NFPA participates in US-China Electrical Vehicles Safety Workshop
NFPA participates in US-China Electrical Vehicles Safety Workshop

NFPA experts John Cannon and Jason Emery were invited to participate in the US-China Electrical Vehicles Safety Workshop held in Shenzhen, China on November 14, 2012 where they presented NFPA Electric Vehicle Safety: Global Leader in Emergency Responder Training.

The purpose of the workshop was to enhance communication and cooperation in the area of standards and conformity assessment, in order to facilitate trade between U.S. and China. This workshop was held under the U.S.-China Standards and Conformity Assessment Cooperation Program and sponsored in part by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA.) The workshop was organized by NFPA and China Quality Certification Center.

As the use of electrical vehicles increase, it is imperative that the safety standards are uniform in all levels from manufacturer to user. These vehicles have their own set of requirements that are different from their conventional gasoline counterparts. Cannon and Emery’s presentation was timely and well received by over 40 attendees from different industry segments. US Government Operations Officer for AmCham-China, John Abramovic, was among those who attended.

Cannon and Emery had the opportunity to meet with the Auto Energy Policy Manager for General Motors in Beijing, Shawn Gao, who is willing to introduce the electrical vehicles safety training and standards in Beijing, as General Motors has done in the U.S.

During their visit to Beijing, Cannon and Emery met with the president of China Fire Protection Association, Sun Lun, where he welcomed NFPA to lead a delegation to attend and present at the Fire China in May 2013.

NFPA visits with the China National Standardization Technical Committee for electrical installations of buildings
NFPA visits with the China National Standardization Technical Committee for electrical installations of buildings

NFPA’s Jeff Sargent traveled to Beijing to speak on the US Electrical Installation Code, at the 2012 annual meeting of the China National Standardization Technical Committee for Electrical Installations of Buildings, which was held in Beijing on November 7th and 8th, 2012.

The National Standardization Technical Committee for Electrical Installations of Buildings (SAT/TC205 of China), is responsible for drafting and revising the state and professional standards for electrical installations of buildings. The committee compiles the standards of IEC TC 64 and work on the process of making it the National Standard of China.

Sargent’s presentation,“The US Electrical Installation Code-Development, Implementation, Enforcement & Technical Topics,” introduced the history and current status of the NEC to committee members. Sargent also addressed critical technical questions about AFCIs, GFCIs, and questions on the use of aluminum wires or cables. Approximately 70 committee commissionaires attended Sargent’s presentation.

NFPA's Michele Steinberg visits Australia

Australia - Michele Steinberg, Firewise Communities Program Manager for NFPA, recently participated in a 4½ -day workshop co-sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security and the Australian Bushfire Cooperative Research Center (aka Bushfire CRC) on issues surrounding fires at the wildland/urban interface.

The workshop was coordinated in conjunction with the Australian departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Attorney General, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California. Approximately 40 participants in the workshop included a variety of researchers, practitioners, and agency staff from the US, Australia and New Zealand.

The aim of the workshop was to share knowledge regarding the management of fire risk for people, assets and environment at the interface. Coordinators also hoped to develop lasting networks within research communities to facilitate this goal, to identify collaborative research areas, and to develop proposed joint project areas for possible future bilateral investment.

The workshop ran from June 14-18, beginning in Melbourne with a day of introductions and presentations of basic research, helping identify the existing knowledge base, and followed by field visits to destructive and fatal wildfire locations in the state of Victoria (February 2009 “Black Saturday” fires) and the capital city of Canberra (January 2003 fires). Daylong breakout sessions at the national Parliament House in Canberra focused on identifying gaps and opportunities for further research in the broad areas of fire behavior, planning and building construction, and community and firefighter safety. The workshop concluded with presentations from each of the groups to obtain feedback and develop potential research proposals.

Outcomes included a short list of potential collaborative research projects that could be funded by DHS or other parties, and the beginnings of a productive partnership on wildfire safety between the US and the Australasian region.

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Workshop in Zhangjiagang
Workshop in Zhangjiagang inspired by UNEP and NFPA 1600
Zhangjiagang,China – The first fire training workshop promoting safer operations and emergency preparedness in the chemical sector in China was held in Jiangsu Province April 26-28, 2010. The workshop was a success for the organizers and the more than 80 attendees.

