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2016

The Rialto, California fire and police departments used a drone this past 4th of July holiday to stop illegal firework use. This was the first year that the San Bernardino County community utilized a drone to identify where the sources of fireworks were located, according to NBC4 Los Angeles.

 

shutterstock_262482947.jpgThe drone was launched over neighborhoods that were reporting the use of illegal fireworks. This prevention and response strategy allowed local authorities to identify trouble spots and alert resources on the ground, and then investigate the designated locations. The collaborative search effort featured one drone and resulted in the confiscation of hundreds of illegal fireworks and the issuance of 80 citations. Rialto Fire Department is hoping to obtain five more drones for mitigation and response purposes, and will apply for an exemption from the FAA so that more firefighters can become certified drone pilots.

 

NFPA research shows that thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured each year while using consumer fireworks; and recommends:

  • Do not use consumer fireworks
  • If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts who have a solid understanding of NFPA 1123, the Code for Fireworks Display
  • Keep a close eye on children at events where professional fireworks are on display

 

For more fireworks safety tips, visit here. NFPA also has information on drones. Check out the article “Rise of the Machines” in NFPA Journal that addresses the world of possibilities with drones, and the ways that first responders are using them to keep communities safe.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the specifications of constructing fire department access roads, which included dimensional details from NFPA 1, Fire Code, Section 18.2.3.4 such as width, vertical clearance, surface, turning radius, grade and dead ends.

 

To provide effective manual fire suppression operations, the fire department must be able to gain reasonable access to a building.  Approved fire department access roads must be provided for every facility, building, or portion or a building that is newly constructed or relocated. Fire department access roads consist of roadways, fire lanes, parking lot lanes, or some combination of those.  (Note: The Code does not require the modification of previously approved access to existing buildings to meet the current Code requirements and some modifications may be permitted for specific structures, See 18.2.3.1.3)

 

Just yesterday, a coworker referred to me a story in the news that highlights the importance of fire department access.  On Monday night, a home in a San Antonio gated neighborhood caught fire after it was struck by lightning.  The story reports that neighbors said the siren-operated sensor (SOS), at the gate was not working and delayed the response time of firefighters and it was reported that some residents said they had to open the gate by hand.  The gate had been inspected at the end of last year and was reported to be functioning properly.

 

Does NFPA 1 address gated neighborhoods?  In fact, it does.  Section 18.2.2.2, titled 'Access to Gated Subdivisions or Developments', states that the AHJ shall have the authority to require fire department access be provided to gated subdivisions or developments through the use of an approved device or system.

 

Source: NFPA 1 Handbook, 2015 edition.

Access to gated communities or other developments must comply with the same requirements for buildings or areas that utilize an access box where access to a structure or area is difficult because of security.. Access gates might use card access readers, siren-operated devices, infrared receivers, or other approved devices rather than keys, but it is critical that the means of access is approved by the local AHJ.

 

Source: NFPA 1 Handbook, 2015 edition.

 

Fire department access is essential to providing immediate and effective manual fire suppression operations.  Obstructions, inoperable devices, and improperly constructed access roads can mean a longer time for the fire department to reach a fire, protect property, and save lives.

 

Have you seen obstructions to fire department access?  Share your stories and photos!

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The Los Angeles Times reports that Sable Ranch, an idyllic ranch setting often used for TV shows, films, and reality programs has been devastated by a massive sand firePopular with producers and entertainment industry scouts, the ranch sits on 450 acres near the hills of Santa Clarita, Ca and has been featured in shows including “The A-Team,” “24”, “Airwolf,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Bones,” “Wipeout,” and movies such as “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”

 

As of yesterday, fire crews continued to battle the immense fire that erupted on Friday, burning 38,346 acres in and around the Angeles National Forest. Latest reports indicate that the far-reaching fire along the 14 Freeway caused one death and destroyed at least 18 structures. More than 40% of the fire has been contained.

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ABC's Good Morning America (GMA) and Good Housekeeping featured a story yesterday about common household products combusting and causing significant fire damage to homes. NFPA provided statistics on spontaneous combustion and chemical reaction incidents, and preventative methods for the story.

 

Linseed oil or flax seed oil, common multi-purpose polishes used to protect wood products and tools, and also recommended for beauty regiments, can provide great benefits but these oils may also ignite and cause devastating fires. The GMA segment and Good Housekeeping article relayed the story of Sherri Prentiss, who lost her Maryland home in 2012 to a raging fire when contractors staining her deck, left wet rags underneath it. A few short hours later the rags ignited, a blaze started, and the family home was lost.

 

NFPA research indicates that spontaneous combustion causes about 14,000 fires every year, and oily rags are the most common source of the flames. Check out the GMA video, Good Housekeeping story and NFPA report for other highly flammable household items and tips to prevent a devastating fire in your home of place of business.

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The Sentinel & Enterprise, a newspaper serving communities in the northern Worcester County and northwest Middlesex County region of Massachusetts, recently noted the steady, but slow rise in female firefighters on a local and national basis. Two women from the Leominster Fire Department - a newly hired firefighter and a 19-year lieutenant - share their career perspective in the article that references NFPA fire service career data.

