Electrical Room Basics, Part 3

This is the last in a three-part series on electrical rooms. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Working space about electrical equipment is covered in Article 110 of the NEC.  Up to this point, we have discussed electrical rooms and how the National Electrical Code® (NEC®)—specifically, 110.26—helps ensure there is enough space, especially working space, in those rooms or areas. In Part 2, we observed that changing the voltage alters some of the clearance requirements for the equipment in electrical rooms (see 110.32 and 110.34 of the NEC). Now, we will look at an electrical enclosure, vault, or tunnel that is being used as a method for guarding electrical equipment and see how it affects clearances for working space about electrical equipment. What is an electrical enclosure?  First, let’s look in Article 100 to see if there is a definition for a vault or tunnel. We find there isn’t one, but we do find a definition for enclosure. Enclosure is defined as “the case, housing of an apparatus, or the fence or walls surrounding an installation to prevent personnel from accidentally contacting energized parts, or to protect the equipment from physical damage.” So, does this definition cover an electrical room or vault? I think it could, because the vaults are areas typically surrounded by walls and frequently some form of lockable entrance. Does a vault or enclosure still require working space for electrical equipment? Yes, Parts II and III of Article 110 cover these requirements. For voltages of 50 to 1000 volts, nominal, 110.27(A)(1) would address the use of a room, vault, or similar enclosure that is accessible only to qualified persons, as a means of protection against accidental contact with live parts. For the over 1000 volts, nominal, installations, 110.31(A)—which deals with electrical vaults, including their construction requirements—would apply. Often, we see vaults being utilized as electrical rooms for installations over 1000 volts versus the under-1000-volt installations. This is in part due to electrical installations using exposed terminations or the use of larger substations and switches, which could increase the risk of accidental contact with live parts, depending on the type of equipment. Construction of enclosures  Construction of the vault roof and walls must not be made from studs or wall board, but instead from construction materials that will provide adequate structural strength for the conditions and possess at minimum a 3-hour fire rating. This is usually accomplished using materials that are made from or contain concrete, like a masonry block wall with pre-cast concrete planks for the roof and floor, or a complete pre-cast concrete unit. Where the floor is in contact with earth it must not be less than 4-inch-thick concrete. However, where vacant space or stories are below the floor, it may need to be engineered to be able to structurally withstand the loads imposed on the floor. A vault will normally have access doors as well, which are required to be tight-fitting and have a 3-hour fire rating, unless the vault has an approved fire suppression system installed, in which case the doors can be 1-hour fire rated. These doors must also be lockable, to restrict access to unqualified persons. To allow safe egress in the event of an electrical injury, the doors must be equipped with panic hardware and open 90 degrees in the direction of egress. Don’t forget the signage that must be on the doors (See Part 2 in this blog series for more on signage). Should an electrical catastrophic failure occur, the vault’s robust construction will help mitigate damage to other portions of the building, which could ultimately save lives. This type of heavy-duty construction requires detailed planning from the electrical contractor and design professional for all electrical equipment locations and the penetrations into the vault from feeders, branch circuits, or raceways that will be connecting to that electrical equipment. These penetrations must not reduce the rating of the vault. The electrical equipment contained in the vault, such as the switchgear, transformers/substations, and motor control centers (MCC), must meet the working space requirements found in 110.26, 110.32, and 110.34 of the NEC. The applicable NEC section is determined by the highest nominal voltage for the equipment in a particular area, since there may be more than one voltage within a vault. Where high-voltage equipment is contained within the same vault as equipment 1000 volts or less, there may need to be some separation in accordance with 110.34(B). If the separation is accomplished with a fence controlled by locks, then 110.31 would apply. Table 110.31 contains distance values for the required space between the equipment and the separating fence. Note that the fence cannot be within the working space measurements found in Table 110.34(A). Adding electrical equipment in a vault does not reduce the working space requirements found in 110.26 or 110.34. It just adds some additional items to work around. Whether your electrical equipment is in an electrical room or a vault, you must maintain proper clearances for worker safety. A great way to learn more about working space about electrical equipment is to register for the NFPA online training series on the 2023 edition of the NEC. Working space about electrical equipment is covered in the General Equipment Installation Practices section of this training. Learn more about this comprehensive, self-paced training.  