Among the presenters were Dean Larson, NFPA 1600 Technical Committee Member; Nestor Spósito, Dow Bahía Blanca (Argentina); Neil Hawkins of DOW Industrial; Ren Longjiang, MEP (Ministry of Environmental Protection, the People’s Republic of China); Tomas Ferreira Marques, UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme); Zhou Wei, Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone; and Taoping Zhangjiagang of EPB (Environmental Protection Bureau), who made the workshop opening remarks.

Spósito presented three seminars while in Zhangjiagang, which comprised of the following topics: the connections between PSM (Process Safety Manager) and APELL (Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level) for accident prevention and preparedness; Development of Bahía Blanca’s Technological Emergency Response Plan (TERP); and APELL Step 10: educating the general community on the integrated emergency response plan updated according to NFPA 1600. After which, he went on to lecture in Qinghua. Larson gave his presentation in Zhangjiagang on the second day of the workshop instructing on emergency planning and improvement of emergency plans according to NFPA 1600.

As a follow-up to the workshop, an emergency drill will be held later this year in August or September in Zhangjiagang. Training officials plan to hold a similar workshop next year.

NFPA is working toward a formal cooperation agreement with UNEP through our MOU program.

NFPA members alongside Yuanjing Liu, NFPA, and John Buchman, Chief/CEO/GiFire, Indiana Department of Homeland Security
NFPA members alongside Yuanjing Liu, NFPA, and John Buchman, Chief/CEO/GiFire, Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
Coté and Liu flanked by Wang Jun, Legal Consultant and Wang Shuai, Secretary Assistant both of TFRI who served as interpreters.

Coté and Liu flanked by Wang Jun, Legal Consultant and Wang Shuai, Secretary Assistant both of TFRI who served as interpreters.

NFPA participates in NEMA’s Firefighter Training Technology workshop

Beijing, China - The Advanced Firefighter Training Technology Workshop was held on December 2, 2009 in Beijing International Convention Center. The Sponsors were Kidde Fire Trainers, Inc., Tyco Fire Suppression and & BP, Oshkosh Corporation, and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) organized the event. Officials from USTDA and the American Embassy gave a welcome speech and a special message was sent by NFPA Executive Director of International Programs Olga Caledonia to workshop participants. Nine speakers offered their expertise through presentations including Mr. Dong Liming, Director of Tianjin Fire Officers Training Center. Attendees numbered about 120 from fire related services in the area to make it an overall successful event.

Coté and Liu present at China Fire 2009 CFPA-NFPA Symposium

Beijing, China – Organized by the China Fire Protection Association (CFPA), China Fire 2009: The Thirteenth International Fire Protection Equipment Technology Conference and Exposition was held October 16-19 in Beijing. The event attracted 370 exhibitors while nine seminars and symposia were held. International supporters included CFPA, NFPA, Japan Firefighters Association, German Fire Protection Association, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and FM Approvals.

Ron Coté, P.E., NFPA Principal Life Safety Engineer, made two presentations at the Symposium on Fire Design and Technology Standards of Large Public Construction – one on fires in assembly occupancies and the lessons learned from The Station nightclub fire, and the other on the use of elevators by occupants for evacuation prior to elevator recall. Yuanjing “Janet” Liu, NFPA Country Coordinator – China, presented an overview of NFPA’s international outreach efforts geared toward China and the Asia-Pacific region.

With the continued development of China’s social economy and the accelerating speed of urban construction, society’s and Fire Departments’ demands for fire products have increased each year. Rescue equipment, as featured at recent China Fire expositions, played an important role in saving lives during the Wenchuan Earthquake of 2008.

The importation into China of all kinds of fire equipment and rescue apparatus has increased greatly in recent years. The China Fire Protection Association continues to work to establish a platform between manufacturers and product end-users, to exchange technology, and to encourage further cooperation for the future. China Fire 2010 is scheduled for next October in Beijing.

NFPA at Fire & Security Shanghai

Shanghai, China – Less than one month apart, China held two well known exhibitions at which NFPA was present. In past years, the Shanghai International Fire & Security Technology Equipment Exhibition and Beijing’s China Fire were on a 2-year rotation allowing delegates to rotate yearly between the two cities. Since CFPA’s decision in 2008 to hold China Fire annually, there is bound to be competition between the two cities on the occasion that both events are held in the same year. This year, NFPA decided to attend both shows as we have in previous years to accommodate for our constituencies in both southern and northern China. Over 290 exhibitors attended and NFPA representative Janet Liu met with fire service delegations from various provinces including Hong Kong, Macau, and Shanghai.

