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On February 3, 2016 NFPA launched it's first hands-on training class in Cranston, RI with a full class and hopes for a new genre of training offered by NFPA.  Within a few months, classes were selling out and our attendees were asking for more classes while others were asking us to add locations around the United States and beyond. Since that first class we've added hands-on training programs in New Jersey, Toronto, Mexico City and Kentucky. Today,  we are pleased to add Hastings, Michigan as our next hands-on training location.


NFPA 13 hands-on training will be offered in July and again in October. Here's what one of NFPA 13 hands-On Training students said about the class "Excellent course!  The instructors brought excellent real world experience to the classroom and the sprinkler activations provided an excellent visual element to what are normally only numbers and diagrams in the standard." For more information on the Michigan classes and about other hands-on training locations check out our webpage dedicated exclusively to hands-on training:


Restroom Egress Doorways

Posted by lopaskett Feb 15, 2018

In the facility where I am the safety manager we have restroom doors that open to an egress hallway. The restrooms only have one door for access. Currently the doors have self closers and latches so the employee has to use their hands to unlatch the door from either direction, entering or exiting . My question is "Do the doors need to have latches or can they be removed so one only has to push or pull the door open depending the side they are on?  

Jeramie Morris with his sons Tyler (6) and Parker (8)


Jeramie Morris, a global fire protection SME at DOW and a newly elected executive board member of the NFPA's Industrial Fire Protection Section (IFPS) has a lot of acronyms after his name - CFPE, CFI-I and CFPS. When I met Jeramie at an IFPS meeting a few years back I was impressed with his thirst for knowledge and wanted to know more about what drove him to acquire NFPA certifications.  I sat down with Jeramie a few months back to get his take on NFPA certifications and why they are important to him. 


Q: Why did you seek out NFPA certifications?
A: My first NFPA certification (CFI-I) really helped me progress in my career from understanding and researching codes. I really enjoyed the class and digging into the various NFPA codes and guides. As I continued to develop in Dow and I was offered my current role, global fire protection manager. The retiree who I was replacing highly recommended me getting the certifications. He really placed a high priority on me obtaining Certified Fire Protection Specialist.


Q: What NFPA certifications do you have and how did you prepare for them?
A: I currently hold Certified Fire Inspector I, Certified Fire Plans Examiner, and Certified Fire Protection Specialist. For all of the certifications, I took the classes hosted by Michigan Fire Inspectors Society. For CFI-I, I took the 80 hour course, which was beneficial to understanding the code and applying the knowledge to inspections in the field. As a class, we had a couple study sessions and created our own practice test. For CFPS, I attended the two day primer class and as a class, we also created our own practice test that was used with the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook.


Q: What does certification mean to you professionally and personally?
A: After achieving my last certification, Certified Fire Protection Specialist, I had a feeling of great personal achievement. The exam was one of the most challenging exams I have taken in my career. Professionally, I have received recognition for the certification when interacting with outside consulting firms as well as other fire protection companies. It has also assisted in networking and getting to know other CFPS holders. The certification helps endorse yourself to others, that you understand the level of knowledge, experience, and proven it through the exam.


Q: How did you your start your career at Dow?
A: In January of 2000, I started my career at Dow as a college co-op in emergency services and security while attending Saginaw Valley State University pursing my criminal justice bachelor’s degree. Shortly after being hired, I was offered a full time position in emergency services and security as a field technician/dispatcher. In this role, I was required to be a first responder and I got my first exposure to firefighting. Prior to my current role as global fire protection manager, I have held various rolls in emergency services and security as well as environment health and safety.


Q: Do you plan on adding any more NFPA certifications to your portfolio?
A: In 2018, I am planning on obtaining Certified Fire Inspector II. This will complete the list of NFPA certifications that I currently have set goals for and can use toward my day to day work.


Good luck with CFI-II Jeramie. To learn more about NFPA certifications, please visit

NFPA has launched a new online training course on medical gas and vacuum systems. The four hour course provides a detailed review of the medical gas and vacuum requirements of the 2018 edition of NFPA 99. It will satisfy criteria for ASSE 6000 series recertification which requires a four hour course on new editions of the code. The training can also serve as an excellent overview for those looking to gain a greater understanding of the requirements for medical gas and vacuum systems.
All of the topics in Chapter 5 of NFPA 99 are covered including source requirements, valve requirements, installation specifics, installer performed test, and system verification. Changes to the 2018 edition of the code are also detailed including allowance for oxygen concentrator supply systems, changes to pressure regulation, and the addition of corrugated medical tubing as a permitted piping material.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation, in cooperation with Vision 20/20’s Strategy 4, is sponsoring a workshop on September 11, 2017, in College Park, Maryland on smoke alarm and cooking fire prevention technologies. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to learn about new technologies emerging globally, hear updates on codes and standards relevant to these technologies, and, most importantly, articulate the needs of the fire prevention community for future developments. There is no charge to participate but slots are limited, click here to learn more and register!


