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When I host Thanksgiving, it’s a whirlwind. I’ve got multiple dishes to prepare in a very short window of time; I want my house to look welcoming, festive, and clean; and at some point (usually about 45 minutes before my guests arrive) I frantically realize that I still need to take shower and make myself look at least somewhat presentable.

 

From there, I’ve got to juggle a series of cooking feats to get multiple dishes on the table, all while chatting with guests, digging out a tray for my aunt’s appetizers because she forgot to bring her own, and rummaging through the bathroom cabinet for my sobbing niece who just fell on the driveway and cut her knee. 

 

And through it all, I need to make sure to keep a close eye on what I’m cooking. So simple!

 

In theory, keeping focused in the kitchen while cooking really is a simple, straightforward message. But with all the distractions of the holiday, it’s easy to see why there are more than three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day as on a typical day of the year. In fact, the number of home cooking fires on Thanksgiving spikes by a whopping 238 percent.

 

These and a wealth of home cooking fire statistics are included in NFPA’s latest U.S. Home Cooking Fires report, which shows that cooking is the leading cause of home fires year-round, accounting for almost half of all US home fires (49 percent) and reported home fire injuries (45 percent). Cooking is the second-leading cause of home fire deaths, accounting for 22 percent of all fire deaths. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires.

 

All these statistics and risk factors beg the question: How can everyone ensure a festive, fire-safe Thanksgiving with the people we care about most?

 

First and foremost, plan ahead so that staying in the kitchen while you’re cooking is actually doable. Assign family members and guests to tasks like answering the door, fetching band aids, etc., so that you can do the following:

 

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
  • Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
  • Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
  • Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that could come in contact with a heat source.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
  • When cooking a turkey, make sure to stay at home and check it regularly.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.

 

With all that in mind, here’s the tip I keep reminding myself as Thanksgiving Day fast approaches: I can only do what I can – and I need do it safely – so that I can ensure a festive holiday for my guests while focusing on what I’m truly thankful for, first and foremost my two boys, who after dealing with me prepare for the day, are surely grateful we’re not hosting any other holidays this season.

NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, is accepting public input for the Annual 2022 revision cycle (2023 edition).

 

To submit public input through NFPA's online submission system, go directly to the NFPA 70 document information page or use the search feature on the List of NFPA codes & standards. Once on the NFPA 70 page, select "Submit a Public Input" to begin the process. You will be asked to sign-in or create a free online account with NFPA before using this system.  The system shows any changes made by the submitter in legislative text and provides the option to submit the public input right away or save it for later completion before the September 10, 2020 closing date.

We are here to assist!  If you have any questions when using the online submission system, a chat feature is available or contact us by email or phone at (800) 344-3555 (select 4).

 

Public input is a suggested revision to a proposed new or existing NFPA Standard submitted during the Input Stage in accordance with Section 4.3 of the Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards.

Even with the completion of the 2020 NEC, NFPA continues to receive a lot of great questions regarding the key changes to this edition. That’s why I’m pleased to invite you to participate in our upcoming webinar on December 4, 2019 where I’ll examine the issues and address your questions.

 

Like with most webinars, there will be a “formal” part of the presentation but there's a whole lot more, too. For the majority of the webinar, you’ll be able to ask the questions that have been on your mind and I’ll take the time to answer. It’s a great opportunity to hear from your peers in the field as well get clarification on parts of the code you’re having difficulty with.

 

Some of the major changes to the NEC that we’ll discuss include:

 

  • Article 100 – Revision to the definition of service
  • 310.3(A) - Revised to include a voltage rating threshold up to 2000 volts to correlate with the relocation of medium voltage requirements to new Article 311
  • 210.8 - Revision to clarify how proximate measurement for GFCI protection is made
  • Table 220.12 – Revisions to the general lighting load table
  • 250.25 - New section covers requirements for grounding and bonding of supply-side disconnects
  • 314.27 (C) - Revision requires outlet boxes mounted in ceilings of habitable rooms in dwelling units to be provided with a box listed for ceiling fan support where a ceiling fan may be installed

But remember, the majority of questions and requests for information will come from all of you. So I invite you to join us to learn more about the changes that affect the way you use the code every day. Don’t miss out! Check out our webpage for the details and register today. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

The ongoing push toward sustainability of refrigeration systems requires the adoption of low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants to meet the shift in environmental regulations. In 2016, nearly 200 countries signed the Kigali Agreement, a legally binding accord focused on the reduction of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - the hydrogen, carbon, fluorine based compound that is commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners. The new class of replacement refrigerants pose various hazards including increased flammability risks.


