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Many people have asked me how they can be part of NFPA’s technical committees, most notably in the electrical space. In this short video I discuss the process for becoming a member of the technical committee on electrical inspection and playing a role in helping develop the first editions of NFPA 78 and NFPA 1078. I hope you find the information valuable and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Photo: Associated Press

On August 1, a crowded
tour bus caught fire in the Hollywood Hills, temporarily shuttering the famous Mulholland Drive. Two-thousand miles away, on the same day, a school bus fire snarled traffic on one of Chicago's busiest highways. No injuries were reported in either incident. 
A Google search reveals bus fires occur with some regularity in the United States. But it was bus fires in Rome that made headlines a few months ago, when two of the Italian city's buses burst into flames in the same day. I wrote about the incident for the "Dispatches: International" pages of NFPA Journal
While the article sheds light on some of the problems plaguing the Eternal City's fleet of buses, it also includes some statistics on bus fires on U.S. soil.  "A report published in November 2016 by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which analyzed data from 2004 to 2013, found that fires in motor coaches (defined as buses designed for long-distance passenger transportation) occurred almost daily on average, while fires in school buses occurred more than daily for a combined average of over 550 each year," the article reads. 
While bus fires rarely prove fatal in countries like the U.S., that's not the case across the globe. In the March/April NFPA Journal "Dispatches: International," I wrote about a bus fire that killed over 50 people in Kazakhstan at the beginning of the year. According to NFPA data, the blaze was one of the deadliest bus fires in the world in the last 20 years. 

In the summer of 1909, two suspicious fires occurred at a Rubber Works Plant in Akron, Ohio. The first fire started was discovered by the watchman at 4:00AM on the morning of August 12th. 

Pictured here: The attic area of the plant where the fire originated on August 12, 1909.
From the NFPA Quarterly vol. 6, no.2, 1909:
“The attic, where fire occurred, [was] low and not accessible, except by stairways, there being no windows, and firemen had to cut holes in the roof to get at the fire properly. There were several metal ventilators in the roof and evidently the fire spread very rapidly along the wood sheathing, aided by the draft of the ventilators. Fire was under control in about one hour after it started, and damage [was] largely confined to stock of crude rubber, the building and machinery suffering but little damage.”
A second fire occurred a little before 2:00AM. The watchman discovered the fire at the far south end of the property within the frame sheds. In total, the combined loss estimated from the two fires was a little over $100,000. It was the final opinion of investigators that both fires had been intentionally set, though no one was charged in the incidents.
For more information regarding this and other moments in fire history, please feel free to reach out to the NFPA Research Library & Archives.
The NFPA Archives houses all of NFPA's publications, both current and historic.
Library staff are available to answer research questions from members and the general public.

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