You may have noticed that we recently added some "Category" folders to the Building & Life Safety Forum. Having Categories will help keep all of the great information you share here on Xchange organized, and easier to find. (You can see the categories listed on the left here.)


Categories count on YOU - tag your content with a Category

When you post a question here in Xchange, you have the option to select a Category - please do so! Just click the checkbox for as many categories that are applicable.


What Categories do you need?

We've started out with some Categories based on what we see you talking about here in Xchange. If you have a suggestion for a Category folder to add, please comment below!

We realize that different types of buildings and occupancies present unique challenges. In this discussion, we're putting the spotlight on healthcare facilities. Do you work in or with this type of occupancy? If so, let's discuss:


  • When it comes to building and life safety, what is your go-to source for information?
  • How well (or not well) to NFPA codes and standards apply to healthcare facilities? Are there specific code-related challenges that you face?

Fire Prevention Week (FPW) was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and to educate everyone about the importance of fire prevention.  Every year NFPA and the Industrial Fire Protection Section (IFPS) recognize a company that best exemplifies the importance of Fire Prevention Week and its theme with the IFPS FPW Award.The award is a great way to acknowledge a company’s activities/outreach efforts and really showcases the great work of its employees and the work they do in the community. The 2015 award went to Siemens Building Technologies.


Siemns Building Technologies.jpg

Mike Knoll, Director of Fire Safety Systems at Siemens Building Technologies accepting the IFPS FPW Award from Joan Paquet, Fire Protection Engineering Manager at Ford Motor Company and Chair of the IFPS Executive Board


Here’s a few highlights of what Siemens Building Technologies accomplished in an effort to promote the theme:

  • Set up a major NFPA Fire Prevention Week Display in all buildings within the Siemens Campus in Buffalo Grove, IL
  • NFPA FPW Posters were positioned in all Siemens offices to provide awareness of Fire Prevention Week
  • Siemens Industry Affairs personnel manned the displays and answered questions from the employees on home fire safety and     smoke alarms.
  • Siemens Communications department published a special newsletter to all Siemens employees in North America to draw attention to the importance of smoke alarms in our homes, and the value of one smoke alarm in every bedroom.
  • The NFPA Fire Prevention Week message was broadcast over the internal “Siemens TV” network and displayed throughout the     buildings. 


Jim Pauley C&E.jpg

Jim Pauley, President of NFPA, stopped by the IFPS Business Meeting at the NFPA Conference & Expo to

congratulate Siemens Building Technologies for winning the IFPS FPW Award


FPW 2016

This year’s FPW theme is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”

We will send out entry information to all section members via e-mail and regular mail in August. The deadline for entries is December 15, 2016. We highly recommend you work with your Communications or Public Relations teams to organize a Fire Prevention Week program in October at your organization. If you start planning now, you can have a great program put together for October. For more information, contact Sean Ryan, IFPS Executive Secretary, at

For the first time ever, we are featuring free access to the recordings from our educational sessions at our Conference & Expo in Las Vegas — getting you even closer to the vast array of presentations offered by experts who are well-versed on the topics shaping the modern-day fight against fire and other hazards.


Login — or register for your free Xchange account — today for full access to the list of sessions below, and many more.


The full list of sessions is available for registered users.

In this brief video clip, taken from last week's NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, presenters Michael Johnston and Keith Lofland discuss the proposed change to the "readily accessible" definition in NFPA 70-2017.



This is the first in a series of three presentations that addressed noteworthy changes that are up for adoption. The full video for this session is available for NFPA Members only. Interested in becoming a member? Learn about all that NFPA membership has to offer.

We want to hear from you! Which edition of NFPA 70 do you use? Take our poll!

Originally presented on May 18, 2016, NFPA's Jonathan Hart provides an in-depth overview of the 2012 editions of NFPA 101 and NFPA 99. The following is a video preview.


The full, hour-long video is available for free if you are logged into NFPA Xchange.

CMS Adoption of the 2012 Editions of NFPA 101 and 99 - WEBINAR


Haven't registered for Xchange yet? What are you waiting for? Just look for the login link above to login or register for your free account on Xchange. Xchange is more than a blog; it's an online community that connects you with peers worldwide and directly with NFPA staff. Get involved today!

Allan Fraser_Report Cover (DARAC) 2nd 4-28-16 3rd.jpg

In March 2007, NFPA published its Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities as a free, downloadable document. It was the single most popular document downloaded from NFPAs website over the next four months it was opened more than 26,000 times through April 7, 2008. To date it has been downloaded over 54,000 times. That’s over 16.5 downloads per day and a countless number of copies have been made and used.