As new refrigerants are phased in, there are new hazards that emergency responders need to be aware of in order to adjust response tactics. It is essential that emergency response and preparedness is emphasized during the transitional process and that firefighters and others are familiar with the change in material hazards and appropriate response procedures.


The Fire Protection Research Foundation (Research Foundation), the research arm of NFPA, collaborated with NFPA on a two-year research project on flammable refrigerants. Funded by an Assistance to Firefighter Grant from FEMA, the goal of the project was to enhance firefighter safety and reduce potential injury by providing training on the hazards that may exist in appliances with flammable refrigerants. More specifically, the objective was to document key information about the technology and potential hazards so that information could be shared via interactive training modules that include classroom sessions, online learning, and educational videos for the fire service.


As part of this research initiative, the Research Foundation facilitated a workshop in September 2018 with industry stakeholders and members of the fire service. The risks that firefighters will be exposed to during a call involving flammable refrigerants were discussed, and brainstorming about the content and materials needed to inform audiences took place. One clear takeaway was that although firefighting is an inherently dangerous profession, emergency responders need to be trained and educated on the shift in refrigerant materials in order to appropriately adjust tactics and keep safe. Participants also expressed concerns about the products of combustion, and recommended that possible symptoms for exposure during and after an incident be clarified; and that the adequacy of PPE and post-event de-contamination strategies be addressed. Workshop proceedings can be found here.

 

In May of this year, The Research Foundation published another report documenting the hazards associated with flammable refrigerant technologies. That document contains the results of a literature review, consisting of flammable refrigerants baseline information, existing product usage details, new implementation considerations, potential integration into future technologies, and current response and tactics guidance. Additionally, researchers looked at the current and potential use cases for refrigerants, the various applications in which they are employed, the types of environments in which they might be encountered, and a range of associated threats. These hazards must be balanced against their performance for specific applications, including toxic thermal decomposition, combustion products, increased flammability, explosion risks, and pressure release scenarios.

The report also identified a few existing knowledge gaps, specifically that fire service personnel are not well-versed on the evolving hazards associated with new flammable refrigerants. Although the potential production of hydrogen fluoride and other toxic thermal degradation byproducts exists for all halocarbon refrigerants, further investigation is needed to determine the difference in the toxic quantities produced by existing refrigerants versus the new refrigerants. To date, the variations in hazards have not been completely defined - most likely because the standards governing refrigerant charges are still under review. The gap analysis was intended to inform new NFPA training for the fire service which will debut later this year to assist first responders in recognition, evaluation, and mitigation of any flammable refrigerant related hazards. As part of this research, demonstrative tests were also conducted to support the development of these training materials.


The transition to this new class of refrigerants is already underway and being led by the countries that signed on to the Kigali Agreement. Thus, it is critical that firefighters and others are aware of the potential fire hazards that may occur in various applications such as retail food refrigeration units or air conditioning systems.

 

More information on the NFPA and the Research Foundation resources on this topic is available at www.nfpa.org/refrigerants.

The following two proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) for NFPA 59A, Standard for the Production, Storage, and Handling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG); and NFPA 130, Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems, are being published for public review and comment:

  • NFPA 59A, proposed TIA No. 1471, referencing 5.3.2.12.1 and 19.8.4.2.2 of the 2019 edition, closing date: December 12, 2019
  • NFPA 130, proposed TIA No. 1475, referencing 11.1.2(1) of the 2020 edition, closing date: December 10, 2019


Anyone may submit a comment on these proposed TIAs by the closing date(s) listed above.  Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the Secretary, Standards Council by the closing date.


