Joseph Cocciardi, chair of NFPA's Technical Committee on Loss Prevention Procedures and Practices, who discusses a new NFPA committee that is exploring the creation of codes and standards for buildings and other facilities with high occupancy loads, including stadiums, hotels, and concert venues.

 

The articles are part of NFPA Journal's comprehensive 2016 Conference & Expo coverage, and include information on related education sessions scheduled for the conference in Las Vegas.

 

In other departments in this issue of NFPA Journal, Jim Pauley, NFPA's president, writes in "First Word" of a recent trip to the United Arab Emirates and that nation's efforts to become the safest country in the world. In "Looking Back," Mary Elizabeth Woodruff recounts a series of landmark hotel fires in 1946—including the Winecoff Hotel fire in Atlanta, where 119 people died—that resulted in significant changes to NFPA's Building Exits Code, the forerunner to NFPA 101, Life Safety Code.

#23 - Maple Museum.jpgSparky visited the new England Maple Museum, located in the foothills of the Green Mountains in Vermont. The Museum traces the history of maple sugaring through 200 years, beginning with Native Americans discovering how to cook sap into syrup. Sparky even got to taste some of the famous Vermont maple syrup!

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

1616massevacandshelteringfeaturethumb.jpgIn 2013, NFPA embarked on the development of NFPA 1616, Standard for Mass Evacuation and Sheltering. The Technical Committee on Mass Evacuation and Sheltering is responsible for the administration of this activity, and they are in the of seeking to clarify the available literature and other applicable detailed information in support of this effort.

 

A compilation of the different laws and how these laws are implemented through the local emergency management infrastructure is recognized as useful information for the NFPA 1616 effort. Currently in the United States, each state empowers the Governor to take actions in time of disaster, but the authority to order and enforce such an order differs in each jurisdictional area. The purpose of this recently completed Fire Protection Research Foundation project is to provide a compendium of state mandatory evacuation laws and the mechanism for the enforcement of such laws.

 

"Mass Evacuation and Sheltering,” authored by Bryan L. Hoskins and Keagan D. Lacey with Oklahoma State University is now available for free download.

 

For further information on this topic, take a look at the new edition of NFPA Journal's article, "Single Source," which delves into the creation of the new NFPA 1616, and how it provides emergency officials with a comprehensive guide for managing a program for mass evacuation and sheltering.

 

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Happy Weekend!  It's the "official" start of the summer season, which, along with sunshine and BBQs, also brings additional safety concerns and potential hazardous scenarios.  NFPA 1, Fire Code, contains valuable requirements to help ensure communities stay safe this summer season.

 

**While staying safe and enjoying the long weekend please remember that Memorial Day is a time to remember those that have sacrificed for our freedom and our country so we can all enjoy weekends like this.**

 

Q1:   How do I protect parade floats?

A:     Parade floats require a permit to use a parade float for public performance, presentation, spectacle, entertainment, or parade.  In addition, motorized parade floats and towing apparatus require a minimum 2-A:10-B:C-rated portable fire extinguisher readily accessible to the operator.  (See Section 10.16)

 

Q2:   How far do recreational fires have to be from a building/structure?

A:     Recreational fires shall not be located within 25 ft (7.6 m) of a structure or combustible material unless contained in an approved manner.  This includes fire pits and camping fires.  Also, conditions that could cause a fire to spread to within 25 ft (7.6 m) of a structure must be eliminated prior to ignition.  (See Section 10.10.4)

 

Q3:  Where can grills be located?

A:    (For other than one- and two-family dwellings,) no hibachi, grill, or other similar devices used for cooking, heating, or any other purpose shall be used  on any balcony, under any overhanging portion, or within 10 ft (3 m) of any structure.  In addition, these devices cannot be stored on a balcony. (See Section 10.10.6)

 

(Check out this post on grills for additional details.)  NFPA also offers a variety of resources for safe grilling and outdoor entertaining!

 

Q4:   Are there any provisions for patio heaters in NFPA 1?

A:     NFPA 1 extracts provisions for the installation of patio heaters from NFPA 58, Liquified Petroleum Gas Code.  Patio heaters, often used extensively in restaurants with outdoor seating, must be listed and used in accordance with their listing and the manufacturer's instructions.  They cannot be located within 5 ft (1.5 m) of exits from an assembly occupancy, recognizing their common use in restaurants. (See Section 10.10.7)

 

 

Q5:   Does NFPA 1 permit the use of sky lanterns?

A:     The use of unmanned, free-floating sky lanterns and similar devices utilizing an open flame are prohibited.  For more information, check out NFPA's safety tip sheet on sky lanterns.  (See Section 10.10.9.3)

 

Q6:   How does an AHJ enforce outdoor events such as carnivals or fairs?

A:     The AHJ is permitted to regulate all outdoor events such as carnivals and fairs as it pertains to access for emergency vehicles; access to fire protection equipment; placement of stands, concession booths, and exhibits; and the control of hazardous conditions dangerous to life and property.  (See Section 10.14)

 

Have a safe holiday weekend!

The following eight proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, and NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus, are being published for public review and comment:

 

 

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the July 12, 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.

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When technical committee members for NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, discuss a possible new requirement for the standard, the debate often focuses on the "reasonableness" of the requirement, according to a feature story in the new May/June issue of NFPA Journal. "Is the cost of doing (or not doing) something offset by the benefit derived?" the story asks. "Nowhere is this concept more evident than in the maintenance of a fire protection system."

 

Changes to the 2017 edition of NFPA 25 are the focus of a story we're calling "Good Housekeeping," part of Journal's comprehensive preview coverage of the 2016 Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. The story is written by Russell Leavitt, executive chairman of Telgian Corporation, a member of NFPA's Board of Directors, and a member of Technical Committee on the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.

 

Many of the "housekeeping" changes to the standard have to do with improving its usability, including simplifying chapter formatting and identifying the location of component requirements. Proposed technical changes include decreased frequencies for some inspections and tests, automated inspection and testing requirements, coordination between the owner and service provide for discharging water, and the inclusion of ITM requirements for aircraft hangars.

 

The package also includes information on NFPA 25-related education sessions at the Las Vegas conference, scheduled for June 13–16.

#22 - Harley Davidson museum.jpgSparky visited the Harley Davidson Museum, situated near downtown Milwaukee. The museum features over 450 motorcycles and related artifacts, including Serial Number One, the oldest known Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Outside the museum, you can see a public art piece called "The Hill Climber" that was given to the museum to mark its 2008 opening.

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

siegel.JPGPresident Barack Obama has appointed Shelley Siegel, FASID of Lake Worth, Florida to the U.S. Access Board.

 

In announcing the appointment, the President stated, “I am confident that this experienced and hardworking individual will help us tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for her service. I look forward to working with her.”

 

Siegel is the founder and president of Universal Design and Education Network, an interior design firm that specializes in universal design in residential and commercial projects. She has also been consulting designer of the Siegel Design Group, Inc. since 1972. Siegel is a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and a member of the Design Alliance for Accessible Sustainable Environments. She is a long time member of NFPA’s Building Systems Technical Committee that is responsible for seven chapters of NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code. She previously served as a member of the Advisory Panel for the ASID National Universal Design Program, the Florida Coordinating Council on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs ADA Advisory Board. She succeeds the late Michael Graves, FAIA as Board member.

 

Congratulations to Shelley on behalf of all of us at NFPA!

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Are those palm trees outside your hotel window real or simulated? Could they be made of plastic? If so, they can pose a significantly greater hazard than real palm trees in a fire event.

 

The nature of that hazard, both inside and outside buildings, and how it is addressed by NFPA codes and standards is the focus of "Looks Nice. Burns Hot," a feature story in the new May/June issue of NFPA Journal by staff writer Ashley Smith.

