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93 Posts authored by: lisamariesinatra Employee

National Preparedness Month, natural disasters

September is National Preparedness Month with the theme, "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You can.," which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare–now and throughout the year–for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit. As the southeastern U.S. braces for its second hurricane in a couple of weeks, Hurricane Irma, NFPA can help by providing action steps that will help you prepare your family and your home for the storm, flood waters and a possible evacuation:

  • Make an emergency supplies kit including water and copies of important documents, in a waterproof, portable container. Keep the kit in an easily accessible location so if you need to evacuate, you can grab it quickly
  • Fill your car's gas tank in case you need to leave the area
  • Bring in all outside furniture, decorations, garbage cans, etc. to reduce the risk of damage these items can cause in severe winds
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so; unplug electrical appliances and move them to high points if possible
  • Turn off propane tanks 
  • Evacuate your home when told to do so by authorities

Additional information about hurricane safety, including a free, downloadable tip sheet on flooding safety, can be found on NFPA's "Get Ready" webpage.

 

In the west, wildfires continue to threaten communities in Montana, California, Idaho and other northwest and central states. NFPA offers helpful tips and resources to help you prepare ahead of an evacuation. Consider the following action steps you can put into motion now:

  • Sign up for local emergency notifications/alerts
  • Have an evacuation plan and a designated meeting place where family members will reconnect after the evacuation
  • Make an emergency supply kit and keep it handy when evacuation is necessary
  • Remove deck/ patio furniture, cushions and door mats to prevent ember ignitions
  • Remove portable propane tanks from the deck/patio and turn them off
  • Know how to turn off the gas to the home
  • Make sure windows, doors and garage doors are closed; close the windows of vehicals that will remain at the residence while you’re evacuated

Find these tips and more on NFPA's Firewise USATM webpage.

 

Starting this week, check back with us on our Fire Break and Safety Source blogs for resources, tips and ideas that will help you and your family prepare for a crisis, whether you live in the wildland-urban interface, the suburbs or downtown. And stay tuned to our social media channels that will highlight preparedness messaging you can share with family members, neighbors and your community.

 

Learn what you can do before, during and after each type of emergency. Get started now! Join us for National Preparedness Month and together let's do our part to help reduce our risk.

campus fire safety, best roommates evahSurrounded by college safety, fire and building officials, and fire safety advocates, Massachusetts Public Safety Secretary Daniel Bennet launched Campus Fire Safety Month (September) at The College of the Holy Cross by reminding college students and their parents to make fire safety a priority in off-campus housing.

 

According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, while colleges work to make sure dormitories have fire alarm systems and fire sprinklers where required, officials are most concerned about the safety of off-campus housing. Since 2006, 100 percent of all campus-related fire deaths have occurred in off-campus housing. Five college students aged 19-22 have died in Massachusetts off-campus housing fires in the past decade. The lack of working smoke alarms or a second exit was a factor in these deaths. 

 

To this end, Public Safety Secretary Bennet announced the start of Best Roommates Evah!, a Massachusetts public awareness campaign that focuses on two aspects of fire safety in off-campus housing: the importance of having working smoke alarms and having two ways out of the homeThis is the second year of the campaign, which provides posters, talking points, a customizable local press release, logo, and links to college fire safety resources for students, parents, colleges and resident assistants to share. Electronic bulletin boards and highway flash signs will also be evident across Massachusetts roadways to remind students and parents as they head to college this fall.

 

As part of the campaign, a local PSA was developed that features Boston firefighters who responded to a fatal off-campus fire (see PSA below):

 

 

As Best Roommates Evah! kicks off this month and students begin moving into college housing, public safety officials want to make one thing clear: no matter what college or university a student attends here in the Commonwealth, parents and young adults are encouraged to contact local housing, building or fire authorities for an inspection if they have any concerns about the safety of an apartment or house they have rented.

 

Learn more about this campaign and find information and resources you can share with students and others interested in college fire safety by visiting www.BestRoommatesEvah.org.

campus fire safety, fire safety abroad, student fire safety

September is Campus Fire Safety Month and this year NFPA and The Center for Campus Fire Safety (The Center) are teaming up to host their third national “Campus Fire Safety for Students” campaign. The campaign raises awareness about the dangers of fires among college-aged students who live in on- and off-campus college housing.

 

According to NFPA’s latest report, “Structure Fires in Dormitories, Fraternities, Sororities and Barracks,” between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 4,100 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and other related properties. Approximately seven in 10 (72%) fires in these properties began in the kitchen or cooking area, accounting for 44% of civilian injuries and 14% of direct property damage. The report also states that fires are more common between the hours of 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. and on weekends; September and October are the peak months for fires in dormitories.