National STEM/STEAM Day, celebrated November 8 this year, was established to help students recognize and advance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Females at NFPA working in STEM/STEAM roles celebrate this mission year-round by impressing industry stakeholders, judging science fairs, mentoring kids, developing activities for people of all ages, writing and presenting on topics of interest, and by generally highlighting all the cool things relevant to STEM/STEAM.


In support of National STEM/STEAM Day, we wanted to show that there is strength in numbers related to these disciplines at NFPA – hence the great photo above (which is missing a few awesome colleagues).


NFPA values STEM/STEAM studies and the female employees who are making an impact via their roles in engineering, research, data, technology, analytics and other more obscure positions that cover STEM/STEAM territory. By industry standards our 123-year old organization has a fairly large STEM/STEAM presence with about 100 STEM/STEAM positions at our Association filled by more than 30 women.


We possess bachelor and master level degrees in STEM/STEAM areas such as chemistry, mathematics, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, fire protection engineering, industrial engineering, environmental studies, information systems, architecture, electronics and instrumentation, library and information sciences, as well as non-traditional STEM/STEAM studies (marketing, professional writing, psychology, natural residential management, urban planning, social work, media art, law, and experience in the fire service).


NFPA female engineers are often the only women in the room at standards events or technical meetings, and sometimes the youngest attendees. This should come as no surprise, as women only make up 28% of the science and engineering workforce, according to National Science Board indicators. Additionally, reports show that 80.3% of network & computer systems administrators are male.


Those that work in STEM/STEAM-related roles at NFPA are passionate about encouraging male and female students to embrace STEM/STEAM courses. We take pride in discussing our jobs with potential up-and-comers so that they have real world career insights.  The enthusiasm for our chosen field tends to shine through. Our hope is that we pique students' interest and help to usher in a new generation of STEM/STEAM-loving professionals.


The diverse projects that come with our positions and the NFPA mission are a powerful combination. We love covering a lot of ground as representatives of a global fire and life safety authority; and list the following among some of the “coolest” assignments that we are working on these days:

 

  • Exterior wall/facade fire analysis
  • Understanding how homes ignite in wildfires
  • Animal housing and fire testing
  • Combustible dust
  • Spaceports
  • Electrical safety
  • Community risk reduction
  • Energy storage systems and data modeling
  • Fire, pedestrian, and traffic patterns for Wildland Urban Interface fires
  • Human behavior in fire
  • Using social science to change human behavior
  • Digitizing and delivering NFPA content for today’s stakeholders
  • Understanding the needs of fire and life safety practitioners, and the public, through data and analytics

 

Without hesitation, the female STEM/STEAM contingent at NFPA points to collaborating with passionate co-workers, as well as working with outside parties who share similar interests, as the real secret sauce. We take a lot of pride in helping others protect people and property from risk – and know that we cannot do that in a vacuum. Additionally, we relish the chance to mold young minds who may consider STEM/STEAM studies.


As the photo up above suggests – there’s a lot to smile about on National STEM/STEAM Day - particularly when you work for a forward-thinking, game-changing organization like NFPA!

 

70e

 

Electrical safety in the workplace is not as clear cut as many would like. It would be easier if boxes could be checked and safety would be achieved. However, a detailed step-by-step checklist is not possible. Although the basic concept of not being exposed to an electrical hazard is the crux of electrical safety, the organization, management, and employee have a substantial impact on achieving that goal. There are signs throughout the system that may point to problems needing to be addressed to bring things back in line.

 

The organization should review a program or process if personal ownership has taken a back seat to numerous, inefficient, or cumbersome processes. Another problem indicator at the organization level could be that no one is assigned ownership for high risk tasks. It is not uncommon for a risky behavior to become the norm (standard operating procedure) when a bad outcome does not occur for the situation. It is also not a good sign for the organization when a program or procedure is developed then put on the shelf as a job well done. Electrical safety is a continual process.

