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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and The Center for Campus Fire Safety have long been advocates for fire safety on college campuses and September we’re teaming up again to promote Campus Fire Safety for Students, a campaign that raises awareness about the dangers of fires among college-aged students who live in on- and off-campus college housing.
According to The Center, during the 2017/2018 school year, one student lost her life in a Portland, Oregon off-campus fire. A recent fire in San Marcos, Texas claimed the life of four additional students living off-campus during the school break in July. From 2000 through mid-August 2018, 132 students died in 92 fatal fires on college campuses, in Greek housing, or in privately owned off-campus housing within three miles of the campus. Of the 92 fatal fires, 79 of them occurred in off-campus housing claiming 113 victims.
Are you involved in campus fire safety activities where you work? If yes, use September as the catalyst for raising awareness of college fire safety and have those conversations with students. The campaign provides a host of resources that focus on fire safety in college housing to help. Many resources are customizable and have been designed for sharing via social media, on college websites, in school newspapers, and for posting in dorms and on common area bulletin boards. They include:
Find these and additional resources and information at www.nfpa.org/campus.
With the Fourth of July approaching and the summer months upon us, indulging in barbecues, holiday parties and swimming often top the list of activities to enjoy during the summer season. To help everyone do so safely, NFPA is reminding people about potential summer fire and electrical hazards, and providing tips and recommendations to minimize them.
Fireworks: Fireworks are festive and fun to watch but NFPA recommends that revelers refrain from using consumer fireworks and attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals. Did you know that on Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for nearly half of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2017 Fireworks Annual Report, fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2016. So this year, reduce your risk for injuries and leave the sparklers, candles and spinners to the professionals!
Grilling fire safety: All types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. According to NFPA statistics, July is the peak month for grilling fires and roughly 9,600 home grill fires were reported per year. The leading causes of fire were a failure to clean the grill, using the grill too close to something that could burn, and leaving the grill unattended.
The following are tips for grillers:
Electric Shock Drowning (ESD): 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. Here are tips for swimmers and boat owners:
Tips for swimmers:
Tips for boat owners:
You can find more information about electrical safety in pools, spas and hot tubs on NFPA’s “electrical safety around water” webpage. Find this and all related summer fire safety-related resources including videos, checklists and tipsheets at www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. Have a safe, fun summer, everyone!
No matter where we live in the world, when it comes to fire prevention and protection in our homes and in public spaces, safety is not something we can (or should) take for granted. Recent headlines have told the story too many times of a safety system gone wrong: the London Grenfell Tower apartment building fire and the Oakland, California Ghost Ship fire - both examples of horrible tragedies that ultimately exposed a lapse in applying a code(s), enforcement, awareness and/or education around fire safety. These examples and many others signal that unless we all work together on this problem, these tragedies will continue to occur.
In Tuesday’s session, “Prioritizing Fire Prevention & Protection Through the Lens of a Safety Ecosystem” at NFPA’s Conference & Expo, Guy Colonna, NFPA Senior Director of Engineering, spoke about this safety ecosystem concept and what it means not only for NFPA but for organizations across the globe. Colonna’s presentation comes on the heels of the conference’s Opening General Session, where NFPA president Jim Pauley spoke at length about the need to focus on collective action and to create a fully functioning fire and life safety system.
“The NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem is made up of eight key elements that play a critical role in protecting people and property,” said Colonna. “We identified eight because, keeping people and property safe from fire and related hazards is not the work of any one stakeholder or element of this system; it takes all of us working together and practicing it every day no matter what our role.”
The challenge is how can we plan, manage, build, and operate safe structures while at the same time meet the needs of everyone involved. It starts, he says, with understanding how important our work is to the people who depend on us.
Colonna asked members of the audience to consider his/her role in a project. He went on to ask them to consider the stakeholders involved and their interactions with them – what is their role and responsibility in the project? Then he asked, what happens if these stakeholders are not involved in discussions and decisions, or what if an identified role or function for one of these stakeholders does not exist in their jurisdiction. “Time after time, when we have seen incidents involving fire, electrical or related hazards,” he says, “we can trace the cause of those situations to a breakdown in the safety ecosystem. Now is the time to understand the role we play and to work together to achieve our vision to eliminate death, injury, property and economic loss from fire, electrical and related hazards.”