How Long Does It Take for your 911 Call to Be Answered?

This was the question the NFPA technical committee responsible for writing NFPA 1225, Standard for Emergency services Communications, asked in the last revision cycle, while reviewing the existing language on this subject. A public safety answering/access point (PSAP) refers to the call center where emergency calls for the police, fire department or EMS are received from mobile or landline callers/subscribers. The 2022 edition of NFPA 1225 calls out two time-standards for dispatch: Answer requests for emergency assistance within 10 seconds 90% of the time Process the request for emergency assistance within 60 seconds 90% of the time. The standard defines “Call Answering” as the time from when the call is initiated by the caller to when it is answered by a PSAP. “Call Processing” is defined by the standard as the time from when the call is answered to when the first Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is dispatched. The NFPA Technical Committee knew these old provisions were based on the experience of the technical committee members and there was no research to suggest that these times fit the physical limitations of a communication center. Further, Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) would often question the validity of these provisions. Enter: The Fire Protection Research Foundation. This research request came from the NFPA 1225 Technical Committee and the NFPA Research Fund was able to provide the required funding to dig into these questions further. The goal of this project is to collect, analyze and summarize the call answer and processing time interval data in response to the fire and EMS events (excluding law enforcement event data) from a wide range of PSAP dispatch centers (i.e. large, small, urban, rural etc.) in the United States. The research contractor, Public Consulting Group, performed a literature review to identify common concerns for PSAPs including staffing limitations, insufficient funding, and technological issues.  PCG developed a survey questionnaire to circulate to PSAPs throughout the US, conducted a statistical analysis on the data collected and compiled all the findings and summary observations into a final report titled: “An Analysis of Public Safety Call Answering and event Processing Times”. The one-page summary provides key takeaways from the research report. There are over 6,000 active PSAPs in the US. 52 organizations submitted the requested data and 47 of those datasets are in the format consistent with the needs of this study. While this data represents less than one percent of PSAPs, in analyzing the data that was collected, PSAPs were only able to achieve the minimum time standards set by NFPA 1225, 40-50 percent of the time. It was noted that PSAPs who stated that they follow a written standard were compliant significantly more often than those who did not. Specifically, agencies that stated they follow the times described in NFPA 1225 (previously NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems, had 65% of their calls found to be compliant, versus only 27% compliance in the calls processed by agencies not following an NFPA standard. Analyzing these records, the 90th percentile for call processing times is more than twice the recommended time specified in NFPA 1225. However, records from agencies that follow written standards are compliant more than twice as often as the records from agencies without a standard. Agencies following NFPA Standards are identified to be most successful in this study. Interested in reading the report, download it here. Only have a minute? Check out this one-page project summary sheet you can share with others. Do you have a research need? Please submit it to us using the project idea submission tool. We look forward to hearing from you!  