 

Those in a supervisory role affect the safety culture of a business. A supervisor who is not on-site may not be aware of conditions affecting safety or of the attitude of employees. This can also lead to the supervisor being unaware of how employees perceive the risks associated with assigned tasks and how those risks are managed. Completion of a task without an adverse outcome, when undue risk is taken, tends become the basis for continuing current practices. The supervisor may use this flawed performance indicator as justification for existing risk management strategies. Lastly, another sign of weakness at the supervisory level is when delegation is lacking. Personal ownership goes a long way in maintaining a safety culture.

 

An employee is at risk during the course of a normal workday and as such their performance is critical to an organization’s safety culture. This is also the level where human performance issues are prevalent. Employees start considering their work activities as routine after time on the job. They may self-impose production pressures when no quota is conveyed by the organization. An employee may make risky judgments without taking the time to fully understand the situation in order to meet an unwarranted production goal. Some employees may take pride in their ability to work through or with levels of risk that could have been mitigated or eliminated. Such actions without an adverse outcome become the basis for continuing that practice. Employees may not communicate the risks associated with their assigned task effectively up the company. They may assume that the next level of supervision knows or understands the risk involved. Worse than this, employees may assume that are insufficient resources to manage the risk. Lastly, another indicator of a safety culture weakness is that problem reporting is not transparent. This leads to employees who are not willing to report a high-risk condition.

 

There are many more indicators that an organization’s safety culture is not as solid as perceived. Oversight of the organization’s culture is necessary in order to positively affect safety. All organizational levels must be proactively involved with establishing and maintaining an electrical safety program. Otherwise, indicators such as I have pointed out could be a starting point for an incident investigator. 

 

For more information on 70E, read my entire 70E blog series on Xchange

 

Want to keep track of what is happening with the National Electrical Code (NEC)? Subscribe to the NEC Connect newsletter to stay informed of new content. The newsletter also includes NFPA 70E information such as my blogs.

 

Next time: Can you be honest with yourself?

 

Please Note: Any comments, suggested text changes, or technical issues related to NFPA Standards posted or raised in this communication are not submissions to the NFPA standards development process and therefore will not be considered by the technical committee(s) responsible for NFPA Standards development.  To learn how to participate in the NFPA standards development process and submit proposed text for consideration by the responsible technical committee(s), please go to www.nfpa.org/submitpi for instructions.

 

Does anyone else feel like 2019 is flying by, or is it just me?  Here we are the first day of November, fire inspectors have had a busy few months inspecting haunted houses, corn mazes, carnivals, and other seasonal events, the NFPA 1 Technical Committee has just about finished up their Second Draft work for the 2021 code development cycle, and we are ready to turn back the clocks (don’t forget that when you change your clocks, it's a good time to check your smoke alarm batteries to make sure they're working!)

 

This past week, the NFPA 1 Technical Committee met at NFPA headquarters and through teleconference to finish up their Second Draft work.  Most of the work this week focused on updating the extracted portions of the Code, with a few technical issues carrying over from the first, Second Draft meeting back in September.  One of those issues relates to two-way radio communication enhancement systems.  But before addressing some of the new issues facing the Committee on this topic, it’s important that inspectors and users of the Code are aware of how it got to where it is today in the 2018 edition.

 

The 2009 edition of NFPA 1 provided guidance on the design of two-way radio communication enhancement systems in Annex O. Annex O was deleted for the 2012 edition, because much of its criteria was incorporated into NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code at the time. For the 2012 edition of this Code, the mandatory reference to NFPA 72 was added to Section 11.10 for enforcement where the AHJ determines that a building requires such a system to facilitate fire department communications in the building. For the 2018 edition, the reference to NFPA 72 in Section 11.10.2 was replaced with a reference to NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems. The 2016 edition of NFPA 1221 added requirements regarding two-way communications enhancement systems from NFPA 72 into Section 9.6.

 

So, as it stands in the Code today, for all new and existing buildings, minimum radio signal strength for fire department communications must be maintained at a level determined by the AHJ.  Where required by the AHJ, two-way radio communication enhancement systems must comply with NFPA 1221, and where a two-way radio communication enhancement system is required and such system components, or equipment has a negative impact on the normal operations of the facility that its installed, the AHJ has the authority to accept an automatically activated responder system.

