AUTHOR: Cathy Longley

Safety Stand Down

2021 Safety Stand Down Theme Focuses on Rebuilding Rehab

Firefighting puts intense strain on firefighters, both physically and mentally, and yet rehab frequently doesn’t get the consideration it should. Many think simply providing food and beverages to firefighters constitutes a rehab program. Thus, the reason that the focus of the 2021 Safety Stand Down campaign will be “Rebuild Rehab.” During the week of June 20-26, fire departments are advised to suspend all non-emergency activities to conduct training that helps responders reframe their thinking around rehab. In advance of that designated week, fire department leaders and trainers are asked to revisit their rehab program to ensure that post-incident and post-training protocol adequately addresses the health and safety of firefighters. Effective rehab programs evaluate both a firefighter’s physiological and psychological wellbeing and ensure that those on the front line are ready to respond to the next emergency. Rehab programs should encompass all areas of health, including cardiac, nutrition, exposure, mental health, hydration, and heat stress. Fire personnel can find best practices and benchmarks within NFPA 1584 Standard on the Rehabilitation Process for Members During Emergency Operations and Training Exercises. A wide array of topical information, training, and resources is also available at www.safetystanddown.org; the site will be updated periodically with new tips and tools leading up to Safety Stand Down in June so that departments can plan their education and awareness activities. Safety Stand Down is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The awareness campaign is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations, including the Fire Department Safety Officers Association.  NFPA will once again launch a Fire Service Safety Stand Down Quiz this spring to foster a greater understanding of this year’s theme. Everyone who completes the online quiz will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes; 200 randomly selected participants will win a commemorative Safety Stand Down challenge coin. 

New web version and quarterly print schedule for NFPA Journal

NFPA Journal®, the magazine of the National Fire Protection Association, has launched a new web version and moved to a quarterly print publication schedule as part of a larger plan to expand the magazine’s online presence, extend the association’s global reach, and provide convenient access to a range of content generated by the award-winning NFPA Journal team and the magazine’s many contributors. The new NFPA Journal online site will feature highlighted pieces from the print magazine, as well as breaking news coverage, thought leadership content, a daily feed of national fire service news, and the latest installments of the popular NFPA Podcast and Learn Something New video series. Readers can also view the current issue of the magazine in digital flipbook format and access NFPA Journal en Espanol. Until recently the print edition of NFPA Journal was published on a bimonthly basis. Now, NFPA Journal will be distributed exclusively to NFPA members in February, May, August, and November. The magazine will continue to provide in-depth coverage of emerging trends, codes and standards development, and education and advocacy initiatives to NFPA members. “These changes mark an exciting point in the evolution of NFPA Journal and represent an important part of NFPA’s growing international influence,” said Scott Sutherland, executive editor of NFPA Journal. “Our new and expanded web identity, combined with our new print schedule, will help us reach more audiences around the world with a wider variety of stories on emerging fire and life safety issues.” Visit and bookmark nfpa.org/journal to access fire, electrical, building and life safety news or download the NFPA Journal app for IOSor >Android today.
Energy Storage System

NFPA releases energy storage system fact sheet as Biden Administration set to lead a clean energy revolution