 

To help address this issue, the campaign provides a host of resources for students, parents and fire safety educators that focus on reducing fire risk in college housing, including video tips and checklists made by students for students. Each week on our Safety Source blog, we’ll share these resources plus a host of other tips and information you can share via social media, on college websites and in campus newspapers, for posting in dorms and on common area bulletin boards, and many other places.

 

Learn more about campaign at www.nfpa.org/campus and www.campusfiresafety.org.

portable generator

Hurricane Harvey continues to pound areas along the Texas coastline and surrounding towns and cities bringing with it high winds, torrential rain and extreme flooding. In some areas, while residents have not been directly affected by severe floods, power outages are a major concern. Still thousands of others who have left their homes for safer ground because of flooding will eventually return to assess their homes for damage and work on rebuilding their neighborhoods.


When authorities say it’s safe to return home, or if you are one of many residents who are at home but have experienced a power outage, NFPA can assist by providing the following electrical safety tips to help reduce your risk for injury:

  • If your home has experienced flooding, it’s important to keep your power off until a professional electrician has inspected your entire home for safety, including appliances. Water can damage the internal components in electrical appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, and cause shock and fire hazards. Have a qualified electrician come visit your home and determine what electrical equipment should be replaced and what can be reconditioned.
  • If you smell gas in your home or neighborhood, notify emergency authorities immediately. Do not turn on lights, light matches or engage in any activity that could create a spark.
  • Treat all downed wires as if they are live even if you don’t see any sparks, and especially if there is standing water nearby. Alert authorities immediately if you see downed wires in your area.
  • In the event that electricity may not be available to your home yet and you have not experienced any water in your home, generators are a viable option to power some of your small appliances. However, if used improperly they also pose a fire hazard, risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and electrocution.

 

The following are key guidelines for using a portable generator: 

  • Generators should be operated in well ventilated locations outdoors away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
    Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building.
  • Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
  • Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
  • Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.

 

NFPA’s safety tip sheet on portable generators provides these steps and more to help keep you safe. Find it at www.nfpa.org/generators.

 

For any questions or concerns about your home’s electrical system, contact a qualified electrician who can help, and visit our electrical safety webpage for additional tips and resources.

 

More severe weather safety information is available by visiting NFPA’s severe storm fire safety webpage.

hurricanes, floods, electrical safety, hurricane harvey

 

Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Texas coastline last Friday evening bringing with it winds of about 130 mph, torrential rains and significant flooding. Parts of Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley are also expecting heavy rains due to the hurricane this week.

 

As Harvey bears down on the coast, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is alerting contractors in the area of their “Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment” document aimed specifically at contractors who will be called in to help with the damage assessment once the waters have receded. The guide is free and available for download on NEMA's website.

 

The document provides guidelines on how to handle electrical equipment that has been exposed to water. It's designed for suppliers, installers, inspectors and users of electrical products, and outlines items that require complete replacement or those that can be reconditioned by a trained professional. Such equipment includes:

* Electrical distribution equipment

* Motor circuits

* Power equipment

* Transformers

* Wire, cable and flexible cords

* Wiring devices

* GFCIs and surge protectors

* Lighting fixtures and ballasts,

* Motors and electronic products

 

According to NEMA, field representatives have reached out Texas officials, local contractors and building officials to offer this guidance during the clean-up to help ensure that electrical safety remains a top priority during the initial assessment and cleanup of flooded communities. NEMA also recommends that inspectors, suppliers and others contact the original manufacturer of the equipment if there are questions and/or a need for specific recommendations. 

 

Industry professionals looking for electrical information related to NFPA 70 (National Electrical Code) can find it on NFPA's  NEC webpage. Additional information on electrical worker safety (NFPA 70E) is also available.  

 

Image: weather.com

 

If you’re a project manager responsible for reviewing and approving plans, or an engineer or designer who needs to ensure sprinkler system plans are ready for submission to AHJs, then you know there’s a lot riding on the accuracy and timeliness of these plans. So, how then do you best tackle these day-to-day challenges and put your best foot forward with every project? NFPA’s "Automatic Sprinkler Systems Plans Review Two-Day Training and Workshop," that’s how!

 

If you’ve never taken one of our training classes before, the workshop will help you build upon your on-the-job expertise with additional training that shows you how to avoid the pitfalls of poor planning, and provides the necessary tools to help you save time and avoid costly and potentially dangerous errors and omissions. But don’t take our word for it. In the following video, two participants tell us in their own words how the training provided them with the necessary information, tools and tips that in turn gave them the confidence they needed going forward to review plans and approve them accurately.