 

NFPA 1221 covers the installation, performance, operation, and maintenance of public emergency services communications systems and facilities.  It applies to communications systems that include, but are not limited to, dispatching systems, telephone systems, public reporting systems, and one-way and two-way radio systems that provide the following functions: (1) Communication between the public and emergency response agencies, (2) Communication within the emergency response agency under emergency and nonemergency conditions, and (3) Communication among emergency response agencies.

 

Section 9.6 of NFPA 1221 specifically addresses two-way radio communications enhancement systems.  It addresses system components, system degradation, approvals and permits, radio coverage, signal strength, radio frequencies, system monitoring, and documentation of technical criteria. 

 

This current code revision cycle, the Fire Code Technical Committee has discussion expanding the provisions to address minimum safety and performance requirements, that currently do not exist in other codes and standards, for two-way radio communication enhancement systems.  The First Draft Report shows expanded text that addresses how accepted installation practices have made their way through the industry via emerging technologies that did not exist years ago.  New language addresses listing and labeling, minimum signal strength into the building, equipment installation, and acceptance test procedures.  Further updates at the Second Draft meeting as discussed, but not formally voted on by the Committee, include updating the terminology and additional references to NFPA 1221.  These changes as discussed at the Second Draft meeting will be voted on by the Committee in the coming weeks and published in the Second Draft Report early next year.

 

 What challenges have you faced as an inspector when addressing these building systems?  How have you addressed the provisions in NFPA 1 that rely heavily on AHJ decision and approval with regard to two-way communication systems?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Don't miss another #FireCodeFridays blog! Get notifications straight to your email inbox by subscribing here! And you can always follow me on Twitter for more updates and fire safety news @KristinB_NFPA

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Amanda Kimball has been named executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Research Foundation). The eight-year veteran of the independent, non-profit research affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association replaces Casey Grant who is retiring in December after 16 years with NFPA and 15 years of directing Research Foundation efforts that support the NFPA mission of eliminating loss from fire, electrical and related hazards.

 

Kimball spent the past three years as research director for the Research Foundation. Prior to that, for five years she managed projects ranging from  literature reviews to large experimental testing endeavors involving suppression, fire alarm, and building life safety.

 

She will now provide leadership on research initiatives that pertain to fire protection, emergency response, and virtually everything that challenges safety in the built environment. The role requires a great deal of collaboration with a half dozen staff members, NFPA colleagues, board of trustee members, project sponsors, project contractors, advisory panel members who provide peer oversight and guidance, and a broad range of stakeholders.

 

Kimball holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in fire protection engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and is a registered professional fire protection engineer in the state of Massachusetts. Before the Research Foundation, she was an Arup consultant for seven years focused on fire protection engineering, building code life safety, the design of fire protection systems, and the egress modeling of buildings and subway stations.

 

“It is an honor to be the new executive director of the Research Foundation,” Kimball said. “So often we hear incoming leaders state that they have big shoes to fill. I know exactly why they say as much, given Casey Grant’s accomplishments, his far-reaching influence, and the indisputable impact that he has had on reducing risk in our world,” Kimball said. “I applaud Casey’s extensive contributions and thank him for the incredible mentorship that he has offered our team members along the way.”

 

Outgoing executive director Casey Grant earned a reputation for being a well-connected, tireless, game-changer with an eye on emerging issues and a penchant for keeping first responders and the public free from harm.

 

The Research Foundation was established in 1982 in response to a growing need for research that better informed the expanding body of NFPA codes and standards. Since then, the Research Foundation has facilitated major domestic and international research programs that address industry challenges in detection and signaling, hazardous materials, electrical safety, fire suppression, storage of commodities, firefighter protective clothing, equipment, public education, and public policy.

 

Amanda Kimball is certain to build upon the great work that the Research Foundation is doing; she is committed to cultivating synergies and working with a wide range of professionals to reduce risk in the world.