An Overview of NFPA 110

Emergency power generators are an integral component in many fire and life safety systems. For this reason, NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, is referenced by many of the most widely used codes and standards. NFPA 110 addresses performance requirements for emergency and standby power systems. These systems provide an alternate source of electrical power in buildings when the normal electrical power source fails. Emergency power systems are made up of several components that need to work together to make sure electrical power is restored. These include power sources, transfer equipment, controls, supervisory equipment, and accessory equipment needed to supply electrical power to the selected circuits. This blog is meant to give an overview of the standard and its key chapters, but it’s not a replacement for reading and knowing the exact requirements of NFPA 110. What is an emergency and standby power system? In NFPA 110, there are two main terms used for emergency power or standby power. Those terms are emergency power supply and emergency power supply system. The emergency power supply is the source of the electrical power and includes everything necessary to generate the power. This includes the fuel supply (energy source), the equipment used to convert the fuel to electrical energy (energy converter), as well as the necessary accessories, such as the starting system and batteries. An emergency power supply system is a system that includes the emergency power supply as well as a system of conductors, disconnecting means, overcurrent protective devices, transfer switches, and all control, supervisory, and support devices up to and including the load terminals of the transfer equipment needed for the system to operate as a safe and reliable source of electric power. Chapter 4 ­– Classification of Emergency Power Supply Systems Emergency power supply systems are used in many different applications. Requirements that fit one situation might not be appropriate for another situation. When other codes or standards require an emergency power supply system, they typically call out the class, type, and level of system that is required. NFPA 110 contains the information for what these classes, types, and levels mean. Ultimately, these terms describe the capabilities of the system. Class – The class describes the minimum time that the emergency power supply system is designed to operate at its rated load without being refueled or recharged. It’s measured in hours, so a Class 0.25 needs to be able to provide power for 15 minutes and a Class 6 needs to provide power for 6 hours. The only class that falls outside of these rules is a Class X, which needs to provide power for “other time, in hours, as required by the application, code or user.” Type – The type describes the maximum time between when power is lost and when power is restored. This is measured in seconds, so a Type 10 needs to restore power within 10 seconds. There are two unique types that don’t follow this format. Type U, which needs to be basically uninterruptible—similar to an uninterruptible power supply system—and a Type M, which has no time limit and can be manually activated. Level – The level has to do with whether or not failure of the equipment could result in the loss of life or serious injury. It’s pretty straightforward. If failure of the equipment could result in the loss of life or serious injury. then it’s a Level 1. Otherwise, the emergency power supply system is a Level 2. The following table includes more information about classes, types, and levels. Chapter 5 – Emergency Power Supply: Energy Sources, Converters, and Accessories There are several different types of sources, or fuels, that can be used as an energy source, including liquified petroleum, liquified petroleum gas, natural gas, synthetic gas, and hydrogen gas. The most common is diesel fuel, which falls under the liquified petroleum category. Regardless of the type of fuel, it needs to be sized to 133 percent of the fuel required to run the generator for the time required by the class of the system. An energy source can’t do much without being converted into electrical energy. This can be done through a variety of means that are categorized into two groups: rotating equipment (generators) and fuel cells. Since reliability is one of the biggest concerns for an emergency power supply system, there are many requirements for equipment to be listed, designed, assembled, and tested to ensure it will function under emergency conditions. Chapter 6 – Transfer Switch Equipment A transfer switch does exactly what its name implies. It is a switch that, once activated, transfers the electrical load from one power source (normal power) to another (emergency power). They can be classified as an automatic transfer switch, a delayed automatic transfer switch, or a manual transfer switch, depending on the load being served and the required type of emergency power supply system. Automatic transfer switches, as well as delayed automatic, constantly monitor the source of normal power so, in the event of a power failure, the transfer switch moves the electrical load to the emergency power supply system. Chapter 6 of NFPA 110 contains performance requirements for transfer switches and their associated equipment. Chapter 7 – Installation and Environmental Considerations There are a lot of factors that can affect the performance of an emergency power supply system, one of which is the correct initial installation. Chapter 7 addresses the location and environmental considerations of installation that are essential for successful startup and performance, as well as safe operation and utilization of the emergency power supply system. This includes the following considerations: -        Location -        Lighting -        Mounting -        Vibration -        Noise -        HVAC -        Cooling system -        Fuel system -        Exhaust system -        Protection -        Distribution It is also crucial to know that the installed system will perform as expected without waiting for the initial operation to occur during the first power outage. Acceptance testing is required in order to confirm that the system will perform as required. Chapter 8 – Routine Maintenance and Operational Testing Emergency power supply systems are made of many components and subassemblies, all of which are required for reliable operation in order to provide emergency power in the event that primary power to a building is lost. The failure of one or more of these subsystems could compromise the ability of the emergency power system to deliver electricity in an emergency. For example, if the batteries in a diesel generator fail, then the entire system will not operate; in fact, battery failure is the most common cause of generator failure. Diligent maintenance of a building’s emergency power supply system, including routine inspections, system testing, and frequent maintenance, helps ensure proper operation. Some of the key considerations for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of emergency power supply systems are discussed in this blog. In general, the emergency power supply system needs to be inspected weekly, exercised monthly, and tested at least once every 36 months. NFPA 110 is a very commonly referenced standard and contains performance requirements for emergency power supply systems, most commonly generators. Hopefully this blog helped shed some light on the requirements and layout of the standard. For more information and training on NFPA 110, check out our online training as well as related certifications on the topic.