 

Lt. Audra Brown said, "You have to have the strength to fight a fire and lift patients and the right personality to do all of it, but I think a lot more women are starting to come out of the woodwork because they're realizing they can do it and want to challenge themselves." One such woman is Kim Bonney who recently graduated (with one other female candidate) from the Massachusetts Fire Academy. Bonney had been a call firefighter in a nearby town since she was 16 years old.

 

The story referenced a report on NFPA firefighter career statistics that is based on 2012 statistics. NFPA's most recent U.S. Fire Department Profile report with 2014 statistics offers updated data on women working in the fire service, for instance:

 

  • There were 1,134,400 career and volunteer firefighters in the United States in 2014, of which 82,550 (7.3%) were women firefighters.
  • The 346,150 career firefighters in 2014 represented a decrease of 2.4% from the previous year. Of the career firefighters 12,100 (3.5%) were women firefighters.
  • There were 788,250 volunteer firefighters in 2014, an increase of 0.3% from the previous year. The number of female volunteer firefighters were 70,450 or 8.9% of the total.

 

Later this year, NFPA will share updated fire services profile data when they release the results of the Needs Assessment Survey.

One of the more common code violations with regards to electrical safety provisions in NFPA 1, Fire Code, relates to power strips (referred to as power taps in the Code.)  Just this week I was sitting in a conference room at an NFPA Technical Committee meeting and multiple committee members lost power to their computers at the same time.  Upon further investigation, we found that the power strips were plugged into one another (daisy-chained) to provide a series of power strips to serve computers around the room.  One power strip was accidentally powered off, so multiple strips were affected, a code violation many overlook.  For compliance, each power strip should have been plugged into a permanently installed outlet.

 

Section 11.1 of NFPA 1 provides provisions for basic electrical safety.  Topics addressed in this section include relocatable power taps, mutiplug adapters, extension cords, and the building disconnect. The approval of new electrical installations or approval of modifications to an existing electrical system is a function typically performed by an electrical inspector or other building code enforcement official using the requirements of NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®.

 

However, in many cases, prior to a building or other facility being constructed or occupied, fire marshals or fire inspectors perform periodic inspections to ensure that the safety systems and features of the premises are in place, are in proper working order, and have not been compromised or adversely modified. Here the requirements of NFPA 1 can provide basic guidance to fire inspectors to assist with identifying proper and safe installations.

 

With regards to relocatable power taps (power strips), Section 11.1.4 of NFPA 1 states the following:

 

11.1.4 Relocatable Power Taps.

11.1.4.1 Relocatable power taps shall be of the polarized or grounded type with overcurrent protection and shall be listed.

11.1.4.2 The relocatable power taps shall be directly connected to a permanently installed receptacle.

11.1.4.3 Relocatable power tap cords shall not extend through walls, ceilings, or floors; under doors or floor coverings; or be subject to environmental or physical damage.

 

Listed relocatable power tap.

 

Power strips are commonly used for computers, printers, and other electronics at workstations, offices, and dormitories, where additional electrical power receptacles are needed. During inspections, power taps that are plugged into other power taps (daisy-chained) should be removed, because such arrangement is prohibited. Relocatable power taps are for temporary use and should not take the place of permanently installed receptacles. In addition, power strips should not be connected to extension cords to extend their reach.  Ideally, where extension cords are used for other than temporary purposes, additional permanent receptacles should be installed to accommodate the power strips.

 

Understanding basic electrical safety practices can be instrumental in preventing fires in residences, hotels, dormitories and offices, among other locations.  For additional information, check out NFPA's resources on electrical safety!

CSITMS-FM logo-rgb.jpgNFPA reached out recently to several thousand facilities managers and asked them the following question, “How can NFPA certifications best meet your needs?” The results overwhelmingly pointed to a huge desire for professional credentials that span a wide range of industries and that highlight the knowledge and competence of facilities managers to their management and other stakeholders.

 

To that end, NFPA is pleased to announce its newest certification, the Certified Sprinkler ITM Specialist Program (CSITMS), which confirms 1) a facilities manager’s knowledge of the many challenges associated with a proper inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) program for water-based fire protection systems, and 2) that a facilities manager is able to keep their facility in compliance with the 2014 edition of NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-based Fire Protection Systems.

 

This certification is the second in a series for facilities managers. Find out more about the first, Certified Life Safety Specialist (CLSS-HC) for Health Care Facility Managers.

 

Start today and gain the confidence you need to advance your career and get the recognition you deserve as an expert in your field. For more information about the CSITMS certification and to find all of the CSITMS candidate materials, visit nfpa.org/csitms.

 

Questions? Contact us here and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!

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By News Sentinel Staff

 

 

A woman from Knoxville, Tennessee started a fire in her apartment in an unusual place – her bathtub!

According to Knoxville Fire Captain D.J. Corcoran, who recently talked to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the woman was attempting to cook a brisket which had been placed on a wire rack across the rim of the tub over an open flame on a small wood-burning grill.

“The tub and the brisket were a total loss,” said Corcoran.

When firefighters arrived, they didn’t even have to pull out the hoses or extinguishers; all they had to do was simply turn on the shower to put out the small blaze.