Many people who work with NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, or any other building or life safety code, can understand finding themselves in a Goldilocks scenario, where the prescriptive requirements in the code just don’t fit. For this reason, the code offers several option for compliance:

(1) Prescriptive

In general, the core requirements in the code are prescriptive requirements. The code specifies that new stairs are required to have no more than a 7 in. rise and an 11 in. run, or that a new sprinklered office building is limited to an exit travel distance of 300 ft. The prescriptive requirements provide quantitative, measurable, and enforceable requirements. These requirements provide designers with clear guidance on minimum design requirements to achieve an acceptable level of life safety.

(2) Equivalency

The code also offers an option for equivalent compliance in section 1.4. It is developed on a three-year cycle and several more years before being adopted by a jurisdiction. In a world where technology and innovation are changing rapids, there may be times that a technology is not specifically addressed in the code, or an edition of the code. It is not the intent of the code to exclude the use of new technologies based on the sole reason that it was developed or popularized after the code was published. Hence, section 1.4 provides an equivalency that allows the use systems, methods or devices of equivalent or superior quality.

It is the responsibility of the building owner or designer to provide technical documentation to the AHJ demonstrating that their technology, design, or method provides equivalent protection to the prescriptive requirements in the code. If it is determined by the AHJ that equivalent protection is provided, the alternate technology, design, or method is considered to be code compliant. Therefore, although I have broken it out as a separate option for compliance, it is really a subset of prescriptive compliance.

(3) Performance

Finally, there is the performance-based option. Sometimes the design of a building is too specialized or a building designer wishes to incorporate a building element that is too unique to fully comply with the prescriptive requirements of the code. Then the use of the performance-based option in accordance with Chapter 5 may be necessary for a desired design.

The purpose of a performance-based design is to determine if a building or building element meets the fire and life safety goals and objectives of NFPA 101, without strictly complying with the prescriptive requirements. Performance-based designs are required to be completed by a registered design professional and can provide designers with a significant amount of flexibility in their designs. Similar to equivalencies, it is the final determination of the AHJ to determine if the performance objectives are met.

The design of a building does not need to take a singular approach. A designer can use a combination of prescriptive, equivalent, and performance-based approaches. Therefore, just like Goldilocks, through proper application of NFPA 101, you should be able to find a solution that is “just right” for most every design problem.

 

Got an idea for a topic for a future #101Wednesdays? Post it in the comments below – I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Did you know NFPA 101 is available to review online for free? Head over to www.nfpa.org/101 and click on “FREE ACCESS.”

 

NFPA is developing a free public safety drone compliance program with immersive training and a searchable knowledgebase - thanks to a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from FEMA.


Fire departments are increasingly using drones for structural fires, wildland fires, search and rescue efforts, hazardous material responses, natural disaster efforts, and other events that would benefit from increased situational awareness. Despite this trend, many US fire departments lack the proper information, knowledge, and experience needed to establish and maintain a legally sound public safety program that is compliant with FAA regulations, and the standards produced by ASTM International, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and NFPA. This may result in fire departments deploying unmanned aerial devices inaccurately; inappropriately gathering information during an incident; and interference with manned and unmanned flight operations. All these missteps needlessly expose fire departments to liability.

 

The NFPA research project will document fire service drone programs and case usage – and produce the guidance, learnings, and best practices that US fire departments need to establish successful drone programs. More specifically, the research project will:

 

  1. assess the current level of understanding, policies, and standards on public safety drone usage;
  2. generate educational content that helps departments to comply with current regulations and standards;
  3. track fire service drone programs via an accessible portal; and
  4. freely disseminate information and training so that departments can establish regionally and nationally compliant public safety drone programs.

 

Here’s what the project will entail.

