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15 Posts authored by: bprince Employee


New cooking and smoke alarms technologies, as well as other smart home technologies, can all play a significant role in strengthening home fire prevention and safety. NFPA has partnered with the Vision 20/20 Project and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to host a webinar that will address these new developments and their potential impact.


Presenters include Casey Grant (NFPA), Tom Cleary (NIST) and Anthony Hamins (NIST), who will focus on:


  • changes to new national standards that will require all coil-top stoves manufactured after June 2018 to incorporate technology designed to prevent stove-top fires;
  • new technologies that may prove effective at preventing fires for gas stove cook tops; and
  • new requirements for smoke alarms designed to help minimize the likelihood of nuisance alarms.

This webinar will take place on Thursday, August 23 at 2:00pm EST. Register today!

Wildland fire shelters are used by firefighters as a last line of defense when trapped by an approaching wildfire. As new and advanced materials become available, these shelters could provide significant performance improvements. This webinar will present the North Carolina State University research project that has provided advanced fire shelter material options as well as an enhanced technical basis for evaluating fire shelter material alternatives.
The project has developed advanced, wildland fire shelters that use novel, heat-resistant fabric technologies to improve protective insulation and compares the performance of the advanced prototypes with what's currently used via lab tests and prescribed burns. The webinar will also discuss thermal exposure conditions to which fire shelters are exposed to in wildland fires; state-of-the-art fire blocking materials that can improve shelter thermal protective performance; the connection between lab tests and shelter performance in wildland fires; and the many factors that go into determining the performance of fire shelters for wildland firefighters.
Visit for more upcoming NFPA webinars and archives. 
When: Wednesday, July 18, 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET



John Morton-Aslanis is a research associate with North Carolina State University. He leads the Thermal Testing Laboratory at the Thermal Protection and Comfort Center of North Carolina State University. John is a member of the task groups for the flash fire manikin standards of NFPA 2112, ASTM F1930, and ISO-13506. He has been involved in research projects ranging from improving the current wildland firefighter shelter to developing flash fire test apparatus and methods for the protection of the hands and head. John received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2001. 
Dr. Roger L. Barker is a Burlington Distinguished Professor in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science at North Carolina State University and the Director of the Center for Research on Textile Protection and Comfort. He is internationally recognized for his work in the field of thermal protective clothing and comfort and heat stress in clothing systems. Barker has published many technical papers on the subject of the effects of intense heat exposures on fabric materials, including exposures to flash fire, molten metal, hot surface contact, and radiant energy. He was chair of the 1984 ASTM International Symposium on the Performance of Protective Clothing. He is an active participant in several NFPA committees, which are involved in the development of standards for the performance of protective clothing. Barker holds a Ph.D., in Textile and Polymer Science from Clemson University. He has positions at Cornell and Clemson Universities. His industrial experience includes work as a physicist in spun bonded fabrics research.
NFPA's upcoming webinar will provide highlights from the one-year Campaign for Fire Service Contamination Control project and corresponding workshop. The project was funded by an Assistance to Firefighters Fire Prevention & Safety Grant in an effort to develop and facilitate an awareness campaign that will help control the spread of harmful fire ground contaminants, and support improved overall firefighter health and safety.
Exposure to chemical and biological contaminants on the fire ground is an increasing concern for long-term firefighter health. Cancer and other diseases resulting from chronic exposures have become significant concerns for the fire service. Occupational cancer is presumed to be associated with fire ground exposure and the persistent harmful toxins found in firefighter equipment, apparatus, and fire stations.  
This project considered the entire spectrum of contamination control, including firefighter activities before, during, and after a fire or contamination event. Approaches used in other established areas were identified and can be adapted for broad implementation. Some fire service considerations and NFPA documents that may be impacted by the findings include:
Register for the webinar today, and learn how to keep yourself and your colleagues safe.  
When: Thursday, September 7, 12:30-2:00 pm ET 
  • Keith E. Pardoe, Pardoe Consulting LLC
  • Drew Martin, Arup
Swinging fire doors are critical components of maintaining building compartmentation. The ability for swinging fire doors to resist the passage of fire and smoke and to comply with the applicable standards are affected by the gap sizes around a fire door (i.e. between the frame and the hinge side(s) of the door, between the latch side(s) of the door, between the frame and the top of the door, and between the bottom of the door and floor). Hence these gap sizes are regulated. NFPA 80 currently allows a maximum bottom gap of 3/4” and a maximum of 1/8” for the perimeter of the swinging fire doors. The clearance under swinging fire doors is frequently found to be greater than the maximum allowable gap size currently allowed by NFPA 80.   The upcoming webinar, "Influence of Gap Size around Swinging Doors on Fire and Smoke Development," will address the performance of the clearance dimension around single- and double-egress swinging fire-rated wood and steel doors on fire development and smoke movement in an NFPA 252, Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies, furnace environment. You can read more about a related Fire Protection Research Foundation project here.     
About the speakers:
Keith E. Pardoe is the president of Pardoe Consulting, LLC. Keith began his career in the architectural/commercial door and hardware industry in the mid-1980s working for door and hardware distributors and earned his Architectural Hardware Consultant (AHC) and Certified Door Consultant (CDC) certification from the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI). He also earned Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) credential from the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). He was also responsible for overseeing the development and administration of many DHI certification and education programs. He has received the Distinguished Honors (DAHC) award in recognition of the technical expertise. Over the years Keith has participated in the development of the codes and standards that affect swinging fire and egress door assemblies. Most notably, NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, and NFPA 105, Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives—publications of the National Fire Protection Association. His contributions to these publications included many proposals for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire and egress door assemblies. 
Drew Martin is a Fire Consultant in Arup’s San Francisco office. He works with the fire group on code analysis, fire modeling for smoke control applications, human behavior and egress analysis. Drew brings a variety of new and advanced tools related to modeling and risk assessment for commercial and residential buildings as well as fire related research. Prior to joining Arup, Drew worked for AKF Group, National Park Service, and as a researcher for Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Drew’s worked as a code consultant for AKF Group developing an expertise in the Building code (IBC) and the Massachusetts suite of codes. The national Park Service allowed for performance based work on historical buildings within strict budgetary constraints.  
One week left to register to receive the benefit of the early bird rates for the joint conference AUBE ’17/SUPDET® 2017, which will take place September 12-14 in College Park, MD, USA.
This year's program will feature over 80 presentations over a three day period focused on the latest development in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community, and how they can be put to use by the fire protection community. o AUBE ‘17/SUPDET 2017 will feature a variety of topics, including smoke aerosol characterization for detection applications, new detection technologies, and detection of wild fires.
Some other areas of focus are new suppression research, new statistics and tests related to unwanted alarms, relevant standard updates, smart applications, unique modeling investigations, research on oxygen reduction systems, and fire protection in aircraft, vehicles, and tunnels.
The combination of these two international conferences continues the tradition of presenting the latest developments in research, technology and applications for the fire protection community.
REGISTER TODAY to receive the early rates, which are effective until 28 July. For additional program, hotel and registration details, visit: We hope to see you there!

