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522 Posts authored by: laurenbackstrom Employee

We are now accepting nominations for the 2019 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal, which recognizes outstanding advocacy efforts aimed at reducing losses associated with fire, electrical, or other hazards.

The advocacy medal honors an individual or group that shares the values of former NFPA President James Shannon. During his 12-year tenure as president, Shannon had an exceptional record of advocacy efforts tied to life safety issues. Under his leadership, NFPA considerably advanced its mission of fire safety, most notably by spearheading the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes and advocating for fire sprinklers in all new homes.

Nominees should also be involved in advocacy efforts that advance NFPA’s mission, take into account cost-effectiveness, and involve collaboration with NFPA and other organizations. Previous medal recipients include Jim Dalton, whose efforts supporting a career-long commitment to fire safety led to the passage of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act. Legislator Ann Jones received the medal in 2017 following her efforts leading to a nationwide requirement for home fire sprinklers in Wales.

Nominations are open to members of the fire service or any other person or group whose advocacy efforts meet the award’s criteria. The medal recipient will be honored at NFPA’s Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas, in June 2019. NFPA will cover the recipient’s travel and lodging.

The nominee application, available for download, is due January 11, 2019 and can be sent to

We want to take a moment as NFPA Conference & Expo kicks off, to thank all of our generous sponsors who helped make this week's event happen. If you are an attendee, you won't want to miss stopping by these sponsors' booths in the Expo hall to see all of the new things they are up to!

Andrew Klein, Principle with AS Klein Engineering, and Lynne Kilpatrick, Fire Marshal in Sunnyvale, CA led an education session on ‘On-Demand Mobile Fueling; Enforcing Existing Regulations and Evaluating Future Needs” at NFPA Conference & Expo.    
On-demand mobile fueling is an emerging industry created by a number of Silicon Valley startups that caught the attention of Kilpatrick. Customers can fill up their automobile gas tanks through a smartphone app that sends a truck carrying gas to their parked car, where a serviceman pumps the requested amount of gallons. The problem with this seemingly brilliant, time-saving new business model, is that the fueling companies were operating in violation of local fire codes.    
Kilpatrick and the California State Fire Marshal’s Office set out to develop and submit code change proposals to both the ICC International Fire Code and NFPA 30A Motor Fuel Dispensing code. The fire service and the industry were fairly divided on some of the issues of the proposal, including where the fueling would be allowed, ignition sources & setbacks, permitting among others. To compromise, much of the code language leaves the decisions of some of these issues up to the AHJ.    
The 2018 edition of ICC’s International Fire Code, and the newly approved 2017 edition of NFPA 30A have now accepted the on-demand mobile fueling proposed additions.    
To learn more about what issues are covered and what is allowed in this new practice, read the NFPA Journal feature, New Fuels, New Fueling from the May/June issue or download the education session handouts from the Conference website (PDF).
As the fire service and enforcers learn more about this new industry, the codes will be able to be updated with regulations around some issues that are not currently addressed, including vehicle inspections, weights & measures, sales tax, insurance policies, environmental protection, etc as well as incorporating future applications such as hydrogen mobile fueling and marine fueling.
Did you know that NFPA Conference & Expo attendees and NFPA members get full access to all the 2017 NFPA C&E education session audio & video files? Browse the full list of education sessions - with attached audio/video - here.

On July 13th, from 1:55 - 3:30pm ET, the American Wood Council will be hosting a free webinar on Fire Protection during Construction. This 90-minute webinar will introduce attendees to several of the recent major fires and their causes, the many fire-related hazards that exist on a construction site, the International Building and Fire Code and NFPA requirements for fire protection safeguards during construction and solutions for developing simple fire safety strategies. There also will be information on building materials and construction industry efforts to reduce fire losses.

Learning objectives for the webinar include: 
• Identify recent major fires and their reported causes
• Identify the I Code regulations and linkage to NFPA 241 for fire safety during building construction alteration and demolitions
• Develop a model fire plan for buildings under construction, alteration or demolition
• Identify existing building materials and construction industry resources for training, education and mitigation


NFPA's Division Director for the Technical Services department, Guy Colonna, will be one of the webinar presenters. He has served as Staff Liaison to committees dealing with safeguards at dust hazard process locations, explosion protection systems including venting of deflagrations, and chemical classification and is the editor of the NFPA Guide to Combustible Dusts. He currently manages the NFPA hot work training program conducted in collaboration with the Boston Fire Department.


Allan B. Fraser, CBI, CPCA, is NFPA’s Senior Building Code Specialist and will co-present next Thursday. His projects include staffing six technical committees and NFPA’s “Disability Access Review and Advisory Committee". He represents NFPA on a number of committees of other organizations. He’s been on State and Regional Technical Committees, taught Building Code at professional seminars and continuing education programs and holds both State and National Certification.


Rob Neale, the International Code Council Vice President for Government Relations: National Fire Service Activities will round out the panel. Education credits will be awarded as well. 


Register today for this webinar.