New hospital code spurs NFPA 99 interest in China

New hospital code spurs NFPA 99 interest in China Beijing, China - The 9th China Hospital Construction Conference was held on 18-22 December 2009 at the Wu Qing Conference Center in Beijing.About 600 people from hospital and building design units attended the conference. NFPA’s Janet Liu, was invited by Director Wang of the organizer to attend this 3-day conference.

A topic of particular interest was the new hospital code “Management of Fire Safety for Medical Institutions” that was implement on the first of December. The purpose of this conference was to develop the management level and establish a professional technical exchange platform.

The Medical Institutions Management Standards Committee of the Ministry of Health and the Medical Management Research Institute together plan to hold training courses in 2010. The training courses will start late February.

Sinopec delegation stands with Guy Colona, Olga Caledonia, and Rachel Abrams on NFPA’s balcony, which looks out to the city of Boston.
Sinopec delegation stands with Guy Colona, Olga Caledonia, and Rachel Abrams on NFPA’s balcony, which looks out to the city of Boston.
A visit from SINOPEC
Quincy, Ma - On November 12 a delegation from China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Corp.) visited NFPA headquarters. They met with Guy Colona and Bob Benedetti to discuss NFPA’s standards related to safety in the petroleum industry. Heading the nine person delegation, were Mr. Li Guoqing and Mr. Zhou Jiaxiang, SINOPEC International Standards Coordinating Committee.

Sinopec Corp. is an energy and chemical company that incorporates oil & gas exploration and development, oil refining, production and sales of petrochemicals. It is a super-large producer and provider of oil and petrochemicals in China. In 2008, it ranked 16th in the Fortune Global 500, and number one among the top 500 enterprises in China.

NFPA welcomes visitors from all over the world. If a member of our international community requests to visit, please contact Rachel Abrams for assistance with arrangements.

Japan looks to NFPA 1600 for help establishing national standards for business preparedness

Quincy, MA - Tokio Marine and Nichido Risk Consulting Co., Ltd of Tokyo, Japan sent three consultants to the U.S. as part of an effort to research the global risk management climate. They represented the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, METI, which is interested in establishing national standards for business preparedness. Mr. Okabe of Tokio Marine, who headed the delegation, is no stranger to NFPA and has visited before on various topics. NFPA administers the US Technical Advisory Group under ANSI to the ISO 223 Project on Societal Security. Mr. Okabe participates in ISO 223 as part of the Japanese delegation.

On February 22nd the group from Tokio Marine met at NFPA headquarters with Robert Vondrasek, vice president of technical projects, Don Schmidt, CEO of Preparedness LLCand chair of the NFPA 1600 Committee, and Olga Caledonia, executive director of International Operations. Vondrasek provided an overview of NFPA and the codes and standards development process. Schmidt described the history of NFPA 1600 and highlights of the new 2010 edition of the standard.

The Japanese consultants were interested in learning more about the private sector preparedness program that DHS FEMA is developing and the standards to be used in the new federal program including NFPA 1600, Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. NFPA 1600 addresses emergency management - the protection of employees and the public – along with business continuity. The delegation indicated that they gained a much better understanding of the FEMA program and the NFPA standard, in addition to walking away with an understanding of NFPA’s international partnerships and possible cooperation.

Lt. Warodom Sucharitakul, NFPA Country Coordinator welcomes conference participants and offers opening remarks for the 3-day NFPA 101 Life Safety Code seminar held in Bangkok.

Lt. Warodom Sucharitakul, NFPA Country Coordinator welcomes conference participants and offers opening remarks for the 3-day NFPA 101 Life Safety Code seminar held in Bangkok.

NFPA 101 Seminar in Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand - This three-day seminar, which was part of the Building Maintenance & Asset Management EXPO Asia 2009 (BMAM 2009), was a combined effort of four organizations: The Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) and The Architect Siamese Association (ASA) both Under His Majesty the King’s Patronage, The Building Safety Inspectors and Officers Association (BSA) and NFPA. Lt. Warodom Sucharitakul, NFPA Country Coordinator in Thailand, reported a greater number of participants than expected—129 in total. The arrangement of this seminar was triggered by the Santika Fire (January 1, 2009).