NFPA has presented more than two dozen seminars on the Guide since its publication in early 2008 including nine NFPA Conferences, four CSUN Conferences on Technology & People with Disabilities, two for the U.S. Congress, and one each for The University of Miami-Ohio, Abilities Expo-Boston, Ohio State Fire Academy, City of Chicago, U.S Access Board, Quebec Accessibility Directorate, European Accessibility Directorate, Wisconsin Fire Inspectors Conference, Illinois Fire Inspectors Association, University of Massachusetts System, NACCHO and FEMA.


As with most all fire and life safety documents, from time to time there is a need to update them to provide the best and most current thinking as experience and technology change and improve. So it is with the Guide. NFPA staff and NFPA’s Disability Access Review and Advisory Committee have been working diligently for the past six months on preparing the 2nd edition. It’s now available at: “Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities”.

         May 16, 2016


        President Barack Obama has appointed Shelley Siegel, FASID of Lake Worth, Florida to the U.S. Access Board.

siegel.JPGShelley Siegel, FASID

         In announcing the appointment, the President stated, “I am confident that this experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for her service. I look forward to working with her.”




          Siegel is the founder and president of Universal Design and Education Network, an interior design firm that specializes in universal design in residential and commercial projects. She has also been consulting designer of the Siegel Design Group, Inc. since 1972. Siegel is a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and a member of the Design Alliance for Accessible Sustainable Environments. She is a long time member of NFPA’s Building Systems Technical Committee that is responsible for seven chapters of NFPA 5000® Building Construction and Safety Code®. She previously served as a member of the Advisory Panel for the ASID National Universal Design Program, the Florida Coordinating Council on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs ADA Advisory Board. She succeeds the late Michael Graves, FAIA as Board member.


Section 18.2 of NFPA 1, Fire Code, 2015 edition, addresses fire department access, and, more specifically, Section 18.2.3 provides requirements for fire department access roads.  There is a lot of detail in Code regarding fire department access, but this post will focus on the specifications and dimensional criteria required for fire department access roads; more details regarding fire department access will be provided in future posts. 



Approved fire department access roads are required for every facility, building, or portion of a building constructed or relocated. The access roads must be designed and constructed as follows:

  • WIDTH: unobstructed width not less than 20 ft (6.1 m).
  • CLEARANCE: vertical clearance not less than 13 ft 6 in. (4.1 m).
    • The vertical clearance can be reduced, as long as it does not impair access by fire apparatus, and approved signs are installed and maintained indicating the established vertical clearance when approved.
    • Vertical clearances can be increased when vertical clearances or widths are not adequate to accommodate fire apparatus.
  • SURFACE: The access roads must be designed and maintained to support the loads of fire apparatus and provided with an all-weather driving surface.
  • RADIUS: turning radius must be approved by the AHJ; turns in the road cannot reduce the width.
  • DEAD ENDS: When the road is more than 150 ft (46 m) approved provisions for the fire apparatus to turn around must be provided.
  • BRIDGES: Must be in accordance with national recognized standards; designed for a live load sufficient to carry the imposed load of the fire apparatus; any limits on loading must be posted at all entrances to the bridge
  • GRADE: The angle of approach and departure along the road must not exceed 1 ft drop in 20 ft (0.3 m drop in 6 m)
    • Fire department access roads connecting to roadways must be provided with curb cuts extending at least 2 ft (0.61 m) beyond each edge of the fire lane.


Overall, the Code provides broad minimum design requirements for fire department access roads. For more specific design information, see A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), available for purchase at, or consult applicable state and local roadway design standards.


Have you faced any design or construction issues related to fire department access roads? What are the common issues with fire department access?  Share your experiences and photos here!


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

Today's post is not about an issue currently in NFPA 1, Fire Code, and not yet being addressed by the committee, but it is an emerging issue that I came across last week and thought I would share here for awareness and discussion.   It may impact NFPA 1 and other NFPA documents in the near future.


Gas delivery services, being dubbed the 'Uber for gas', have been mentioned by many news outlets over the past week.  A few examples here:


The purpose of these services is to bring the fuel to your car, rather than you bringing your car to a traditional gas station.  Sitting at your office at work and remember that your tank is on empty?  With a few touches of your smartphone, these companies will drive their trucks to you and fill your tank in the office parking lot.  That simple.  There are several startup companies offering this service in many areas throughout the country.


However, there are safety concerns over these services.  Sure, they are convenient and innovative, but do they address the necessary hazards and safety issues that may arise?  Some of the concerns that come to my mind are:

  • quantity of fuel on the trucks
  • equipment, training, education of employees and customers
  • fueling locations (underground parking garages? residential?)


NFPA 30A, Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages, referenced by NFPA 1, contains language that addresses on-site refueling, but it’s intended for commercial (fleet) application and the location is supposed to be a designated area and is supposed to be approved by the AHJ.  NFPA staff have already started the discussion and through collaboration between NFPA 1 and NFPA 30A, we will work together to ensure our codes and standards can provide the necessary provisions to keep the employees and customers of these services safe.


Have you used a fuel delivery service? If not, would you? Do they operate in a city of town near you?