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178 Posts authored by: cathylongley Employee

NFPA has developed three new Learning Path programs to help different stakeholders prepare for certification credentials at their own pace and at the level they deem necessary. Professionals looking to get ready for Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS), Certified Fire Inspector (CFI-I), and Certified Fire Plan Examiner (CFPE) exams can customize their studying approach to include individual online training modules or a full program with more comprehensive educational content. The Learning Path option is also great for fire departments or companies looking to further workers’ capabilities via online training rather than classroom training that may take them away from work.

 

Available 24/7, each Learning Path program has its own set of strategies for helping students to grasp the subject matter. All three offerings include a practice exam component, a final Capstone activity to test knowledge and core responsibilities, and a navigation tool that helps stakeholders plot out their long-range learning approach so that they are covering related content in advance of the certification exam date. 

 

These online learnings are great for fire protection professionals, risk managers, loss control specialists, fire officers, fire marshals, fire inspectors, safety managers, fire protection consultants, designers, engineers, code enforcers, facility managers, building owners, and others responsible for the application of fire safety, protection, prevention, and suppression technologies.

 

Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) Learning Path

 

The Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) credential documents competency and offers professional recognition for individuals involved in curtailing physical and financial fire loss. The 41 certification modules in the Premium bundle have been created with material from the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook (FPH) and feature expert videos, interactive 3D fire scene investigation tools, official research reports and news reports of fire incidents, knowledge checks, and quizzes at the end of every module. The interactive, online course is based on the new 2020 CFPS examination content outline.

 

Certified Fire Inspector I (CFI-I) Learning Path

 

Those planning to take the Certified Fire Inspector I examination will learn about the job performance requirements for the Fire Inspector I level as defined in the 2014 edition of NFPA 1031, Standard for Professional Qualification for Fire Inspector and Plan Examiner. New learners will benefit from a full online CFI-I learning program with 31 hours of related content and the possibility of earning 3.1 continuing education units (CEUs). This track includes 10 modules specifically designed to prepare the CFI-I candidate for the exam and an additional 21 modules that provide in-depth training on codes and standards. Those interested in a leaner approach, can opt for the Primer offer, which includes the 10 exam prep modules or take individual ala carte courses.

 

Certified Fire Plan Examiner (CFPE) Learning Path

 

Like the CFI-I program, the Certified Fire Plan Examiner certification exam is based on NFPA 1031 and also includes NFPA codes related directly to the plan examiner’s field-of-practice – NFPA 1 Fire Code, NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code. Designed to mirror the certification exam blueprint, this Learning Path entails 27 hours of content (2.7 CEUs) including expert video commentary, interactive 3D tools, case studies, regulation-changing fire-incident videos, and a unique interactive sandbox area.

 

Learn more about other NFPA online and virtual training options.

 

Before he rides off into the sunset and begins to enjoy a well-deserved retirement, NFPA Director of Engineering and resident industrial/chemical expert Guy Colonna will conduct a webinar for stakeholders in Latin America on Monday, August 24 at 8pm EDT – 19:00 Mexico City local time. Colonna will join Jaime Gutiérrez, new NFPA international development director for Latin America, on his show Dialogues in México from Home for a discussion about the role of ammonium nitrate in the catastrophic Beirut explosion – and appropriate safety management of the chemical compound.

 

Colonna recently explained during an NFPA video blog and an NFPA podcast that ammonium nitrate is generally used to make fertilizers and explosives. It does not, however, burn on its own which indicates that there were likely multiple safety fails that lead to the devastating blow in Beirut.  Based on news reports, the August 4th disaster appears to have resulted because some of the critical components of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem were blatantly disregarded or overlooked.

 

Colonna will offer guidance on safely handling ammonium nitrate and address myths about the chemical during a short webinar which will be conducted in English with Gutiérrez translating and facilitating a Q & A session.

 

Register for this webinar today and make plans to tune in on Monday.