NFPA President Jim Pauley Reflects on Fire Stop Tour, Which Honored Tragic Fire Fatalities in 2022 and Served as Launchpad for Announcing National Fire Strategy

Last week, NFPA® President and CEO Jim Pauley and I participated in a Fire Stop Tour in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. The tour follows the US Fire Administrator’s Fire Prevention and Control Summit in October, the first such event since the 1947 Conference on Fire Prevention and Control hosted by President Truman. The October summit included a roundtable discussion where national fire service leaders made recommendations to national leaders that are now the national strategy to address the fire problem that were announced on the tour. The event in each city began with US Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell providing an overview of the fire problem and proposed action steps. She was joined by representatives from other national fire and safety organizations, including NFPA, the International Association of Fire Fighters, International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Volunteer Fire Council, UL Fire Safety Research Institute, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the National Fire Sprinkler Association, and the leaders of the local fire departments in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. These events paid tribute to the 17 people who died last January when fire broke out in a Bronx apartment building, the 12 residents who died just one week earlier at an apartment fire in Philadelphia, and the many others across our nation who died or were injured in fires last year, some of whom were first responders. Jim’s remarks focused on two key areas. The first was that the tragic events in New York and Philadelphia highlighted an unfortunate truth about fires: they disproportionally impact our most vulnerable populations—older adults, children, people of color, low-income populations, and people with disabilities. In a recent report called “The Invisible U.S. Fire Problem,” sponsored by NFPA, it was made abundantly clear that the demand for safe, affordable housing in the United States often outstrips the available supply. Facing this reality, people often find or create alternative living arrangements, which may fall outside the purview of legal systems of land ownership and tenure, and of planning, land use, building, public health, and safety regulations. These fire problems might seem invisible at the national level, but they are plaguing American cities, undermining the lives and livelihoods of fellow citizens, and having negative impacts on the fire service and neighboring communities. There is a dire need for research, policy, and action to better understand and address these local fire problems. The second key area Jim talked about was the significance of using and enforcing the most current codes and standards. NFPA has a comprehensive set of codes and standards that influence fire, electrical, and life safety in the built environment. During the tour, Jim and I noted one key way to create safer communities— incentivizing local jurisdictions to implement and enforce these latest codes and standards.  Our country is dotted with substandard buildings—the result of the use of outdated codes, lax enforcement, and amending out key safety provisions like those that require sprinklers in all new homes. For example, right now there are more than half a million public housing units in the United States that remain unprotected by fire sprinklers because they were constructed before a 1992 Congressional mandate for sprinklers in new multi-family housing units. And as we know, buildings with sprinklers experience civilian fire death rates at 89 percent lower than those without them.  The main points we worked to drive home during this tour were that safe housing and affordable housing should not be mutually exclusive, and that fire safety in public housing must receive continued, heightened attention. In his video, Jim summarized the task at hand: “As a nation—with the drive and the support of organizations like NFPA, whose very mission is devoted to eliminating death, injury, and property and economic loss—we have a lot of work to do. This week’s meetings with fire safety advocates—and the painful memories of all those we have lost to fire has only strengthened my resolve and determination that all of us working together in tandem—can have a significant impact to reduce the heavy burden of fire in our communities, our nation, and around the world.” A video of the full press event in Washington, DC, is available on C-SPAN. 