Cooking in your bathtub isn’t the best idea a person could have, but luckily enough NFPA has tips to avoid these and other cooking fires.

Cooking fires are preventable if you follow some simple tips to keep yourself and those around you safe.  To learn more about cooking safety visit NFPA safety tips page at www.nfpa.org/cooking.

NFPA and Domino's are joining forces for the 9th year in a row to deliver fire safety messages and pizza during Fire Prevention Week. This program presents a fun, engaging opportunity to educate people about the importance of working smoke alarms. That's why we're encouraging as many fire departments as possible to team up with their local Domino's store and implement this easy-to-execute campaign in their communities.

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Here's how it works:

  • Call or visit your local Domino's store and ask the owner/manager to participate.
  • Select a day and time-period (usually two to three hours) to randomly choose one to three pizza orders to deliver aboard a fire engine. The participating Domino's delivery expert will follow the fire engine in his or her car.
  • When the pizza delivery arrives to the customer's home, firefighters will check the home for working smoke alarms. If the smoke alarms work, the customer's order is free (cost absorbed by the Domino's store). If the smoke alarms aren't working, the fire department will replace the batteries or install fully functioning alarms (cost absorbed by the fire department).

 

FPW in a Box image.pngFire departments that sign up to participate between July 21 and August 6 will be entered automatically into Domino's Fire Prevention Week Sweepstakes. Domino's will randomly select five winners to receive NFPA's "Fire Prevention Week in a Box 300," valued at $325. The package includes: a banner (super-sized 10' x 4'); posters (now two-sided, with one side in English and the other in Spanish); adult brochures; kids activity posters; stickers; magnets; Fire Prevention Week News; and goodie bags.

 

Sign Up to Participate!

Sparky holding Dominos pizza box.jpgIf your fire department plans to participate in this year's program, please email Danielle Bulger at dani.bulger@dominos.com. The winners will be announced approximately two weeks after the August 6 closing date. Good luck!

The NFPA Standards Council will be meeting on August 3-5, 2016 at NFPA Headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts.  At this meeting, some of the topics the Council will address include:

 

  • appeals on NFPA 25, NFPA 70, NFPA 75
  • the issuance of proposed TIAs on NFPA 2, NFPA 13, NFPA 25, NFPA 36, NFPA 70, NFPA 101, NFPA 1901, 1906, and NFPA 5000
  • new projects/documents on emergency responder robotics (including Unmanned Aerial Systems, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and other robotics utilized in emergency responder applications); and community risk assessment and reduction;
  • consideration of requests from Committees to change revision cycle schedules, committee scopes, and committee titles
  • action on pending applications for committee memberships

 

Read the full Council agenda and hearings schedule for further information.

 

The NFPA Standards Council is a 13-person committee appointed by the NFPA Board of Directors that oversees the Association's codes and standards development activities, administers the rules and regulations, and acts as an appeals body. The Council administers about 250 NFPA Technical Committees and their work on nearly 300 documents addressing topics of importance to the built environment.

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

 

In this issue:

  • Fall 2016 Second Draft Reports posted and open for NITMAM
  • Committee on Wastewater Treatment Plants seeking members
  • Errata issued on NFPA 11, NFPA 20, and NFPA 85
  • NFPA 99 training
  • Free access to the audio files from the 2016 Conference & Expo Educational Sessions
  • 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.

There was a lot of awareness at the ASHE Conference regarding the CMS changes and NFPA 101 & 99.  Make sure to log in to expand your knowledge with some of NFPA’s resources.   ASHE booth.jpg

 

CMS Adoption of the 2012 Editions of NFPA 101 and 99 Webinar

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 to the 2012 edition; and mandates direct compliance with the 2012 edition of NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, for the first time. This 1-hour webinar (available for free to all registered users) will broaden your overview of some of the major changes you need to comply with, so you can raise awareness in your department or organization.

 

Medical Gas Cylinder Storage

Have you ever wondered what the NFPA 99 requirements are for the storage of medical gas cylinders?  Log in to Xchange or register for free today to download your copy of the Medical Gas Cylinder Storage white paper.  It details what those requirements are for different storage locations, special considerations for cylinder storage, signage requirements, ventilation, and it addresses a few of the most frequently asked questions about the NFPA 99 requirements for medical gas cylinders.

 

If you had a chance to visit the National Fire Protection Association booth or attend any of Jonathan Hart’s sessions at the ASHE Technical Trade show and have any follow up needs or questions please reach out to me at coneill@nfpa.org.

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A devastating fire broke out in the middle of the night on Thursday at the Lakehaven/Zamani Child and Youth Care Centre orphanage in the South African coastal region of Durban killing eight. Six of the victims were minors – the two youngest were seven years old. Four others were treated for smoke inhalation.

 

Police are still investigating the cause of the fire at the 60-year old facility. Reuters reports that although fires often take place in South African townships, they are not common in public buildings.

 

The tragic incident calls to mind another devastating fire six years ago when 15 people were killed in a fire at an orphanage in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. Thirteen children perished in the 2010 blaze, and the house was completely destroyed when fire ripped through the Hope of Christ Home in Newcastle.