 

The way people work and learn has changed considerably in recent years, and particularly, in the months since COVID-19 took hold in the United States. NFPA has been following this trend for years and mobilizing to meet distance learning demands in a variety of ways so that a broad range of stakeholders can stay current on workplace information and knowledge.


One such way of learning is the NFPA 70 National Electrical Code (NEC) Online Training Series which includes seven different modules ideally suited for members of the electrical, enforcement and maintenance communities. The training emphasizes safe and compliant electrical installation and design while helping students to locate, interpret, and apply requirements in the ever-evolving NEC. The online training challenges learners to apply the NEC, reference tables and complete calculations; it features instructional presentations, interactive exercises, and an integrated set of scenario-based activities.


Electrical system designers, electrical engineers, electrical contractors, safety engineers, installation and maintenance professionals, manufacturers, electrical inspectors, facility maintenance personnel, and project managers will learn how NEC compliance helps provide electrical safety in commercial, and industrial applications. Previous versions of the training centered around the 2014 and 2017 editions of the NEC. The new version has been updated for consistency with the 2020 edition of the code and includes high-demand topics such as grounding, bonding, motors and HVAC equipment. Students will assess what they learn during an interactive renovation project of a high school built to the 1981 version of the code; a Capstone component at the end of each module also allows students to confirm their grasp of course content.


Over a span of 10 self-paced hours, students will learn to:

 

  • Describe NEC general requirements for the execution of work
  • Identify the requirements for determining minimum conductor size and calculating load
  • Determine the requirements for routing conductors and securing raceways
  • Define and describe the elements of grounded and ungrounded systems
  • Identify equipment grounding and bonding requirements
  • Identify types and functions of overcurrent protective devices
  • Determine ratings and requirements for motors and HVAC systems
  • Upon successfully passing an online assessment, participants will earn a Certificate of Completion.

 

The NEC has been around since 1897 and it continues to evolve with the times. It is enforced in various editions in all 50 states and referred to in jurisdictions all around the world. A skilled workforce, utilizing the knowledgeable in the NEC, is paramount to ensuring the protection of people and property from electrical hazards.

 

NFPA LiNK, a new digital content on demand platform, was introduced during a virtual product reveal today.


NFPA LiNK is designed to deliver intuitive, seamless, code-based information to those responsible for building, electrical and life safety via mobile devices, tablets, laptops, or preferred devices. NFPA LiNK is set to transform NFPA from a 124-year-old book publisher to a globally connected information and knowledge provider.


For more than a century, people have turned to National Fire Protection Association codes and standards to do their jobs efficiently and effectively; but in recent years, NFPA has seen a shift in the ways that people learn and work. Today’s workforce does not find a physical book or a static digital version of a book the best means to help solve problems on a real-time basis. Instead, professionals, practitioners, and policy makers want to connect the dots on safety, and glean real-world, real-time understanding.

 

“NFPA stakeholders want code information and insights faster than ever before,” Jim Pauley, NFPA president and CEO said. “I am convinced that NFPA LiNK will help revolutionize safety through better access to more robust information.”


The first iteration of NFPA LiNK will feature the National Electrical Code and electrical content, followed by building and life safety and fire protection codes; the goal is to have all 300-plus NFPA codes and standards in NFPA LiNK by the end of 2021. Additional resources will then be added, and new features will be unveiled on a regular basis.


At full development, NFPA LiNK subscribers can look forward to:

 

  • accessing the full set of NFPA codes and standards and when new editions are released, subscriptions will be automatically updated
  • using situation-based navigation to easily find the information needed
  • aggregating information across NFPA codes and standards to better understand and access insights that apply to a given situation
  • adding personal notations to NFPA codes and standards and having those notes automatically carried over when codes are updated
  • bookmarking, color-coding sections, saving key information, and sharing sections and subsections with other subscribers and non-subscribers

 

Find out more about NFPA LiNK at www.nfpa.org/LiNK.

On Tuesday, August 4th, NFPA will celebrate a new milestone in its long, storied history.

 

Over the last century-plus, a wide range of stakeholders have turned to NFPA codes and standards to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. The reality is that people learn and work differently these days. They want to connect the dots on safety, and glean real-world, real-time solutions – not necessarily read a technical book cover-to-cover. 

