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December 6, 2018 Previous day Next day
The following proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code; NFPA 291, Recommended Practice for Fire Flow Testing and Marking of Hydrants; and NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems; are being published for public review and comment:
  • NFPA 58, proposed TIA No. 1399, referencing 6.4.3 of the 2017 edition, comment closing date: January 17, 2019 
  • NFPA 291, proposed TIA No. 1411, referencing 4.7.3 Equations a and b, of the 2019 edition, comment closing date: January 9, 2019
  • NFPA 291, proposed TIA No. 1412, referencing Table 4.10.1(b) of the 2019 edition, comment closing date: January 9, 2019
  • NFPA 1221, proposed TIA No. 1413, referencing 3.3.10,,,, and A.3.3.10 of the 2019 edition, comment closing date: January 17, 2019  
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.
Is your sprinkler system ready for the holiday season? As the temperatures begin to drop, check out this article I wrote for PM Engineer Magazine to make sure your sprinkler system is prepared for this season’s cold-front. 
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 Read in NFPA Journal about the making of the "Critter Code"


By its own rules, every code and standard that NFPA develops must have a diverse committee comprised of a wide range of stakeholders, representing various groups with often divergent viewpoints. Even by these standards, the group that crafted of NFPA 150, Fire and Life Safety in Animal Facilities Code, was a hodgepodge rife with conflict.


In how many other circumstances would you see leaders of animal rights groups trying to find common ground with livestock industry executives? How often would fire marshals at zoos work alongside medical researchers, or stable managers, or swine farmers?


“This was probably one of the most interesting and complex exercises I’ve ever had as a staff liaison working on a document,” Tracy Vecchiarelli, an NFPA fire protection engineer and staff liaison for the code, told me.


NFPA 150 is the first comprehensive code out there dealing with all of the various types of facilities that house animals, from farms, to labs, to zoos, fairs, shelters, kennels, aquariums, and more. How it came to be is a fascinating story involving a bitter fight over fire sprinklers, a contentious letter-writing campaign, field trips, swine farms, and even a few tears.


To learn a lot more about the code, why it was necessary, and facts about how and why animals perish from fire, check out my cover story in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal “Critter Life Safety Code.” To get the inside scoop on the development of the code (which is a great tale all by itself) please read the sidebar to the main piece, called “Tension and Uncertainty.”


All of that, and a whole lot more is currently in the November/December issue of NFPA Journal.

On the morning of December 6th, 1917 the historic incident known as the Halifax Explosion occurred when two ships collided in the harbor. The temporary morgue that was set up after the event estimated that there were 2,000 fatalities and nearly 9,000 people were injured.
That morning, the Mont Blanc, a French steamer, was headed down the Narrows (a strait that connected Halifax Harbor and the Bedford Basin) towards the Bedford Basin. The steamer was carrying " bensol cargo on her deck, carboys of nitroglycerine in the forward compartments, TNT in midship, and oil in her ballast tanks." [Conlon] 
At the same time, the SS IMO, a Norwegian steamer was also heading down the Narrows towards the harbor faster than the 5-knot speed limit. The ships collided at 8:45am. The SS Imo hit the Mont Blanc on the starboard side. When the Imo pulled away from the Mont Blanc, the benzol was ignited by the sparks. The crew feared that the vessel would explode and abandoned the ship which struck the pier. [Fergusson] 
"Nineteen minutes after the collision, the Mont-Blanc's cargo erupted in a massive explosion, releasing energy equivalent to 2.9 kilotons of TNT." [Robinson] The explosion caused a shock wave and a 59 foot tidal wave. Many ships in the harbor were damaged or destroyed, piers were destroyed, and the city of Halifax and the town of Dartmouth suffered property damage and loss of life. [Fergusson] 
Everything in a 1.2 mile radius of the explosion was destroyed. 13,000 buildings, homes, factories, and schools were damaged or destroyed. 2,000 people died in the explosion or from exposure from being trapped in rubble during the blizzard that started after the explosion. The explosion caused over $35,000,000 in damage. 
  • Conlon, Jacues. "The Great Halifax Disaster". 
  •  Fergusson, Charles Bruce "The Halifax Explosion." Nova Scotia Board of Justices (1971). 
  • Robinson, Kathie. "Looking Back: The 1917 Halifax Explosion" NFPA Journal, November/December (2015): 80. 
For more information regarding this and other moments in fire history, please feel free to reach out to theNFPA 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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