 

The story is tied to an education session at the upcoming NFPA conference in Las Vegas, and while the ed session will concentrate on decorative features on the Las Vegas Strip, the problem is actually international in scope. Buildings around the world include decorative features, either on or adjacent to the structures, that are made of various types of plastic that can burn much hotter and quicker than conventional construction materials. A fire at a Las Vegas hotel last year, pictured at right, involved plastic palm trees on the hotel's pool deck; a local fire official said the plastic trees acted like "solid gasoline" in helping the fire "take off like a rocket." The blaze resulted in $2 million in damage.

 

Codes currently do not address exterior decorations, though some safety officials are advocating for the inclusion of exterior elements. The codes do cover a variety of interior decorations.

 

The story is part of NFPA Journal's comprehensive Conference & Expo preview coverage.

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In his most recent research column in the new NFPA Journal, Fire Protection Research Foundation Executive Director Casey Grant tackles the subject of robotics.

 

"The potential for robotics to assist with dangerous professions like firefighting is great—the possibilities are limited only by our imaginations,” Grant writes in the piece, “Machine Age.”

 

As this field expands and reinvents itself almost daily, researchers and standard developers must be diligent to keep up to date and address any issues and concerns that arise. Read more on this issue in Grant’s column in the new May/June issue of NFPA Journal.

 

Other columns in the new May/June NFPA Journal include:

 

NFPA Government Affairs Division Director Gregory Cade writing about the many ways NFPA is addressing emerging threats of violence;

 

NFPA Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy Lorraine Carli writing about why NFPA continues to push the home smoke alarm theme for Fire Prevention Week;

 

NFPA Vice President of Field Operations Don Bliss discussing the increasing use of NFPA codes and standards across the globe;

 

NFPA Public Fire Protection Division Manager Ken Willette writing about the many forward-looking education sessions being offered to the fire service at this year’s NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas;

 

And, Lucian Deaton of NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division writing on prescribed burning and how the tactic can be a critical tool for many communities in the Wildland/Urban Interface.

 

Read all of that in the print edition of the May/June NFPA Journal, or online at nfpa.org/journal.

Kathleen warsaw.jpgThis week, NFPA's Vice President of Research Kathleen Almand delivered a keynote address to the 11th biennial Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods, hosted in Warsaw by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).

 

The conference has become a global destination for people working in fire safety engineering, regulations development and enforcement, testing, standards of development and engineering design methods.

 

Almand's presentation entitled "Using Data to Enhance Fire and Life Safety Inspection and Enforcement Programs," focused on how the use of data analytics can aid the fire service in community risk reduction. As she explained, fire departments draw data from various sources to improve the efficiency of their inspection and enforcement efforts. More and more, this data is being collected and analyzed to better understand the patterns behind fire mitigation. She related the outcomes of a recent workshop attended by 16 different U.S. fire departments and service providers who use data analytics to gather, share and evaluate information on electronic tools and strategies.

 

Almand told the group that the Fire Protection Research Foundation is sponsoring an NFPA initiative to discover and share the best practices for collecting data for use by code enforcement agencies. This project aims to show the benefits of applying data to inspection and enforcement programs and increase awareness of data sets, tools and best practices already in place in the inspection and enforcement fields. In addition, the Foundation hopes to identify existing gaps in data sets, find opportunities for standardization of data gathering tools and application strategies, and provide guidance and input for NFPA Technical Committees.

 

During her keynote, Almand also explained that as an independent, neutral non-governmental organization, NFPA is well-positioned to coordinate the next generation of data that will allow our stakeholders to apply relevant and timely information for better decision-making. NFPA has created a Data Analytics Sandbox where the fire service, municipalities and others can combine their big and small data with other data in an innovative, secure test-bed. The data is then analyzed and utilized to fulfill fire protection, life safety, community engagement and business operations objectives.

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A tragic fire claimed the lives of 18 young girls, ages 5-12, at a primary school in the Wiang Pa Po district just outside the city of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand last night. The 11:00 p.m. blaze started on the first floor of a wooden two-story girls dormitory at the private Pithakkaiat Witthaya School. Approximately 400 students, mostly poor children from local tribes, attend grades pre-K through 6 at the five year old school, located 500 miles from Bangkok. The dorm housed 38 girls in total. In addition to the 18 young lives lost, 5 more students sustained injuries, two of them are listed in serious condition. It took firefighters three hours to extinguish the fire. The cause of the fire is undetermined. Globally in recently years, there have been other tragic dormitory fires in Turkey, Nigeria, Myanmar and elsewhere, where young students boarding at schools were killed in overnight fires.

 

According to CBS News, an 11-year old girl tried to alert her classmates about the fire but students thought it was a prank and returned to sleeping. Many of the survivors, working with a teacher who stays overnight in the girls dorm, tied sheets together so that they could climb down the side of the building to safety.

 

A November 2015 NFPA report on fires in U.S. dormitories, fraternities, sororities and barracks indicate that fires were most common during the evening hours, between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., and on weekends. Between 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 3,870 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks which caused an annual average of one civilian death, 32 civilian fire injuries and $14 million in direct property damage. It is likely that most of the dormitory fires in the U.S. occurred in college or university dorms. For additional information on dormitory fire safety in the U.S., refer to the code provisions for dormitories covered in Chapter 28 (New Hotels and Dormitories) and Chapter 29 (Existing Hotels and Dormitories) of NFPA 101, the Life Safety Code.

#21 - National Fire Dog Monument.jpgSparky visited the National Fire Dog Monument in Washington, D.C. The monument was designed to honor arson dogs, also known as accelerant detection canines, who are trained to sniff out evidence that a fire was started intentionally. The statue, designed by a volunteer firefighter, moved to its permanent home in 2013.

 

Read previous NFPA coverage of the monument here.

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

shutterstock_85231228 (002).jpgPhiladelphia public schools are ignoring the city’s code and the school district’s policy for fire drills, according to a local affiliate of NBC News.

 

City codes require public schools to have ten fire drills— one a month— over the course of the school year, including two within the first two weeks of school. In an investigative segment that aired earlier this week, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported less than 15 percent of Philadelphia schools performed the required ten fire drills during the 2014-2015 school year. Some schools only performed as little as two.

 

Records for the past two and a half years show schools recording drills on days school was not in session, including a Saturday, Christmas Eve and during the Papal visit in September 2015.

 

NFPA offers resources to help educators safeguard against fire. These include a lesson plan for teaching students about fire drills, and a list of safety tips for school fires. However, it remains vitally important that schools conduct the proper amount of drills. These NFPA resources build on the requirements of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code which requires one drill a month with an additional provision that two must be conducted within the first 30 days of school.

 

Said NFPA’s Robert Solomon, “This is one of the most important things you can do for the students and the faculty."

 

Watch part two of the NBC 10 segment here.

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In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the city of San Antonio, Texas, sheltered an estimated 37,000 storm evacuees at a cost to the city of roughly $21.8 million. While extraordinary in its benevolence, the city’s mayor at the time, Phil Hardberger, conceded later that his initial assessment that San Antonio could handle such a wave of refugees, even if it meant creating and implementing a complex, multiagency plan on the fly, was bold and maybe even ignorant.

 

Put yourself in Hardberger’s shoes,” writes Dean Larson, the chair of the technical committee of NFPA 1616, Mass Evacuation, Sheltering, and Reentry Programs, in his feature article “Single Source” in the new issue of NFPA Journal. “Sheltering that many people for an indeterminate length of time is a truly daunting task, one you’ve never before undertaken. Where do you even begin?”

 

Now, with the creation of NFPA 1616, there is a document officials can turn to for assistance. In his article, Larson details the just completed NFPA 1616—the 2017 edition will be the first—which describes an integrated program for planning, executing, and evaluating mass evacuation, mass sheltering, and mass reentry.

 

“I believe the new standard will allow emergency managers and other key decision makers to initiate and manage such programs much more quickly and efficiently, and will help ensure a safe, humane, and supportive experience for evacuees throughout the evacuation, sheltering, and reentry process,” Larson writes in the article.

