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Your home’s roof is a huge investment that serves several critical functions. Although most people are knowledgeable about roofing maintenance requirements, many are not familiar with the risk of fire and the importance of fire resistance when it comes to roofing materials. Understanding the basics of fire safety, the risks involved when it comes to roofing and the fire resistant roofing types goes a long way in helping to keep your home safe.

What Does it Mean to Have a Fire-Resistant Roof?

Roofing materials are categorized according to their relative fire resistance. This helps to distinguish the safety of fireproof roofing materials. As such roofing materials are divided into three main classes based on their fire resistance. Class A roofing materials are the most fire resistant, while Class B and C are progressively less resistant to fire. Generally, most fiberglass-based shingles will have Class A fire ratings while their organic counterparts such as treated wood shingles will have Class C ratings.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used and economical roofing materials. When combined with fiberglass, the roofing structure becomes even more resistant to fire, earning a class A rating. Asphalt shingles require little maintenance and are quite durable. However, it’s crucial to take of this type of roofing as heavy winds can blow off shingles, leaving bare spots that can make the roof vulnerable to water and fire damage.

Clay and Concrete Tiles

Clay and concrete tiles are commonly used in commercial settings. They’re considered to be among the safest roofing materials. Clay efficiently dissipates heat and resists flames and when properly installed can achieve a Class A fire rating. They’re more expensive to install than asphalt shingles, but they’re also extremely durable. You can also easily change the style of clay and concrete styles to match your architectural taste and preference.

Slate

Slate offers double benefits of natural beauty and fire resistance. Like clay, it is inherently resistant to fire. Proper installation can help it achieve a Class A fire rating as well, but it’s considered a more expensive roofing material. It’s also heavy, which means it requires additional braces and beams to support the weight of the roofing material.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is available in the form of copper, zinc, stainless steel, steel and other alloys. They’re quite useful in damp coastal areas that are salty as most metals are not only fire-resistant but also non-corrosive as well as resistant to mildew and algae. Metal roofs can also be designed to look like any other desirable materials such as cedar shake or slate while still staying resistant to fire.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, your roof is a critical part of your residence, helping to maintain a stable temperature and also protect you from the elements. Depending on where you live, the risk of fires is a real possibility, and even if there are no dangers such as wildfires, there are other risks to be aware of. That’s why it’s important to know more about fire resistant roofing types so that you can choose the best roofing material for your home.

In July of 2017, lightning sparked a fire at the Chesapeake Crossing Senior Community Apartments in Virginia. Now, the family of a woman who died in the fire at the senior living complex has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the management and corporate owner of the buildings. According to news reports, the suit alleges that the apartments and management “negligently failed” to provide proper maintenance for the complex, thus “endangered the lives” of the residents.

An attorney representing the family filing the suit described the complex as housing for “seniors with low income and limited mobility,” and thus alleged that the owner had a “duty” to maintain safe living conditions for its residents.

“That comes with serious responsibility when you’re caring for the elderly,” the attorney explained.

So what does that “responsibility” look like for owners, builders, architects and engineers in terms of the design and build process?

Officials from the senior care facility have stated that the building complex was “in compliance with the building code” and “equipped with smoke detectors and a sprinkler system.” But in terms of achieving serious safety, building code requirements—which typically mandate minimum requirements—often fall short.

According to NFPA sources, fires at senior care facilities are especially challenging and often necessitate more operational protocol and tasks than standard first alarm fire responders can handle. This is a major reason why many fire safety officials upgrade these fires to bring in second or multiple alarm assignments. Since a large percentage of our senior population is incapable of self-evacuating or recognizing a threat, swift response times and appropriate self-rescue tactics are not the expected emergency response for residents at senior facilities.

Detecting fires as soon as they start, keeping them from spreading and vigilance about fire detection, suppression and maintenance are expected safety practices. Unfortunately, many facilities fall short when it comes to implementing measures like lightning protection systems (LPS), which are designed to prevent storm-initiated fires in the first place.

Here’s a look at some of the mayhem that could have been prevented at the Chesapeake Crossing Senior Community Apartments, if lightning protection had been installed on the center’s structures:

Deaths of three residents

·        Deaths of three residents

·        Injuries to six others (including two firefighters)

·        A four-alarm fire, damaging three out of five of the community’s buildings

·        Numerous displaced residents from 144 apartments left uninhabitable

·        A multitude of insurance claims

·        A wrongful death lawsuit, with additional suits expected to follow soon

Assisted living facilities manage an important goal: care and housing for residents who are typically unable to live independently. Residents and their families trust these facilities to evaluate safety and potential risks to occupants, buildings and operations. When considering the potential risk lightning poses to seniors in terms of safety, susceptibility and disruption, shouldn’t the cost (often minimal!) of lightning protection be evaluated as standard protocol for assisted living facilities and housing centers?