Bigglestone AwardLast week, we wrote a news release on the awards for contributions in fire and life safety at the NFPA Conference and Expo held in Boston, MA. Among those awards, the Fire Protection Research Foundation presented The Harry C. Bigglestone Award to the paper appearing in Fire Technology that best represents excellence in the communication of fire protection concepts. The winning paper was chosen from a pool of more than 100 eligible papers, and included a framed certificate and a $5,000 cash prize.


This year’s Bigglestone Award was for the paper: “Assessing the Verification and Validation of Building Fire Evacuation Models” authored by the team of Enrico Ronchi, Erica D. Kuligowski, Daniel Nilsson, Richard D. Peacock, and Paul A. Reneke. This paper discusses the tests, which are included in a Technical Note developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 


Lead author, Enrico Ronchi, an associate senior lecturer in evacuation modelling in the Department of Fire Safety Engineering at Lund University in Sweden, accepted this year's Bigglestone Award on behalf of his co-authors.

Foundation Medal 2017

This past week at the NFPA Conference and Expo in Boston, MA, the Fire Protection Research Foundation awarded the Research Foundation Medal, recognizing the research project completed in the prior year that best exemplifies the Fire Protection Research Foundation‘s (1) fire safety mission, (2) technical challenges overcome, and (3) collaborative approach to execution that is the hallmark of all Foundation projects.


There were 15 eligible projects in 2016, and the recipient is included in a noteworthy outreach messaging effort that includes multiple communications directed at the specific stakeholder audiences.


This year’s Foundation Medal Project is “Lithium Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment—Phase 3”, with full scale test work conducted at FM Global at their West Gloucester facility under the direction of Benjamin Ditch, and the final report authored by Thomas Long Jr. and Andrew Blum of Exponent, Inc., made possible through funding from the Foundation’s Property Insurance Research Group (PIRG). This research project is the third phase in a project aimed at developing a guidance protocol for fire protection of lithium-ion batteries for storage. The report seeks to provide technical data to NFPA 13 to fill the knowledge gap in understanding if lithium-ion batteries in storage require different storage. 

The Foundation Medal was presented to Benjamin Ditch of FM Global on behalf of all those involved in the project. 


Non-fire electrical incidents

Posted by bprince Employee May 18, 2017

May is Electrical Safety Month and what better way to raise awareness of potential electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety than with NFPA's new Non-Fire Electrical Incidents Report? This report states that local fire departments respond to an estimated 385,700 non-fire electrical incidents each year. These incidents can involve downed power lines, electrical failures, electrical rescue, and electrocution or potential electrocution. It is also stated that according to our 2017 Electrical Fires report, some type of electrical failure or malfunction caused an estimated average of 61,300 structure fires, 430 civilian deaths, 1,600 civilian injuries, and $2 billion in direct property damage each year. Preventing electrical failures can prevent most of these fires!