 

Learn much more about the new NFPA 1616 standard, how it was created, the process technical committee members went through to create it, as well as much more about what the how it will impact future mass evacuation and sheltering events, by reading Larson's article in the all in the new May/June issue of NFPA Journal. 

fire-starting-drones-1.jpgFor almost two years, researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) have been working on a drone that can set fires while airborne, with the intention of making controlled burns easier. As reported by Gizmag, the team recently carried out real-life testing of their creation, which they say will help reduce the risks facing firefighters by letting them set controlled burns remotely.

 

The aircraft carries balls of potassium permanganate powder that are injected with liquid glycerol before being launched to the ground. The combined chemicals set off a reaction that ignites the materials within 60 seconds after landing.

 

Controlled burning lowers the risk of dangerous wildfires by removing built up underbrush that could fuel an out-of-control blaze. This method, called a prescribed burn, has been covered in NFPA Journal® as a critical part of reducing the threat wildfires pose to communities. Currently, firefighters use helicopters and handheld launchers to avoid being too close to intentional burns. It’s thought that drones have the potential to be a more efficient and affordable alternative.

 

NFPA Journal® has also covered the growing prevalence of drones, robots and other unmanned vehicles as emergency response tools in a 2015 article, Rise of the Machines.  Drones will also take center stage during NFPA’s Conference & Expo in Las Vegas during the keynote address. Don’t miss the chance to learn more about how drones, robotics and key analytics are helping to solve today’s fire problems.

 

Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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When compared to its older counterparts, today's homebuilding material offers a more economical and environmentally friendly way of crafting new dwellings. A lesser-known fact is the dramatic way these materials respond to fire.

 

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative is hosting its next webinar, Lightweight Construction: The Fire Dangers of Today's Homebuilding Materials, on June 8, 12:30-1:30 p.m. EST. Learn the science behind this type of material and why home fire sprinklers are a proven method for reducing fire's impact in new dwellings. You'll also discover free resources developed by the Fire Sprinkler Initiative to promote these dangers and necessity of fire sprinklers in new homes.

 

Register for the free webinar today.

What’s the difference between apreliminary sprinkler plan anda working sprinkler plan?Making thaworking plan.pngt important distinction is the subject of “Best-Laid Plans,” the lead article in the “In Compliance” department of the new May/June NFPA Journal.

 

In his NFPA 13 article, author Matt Klaus points out that it isn’t enough to simply refer to “the plans” when undertaking sprinkler installation projects. There are important distinctions between preliminary and working plans, Klaus says, and anyone involved with an installation needs to understand the function of each. “Working plans are typically prepared using the preliminary plans as a starting point, and layers of detail are added as the building geometry and the locations of other building systems are finalized,” Klaus writes.

 

Other “In Compliance” pieces include Wayne Moore’s NFPA 72 article on the importance of understanding MNS intelligibility; Ron Coté’s NFPA 101 update on the size of hospital smoke compartments; and Jeff Sargent’s NEC article on how the code can benefit both safety and the bottom line.

 

The May/June issue of NFPA Journal features an extensive preview of the upcoming NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, scheduled for June 13–16, and also includes a complete listing of Expo exhibitors.

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A new NFPA Journal article, “Decentralization Revolution,” explores several proposed changes to the 2017 National Electrical Code® (NEC®). Several of the proposed changes will address key emerging issues and technologies related to electrical generation and distribution.

 

“The changing landscape has caused electrical experts to reimagine the future of the electrical grid, and has been one of the main drivers for three of the most important proposed additions to the 2017,” the NFPA Journal article reads. “More and larger consumer-owned power generation has caused the NEC’s code-making panels to consider systems and circumstances they never had previously.”

 

These include large-scale photovoltaic, direct-current microgrids, energy storage systems, and more.

 

Read much more about these emerging technologies as well as the proposed NEC changes designed to address them and ensure safety in the May/June NFPA Journal.

In addition, Listen to the NFPA Journal Podcast to hear NFPA electrical engineers Mark Earley and Jeffrey Sargent talk about the proposed changes to the 2017 NEC.

 

Download and subscribe to the NFPA Journal Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

#20 - Air Force B-1B Lancer (002).jpgSparky checked off let another item from his bucket list when he hitched a ride on a B-1B Lancer, a US Air Force bomber, at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. The base has been in use since it was built in 1942. the B-1B is  a supersonic vehicle, meaning it can travel faster than the speed of sound!

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

may june 2016 cover.pngAs the 2016 NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas approaches, the new May/June issue of NFPA Journal offers a comprehensive preview of the event—a range of feature stories and other articles reference dozens of upcoming education sessions and other conference happenings, providing attendees with an ideal planning resource while telling important fire, life safety, and electrical safety stories.

 

Feature stories include previews of the new editions of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, and NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems; the making of the new NFPA 1616, Mass Evacuation, Sheltering, and Reentry Programs; how data is being used by communities to reduce fire risk; a roundtable update on the unwanted alarm problem; and a look at combustible decorative elements of buildings on the Las Vegas Strip.

 

Our departments include a “Perspectives” interview with a member of the Building Fire and Life Safety Directors Committee, a new NFPA group formedto develop codes and standards for buildings and facilities with occupant loads of 500 or more. “In Compliance” leads with an important NFPA 13 piece on distinguishing preliminary sprinkler plans from working sprinkler plans. Our “In A Flash” section leads with a new look at the problem of firefighter suicide and other behavior health issues in the fire service, and in “First Word” NFPA President Jim Pauley recounts a recent trip to the United Arab Emirates and NFPA’s efforts to help the nation achieve its stated goal of becoming “the safest country in the world.”

 

Column topics in this issue range from the continued theme of home smoke alarms for Fire Prevention Week to the need for research to keep pace with advances in robotics.

 

The issue also includes 27 pages of information on Expo exhibitors at the Las Vegas conference.

 

We hope you enjoy the issue, and we look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas.

Smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years - that was the key message behind a news story that aired yesterday on KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh's CBS news affiliate. It also happens to be the theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Don't Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years", October 9-15.

 

While smoke alarms can make the difference between life and death in a home fire, they need to be working properly, and that means replacing them every 10 years. To find out how old a smoke alarm is, check the date on the back of the alarm. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

 

Kudos to KDKA-TV for covering this important message in a compelling, accurate manner. We encourage fire departments planning to promote Fire Prevention Week in their communities to consider this news story as a great example of how local news outlets can cover this year's theme. Our Fire Prevention Week website offers a wealth of related resources and information - make sure to check them out!

sprinkler myths.jpg“Smoke Alarms, Not Sprinkler Mandates, says NAHB.”

 

This title appeared in a recent post on the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) blog. The post summarized a column written by NAHB for the new issue of Fire Protection Engineering Magazine, which focused primarily on residential fire safety. Consider the following half-truths and misinformation found in the blog post and magazine column:

 

NAHB: Our members produce homes built to building codes designed to keep their occupants safer

This statement is partially accurate. NAHB states that newer homes are built to building codes explicitly designed to make homes safer. However, a component of all U.S. model building codes is the requirement—not the option—to sprinkler all new homes. Since fire sprinklers are now an essential component, new homes built without them should be considered substandard.

 

For additional rebuttals to NAHB's anti-sprinkler statements, visit our Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

shutterstock_202149934 - wood construction.jpgEarly last year, the Ontario Building Code changed to allow for construction of five and six storey wood residential and office buildings. This week officials in Ontario released guidelines outlining best practices for fire safety during construction of mid-rise wood buildings. Fire Safety During Construction for Five and Six Storey Wood Buildings in Ontario: a Best Practices Guide has been created for developers and builders, as well as architects and engineers, so that they can factor in construction fire safety as they design properties, identify building specifications, and perform onsite work.

 

Canada's first official summary was created by Ontario's Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), the Ministry of Labour (MOL), and the office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM), under the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, to encourage a "culture of safety" on construction sites that goes beyond building, health and safety regulations. Designers, builders and tradesmen are encouraged to read the 116-page guide to minimize risk and reduce loss if a fire breaks out during the building of a wood mid-rise structure.