As we participate, support and promote the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem going forward, says Colonna, NFPA pledges to work with everyone involved in the system and to be a source of information and knowledge for all. Stay tuned for more information about the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem and visit our website for resources at www.nfpa.org/ecosystem.
It’s almost here; the “unofficial” marker of summer – Memorial Day – and after a long, long, LONG winter, many of us are more than ready to start enjoying the warm days and nights, outdoor parties, and lots of grilling!
To start off the season on the right safety foot, we created this short, fun video that puts your knowledge about grilling to the test. See if you can answer all four questions correctly. Learn the basics of safe grilling practices side by side with other homeowners who bravely, and in good fun, volunteered in our video to answer the same questions. Watch the video below:
If your plans take you away from home, NFPA provides additionalincluding tips and reminders about using charcoal and staying fire safe at places like campgrounds, tailgating parties, and other outdoor venues.
Statistics show that most grilling fires happen in July, followed by May, June and August. So wherever your plans take you this Memorial Day weekend and through the summer, remember that fire safety is one of the best gifts you can give yourself, your family, and friends. Enjoy the holiday, everyone!
For this and more great grilling information, visit www.nfpa.org/grilling.
It goes without saying that electricity makes our lives easier (just ask New Englanders who wrestled with four (!) blizzards in March that knocked out power for days and even weeks!) but there’s also a good chance that many of us are not really aware of the risks involved.
That’s why NFPA actively supports , an annual campaign sponsored by , which works to raise awareness of potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical fire safety, including worker safety, during May. This year’s theme is: Understanding the Code that Keeps Us Safe.
In case you didn’t know, the code we’re referring to in this year’s theme is the NEC (or NFPA 70: National Electrical Code). The NEC provides practical safeguards from the hazards that arise from using electricity. You may not know that it’s also the most widely adopted safety code in the U.S. and the world, and that the NEC serves as the benchmark for safe electrical installations for use by electricians (that's why NFPA strongly urges residents to use a qualified electrician to do all of their home electrical projects).
This month our organizations are providing resources you can use like infographics, videos, tip sheets, fact sheets, and more. The resources are easy to access and they cover a wide range of topics including electrical safety tips for the home, outdoor electrical safety, and workplace safety.
To help illustrate what we mean about electrical safety in the home, take a look at our video below called, “A Shocking Revelation.” The video features our beloved character, Dan Doofus, who learns from his mistakes and forges a new path for safer electrical practices in his home.
The more we’re all aware of the risks associated with electricity, the faster we can start putting safety practices into place. Let NFPA and ESFI help you get started. Find information on and share what you learn with family, friends and your neighbors. Together, let’s make a pledge this May to raise awareness about electrical hazards in our homes, work environment and schools, and help reduce the risk of electrical injuries and property damage in our communities.
As you know, the 2018 edition of 70E is now available. To help you navigate through some of the key changes, we’ve developed a five-part video series hosted by NFPA’s technical experts that helps explain some of these changes.
In our fourth video, Chris Coache, NFPA’s senior electrical engineer, reviews Table 130.5(G) – Selection of Arc-Rated Clothing Using Incident Energy Analysis Method.
Table 130.5(G), as Chris points out, used to be in the annex but is now in the mandatory text section. Why? Because when doing an incident energy analysis, employers often have been incorrectly using the PPE category table to determine the required PPE. As employers we are committed to protecting our staff from an arc flash hazard. So to help, we put this table up front to help guide you on how to select the appropriate gear for the incident energy analysis method.
Want to learn more? Get the full explanation from Chris below. (NOTE: This clip is part of a pre-recorded full webinar presented in July 2017).
Let NFPA provide you with everything you need to take your electrical safety skills to the next level with knowledge gained right from the source. Find this information and additional resources related to 70E including articles, blog series, a fact sheet, trainings. products and more, at www.nfpa.org/70E.