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The former Chair of NFPA’s DARAC, Bill Scott, constantly said that “All people, regardless of their circumstances, have some obligation to be prepared to take action during an emergency and to assume some responsibility for their own safety.” It was the inspiration for NFPA’s very successful Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities. The 2nd edition, which was just released on June 1st, 2016, has set off a huge new round of downloads and has truly gone global.

 

As the “Guide’s” author, I presented an education session at NFPA’s 2016 Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, June 13-16-2016. It was a packed room with a diverse and very engaged audience.

 

Among the attendees was Mr. Rob Llewellyn of the Fire Protection Association Australia and the Confederation of Fire Protection Associations – Asia. Mr Llewellyn had read the 2nd edition of the “Guide” a few days after its release and came to C&E looking for more information on NFPA’s statistics related to the creation of the “Guide” and other information from NFPA.

 

The Confederation of Fire Protection Associations - Asia (CFPA-A), is a body of leading fire protection organizations from the Asia - Pacific Region who collectively direct their resources at reducing the global fire problem and increasing life safety. Member Countries/Regions are: Australia, China, China - Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand and Pakistan.

 

Join the global movement! Download the free 2nd edition of the “Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities”.

 

Today I am packing my bags for a week of committee meetings in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Next week, the Safety to Life and Building Code occupancy Technical Committees will be holding their Second Draft meetings. Eight different committees will meet to develop the Second Draft of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code.  Just a few weeks back, the committees for the core chapters met at the same location.

 

NFPA 101: Life Safety Code

 

Did you know that NFPA 1, Fire Code extracts from NFPA 101 more than any other document?  NFPA 1 extracts from more than 50 NFPA codes and standards, but approximately 100 pages of the 650(ish) page Fire Code are directly from NFPA 101.  The Code includes provisions from NFPA 101 that address occupancy classification, building services, features of fire protection, means of egress, special structures, and occupancy specific provisions for fire protection systems, interior finish, furnishings and decorations, drills, and operating features.

 

Do you know how to recognize if a provision in the Code is "extracted" from another document?

 

 

A requirement extracted from another standard will contain a reference to the code/standard number and section in brackets at the end of the requirement in NFPA 1.  The edition of the document being extracted can be found in Chapter 2 of NFPA 1.  When a provision is extracted into an NFPA code, such as NFPA 1, it cannot be modified.

 

So, while my time next week will be spent with Technical Committees developing provisions for the 2018 editions of NFPA 101 and NFPA 5000, the work of those committees will directly impact the 2018 edition of NFPA 1 as well.  Some of the technical issues that will be up for discussion next week that may find their way into NFPA 1 are as follows:

  • occupant load factors for business occupanciesdoor locking for unwanted entry
  • open and enclosed mall structures
  • risk analyses for mass notification systems
  • carbon monoxide alarms
  • grab bars for bathtubs and showers

 

You can follow the work of the NFPA 1, NFPA 101, and NFPA 5000 Technical Committees by visiting their document information pages (www.nfpa.org/##).

 

Off to Fort Lauderdale!  Have a great week!

Have you ever wondered what happens at an NFPA 70E meeting? If so, the NFPA 70E committee is coming to Salt Lake City to conduct the second stage of the 2018 edition process.  The meeting is open to the public and is scheduled to start at 8:00 am Monday July 18th. It will be held at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown. If you cannot make it to the meeting you can keep track of the next edition at www.nfpa.org/70E under the next edition tab.

 

NFPA 70E is the standard for electrical safety in the workplace. If you maintain, repair, troubleshoot or work on electrical equipment, NFPA 70E is intended to help protect you. If you are safety manager, facilities operator, or electrical contractor, NFPA 70E is there to help you determine how to protect your workers from electrical hazards.

 

NFPA 70E is the "how to" to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration's "what you are legally required to do" when it comes to protecting your workers from electrical workplace hazards.

 

The public input for this cycle included a reorganization of Articles 110 and 120, further refining the arc-flash tables to place a greater emphasis on the assessment process, and to increase the dc shock threshold to 100 Vdc. If you are in Salt Lake City stop in to see what happens with the proposed changes.

 

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ja_cover_16.jpgThe new July/August issue of NFPA Journal is now published and available for reading! Inside, you will find the articles offer a broad look at assembly occupancy life safety issues, from outdoor festivals to subway platforms to big-top circus events.

 

Our cover story, “Party On,” is an update on how the booming global festival industry is embracing the concept of “harm reduction,” a mix of safety, security, and medical efforts designed to complement the life safety evaluation required for large assembly events by NFPA 101, Life Safety Code. The issue also includes the 2015 firefighter fatalities report and much more.

 

Read the full recap on our press release page, or head over to the NFPA Journal to start reading the articles!

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A Boston Herald article published this week introduces us to Camp Bailout, a day camp west of Boston where girls who want to pursue a career in firefighting can go to learn about the skills needed for a promising career as a first responder.

 

Lyn Moraghan, a lieutenant with the Ashland Fire Department, wanted to give girls the feel for what a firefighting career entails, and founded the camp in 2011. At Camp Bailout, young women receive guidance and mentorship from women who have chosen firefighting as their profession.

