includes the following guidelines and more
- Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
includes the following guidelines and more
Watching news reports over the past few weeks it’s hard to miss scenes of the destructive wildfires raging across Northern California that to date have taken the lives of seven people and destroyed more than 2,500 structures. During the last few days all eyes have also been focused on the Gulf Coast where communities there experienced unprecedented hurricane activity, which caused massive flooding and power outages. Yet even with Fall fast approaching, peak of hurricane and wildfire seasons is upon us. Weather experts nowpredict upwards of 25 named storms before hurricane season concludes in November—twice as many as a typical year—and w
With many of these events there is a need for government agencies and aid organizations to shelter potentially thousands of storm and fire evacuees. as many have discovered, there are numerous challenges to responding to a major natural disaster during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to emergency management experts, the threat of a massive evacuation together with a dangerous pandemic have caused organizations to make significant changes to its disaster response and recovery plans.
In the latest episode of the NFPA Podcast, “Disaster Planning During a Pandemic,” host Jesse Roman, assistant editor of NFPA Journal, speaks with Luke Beckford, the division disaster state relations director of the American Red Cross Pacific Division who discusses different strategies his organization used to assist evacuees of the Apple Fire in Southern California in early August. NFPA Podcast co-host Robbie Dawson, NFPA’s Southeastern regional director, also talks to Anna McRay, a local emergency management director in North Carolina who tells us how her department planned for the arrival of Hurricane Isaias during the pandemic, and what they did differently around sheltering and emergency operations.
Similar agencies are also adapting their emergency disaster planning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as highlighted in a new article, Calamity Before the Storm, in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal. In both the podcast and the article, emergency management professionals share lessons they have learned in the hopes that it might help other organizations meet similar challenges in the weeks and months ahead. Topics addressed in the interviews include:
While emergency managers say their mission hasn’t changed, the way in which they fulfill the mission has, and both McRay, Beckford, and others have learned a great deal from their experiences handling a crisis during the pandemic. So much so, they say that several new strategies will likely change how they do their jobs in the future, even after the pandemic is over.
For First Responders:
For Electrical Professionals:
Get additional information about National Preparedness Month by visiting ready.gov/September.
Every year, the month of September marks the launch of the school year with new classes, new friends, and often new living spaces. This year, however, as communities face unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, life on college campuses is playing out very differently. While some colleges and universities have opted for full remote learning, others are welcoming students back to campus, and still others are offering a combination of the two. This has educators, administrators, public health officials, and first responders continually working on ways to safely operate schools this year.
The emphasis, of course, has understandably been placed on the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, but it’s also important to remember that we must continue to maintain adequate levels of fire and life safety on college campuses throughout the year. During Campus Fire Safety Month in September, NFPA and the Center for Campus Fire Safety will be sharing resources including fact sheets, tip sheets, videos, and other materials for students, parents, and fire safety educators that focus on reducing fire risk in college housing. These resources are free to download and can be shared.
Resources for fire safety educators:
According to NFPA and the Center for Campus Fire Safety, September and October have the highest incidences for fires in dormitories. This year “move in” date processes are different due to the pandemic with many rules now in place that limit the number of people who can accompany students into their new living quarters. Students and their guests, however, are still encouraged, when moving in and in the days following, to take steps to ensure living arrangements are fire safe.
Resources for students and parents that can help during the move-in process:
Other tips include:
For those on campus, resources including videos, checklists, infographics, tip sheets, and more have been designed to be shared through social media, school newspapers, college websites, and posted in dormitory common areas.
Hurricanes Marco and Laura are fast approaching the Gulf Coast this week and experts are calling their arrival “unprecedented” as the two storms are expected to make landfall within days of each other. As the Gulf states prepare for the storms' impact, weather experts continue to remind coastal communities that additional storms may still be on the horizon, with late September and October being the peak months for hurricane activity.
Also, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has a free resource, “Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment” for electrical contractors who will be called in to help with damage assessments once the waters have receded. Visit their website for additional information.
With hurricane season lasting through November, businesses in coastal regions are encouraged to take action now to ensure they are prepared for impending storms.
With the arrival of summer and the July 4th holiday weekend just around the corner, people across the country are eager to take advantage of the easing of stay-at-home orders. As many states begin allowing for more outside activities, it’s important to recognize potential electrical hazards that exist in swimming pools and hot tub, onboard boats, and in waters surrounding boats, marinas, and launch ramps.