 

On August 4th at 1:00 p.m. (EST), NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley will explain how the Association is transitioning to meet the needs of today’s engineers, designers, code enforcers, responders, trade workers, building authorities, and policy makers. The virtual product reveal will touch on the changes going into effect this fall at NFPA; offer a sneak preview of an exciting new digital platform; and feature a round table of experts discussing what the future of fire and life safety holds.

 

If you play a role in protecting people and property from harm and are ready to have access to extensive NFPA codes, context and content – make plans to tune in on August 4th. Register here today.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed a new infographic highlighting five key considerations for Remote Video Inspection (RVI) programs. The new graphic underscores the need for defining procedure, communication, technology, verification and completion steps as code officials, enforcers, and building professionals re-open occupancies and deal with even bigger inspection backlogs than usual.

 

Even during normal times, AHJs (authorities having jurisdiction) tend to have heavy inspection workloads, but with so many buildings shut down in recent months due to COVID-19, that burden is expected to significantly increase. RVI offers an effective and efficient alternative for building inspections. Using technology to remotely perform an inspection of a building or building component is increasingly being seen as a viable, efficient, and effective alternative to onsite inspections.

 

Just like traditional in-person inspections, an RVI typically occurs as part of a jurisdiction’s permitting process, project, or contract schedule, and needs to be approved by the AHJ for that area. Video inspections help accomplish critical and emergency permit work; they are not intended to be less complete than an on-site inspection. RVI is currently in use in select jurisdictions across the United States, although no formal standard currently governs its use. NFPA 915, Standard on Remote Inspections is in the early development stages.

 

The RVI infographic is designed to be shared via text, social media and websites and drive stakeholders to more robust information and knowledge on the NFPA RVI landing page at www.nfpa.org/remoteinspections. A new NFPA podcast and NFPA Journal story will look at RVI in the coming weeks; those links will also be added to the dedicated RVI microsite.

UPDATE: With July 4 weekend just days away and Canada Day celebrations happening today (July 1), we want to remind everyone about the dangers of consumer fireworks. The blog post below highlights the damage incurred by fireworks each year, while our fireworks page offers several resources, including sharable social media content and access to our full fireworks report, which provides NFPA's latest statistics on fireworks fires and injuries.

 

Since public displays aren’t an option this year, use your creativity to safely celebrate the holiday! As the video below reminds all of us, we’ve all been working hard to stay safe - let’s keep washing our hand, not risk losing them.

 

 

Each year at this time, NFPA encourages the public to attend fireworks displays put on by trained professionals, rather than resort to homemade celebrations. With many upcoming community events cancelled due to COVID-19, NFPA has released a timely new video emphasizing the dangers of consumer fireworks and reminding the public about the unnecessary burden that fireworks accidents put on the very same front line workers who have been enormously taxed in recent months.

 

Plain and simple, consumer fireworks are dangerous. Even sparklers, which may seem child-safe, burn as hot as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause third-degree burns. NFPA research shows that fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires, five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage in 2018. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reinforces this picture with data that shows hospital emergency rooms across the country treated an estimated 9,100 non-occupational fireworks related injuries in the month around July 4 alone. Half those injuries were to extremities, particularly the hand or finger, or leg with more than one-third (36 percent) of the injuries sustained by children ages 10-14. 

 

We all play a role in safety. Share this new video via social media and other channels to remind people about the well-documented dangers of consumer fireworks. Our first responders and healthcare professionals have been working tirelessly throughout this pandemic. They deserve our gratitude and support for their efforts, and our commitment to collectively minimizing avoidable emergency calls that require response and care. As the video states, we've all been doing good during unprecedented times to reduce further impact on our healthcare systems and response resources, let's not mess it up now.

NFPA announced its new Officers and the election of Dr. Denis Onieal to its Board of Directors.