 

In recent years, wood building construction has been on the rise due to economic benefits and sustainability. The University of British Columbia in Vancouver is currently building an 18-story residential skyscraper for students that will be finished in the fall of 2017. Additional wood hi-rise construction is underway in Japan, Australia, and Europe, partly due to the fact that there are less greenhouse gas emissions created during wood construction, as compared with concrete construction. As wood hi-rise construction continues to surge, it is important for the building community to be fire-safe during construction to avoid catastrophic wood construction fires like the blaze in downtown Kingston, Ontario which resulted in a crane operator being rescued by a helicopter and the 7-story apartment inferno in Los Angeles that occurred during the wood-frame aspect of construction.

 

The new wood mid-rise fire safety guidelines reference three NFPA codes:

 

Although the new best practices document reads like a code in some instances, it is not a regulation. The objective of the resource is to protect designed elements that will be part of a finished building and to address the safety challenges that exist when the building's fire protection systems are not finished. Guideline creators acknowledge that many builders already follow fire-safety protocol on the job based on their own site-specific considerations, but are hopeful that these best practices will resonate with those that are less-fire-safety-focused. "These new guidelines will help architects and contractors to look at the job site with fire safety in mind," Shayne Mintz, NFPA's Canadian regional director said. "Any time that we can proactively reinforce fire-safety measures on the job and inform building stakeholders about the importance of smart planning, good housekeeping, proper disposal of flammable materials,and safeguarding against fire incidents is a win for NFPA and the audiences that we serve."

 

2016 screen shot.JPGAs part of IAFC and NVFC's 2016 Safety Stand Down, the “Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz” Sweepstakes is back! Hosted by NFPA, IAFC and NVFC, the interactive online quiz reinforces the training messages behind this year’s theme, “The First Five Minutes of Fire Attack.”

The quiz will be available online until June 17th and contains 15 questions on firefighter safety during the first five minutes of structural fire response. Career and volunteer firefighters, EMTs and other fire department employees and members are invited to participate. Everyone who completes the quiz will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes; 200 randomly selected participants will win a specially designed challenge coin commemorating this year’s Safety Stand Down.

See the official rules. Take the quiz and enter the sweepstakes now!

We hope this quiz serves as a fun reminder of the training messages being emphasized during 2016's Safety Stand Down. Good luck to everyone who participates!

In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation's communities. Back then, EMS was a new profession, and EMS practitioners had only just started to be recognized as a critical component of emergency medicine and the public health safety net.

A lot has changed since then. EMS is now firmly established as an essential public function and a vital component of the medical care continuum. On any given day, EMS practitioners help save lives by responding to medical emergencies, including heart attack, difficulty breathing, a fall or accident, drowning, cardiac arrest, stroke, drug overdose or acute illness. EMS may provide both basic and advanced medical care at the scene of an emergency and en route to a hospital. EMS practitioners care for their patients' medical needs and show caring and compassion to their patients in their most difficult moments.

EMS Week 2016 CPR class.JPGWith the development of mobile integrated healthcare and community paramedicine (MIH-CP), EMS is also increasingly a valued participant in achieving the nation's overall healthcare goals of improved patient health and lowered costs.

NAEMT continues its partnership with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) on the EMS Strong campaign. Together, NAEMT and ACEP are working to ensure that the important contributions of EMS practitioners in safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of their communities are fully celebrated and recognized.

EMS Week is a great chance to recognize and celebrate all of the great work EMS providers do. Just this morning, NFPA's Ken Holland, EMT, taught a CPR class to NFPA staff to kick this important week off. NFPA sends their deepest thank you to all EMS providers, including those that assist us with our emergency response standards!

   6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08aa7e48970d-200wi.jpgThe May 2016 issue of NFPA News, our codes and standards newsletter, is now available.

  • New project on Emergency Responder Robotics (unmanned aerial systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other robotics utilized for emergency responder applications)
  • Comments sought on proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) to NFPA 70
  • Annual 2016 Motions Committee Report available
  • Committees seeking members for energy storage systems; hazardous waste; and low pressure dispensing containers
  • TIAs issued and not issued
  • 2016 Conference & Expo
  • 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.

Clinic.JPG

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation was founded by several doctors in Cleveland, Ohio after the close of World War I.  The Foundation operated  out of multiple buildings in the area including a hospital and clinic.   The clinic building was used primarily for examination and diagnosis of patients, and also included staff offices, laboratories, a staff library, and the x-ray department.  One of the important diagnostic tools employed by the clinic was x-rays, which were stored in the basement.

 

Nitrocellulose film, used as x-ray film at the clinic, is flammable and when burned,  produces dangerous gases which are poisonous and explosive.  The film becomes unstable at high temperatures and can begin to decompose at temperatures near 300 degrees Fahrenheit.   By 1929, the hazards of nitrocellulose  film were known, and alternative "safety" cellulose acetate film was growing in use.  Guidance from NFPA was first published in 1925 for nitrocellulose film and x-ray storage and handling.  NFPA recommended safety measures at the time included vented storage and protection by automatic sprinklers.

 

At the clinic, the film was stored in the basement, in an old coal bin, and was not stored in compliance with NFPA guidance.   It is estimated that approximately 70,000 x-rays, weighing between 3 and 4 tons,  were stored in this room.  Running through the room, near the ceiling, were steam pipes.  Pendant lights were also located near the ceiling in the film storage room.  Both the steam pipes and the lights were sources of heat that should have been located a safer distance from the film storage.

 

The morning of May 15, a steamfitter reported to the clinic to fix a leak reported in the film room.  When he arrived, he attempted, but was unable to locate the leak.  He did make note that the room was overheated.  The steamfitter returned to the room several hours later to find the room filled with steam, and instructed that the steam supply be shut off.  When he returned again to the room about 20 minutes later, he saw a cloud of yellow smoke near the ceiling.  He attempted to extinguish a fire, but was unable, and as he made his way to exit the room, he was thrown through the door by  the first of two explosions.   He was able to get to a window by the time of the second explosion and was blown through the window.

 

Filmroom.JPGThe force of then two explosions pushed toxic gases from the fire through the pipe ducts and distributed fumes throughout the building.   Evidence of the spread of gas would later be found in almost every room in the clinic building, as it left a brown residue when it settled on cold surfaces.   The fire continued to burn in the film room (pictured at left, after the fire)  and an adjacent storage room causing fumes to spread vertically up the back staircase.  These ignited as they reached air, burning handrails and baseboards in the staircase.  Gases also began to collect in the building attic and approximately ten minutes after the first explosion, a final explosion occurred, collapsing the ceilings of many fourth floor rooms, and blowing out a main skylight in the building.

 

It is thought that approximately 225 people were in the building at the time of the fire.  Some staff were caught by surprise, and  found dead at their desks, while others attempted to exit the building, and collapsed, overcome by the fumes on their way to the exit.    One hundred twenty two people  died as a result of the fire at the clinic, and an additional 50 people were treated for exposure to the fumes.  It should be noted that none of the deaths or injuries were as a result of burns, and there was limited fire damage to the structure.  It is unknown what started the fire, but was determined that either the heat from a light, or the heat from the steam, could have achieved the temperatures needed to start the decomposition of the nitrocellulose film. It is also of note that within a few years of this incident, nitrate film would be phased out for use in x-rays, being replaced with more stable "safety" cellulose acetate film.

 

The Charles S. Morgan Library supports the research activities and maintains the archive of NFPA.  We have copies of the NFPA pamphlet on the Cleveland Clinic Fire, and the Report on the Cleveland Clinic Fire by the NBFU and the Ohio Inspection Bureau.  Learn more about the Library and Archives, our resources, and services.

