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Ecosystem Watch

In each issue of NFPA Journal, six recent news events, research findings, or other items are chosen by the Journal editorial staff and highlighted as examples of successes or failures in the context of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem.

Examples from the most recent issue of NFPA Journal are listed below. See more information about the Ecosystem and each of its eight components. 








Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson recommends slashing the city’s number of firefighters by 20 percent to save money. The Chicago Sun-Times, citing NFPA requirements, calls his words an “extraordinary [display of] ignorance.” Ferguson seems “clueless and unconcerned as to why the staffing requirements are needed,” the paper said. Read more.

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Following a massive explosion at a battery storage facility in Surprise, Arizona, in April, cities in that region enact new safety requirements related to batteries and energy storage systems. “If a utility company wants to build [a battery storage facility] in our city limits, we are going to try and regulate as much as we can for the safety of the citizens … and our firefighters,” a spokesman for one fire department told local reporters. Read more.





A school collapses in Kenya, killing seven children. The owner of the school reportedly added a second level to the structure without approval. Had the proper steps been taken to apply for approval to heighten the structure, the second level would not have been approved, the country’s education minister told the New York Times. Read more.

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About 70 first responders in Illinois take a special training on responding to incidents involving people on the autism spectrum. The CDC says roughly one in 59 children in the United States is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and those on the spectrum can behave much differently than those who are not during emergencies. Read more.





After a propane explosion kills one firefighter and injures several others in a small Maine town in September, departments across the state vow to revamp protocols, buy new gas meters, and increase trainings related to propane gas leaks. “We got complacent” when it came to responding to propane leaks, one fire chief tells reporters, but that won’t be the case anymore. Read more


A 19-year-old Nebraska woman accidentally sets her apartment on fire by using a butane blowtorch to burn love letters she had received from an ex-boyfriend. Read more.

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