As the world grapples with the unprecedented health crisis known as COVID-19 or the coronavirus, NFPA, like many organizations, is monitoring the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Preventionand governmental sources for COVID-19 updates and adjusting business practices as recommended.
We know that the information available through NFPA is of paramount importance to safety in both ordinary times and extraordinary ones. NFPA is fully operational and providing our tools and resources to those who depend on them to continue to do their jobs safely and protect their communities. Over the past couple of weeks, we’veput out a number of communications related to the pandemic. For your convenience, here’s an overview of them and some additional information in one single post.
In a blog earlier this month, our Emergency Services Specialist John Montes wrote a blog entitled,Organizational Planning Tips for Pandemic Preparedness. While many may not immediately think of NFPA as the first place to go for resources in a medical emergency, Montes points toNFPA 1600, Standard on Continuity, Emergency, and Crisis Managementwhich was recognized as the US National Preparedness Standard bythe 9/11 Commission. Widely used by public, not-for-profit, nongovernmental, and private entities on a local, regional, national, and global basis, NFPA 1600 has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a voluntary consensus standard for emergency preparedness. The standard is available on the NFPA website for free viewing, and offers key information for entities who want to conduct a risk assessment, business impact analysis, capabilities and needs assessments, and develop emergency and recovery plans.
When tragic events unfold, it is our first responders that are on the frontline, risking their own safety to help others. Staff Writer Angelo Verzoni speaks to a number of fire service professionals in the latestNFPA Journal Podcast.The timely podcast looks at theadditional precautions that can be put in place to enhance the well-being of first responders.
Fire Doors and Life Safety
Kristin Bigda, the NFPA technical lead on building and life safety posted a blog -Don't Compromise Fire Safety While Responding to Coronavirus: Keep Fire Doors Operable– after hearing that facilities had begun propping fire doors open so that people didn’t have to touch handles for egress. While she recognizes the logic in terms of germ spread prevention, Bigda stresses that propping fire doors open presents significant hazards and risks in the event of a fire. “It is imperative that we not forfeit institutional elements of safety while working to address others. In this case, we need to balance the risk of the coronavirus against other real hazards that have the potential to harm multiple people in a very short window of time,” the popular NFPA 101 blogger said.
Amidst travel bans and cancellations of face-to-face gatherings, we understand that individuals are not able to participate in live training programs or conferences aimed at keeping them up to date on the latest learnings for their professions or meeting various certification requirements. NFPA offers a full array of onlinetraining and certification programsto help meet those needs.
During this time, we are all focused on responding appropriately and continuing our efforts to enhance safety. Thank you for the work you all do. For the latest from NFPA, please visit ourwebsite.