AUTHOR: Matthew Levin

NFPA wins six 2021 Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards for its training programs

NFPA won six coveted Brandon Hall Group [Gold/Silver/Bronze] awards for excellence in the “Certification Program, Advanced Custom Content, and Best Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning” categories. The 2021 Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards are bestowed upon organizations that excel in learning and development, talent management, leadership development, talent acquisition, human resources, sales performance, diversity, equity & inclusion, and future of work. The following NFPA training solutions were recognized this year: Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) Online Learning Paths: Gold - Best Certification Program Certified Fire Plan Examiner (CFPE) Online Learning Paths: Gold - Best Certification Program Certified Fire Inspector I (CFI-I) Online Learning Paths: Gold - Best Certification Program NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC) (2020) Online Training Series: Silver - Best Advance in Custom Content Fire and Life Safety Operator Online Training: Silver - Best Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2021): Bronze - Best Advance in Custom Content                             “Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards in 2021 provide much-needed and well-deserved recognition to organizations that went above and beyond to support their stakeholders during the unprecedented disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brandon Hall Group COO and leader of the HCM Excellence Awards Program Rachel Cooke. “The awards provide validation of best practices in all areas of HCM at a time when they have never been more important to employers, employees, and customers.” In 2018 and 2019, Brandon Hall Group recognized NFPA online learning solutions related to sprinklers, storage, hot work, and NFPA 3000™, Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program with awards. The 2021 award entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts, and executives based upon these criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation, and overall measurable benefits. “NFPA has been on a journey to improve its online education offerings so that skilled professionals keep learning during the pandemic and beyond. It’s an honor to have Brandon Hall Group recognize the educational transformation underway at NFPA and our efforts to improve work performance and safety with a total of 10 best in class awards over the past three years,” said Bartholomew Jae, the association’s director of education and development. “NFPA is in good company with progressive organizations such as Google, Bridgestone, Deloitte, HP, PepsiCo, and others receiving Brandon Hall Group honors this year. Perhaps even more rewarding is the praise we are receiving from the individuals and organizations who are embracing our new online training offerings.”
A sprinkler head

NASFM is helping NFPA Spread the Word About Home Fire Sprinklers

The effectiveness of home fire sprinklers is undeniable. Sprinklers respond immediately to fires, meaning they fight a fire before firefighters even arrive. In most cases, this reduces a significant amount of property damage and can even save lives. However, from 2010-2014, home fire sprinkler systems were only found in seven percent of all home fires, according to NFPA. It is imperative to spread the word about home fire sprinklers as they truly have the power to save lives. Jon Narva, the director of external relations at the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), sat down with Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) president, Lorraine Carli, to talk more about this subject as a part of a video series created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of HFSC. Educating the public about home fire sprinklers is a huge objective for NASFM. Narva emphasized this point, stating that what is necessary to get more people to install home fire sprinklers is to “focus on education, that has to remain key and continuing to develop the programs to help the marshals get the word out, not just to the firefighters or first responders in their state, but to all the stakeholders as well,” he said. NASFM is playing a huge role in promoting home fire sprinklers because of how effective they are at stopping a fire before it engulfs a home. Home fire sprinklers are “really a no-brainer,” Narva said. “NASFM’s mission is to protect human life, property, and the environment and that describes home fire sprinklers.” According to Narva, home fire sprinklers can also help reduce safety risks in any community. “Community risk reduction really takes a look at the whole picture of all the risks that are out there,” he stated. “If we can reduce the fire risk through fire sprinklers, we’re able to dedicate resources to higher risk or more recent risk areas and protect the community overall.” To help promote home fire sprinklers, NAFSM worked with HFSC to develop programs that give people incentives for installing home fire sprinklers. Listen to the full interview with Narva and Carli to learn more about why it is so important to educate the public about home fire sprinklers:   If you missed any of the previous interviews, including Carli’s most recent discussion with Kevin Quinn, the 1st vice chairman at the National Volunteer Fire Council, find the full video series on HFSC’s website.   Help NFPA and HFSC celebrate its 25th anniversary this year; share the facts about the affordability, reliability, and effective protection of home fire sprinklers. For additional information, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative websites.
Kevin Quinn

