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Last week was the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) New England Chapter monthly dinner meeting, and the topic of discussion was energy storage systems (ESS). At the meeting, Lieutenant Paul Rogers from the Fire Department of New York gave a presentation on ESS from the emergency response perspective.

 

The event was well-attended, and the audience was very engaged. The attendees were a diverse group of people from a variety of professional backgrounds, including authority having jurisdictions (AHJs), fire marshals, engineers and designers, equipment manufacturers, and researchers.

 

Lt. Rogers’s presentation focused on the fundamentals of ESS, and covered some of the specific considerations emergency responders must give when dealing with ESS. He also gave several examples of installations and proposals for consideration in New York, an overview of fire hazard research, and talked about stranded energy, a characteristic unique to ESS. 

 

The emerging issue was also covered during NFPA president Jim Pauley’s keynote speech at the Fire Australia conference last week. Later that day, NFPA’s vice president of engineering Chris Dubay presented an educational session on lithium-ion battery storage and associated fire safety dangers. Electric vehicles and energy storage systems were the focus of the presentation, with Dubay providing perspective on codes and standards, NFPA emergency responder training, research, and the knowledge gaps that have been identified for these topics.

Sign up for the Webinar on Factors Relating to Cancer and Contamination in the U.S. Fire Service

Many U.S. fire departments are struggling to provide firefighters with the PPE and SCBA needed to keep them safe from contaminant exposure. That’s according to NFPA’s Fourth Needs Assessment survey, which was sent to every fire department in the U.S.


Findings from the 2015 survey show that:

  • 13% of U.S. fire departments do not have enough PPE for each emergency responder
  • 72% of U.S. fire departments have some PPE that is more than 10 years old
  • 53% of firefighters are not equipped with SCBA
  • 69% of firefighters use SCBA that’s at least 10 years old

 

The survey also shows that many fire departments aren’t inspecting, testing or cleaning contaminated PPE on a regular basis:

  • More than half (57%) of all U.S. fire departments do not inspect or test their PPE yearly.
  • Almost half (46%) of departments do not have laundering or external services to clean the contaminated PPE.

 

To learn more about the findings from this survey, sign up for “Factors Relating to Cancer and Contamination in the U.S. Fire Service,” NFPA’s upcoming, free webinar on Tuesday, May 23, at 12:00 p.m.


Hylton Haynes, NFPA’s senior research analyst, will lead the discussion with an overview of the Needs Assessment survey findings on PPE and SCBA. He’ll be joined by Casey Grant, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, who will provide an overview of the latest research efforts to better understand and address contaminant exposure among firefighters; Chris Farrell, an NFPA emergency service specialist, will cover issues related to the upcoming edition of NFPA 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments.

 

Register now!

May is Electrical Safety Month and throughout the month, NFPA and ESFI have been raising awareness of potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical fire safety. This week we want to share one of NFPA's most popular videos, “A Shocking Revelation,” that features our beloved character, Dan Doofus. Follow along as Dan learns from his mistakes and forges a new path for safer electrical practices in his home, and invites you to do the same!

 

Learn more about electrical fire safety  on NFPA’s campaign webpage and at www.esfi.org, and stay tuned for more great resources throughout the month.

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