 


As an added benefit, you’ll notice that this training goes beyond the usual “lecture” style format. It actually focuses on practical, hands-on learning where you’ll will be able to review plans and calculations, identify deficiencies and document findings. Based on NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, the workshop focuses on:

 

* Blueprint reading skills

* Regulatory requirements for plans and calculations submittals
* Sprinkler specifications
* An 8-step process for hydraulic calculations review 
* An 8-step process for sprinkler plans review


We invite you to join us September 28 – 29, 2017 for this unique training experience. NFPA is devoted to helping you do your job better throughout your entire career. So come find out more, and register on NFPA's training page.  

CAL FIRE, wildfire hazards, C&E2017, embers
As most of us know, states across the U.S. can no longer rely on a defined fire season. This sobering truth is especially evident in California where the fire season is 70 days longer than it was 40 years ago, and fire ignitions in the state have greatly increased in the last few years (in 2016, fire ignitions were greater than the 5-year average).
And while these stats are staggering, in California there has been a dramatic increase in prevention activities over recent years, including defensible space inspections, public education efforts and vegetation treatment projects funded by grants. So why are an alarming number of structures still being destroyed by wildfires?
That’s the question Dave Shew, Staff Chief for CAL FIRE, Planning and Risk Analysis Department, Office of the State Fire Marshall, posed to a packed room for his session: “Structure Loss in the WUI: Why do Losses Continue to Rise Despite Increased Prevention Efforts?” at NFPA’s 2017 Conference & Expo in June. It's also the subject of a recent NFPA Journal article, "Structure Survival," where Shew is interviewed.
While Shew made it clear in his session that the answer doesn’t consist of one "silver bullet,” the keys to resolving the challenge, he says, are tied to embers and communities working more closely together on solutions. Here, Shew explains that there is more than one way to tackle the wildfire problem.
To this end, Shew says that wildfire safety advocates still have a lot of work to do when it comes to educating the public about the dangers of embers and the impact they have on the survivability of a home during a fire. "We have to get better at talking to the public," he says.
One way to do that is for communities to collaborate with their local fire departments. Shew believes the next paradigm shift in the fire service will see firefighters taking a more active role in talking to homeowners about wildfire risk. Shew told the audience he knows this concept doesn’t make him a popular guy in the office. “My colleagues in the fire service get mad at me every time I mention it,” he says. Still, Shew explains his reasoning behind why firefighters need to get more involved with the public when it comes to wildfire education.
In all honesty, you can’t help but get caught up in Shew’s passion and determination when it comes to wildfire safety. From the positive reaction of the audience (many stayed long after the presentation was over to ask questions) it was clear they did, too. We don't want you to miss this presentation, so we've included the full audio version of his talk for you to listen to. And if you find inspiration or have thoughts to share after you’ve tuned in, we’d love to hear from you.
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 to find the attached audio/video you'd like to view.

70E, worker safety

In preparation for the release of the 2018 edition of NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, NFPA is hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, July 12 from 10:00 – 10:30 AM EDT that will help explain the proposed changes and provide an opportunity for participants to ask question about the revised code.  

 

If you haven't had the chance, there's still time to register. It's a great opportunity to get a first-hand look at the changes that could impact the industry as a whole, as well as the work you do every day. The webinar, “Proposed Changes to the 2018 Edition of the NFPA 70E,” will feature NFPA’s Chris Coache, senior electrical engineer, and Derek Vigstol, electrical technical lead, who will discuss some of these important proposed changes in the 2018 revision. 

 

Join us, and be among the first to learn about the 2018 edition of NFPA 70E. 

automatic sprinkler plans review, NFPA 13

Are you a project manager responsible for reviewing and approving plans, or an engineer or designer who needs to ensure sprinkler system plans are ready for submission to AHJs? If so, then you know there’s a lot riding on the accuracy and timeliness of these plans. So how can you best tackle these day-to-day challenges and put your best foot forward with every project?


NFPA’s latest two-day class and workshop can help you build upon your on-the-job expertise with additional training that shows you how to avoid the pitfalls of poor planning and provides you with the necessary tools to help you save time and avoid costly and potentially dangerous errors and omissions.


The training, "Automatic Sprinkler Systems Plans Review Two-Day Training and Workshop," goes beyond the usual “lecture” style format and instead focuses on practical, hands-on learning where participants will be able to review plans and calculations, identify deficiencies and document findings. Based on NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, the workshop covers such topics as:


• Regulatory requirements for plans and calculations submittals
• Blueprint reading skills
• Sprinkler specifications
• An 8-step process for hydraulic calculations review
• An 8-step process for sprinkler plans review


We invite you to join us July 13 – 14 in Cranston, Rhode Island for this unique training experience. At NFPA, we’re devoted to helping you do your job better throughout your entire career. Find out more, and register on NFPA’s training page.