 

As of 2014, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that about 7 percent of U.S firefighters are women. The camp does not teach the girls how to run into burning buildings but rather focuses on how to use a fire extinguisher, the handling of a powerful fire hose, and water rescue strategies, among other critical fire and emergency response skills. Female campers also learn about the reality of 24-hour shifts, time away from their family, and the importance of ongoing training.

 

This is not the only all-girl camp that provides firefighting training according to Kim Cox, executive director of the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services. The organization lists eight more camps on its website.

 

Camp Bailout is a great place to start for girls who are passionate about firefighting and interested in pursuing a career as a first responder.

NFPA has issued the following errata on NFPA 11, Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam, NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection, and NFPA 85, Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code:

 

  • NFPA 11, Errata 11-16-1, referencing 4.7.2.10 and 4.7.4.2 of the 2016 edition, issued: 7/13/2016
  • NFPA 20, Errata 20-16-1, referencing various section of the 2016 edition, issued: 7/13/2016
  • NFPA 85, Errata 85-15-2, referencing 6.4.2.1.6* and A.6.4.2.1.6, issued: 7/13/2016

 

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

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Settling into my cramped seat at Boston's Fenway Park last week--beer in one hand, popcorn in the other--I watched one of my idols grace the Jumbotron. He was not donning a Red Sox uniform, but rather a neatly wrapped bath towel around his head.


A one-day-only showing of Ferris Bueller's Day Off at Fenway was the perfect ender to a summer night. (My haiku summation of this 1986 classic, for those who sadly haven't seen it: Teen boy takes "sick" day/opts for fun outings with friends/gives key life lesson.) More importantly, the movie was a reminder of the joys of rule-breaking.

 

Now I'm not condoning illegal behavior or playing hooky from work. (You're welcome, HR.) What I am trying to highlight is Ferris' think-outside-the-box mentality. In Ferris' world, a good day is a terrible thing to waste. On his day off, he trekked into Chicago, rode a sports car, caught a foul ball at a Cubs game, chowed down on a swanky dinner, and participated in a danceathon to the Beatles' "Twist and Shout" during a parade. ("Shake it up baby, now!") If he played by the rules, none of this would have been possible.

 

How does this relate to us in the fire safety world? We can continue to do the same thing day in and day out, or we can alter our habits. We can start to think differently. Live differently. Work differently. Act differently. Advocate for safety differently.

 

An example: I recently attended Canada's first summit on home fire sprinklers. This country mimics the U.S. when it comes  to setbacks requiring sprinklers in new homes, but one of their biggest hurdles is battling opponents in the homebuilding industry. Rather than bring together all fire service supporters for sprinklers for this summit, our Canadian friends (with NFPA's support) did something different. They invited Ontario's homebuilders to the table and gave them a day's worth of education. All of the myths they had heard on fire sprinklers were countered by facts. They participated in healthy dialogue on the topic. One builder even said, "I will walk away from [this summit] with more information than I have ever gotten [on fire sprinklers] at this point."

 

How powerful is this type of education? I've interviewed two American builders this year (here's one of them) who told me all it took for them to change their opinion on fire sprinklers was a healthy conversation with a safety advocate on the facts.

 

Fire sprinklers might not be your forte, but is there a way to somehow find or embrace your inner Ferris? How can you promote fire safety in a way that's not the same ol' same ol'? How can you reach your audience with messages that are getting through? Take a page from Ferris' book--start challenging the status quo.

 

This post was written by Fred Durso, Jr., communications manager for NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative. Follow him on Twitter @FredDursoJR.

Earlier this year Matt Klaus, NFPA's Technical Lead, hosted the first NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems hands-on training class and according to those who participated, it was a resounding success. How successful, you ask? Well, just read what one of the attendees had to say: "I think this was the best class I ever attended in 30 years in the industry!"

 

Because of its success and the request for more training sessions, on Monday, August 29 - Wednesday, August 31, 2016 NFPA will be bringing this class back to Cranston, Rhode Island. Participants will not only get the chance to gain knowledge in the classroom but they'll also get hands-on training in a lab setting. Attendees will also be able to review the 2014 edition of NFPA 25 chapter by chapter with Matt, and then apply what what they’ve learned on actual equipment.

 

 

There's nothing better than being able use the tools you learn and apply them to your job immediately, right? So join us! The class is popular so register now before it's too late.

 

Want some additional information before you hit "send" to register? The video above provides a great overview of the class from Matt himself. Give it a watch then read more about the training in our catalog. We hope to see you in Rhode Island!

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Steven Sawyer, NFPA's Fire Code Regional Director and the International Fire Marshal Association's Executive Secretary received a very large honor at our recent NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

 

In only the 9th award presentation since it's inception in 1969, Steven was the recipient of the Percy Bugbee award on June 12th for his notable, significant and enduring contributions to fire safety.

 

Get the complete story by reading our recent news release, and leave your well-deserved congratulations for Steven below in the comments!