Knowing how to react in a fire is especially important for the aging population. As such, the NFPA provides these fire safety tips for older adults.

House fires are much more common than people usually think. So, how common are house fires? Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. fire departments reported an estimated of 358,500 residential home fires every year. In the reported house fire cases, there were about 2,695 deaths, 12,000 injuries and property damage averaging of $7 billion. Residential home fires usually start from open flames, accidents, and cooking, among other causes.

How Common Are House Fires? - Where They Typically Start

Kitchens - 50% of residential home fires

Cooking is the number one cause of fires at home. 50% of all reported fires cases started in the kitchen. Most house fires occur between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m -- which are the usual times when one is cooking dinner.

It is relatively easy to prevent such infernos. Be watchful while cooking and keep all flammable items away from the oven. It is prudent to be attentive while cooking and to have a fire extinguisher somewhere close.

Bedroom - 7% of residential home fires

An estimated 7% of residential infernos start from the bedroom. As you can imagine, bedrooms are packed with flammable items like mattresses. Bedroom fires spread very quickly. To be on the safe side, you will need to upgrade to a bed that adheres to the new flammability standards. In essence, that means ditching all mattresses made before 2007.

Chimney - 6% of residential home fires

Dirty chimneys can cause a chimney fire. In the reported 25,000 cases of chimney fires between 2011 and 2015, there was an accompanying loss of 120 million dollars in property damage. Regular cleaning is necessary to prevent these fires. Ideally, the soot residue should not be more than ¼ inch thick.

Living Room - 4% of residential home fires

A small percentage of residential home fires start from the living room. Culprits to watch out for include fireplaces, candles, faulty electronics, and HVAC systems. The presence of couches makes living room fires one of the fast-spreading infernos. To prevent living room fires, you will need to inspect fireplaces and service your HVAC system regularly.

Laundry Room - 3% of residential home fires

Three percent of all residential house fires start in the laundry room. The dryer lint is the most common cause of fires in laundry rooms. The vents and filters all need to be cleaned regularly. Stop the dryer when it starts to overheat.

Outdoor fires - 3% of residential home fires

Outdoor fires start from porches, grills and bonfire spots. These fires spread to the house when you don't put them out immediately. After enjoying a barbecue or fireworks outside, put out all fires before you retreat to the house. Not only will being careful with fireworks help prevent the risk of a house fire, but it will also ensure the safety of those around it. According to an article from the Insurance Journal, at least eight people passed due to a fireworks mishap in 2017, and 12,900 were injured.

Attic - 10,000 residential fires every year

Perhaps the attics are the last place you would expect an inferno to start. Well, according to data from the fire department, that line of thinking is wrong. Usually, the leading cause of attic fires is faulty electrical wiring.

To prevent attics and all other types of electrical fires, watch out for exposed wires and have them sealed or replaced. Titan Restoration recommends to unplug all electrical and electronic appliances after use and switch off lights when you leave home.

In Conclusion

So, how common are house fires? An estimated 358,500 home fires occur every year. 50% of these fires start in the kitchen, 7% begin in the bedroom, and 6% are chimney fires, 4% of all residential home fires start in the living room, while 3% start from the laundry room. A small percentage (3%) of home fires start from the outdoors while 10,000 cases of all yearly home fire incidences start from the attics. In order to prevent a house fire from happening, it’s important to take all of the preventive measures outlined in this article to keep your home and family safe.

Insights into the nature of lightning and advances in the lightning protection system (LPS) industry are helping to redefine our understanding of the weather hazard and its impact to people, property and places.

 

Here’s the Lightning Protection Institute’s (LPI) look back at a few striking reports about lightning and lightning protection as shared by scientific, economic and industry experts in 2018:

 

Lightning “Mapper” Shares Data Previously Unavailable to Forecasters

Last May, the NOAA GOES-17 satellite transmitted its first Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). The revolutionary animation provides insight into thunderstorm formation and activity by sharing data never previously available to forecasters. Scientists say that the GLM helps forecasters anticipate severe weather to help issue appropriate weather alerts sooner. In dry areas of the U.S., information from the GLM may be of special assistance to firefighters in identifying regions prone to wildfires sparked by lightning.  

 

Climate Change Increasing the Risk of Lightning-ignited Fires?