70E, worker safety

In preparation for the release of the 2018 edition of NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace we’re hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, July 12 from 10:00 – 10:30 AM EDT that will help explain the proposed changes and provide an opportunity for participants to ask question about the revised code.

Whether you’re an electrician, electrical engineer, contractor, facility manager, property owner, building manager or a safety engineer responsible for electrical safety in your workplace, this is a chance to get a first-hand look at the proposed changes that could impact the industry as a whole, as well as the work you do every day.

 

The webinar, “Proposed Changes to the 2018 Edition of the NFPA 70E,” will feature NFPA’s Chris Coache, senior electrical engineer, and Derek Vigstol, electrical technical lead, who will discuss some of these important proposed changes in the 2018 revision. They include:

• Risk assessment procedure; the hierarchy of risk controls and human error
• Establishing an electrically-safe work condition that includes Lockout/Tagout principles and procedures
• Estimate of the likelihood of occurrence of an arc flash incident for AC and DC systems
• Selection of arc-rated clothing and other personal protective equipment (PPE) using the incident energy analysis method

 

This event will fill up quickly and we don't want you to be left out. Be among the first to learn more about the 2018 edition of NFPA 70E and register for the webinar today!

 

May is Electrical Safety Month and throughout the month, NFPA and ESFI have been raising awareness of potential electrical hazards and the importance of electrical fire safety on the job.

 

This week we’re testing your knowledge on an aspect of NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace with a question from one of our recent NFPA Live events. Here, Derek Vigstol, NFPA’s technical lead for Electrical Technical Services, asks: What is Normal Operation?

 

Think you know the answer? Watch this quick video to find out, then learn how you can access the full question and answer, and other important, related information.

 

For more information and resources about Electrical Safety Month, visit NFPA's electrical safety webpage.

70E, worker safety

May is Electrical Safety Month and throughout the month, NFPA and ESFI have been raising awareness of potential electrical hazards and the importance of electrical fire safety on the job.


This week, we’re highlighting some important statistics that point to the dangers of electrical work, and offering training opportunities to help employees and employers reduce the risk of injuries on the job, and create a safer electrical workplace. Check out our “70E: Did You Know” interactive demonstration to learn more.


We also wanted to let you know that NFPA has a new newsletter dedicated to all things electrical including NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace and  NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC). When you’re looking for information about safe electrical design, installation and inspection, training, events, worker safety and more, NEC Connect has the answers you’re looking for. Check it out and subscribe today!

electrical safetyele

 

May is Electrical Safety Month and throughout the month, NFPA and ESFI have been raising awareness of potential electrical hazards and the importance of electrical fire safety on the job. We’re dedicated to providing valuable, life-saving information to help employees make safe choices and tips for creating a safer work environment.


To that end, NFPA’s senior electrical engineer, Chris Coache, has created a blog series devoted to NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. The series covers a wide range of topics from the role of the contract employer to PPE, energized work permits and justified energized electrical work, and everything in between. If you’ve always wanted to better understand NFPA 70E, this series is for you.


Read the whole series or choose the topics most relevant to you and your job. You can find the series on NFPA’s Xchange platform.


For additional information and resources, check out ESFI’s workplace safety pages on their website, and stay tuned for more electrical worker safety-related topics coming this month.

May is Electrical Safety Month and throughout the month, NFPA and ESFI have been raising awareness of potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical fire safety. This week we want to share one of NFPA's most popular videos, “A Shocking Revelation,” that features our beloved character, Dan Doofus. Follow along as Dan learns from his mistakes and forges a new path for safer electrical practices in his home, and invites you to do the same!

 

Learn more about electrical fire safety  on NFPA’s campaign webpage and at www.esfi.org, and stay tuned for more great resources throughout the month.

70E, worker safety

May is National Electrical Safety Month and throughout the coming weeks, NFPA and its partner, ESFI, will be sharing information and resources with industry professionals dedicated to creating safer working environments for their employees.This week we're taking a look at the roles of host and contract employers.

According to Derek Vigstol, NFPA’s technical lead for Electrical Tech Services, a common industry misconception is that the contract employer is the only one liable for their workers’ safety. With the next edition of NFPA 70E:  Electrical Safety in the Workplace about to complete the revision process, Derek points out that it’s important both contract and host employers understand they have a role when it comes to worker safety.

In the March/April 2017 issue of NFPA Journal, Derek dives into this very subject in his article, Host Employer & Contract Employer: Understanding Roles in Electrical Safety.

Read the article, then tell us what you think. As a host or contract employer, how do you see your role? What kinds of solutions have you developed to increase safety where you work? We’d like to hear from you.

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