Are you a facility manager or hospital administrator? If you are, then you won't want to miss our FREE webinar, "CMS Adoption of the 2012 Edition of NFPA 101 and NFPA 99:  NFPA 101 and NFPA 99 - Changes from 2000 to 2012" on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

 

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The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its final rule that requires health care facilities to migrate from using the 2000 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code® (LSC) to the 2012 edition; and mandates direct compliance with the 2012 edition of NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, for the first time. Health care providers that participate in federal reimbursement programs are required to meet the CMS COP expectations. This 1-hour online event will broaden your knowledge about the major changes you need to comply with, so you can raise awareness in your department or organization.        

 

NFPA's Jonathon Hart, Senior Fire Protection Engineer, will host the webinar and cover key updates including NFPA 101 - 2012 Edition and NFPA 99 - 2012 Edition. Jonathan currently serves as staff liaison to NFPA 99, Heath Care Facilities Code, working with the seven technical committees and the correlating committee responsible for the development of the document, and is a co-developer and instructor of the two-day NFPA 99 Seminar.

 

Won't you join us? Learn more about the webinar and register today to participate in this one-of-a-kind event.

shutterstock_82144921 (002).jpgShould you sleep with your bedroom door opened or closed? It’s a straightforward question, but the answer isn’t quite so clear-cut. Many variables, including where people sleep in their homes and the location of their smoke alarms, make it challenging to craft a one-size-fits-all answer.

 

In response to the latest research, NFPA’s Educational Messages Advisory Committee (EMAC) recently modified its messaging regarding sleeping with the door closed. The updated message states that, “a closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected.”

 

EMAC has also recommended the need for additional research to look at other factors, such as whether or not a closed door could delay early warning from a smoke alarm outside the sleeping room, along with how a closed door will impact the rate of fatalities when the fire begins in the room where the door is closed.

 

“While there are so many variables to where a fire starts and how it spreads, anything that can potentially give you more time to get out should be considered,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy division. “You could have as little as two minutes to escape a home fire, compared to seven to eight minutes years ago. Smoke alarms can provide the crucial early warning that often has a significant impact on the outcome of home fires.”

 

Carli added that while having working smoke alarms is of tantamount importance, installing fire sprinklers in the home is an even better way to lessen the threat of fire.

 

Texas NBC affiliate, NBCDFW, ran an investigative segment detailing the updated guidelines, including an interview with Carli that covers the new closed door messaging and the importance of smoke alarms and sprinklers.

 

Check out our escape planning and smoke alarm resources and information, including our safety tip sheets, which reflect NFPA’s revised position on this issue.

FullSizeRender (005).jpgNFPA continues to work with schools and community groups to raise awareness of the STEM field, and in particular, careers in the fire protection engineering space. Recently Kathleen Almand, NFPA’s vice president of research, was at Auburn Junior High School in Alabama where she witnessed great promise and genuine excitement about science and technology as she judged a school science fair.

 

Students created projects for the Paradigm Challenge, an annual competition that encourages students to address important social issues in innovative ways. Students were tasked with designing an invention or innovation to help lower the risk of home fires, then either create a physical model or digital rendering of their design. Their creations needed to be easy to operate and affordable to the general public.

 

“The entries ranged from an app for a fit-bit with alerts from the fire alarm to an app which locates an arc fault circuit interrupter in case of a faulty electrical situation, to an innovative exit lighting concept,” said Almand. “Judges rated the top 6 entries and individually graded all 45 entries. It was a great group of enthusiastic and forward-thinking students, and a pleasure to interact with emerging talent who share NFPA’s goal of eliminating death, injury and loss due to fire and electrical hazards.”

 

Other inventions showcased at the well-known science fair included a built-in escape ladder that unrolls from the bottom of a windowsill, remote control mini fire trucks, fire-safety systems for the hearing and vision impaired, and compact disposable fire safety suits.

 

Besides Kathleen, the judging panel included an equipment design engineer from Duracell, an alumni professor of chemical engineering, a field specialist from Underwriters Laboratories, Auburn’s fire chief and a representative from Harrington Group, a fire protection engineering firm.

normacandeloro

Today in fire history

Posted by normacandeloro Employee May 13, 2016

On Tuesday, May 13, 1997, a fire occurred at a board and care facility in Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania. State fire investigators determined that the fire most likely started on a screened-in porch. Investigators determined that the fire was caused by disposal of smoking materials on the screened-in porch area of the building. The fire killed ten residents and injured three others. The building was heavily damaged by the fire, and the property loss was estimated at $270,000. The facility was a two-story plus basement, wood-frame structure with several additions that had been made over time, which increased the size of the building. Fire protection features included a fire alarm system with smoke detectors and heat detectors, and fire extinguishers. Interior stairways were enclosed. Steel doors with self-closing devices protected openings to the stairways; however, the self-closing device on one of the stairway doors was deactivated. Wall and ceiling finishes were noncombustible. The facility was not equipped with an automatic sprinkler system. NFPA members can read the full
investigation report
.

shutterstock_456019 (002).jpg On Wednesday, the Houston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Texas State Fire Marshal Office announced that the fire which caused a massive explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas was intentionally set.

 

The 2013 fire and subsequent explosion killed 15 people, including 10 firefighters and two volunteers who were helping to combat the initial blaze, and three members of the public. In addition, over 260 people were injured and several buildings were destroyed. The explosion happened when a fire ignited the fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate that was stored at the facility. The ammonium nitrate detonated, causing a blast that registered as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake.

 

NFPA Journal® previously covered the explosion in the March/April 2014 NFPA Journal cover story detailing the explosion and the response to it from NFPA and other organizations. In the months following the incident, U.S. agencies involved with chemical storage safety have looked to NFPA to better understand what transpired at West Fertilizer. NFPA’s Technical Committee on Hazardous Chemicals worked with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and other organizations to incorporate lessons learned from the explosion into the 2016 edition of NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code.

 

NFPA 400 covers the storage, handling, and use of many hazardous chemicals. Of those chemicals, ammonium nitrate is the only one to have its own chapter in the code. While the code does not specifically address criminal intent, there are security requirements that limit access to authorized personnel only. A detailed overview of the changes made to the 2016 edition of NFPA 400 can be found in the “Safer Storage” article in the May/June 2015 issue of NFPA Journal.

 

In 2013, the Ammonium Nitrate Task Group was formed to review the requirements in NFPA 400 to ensure that the code requirements were clear and to add requirements such as sprinklers and public notification to provide additional protection.

 

CSB released their report on the explosion in January of this year. In it, they called the explosion “one of the most destructive incidents ever investigated” by the CSB in terms of loss of life, injury and property damage.

 

Although the ATF will not release their final report while the investigation is ongoing, officials said they are confident they are on their way to identifying those responsible. No arrests have been made.

Data Analytics Sandbox 5.9_PPT.jpgEarlier this week InformationWeek, the world's most trusted online community for business technology, published an article on the 9 Best Practices To Minimize Risk when it comes to Data Products. Nathaniel Lin, NFPA’s data analytics & strategy lead contributed to the 10-blog piece and offered some relevant insight into NFPA’s key strategic initiative surrounding data.

 

Lin joined the NFPA team last summer and has been busy meeting with NFPA stakeholders, partners and like-minded businesses, organizations and manufacturers regarding NFPA’s Data Analytics Sandbox, a test-bed where big and small data is combined with other data, analyzed and utilized to meet fire protection, life safety, community engagement and business objectives.

 

To understand the importance and potential of data, Lin explains, "you start with a business question, then do a data audit based on the analytics, and you test it to see if the data created a business opportunity or solved a problem. It's like peeling an onion. Once you get through one layer, you discover other layers -- sometimes opportunities you would not know existed unless you asked the right questions and used the right tools.” Lin goes on to explain that at NFPA, "essentially, we're looking to leverage the data that's available out there and aggregate it to create unique value and solutions for our stakeholders - that up until today were not possible."

 

NFPA’s first data priority is to engage the fire service, the enforcement community and others with a focus on fire prevention, protection and emergency response. In an effort to identify relevant data and forward-thinking partners, Lin’s outreach has resulted in conversations and collaboration with municipalities, government agencies, safety partners, insurance companies, private business, academia, and smart technology manufacturers.

