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Organizers of a new NFPA pitch event highlighting smart technology solutions for first responders were among the speakers at a Washington, DC innovation showcase last week that was reported on in a Forbes article.

Since October, NFPA has been engaged in ongoing dialogue with entrepreneurs looking to support the needs of the fire service via the EMERGE Accelerator Program, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The wearable technology start-up program is in its second year and is supported by the DHS Science and Technology division, the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), a Virginia non-profit driver of innovation and start up development; TechNexus, a collaborative that works with the corporate and global entrepreneurial ecosystem; and the U.S. Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory whose interests lie in energy, the environment and national security issues. NFPA offers the program and the start-ups insight on the fire service; access to first responders; and knowledge about codes, standards, research and data.

During the annual NFPA Conference & Expo (C&E) at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center, NFPA will host a special first responder event-within-an-event. The June 6th program will include guest speakers, firefighter health and wellness sessions, fire-related educational content, admission to the Expo, an opportunity to weigh in on new technology that will help first responders do their job, and a networking reception. Each year, nearly 8,000 people attend the general session, educational sessions and Expo at C&E, representing a variety of disciplines including the fire service, engineering, manufacturing, the electrical industry, standards organizations, public education, and the enforcement community.

During the tech challenge, new ventures will introduce their products to a roomful of key stakeholders via 2-3 minute "product pitches". The audience will vote for their favorite option via real-time text messaging. A reception will follow, allowing members of the fire service to see the products up close and talk with the inventors about real-world application.


In addition to serving the first responder community, some of the innovative solutions may also work for more lucrative markets like the defense industry, energy sector, utility companies and transportation resources.

The 10 startups in this year's EMERGE program include:

Augmate - a management platform for wearable devices that helps IT departments track users and their devices, collect sensor data, communicate with workers, and control approved applications and situational connectivity.
CommandWear Systems - integrating location and biometrics data from devices to provide personnel tracking, two-way text communication and video sharing to facilitate planning, mission execution, and review operations among teams.
HAAS Alert - a mobile vehicle-to-vehicle communication platform that uses acoustic sensors to pick up environmental and situational noise, and location data to connect people, vehicles, and things in cities, streamlining the disaster and emergency notification process to keep communities safe.
Human Systems Integration - a system that includes remote physiological monitoring, providing a plug and play wearable situational awareness and communications platform.
Lumenus - smart clothing that uses LED lighting and connectivity to improve visibility of consumers and industrial workers.
LuminAID - Durable, low cost, and low profile inflatable solar lamps that can be stored efficiently and easily deployed.
Pear Sports - a coaching and training application that uses biometric signals like heart rate, VO2 max, location, and environmental data to build training programs that improve the long-term health of users.
Six15 Technologies - rugged wearable devices for military and industrial use that stream video and display data using augmented reality overlays for better situational awareness.
Vault RMS - a digital tool that leverages biometric and situational data from wearable devices and other inputs to build a long-term health profile of workers exposed to health-compromising environments, driving improvements in health, safety, and overall worker productivity.
Visual Semantics - software that integrates with cloud-enabled wearable cameras and heads-up displays to provide real-time facial recognition and alerts to help first responders more intelligently assess and react to situations in the field.

Look for more details about this special one-day program for the fire services, including new tech challenge profiles in the months to come via blog and coverage in NFPA Journal.

The following three proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®, NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, and NFPA 654, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids, are being published for public review and comment:


  • NFPA 70E, proposed TIA No. 1253R, referencing Annex H.2 of the proposed 2018 edition
    Comment closing date: April 13, 2017 
    Please note:  The text proposed by TIA No. 1253 inadvertently did not show the complete revisions intended by the submitter as originally published.  Please review the corrected TIA (No. 1253R) text being balloted by the Technical Committee.
  • NFPA 99, proposed TIA No. 1252, referencing and of the 2015 and proposed 2018 editions
    Comment closing date: May 18, 2017
  • NFPA 654, proposed TIA No. 1259, referencing of the 2017 edition
    Comment closing date: April 13, 2017


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

The March 2017 issue of NFPA News, our free monthly codes and standards newsletter, is now available.


NFPA_news.jpgIn this issue:

  • Comments sought on Proposed Tentative Interim Amendments to NFPA 70E and NFPA 654
  • Court ruling supports development of public health and safety standards
  • Errata issued on NFPA 13
  • Quick guide to NFPA 101/NFPA 5000 occupancy types
  • News in brief
  • Committees seeking public input
  • Committee meetings calendar
  • Committees seeking members  


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.

Don't forget to register by March 31st to experience the Safety Revolution in Boston, June 4-7th. 

We have teamed up with Domino's Pizza yet again to deliver a special message to customers this daylight saving time: remember to change your smoke alarm batteries when you change your clocks. Daylight saving time is a great time to remember to change your smoke alarm batteries after you set your clocks ahead. This small step is an easy one and it can help save lives.



Having working smoke alarms reduces the risk of dying in a fire in half. On average, three out of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38 percent) or no working smoke alarms (21 percent).


Stay safe with these additional safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
    Test smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button.
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • For smoke alarms that don't have non-replaceable (long-life) batteries, replace the batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
  • Be sure the smoke alarm includes the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Develop and practice a home escape plan with all members of the household.

The opening images of a new video by STAT—a Boston Globe-run news organization that focuses on science and medicine—are striking, to say the least: a shirtless man whose right arm is partially covered in scales, as if he’s slowly morphing into a human-reptile hybrid.


The man is Josué Bezerra Jr., an electrical supervisor who recently suffered burns on the job. Bezerra is one of a handful of burn survivors to take part in a Brazilian study in which participants’ wounds are wrapped in strips of sterilized skin from tilapia fish. The skin, encrusted by a mélange of shimmering scales, adheres to the wound and forms a protective barrier, keeping contamination out and locking in moisture and proteins needed for healing, according to a doctor interviewed by STAT. The innovative procedure has the potential to revolutionize burn treatment in countries where donated human skin is not available.


While studies like the one in Brazil are important and fascinating, the fact remains that no burn treatment will be as effective as never having been burned in the first place. Even in medically advanced countries, burn injuries are often devastating—even life-changing—which is why home fire sprinklers are so important. To learn more about the need for home fire sprinklers and to watch moving videos from fire service members and burn survivors about how burns affected their lives, visit the Faces of Fire page, a campaign of NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

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