According to a study published in ScienceDaily, the earth could expect to see a 12% increase in lightning activity associated with forecasts of temperature warming. The study claims the U.S. alone, could experience as much as a 50% increase in strikes by the turn of the century. While the findings don’t suggest that lightning increases will occur everywhere, they do predict that increased activity can be expected in many regions—including areas of historically less lightning activity due to overly humid or wet conditions.

 

Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Lightning!

Researchers may have uncovered clues to the mystery behind a phenomenon known as “ball lightning.”  Laboratory experiments by scientists at Amherst College in the U.S. and Aalto University in Finland led to the observation of a three-dimensional knot of atoms, called a skyrmion that closely resembles documented accounts of ball lightning. Described as magnetic spins composed of atoms in quantum gas, these skyrmion were first theorized some 40 years ago. According to scientists, future studies of skyrmion could pave the way for advancements in fusion reactors, while also helping to explain the mysterious natural occurrence of ball lightning.

 

Be Aware, Lightning Happens EVERYWHERE…

While working to spread awareness about lightning safety and increase education about lightning protection, LPI uncovered several new statistics about lightning and its very real fire risk. Unfortunately, most Americans are uninformed about the dangers lightning poses to homes, businesses and communities. To educate people about the underrated fire hazard associated with lightning, LPI compiled a shocking sampling of 2018 media reports in a new infographic.

 

Inspection Service Meets LPS Industry Needs for Quality Control

Recognizing a need for more stringent emphasis on quality control, the Lightning Protection Institute Inspection Program (LPI-IP), expanded services for third-party lightning protection review and certification. LPI-IP is the only third-party certifying organization that verifies lightning protection system completeness, proper materials and methods, code compliance and notification for future assessments; including needed repairs or maintenance. “Ensuring lightning protection compliance to national safety standards and project specifications is an essential part of quality control for construction managers, property owners and building occupants,” explained Tim Harger, LPI-IP program manager. Quality control and standard compliance may be two important reasons why LPI-IP’s services are increasingly in demand in the marketplace.

 

Grant Helps Protect African’s Most Vulnerable from Lightning

The Ludwick Family Foundation announced it will provide a $99,000 grant to the African Centres for Lightning and Electromagnetics Network (ACLENET) to install lightning protection systems at Uganda schools and provide education to help African teachers, students and parents better understand lightning’s dangers and prepare themselves against its threat. Dr. Mary Ann Cooper, managing director for ACLENET described a “tremendous” outpouring of support from donors and volunteers assisting with the organization’s mission to protect Africa’s most vulnerable from the deadly lightning threat. 

 

Lightning Included in “Big Weather” Conversation at NDRC

LPI was among presenters from organizations such as FEMA, IBHS, ICC, NOAA, NWS, Smart Home America, State Farm, The Weather Channel and others at the 2018 National Disaster Resilience Conference (NDRC) in Clearwater, FL. Communications director, Kimberly Loehr joined the panel of “Big Practice” experts at the NDRC in November to share a presentation about the growth of LPI’s “Build & Protect” initiative and how lightning protection systems are helping to further community level resilience.

 

Lightning Zaps Football Fun for Players and Fans  

In what may have been the first in the history of sporting events, the First Responder Bowl game was ruled a no contest after lightning forced the cancellation of the football match-up between Boston College and Boise State on December 26. Play in Dallas was halted in the first quarter when lightning activity prompted officials to clear the field.  After a 90 minute delay, officials called the game due to weather forecasts calling for persistent thunderstorm activity in the area.

 

Forecast Calls for Growth in the Global LPS Market

Research released by the global lightning protection system market cites pronounced growth expected for the industry in upcoming years. With lightning protection systems increasingly employed for buildings, homes, medical facilities, military compounds, factories, towers and even the Space Shuttle’s launch pad, the LPS industry is seeing record-breaking growth. And as more buildings are equipped with sensitive electronics and automated “smart” systems, the demand for LPS is likely to continue its increase.

 

Lightning’s Future File

It doesn’t take a psychic to know that if lightning events become more frequent, the likeliness of being affected by the weather peril that already affects the most people, most of the time, in the most places of the U.S., will also increase. Understanding the lightning threat and preparing people, property and places for the increased risk may be more critical in the future, than ever before.

 

The Lightning Protection Institute is a not-for-profit nationwide group founded in 1955 to promote lightning safety, awareness and education and is a leading resource for lightning protection information and system requirements. Visit the LPI website at www.lightning.org for more information.