 

Data also takes center stage at NFPA this spring with a data analytics article in the May/June issue of NFPA Journal. Next month at NFPA’s annual Conference & Expo (C&E) in Las Vegas, the keynote sessions will also focus on sensors, robotics, drones and monitoring technology that will impact fire and disaster response, product design and data capture. Later in the week firefighter Bart van Leeuwen, owner of netage, a Netherlands-based company, will also share his frontline perspective and global data analytics expertise during the C&E featured presentation. The outside-the-box-thinker shares NFPA’s belief that data is not used to its full potential today, saying “The challenge is to unlock data by creating both human and technical connections in organizations so that they can benefit from the potential.” NFPA’s C&E will also feature data-driven and smart solution education sessions and informal speaker forums, as well as a new hands-on, progressive space called the Discovery District that includes NFPA’s Data Analytics Sandbox, a robot petting zoo, a smart solutions showcase, alternative fuel vehicles and more.

 

NFPA Vice President of Research Kathleen Almand was among national experts providing forward-thinking input as part of the White House Event on Resilience and Building Codes this week, an event that focused on the Obama administration’s #1 priority – climate change.

 

Almand joined thought leaders from the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), the International Code Council (ICC), the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) on a panel to discuss resilience in the codes and standards community. Topic touchpoints included the need for building beyond disaster, performance-based design, aftermath considerations, incorporating resilience into planning, and the role that government can play to support codes and standards organizations as they look to address resiliency. Throughout the day subject matter experts from the design, building, and code space talked about climate change challenges and how weather shifts affect homes, buildings and safety.

 

As part of NFPA’s efforts to eliminate death, injury, and property loss from fire and related hazards, the organization is addressing resiliency challenges and changing climate through the following efforts:

  • In 2015, NFPA undertook a study to evaluate how resiliency could be better incorporated into codes and standards. Going forward, guidance from this study will be provided to NFPA codes and standards technical committees so that they can factor in resiliency concepts.  NFPA will also look to grow the proactive wildland fire mitigation and community risk reduction program, Firewise, which has over 1200 communities across the U.S. taking steps to reduce  the impact of wildfire on communities at the interface. We will continue to partner with the fire service and the insurance industry to leverage audiences, and expand outreach efforts across the globe.
  • NFPA’s sought-after public education resources for consumers and educators already feature community emergency preparedness messaging to support resiliency.
  • Internationally, NFPA is also committed to reducing the risk of fire as a chronic hazard in developing nations. Recent activities have focused on Bangladesh and Ethiopia; NFPA will continue to work with partners supporting the UN 2030 Agenda, such as the World Bank and US Aid to International Development (USAID) to address fire and life safety deficiencies in developing nations.

The White House resiliency forum brought together public and private sector leaders to discuss working collaboratively; determining research needed to support resilient community codes and standards; and identifying how resilience-focused building codes and standards will impact new construction, major renovations and existing infrastructure.

#19 - Yosemite.jpgSparky got to visit Yosemite National Park, one of the country’s most popular national parks. The park has been protected by the federal government since 1864, when then-president Abraham Lincoln signed a bill, called the Yosemite Grant, to protect the area. The early campaign to preserve Yosemite’s unaltered nature was central to the idea of creating a national parks system; Yosemite officially became a national park with the founding of the National Park Service in 1916. Today, the park’s relatively untouched wilderness and remarkable biodiversity draw millions of visitors each year. Many of them flock to see Yosemite’s distinctive granite cliffs and groves of ancient sequoia trees.

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

#18 - St Louis Arch.jpgSparky checked another item off his list when he visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Originally built to memorialize St. Louis' role in the United States' westward expansion, the arch stands at 630 feet tall and weighs 43,220 pounds! It’s also designed to sway as much at 18 inches to resist earthquakes, although most of the time the arch is stationary. From the arch, visitors can see both Missouri and Illinois, as well as the Mississippi River flowing directly past it.

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

silver sprinkler angle.jpgOpponents of home fire sprinklers failed in their initial effort to eliminate home fire sprinklers from the 2018 edition of the International Code Council's (ICC) International Residential Code (IRC). All five anti-sprinkler proposals considered by the IRC Residential Building Code Committee at their April public hearing in Louisville, Kentucky, were rejected.

 

However, proponents of one proposal (RB129-16) introduced an “assembly motion,” which requires a vote by ICC members to support or oppose the committee recommendation. This proposal removes requirements for home fire sprinklers from the body of the code and places it in the appendix, making the requirement an option for adoption. We need your help to oppose/defeat the assembly motion.

 

What's at Stake?

 

The future of home fire safety in America hinges on winning this vote and upcoming votes that may occur during ICC’s final action voting in November.  Home fire sprinklers represent our best chance at combating America's fire problem. We've been successful in defending that requirement in the 2009, 2012, and 2015 editions of the IRC. If we lose in 2016, home fire safety could be set back for decades.

 

Take Action: Vote Online

 

There is a two-week online voting window that is scheduled to begin on or shortly after May 11. To vote go this website and complete the registration/sign-in process. Follow the prompts for "online voting," and search Item RB129-16 and vote against the assembly/floor motion for “approval as submitted.”

 

All ICC members are eligible to participate in this vote. For this vote, you do not have to be a governmental employee to participate. All current ICC members, including contractors, manufacturers, consultants, etc., are eligible to vote. Governmental employees who completed the required annual validation process prior to March 18 are also eligible to vote.

 

Governmental employees who did not re-validate prior to March 18th are not eligible to participate in this vote. However, governmental employees still have time to be validated for participation in final action voting later this year if their annual validation process is completed prior to September 19.  (Here's how to update your voter representative information.)

 

Please contact NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team with any questions.

Five_Tesla_Model_S_electric_cars_in_Norway.jpgNFPA and the Council of Canadian Fire Marshals Fire Commissioners (CCFMFC) recently announced that they have signed a license agreement to deliver an Electric, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Vehicle Safety Training Program for Emergency Responders throughout Canada based on materials originally developed by NFPA for U.S. first responders.

 

As the number of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) on Canadian roads steadily increases, it become all the more important that first responders are properly trained to respond to emergencies involving these vehicles. The need for alternative fuel vehicle emergency response training was highlighted in the industry-led, federal government-coordinated document, Electric Vehicle Technology Roadmap for Canada.

Recent license agreements between CCFMFC and NFPA mean that Canadian fire, police, EMS, tow truck operators and other first responders will have access to a variety of relevant materials, training, resources, and emergency field guides that provide responders with a quick reference on how to handle AFV incidents on-scene.

Thanks to the support of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the training materials will now be available throughout Canada in both of the country’s official languages, English and French. CCFNC and NFPA also received support and technical expertise from Transport Canada’s ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program.

 

By collaborating with the appropriate provincial and territorial training authorities, CCFMFC hopes to introduce this first-of-its kind, country-wide emergency first responder training as early as this summer.

jobs.JPGThree jobs are currently available in NFPA's information services (IS) department. Starting at the top, we've begun our search for a vice president of information and technology. With a refreshed, stakeholder-centric and data-driven strategy to engage and serve our diverse markets, NFPA is seeking someone to set the vision for and lead the development and implementation of our technology platforms and applications, corporate systems, infrastructure and operations.  Reporting to the CEO and as a member of the senior leadership team, this is an opportunity to help shape the future of NFPA by driving a culture of innovation toward the development of product enhancements and adoption of new technologies into product and platform offerings and by introducing and integrating technology to provide a superior stakeholder experience.

Next up, we are looking for a web systems analyst to provide support for and help define enhancements to NFPA's existing enterprise software systems.

Lastly, we have a great opportunity for a computer support associate to join our team. This individual will be responsible for managing the daily receipt, documentation, dispatch and resolution of all Help Line calls.

For more information on any of these positions, or to apply online, please visit our careers website.