Research tells us that firefighters face a higher risk of many types of cancers, especially respiratory, digestive, and urinary system cancers. As the number of firefighters and their families affected by occupational cancer steadily increases, improving education, prevention measures and support are imperative. 


NFPA will be participating in the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Symposium that is being held in Phoenix, Arizona from September 7-8, 2017. Presentations and workshops (including one by NFPA's Casey Grant) will cover current research, best practices in prevention strategies, presumptive legislation, available benefits, and other relevant topics. 


If you are interested in attending and learning what steps you and your organization can take to reduce the risk of occupational cancers, get more information and register. Be sure to use discount code NFPA to save $50 of your registration! ,Contact Tricia Sanborn at or 410-353-0216 with any questions. 

The “Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz” Sweepstakes is back as part of the annual Safety Stand Down campaign! The sweepstakes is hosted by NFPA along with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and consists of an interactive online quiz that emphasizes the importance of the 2017 Safety Stand Down theme, “Mayday, Self Rescue & Rapid Intervention.” 


The NFPA, IAFC and NVFC are asking career firefighters, volunteer firefighters, EMTs and other fire service personnel to take the 2017 quiz, which will be available June 12 through June 24 at The quiz contains 17 questions related to “Mayday” situations and the response tactics required when rescuing a trapped firefighter.


Everyone who completes the quiz will be automatically entered into the sweepstakes; 200 randomly selected participants will win a specially designed challenge coin commemorating this year’s Safety Stand Down theme.


Safety Stand Down is a joint initiative of the IAFC and NVFC. Formerly called International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week, the educational and awareness initiative takes place June 18-24. With this year’s theme, members of the fire and emergency services are encouraged to review self-rescue strategies and protocol for rescuing trapped firefighters that week. This year’s campaign and training refreshers apply to chiefs, incident commanders, company officers, and firefighters.



Test your knowledge today at


On the 70th anniversary of the Cocoanut Grove fire a few years back, three survivors told NFPA their stories. Ann Marie Gallagher was a 16-year-old girl from New Hampshire who was in Boston with her family, and was one of the survivors who we featured in the video above. Her parents, her boyfriend, and his father were among the 492 people the fire killed. Today's Boston Globe shares Ann Marie's story as she recently passed away on May 24th at age 90 from complications of a fall. 


Also today, during NFPA Conference & Expo, Casey Grant led an education session on the unsolved mystery of the Cocoanut Grove fire to a jam-packed room of intrigued attendees. Casey shared information on how fast the fire spread through the entire building, some of the existing theories on it's ignition source, and the fire modeling exercises that students from Worcester Polytechnic University have conducted over the last several years to piece together information from the historic fire that has been helping to determine what happened, and what may or may not have made a difference that night. all of the information Casey has been able to collect and synthesize can be found on a newly created website, for others to review. He keeps an open call for missing data that will help complete the picture as well. 


Download Casey's slide presentation (PDF) from the Conference website. 



NFPA Conference & Expo begins this upcoming Sunday. One easy way to stay organized and navigate the many events, sessions and activities is to download our mobile app. With the NFPA 2017 C&E mobile app, you can:


  • Stay organized with up-to-the-minute Exhibitor, Speaker, and Event information
  • Sync the app across all of your devices with Multi-Device Sync
  • Receive important real-time communications from the NFPA
  • Build a personalized schedule and bookmark exhibitors
  • Take notes and download event handouts and presentations
  • Rate the sessions you attend and comment on them, too
  • Interactively locate sessions and exhibitors on the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center maps
  • Visit your bookmarked exhibitors with the Quick Route
  • Find attendees and connect with your colleagues through Friends
  • Stay in-the-know and join in on social media with #NFPAConf
  • Share your event photos and experiences with the Photo Gallery
  • Watch NFPA videos
  • Find Boston, MA Local Places
  • And much, much more!


Downloading the app is easy. Use your device's QR code scanner for quick access. You can always search the Apple app store or Google Play for "NFPA Conference & Expo." Note: if you have the NFPA 2016 app on your device, tap "exit to show list" from the dashboard and select NFPA 2017 from there. 

The NFPA Conference & Expo brings to life the products and services needed to meet and maintain compliance with prevailing codes and standards in the design, construction and operation of buildings and facilities of every kind.


Be sure to visit the Expo from June 4-6th in Boston, and:


  • Evaluate thousands of products over three days
  • Meet the experts at the NFPA booth
  • Find answers to code questions and interpretations
  • Discover solutions to your technical challenges
  • Develop specs for a current project
  • Stay current with latest innovations
  • Identify suppliers actively supporting the NFPA mission
  • Grow your personal and professional contacts


Our exhibit hours are as follows;


Sunday, June 4: 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Monday, June 5: 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

Tuesday, June 6: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm


Check out the growing list of exhibitors and plan your visit!

NFPA Conference & Expo is fast approaching and we are getting excited! (If you haven't registered yet, take a minute to do so.) Opening General Session is always one of the most popular events of the week, and this year it will take place on Sunday, June 4 beginning at 1:00pm EDT. 