Lt. Sucharitakul reported: “We found that there were many wrong issues needed to be corrected. The urgent one would be life safety systems, especially means of egress. We are working on restructuring the fire safety law and regulation, but it will take some time. In the short term, we decided to arrange the NFPA 101 seminar to educate people and let them inspect their buildings before the law enforcement.”

This was the first time in Thailand that local speaker Pichaya Chantranuwat presented a three-day seminar using the full NFPA approved format. Participants received a unique blend of NFPA expertise along with a knowledge of local issues that would enable them to apply NFPA 101 directly to their working environment. Following the success of this first conference, discussion of arranging a similar conference in the near future is under way.

Visitor from Tokyo University of Science

Quincy, MA – In late September, Mr. Masahiro Nagaki, a graduate student of Tokyo University of Science at the Tsujimoto Laboratory, met with Casey Grant, Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) and Bob Benedetti, Hazardous Chemicals/Materials. Mr. Nagaki’s main interest was in the fire protection of Nuclear Power Plants. Casey Grant provided him with copies of the applicable NFPA standards on this topic: NFPA 801, 804, and 805. They discussed the origin and development of these NFPA standards, and the history of the NFPA Technical Committee on Atomic Energy. In addition, he learned the importance of the Browns Ferry fire and the impact it had on the nuclear industry in the United States.

NFPA represented at NIST Workshop in Hanoi

NFPA represented at NIST Workshop in Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam - On September 9-11, the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) in conjunction with their Vietnam counterpart the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality (STAMEQ) presented the Standards in Trade Workshop for Vietnam on Fire Protection of Buildings in Hanoi.

The presentations covered a broad range of fire protection issues including: fire protection challenges for the built environment in the U.S. and Vietnam, U.S. standards and regulatory process, AHJ inspections and enforcement, and more. Attending on NFPA’s behalf was Isaac Papier of Honeywell Life Safety, who has served on NFPA Technical Committees since 1990 and currently serves on three: the TC for Supervising Station Fire Alarm Systems, TC on Air Conditioning, and TC on Premises Security. Papier gave an overview of NFPA, in addition to two other presentations on 1) the U.S. fire protection system and associated building codes, model codes and product standards and how they work together as a system; and 2) the Model Codes, NFPA standards, the product standards, their development and their adoption in regulation.

The workshop was part of a U.S. Department of Commerce and NIST initiative to promote U.S. trade in developing countries through the promotion of U.S. standards and the regulatory process. The intent was to educate the local authorities and regulatory bodies about the workings of the U.S. systems with a view that the local authorities adopt regulations patterned after the U.S. system and thereby provide U.S. industry an advantage at product export.

The Vietnam workshop was set up by Donald Nay the Commercial attaché of the US embassy in Hanoi. As this was an event promoted by the U.S. Embassy, it attracted a high level Vietnam audience of over 125 participants that included representatives from the Ministry of public security, the fire services, building officials and engineering and construction firms.

Dr. Belinda Collins, Director Technology Services of NIST headed the U.S. delegation and Do Van Son head of Ministry of Public Security Fire Prevention and Protection Department headed the Vietnamese delegations. Do Van Son is in charge of all of Vietnam’s fire protection.

The Vietnam agencies represented at the workshop included: STAMEQ, Ministry of Public Security, Police Bureau of Fire Protection , Ministry of Construction Institute of Building Science and Technology (IBST) , and the Directorate for Standards and Quality.

The workshop generated considerable interest for membership and participation in the NFPA process from the officials in Vietnam and was a great opportunity for sharing information between the two countries.

Chong Qing Fire Department

Chong Qing Fire Department

Vice General Director Li with members of the CQFD and Dave Reed

Vice General Director Li with members of the CQFD and Dave Reed

A Visit to the Chong Qing Fire Department

Through NFPA’s coordination with the Chong Qing Fire Department (CQFD) in China, rescue specialist fire fighter David Reed, Pawtucket Fire Department, Rhode Island visited the CQFD this August. He was welcomed by top fire officials Commissar Zhang Gaochao, Vice General Director Li and Directors Chen and Wu along with many others. While there, Reed shared a successful presentation on Technical Rescue Awareness for the U.S. Fire Service. In his presentation, he addressed the topics of the U.S. Fire Service; NFPA 1670, Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents; technical rescue command systems; rescue environments and disciplines; multi-agency response, risk vs. benefit and he answered questions from the audience.