 

Amy Acton, a burn survivor and former burn nurse and nurse manager, has been named Chair of the NFPA Board. For only the second time in the nearly 125-year history of NFPA, the Board will be led by a female. Acton serves as the Executive Director of Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, working to refine Phoenix Society’s mission and business outreach strategy to ensure that more people are aware of burn causes, injuries, rehabilitation, and recovery. She is joined by John Bonney, the first Board member from outside North America serving serving in an officer role on the NFPA Board of Directors.Bonney, owner of Alendi Consulting Ltd. and Alchemy Management Solutions, Ltd. which help organizations identify, quantify, and map risk and then employ strategies to reduce that risk, is the new Board secretary. He is a former national president of the Chief Fire Officer’s Association in the United Kingdom and was chief fire officer in Hampshire County, England for ten years. Rounding out the rest of the NFPA Board leadership team are Russell Leavitt as 1st vice chair, R. David Paulison as 2nd vice chair, Donny Cook as assistant secretary, Roger Montembeault for a second term as treasurer, Kwame Cooper as assistant treasurer, and Keith Williams as immediate past chair.

 

Onieal, the newest member of the NFPA Board, recently retired from his role as deputy fire administrator for the United States Fire Administration (USFA), where he oversaw more than 400 career and contract employees, as well as a 110-acre campus with 26 historic buildings. Onieal was responsible for the United States National Fire Academy (NFA) which trains 100,000+ mid- to senior-level firefighters and officers in all aspects of executive leadership. He was also a senior member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) governing council.

 

During his tenure, Onieal championed fire-related research on causes of fire as well as on lithium batteries, protective clothing for firefighters, emergency vehicle conspicuity, firefighting strategy and tactics. He was also responsible for the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) – the largest incident-based, all-hazards database in the world that involves 24,000+ fire departments across the nation and captures 27 million incidents per year. A gifted collaborator, Onieal worked with senior federal officials within The Department Homeland Security (DHS), Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Defense, Treasury Defense and Interior – as well as with executives at the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control.

 

Prior to USFA, Onieal served as the Superintendent of NFA for nearly 20 years overseeing on-campus resident programming, off-campus training and on-line education that attracted more women and people of color than ever before as both students and faculty. Onieal helped improve the rigor of academic programs; today both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are regarded as national models for professional development in fire and emergency services. During vacancies between presidential appointments and periods of crisis, he also advised the FEMA Administrator and the Secretary of DHS on fire-related/disaster issues.

 

Prior to his federal roles, Onieal was a member of the Jersey City Fire Department in New Jersey for almost 25 years – ultimately rising to the level of chief of the department.

 

Onieal has been the recipient of the International Association of Fire Chiefs President's Award for Outstanding Leadership, the Congressional Fire Services Institute Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award, the New Jersey Professional Firefighters Association Humanitarian Award, Firehouse Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award, and was recognized as a New York University Visiting Scholar.

 

He joins NFPA Board of Director members Brion Callori, Martha Connors, Teresa Deloach Reed, Reginal Freeman, William Fries, Hatem Kheir, Patrick Morrison, Lou Paulson, Michael Wallace, and Stacy Welch who are continuing terms.

Each year in June, NFPA honors various professionals working in different ways to reduce loss in our world. These individuals are raising awareness of persistent challenges, addressing hazards in new, innovative ways and helping to raise the bar on safety in proactive, progressive ways.

 

Paul D. Martin, retired Deputy State Fire Administrator with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Service’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control, is the winner of the 2019 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal. The award was established in honor of Jim Shannon who served as NFPA president for 12 years; he proactively championed key changes that reduced fire hazards and was a passionate proponent of home fire sprinklers. Paul Martin started his fire service career more than 40 years ago, and has been an advocate for campus fire safety, both on and off campus. He served as a director of the non-profit Center for Campus Fire Safety for more than 12 years, (six years as president) and led efforts to launch a Campus Fire Safety Awareness Day at dozens of campuses throughout New York. Martin was also instrumental in New York becoming the first state to pass Fire Safe Cigarette requirements, essentially paving the way for other states to do so too. Additionally, Martin served as co-chair of Prevention, Advocacy, Resource and Data Exchange (PARADE), a program the United States Fire Administration designed to exchange fire-related prevention/ protection information and resources between federal, state, and local levels of government.

