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3 Posts authored by: dgorham Employee


NFPA 1975, Standard on Emergency Services Work Clothing Elements, specifies the requirements for the thermal stability of station wear (garments under bunker gear), which affects the burn protection provided by this apparel. However, we speculate that the fire service is generally unaware of the risk associated with the use of non-certified NFPA garments, including synthetic fabrics, and that firefighters are wearing garments under bunker gear that are putting them at risk to burns and chemical exposure.

To more accurately assess this level of awareness, the Fire Protection Research Foundation is conducting a project that helps clarify what garments are safe for the fire service to wear, and those that present potential risks. As part of our Student Project Initiative, we're working in coordination with Florida State University to collect supporting data. A questionnaire was sent to fire departments across North America, asking firefighters about the station gear they wear, why they choose it, and their awareness of potential risks associated with non-NFPA 1975 certified garments. The university, which is hosting and collecting the data, received over 1,700 responses.

Visit the Research Foundation's project page to learn more about this project, or feel free to contact me with questions or comments at

Road Tunnel
Road tunnels are common place across North America and the world, providing the necessary path through mountains and under water. NFPA 502, Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridge, and Other Limited Access Highways, provides fire protection and life safety requirements for these structures which can cause unique challenges for safety because of constraints on ventilation and egress. Many tunnels in North America utilize passive protection methods for resistance to the effects of fire, typically provided by thicker layers of concrete. An alternate to this passive protection is a reactive system including fixed fire fighting (suppression) and ventilation components.
The Research Foundation has published a report by researchers at the University of Carolina at Charlotte that reviewed the impact of fixed fire fighting systems in road tunnels. Information was gathered on technical research from around the world and synthesized with an economic analysis of fire protection and life safety in road tunnels. The work from this project was basis for Anurag Jha’s Master of Science in Fire Protection & Administration thesis.

energy storage systems

Photo credit: NFPA Journal, January/February 2016 edition


Energy Storage Systems (ESS) are the topic of a lot of discussion in almost all realms of society. Elon Musk's recent announcement of the solar shingle has created quite the buzz in the technology world.


With this technology moving forward at near space travel speeds safety professionals are working double-time to keep up. Earlier this year NFPA Journal wrote an article on enforcers and emergency responders working to be prepared for the proliferation of ESS technologies and installations. The Fire Protection Research Foundation facilitate a workshop in November 2015 hosted by the Fire Department of New York on energy storage systems in the built environment and published a report on a fire hazard assessment of lithium ion energy storage systems. In August of this year NFPA's Standards Council approved a new project on the installation of stationary energy storage systems,


For those in the New York City area interested in learning more you can join me next week at the SFPE NY Metropolitan Chapter meeting where I will be providing a presentation on past and current projects at NFPA and the Research Foundation on energy storage systems. Meeting details:


When: Tuesday, November 29, 2016; 9:00am - 10:00am

Where: NYU, 11 West 42nd Street, 4th Floor, The Gural Room

Cost: Free for chapter members, $20 for guests

Additional Information (website): Society of Fire Protection Engineers - NY Metro


UPDATE: Slides from this presentation are attached, which include links for the projects discussed.

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