NFPA is working with a number of states to have our online electrical training courses approved for use in renewing your electrician's license. These include:

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  • NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2015) Online Training Series
  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2014) Online Training Series

 

Currently, courses are available for the following states:

* Texas

* Georgia

* Colorado

* Florida

* Wisconsin

 

The great news is, each series allows you to work at your own pace and qualifies for 6-8 hours (depending on the state) towards your license renewal.

 

Need to renew your license? Then join us today. Find  overall information on what courses can be applied to your license renewal, or just select your state above for a more detailed look at what you need, including who to contact for answers to your questions:

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The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro Chiefs), National State Fire Marshals (NASFM), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) join together to condemn the tragic events in Dallas, Texas that took the lives of five career police officers.

 

As fire service leaders, first responders, and EMS professionals, we understand the pain in our communities and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in law enforcement. The attack in Dallas, along with recent incidents elsewhere across the country, prompts us to remind our brethren to take caution.

 

We encourage all first responders to refer to these resources that address the issue of civil unrest, active shooting incidents, and body armor basics for first responders. Six of the documents are downloadable and two are available via hyperlinks.

 

Each year, electrical dangers in the workplace cause hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, is the key to saving lives, reducing liability, and avoiding loss due to electrical incidents.

 

70E.JPGDuring our two-day interactive, expert-led seminar you'll learn about the latest changes to NFPA 70E such as the new direct current (DC) tasks table. You'll also receive information about how to apply the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E to assess electrical risks and reduce employee exposure to potentially deadly hazards, and you'll be able to document safety procedures for compliance with OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA 1926 Subpart K. Throughout the seminar, you'll even participate in activities and exercises and use videos, templates and job aids that will provide you with the right tools to help set up and follow an electrical safety program.

 

The next seminar runs from Thursday, July 14 - Friday, July 15, 2016 in Williamsburg, Virginia. Can't make this event? Then check out our entire list of opportunities that run through the end of the year. You're bound to find a date and time that works best in your schedule.

 

Whether you're an employer responsible for personnel safety or an employee tasked with identifying and addressing electrical hazards, you'll want to join your fellow colleagues at this training. Find more information on NFPA's website and sign up today!

A few weeks ago was NFPA's annual Conference & Expo, held in Las Vegas.  Little did we know, one of Las Vegas's historic buildings, The Riviera Hotel and Casino, was due for demolition that week.

 

Did you hear about it? (Click the link for an amazing video of the implosion!) The Riviera was the first high-rise on the Las Vegas strip.  And a fun fact: the hotel was known for its mobster ties and portrayal of Hollywood's mobster scene having been featured in many movies throughout the past decades!  The building was demolished at 2:30 am on the morning of Tuesday, June 14.  The hotel closed in 2015, after being in business for 60 years.  It was one of Las Vegas's most (infamous?) properties and landmarks.

 

In this May 4, 2015, file photo, traffic passes in front of the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. The Las Vegas Strip's first high-rise that was as famous for its mobster past as its Hollywood personification of Sin City's mobster past will officially exit the scene Tuesday, June 14, with a cinematic implosion complete with fireworks.

Source:  US News and World Report (usnews.com)

 

So, what does this have to do with NFPA 1, Fire Code?  Chapter 16 of the Code requires structures undergoing construction, alteration, or demolition operations to comply with NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. NFPA 241 provides measures for preventing or minimizing fire damage during construction, alteration, and demolition operations. (The fire department and other fire protection authorities also should be consulted for guidance.)

 

The requirements of NFPA 241 cover issues such as the location and use of temporary construction for offices, storage, and equipment enclosures; control of processes and hazards such as hot work; temporary heating and fuel storage; and waste disposal. The general requirements also cover temporary wiring and lighting, site security, access for fire fighting, and on-site provision of first aid fire-fighting equipment.

 

Extensive details from NFPA 241 are included, as extracts, in Chapter 16 of NFPA 1.  NFPA 1, 2015 edition, extracts from NFPA 241, 2013 edition.

 

In addition to compliance with NFPA 241, Chapter 16 contains some additional, NFPA 1 specific, provisions:

  • A fire protection plan must be establishes where required by the AHJ. (A fire safety program helps control fires and emergencies that may occur during construction or demolition operations by early planning and implementation of safety measures.)
  • Fire department access roads in accordance with Section 18.2.3 of NFPA 1 must be provided at the start of a project and maintained throughout construction. This ensures adequate access for the fire department should a fire or emergency occur.

 

Construction and demolition operations can be dangerous, and history has shown us that major fires and property damage can occur, if the proper safety measures are not followed.  NFPA 1, through NFPA 241, offer the provisions necessary to ensure safe construction and building demolitions.

 

For additional information, check out this article from the Jan/Feb 2015 NFPA Journal about the recent uptick in huge fires at residential complexes under construction, and how NFPA 241 can protect these buildings from loss.

#33 - Craig Morgan (002).jpgSparky was excited to check off another item from his bucket list when he met country singer and former first responder Craig Morgan. Craig works with NFPA on the "Step Up and Stand Out" campaign, national campaign to increase awareness of the need for volunteer firefighters.

 

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!

Are you involved in the design, installation, maintenance or inspection of healthcare facilities? If you are, then you're also responsible for meeting the CMS requirements of the 2012 edition of NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code.