Changes to Kitchen Island and Peninsula Receptacle Outlet Requirements for the Past Three NEC Editions

Requirements for kitchen island and peninsula receptacle outlets have been a part of the National Electrical Code® (NEC®) since the 1990 edition. At that time, 210.52(c) stated: “Island and peninsula counter tops 12 inches (305 millimeters) or wider shall have at least one receptacle for each four feet (1.22 meters) of counter top.” Over the course of the next 30-plus years, there were many significant changes made around island and peninsula receptacle outlet requirements within the NEC. Perhaps no changes to these requirements represented a larger swing of the pendulum than those we have seen over the past three cycles: the 2017, 2020, and 2023 NEC.   2017 NEC Requirements   The following are the relevant sections and requirements for island and peninsula receptacle outlets based on the 2017 NEC. They have been paraphrased in this blog. ·       210.52(C)(2) and 210.52(C)(3) require at least one receptacle to be installed at each island or peninsula having a countertop with a long dimension of 24 inches (600 millimeters) or greater and a short dimension of 12 inches (300 millimeters) or greater. o   The peninsula countertop dimension is measured from the connected perpendicular wall. ·       210.52(C), Exception to (5) allows for receptacle outlets to be mounted a maximum of 12 inches (300 millimeters) below island and peninsula countertops and work surfaces as long as they are not located where the countertop or work surface extends more than 6 inches (150 millimeters) beyond its support base, in either of these two scenarios: o   Where the construction is for the physically impaired. o   On island or peninsula countertops or work surfaces where the surface is entirely flat (e.g., no backsplash) and has no means to mount a receptacle within 20 inches above the countertop or work surface, such as on an overhead cabinet. One of the significant changes between the 2014 and 2017 NEC requirements was in 210.52(C)(3) addressing peninsular countertop spaces. In the 2014 NEC, the peninsular countertop was required to be measured from the “connecting edge,” which was then changed to measuring from the “connected perpendicular wall” in the 2017 NEC. In the 2017 NEC, 210.52(C), Exception to (5) was revised to also include “work surfaces” as being a part of the requirement, along with countertops. This is consistent with changes in other areas within 210.52 of the 2017 NEC that added the term work surfaces, including changing the title of 210.52(C) to “Countertops and Work Surfaces.”   2020 NEC Requirements   In the 2020 NEC, island and peninsula receptacle outlet requirements saw a major overhaul from those in the 2017 NEC. Where the 2017 NEC required at least one receptacle outlet to be installed in islands and peninsulas with a long dimension of 24 inches or greater and a short dimension of 12 inches or greater, there was never a scenario that required more than one receptacle outlet to be installed in these locations. Changes to the 2020 NEC required at least one receptacle outlet to be installed in all islands and peninsulas, and potentially more depending on the overall square footage of the countertop or work surface for the island or peninsula. Here is an overview of the changes to 210.52(C) in the 2020 NEC (paraphrased): ·      210.52(C)(2) has been revised to cover both islands and peninsulas and has added the following requirements: o   At least one receptacle outlet must be installed within an island or peninsula for the first 9 square feet (0.84 square meters), or fraction thereof, of the countertop or work surface. o   An additional receptacle outlet must be installed within an island or peninsula for each additional 18 square feet (1.7 square meters), or fraction thereof, of the countertop or work surface. o   At least one receptacle outlet must be installed within 2 feet (600 millimeters) of the outer end of a peninsula countertop or work surface. o   Additional required receptacle outlets are permitted to be located as determined by the installer, designer, or building owner. o   A peninsula countertop must be measured from the connected perpendicular wall. o   The location of the receptacle outlets must be in accordance with 210.52(C)(3). The picture below depicts a 3-foot by 8-foot island. Based on changes to the 2020 NEC, the first 9 square feet (represented by the light blue area) require a receptacle outlet to be installed. That leaves a 3-foot by 5-foot area remaining in the yellow area. That area totals 15 square feet, therefore falling into a fraction of an additional 18 square feet and requiring an additional receptacle on the island, for a total of two. The locations that these two receptacles are installed must be done in accordance with 210.52(C)(3).   For the 2020 NEC, 210.52(C)(3) was revised to cover receptacle outlet locations, which were previously covered in the 2017 NEC by 210.52(C)(5). Revised 210.52(C)(3) provides three different list items identifying where island and peninsula receptacles are permitted to be located (paraphrased): 1.     