For those of you who can't make it to NFPA Conference & Expo in person this year, we have an exciting announcement for you. We will be live streaming the complete opening General Session through Facebook LIVE, beginning at 1:00pm EDT. The session, and live stream, will feature NFPA President Jim Pauley and Board of Directors Chair Randy Tucker, as they discuss the current state of affairs at NFPA as well as some of the new exciting projects and initiatives that we have been working hard on.


Then, you'll be able to join us for two incredibly engaging keynotes to see how the future is being realized today through satellites, nano technology, augmented reality and more. See how Erin Baumgartner, Assistant Director of MIT’s Senseable City Laboratory, tackles Big Data, using creative visualizations to simplify complex information. Hear how ubiquitous sensors are monitoring everything from traffic flow to sewage flow so we can better understand and solve the problems of our urban environment. Tech Futurist Tom Koulopoulos, Founder/CEO of Delphi Group, will show us how the Industrial Internet of Things is enabling an entirely new set of tools and opportunities for first responders, builders, enforcers, the electrical community and more. From advances in wearables to deep imaging and the prevalence of real time sensors, there’s a new landscape to navigate. 


Be sure to tune in to NFPA's Facebook page for the LIVE stream of opening General Session on Sunday, June 4 at 1:00pm EDT.

International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is observed on May 4th, and is a time where the world’s community can recognize and honor the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible. It is also a day in which current and past firefighters can be thanked for their contributions.


IFFD was instituted after a proposal was emailed out across the world on January 4, 1999 due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a wildfire at Linton in Victoria, Australia. It is a day for emergency services to run events such as: memorial services; fetes, open days and fundraisers for relevant campaigns; long service and other presentations; or a media campaign to focus attention on the role, activities and key messages of firefighters and fire organizations. In turn, communities can:

  • show support for all firefighters worldwide
  • recognize their level of commitment and dedication
  • remember those lost or injured in the line of duty
  • say “Thank you”


THANK YOU from all of us at NFPA to all firefighters around the world today (and everyday!)

Fire Alarms and At Risk Populations reportTo understand the impact of fire alarm notification signals on individuals with sound and light sensitivities, the Foundation conducted an initial literature review to determine what information could be found on this topic. This literature review discovered that there was very limited information on the topic, and the NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code Technical Committee needed more technical information to develop guidance on how to address this issue. This project gathers additional information on how fire alarm notification signals impact high risk populations by conducting targeted interviews with experts (e.g. teachers, therapists, etc.)


"Fire Alarms and At Risk Populations" authored by Bryan L. Hoskins, Ph.D. and Duane C. Helmberger from Oklahoma State University, can now be downloaded free of charge from the Research Foundation website. 

We have teamed up with Domino's Pizza yet again to deliver a special message to customers this daylight saving time: remember to change your smoke alarm batteries when you change your clocks. Daylight saving time is a great time to remember to change your smoke alarm batteries after you set your clocks ahead. This small step is an easy one and it can help save lives.



Having working smoke alarms reduces the risk of dying in a fire in half. On average, three out of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38 percent) or no working smoke alarms (21 percent).


Stay safe with these additional safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
    Test smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button.
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • For smoke alarms that don't have non-replaceable (long-life) batteries, replace the batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
  • Be sure the smoke alarm includes the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Develop and practice a home escape plan with all members of the household.

We recently mailed the Survey of Fire Departments for United States Fire Experience During 2016 to 20,490 fire departments throughout the country. We are hoping for a great response rate, because the results of this survey are used to compile the U.S. Fire Department Profile report that is published every year.


This report is important because it tracks a number of critical data points, including the number of volunteer and career firefighters in the United States, the number of volunteer, combination, and career fire departments, the population protected by each department type, age and demographic data about career and volunteer firefighters, and the amount of money spent on fire protection services in the United States, just to name a few. Because the report is published annually the data in it can be used to identify trends in the fire service. The more departments that complete the survey, the more accurate and meaningful the data in the report will be. It is particularly important to have a large number of respondents from smaller fire departments so that we have a representative sample to draw from.


Fire departments can complete and return the paper survey by May 2, 2017, or the survey can be done online at In order to take the survey online, an NFPA Code and Password is required. This can be found on the paper survey that your fire departments received. If your fire department does not have this information and wishes to complete the survey, you can contact us at or 1-800-343-8890.

We are officially holding our 4th annual online contest to select “The Star Spangled Banner” singer(s) for this year’s General Session at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston on Sunday, June 4th - and the submission period opens today!


If you (or your group of up to 5 singers) want to share your talent with our Conference attendees, please submit an audition video through our website, or through our Facebook page by March 15th. Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges and then public voting will choose a winner.


Voting will take place on the NFPA website and through a Facebook Live poll from 10:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) to 2:00 PM ET on March 20, 2017 - so mark the date! Viewers will be able to vote once for their favorite entry during this time.


The contest winner(s) will receive a roundtrip flight to Boston, one-night hotel accommodations and full conference registration to the NFPA Conference & Expo where they will perform the national anthem in front of more than 3,000 attendees. The winner(s) will be announced on March 27th.


For a complete set of rules, please visit

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