 

 

On July 21-22, 2016, NFPA will host classroom training designed to guide you through NFPA 99's revised content and complete reorganization. You'll also get an in-depth look at how to conduct a risk-based analysis. The great news, too, is that the training is interactive and through hands-on exercises and activities you'll get a great working knowledge of the Code. The classroom training will take place at the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf Hotel in San Francisco.

 

Won't you join us?  Learn what's different about the 2012 edition of NFPA 99 and how will it impact your work in all types of health care settings. Want to know a little more before you sign up? Our video above offers a brief overview about the training programs and certifications.

 

Get additional information and register today to participate!

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With the summer in full swing, NFPA and Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) are joining forces to remind boaters, marina operators and swimmers to be aware of the potential electrical hazards that exist on boats and in the waters surrounding boats, marinas and launch ramps where the electrical infrastructure has not been installed and maintained in accordance with applicable safety standards. Electric shock drownings (ESD) can occur when marina or on board electrical systems leak electrical current into the water. The leak can cause a shock that can injure, disable or kill a person, as reported in the NFPA Journal article, Troubled Waters.

 

ESFI has boating and marina safety resources including brochures, toolkits, reference guides, and checklists that cover safety devices, common ESD causes and prevention methods, response protocol, and marina electrical safety considerations. The ESFI website also spotlights five key tips for boat owners: swim safety, put it to the test, use the right tools, know your surroundings, and learn the code.

 

Three NFPA fire and life safety codes play a prominent role in marina and boat safety - NFPA 302: Fire Protection Standard for Pleasure and Commercial Motor Craft, NFPA 303: Fire Protection Standard for Marinas and Boatyards, and NFPA 70: National Electrical Code® (NEC). The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) also has relevant standards that boaters and marina operators need to learn. The Fire Protection Research Foundation (the Foundation), the research affiliate of NFPA, commissioned ABYC to study marina and boating electrical safety. The Foundation report, Assessment of Hazardous Voltage/Current in Marinas, Boatyards and Floating Buildings, clarified the problem of dangerous voltage in marinas, boatyards and floating buildings, and developed a mitigation strategy to address identified hazards. Ten months later, in August 2015, the Foundation conducted a Marina Shock Hazard Research Planning Workshop that took a deeper dive on technical, awareness and regulatory solutions related to ESD.

 

Addressing marina and boating electrical safety is a multi-faceted issue due to different jurisdictions and codes; the question of where land and water begin and end; consideration of where boats enter and depart; and opposing views from the boating community and marina operators - but all sides agree that it is essential to elevate boating and marina electrical safety awareness.

 

At a recent Foundation Electrical Safety Research Advisory Committee meeting, it was announced that a new research project on marina risk reduction had been commissioned. The advisory group determined that marina risk reduction is bigger than any one code or standard, and deserves to be looked at as an important micro issue. In addition, the 2017 NEC®, which will become available for adoption at the end of August 2016, features three significant changes proposed for marina and boat docking facilities. See Jeff Sargent's blog on these proposed NEC changes.

 

Across the country, different authorities are also looking at electric shock drowning and the need for testing, regulation, public education and outreach. In recent years, Arkansas, West Virginia and Tennessee have passed legislation regarding marina safety standards. Recently, the Commonwealth of Kentucky also adopted new regulations that require boat owners signing slip agreements to comply with NFPA, NEC, and ABYC electrical test requirements at least once a year to ensure that vessels do not discharge electricity into the water.  Any boat found to be discharging electricity into state-owned waters will be subject to immediate corrective actions including removal of the vessel from the water, at cost to the owner. Potential new regulations governing the infrastructure for marina wiring in Kentucky are also being considered by state officials.

NFPA will host a free webinar on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 from 12:00 – 2:00 pm EDT and will cover the changes in the 2017 edition of NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code (NEC), including new articles on large scale power generation, energy storage and direct current distribution.

 

Capture.JPGThe webinar, “Proposed Changes to the 2017 Edition of the National Electrical Code,” is aimed at electricians, installers, contractors, designers, engineers, code enforcers, AHJ’s and policymakers, and will feature Jeff Sargent, NFPA’s regional electrical code specialist, who will discuss five new articles proposed for the 2017 revision:

• Article 425 - Fixed Resistance and Electrode Industrial Process Heating Equipment

• Article 691 - Large-Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Electric Supply Stations

• Article 706 - Energy Storage Systems (ESS)

• Article 712 - Direct Current Microgrids

• Article 710 – Microgrids

 

This event fills up quickly. Be among the first to learn more about the 2017 NEC and register for the webinar today!

#32 - First Pitch Blue Jays (002).jpgSparky threw out the first pitch of a Toronto Blue Jays game to kick off the team's Swing Into Summer Safety campaign. The Blue Jays are partnering with the Toronto Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management and participating Fire Departments to educate and raise awareness among school-age children and their families about fire safety and other injury prevention. The campaign got off to a great start, with Sparky pitching right to Blue Jays Ace's glove!

 

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!