On or above countertop or work surfaces, but no more than 20 inches above. 2.     In the countertop or work surface using a receptacle outlet assembly that is listed for the application. 3.     Where installed not more than 12 inches below the countertop or work surface and not located where the countertop or work surface extends more than 6 inches beyond its support base. Receptacle outlets that are not readily accessible or are located in assigned spaces for appliances within the peninsula or island (e.g., dishwasher, mini fridge, etc.) are not permitted to count as the required receptacles outlets for the island or peninsula.   2023 NEC Requirements   Section 210.52(C)(2) saw extensive revisions between the 2020 and 2023 NEC. All of the requirements around receptacle outlets being installed based on the square footage of the countertop and work surface of islands and peninsulas were removed. Perhaps more significant, the requirement for any receptacle to be installed within islands and peninsulas was removed. You read that right: No receptacle outlet is required to be installed within islands or peninsulas based on the 2023 NEC—with a caveat. The revisions to 210.52(C)(2) in the 2023 NEC essentially changed island and peninsula receptacles to have two requirements (paraphrased): 1.     Receptacle outlets in islands and peninsulas, if installed, must be done in accordance with 210.52(C)(3). 2.     If a receptacle outlet is not provided for islands and peninsulas, provisions must be provided for the addition of a receptacle outlet in the future. Note: The means by which the provision is made for a future receptacle outlet is not stated by the NEC; therefore, the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) will need to be consulted to determine what they will consider as meeting this requirement.   Watch a related video from the NFPA LiNK® YouTube channel Section 210.52(C)(3) has also been revised for the 2023 NEC, essentially to provide the following three options for where island and peninsula receptacle outlets can be installed (paraphrased): 1.     On or above countertop or work surfaces, but no more than 20 inches above. 2.     In a countertop using a receptacle outlet assembly listed for use in countertops. 3.     In a work surface using a receptacle outlet assembly listed for use in work surfaces or listed for use in countertops. What can be noted as a major change in the 2023 NEC from the receptacle outlet location options for islands and peninsulas in 210.52(C)(3) of the 2020 NEC, is the ability to install receptacle outlets below countertops and work surfaces. Receptacle outlets for islands and peninsulas are no longer able to be installed below the countertop and work surface level. As part of its substantiation for the change, NEC Code Making Panel 2 cited Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data showing that between 1991 and 2020, an estimated 9,700 people, many of them children, were treated in United States emergency departments for burns and other injuries after pulling on or running into power cords plugged into receptacle outlets installed below island and peninsula work surfaces.  Those who opposed the change, however, cited accessibility concerns. Because of this change, as well as other changes to 210.52(C)(2) and (C)(3), the 2023 NEC essentially provides three options for island and peninsula receptacle outlet installations, or non-installations, as depicted in the bullet points and photo below: ·      Option 1 permits the installation of receptacle outlets above the countertop or work surface, but not more than 20 inches above. Islands and peninsulas with elevated backsplashes present an opportunity for using this option. ·      Option 2 permits installation of receptacle outlets within the countertop or work surface, provided a receptacle outlet assembly listed for the application is utilized. ·      Option 3 is utilized when no receptacle outlet is installed within the island or peninsula. In that case, the 2023 NEC requires a future provision to be made where a receptacle outlet could be installed at a later date. The junction box with protective flexible conduit for the NM-B cable is just one example of how this could possibly be done, but it is not required to be done this way per the 2023 NEC.     Change and the NEC are practically synonymous. But it is rare that we see such drastic changes in requirements within the same section of the NEC over such close cycles. Personally, I believe that these changes show how important it is for the public to get involved in the NFPA® standards development process. Whether you’re an individual with relevant data that you can provide or an electrician that has an idea of what should change, the safety that the NEC provides depends on your input. I encourage everyone to learn more about the standards development process to get involved.
Inside a warehouse