In addition, Reed visited the special rescue team and toured the Rescue Dog Training Center. He had the opportunity to watch the First Chong Qing Fire Fighters Rescue Games as the teams employed great skill with much enthusiasm. He was also privileged to witnessed a fire fighter’s wedding ceremony.

The Chong Qing Fire Department is over 3,000 professional fire officers and fire fighters strong. Reed’s visit will improve the exchange between fire services in the U.S. and China.

NFPA welcomes the Shanghai Fire Research Institute

NFPA welcomed a group of research fellows from the Shanghai Fire Research Insitute (SFRI), led by Vice Director Xue Lin on their visit to the U.S. Olga Caledonia, Exectuive Director International Operations, hosted the delegation as they met with Casey Grant, Program Director Fire Protection Reasearch Foundation and Allan Fraser, Sr. Building Code Specialist, regarding safety standards and practices in fire, rescue, and emergency services. They also gathered information on NFPA’s training resources and public education programs. After visiting NFPA, they would continue to network with other fire professionals in New York and Washington, D.C. before returning to China.

Taiwan Fire Service captain, Rotary Club member visits NFPA

Quincy, MA - A member of Rotary International, Fire Officer Chang Su (aka "Nathan") of Nantou County, Taiwan visited NFPA on May 11th. He was in the U.S. as part of a Group Study Exchange. During his visit, he met with Ken Holland, Fire Service Specialist Public Fire Protection. He discussed how NFPA standards have influenced Taiwan, sharing with NFPA that the standards are widely used in his country and highly revered. Officer Chang was accompanied by hosts Harry and Anne Cargile, Shenendehowa Club, Rotary International and retired professor Robert Fitzgerald (WPI).

NFPA welcomes visitors from every country. If you would like to visit NFPA, you may contact Rachel Abrams or global@nfpa.org to schedule a visit during business hours.

Kitpon Cherdchookitkul and Jim Shannon
Bangkok Metropolitan Council signs MOU with NFPA
Pesident Jim Shannon and Kitpon Cherdchookitkul, Chairman of the Bangkok Metropolitan Council (BMC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Chicago, IL on July 8, 2009. The signing ceremony, attended by 12 delegates of the BMC and several NFPA executive staff, was a benchmark event for the Kingdom of Thailand in their efforts to meet international standrads in the development of an efficient fire protection system and for the support of life safety in Bangkok. In the wake of the recent night club fire tragedy that occurred on New Year's Eve 2009, the government has begun to increase its focus on safety standards. Earlier this year, Thai officials traveled around the world in search of best practices for the protection of lives and property. Part of their quest included visiting the Los Angeles Fire Department and L.A. nightclubs to learn more about how U.S. standards are applied in these venues.

NFPA is looking forward to future cooperation opportunities that will develop as a result of the Agreement. Some of those opportunities include the adoption of material from several standards, including NFPA 1600®, Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs; NFPA 130, Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems; and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. In addition, they will use NFPA's public education program, Risk Watch®, to help teach children about safety from unintentional injuries. The Bangkok Metropolitan Council is the legislative body of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (government of Bangkok Province, including the capital city of Bangkok). The Administration’s role is to formulate and implement policies regarding the management of Bangkok, which includes: transport services, urban planning, waste management, housing, roads and highways, security services and the environment.

China Fire Service delegates meet with President Shannon
The China Fire Service recently underwent some administration changes and is now ready for a fresh new outlook on promoting NFPA codes and standards through their adoption and use in the People's Republic of China. Three officials greeted Jim Shannon, President, Bruce Mullen, CFO and Gary Keith, VP of Field Operations & Education at this year's Conference in Chicago. There were two officials from the Ministry of Public Security, including Mr. Wang Qinlin, Deputy Director General of the Fire Department and Mr. Ma Enqiang, Deputy Director, Fire Prevention Division, along with an official from the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Wei Xue. They were accompanied by Olga Caledonia, Executive Director of International Operations and Yuanjing Liu, Chief Representative NFPA China.

The delegates discussed how they would continue developing the friendship with NFPA and enhance cooperation especially in energy, transportation, and high-rise building fire prevention. The Fire Service is looking forward to producing updated translations of the previously licensed NFPA standards. This will enable members of the Fire Service to study these standards first hand and apply them in their daily work. 

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