Experts estimate that the ideal temperature to set in your home during winter is between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit if you live in an colder area. If you live in a warmer climate, like Scottsdale, Arizona, 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit will be better. However, you can cut back on energy costs by further reducing the thermostat by 8 degrees if you frequently travel. This article will show you the average home temperature in winter, while also keeping it safe from the possibilities of fires.

 

Average Home Temperature in Winter - Preventing Home Fires

 

How can I manage home temperatures when I’m away?

 

Sometimes, homeowners leave their houses during winter season to travel to much warmer places. If you’re one of them then it’s recommended to completely turn your heat/cooling system off for the period that you’ll be gone. However, this should only be done if there’s nothing in your house that’s at risk of chilling or overheating as a result of these temperature changes.

 

Additionally, have in mind that any machine or temperature-sensitive goods in the house may be affected by the fluctuations in temperature. Therefore, if you have such property in your home always consider setting the temperatures to a reasonable level in order to prevent any damage to your property.

 

 

 

What if I’m at home during winter?

 

If you’re not traveling in winter, then the perfect thermostat temperature for your home should be around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Nevertheless, majority of homeowners and HVAC professionals recommend adjusting the temperature to this level while you’re awake, and reducing it slightly when you go to sleep at night. Generally, lowering your thermostat by 10-15 degrees for 8 hrs can minimize your heating bill by 5-15%.

 

While 68 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended, depending on where you live, you may not need to set the thermostat to this setting if you live in a warmer geographical area. You can also try some energy saving tips like wearing extra clothes, this will prevent you spending more money on your heating bill.

 

 

 

What if I have an infant or living with pets?

 

If you have a baby at home, you should preferably set the temperature to not go below 65-degrees Fahrenheit or above 74-degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal setting should be determined by factors such as your child’s age, health and mood.

 

As for pets, keeping your home at a winter temperature of 64-78 degrees Fahrenheit will work just fine for most of them. Likewise, if you have special pets such as amphibians, arachnids or fish remember not to set the temperature too low, or consider installing a heat lamp if it’s impossible to avoid the lower temperatures.

 

Do winter fires happen often?

 

Winter fires happen more often than one would imagine. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are $2 billion in property loss every year due to winter fires. Winter fires account for 8% of fires all year; however, in regard to fire-deaths, they account for 30%.

 

 

To conclude, the short answer to the average home temperature in winter is anywhere from the mid 60’s to low 70’s. Certain factors such as whether you have a child or pets at home or the duration of time spent indoors will determine the specific temperature setting you should put.

Lightning is fascinating but it’s also destructive and deadly. Scientists tell us that the earth experiences about 25 million lightning strikes per year. But what if that number of strikes were to significantly increase, or even double in the near future? Where will that leave vulnerable infrastructure in terms of expensive power losses, unscheduled down time and lost productivity due to increased surge incidents, or worse yet, full-scale fire losses due to lightning?

 

According to a study published in the journal ScienceDaily, we could expect to see a “12% increase in lightning” activity associated with forecasts of temperature warming, with the U.S. experiencing as much as a “50% increase in strikes by the turn of the century.”

 

“We think that by having warmer oceans and warmer temperature in general, we’re going to see higher evaporation and heat transfer, and thus higher frequency of convective storms that in turn results in more lighting-ignited fires,” said Andres Holtz, geography professor at PSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and co-lead author of the journal study. “And with a climate mode such as SAM (Southern Annular Mode), stuck in its positive, fire prone phase that seems to amplify climate change, it doesn’t look good,” added Holtz.

 

While Holtz cautions the findings don’t suggest that there will be increases in lightning fires everywhere, they do suggest increased activity can be expected in many regions–including areas that have historically seen less activity due to overly humid or wet conditions.

 

"These trends are expected worldwide, not just in the Southern Hemisphere,” explained Holtz.

 

If lightning becomes more frequent, the likeliness of being affected by the weather peril that already affects the most people, most of the time in the most places of the U.S., will also increase. So understanding the threat and preparing people, property and places for the increased risk is critical. Three measures that safety stakeholders can support now to help prepare tomorrow’s communities for lightning, are:

 

1.      Insurance incentives for safety standard-compliant lightning protection systems (LPS).

2.      Increased education and promotion of safety standard-compliant LPS--specifically NFPA 780.

3.      Expanded risk assessment measures to gauge the lightning hazard in the building development process.

Stakeholders looking to keep pace with lightning protection news and industry trends that are helping to build lightning safe communities, can subscribe to LPI’s free “Build & Protect” newsletter at www.lightning.org.