 

  1. The Fire Protection Research Foundation, the research affiliate of NFPA, will conduct a literature review of the fire service drone landscape and collect compliance and usage data.
  2. NFPA and subject matter experts (SMEs) at the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting at the State of Colorado, Department of Fire Services will review the latest public safety drone usage research, testing, regulations, policy, and training content.
  3. The Research Foundation will then convene a technical advisory panel consisting of fire authorities, standards developers, public safety officials, emergency managers, researchers, regulators, and government leaders to advise on the project’s scope, messaging, curriculum, and deliverables.
  4. The NFPA data and analytics team will synthesize the collected information to support curriculum development efforts and populate the portal.
  5. The Research Foundation will host a public safety drone workshop and findings will be distributed.
  6. SMEs and curriculum developers will build a self-paced, interactive online training program, educational videos, and augmented virtual reality tools as part of a full educational suite. The curriculum will cover proper administration, operation, safety, and maintenance of public safety drone deployment.
  7. All materials, research, and information collected as part of the project will be available for free to U.S. firefighters on the NFPA website.
  8. The NFPA data team will build an online repository for all the information captured, and host content on a dedicated, interactive, searchable site where departments can upload and search drone action incident reports.

 

NFPA released NFPA 2400 Standard for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems in 2018 to help the fire service address organizational deployment, professional qualifications, system selection, as well as care and maintenance for public safety drone programs. The new NFPA drone research project is currently underway and deliverables will be available in September 2021.

Sparky the Fire Dog was created for the NFPA in 1951 and has been the organization’s official mascot and spokesdog ever since. He is a widely recognized fire safety icon who is beloved by children and adults alike. In addition to connecting with the public through educational programs, he has a very active website, sparky.org, which allows kids to explore and learn about fire safety in a trusted, interactive environment.

 

 

As the mascot of the National Fire Protection Association, Sparky the Fire Dog has a full biography:

 

  • Name:  Sparky the Fire Dog
  • Occupation: Fire Safety Advocate and Spokesdog for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • Registration: The name and image of Sparky, as well as the title Sparky the Fire Dog, are registered as trademarks and service marks of the National Fire Protection Association in both the United States and Canada.
  • Base of Operations: Headquarters of the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, Massachusetts
  • Born: March 18, 1951
  • Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Description: Sparky is an anthropomorphic fanciful character depicted as an adult Dalmatian who appears in full firefighter protective clothing at all times.
  • Identifying Marks: Sparky has three freckles on each side of his muzzle and five spots on each ear.
  • Personality: A positive approach to communicating fire safety advice.
  • Mission: Help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge and passion.

 

For more information regarding this and other moments in fire history, please feel free to reach out to the NFPA Research Library & Archives.


 The NFPA Archives houses all of NFPA's publications, both current and historic.

 Library staff are available to answer research questions from members and the general public.

 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent a New Project Initiation Request to the NFPA Standards Council asking for the development of an ANSI-accredited standard for community-based response to drug overdoses (CReDO). This new standard would address the necessary functions and actions related to the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery to drug overdoses by any community, AHJ, facility, and/or organization that handles these types of incidents.

 

According to the DHS request, NFPA was selected to develop the proposed CReDO standard because of its open-consensus codes and standards development process. The DHS request states:

 

"To address this national public health emergency, we need a multi-level community response to prevention, identification, response and recovery to these overdose events. Communities need to recognize and share best practices and tools to tackle the issues within their respective jurisdictions. It requires consistent training, terminology, tools, systems, frequent updates of current information, and overall coordinated management of response actions.

 

A national voluntary consensus standard would bring together all vested stakeholders to tackle this problem together. It would include participation by federal, state and local government, law enforcement, EMS, fire, hospitals, poison centers, professional organizations, laboratories, addiction treatment programs, drug prevention experts and private sector partners."

 

As first responders have become increasingly relied upon to provide emergency response to a growing range of incident, NFPA has worked to support their roles and responsibilities by developing standards, trainings, resources and initiatives that help them perform their work as effectively and safely as possible, wherever they’re required to go. Development of our ambulance and active shooter are just a couple of examples of first responder issues we’ve addressed in recent years.

 

When the NFPA Standards Council receives requests to develop a new standard, comments are solicited from as many groups and individuals as possible to gauge levels of support or opposition. This feedback ultimately enables the Council to determine whether or not to begin standards development.

 

We fully recognize that there will be many points of view and perspectives to be considered on the proposed CReDO standard. NFPA is now soliciting public comments, which can be provided to the Standards Council at stds_admin@nfpa.org through December 31, 2019. We encourage everyone to actively participate in this process to make sure all voices and opinions are heard.