Did you know?

Nearly half (47%) of local fire department responses to electrocutions or potential electrocutions occurred in residential properties.


Click here to view the report!

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!

Happy National Electrical Safety Month!Burnt outlet

Now that Spring has begun, we can say hello to warmer days, and goodbye to the cold, snowy weather and to the peak period of electrical home fires. NFPA's new Electrical Fires report states that November through January is the peak period for home fires involving electrical failures or malfunctions accounting for 39% of home electrical fires, 40% of deaths, 37% of injuries, and 40% direct property damage from these fires. Home electrical fires also represent 13% of total home fires and 17% of associated civilian deaths. 


Did you know?

50% of deaths associated with electrical fires involving heating, ventilation, and air conditioning were due to fixed or portable space heaters.


Click on the link above to download this report, which includes information on:

  • Item first ignited
  • Type of electrical failure or malfunction
  • Total fires vs. total factors
  • And more!


Let's all remember to think about the dangers of these fires and stay safe by reading our Electrical Fires Safety Tip Sheet and you can learn more about National Electrical Safety Month and what is to come here!

Fires in structures under construction

Ever wonder how many fires occur in structures that are under construction, undergoing renovation, or being demolished? Are there deaths or injuries that occur in these structures? What would be the causes of ignition or leading causes of fires? Well, we have those answers and more in our new Fires in Structures Under Construction, Undergoing Major Renovation, or Being Demolished report! This new NFPA report states that U.S fire departments respond to an estimated average of 3,750 fires in structures under construction each year, 2,560 fires in structures undergoing major renovation, and another 2,130 in structures being demolished. 


Did you know?

In structures under construction, cooking equipment was responsible for the largest share of fires (27%).



This report will answer your questions relating to:

  • Leading causes of fire
  • Extent of flame damage
  • Causes of ignition
  • Equipment involved in ignition
  • How many civilian deaths and injuries occurred

And much more!


Click on the link above to view the report!

FD Profile Report Infographic 2015

The new U.S. Fire Department Profile report states that there were an estimated 1,160,450 local firefighters in the U.S. and an estimated 29,727 total fire departments. Of these, 2,651 departments were all career, 1,893 were mostly career, 5,421 were mostly volunteer and 19,762 were all volunteer. More than one-quarter of the firefighters in the U.S. are in the 30-39 age group and nearly half of the U.S. population is protected by all career fire departments.


Did you know?

70% of firefighters in the U.S. are volunteer.


Click on the link above to find out more about the results of this report, which includes:

  • The number of women in the fire service
  • The age breakdown of firefighters
  • Tenure period of firefighters
  • Differences between volunteer and career departments and the populations they protect
  • How many fire departments provided EMS

and so much more! 

NFPA's latest report on Home Structure Fires that Began with Upholstered Furniture states that upholstered furniture has long been the leading item first ignited in terms of home fire deaths. Upholstered furniture was the item first ignited in an average of 5,630 reported home structure fires each year and caused an estimated annual average of 440 civilian deaths, 700 civilian injuries, and $269 million in direct property damage. On average, one in 13 reported upholstered furniture fires resulted in death. Overall, fires beginning with upholstered furniture accounted for 18% of home fire deaths.


Did you know?

Candles, matches and lighters were involved in 20% of the fires and 12% of the deaths.


Click on the link above to download the report. You will find valuable information including:

  • Civilian fire death trends by year
  • Leading causes of these fires and civilian deaths
  • Extent of fire spread
  • What equipment was involved in ignition
  • And more!

Eating and Drinking FiresNFPA's latest report on Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments states that U.S. fire departments responded to 8,410 fires in 2014; the most since 2002. These fires caused average annual losses of $165 million in direct property damage each year, and three out of five (61%) of these fires involved cooking equipment.


Did you know?

Failure to clean was a factor in 22% of these fires.


Click on the link above to download the report. You will find information including:

  • Cause of ignition and factors contributing to ignition
  • First item ignited
  • Extent of flame damage
  • Number and percent of fires by day of week and time of day 
  • And more!

InfographicWith the recent release of the "Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service" report, it may be challenging to really understand and capture the needs of the U.S fire service with the massive amount of great information this report provides. To view all of the biggest takeaways from this report, make sure you take a look at our easy-to-read Infographic available to you here. This document gives you a detailed, yet clear-cut picture of the needs and challenges that our fire service faces each year. You can also download the infographic, fact sheet, full report (also available in the link above), and more information about this report here.


Some highlighted topics include:

  • Training needs
  • Health and wellness
  • Sufficient staffing
  • Cancer and Contamination

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