NFPA has released a new energy storage systems (ESS) safety fact sheet as President-elect Joe Biden, a strong clean energy proponent, is set to take office on Wednesday. The 46th president and his Administration are expected to spearhead a Clean Energy Revolution via a 9-step plan their campaign laid out. That strategy states, in part, that, “On the first day of Biden’s Administration, according to the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there will only be 9 years to stop the worst consequences of climate change. Biden will act on climate change immediately and ambitiously, because there is no time to waste, and will invest $400 billion over ten years, as part of a broad mobilization of public investment, in clean energy and innovation – an investment (in today’s dollars) that is twice what was made in the Apollo program that put man on the moon.”  NFPA is no stranger to clean energy safety. Over the past 10 years, the Association has introduced groundbreaking training for the fire service and others on topics such as solar energy, energy storage systems, electric vehicles, and flammable refrigerants to ensure that as communities embrace and incentivize the use of green technologies, first and second responders are well-informed about potential safety issues. Policy makers, code officials, manufacturers, designers, engineers, skilled labor, and the public also share responsibility in ensuring the safety of people and property and have found enormous value in the NFPA guidance too.  With more and more countries, states, and communities putting forth zero emissions deadlines, tax breaks and other changes, NFPA developed the at-a-glance Energy Storage Systems Safety Fact Sheet to bring the safety considerations of ESS to the forefront. The resource distills key points identified in NFPA ESS training, NFPA 855, Standard for the Installation of Energy Storage Systems, and related materials, with an emphasis on:  The meaning of ESS The advantages of supplemental service, peak-shaving, load-leveling, and uninterruptible power supply Hazards such as thermal runaway, stranded energy, toxic and flammable gases, deep-seated fires, mechanical/thermal/electrical abuse and environmental impacts Designer/contractor considerations for safety – explosion protection/prevention, fire protection systems, battery management systems, and ESS spacing Permitting checklist for authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) Pre-incident planning and emergency operations planning highlights Available resources such as research, other fact sheets, and related standards  Additionally, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the research affiliate of NFPA, is in the process of finalizing an Energy Storage Research Consortium for interested members of the energy storage and fire protection industries to discuss industry-relevant fire protection issues and related research needs.  According to the Biden renewables strategy, a target will be set to reduce the carbon footprint of the U.S. building stock 50% by 2035 and incentives for deep retrofits that combine appliance electrification, efficiency, and on-site clean power generation will be introduced. Biden will also work with governors and mayors to support the deployment of more than 500,000 new public charging outlets by the end of 2030, an infrastructure issue that NFPA is currently focused on as part of the NFPA Spurs the Safe Adoption of Electric Vehicles though Education and Outreach effort.  NFPA has dedicated microsites for ESS, alternative fuel and electric vehicles, and the flammable refrigerants that are part of a global accord signed by nearly 200 countries including the United States; as well as insights from the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Policy Institute. All these resources stress that safety is a system. 

Institution of Fire Engineers Approves NFPA CFPS Credential As Key Component for IFE Membership Application

The Membership Application Assessment Panel (MAAP) of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) has determined that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) credential will now be recognized as a major component for IFE membership. The NFPA CFPS Certification program was created in 1971 for the purpose of documenting competency and providing professional recognition for individuals involved in curtailing both physical and financial fire loss. Over the course of nearly 50 years, the CFPS designation has been awarded to more than 5,000 people who have demonstrated a level of professionalism through applied work experience, related educational opportunities, and successful completion of a certification examination. Members of the CFPS community include engineers, risk managers, loss control specialists, fire officers, fire marshals, fire inspectors, safety managers, fire protection consultants, designers, code enforcers, facility managers and others who are responsible for the application of fire safety, protection, prevention, and suppression technologies. The IFE will now review and approve applications for membership in North America with three criteria in mind: current certification status, submission of a resume (C.V.), and documentation of formal education beyond secondary school (college or university).The IFE USA Branch has been approved to review and pre-approve applicants with a valid, current CFPS Certification in the United States and Canada, before submitting these to IFE’s MAAP for final consideration. The new strategy is designed to streamline the IFE membership application process while ensuring that candidates have the high-level fire protection insights, career experience, and educational background that are synonymous with IFE membership. The new membership application benchmarks are as follows: For IFE Member Grade status (MIFireE), candidates must have NFPA CFPS Certification plus a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a fire protection-related discipline from an accredited college or university, including degrees in engineering fields that are applied to the practice of fire protection plus FIVE years of verifiable work experience dedicated to protecting people and property. For IFE Graduate Grade status (GIFireE), candidates must have NFPA CFPS Certification plus an Associate’s degree in a fire protection-related discipline from an accredited college or university, or a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in any unrelated field; plus THREE years of verifiable work experience dedicated to reducing loss and liability. Candidates with CFPS Certification, but without the formal education qualification requirements noted above, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the time of their application. CFPS Certification will be seen as being equivalent to meeting entry level IFE learning objectives for Technician Grade (TIFireE) or Associate Grade (AIFireE) memberships, depending on the years and type of post-education fire engineering work experience. The review and approval process for CFPS-qualified IFE applicants may be devolved to include other IFE branches around the world once branch reviewer training and compliance with review process rules have been verified. The IFE Membership Application Assessment Panel, however, retains the right and role of performing a quality assurance process on all applications recommended for IFE membership by an approved IFE Branch. Learn more about CFPS and other NFPA certification offerings here.
Warehouse

