Today’s Responder is focused on the needs of all first responders regardless of uniform or badge. This blog is produced by NFPA’s Public Fire Protection Division, staffed by fire fighters, paramedics, fire marshals, emergency managers and safety professionals. Together, they work on more than 90 NFPA documents, standards and guides ranging from personnel protective equipment and professional qualifications to emergency management and public safety communications centers.
The mission of the international nonprofit NFPA, established in 1896, is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.
Obesity is still a problem in the fire service.According to a recent study, at an even greater rate than the general public. This article highlights the problem and offers some suggestions to combat it.
NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public is open for public comment. Deadline for submitting comments is May 16, 2014.
The NFPA Standards Council considered the request of Jim Crawford of Vision 20/20 Project that NFPA establish a standard that helps departments follow the process steps for a Community Risk Reduction plan. The Community Risk Reduction (CRR) plan is the identification and prioritization of risks followed by the coordinated application of resources to minimize the probability or occurrence and/or the impact of unfortunate events. After review of all the material before it, the Council voted to publish a notice to solicit comments on the need for the project, information on resources on the subject matter, those interested in participating if established, and other organizations actively involved with the subject. Deadline for submitting comments is June 23, 2014.
Three out of five home fire deaths in 2007-2011 resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms, according to a newly released report, “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires.” The report examines the number of reported fires in U.S. households with and without working smoke alarms, as well as the effectiveness of smoke alarms in preventing fire-related deaths.
Working smoke alarms in homes are key to saving lives from fire since you may have as little as three minutes to get out before a fire becomes deadly. The early warning provided by smoke alarms gives you critical time to escape safely. Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms so when one sounds, they all sound.
Fire departments around the country have eagerly awaited the most recent update to the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) developed by the Insurance Services Office. This system classifies communities according to performance in emergency communications, fire response and suppression and water supply, and has provided these ratings to insurers for more than 30 years. Insurance companies purchasing this data use it to develop underwriting practices – so improved ratings can lead to lower insurance premiums for homes and businesses in many instances.
What’s new with this long-awaited revision? First, ISO is referencing many more NFPA codes and standards than in the past. This means that as the NFPA documents are revised, the rating schedule will be revised – a great way to ensure that the ratings keep up with new technology and changing practices. Communities all over the US will also be happy to learn that for the first time, they can earn “extra credit” – up to 5.5 points – for demonstrating fire prevention, education and investigation programs. In other words, the ratings – and thus many insurance companies – will begin to account for fire mitigation programs in a quantifiable and creditable way.
NFPA has developed a resource list of all the codes and standards referenced in ISO’s rating schedule, along with a wealth of resources for fire departments and communities to consider when updating or initiating fire prevention and education programs. Check www.nfpa.org/iso for a list with links to each standard and much more on Firewise®, Learn Not to Burn®, Remembering When® and other fire prevention tools that might give your community a leg up on improving its fire safety ratings.
Understanding Unwanted Fire Alarms On May 3, 2011, the U.S. Fire Administration, NFPA, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs co-sponsored a national summit to initiate a dialogue on the issue of unwanted fire alarms. The summit identified a number of possible approaches to the issue, including a tool which can be used at the community level to assess risks, and cost/benefit of strategies to reduce these risks, including appropriate emergency response protocols, enforcement of inspection and maintenance requirements, community education, etc. This webinar will review the results of a research project that developed a template that can be used by local fire departments with local data (to the extent possible) when deciding among courses of action to deal with unwanted alarms. The tool uses a generic model, combined with local data when available and national data when necessary, to estimate costs, fire losses and other impacts of strategies.
Sponsored by:The Fire Protection Research Foundation with support from the following: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, American Fire Sprinkler Association, Department of Homeland Security, Idaho National Laboratories, National Fire Protection Association, National Fire Sprinkler Association, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Property Insurance Research Group, SimplexGrinnell, The Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Tyco Fire Protection Products, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Transportation (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), and Viking Corporation.
The First Draft report for NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public is posted at www.nfpa.org/1730. Deadline for submittal of Comments is May 16, 2014 (April 11 for paper) at 5pm Eastern. Please submit your comments by the deadline for the committee to act on at its second draft meeting.
A fire at a single-family home didn't initially appear serious to Angie Roach; when she and her fellow firefighters arrived on the scene, there was minimal smoke emitting from the structure. The fire, however, was raging in the basement, and when she set foot on the subflooring, it gave way, sending Roach directly into the flames.
Firefighters eventually rescued her, but the damage had been done. She suffered third- and fourth-degree burns on 45 percent of her body. It was a career-ending experience. "After my accident, my life changed tremendously," says Roach. "I was a very active person. I've been married a couple of years. Everything was perfect in my life. Then I was burned. It took me several months to realize I was not the same person I was before the fire."
Unwanted fire alarms are a problem for the fire service and the community. NFPA® estimates that fire departments respond to more than 2 million false fire alarm calls each year. According to NFPA 72®: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, an unwanted alarm is any alarm that occurs that is not the result of a potentially hazardous condition. NFPA developed the Fire Service Guide to Reducing Unwanted Fire Alarms to provide the fire service with a free resource that offers guidance in the following areas:
Understanding commercial and residential building fire alarm systems
Understanding single-family alarm causes
Providing a framework for developing possible solutions
The Guide is an important tool for line firefighters, fire officers, and fire prevention personnel to provide basic knowledge on how fire alarm systems and detection devices operate and assess the cause of alarms where no emergency condition is apparent. The Guide can assist Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ's) in developing strategies to manage response to unwanted alarms thru practices reflective of risk assessment, resources management, and current Code recommendations.
February 11, 2014 12:30 – 2:00 pm EST Responding to Electrical Vehicle Battery Fires Sponsored Webinar This Webinar reviews the results of a recent research program to develop the technical basis for best practices for emergency response procedures for electric drive vehicle battery incidents, with consideration for certain details including: suppression methods; personal protective equipment (PPE); and clean-up/overhaul operations. This research program was based on full-scale testing of large format Li-ion batteries used in these electric vehicles, and the presentation will summarize these tests and includes discussion on the key findings relating to best practices for emergency response procedures for electric drive vehicle battery incidents.