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Ashley Smith
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Why copyright protection is so important for standards developers Standards development organizations like NFPA are in the midst of a fight that impacts the very core of our mission, NFPA President Jim Pauley wrote in his latest column. Some opponents say the standards system should be free, while others say they would dismantle the private sector standards system altogether in favor of a government system for codes and standards. However, this is not realistic. The federal Office of Management and Budget [OMB] has maintained a strong preference for voluntary consensus standards, rather than government-created standards. Many other government entities have... Continue reading
This issue’s “In Compliance” section takes a look at electrical safety, life safety in new and existing structures, home sprinkler myths, and fire alarm considerations for industrial spaces. Here’s the news you need to know, in brief. Or, visit the NFPA Journal website to read the complete section. Meter Matters When firefighters enter a building, they could be exposed to energized electrical wiring, or they could risk the well-documented hazards associated with de-energizing the building’s electrical panel and wiring system. Lack of proper training and inadequate electrical personal protective equipment have contributed to fire service personnel being injured while pulling... Continue reading
When marinas need to sand and paint boats, the dust and fumes pose problems. They can spread throughout the building, bothering people who work in the marina and dirtying other boats. To address that, marinas often build what’s known as a membrane enclosure: a metal scaffolding structure surrounding the boat, which is then covered in plastic shrink wrap. Solves the problem, right? Well… The bigger problem is, using these membrane enclosures inside sprinklered buildings presents some serious fire safety hazards, the March/April NFPA Journal reports. The concern is that they could delay sprinkler activation in the event of a fire.... Continue reading
Both wildfire and unemployment have long been pervasive problems in South Africa. Chaparral and shrubs burn fiercely in the west, as do dry grasses and thickets in the north. Meanwhile, some one in four South Africans is unemployed. So how do these relate? In 2003, the South African government piloted a program called “Working on Fire” (WoF) that addresses both by recruiting disadvantaged South Africans, training them extensively, and then hiring them as wildland firefighters. The program creates much-needed jobs while keeping wildfires at bay. WoF now has some 5,000 participants across 200 bases. The wages these firefighters collect help... Continue reading
What kid – or adult kid – wouldn’t want a hoverboard? During the 2015 holiday season, hoverboards were all the rage. The two-wheeled, motorized, self-balancing scooters were one of the hardest gifts to get. Think Atari in 1979, Cabbage Patch Kids in 1983, or Tickle Me Elmo in 1996. The problem is, hoverboards have a tendency to catch fire, in many cases due to overheated lithium batteries. Learn from Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy, what the holiday hoverboard flap illustrated about public safety. Also in our March/April issue, Kathleen Almand, vice president for Research at NFPA,... Continue reading
The greater fire hazard of many stored goods makes it imperative for building owners to consider more effective methods of warehouse protection. Photograph: Getty Image For warehouse managers, being told they need to install in-rack sprinklers can be stressful. The fire protection benefits are not in question. The problem is the cost. Typically, a large number of sprinklers are required for warehouse storage racks, making the cost far higher than ceiling-level sprinklers. Adding to that, managers worry that in-rack sprinklers could cause water damage to products if they’re set off unintentionally. However, as warehouses grow taller to make more efficient... Continue reading
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Mar 30, 2016