 

The Standards Medal is the most distinguished award given by the NFPA Standards Council. It recognized and honors outstanding contributions to fire safety. Peter J. Willse is the 2020 recipient of the Standards Medal. Willse began his professional career as a field engineer for Industrial Risk Insurers (IRI) and moved on to U.S. and international roles for several years before IRI became GE Global Asset Protection Services (GAPS) and ultimately XL Insurance, where he became the director of research. Willse oversees relationships between GAPS, NFPA, the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), and Underwriters Laboratories. He is responsible for the publication of GAP Guidelines manuals and teaches in areas of building construction, combustion controls, natural hazards, and special hazards. Willse has also authored articles on Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems (EIFS) and fire walls and has revised chapters for multiple editions of NFPA's Fire Protection Handbook. A firefighter/ EMT in Connecticut, Willse serves as an advisor for fire cadets and acts as deputy fire marshal. A former NFPA Board of Directors and Standards Council member, Willse sits on several other NFPA committees today, as well as on the FPRF Board of Trustees and Worcester Polytechnic lnstitute (WPI) Fire Protection Engineering Advisory Board.

 

The Research Foundation Medal recognizes one Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation) project from the previous year that best exemplifies the Foundation’s fire safety mission, commitment to overcoming technical challenges and collaborative approach. An awards committee comprised of representatives from the Research Foundation Board, Research Advisory Committee, and NFPA technical staff reviewed 24 project summaries, along with staff assessments. They selected Digitized Fuel Load Survey Methodology Using Machine Vision which addresses the need to provide reliable fuel load data to quantify design fires for buildings as the winner. The availability of fuel load data has been hindered by the lack of an efficient building surveying method, but this project developed and applied a new digitized methodology for fuel load surveys using machine vision that can facilitate the collection, storage, and analysis of fuel load data for a variety of building occupancies. Negar Elhami-Khorasani, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo (NY), Thomas Gernay, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (MD), and Juan Gustavo Salado Castillo, Esther Saula, Timothy Josephs, and Gauhar Nurlybekova, students in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Buffalo (NY) are the recipients of this award.

Maria Bostian, public education and information officer for Kannapolis (N.C.) Fire Department, has received the 2019 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award, as well as a $1000 honorarium for her and $1000 to support public education activities in her community. Annually, NFPA confers this award on a dedicated educator who works for a fire department of fire marshal’s office in the U.S. or Canada and uses NFPA materials in consistent and creative educational ways. She teams up each year with her community’s local pet supply store to stage a Pet Fire Safety Day; and elevates safety awareness by using NFPA’s Learn Not to Burn® preschool program and NFPA’s Remembering When™ program for older adults. In 2019, Bostian visited a preschool classroom with the Fire Prevention Week theme of “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape.” She emphasized the importance of knowing two ways out of every room in the event of a fire and reinforced this key messaging with customized handouts for the children. This decision proved to be lifesaving for one of the preschoolers; who after the lesson experienced a house fire and got her siblings and herself to safety. Bostian also promotes fire safety through two children’s picture books she authored – underscoring vital safety information found within NFPA’s Educational Messaging Advisory Council’s Desk Reference.

 

The 2020 Harry C. Bigglestone Award is given annually to a paper appearing in Fire Technology that best represents excellence in the communication of fire protection concepts. The award honors the memory of Harry C. Bigglestone, who served as a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation and was a fellow and past president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers; it comes with a $5,000 cash prize from NFPA. “Should We Leave Now? Behavioral Factors in Evacuation Under Wildfire Threat” by Jim McLennan, adjunct professor, school of psychology and public health, La Trobe University; Barbara Ryan, senior lecturer, school of arts and communication, University of Southern Queensland; Chris Bearman, associate professor of cognitive psychology; Queensland University (Adelaide campus); and Keith Toh, deputy dean of learning and teaching, RMIT University is this year’s winner.