Danger from fire was far from the minds of some 7000 happy patrons, attending "the greatest show on earth" at the city-owned circus grounds on the outskirts of Hartford, Connecticut, on the hot sunny afternoon of July 6, 1944. About twenty minutes after the matinee started a "flash fire" occurred which caused fatal injuries to 163 persons, mostly women and children. Sixtlooking_back_600[1].jpgy-three of the dead were children under 15 years of age. Well over 200 other patrons were confined to hospitals as a result of burns and some 50 or 60 circus employees were treated by their own physician. Some of the critically injured patrons may yet succumb. NFPA members can download the investigation report for free.

We want to hear from you! It's easy to comment on posts: just look for the login link above to login or register for you free account on Xchange. Xchange is more than a blog; it's an online community that connects you with peers worldwide and directly with NFPA staff. Get involved today!

Image-Mark-Hill.jpgAcross the country tonight, lottery players will be waiting with baited breath to see if they've won the Megamillions drawing, the 10th largest lottery prize on record. Whenever the jackpot soars to ridiculous heights, people start to talk about what they would do with the money. So, what would you do?

 

Earlier this week, we learned about one generous lottery winner when a Kansas City news station reported that a Missouri man, who won nearly $300 million in 2012, built a fire station for his small hometown of Camden Point. The firehouse, which includes a training academy, will be dedicated on July 16th.

 

Lottery millionaire Mark Hill and his wife felt the need to pay it forward because local fire volunteers saved his dad's life - on two occasions. The town of Camden Point in Northern Platte County has 500 residents.

 

MegaMillions is played in 43 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of winning tonight's estimated $415 million jackpot are one in 259 million.

 

Good luck!

With the Independence Day holiday upon us, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has debuted their public service announcement on fireworks safety featuring New York Giants football player, Jason Pierre-Paul, who lost an index finger and part of his thumb on his right hand following a July 4th fireworks accident at his home last year.

 

While Pierre-Paul has resumed his NFL career since the accident, his life has been drastically altered, leading him to work closely with the CPSC in an effort to warn others about the dangers of fireworks. His message: Leave the fireworks to the professionals!

 

 

CPSC reports that in 2015 there were 11 deaths and nearly 12,000 ER-treated injuries from fireworks - the  highest number in 15 years! With more states relaxing their laws and allowing the purchase and use of more types of fireworks by consumers, this timely message of fireworks safety cannot be emphasized enough.

 

Here are some additional facts, according to the CPSC report:

 

* Nine out of the 11 deaths involved reloadable aerial devices, a professional grade fireworks device that can quickly result in tragedy, when used incorrectly

* In 2015, the deadliest fireworks incidents most often involved males older than 20

* Young adults between the ages of 15 and 19 accounted for the highest rate of injuries, followed by children aged 5 to 9

* About 65 percent of all injuries involved burns from devices such as sparklers, bottle rockets and firecrackers

 

With all of this data available and related stories of tragedy, this July 4th, we strongly encourage everyone to please play it safe. Spend quality time with your family and friends and create happy memories this year by enjoying fireworks in your community that are put on by professionals. For more information including safety tips and an inforgraphic, visit NFPA's fireworks safety webpage.

 

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

It's the Friday before the long 4th of July holiday weekend; the most festive and celebrated weekend of the summer.  Thinking about fire safety may not be the first thing on everyone's mind.

 

However, the impacts of NFPA 1, Fire Code, are far reaching this weekend.  A fire code is an all encompassing document for fire safety that plays a critical role in protecting people and well as providing requirements to enhance emergency responder safety.  The primary goals of NFPA 1 are to provide a reasonable level of the following:

  • Safety to people
  • Protection of property
  • Protection of the public welfare

 

The Code provides the necessary guidance to local Authorities Having Jurisdiction to enforce safety during the many festivities occurring this holiday. Planning a backyard BBQ?  Attending a professional fireworks show? Watching a parade?  Attending a public event?  NFPA 1 affects you this holiday and can keep you safe.

Many of the past #firecodefridays discussions have highlighted provisions in the Code related to summer activities.  Check out these past posts for additional information on Code provisions for grilling safety, sky lanterns, and more!

 

 

Happy #firecodefridays and Happy 4th.  Stay safe this weekend!

 

Fire Firefighter fatalities from the Hackensack, New Jersey fire department were killed while they were engaged in interior fire suppression efforts at an automobile dealership when portions of the building's wood bowstring truss roof suddenly collapsed. The incident occurred on Friday, July 1, 1988 at approximately 3:00 p.m., when the fire department began to receive the first of a series of telephone calls reporting "flames and smoke" coming from the roof of the Hackensack Ford Dealership. Two pumpers, and ladder truck, and a battalion chief responded to the first alarm assignment. The first arriving firefighters observed a "heavy smoke condition" at the roof area of the building. Engine company crews investigated the source of the smoke inside the building while the truck company crew assessed conditions on the roof. For the next 20 minutes, the focus of the suppression effort was concentrated on these initial tactics.  Members can download the investigation report for free. 

We want to hear from you! It's easy to comment on posts: just look for the login link above to login or register for your free account on Xchange. Xchange is more than a blog; it's an online community that connects you with peers worldwide and directly with NFPA staff. Get involved today!

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