#As per NFPA101 2018 edition New Educational Occupancies,  sub section 14.3.5.1  supervised automatic sprinkler system is required  if not required as per sub section 14.3.5.2. (  In this edition 14.3.5.2 state that Non re- locatable buildings having area not exceeding 1000 ft2 or 93m2), where as in  previous edition area limit was 12,000 ft2 or 1120 m2. What is the intent of this change ? Are there educational occupancies with floor area of 1000ft2? I think it is not practical to divide building in to fire separation of 1000ft2 to avoid automatic sprinkler system.

 NPA101 indirectly wish to state that all non re-locatable buildings shall be sprinkled then direct statement to that effect would have been better for code users.

NFPA should reduce the complexity and make it user friendly to the extent possible. Or Is there any thing more  that I did not understand? What is the intent of this section?  

In Support of National Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13  

 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today's home fires burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, residents may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time smoke is visible or an alarm sounds. Understanding the risks and knowing how to react quickly and wisely can mean the difference between life and death in a fire event.

 

The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is teaming up with the NFPA -- the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week™ for more than 90 years-to promote this year's campaign, "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™," which works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire. NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.

 

"These numbers show that while we've made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there's still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. "This is particularly critical, given the increased speed at which today's home fires grow and spread."

 

Carli notes that although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice.

 

While the NFPA campaign is focusing on home fires, their fire safety messages apply to virtually any structure and any type of structural fire-including those sparked by lightning. 

 

In working to spread awareness about lightning safety and increase education about lightning protection, the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) has come to realize that most Americans are uninformed about the dangers of lightning; including its very real fire risk. Lightning's extreme electrical charge can induce destructive surges through a building's circuitry, puncture pinholes in CSST gas piping, explode brick and roofing, and ignite many types of structural fires. Insurance incident reports indicate that it only takes a single lightning strike to spark a devastating fire. And increasing news reports of lightning fires at countless homes and structures in the U.S. reveal that these tragic situations occur more often than people realize.

 

For property owners who don't want to play the odds with lightning, a professionally-installed, safety standard compliant lightning protection system is a viable idea. Lightning protection systems (LPS) that follow the guidelines of NFPA 780, provide a network of low-resistance paths to safely intercept lightning's destructive electricity and direct it to ground without impact to a structure or its occupants.

 

Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go, but unfortunately people make choices in lightning and fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives. By sharing facts and education resources during Fire Prevention Week, LPI hopes to increase awareness about an underrated fire hazard and help build support for lightning safety initiatives, at the same time.

 

To educate people about the fire dangers of lightning and the benefits of lightning protection systems for homes and structures, LPI created a new infographic to support this year's "Look. Listen. Learn." campaign. The NFPA 2018 campaign highlights three important steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape any fire scenario:

 

  • Look for places fire could start.
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Learn two ways out of every room.

 

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org

 

LPI is leading a Build and Protect effort for lightning safety by providing important lightning protection resources for property owners, insurance providers, architects, engineers and construction planners. When safety stakeholders take a proactive mitigation approach to the lightning hazard, they help prevent lightning-sparked fires at all types of structures. For safety and quality assurance, LPI-IP provides third-party inspection and certification services to ensure lightning protection system compliance with nationally-recognized safety standards.

 

The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is a not-for-profit, nationwide group founded in 1955 to promote lightning safety, awareness and education and is a leading resource for lightning protection and system requirements. Visit the LPI website at www.lightning.org for more information.

 

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Before beginning with the experiment in particular, I want to establish that the spirit of analysis of the present report is to be a clear and scientifically forceful contribution to solve the question of investigation:
Is it possible to disintegrate a piece of a human body through the application of heat from a blowtorch (burner) of LPG?
Taking into account my previous experience and my training, I have thought it prudent and necessary to deepen and reanalyze the updates of literature, investigations and information related to human combustion. The previous experience in these cases has delivered relevant and scientifically accepted information.
The present document will be sent only and exclusively for the purpose of solving the research question, expressed through a field experiment, in this particular case with the original elements associated with a real factor of police investigation, we seek to establish an irrefutable way that can be disintegrated to bring a human body to the point of ashes or dust.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an estimated 95,000 apartment structure fires occurred in the U.S. in 2016.  How many of these fires were sparked by lightning is unclear, but a quick Google search of the words “lightning, fires and apartments” reveals news accounts of dozens of lightning-sparked property losses throughout the country–and that’s just this summer. With thunderstorm season ramping up in July, the number of lightning-sparked apartment fires is likely to increase—if not double by the end of September.