Today in fire history: wildfire destroys more than 76 homes

The Stephan Bridge Road Fire, which began on May 8, 1990, eventually spread across 5,916 acres of wildland/urban interface area near Crawford, Michigan.  The fire eventually destroyed more than 76 homes, and 125 other structures, plus 37 vehicles and boats.  Losses from the fire were estimated at $5.5 million, plus $700,000 in destroyed timber (all told, $10.8 million in today’s dollars).

 

The fire originated from a controlled burn which rekindled seven weeks after the initial ignition, and spread to nearby ground fuels.  The weather played a significant role in this fire: low rainfall, rising temperatures, and high winds combined to dry out the forest and ground fuels.  Then, during fire suppression, strong gusting winds sent the fire out of control in a new direction.

 

This wildfire represents just one example of the risks of building homes in the wildland urban interface.  NFPA members can read the full investigation report. Anyone interested in fire hazards and safety in the wildland urban interface can visit http://www.firewise.org/.

Harnesses or fully enclosed personnel riding cages are commonly used during wildland firefighting operations, particularly in regions prone to wildland fires. While these devices and associated activity provide added mobility to firefighters, they're prohibited in the current edition of NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, as they pose safety risks to firefighters. The first draft of the 2018 edition of NFPA 1500 includes language that continues to prohibit the use of "fully enclosed personnel areas" and related activity.

 

NFPA 1500.png

Meanwhile, the committee responsible for NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus, includes requirements for the design and testing of a fully enclosed riding position. These provisions work to ensure that firefighters are seated, properly belted and follow speed requirements when riding fully enclosed personnel areas.

 

Should NFPA 1500 also permit firefighters to use harnesses and/or fully enclosed personnel riding cages that provide added flexibility on apparatus during wildland fire operations? Where do you stand on this issue? Let the technical committee know by submitting a Public Comment on NFPA 1500 by the May 16 deadline - Your Voice Matters!

At its April 2016 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council voted to approve a new Technical Committee on Hazardous Waste along with a committee scope.  Previously, at its August 2015 meeting, the Council voted to establish a task group, chaired by Dr. James Milke, Professor and Chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland. The Task Group was charged with determining the best approach to address hazardous waste disposal. The Task Group met and recommended to the Council the formation of a new Technical Committee and development of a document to address hazardous waste generators, transporters, and Treatment Storage Disposal (TSD) facilities which should also include a crosswalk between NFPA, EPA, and DOT classifications of hazardous waste. The Hazardous Waste Disposal Task Group was discharged by the Council with thanks.The Council directed that a call for members be published for anyone interested in serving on the new Technical Committee.  NFPA staff will then return to the Council with a proposed start-up roster.

 

Anyone interested in applying to this committee, should submit an online application.  You will be asked to sign-in or create a free online account with NFPA before using this system.

 

    • Approved Committee Scope:  This Committee shall have primary responsibility for documents on safeguarding against the fire and explosion hazards associated with the treatment, storage, disposal, generation, and transportation of hazardous waste.

The Council approved a request to develop a project on low pressure dispensing containers (LPDC).  The Council directed that a call for members interested in serving on the new Technical Committee on Low Pressure Dispensing Containers (LPDC) be published. Staff will return to the Council with a proposed start-up roster and recommendation for a Technical Committee Chair. The Council also approved the title and scope of the Committee as follows:

 

    • Approved Committee Title:  Technical Committee on Low Pressure Dispensing Containers (LPDC)
    • Approved Committee Scope:  This Committee shall have primary responsibility for documents on safeguarding against the fire and explosion hazards associated with the manufacturing, handling, and storage of low pressure dispensing containers.

 

At its April 2016 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council approved a request to develop a project addressing the design, construction, installation, and commissioning of stationary energy storage systems.  The Council directed that a call for members interested in serving on the new Technical Committee on Energy Storage Systems be published. Staff will return to the Standard Council with a proposed start-up roster and committee scope.

We're grateful to Shayne Mintz, NFPA Canadian Regional Director, for his updates on the unfolding scenario of wildfire disaster in Alberta, Canada. This morning, Friday, May 6, Shayne reported that the fire is not yet under control due to weather conditions that have not changed. The fire area is now greater in size than the city of Calgary. Due to dwindling supplies, CBC reports that approximately 25,000 evacuees who headed north for refuge in the oil sands camps as a result of the fires in Fort McMurray are being moved and relocated south to Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary.

 

Shayne added, "Today, RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has already begun leading a convoy down Highway 63 complete with fuel tankers, air support to make sure the convoy is aware of any hazards or risk that may arise, and other resources such as service vehicles to ensure the convoy stays intact and complete.  The convoy will be travelling through Fort McMurray to get to the south, so the evacuees from Fort McMurray will be seeing for the first time the devastation that has hit their community."

 

Insurance companies have begun deploying staff to begin the recovery and claims process. They forecast insured losses at $9 billion. This is now being predicted to be the largest natural disaster in Canadian history, surpassing the combined losses from the Central Alberta floods of 2013, the 2011 Slave Lake wildfire, and the 1998 Eastern Ontario Ice Storm.

 

Many readers may be wondering what they can do to help. Shayne said that donations to the Canadian Red Cross to help in recovery are greatly appreciated. He indicated that the Canadian government is matching such donations dollar for dollar.

 

Report from Thursday, May 5 - by Lucian Deaton, NFPA Wildland Fire Operations Division

This morning, we spoke with NFPA’s Canadian Regional Director, Shayne Mintz, based in Ontario, Canada to gain some understanding of the wildfire and its impact.  He shared that, “With the near drought-like conditions in British Columbia and Alberta [Canada], over the past two years and the unusually high spring temperatures – coupled with low humidity, this is definitely unusual and it sets the stage for a potentially bad fire season.”  He added that, “temperatures in  Alberta are some of the warmest in Canada right now because of weather patterns that have highs in the 80s(f).

 

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Shayne also reflected on the fire, explaining that, “it took a lot of people by surprise that it got into Fort McMurray, becoming an urban conflagration.”

 

To better understand this area of Canada, Shayne relayed that it is in the northern arboreal forests and is a big economic area for timber, oil, and gas extraction.  Fort McMurry is the home of Canada’s large oil sands production facilities and was not a big community until the oil boom of the past decade.

 

I asked Shayne about the current evacuations and he shared that, “the community is served by one highway in and out with one bridge on Highway 63 into Fort McMurray.  Since a southern evacuation has presented challenges, many residents are fleeing north to camp areas and mining camps.  These commercial mining camps are airlifting or otherwise relocating staff to facilitate evacuees.”  He added that local press has already marked this as the largest evacuation in Alberta history and that the wildfire has eclipsed the home loss of the 2011 Slave Lake, Alberta, wildfire.

 

Shayne’s shared that his message to both Canadian and NFPA audiences elsewhere, “is that communities can help defend against wildfires by applying the principles of FireSmart, and for more information, visit www.firesmartcanada.ca to learn more on how to help reduce the wildfire risk they may face in their communities”

 

Photo Credit: Terry Reith/CBC (5 May 2016, Wildfires: The science of how they spread and how they're stopped - Technology & Science - CBC News )

The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®, are being published for public review and comment:

 

 

Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the June 17, 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.

emergency responder robotics.jpgNFPA is seeking public comment by June 17, 2016, on a proposed new project for the development of a standard on operational protocol and professional qualifications for operators of emergency responder robotics (including unmanned aerial systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other robotics utilized in emergency responder applications).

 

NFPA is soliciting comments from all interested individuals and organizations for these robotics, and specifically asks: "Do you, or your organization, support NFPA developing a standard on UAS operation protocols and UAV operator professional qualifications?"

 

If the Standards Council approves the project, it is anticipated that a new NFPA Technical Committee will be established to provide expertise and a balance of interested stakeholders specific to applicable technologies and operations. If you or your organization are interested in participation on a Technical Committee to develop the proposed project, please complete our online committee members application.

F2016_CEbrochurecover.jpgriday, May 6 is your last chance to get early-bird conference pricing for the 2016 NFPA Conference & Expo.