 

 Congratulations to this year's impressive winners!

The NFPA Podcast, a new podcast series featuring in-depth interviews on fire, life and electrical safety, launched today with a segment on marijuana. The new podcast utilizes the same journalistic format of the former NFPA Journal Podcast, but delves further into trending topics by featuring perspective from diverse professionals from around the globe.

 

Points of view from different subject matter experts — code officials, facility managers, inspectors, builders, electricians, firefighters, public educators, policymakers and more — are woven together to demonstrate that safety is a system, as illustrated in the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem.

“Everything related to fire and life safety changes fast and frequently, and as such so must the depth of our knowledge,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “The NFPA Podcast looks at persistent challenges, current issues and potential concerns in a refreshing, relevant way. It provides listeners with well-rounded information so that those charged with protecting people and property can do their jobs effectively and efficiently.”

The inaugural episode of The NFPA Podcast examines the legal cannabis industry through different lenses. The multi-billion-dollar legal marijuana industry, with its own unique industrial processes, has fire marshals, firefighters, regulators, inspectors and others across the United States scrambling to learn how these facilities operate, what the dangers are, and what regulations need to be in place to prevent fires and explosions, such as the one that occurred recently at a cannabis-related business in Los Angeles. Listen to the cannabis conversation here.

New episodes will air on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month and can be accessed on Spotify, Apple Music, and many other popular podcast platforms. In the coming weeks, The NFPA Podcast will look at fire safety considerations for batteries, remote video inspection, residential fire sprinklers, and wildfire preparedness efforts.

 

Listeners with ideas for future podcast episodes are encouraged to email Jesse Roman at jroman@nfpa.org.

For the first time in 124 years, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is hosting its Annual Meeting online.

 

The NFPA 2020 Association Annual Meeting and NFPA Conference & Exposition were scheduled to take place this week in Orlando, Florida, but as has often been the case during COVID times, the live events were cancelled. Instead, registration and voting for the NFPA Board of Directors elections is virtually underway from Monday, June 15 at 9:00 a.m. EDT through 5 p.m. EDT. on Wednesday, June 17 at www.nfpa.org/boardvote.


Outgoing NFPA Board Chair Keith Williams, recently retired as Chairman of UL, opens up the Annual Meeting with some perspective on NFPA during COVID times and the organization’s transition to meet modern day demands. Then, NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley provides an abbreviated overview of organizational business priorities and the ways that NFPA is working to ensure that a broad range of global stakeholders have the information they need, in the formats that make sense, to move safety forward.

 

The Annual Meeting is being held in accordance with section 5.14.1(a) 
of the NFPA Bylaws; consider this to be the notice by the Secretary of the Association of the nomination by the Governance and Nominating Committee of one candidate for election to the NFPA Board of Directors.


Denis Onieal has been nominated by the Committee for election by the membership to a three-year term as an Elected Member of the Board of Directors with his term to take effect in accordance with the Bylaws. Onieal recently retired from his role as Deputy Fire Administrator for the US Fire Administration, a position he held for nearly five years. Prior to that he served as the Superintendent of the National Fire Academy for close to 20 years. Before his government roles, Onieal was a member of the Jersey City Fire Department in New Jersey for almost 25 years. He finished his long tenure there as chief.


Questions concerning the 2020 Board nomination can be directed to Assistant Secretary Sally P. Everett at NFPA headquarters.

The 2020 NFPA Technical Meeting, being held digitally this year as a result of COVID-19, begins today. To submit position statements to debate Certified Amending Motions (CAMs), visit nfpa.org/2020techsession.

 

The online 2020 meeting allows NFPA members and the public to debate proposed CAMs for NFPA 1 Fire Code, NFPA 4 Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing, NFPA 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, NFPA 99 Health Care Facilities Code, NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, NFPA 790 Standard for Competency of Third-Party Field Evaluation Bodies, NFPA 1006 Standard for Technical Rescue Personnel Professional Qualifications, NFPA 1500 Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety, Health, and Wellness Program and NFPA 1700 Guide for Structural Fire Fighting.