Home Fire Sprinklers Reduce Risks for Volunteer Firefighters

There are 1.1 million firefighters nationwide, 67 percent of which are volunteers. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) represents the interests of volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. Kevin Quinn, the first vice chairman at the NVFC, sat down with Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) president, Lorraine Carli, to talk more about why home fire sprinklers are important to the volunteer firefighters as a part of a video series created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of HFSC. In the video interview, Quinn emphasizes the importance of home fire sprinklers as they save numerous lives, “by knocking those fires down before they become that deadly, whether it be for residents, or for firefighters, volunteers and career alike,” he said. Quinn mentions while every home should be equipped with home fire sprinklers, they are especially important in rural areas. Of all the country’s volunteer firefighters, many are in rural areas. “Water supply is an issue for rural areas and there’s a little bit more of a response time,” Quinn said. “So, the home fire sprinklers are going to be impactful on those residential homes that have protection.” Home fire sprinklers stopping a fire before it can spread puts firefighters at much less risk and reduces injuries from fighting structure fires. However, it also prevents firefighters from inhaling carcinogens from fires, reducing their risk of cancer. Cancer in firefighters is a serious issue. According to Two studies from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, they find that: Firefighters face a nine percent increase in cancer diagnosis. Firefighters also face a 14 percent increase in cancer related deaths compared to the general US population. In the video, Quinn states that the NVFC helped put together the Lavender Ribbon Report, which is 11 of the best practices to reduce exposure and minimize any kind of additional risk put on firefighters. “Volunteers are your neighbors helping others,” Quinn said. “They give up so much and dedicate so much and we appreciate each and every one of them for what they do. But we also have to let them realize that there are other means such as home fire sprinklers that will help protect them, their communities, and their families.” Listen to the full interview with Quinn and Carli to learn more about how home fire sprinklers reduce risks for volunteer firefighters:   If you missed any of the previous interviews, including Carli’s most recent discussion with Mike O’Brian, a fire chief from the Brighton Area Fire Authority and a board member on the International Association of Fire Chiefs, find the full video series on HFSC’s website.   Help NFPA and HFSC celebrate its 25th anniversary this year; share the facts about the affordability, reliability, and effective protection of home fire sprinklers. For additional information, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative websites.
Putting out a fire

NFPA Recognizes Work to Enhance Fire and Life Safety

Each year, NFPA presents awards that pay tribute to outstanding achievements in fire and life safety. Two of those awards are the Harry C. Bigglestone Award and the Research Foundation Medal, given out by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation), the research affiliate of NFPA. The Harry C. Bigglestone Award recognizes a paper that appeared in Fire Technology. The chosen contribution best represents excellence in the communication of fire protection concepts and honors Harry C. Bigglestone, who served as a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Bigglestone was a fellow and past president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize from NFPA. The winning paper is “20 Dwelling Large-Scale Experiment of Fire Spread in Informal Settlements,” by Nico de Koker (PhD, BScEng, BSc), a computational physicist and structural engineer, who works as an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The paper’s co-authors were R.S. Walls, A. Cicione, Z.R. Sander, S. Loffel, J.J. Claasen, S.J. Fourie, L. Croukamp (all from the Department of Civil Engineering, Stellenbosch University), and D. Rush (School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, U.K.). The Research Foundation Medal recognizes the project  that best exemplifies the Foundation’s fire safety mission, technical challenges that have been overcome, and a collaborative approach to execution (the hallmark of all Foundation projects). Representatives from the Foundation Board, Research Advisory Committee, and NFPA technical staff reviewed  18 eligible project summaries and conducted staff assessments of how they meet each of the criteria. The project, Evaluation of the fire protection effectiveness of fluorine free firefighting foams earned the 2020 Foundation Medal. This project addressed the need to inform end users about alternatives by evaluating the firefighting capabilities of fluorine free, Class B firefighting foams on fires involving hydrocarbon and alcohol fuels. More than 165 fire tests were conducted to determine foam application rates and foam discharge densities as a function of a range of test parameters, including discharge types, foam qualities and aspiration ratios, fuel types, water types, and fuel temperatures. Information on the proper application of fluorine free foams (FFFs) was lacking for the fire service. In part, the study highlighted the importance of following the listed parameters while applying FFFs. The research team,  project sponsors (American Petroleum Institute, Angus International, Chevron USA Inc., Exxon Mobil, Johnson Controls, Marathon Petroleum, Philipps 66, Shell Oil Company), and the project technical panel are all recognized with this honor. The award will be presented to the research team during the 2022 Conference & Expo in Boston next June led by Gerard G. Back, senior fire protection engineer, Research & Development, Testing & Evaluation at Jensen Hughes (Md.), and John Farley, director of Fire Test Operations at the Naval Research Laboratory’s Navy Technology Center for Safety and Survivability (Va.). Congratulations to this year's impressive winners!      
A woman with candles