 

Finding accurate statistical information for any property loss due to lightning is already challenging, as available data is comprised of estimates derived from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and an annual survey of U.S. fire departments.  According to NFPA, NFIRS is a voluntary system, with an estimated two-thirds of U.S. fire departments participating. And of those who are participating, not all provide data every year. FEMA data cites that fires reported to federal or state fire departments or industrial fire brigades are also omitted in the NFIRS estimates. Furthermore, since lightning fire classification charts published by NFPA  have cited exclusions of fires at “apartments or other multi-family housing,” data about lightning-sparked fires at U.S. apartment complexes has been virtually non-existent. (Disclaimer/Challenge: This author was unable to obtain these statistics, but urges readers to cite or share pertinent data.)

 

Determining who the gatekeepers are and locating the accurate data is only part of the puzzle. When it comes to lightning and apartment buildings, it’s also unclear as to who is calling the shots and making the final decisions regarding risk assessment, tolerable risk and whether lightning protection should be employed as mitigation. According to Virginia construction sources contacted for this blog, “developers and home builders typically play leading roles in the design and construction of residential buildings and apartment complexes with building codes and standards (voluntary or otherwise), serving as key drivers in the construction decision-making process.” Sources added that “many structural systems and requirements for various building amenities are identified and finalized during schematic design and design development.”

 

When it comes to lightning protection specification, engineers, architects, safety professionals and building owners, typically rely on the NFPA Risk Assessment methodology (found in NFPA 780 Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems) to determine the risk of damage due to lightning. The NFPA risk index compares the expected direct strikes to the structure with the occupancy and contents to evaluate whether lightning protection should be specified or considered optional. When evaluating the lightning risk, the methodology takes into account these factors:

 

  • Type of construction
  • Structure occupancy
  • Structure contents
  • Lightning stroke consequences

 

Although Risk Assessment methodology provides a formula for gauging potential for the lightning hazard, a practical guideline for building risk assessment is to weigh consideration of the probability of a lightning event and the consequences of such an event at a given location.  Oftentimes, the presence of a single risk factor is more than enough to render a structure vulnerable and in need of protection. Since a lightning strike can introduce a chain reaction of destruction, structures that house large numbers of people—like nursing homes, hospitals, schools and apartment complexes, should certainly be considered as prime candidates for lightning protection.

 

When calling the shots for building lightning safe, it certainly makes sense for planners to heed the advice of NFPA emergency service experts and include community officials, first responders and the local fire marshal in the risk assessment process. Per NFPA recommendations, “including your response community as part of the risk assessment is beneficial, as local experts have tactical knowledge, in revealing vulnerabilities because they have that mindset.”

 

In closing, I’d like to make a final pitch to our fire safety professionals to include lightning in their NFIRS and NFPA reports wherever relevant, so that communities and decision-makers can have an accurate strike count. When fire professionals and first responders “umpire” lightning safety, it helps prevent under-reporting about a potentially-devastating weather hazard and increases awareness about a preventable risk.

 

The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) provides education materials and resources for building planners and community officials to consider when weighing the lightning risk. Visit the LPI website and LPI’s Build and Protect A&E portal for free information.

 

Information about fire's risk to apartment and condominiums, along with life-saving steps residents can take in the event of a fire, are available at these FEMA and NFPA web links.

Lightning Safety Awareness Week Twitter Chat for Monday, June 25th  lightning safety and lightning protection education

Be sure to join the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) next Monday as we partner to host a Twitter Chat during Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 24-30, 2018.

#LightningSafetyWeek aims to educate the public about lightning safety and lightning protection with the hope of reducing electrical fires, electrical injuries, and electrocutions caused by lightning. ESFI and LPI are calling upon our network of electrical safety ambassadors and our building lightning safe communities supporters to be a part of the dialogue!

The chat will take place on Monday, June 25th, 2018 at 2 p.m. EDT. RSVP and receive more information by emailing andrea.vinas@esfi.org or participate in real time on Twitter using the hashtag #LightningSafetyWeek.

Mark your calendars for a week from today, June 25 and be sure to join the enlightening conversation for #LightningSafetyWeek!

Looking to learn more about lightning safety or lightning protection? Follow these links for additional information and educational resources. 

Lightning Facts and Statistics
Lightning Safety Videos
Consumer Alert: The Dangers of Shoddy Lightning Protection System Installations
Lightning Protection Inspection Services for Quality Assurance 

Additional Partner Resources:

NOAA/National Weather Service

National Lightning Safety Council

Insurance Information Institute for Business & Home Safety

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes-FLASH

The Lightning Safety Alliance

 

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Historic structures possess unique characteristics that require elevated levels of scrutiny for insurance, safety, building maintenance and risk management. These thorough levels of examination can delve even deeper depending upon whether the structure is a “certified historic rehabilitation” (eligible for tax credits) or a recognized historic landmark that is a designated part of a property, building or locality.