 

As at all Technical Meetings, technical committees, correlating committees and authorized makers of CAMs have provided position statements regarding respective CAMs. These are available for review on the 2020 Technical Meeting page. NFPA Members and the public are encouraged to participate in the debate on each CAM by submitting position statements and acknowledging the name and date stamp being supported or countered. There is no cost to participate in the Technical Meeting debate which runs June 8-19, but all participants will be prompted to use an existing NFPA profile or create a profile before submitting position statements. All submitted position statements will be publicly posted as the debate continues.

 

Following the debate period of the session, eligible NFPA members (i.e. those who have been an NFPA member since December 21, 2019) who have registered for the electronic 2020 NFPA Technical Meeting will have the opportunity to vote on all CAMs. To participate in the voting, eligible NFPA Members must register. Voters will receive instructions on downloading the designated Technical Meeting app, as well as information on how to electronically vote. Voting will occur between June 22 and June 26.

 

On or around June 29, NFPA will publicly post all results at nfpa.org/2020techsession. Any successful CAMs will be forwarded to the responsible committee(s) for ballot (if applicable) and in accordance with the Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards.

Some promising announcements related to building and life safety were made this week in the UK.


The secretary of state for Housing, Communities, and Local Government introduced a new £1 billion Building Safety Fund (more than 1.2 billion USD) on May 26 to assist with the removal of non-ACM (non-aluminum composite) cladding on high rise residential buildings. The funding will be added to the £600 million (approximately $660,000 USD) set aside in 2019 to pay for the replacement of unsafe exterior walls on buildings over 18 meters (roughly 59 feet) that do not meet building regulations, according to a prospectus for the fund.


The funding for 2020-2021 is designed to alleviate the burden on leaseholders who are being asked to foot significant bills for the removal of combustible exterior wall assemblies, including plastic-laden cladding and insulation, on private high-rise buildings. Additionally, the monies can be used to offset siding costs in public buildings where assessments would have otherwise been passed along to renters. As part of the launch this week, the government stressed that landlords must cover renovation costs without increasing rent for their tenants.


On the same day, UK officials announced that changes had been made to building safety regulations—specifically the guidance known as Approved Document B. The new mandate calls for high rise residences over 11 meters tall (about 36 feet) to be sprinklered and feature consistent wayfinding signage. Current regulations in the UK call for sprinklers at 30 meters (about 98 feet) and taller. The lower height requirements go into effective on November 26.


The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government press release also stated that the housing secretary, mayors, and local leaders are committed to ensuring that critical building safety improvements continue during the coronavirus pandemic.


NFPA has heavily reported on the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire that took 72 lives when fire rushed up the side of a 24-story apartment building that included ACM cladding and other combustible exterior wall components. In the three years since that tragedy, UK officials and business owners have come under fire for dragging their feet on code enforcement, non-compliant cladding removal efforts, the remediation costs reportedly being passed on to tenants, lax code enforcement, and other infractions.


In response to the deadly fire, NFPA developed a risk assessment tool for existing building stock with combustible exterior walls. The incident has also been covered extensively in NFPA Journal, including a recent NFPA Journal article on the difficulty of obtaining data related to facade fires and a new Learn Something New video that highlights the persistent global problem of facade fires. Grenfell was also a key factor in NFPA creating the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem, which identifies the components that must work together to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, electrical, and other hazards.


The steps being taken by elected officials in the UK show progress in addressing the components of the Ecosystem, in particular investment in safety and government responsibility.

Today, May 4th, is International Firefighters’ Day. Each year on this day, firefighters are celebrated – and rightly so.

 

Most people have an image of firefighters clad in heavy coats, over-sized boots and sturdy helmets, rushing into raging fires. This visual and the notion of firefighter bravado is seared into our minds at an early age.


