Author(s): Jesse Roman. Published on January 4, 2016.

In Brief

Shannon Advocacy Medal to be awarded at C&E

NFPA has established the James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to reducing the fire loss problem through advocacy.

The award is named for former NFPA president James Shannon, who retired in 2014 after 12 years leading the organization. During Shannon’s presidency, NFPA launched a number of advocacy initiatives, including the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, which led to laws in all 50 states mandating cigarette fire safety standards.

A medal selection committee has been established to select the recipient of the new award, which will be given at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas in June. The committee will consider, among other things, the impact of the individual’s efforts toward NFPA’s mission, reducing fire loss, and the extent to which the efforts are collaborative beyond NFPA.

The nomination deadline is January 30. Click here for more information on the award and for nomination forms.

NFPA to offer scholarships for wildfire risk training

Beginning early this year, NFPA will offer scholarships to 175 firefighters from across the United States to attend the “Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone” seminar.

The seminar, which will be held in five locations across the country this spring, teaches attendees the science behind wildland fire property loss and how to advise property owners about effective mitigation measures to protect their homes.

“This training provides a sound basis for firefighters, who are trusted safety experts in their communities, to educate citizens on effective actions they can take to reduce loss from wildfire,” said Faith Berry of NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division.

The scholarships are funded through a nearly $360,000 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters grant.

Scholarship applications will be available in February. For more information about the seminars and how to apply, visit the website.

Winter fire campaign aims to reduce losses

Home fire risks historically increase during the winter months, with December, January, February, and March leading the way with the highest number of U.S. home fires.

This year, NFPA and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) have again joined forces on a winter campaign called “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” designed to educate the public about winter fire hazards and ways to stay safe. The annual campaign, now in its fifth year, addresses the leading factors that contribute to the higher risk of home fires in winter, including heating, holiday decorating, Christmas trees, candles, electrical issues, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” campaign runs from December through February. To learn more about the campaign and to view safety tips, videos, and other information on winter safety and fire prevention, visit the website.

DOT rules to ban e-cigs from checked bags

In October, the federal Department of Transportation announced new rules that ban electronic cigarettes from checked baggage aboard commercial airlines.

A recent United States Fire Administration report lists more than two-dozen explosions and fires related to e-cigarettes that have occurred since 2009. Some of those incidents happened aboard flights inside checked luggage, including a 2014 fire at Boston’s Logan Airport that forced the evacuation of an aircraft.

“We know from recent incidents that e-cigarettes in checked bags can catch fire during transport,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement in October announcing the new rule. “Fire hazards in flight are particularly dangerous. Banning e-cigarettes from checked bags is a prudent safety measure.”

Passengers will still be able to pack electronic cigarettes into their carry-on baggage.

​JESSE ROMAN is staff writer for NFPA Journal.