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2 Posts authored by: dbliss Employee

 Massive fire in Japan


A massive fire in Itoigawa, Japan, started yesterday morning at a ramen shop. Fanned by winds gusting to 35 miles an hour, the fire spread to 140 buildings and took 10 hours to control, according to news reports. An evacuation advisory was issued to more than 740 people among 360 homes identified as high risk. Fortunately, only two minor injuries have been reported.


While the cause of the fire is yet to be determined, we know that wind-driven fires can spread extremely fast and pose a significant threat to people and property. A fire that occurred in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a few weeks ago, was also propelled by wind, damaging 16 buildings and displaced 125 people. 


Sadly, the conditions for a conflagration are still present in many of the world’s older cities. Combustible construction, congested neighborhoods, aging electrical systems, poor fire prevention practices, inadequate water supplies, and limited fire apparatus access are a recipe for disaster.  Since 1896, NFPA’s codes and standards, combined with our research, training and public education resources, have focused on ways to prevent these tragic events.


A report from the Fire Protection Research Foundation, Firefighter Tactics Under Wind-Driven Conditions, addresses appropriate tactical options for fire departments operating under wind-driven conditions. 


Marina fires have become a concern in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


In March, fire erupted on two boats and quickly engulfed six more vessels at Abu Dhabi Breakwater Marina. Firefighters managed to stop the flames from spreading to 211 boats and 23 jet skis nearby.


Boatyard and marina fires present different challenges and require a certain tactical approach. The authorities in UAE recognize this and invited NFPA to partake in a series of meetings with Civil Defense leaders, both at the national and seven Emirates levels, to provide guidance on marina safety. Last month a final meeting took place with national and Emirates authorities, and the owners of yacht clubs and marinas throughout the country.  UAE authorities and marina owners reached consensus and unanimity on the topic of marina fire safety. Drew C. Azzara, NFPA Executive Director for the Middle East & North Africa, reports that after healthy, candid, and results-oriented dialogue, an agreement was made to mandate the use of NFPA 303 Fire Protection Standard for Marinas and Boatyards, and 307 Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals, Piers, and Wharves in the UAE. The decision also calls for the adoption of Chapter 28 of the NFPA 1 Fire Code.


The UAE collaboration is yet another example of how NFPA is partnering with government officials and business leaders around the globe to share information and knowledge, and ultimately eliminate fire.

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