Over the years as the global fire problem has plateaued, the role of firefighter has morphed into more of an all-hazards emergency responder role. Firefighters routinely provide emergency medical services, oversee fire prevention and risk reduction efforts, and show up when hostile events unfold. They witness the underbelly of addiction in our communities; respond to life safety incidents in businesses, homes, on the roads; and in our wildland areas – not to mention they struggle with exposure to carcinogens and other occupational hazards. And yet, very few could predict the battle they are fighting now.


COVID-19 has catapulted first responders into uncharted territory. Since the pandemic took hold in the US, we know that more than 20 firefighters have died, and an unknown number of others have been stricken with the virus. They are not out of the woods yet. The current circumstances that firefighters are facing may differ from long-held images of fires being knocked down – but their mission to protect and save continues to be at the heart of all that they do.


“When I'm called to duty God, wherever flames may rage, give me strength to save a life, whatever be its age,” the Fireman Creed says (in part). Today, and for quite some time now, flames have been a metaphor for whatever comes a firefighter’s way.


At NFPA, we celebrate firefighters every day. We applaud their good deeds and recognize that their roles pertain to so much more than fire. We work to reduce risk so that first responders are put in harm’s way far less often. NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley often says, “NFPA goes where first responders go.” It’s been this way for nearly 125 years.


Our organization works to provide the timely information that responders need to do their jobs well and return home safely to their families. NFPA supports the fire service and advocates for responders in a variety of ways.

 

  • We develop codes, standards and best practices. Currently, we are consolidating 114 NFPA documents into 38 standards so that firefighters and others have relevant guidance formatted in a way that makes sense for today’s responders.
  • Findings and insights generated by our research and analytics team, as well as from our affiliate, The Fire Protection Research Foundation, impact fire service operations, tactics, resourcing, and the products found in homes today.
  • The NFPA Responder Forum, slated to take place later this year for the fifth time since 2016, helps emerging leaders tackle workplace and societal concerns. The Forum provides a unique space for collaboration, spurs forward-thinking, and emphasizes the importance of cultivating invaluable leadership skills so that the fire service remains a respected institution.
  • NFPA has a long history of collaborating with those who share our vision of eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. We proudly join forces with the International Association of Firefighters, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Volunteer Fire Council, Metro Chiefs, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, National Fallen Fire Fighters, FEMA, DHS and others in the interest of firefighter safety.
  • We develop training so that responders can respond to new hazards involving energy storage systems, alternative fuel vehicles, flammable refrigerants, and active shooters. We also set the bar for professional qualifications, fire inspection, fire protection, wildfire mitigation, hot work, drones, and many other topics.
  • Our organization educates the public about fire causes and safety tips; works to reduce risk in our communities; and informs policymakers and officials about the dangers that first responders and citizens face.

 

Like the fire service, NFPA has morphed into an all-hazards organization. We share the same objective that firefighters have – to protect people and property. That’s why today and every day, we are proud to support the fire service.

 

This year’s Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz Sweepstakes emphasizes the safety theme “Building a Super Highway to Safety – Protecting our Responders on Roadways,” and is now available for taking and sharing.

 

Each year, NFPA, the IAFC Safety, Health & Survival Section, and NVFC organize the Safety Stand Down campaign as well as an interactive online quiz to bring attention to a particular responder safety concern. This year’s initiative highlights safety measures to protect firefighters, EMS providers, and other emergency personnel while responding to roadway incidents.

 

Responders are asked to refresh their roadside safety techniques and learn new skills based on current research, nationally recognized best practices, and the growing number of distracted drivers behind the wheel today. Campaign resources can be found at www.safetystanddown.org. During the week of June 14-20, agencies across the country are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activities and focus on training and education related to this year’s awareness theme. An entire week is provided to ensure that all shifts and personnel can participate. 

 

Emergency services personnel are also asked to take and promote the campaign quiz which features 12 questions. Those who complete the quiz at www.nfpa.org/fireservicequiz by Wednesday, June 17 will be automatically entered in a sweepstakes; then 200 randomly selected participants will win a limited-edition challenge coin commemorating this year’s Safety Stand Down theme.

 

Safety Stand Down is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations, including ResponderSafety.com who assisted in the quiz development.

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