The full conference pass gives you access to the General Session, all conference education sessions (130+ sessions), the NFPA Technical Meeting, the Expo, the Discovery District, 2017 NEC  Experience and more!

 

Register now to take advantage of the savings!

 

 

Registration packages

#17 - Smokey Bear (002).jpgSparky spent a day with his good friend Smokey Bear, the mascot for the Forest Service and a widely recognized face of wildfire prevention. The two of them got to attend a birthday party for Sparky hosted by Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Bureau of Forest Fire Control, complete with birthday cake!

 

On Saturday, May 7, Sparky and Smokey Bear will both be out doing work to protect their communities from wildfire, as part of National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. Anyone who wants to join them can visit our website to learn how to create a project using our project idea list or find a project already going on to participate in.

 

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

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The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Health Care Facilities that require healthcare facilities to use the 2012 edition of NFPA 101® Life Safety Code® (LSC); and mandates direct compliance with the 2012 edition of NFPA 99 Health Care Facilities Code, for the first time.

 

In the past, hospitals, long-term care facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, nursing homes, ambulatory surgical centers, hospices that provide inpatient services, and others needed to demonstrate that their fire and life safety programs satisfied different editions of NFPA 101 in order to meet the Conditions of Participation (COP), as defined by CMS for participation in federal reimbursement programs. The new CMS ruling goes into effect July, 5, 2016. The rule allows facilities greater flexibility in recognizing new sleeping and treatment suite designs, person-centered care models, healing environment equipment, and the risk-based approach now utilized by NFPA 99.

 

99_jpg.jpgThe CMS requirements also specified that all Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) issued between August 11, 2011 and April 16, 2014 be incorporated as part of the rule. These TIAs change the language of the codes originally accepted and published in-between cycles. Users should make sure that they are aware of these changes to the code that may not be in their printed copies.

 

In anticipation of this final rule, NFPA created a CMS resource page with TIAs, training, webinars and other pertinent information to help users as they transition to the 2012 versions of these two codes.  Stakeholders will find free online access to NFPA 101 and NFPA 99, and other relevant resources including:

 

The NFPA resource page will be continuously updated with industry expertise and key information so that facility managers and hospital officials can meet the newly-defined Medicare and Medicaid fire safety requirements for health care facilities.

The Fire Sprinkler Initiative has released a new video for its North American campaign underscoring the horrors of today’s home fires and the solution for reducing these tragedies.

 

Michelle Allyn and her two daughters, Aaliyah and Lexie Brittian, are the newest members of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative’s Faces of Fire Campaign, which humanizes the realities of families--in this case, teenagers--impacted by home fires and promotes the life-saving capability of home fire sprinklers. Soon after a fire ravaged their home in 2014, the structure was demolished. Rebuilding a safer home was a necessity for Allyn, which is why she opted for home fire sprinklers.

 

Watch this new video, and please help us promote this important story by:

 

  • Sharing the video on your social media channels
  • including it in a webpage by using this embed code: <iframe width="600" height="355" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i1Xsa65B03Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

NESM.jpgElectricity plays a major role in our daily lives but we can often take its power and the convenience it provides, along with its potential for fire-related hazards, for granted. That is why we actively support National Electrical Safety Month, an annual campaign sponsored by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), which works to raise awareness of potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical fire safety during the month of May.

According to our most recent statistics, an estimated average of nearly 48,000 home structure fires caused by electrical problems were reported to U.S. fire departments. These fires resulted in 455 civilian deaths, more than 1,500 civilian injuries and $1.5 billion in property damage. Roughly half of these involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment such as wiring, lighting, and cords or plugs.

Fortunately, there are many simple steps people can take to greatly reduce their risk. ESFI and NFPA urge homeowners to have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician and to follow the manufacturer's instructions for plugging an appliance into a wall outlet. The following are additional tips residents can follow to help keep their homes safe from electrical fires:

  • Only plug one heat-producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, toaster, space heater, etc.) into a wall outlet at a time. Unplug small appliances when not in use.
  • Install tamper-resistant electrical outlets if you have young children. If a replacement is not possible, install new protective outlet covers that don’t allow children to insert an object into the wall outlet.
  • Avoid putting cords in places such as under rugs and carpets or across doorways where they can be damaged or pinched by furniture.
  • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. Check the sticker on the lamp to determine the maximum wattage light bulb to use.
  • Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are a kind of circuit breaker that shuts off electricity when a dangerous condition occurs. Consider having them installed in your home by a qualified electrician.
  • Check electrical cords often. Replace any that are cracked, damaged or loose.

For additional tips and resources including infographics, fact sheets, and videos about electrical fire safety, check out ESFI’s Electrical Safety Illustrated publication and visit NFPA’s Electrical Safety in the Home webpage.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08f62178970d-200wi.pngNFPA 86, Standard for Ovens and Furnaces, provides standardized methods to minimize fire and explosion hazards of ovens and furnaces used for commercial and industrial processing of materials. Within NFPA 86 are requirements for proper explosion ventilation methods that should be applied to new ovens and furnaces. In order to thoroughly review the NFPA 86 explosion ventilation requirements for the next revision cycle, the Technical Committee on Ovens and Furnaces sought information on real world incidents where NFPA 86 ventilation requirements would be involved.

The purpose of this project, which is documented in this report, was to gather information regarding explosion incidents in which an oven, furnace, or dryer was involved. This information was then sorted and a basic analysis was conducted in order to provide useful information to the Technical Committee on Ovens and Furnaces.

Proper explosion relief design and installation is essential to ensure the safe operation of industrial appliances like Ovens, Furnaces and Dryers. The new Fire Protection Research Foundation report, "Oven, Furnace and Dryer Explosion Incidents" is now available for download, and reviews the type of these systems that are experiencing explosions, as well as the causes and subsequent outcomes of the explosion incidents through an information gathering effort.

fireInvest.jpgA major after-business hours, high-rise office building fire occurred on Wednesday, May 4, 1988 in the city of Los Angeles, California, resulting in one fatality and ultimately destroying four floors of the First Interstate Bank Building.  The 62-story, fire-resistive building is located in the heart of the city's business district.  The Los Angeles City Fire Department described the suppression effort as the most challenging and difficult high-rise fire in the city's history.  It took a total of 64 companies and 338 fire fighters more than 3 1/2 hours to control the fire.  The fire is of great technical significance because of the interior and exterior fire spread, the significant internal smoke spread, and the role of modern office environment materials and their arrangement in relation to fire growth and development. 

 

For more information on this, take a look at the Fire Investigation First Interstate Bank report.

sparkyNewOrleans.jpgSparky visited New Orleans’ St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the country. While the current cathedral was built in 1783, residents of New Orleans have worshiped at that site since 1718. Since that time, the cathedral has become one of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter District’s most significant landmarks.

Sparky turned 65 on March 18, 2016, and we have been pulling out all the stops to help him celebrate! He’s created a bucket list of 65 activities and events he’d like to accomplish from now through October. As he checks them off his list, we’ll make sure to share them with you. Some of Sparky’s wishes are pretty lofty, while others are just fun or a bit silly. Check in weekly to see where he goes and what he’s up to!

NFPA has officially announced “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” as the theme for Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15, 2016. The focus on smoke alarm replacement comes as the result of a recent survey conducted by NFPA, which showed that many people don't know how old their smoke alarms are or how often they need to be replaced.

 

NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes likely have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk in the event of a home fire.

 

“Smoke alarms play an essential role in home fire safety, but they have to be working properly in order to protect people,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy division. “This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign represents the final year of a three-year effort to better educate the public about the importance of smoke alarms, and what it takes to make sure they’re in working order.”

NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years.

Friday, May 6 is your last chance for early-bird conference pricing. The full conference pass gives you access to the General Session, all conference education sessions (130+ sessions), the NFPA Technical Meeting, the Expo, the Discovery District, 2017 NEC Experience and more! Register now.

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