Anyone who has ever owned, managed, maintained or worked on or around a historic building can appreciate the litany of factors involved when it comes to preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation of these properties. It’s not just age that makes these buildings more expensive to replace or repair after damage has occurred; it’s more typically the design, construction and building components found in historic structures that make them more vulnerable to damage—especially by fire. And as we know, a single bolt of lightning can generate up to 200 kA of electrical energy, making the threat of fire from a direct strike or indirect surge, a serious concern for historic buildings and landmarks.

For property stakeholders concerned about lightning, the National Park Service has released a Lightning Protection Preservation Brief, written by Charles E. Fisher, which graciously references acknowledgements to several members of the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) who contributed information and materials. The 20-page, illustrated document provides lightning protection system (LPS) guidance for property owners and trades involved in the preservation of historic structures. Although lightning protection isn’t necessarily a mandatory requirement just because a building is historic, the brief includes a clear reminder regarding the role of lightning protection for these structures: “As an irreplaceable cultural resource, historic structures at risk of damage or loss from a lightning strike merit protection.”

The document features a wealth of lightning protection information, including detailed reference sections for the following:

 

* Maintenance and repair of historic and older LPS

* Inspection and evaluation of LPS on historic properties

* Factors to consider when assessing need for LPS

* Historic preservation guidance re: design/installation of new LPS

* LPS and re-roofing concerns for historic structures

* Historical information re: LPS codes and standards

* Spotlight case studies of historical properties

 

Since lightning makes no distinction between new or old construction, lightning protection should be a serious consideration in terms of risk management and insurance for all structures—but especially for historic buildings, where irreplaceable items, heritage and cultural values could be eradicated in a fraction of a second, if lightning were to strike.

bkral

Concierge Trash Service

Posted by bkral Dec 4, 2017

We have discovered the wide spread use of a service that collects trash in the egress corridors of multifamily housing.  This service has the residents place trash outside their apartment door in the hallways for the service to come by and collect the trash from either containers or trash bags.  Please complete the survey below regarding your agency’s approach to this service.  If you’re willing to share your materials related to this service please send them to bkral@westmetrofire.org.

 

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TMB8J8Y

 

 

Bruce Kral, CFO

Fire Marshal

West Metro Fire Protection District

433 South Allison Parkway

Lakewood, CO 80226

(303)989-4307  ext. 513

bkral@westmetrofire.org

 

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In Support of National Fire Prevention Week, October 8-14.

It’s the middle of the night when you and your family are awakened by a loud boom of a thunder-clap. Your windows rattle as you feel your house shake. Your instincts tell you your home has been struck by lightning, but what should you do?

“Anyone who suspects a lightning strike to their home should immediately check their enclosed spaces, like the attic and basement—even if the smoke alarm isn’t sounding and even if you don’t smell smoke,” said Georgia State Fire Marshal, Dwayne Garriss.

According to Garriss, lightning-sparked fires occur more often than people realize. Because lightning is the weather event that affects most people in most parts of the country, it’s important for homeowners to take the threat seriously and have a plan of action.

A lingering acrid smell or fallen debris from damaged chimneys or shingles can be evidence of a lightning strike,” explained Garriss. “Since lightning fires aren’t always visible in their beginning stages, it’s important to investigate your property and call the fire department immediately.”

“Lightning is extreme electricity that can carry up to 300 million volts of energy,” said Bud VanSickle, executive director of the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI). “When you compare lightning with an average household electrical current of 120 volts and 15 amps, you understand how devastating a lightning strike can be to an unprotected home.”

This past summer, lightning-sparked fires claimed the lives of homeowners and senior citizens in several U.S. states, including: New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Since it only takes a single lightning strike to ignite a devastating fire, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), created a new infographic to illustrate the numerous ways lightning can enter a home, including:

  • Through a direct strike that can ignite fires or explode roofing, brick or concrete
  • Via roof projections like weather vanes, antennas and satellite dishes
  • Through a strike to a chimney or prominent roof dormer
  • Via telephone or power lines that can harm internal wiring and electronic equipment
  • Via surges or side flash delivered through a nearby tree
  • Through home systems like garage doors or cable lines
  • Via home amenities like irrigation systems, invisible fences and electric gates
  • Through metallic lines, piping or CSST gas piping

The I.I.I. and LPI encourage property owners to investigate the benefits of a professionally-installed lightning protection system (LPS) to mitigate the lightning threat. Lightning protection systems that follow the guidelines of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provide a network of low-resistance paths to safely intercept lightning’s dangerous electricity and direct it to ground without impact to the structure or its occupants.

