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173 Posts authored by: cathylongley Employee

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 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

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

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


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 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 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 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 who assisted in the quiz development.

If there has been a constant concern throughout the coronavirus, it has been the issue of infection control. While the medical community works tirelessly to save lives and straighten the COVID-19 curve, first responders play an equally vital role on the front lines.

To help EMTs, firefighters, and law enforcement reduce risk as they administer care and transport patients, NFPA produced a tip sheet on infection control for first responders, which has been accessed and shared by many departments, to date. But, in our visual, bite-size world – a request came in for an infographic that emergency response organizations could post in stations, share on social media, leave in apparatus, and make part of ongoing communications during this pandemic. We applaud that kind of outreach, and remind everyone to keep doing what you must, on the front lines or otherwise, to keep safe as this virus plays out.


NFPA will continue to generate key resources and information that address responder safety, emergency planning, building, fire and life safety issues. Our goal is to support you and your work. How are we doing? How else can we help? Take our short survey and tell us what you think.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released two new online learning courses, Life Safety and Fire Protection Systems Fundamentals and NFPA 25 ITM of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. The new offerings are perfect for workers that have been furloughed, professionals toiling remotely, and engineering students and others looking to expand their understanding of building systems while at home quarantining.


“NFPA stakeholders skilling up for when they return to their jobs is a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their investment in learning more about fire and life safety now will, no doubt, benefit themselves, their company, and their customers in the future,” Bartholomew Jae, director of NFPA Education & Development said. Building owners, facility managers, commercial insurance agents, electrical workers, contract fire protection system installers, construction personnel, aspiring engineers, regulators, employers who oversee building and life safety professionals, and those interested in pursuing careers in the built environment will find value in these new programs.


Life Safety and Fire Protection Systems Fundamentals is being offered for the first time. It is a two-hour high-level course that is unlike most NFPA training. The curriculum does not entail a deep dive on codes, but rather explains how various codes (NFPA and others) impact these systems. The course is meant to introduce students to key concepts and terminology; and provide a broad understanding of egress, building systems, occupancy and use, building rehabilitation, emergency planning, detection and alarms, and sprinkler systems. The self-paced program includes expert-developed content, videos, and interactive exercises; and follows a worker who is reviewing various facility systems and the impact that they have on fire and life safety.


NFPA 25: Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems has been updated to include the latest revisions to NFPA 25. The three-part, three-hour, self-paced training covers everything for maintaining water-based fire protection systems including sprinklers, fire pumps, water tanks and more. This course is designed to help building owners and managers, installers, contractors, enforcement officials, and anyone with a role in ITM maintenance save time and money; and perform their job duties to a higher standard. It features a combination of procedural videos, custom animation components, and interactive activities where the stakeholder can navigate through different ITM scenarios.


A certificate of completion and CEUs will be awarded after successful completion of each course.

NFPA offers a variety of online learning programs; and in recent weeks has also developed resources that support fully operational fire and life safety systems and adherence to codes and standards, while balancing the realities of the current world health crisis. Our goal is to support you and your work with useful resources and communications during this difficult time. How are we doing? How else can we help? Take our short survey and tell us what you think.


National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) subject matter experts will host a free COVID-19 Fire and Life Safety Webinar Series this Tuesday through Thursday, April 14-16. During the three one hour sessions NFPA technical staff will provide information and guidance; and offer timely feedback to fire protection, healthcare, construction safety, and life safety professionals. Those responsible for protecting people and property are invited to register for the educational trio or to sign up for the one(s) that are most relevant for workplace needs.


1.   Maintaining Fire Protection Systems Regardless of Occupancy
      Tuesday, April 14, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (EST)
      Shawn Mahoney, Fire Protection Engineer


2.   Maintaining Safe Health Care Facilities in Times of Crisis
      Wednesday April 15, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST)
      Robert Solomon, P. E.


3.   Construction Site Safety During Emergencies
      Thursday April 16,1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST)
      Kevin Carr, NFPA, Fire Protection Engineer


In recent weeks, NFPA has provided a wide range of resources that support fully operational fire and life safety systems as required by the applicable codes and standards while balancing the realities of the current pandemic. Our goal is to support you and your work with useful resources and communications during this difficult time. How are we doing? How else can we help? Take our short survey and tell us what you think.


As the coronavirus dominates news reports, conversations, video chats, and social media threads - most people are reaching their saturation point.