Are You Up to Speed on Warehouse Fire Safety? Download the New Fact Sheet and Find Out

NFPA has created a downloadable Warehouse Fire Safety Fact Sheet that provides statistics, safety benchmarks, and best practices for keeping storage structures, contents and occupants safe from harm. The piece was developed following last month’s popular NFPA Considerations for Warehouse Fire Safety webinar for contractors, installers, engineers, facility managers, and code officials. E-commerce, and the subsequent need for fulfillment facilities, has surged in recent years. This trend combined with large-scale, large-loss fire incidents at a Beirut, Lebanon shipping port, an Amazon distribution center in Redlands, California, and a recycling facility in South Carolina have spurred greater interest in warehouse fire safety today. NFPA research shows that warehouse fires happen at a frequent rate with an average of 1,410 warehouse fires, two deaths, 20 injuries, and an estimated $159.4 million in direct property damage annually. The new at-a-glance warehouse safety fact sheet draws on the guidance found in NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems and covers: Warehouse Fire Data Responsibility for Safety Commodity Classification Sprinkler Design Management of Change Inspection, Testing and Maintenance Fire Prevention Measures Importance of ITM Download the Warehouse Fire Safety Fact Sheet and check out the wide arrange of NFPA resources related to warehouse fire safety including the recent webinar,incident data, reports, suppression related research, and new information on Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) sprinklers which are often installed in warehouses to avoid installation of in-rack sprinklers.  

NFPA Offers Digital Badging to Help Learners Emphasize Their Professional Credibility

NFPA is now offering digital badges to help stakeholders promote their professional achievements. Learners will earn a digital badge upon successful completion of select NFPA online learning and be able to share their badge(s) on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest or add a link to email signatures, resumes, and HTML cards. In short, digital badges demonstrate competency in a visual, shareable way. They verify that someone has successfully developed a certain skill or met an educational requirement that adds value for their current role or career aspirations. In recent years, the popularity of digital badging has grown significantly among students, professionals and practitioners. Employers looking to identify viable candidates and retain existing talent by offering opportunities for staff to upskill and potentially fill new openings are also embracing badging. To help those that take NFPA training project a competitive edge, three badge levels have been created, including: A Bronze Badge (Awareness) that demonstrates successful completion of a learning program and fundamental knowledge of facts and ideas A Silver Badge (Knowledge) that shows successful completion of a learning program and application of acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules A Gold Badge (Analysis) that emphasizes successful completion of a learning program and the ability to analyze content, present opinions or make judgements about the information based on a set of criteria Four NFPA online training courses currently offer badging with two more to be added soon: Swinging Fire Door Inspection 2021 NFPA 3000: Active Shooter / Hostile Event Response 2019 NFPA 241: Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations Construction Site Fire Safety Fundamentals Fire and Life Safety Operator (coming late 2020) Fire Prevention Program Manager (coming February 2021) NFPA is using Badgr to make digital badges available. After successfully completing one of the online courses identified above, a badge will appear immediately in the learner’s NFPA Training Portal and will be available via Badgr.com within 24-48 hours of earning the credential. Registration for a free Badgr account is required to access all digital badge functionality, including validation and sharing capabilities. Not familiar with digital badging? In the early 2000s, big names like Microsoft Xbox 360, social media site FourScore and even the Boy Scouts began using online badging to engage audiences, according to Chief Learning Officer. In the years since, higher-education institutions and forward-thinking organizations have offered and welcomed the informative icons because they help to tell the story of work experiences and learning achievements in a way that is more dynamic, detailed, and portable. NFPA training and education continues to be regarded as the gold standard for fire, electrical, building and life safety learning; and recently introduced a wide array of new online learning, live virtual training, and Certification Learning Paths to meet the demands of today’s busy, tech-savvy workforce.
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