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The Home Insurance Building in Chicago was constructed in 1884.  It is viewed as one of the first and most significant high rise buildings constructed in the US. Its state of the art steel and iron frame towered to 10 stories and almost 140 feet.  Use of “fire proof construction” (a term that fell out of discourse) at this time was important as the Chicago skyline expanded and as the city was still reeling and rebuilding from the Great Chicago fire of 1871.  Use of innovative structural framing on this project set the course for design techniques still in use today.  The 10 story structure met its demise in 1931 to allow for construction of the 45 story Field Building-now known as the Bank of America Building.home.jpg


Mobile Food Truck Podcast

Posted by jwilmot Employee Jun 18, 2015

If you haven't had the chance to learn about the fire hazards associated with food trucks, check out this podcast which provides a quick summary of the concerns and what action is being taken to address them.

The following NFPA documents that deal with flammable and combustible liquids are being revised during the Annual 2017 document revision cycle:  NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code;  NFPA 30A, Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages;  and NFPA 37, Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines, and Gas Turbines.  The final date for submitting Public Inputs to amend these documents is Monday, July 6, 2015.  If you have an interest in changes to these documents the deadline is fast approaching!  See the DocInfo pages for further information.

Chapter 24 of NFPA 30 covers "storage tank buildings".  Is this chapter intended to apply to indoor fuel tanks for oil burners or for engines for equipment like fire pumps or emergency power generators?


No, Chapter 24 does not apply to either of these situations. In the first case, Chapter 7 of NFPA 31 governs;  in the second case, Chapter 6 of NFPA 37 governs.  Having said this, in both cases, the respective standards defer to NFPA 30, if the fuel tanks are buried or are located outside aboveground.

Thousands of architects, engineers and building officials are enrolled in NFPA’s AEBO section, with more joining every day. Enrolling is free for NFPA members.


Being a Section Member has Benefits

AEBO membership helps tailor your NFPA benefits to your industry and puts you in direct contact with experts in architecture, construction, and inspection. You'll find you'll use your connections almost daily. Call on these professionals to solve problems, and get time- and money-saving solutions to your organization's most pressing priorities. Plus, AEBO gives you streamlined access to groundbreaking developments on NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code®.


AEBO representatives are at Booth #372 in the EXPO Hall.  Stop by and chat with your Board members, find out how to join and do some networking with other AEBO members as well.


For more information:

With the natural disasters that have become major headlines over the past few years, what happened to the emergency generators during these disasters was pushed into the light. Generators ran out of fuel, failed to start, broke down during operation, or were flooded among other issues. Other generators were unaffected or experienced minimal problems. Although there is never a guarantee that any specific generator will always function there are steps that can be taken to increase that probability. NFPA codes standards that require the installation of an emergency or legally required generator refer to NFPA 110, Emergency and Standby Power Systems for installation, testing and maintenance requirements that pertain to the performance of the system. The National Electrical Code (NEC) covers the electrical installation of any generator but NFPA 110 adds some things the affect the performance. NFPA 110 contains a commissioning test to make sure that the system functions as intended.


Testing a generator every day, week or month at 100% of its load for 100% of its designed operating time does not guarantee it will function when called upon. Such testing also may increase the wear and tear on the generator and increase the likelihood of a failure. NFPA 110 contains routine maintenance and operational testing requirements to help keep the system running when called upon. NFPA 110 is a consensus standard (as are all NFPA codes and standards) which provides routine tests that have been vetted by the public, generator manufacturers, listing organizations, and maintenance personnel from hospitals, sports arenas, and many more. The testing required 10 years ago is not the same as it is today. To benefit from the knowledge gained as a result of the disasters necessitates that the most recent edition be used for the testing of an existing system. NFPA 110 is written such that the routine tests are designed to be applied to existing generators installed under any previous edition. In fact, the routine maintenance in Chapter 8 is specifically stated as be applicable to existing systems.


One thing NFPA 110 does not do is dictate the physical location of the emergency generator, its fuel system, or any other portion of the emergency system (NFPA 110 stops at the load terminals of the transfer switch). Not all locations are subject to earthquake, snow storms or tornados. Not all basements are subject to flooding. Requiring that protection from all disasters be addressed is beyond the requirements of any code or standard. As a minimum standard NFPA 110 points out conditions that should be considered when selecting the installation site. Protection from floods, fire, vandalism, wind, earthquakes, lightning, and other environmental conditions common to the geographic location should be considered. The probability and frequency of a power failure as a result of lightning, wind, and rain produced by thunderstorms, tornadoes, and similar weather conditions should be considered. Consideration should also be given to fuel delivery problems due to weather, fuel shortages, and other geographic and environmental conditions. The location of the EPSS equipment should not be subject to flooding from natural causes or from accumulations of water due to firefighting, sprinkler operation, or a building system malfunction. The fuel storage tanks, fuel pumps, etc. are also subject to the damaging effects of floods and earthquakes. NFPA 110 can not anticipate every installation site around the world. Designers should consider the placement and protection of these to allow the EPSS to function after an incident. Different methods can be employed to provide the specifically needed protection. Those responsible for the system must consider on-site situations that could impact the performance of the system and must make the appropriate adjustments.


NFPA 110 has many requirements that increase the likelihood that an emergency generator will have enough fuel and be functional for the time it was designed to operate when the emergency need arrives. And isn't that what is important?

On Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23, there will be 8 Networking Stations set up throughout the hallways during the 10:30-11:00 am breaks between Educational Sessions—4 on each of the two floors where the Educational Sessions are being held.  The stations will be focused on the following tracks/topics:

  • Suppression
  • Detection/Notification
  • Chemical/Industrial
  • Fire and Emergency Services/Emergency Planning
  • Public Education
  • Health Care
  • Electrical
  • Building and Life Safety


Come visit the stations and talk to the NFPA technical staff responsible for the codes and standards.  It's also a great way to network with other members with similar interest.

NFPA 13 Changes Preview - Conference and Expo Educational Sessions