The pandemic took hold in the US, just as much of the country was emerging from winter hibernation – a time typically spent watching TV or staying current on Netflix. With government restrictions, businesses closed, self-isolating the norm, employees toiling remotely, and workers being furloughed – what can people do with all the extra time on their hands?

Fast Company suggested 5 ways to learn new career skills for free during the COVID-19 crisis in a recent article. Their recommendations included attend virtual events, co-work virtually, take a free digital course, watch a webinar, or earn a new certification. NFPA can help with your knowledge building.


In addition to having lots of paid online learning and popular certification programs that may be suitable for professional development, NFPA is providing free access to its energy storage systems (ESS), alternative fuel vehicles and flammable refrigerants distance learning. Responders, code enforcers, facility managers, and those that work in the built environment are encouraged to skill up during this unprecedented down time. This internet training trio is slated to become paid programming effective July 1 so now is the perfect time to take advantage of free access – and build more brainpower.


  • Learn About Energy Storage Systems – This 3-hour education module was updated in April 2019 to include more solar content, new technological considerations, and relevant research so that firefighters are keeping pace with the potential fire and life safety hazards that may exist with new energy innovations. The interesting thing is – those that work in facility management, code enforcement, manufacturing, or call themselves designer, contractors or installers have found this online course to be of great value in their roles too.
  • Learn about Flammable Refrigerants - More than 200 countries begin ushering in low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants this year – including the US. This one-hour training shows how the new technology will be used in residential and commercial refrigeration units and air conditioning systems. Find out about flammability and toxicity risks, asphyxiation concerns, jet stream fires, transportation issues, and other life safety considerations. Designed for the fire service, those that work in the HVAC or are AHJs will also find it worthwhile.
  • Learn about Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety – Incidents involving alternative fuel vehicles including electric, hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, bio-diesel and gaseous fuels such as CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), LPG (Liquid Propane Gas), and their recharging/refueling stations present unique safety challenges. Start and stop this online module at your desired pace; the course features 3D interactive vehicle models, videos, animations, simulations, review questions, and scenarios to understand the latest automotive technology and corresponding fire tactics.


Prior to the coronavirus, NFPA had agree to host an NFPA 3000 Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program webinar with the International Association of Public Safety Association to highlight how communities can prepare, respond and recover from hostile events. Many of the takeaways covered during this one-hour session serve as benchmarks for other crises, like the coronavirus.


Just can’t bring yourself to tune out on COVID-19? NFPA has relevant resources designed to keep you informed about important fire, building, and life safety guidance during this pandemic period. Visit to learn more.

Given the COVID-19 crisis, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is urging officials to ensure that fire protection and life safety systems be maintained in all commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings; and that the personnel and vendors that service those systems be deemed essential.


“We cannot put additional strain to our overburdened emergency response capabilities, by not ensuring buildings are protected with the very equipment that saves lives and property,” said NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley. “First responders rely on commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings in their communities to have a full array of fire and life safety systems such as working fire detection, alarms and sprinkler systems.”


To avoid compromising fire and life safety, and leaving buildings vulnerable to vandalism, refer to the new NFPA Guidance for Maintaining Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems Regardless of Occupancy Status fact sheet that includes the following points:


  • All commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings should maintain fully operational fire and life safety systems as required by the applicable codes and standards. (NFPA 25, NFPA 72, NFPA 101)
  • Those responsible for these buildings should adhere to the expected schedules for inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) that are vital to their operation. 
  • Public and private employees who perform the inspection, maintenance and other responsibilities for these systems should be deemed essential workers.
  • Most ITM requirements can be executed by a single ITM service provider limiting the need for face to face interaction. 
  • Systems on construction sites that are being temporarily abandoned should remain in an operating condition as specified in the construction safety plan (NFPA 241).
  • Blocking open smoke or fire-protection rated doors can compromise the integrity of a building’s compartmentation plan. Maintaining these opening protectives is critical, especially in health-care occupancies. (NFPA 80)
  • ITM requirements for health care systems, including med-gas systems, that require ITM as outlined by the risk assessment performed for the building and in accordance with manufacturers recommendations should continue. (NFPA 99)
  • Without emergency power systems in proper working order, fire alarm system may not work as intended. (NFPA 110)


More information can be found at


As we navigate the evolving situation with COVID-19, we remain committed to supporting you with the resources you need to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, electrical, and other hazards.

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