While most people are unaware of electrical dangers posed in water environments such as electric shock drowning (ESD), each year people are injured or killed from these hazards. Electric shock drowning happens when marina or onboard electrical systems leak electric current into the water. The current then passes through the body and causes paralysis. When this happens, a person can no longer swim and ultimately drowns.
In the current pandemic situation, with limited staff at marinas and people obeying social distancing protocols, the onus is on individuals to keep themselves, their loved ones, and the people who might have to rescue them out of harm’s way.
Here are some tips for pool and boat owners, as well as swimmers:
Tips for swimmers
Tips for pool owners
Tips for boat owners
For industry professionals, the 2020 edition of the NEC has been revised to improve marina and boatyard safety and help reduce the risk of ESD. Some specific revisions to Article 555 include the addition of floating building requirements, modified signage requirement, and the reduction of power distribution system maximum voltage.
NFPA has additional codes and standards that apply to boatyards, marinas and floating buildings as well as swimming pools, hot tubs, and fountains, and their related electrical safety issues. Find these resources and more by visiting NFPA’s electric shock drowning webpage.
NFPA has resources for swimmers, boat and pool owners, including tip sheets, checklists, and more that can be downloaded and shared. Please visit www.nfpa.org/watersafety.
The Award honors members of the fire service and other fire sprinkler advocates in North America who use HFSC educational materials, NFPA data, and resources to educate decision-makers on home fire sprinklers. Efforts are aimed at educating the public and policy makers to increase the use of home fire sprinklers in new homes. The award winner will receive a $1,000 grant to further fire sprinkler advocacy and educational efforts in his/her area.
Don’t delay. Make sure your favorite home fire safety leader gets the recognition he/she deserves. NFPA and HFSC are accepting nominations for the Bringing Safety Home Award through then send it to . Or visit NFPA’s where you can find the form along with additional information and resources about the Initiative and the award..
NFPA is now accepting nominations for the 2020 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal, which recognizes outstanding advocacy efforts aimed at reducing losses associated with fire, electrical, or other hazards.
Photo: John Nisja (center) accepts the 2019 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal from NFPA's Lorraine Carli (left), Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy, and Jim Pauley (right) President and CEO.
Almost every day in the news, we read about (another) house fire. Families, first responders, communities severely affected. Homes damaged or completely destroyed. Last year, unfortunately, was no different.
In particular, the last few months of 2019 were difficult for the fire department in Worcester, Massachusetts, a city not far from NFPA headquarters. In November, a Worcester firefighter, Lt. Jason Menard, died battling a home fire. Menard’s death occurred just weeks before events to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire, a devastating event that killed six of the city’s firefighters. In the wake of this tragedy, news outlets, including The Boston Globe and The Worcester Telegram, and others close to the event, have urgently called for more sprinklers in residences.
As home fire sprinkler adoption continues to be debated in many states, there remains much misinformation about the effectiveness and benefits of home fire sprinklers. But NFPA and like-minded organizations see, first hand, the benefits of sprinklers. In the January/February 2020 edition of NFPA Journal, NFPA President and CEO, Jim Pauley, takes a hard look at the realities of these devastating home fires, and explains why home fire sprinklers must be at the forefront of our fire and life safety discussions.
With a new year upon us now, it’s a good time to reflect on what’s been happening in the fire and life safety world, how far we’ve come, and just how much more we have to do to help keep people and property safe from hazards. The reality is, while there are still many incidents happening here and across the globe, our work can never truly be done.
When recognizing these challenges, though, it’s important to note that no one organization or group can solve all of the problems by itself. It requires a holistic approach, one that includes collaboration across all disciplines, and a shared view that safety is a true system – not a singular action, piece of equipment, or even one event.
To help guide us through this approach, NFPA has developed a concept called the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem. It’s a framework that identifies eight key components that must work together to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, electrical, and other hazards. Many of you are already talking about this concept and incorporating it into your daily work. In so doing, you’ve asked about resources to help share this concept with others. We’re pleased to say we’ve developed a new Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem PowerPoint Deck you can use when making presentations or engaging in conversation with staff, your peers, colleagues, and other industry professionals with whom you interact. Just pick and choose the slides and the information you need from the original deck template.
The deck includes:
… and more
Find the deck on our Ecosystem webpage (Resources section), together with related information, and stay tuned for additional resources and tools that will become available throughout the year.