Fire Protection Research Foundation will host a free webinar on “Impact of Elevated Walkways in Storage on Sprinkler Protection”

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) will be hosting the first webinar of its 2023 Annual Webinar Series on Tuesday, January 31, on “Impact of Elevated Walkways in Storage on Sprinkler Protection”. Solid and open metal grate walkways are often installed in aisles as part of rack storage. Further, open metal grates are also used as mezzanine levels above storage. Historically, there has been little information on how these walkway and mezzanine installations impact current storage protection requirements. The technical committee for NFPA 13, Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems, is seeking technical substantiation and guidance for sprinkler protection in the presence of elevated walkways in storage occupancies. A project commissioned by the Fire Protection Research Foundation entitled “Impact of Elevated Walkways in Storage on Sprinkler Protection” sought to answer questions, including: When is this type of installation considered a problem from a sprinkler protection standpoint At what point do walkways interfere with pre-wetting of adjacent arrays? This webinar will address knowledge gaps related to the impact of walkways and mezzanines on sprinkler performance and characterize how the presence of a mezzanine or walkway grating interferes or interrupts the spray or delays activation of the sprinklers as a result of the grate’s influence on the plume, or the impact of pre-wetting of adjacent racks. Dr. Noah Ryder, Fire and Risk Alliance, LLC., is leading this research activity and will lead this webinar discussion. The annual webinar series is a successful outreach of the research activities undertaken by the FPRF. Webinar registration is free and required to attend live; register for this webinar or visit www.nfpa.org/webinars and watch on-demand archived FPRF webinars. This webinar is supported by the FPRF 2023 Webinar Series Sponsors: AXA XL Risk Consulting Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc. Telgian Engineering and Consulting The Zurich Services Corporation Worcester Polytechnic Institute Fire Protection Engineering Program

January is Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month. How Can You Make the Most of It?

As we begin the new year and gear up for the work that lies ahead, firefighter health and safety remain a priority for all of us at NFPA®. That’s why we’re helping promote Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month, which works to increase public and member awareness about firefighter cancer risks and proactive steps to mitigate them. Sponsored by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network in coordination with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and a host of other groups, organizations, and individuals, Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month is highlighting specific aspects of the firefighter cancer problem throughout January, providing information and resources to help tackle these risks. Exposure and contamination control At NFPA, one of the ways we’ve been working to better protect firefighters from harmful exposures is through the development of NFPA 1585, Standard for Exposure and Contamination Control. The first edition of this new standard, which will be published in 2025, establishes the minimum requirements for an exposure and contamination control program for emergency services incident scene operations and training. In particular, the standard will address exposure and contamination control in emergency services facilities, in emergency vehicles and apparatus, during procedures at an incident scene, and at any other location or area where emergency service members are involved in routine or emergency operations. Public inputs for NFPA 1585 are now being considered and can be viewed at www.nfpa.org/1585next. After the first draft is published in March 2023, the document will be open for public comment until May 31, 2023. Anyone with a vested interest in helping ensure the program requirements within NFPA 1585 are as effective and impactful as possible should take the time to review these comments and provide feedback by the May deadline. Prevention and detection I also encourage all firefighters to get an annual physical exam. As we all know, early detection can play a life-saving difference in effectively treating cancer and other illnesses. On a somewhat related note, NFPA 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments, which requires specific cancer screening tests (Chapter 7), is currently in the process of being consolidated—along with NFPA 1581, NFPA 1583, and NFPA 1584—into a new document, NFPA 1580, Standard for Emergency Responder Occupational Health and Wellness, which is scheduled to be published in 2025. Listen to a related podcast on the link between firefighting and cancer   The overall goal of this consolidation is to combine like documents and provide an easier combination of related information in one document. Overall, I urge every firefighter to review the information provided through the Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month website and to be an instrument of change in your own department. Speaking as firefighter from an age when we did not know what we do now about certain exposures and cancer risks, taking action now is a gift to your health and safety, and to your family and fellow firefighters. In addition to the information provided through the campaign, check out additional resources from FEMA, the CDC, and the IAFF.
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