As Colleges Re-Open, Keep Campus Fire Safety at the Forefront

With the new school year approaching fast, college students are returning to campus, many for the first time in over a year, marking the start of new classes, new friends, and new living spaces. Through their Campus Fire Safety for Students campaign, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and The Center for Campus Fire Safety (CCFS) are working together to ensure living spaces are as safe as possible during Campus Fire Safety Month in September and throughout the school year. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about the threat of fire among college students in both on- and off-campus housing, and to put relevant information in the hands of students, parents, and campus housing administrators and staff who are encouraged to take proactive measures to protect themselves, family members, and peers against fire. According to campus fire safety research, September and October have the highest incidences for fires in dormitories, meaning the best time to prepare is now! The following tips are a great place to start: Know and practice your building’s evacuation plan, as well as alternate routes. Cook in intended areas only, and never leave cooking equipment unattended when in use, even briefly. Test smoke alarms monthly in an apartment or a house. Ensure smoke alarms are installed outside of all sleeping areas, and on every level of the apartment or house. NEVER remove or disable smoke alarms. Place combustible items away from heat sources and never overload electrical outlets, extension cords, or power strips. Bear in mind that many fires are also caused by portable light and heat sources, like space heaters and halogen lamps. Keep common areas and hallways free of possessions and debris. Never block exit routes. Many of the resources offered by the campaign are designed to be shared through social media, school newspapers, college websites, and posted in dormitory common areas. These resources include videos, checklists, infographics, tip sheets, and more. Learn preventative actions that can save lives and share the information with people you know. Keeping campuses safe from fire is a collaborative effort; help foster a culture of awareness and preparedness by starting today and spreading the word. For more resources and information online about the Campus Fire Safety for Students campaign, visit nfpa.org/campus or the Center’s website and its Share! For Students webpage. 
Firefighters with SCBA

Home Fire Sprinklers Can Help Protect Firefighters Health and Safety

Home fire sprinklers are proven to be extremely effective in reducing loss of life and property from fires. However, home fire sprinklers can also help prevent cancer in firefighters. Cancer rates in fire fighters is tragically high. Two studies from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health prove this, finding that: Firefighters face a nine percent increase in cancer diagnosis. Firefighters also face a 14 percent increase in cancer related deaths compared to the general US population. By reducing the number of fires that break out, home fire sprinklers can help reduce cancer rates in firefighters. Mike O’Brian, a fire chief from the Brighton Area Fire Authority and the Fire and Life Safety Section Director at the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), sat down with Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) president, Lorraine Carli, to talk more about this subject as a part of a video series created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of HFSC. O’Brian was quick to mention that fire fighter cancer is a serious issue among all fire departments. “There doesn’t seem to be a day or week that goes by that we don’t hear about some organization who either lost a firefighter from a related on the job style cancer or struggling with the battle,” O’Brian said. To help combat this, his main objective is to get as many home fire sprinklers in as many homes as possible. Every day, firefighters put their health and safety on the line and are sometimes required to battle aggressive fires. However, O’Brian notes that if home fire sprinklers are installed and stop a fire before it starts or keeps one small, firefighter’s health will be preserved as the sprinklers have eliminated or significantly reduced their exposure to carcinogens. As a fire chief, “We want to make sure, when we truly say, ‘I want my firefighters to go home at the end of the day,’ it’s beyond that current incident,” O’Brian said. “I want them to go home at the end of their career and have a great life.” Listen to the full interview with O’Brian and Carli to learn more about how home fire sprinklers can prevent fire fighter cancer: If you missed any of the previous interviews, including Carli’s most recent discussion with Amy Acton, the CEO of The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, find the full video series on HFSC’s website.   Help NFPA and HFSC celebrate its 25th anniversary this year; share the facts about the affordability, reliability, and effective protection of home fire sprinklers. For additional information, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative websites.

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