As 2020 swings into gear, don’t just think about the role you play in making the world a safer place; consider taking real action. The Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem can help be your guide.
The audio distribution industry has exploded in recent years due to the trend towards open-office concepts. But with the recent adoptions of NFPA 72, Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, and the development of UL 2572 certification of mass notification systems, audio distribution is also fast becoming a potential life safety concern.
At NFPA’s 2018 Conference & Expo, Jonathan Leonard, president of Lencore Accoustics Corp. and an NFPA member, discussed five important tips that professionals should keep in mind when designing mass notification systems to help keep people safe. Listen in as Jonathan explains what you need to know:
Did you know that NFPA Conference & Expo attendees and NFPA members have access to all 2018 NFPA Conference & Expo education session recordings, including this one? Learn more about audio distribution and mass notification technologies by watching Mr. Leonard’s full session video and browse the full list of additional education sessions .
For more information about NFPA 72, and related codes and standards, visit www.nfpa.org/72.
Fires on college campuses can have devastating consequences, impacting learning and everyday activities. But according to NFPA member, Mike Halligan from UL, safety professionals can take steps to evaluate fire risks and identify gaps to reduce (and hopefully one day eliminate) fire hazards on campus. How? It's all in the planning. And to do so means as a campus fire safety professional, you need to develop a business continuity plan that works together with fire inspections. By doing so, says Halligan, you’ll see the positive impact on your institution as operations quickly get back to normal after a fire incident. He explains below:
When it comes time to decide how you'll tackle the plan, Halligan stresses the importance of focusing on particular areas of campus that are more prone to fires, and not just looking at the campus as a collective whole. Addressing these places of interest and including regular fire inspections, Halligan says, have made a difference in mitigating the risks. Some of the key areas are:
And it should be noted that these areas not only create challenges on main campuses but they can also present problems at satellite locations, as well. As more and more higher education institutions expand across the country and around the globe, safety plans can and often do vary from one location to another. Take for instance remote campuses oversees where each country relies on its own codes, standards and safety practices; they are different than here in the U.S. Halligan explains some of the challenges:
So whether your campus sits squarely in the middle of a bustling city or nestled among the hills of a suburban town, if you have one campus or multiple locations, all higher education institutions face similar challenges in keeping students, teachers and property safe from fire, electrical and related hazards. Take this opportunity during Campus Fire Safety Month to review the resources you have. Even with limited budgets, Halligan says that having professionals on your staff who possess the right skills and knowledge to understand the important link between business continuity plans and inspections can make a world of difference, as he points out in the video below:
Did you know that NFPA Conference & Expo attendees and NFPA members have access to all 2018 NFPA Conference & Expo education session recordings, including this one? Learn more about campus fire safety by watching Mr. Halligan’s full session video and browse the full list of additional education sessions here.
Additional information about campus fire safety for students can be found at www.nfpa.org/campus.
Wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes and floods; this past year Mother Nature has spoken loudly and clearly about the importance of preparing ahead. Today, it’s not a matter of “if” a natural disaster will occur where we live, but when. Are your communities prepared to handle whatever weather event Mother Nature throws our way in the coming months? In the coming years? This September we’re highlighting National Preparedness Month sponsored by Ready.gov to remind first responders, fire and life safety educators, and others tasked with helping keep citizens safe, that now is the time to help residents plan and prepare before an emergency happens. This year’s theme: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.
As safety educators we have a role to play in raising awareness in our neighborhoods and our communities about taking action to create safer places to live. Each week during National Preparedness Month, NFPA will provide tips, resources and information that can get you started. Check out our blog, Fire Break, where we’ll talk about adapting to and preparing for wildfires that can threaten homes, businesses and a community’s way of life. Our public education blog, Safety Source, and NFPA’s signature blog, NFPA Today, will highlight how building owners, facility managers, electrical professionals, first responders, policymakers and other professionals tasked with helping save lives and property from fire, electrical and other hazards and emergencies, can make a difference in areas where they live and with the people they serve. In all of these blogs you’ll find toolkits, checklists, videos and more that are easily shareable and some even customizable. Additional information will be shared through our social channels.
So don’t delay. Use National Preparedness Month as the catalyst for taking action. Stay tuned throughout September for continued updates and ways you and your community can work together to make a difference. For additional information about preparing for disasters, visit www.nfpa.org/disaster.
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