Published on November 1, 2016.

In Brief

SUPDET Awards Announced

Participants at the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s 2016 Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium (SUPDET) have named Christina Francis the winner of the William M. Carey award, and Joseph Fleming and Vytenis Babrauskas the winners of the Ronald K Mengel award.

Francis was bestowed the Carey Award for best suppression presentation at SUPDET for her paper “New Technology for Sprinklered High-Challenge Warehouses.” Francis manages Proctor & Gamble Co.’s Global Fire Protection Program.

Fleming, deputy fire chief for the Boston Fire Department, and Babrauskas, of Fire Science and Technology Inc., were honored for their paper “Improving Data Collection of Smoke Alarms in Fire.” The Mengel award recognizes the best detection presentation, as declared by SUPDET Symposium participants.

Recipients will receive their awards at the 2017 SUPDET Symposium, September 12-14, in College Park, Maryland.

Responder Forum White Papers Available

Three white papers have been released from the proceedings of last year’s first annual NFPA Responder Forum. The papers on unmanned aerial systems, data and the fire service, and civil unrest are available to read online.

The forum brought together representatives from 13 fire organizations, as well as subject matter experts, industry leaders, and NFPA staff to address key emerging issues in the fire service. Forum attendees were divided into work groups with each taking an in-depth look at one of the three topic areas. The white papers that resulted from these discussions were developed to help others learn about these emerging topics and develop strategies for how to address each going forward.

The second annual Responder Forum took place November 7-9 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Presentations focused on new technology, data analytics, and firefighter cancer and health and wellness. Videos of many of these presentations are available on NFPA Xchange, and proceedings of the forum will be released sometime in 2017.

NFPA Home Structure Fires Report Released

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 358,300 reported home structure fires per year from 2010-2014, according to an updated home structure fire report published by NFPA in September. These fires caused an annual average of 2,520 civilian deaths, 12,720 civilian injuries, and $6.7 billion in direct damage.

In addition to the raw data, the report also examines the causes and circumstances of these structure fires in one- or two-family homes, apartments, and other multifamily dwellings.

The report can be found on NFPA’s news and research page.

Maryland’s Blue Whirl

Researchers at the University of Maryland’s School of Engineering have discovered a previously unobserved flame phenomenon they call a “blue whirl,” which burns nearly soot-free. The clean burning flame could be used as a lower carbon emission combustion method and could possibly be used to efficiently burn up oil spills on water surfaces without further polluting the air or the water below, researchers said. Researchers discovered the stable, quiet, and highly efficient flame when they set out to investigate the combustion and burning dynamics of fire whirls on water.

A paper on the new flame, “From fire whirls to blue whirls and combustion with reduced pollution,” was published online August 4, 2016, in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.