If you’re looking for some creepy ambience, a tricky puzzle, or just a good old fright, you might find yourself at what NFPA 101, Life Safety Code refers to as a special amusement building. Most commonly these are haunted houses, but the classification is also used for escape rooms.

 

These places can be a lot of fun, but they also present significant life safety challenges to first responders and building operators. Check out these resources to learn more about the role of special amusement buildings in NFPA code.

 

NFPA Journal on escape rooms

How a Haunted House fire affected NFPA 101, Life Safety Code

What is a special amusement building?

One of the most notable features about NFPA’s standards development process is that it is a full, open, consensus-based process that encourages public participation in the development of its standards. A great way for your voice to be heard is to submit a Public Input (a suggested revision to a new or existing NFPA standard) during a Standard’s revision cycle. It is 100% free, easy, and done through our online submission system.

 

The following Standards are accepting public inputs for their next revision cycles:

 

  • NFPA 2, Hydrogen Technologies Code
  • NFPA 55, Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code
  • NFPA 78, Guide on Electrical Inspections
  • NFPA 115, Standard for Laser Fire Protection
  • NFPA 130, Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems
  • NFPA 302, Fire Protection Standard for Pleasure and Commercial Motor Craft
  • NFPA 326, Standard for the Safeguarding of Tanks and Containers for Entry, Cleaning, or Repair
  • NFPA 329, Recommended Practice for Handling Releases of Flammable and Combustible Liquids and Gases
  • NFPA 410, Standard on Aircraft Maintenance
  • NFPA 470, Hazardous Materials Standards for Responders (combining Standards NFPA 1072, NFPA 472, and NFPA 473)
  • NFPA 475, Recommended Practice for Organizing, Managing, and Sustaining a Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Response Program
  • NFPA 502, Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridges, and Other Limited Access Highways
  • NFPA 556, Guide on Methods for Evaluating Fire Hazard to Occupants of Passenger Road Vehicles
  • NFPA 557, Standard for Determination of Fire Loads for Use in Structural Fire Protection Design
  • NFPA 654, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids
  • NFPA 780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems
  • NFPA 801, Standard for Fire Protection for Facilities Handling Radioactive Materials
  • NFPA 820, Standard for Fire Protection in Wastewater Treatment and Collection Facilities
  • NFPA 855, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems
  • NFPA 1000, Standard for Fire Service Professional Qualifications Accreditation and Certification Systems
  • NFPA 1078, Standard for Electrical Inspector Professional Qualifications
  • NFPA 1082, Standard for Facilities Fire and Life Safety Director Professional Qualifications
  • NFPA 1140, Standards for Wildland Fire Safety (combining Standards NFPA 1051, NFPA 1141, NFPA 1143, and NFPA 1144)
  • NFPA 1142, Standard on Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Fire Fighting
  • NFPA 1145, Guide for the Use of Class A Foams in Fire Fighting
  • NFPA 1225, Standards for Emergency Services Communications (combining Standards NFPA 1061 and NFPA 1221)
  • NFPA 1990, Standard for Protective Ensembles for Hazardous Material and Emergency Medical Operations (combining Standards NFPA 1991, NFPA 1992, NFPA 1994, and NFPA 1999)
  • NFPA 2113, Standard on Selection, Care, Use, and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Short-Duration Thermal Exposures from Fire
  • NFPA 2500, Standard for Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents and Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services (combining Standards NFPA 1670, NFPA 1983, and NFPA 1858)

To submit a public input using the online submission system, go directly to the specific document information page by selecting the links above or by using the search feature on the List of NFPA codes & standards. Once on the document page, select the link "Submit a Public Input" to begin the process. You will be asked to sign-in or create a free online account with NFPA before using this system.


We are here to assist! If you have any questions when using the system, a chat feature is available or contact us by email or phone at 1-800-344-3555.


Public input is a suggested revision to a proposed new or existing NFPA Standard submitted during the Input stage in accordance with Section 4.3 of the Regulations Governing the Development of NFPA Standards.

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