LPI is a proud supporter of the NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 8-14, 2017. This year’s campaign theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” seeks to educate the public about the importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. In any fire, including those sparked by lightning, seconds count and can determine the difference between a safe escape or a tragedy.

LPI is leading a ‘Build and Protect’ effort for lightning safety by providing important lightning protection resources for property owners, architects, engineers and construction planners,” explained VanSickle. “Taking a proactive mitigation approach can help prevent lightning-sparked fires at all types of structures.”

To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.

LPI is a not-for-profit, nationwide group founded in 1955 to promote lightning safety, awareness and education and is a leading resource for lightning protection and system requirements. Visit the LPI website at www.lightning.org for more information.

Lightning was responsible for another tragic fire that claimed three lives at a senior living center in Chesapeake, VA this week. News reports referenced fire alarms, sprinkler systems and NFPA 13, but unfortunately failed to mention how lightning protection systems, like those outlined in NFPA 780, can help prevent these tragic events.

NFPA codes and standards are designed to ensure the safety of products, activities or processes. When it comes to lightning protection systems (LPS), the difference between “safe and effective” and “unsafe and ineffective” lightning protection is ultimately related to which guidelines are implemented.

 

Over the years, the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) has shared a wealth of information about the importance of compliance with the national safety standards for LPS. Despite the wealth of information shared, confusion and misunderstanding about lightning protection specification, design, installation and quality assurance persists. Oftentimes, LPS is omitted from construction project plans altogether--typically due to lack of knowledge about these systems and their benefits. Since a review of the fundamentals of any code or standard can be helpful, here are four “W’s” to better acquaint you with NFPA 780, the Safety Standard that sets the quality standard for lightning protection design and installation.

 

What? 

Often considered the grandfather of lightning protection, NFPA 780 provides valuable resource information for AHJs, project designers, engineers, insurance professionals and anyone responsible for the protection of lives and property from dangers associated with lightning. NFPA also serves as the basis for the LPI-175 Standard of Practice for the Design-Installation-Inspection of Lightning Protection Systems reference document, which is commonly used by LPI-certified designers and installers and LPI-IP inspectors. NFPA 780 covers lightning protection system installation requirements for structures, watercraft, wind turbines, industrial stacks and other special occupancies. Lightning protection guidance for new construction and building trends (including solar systems, arrays, catenary systems, airfield lighting, rooftop equipment) are also addressed, with new information and sections added to the Standard in conjunction with the three-year review process.  Information added to the 2017 edition of NFPA 780 to address new safety challenges includes:

* Occupancy-specific safety, design and protection protocol

* Updated information for hazardous, combustible and explosive conditions

* Revisions to address protection for structures containing flammable vapors, gases or liquids

* Revisions to assist facility managers, installers, inspectors and AHJ’s with on-site inspections and periodic maintenance

* New definitions for commonly misunderstood lightning protection terms

* Updated illustrations for the placement of lightning protection components

* New bonding requirements for metal bodies

* New Annex sections (there are now 15 in total in the 2017 edition) added to address new building technologies, such as: protection of smart structures and SPD guidance for the selection of SPD’s for photovoltaic installations

 

Why?  

NFPA 780 is the principle lightning protection Standard in the U.S. and a primary implementing document for the IEC 62305 (International Electrotechnical Commission) series of documents. NFPA 780 also provides the foundation for numerous specialized lightning protection documents for organizations such as the DOD, DOE, NASA and the FAA. Prior to the development of the IEC series, NFPA 780 was routinely referenced and used worldwide.

 

When?

The NFPA first adopted “Specifications for Protection of Buildings Against Lightning” in 1905. Revised editions of the early code (and subsequent standard) continued to be adopted by NFPA throughout the century. In 1992 the numerical designation of the document was changed from “78 “to “780” and the name “Lightning Protection Code” was revised to “Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems” to conform with the NFPA’s routine method of naming documents. Since NFPA 780 contains installation requirements, it is more appropriately termed an installation “standard” rather than a “code.”

 

Where?  

The 2017 Edition of NFPA 780, prepared by Technical Committee on Lightning Protection was issued by the Standards Council and approved as an American National Standard on June 2, 2016. The new document can be viewed free online at: http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards?mode=code&code=780.

 

Curious about the How?  

Contact a LPI-certified specialist through the LPI membership directory to learn how a NFPA 780-compliant lightning protection system can help protect your home or business.