At a Glance: FPRF Research at the 2022 NFPA Conference & Expo

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), the research affiliate of NFPA, is celebrating 40 years of facilitating fire and life safety research in support of the NFPA mission. Over the last four decades, FPRF has helped advance fire and life safety by conducting and communicating hundreds of research studies that address challenges in a broad cross section of areas, including detection and signaling, hazardous materials, electrical safety, fire suppression, emerging technologies, wildfire, economic and environmental impact of fire, firefighter health and safety, among other critical and emerging fire and life safety issues. Given that communicating research is a fundamental element of FPRF’s mission, we are excited to share the latest findings from the Research Foundation at the upcoming NFPA Conference and Expo, which is just around the corner!

This year, the 2022 NFPA Conference and Expo is back in person from June 6 – 9th in Boston, MA, USA at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. One of the integral components of the NFPA conference are the over 120 education sessions available to all attendees. Will we see you there? If so, be sure to tune into these 11 educations sessions on the latest research around fire, life safety and electrical hazards from the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Dates and times are noted below.

Monday, June 6, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. | Firefighting Foams: Transition Roadmap for the Fire Service
The environmental and health impacts of fluorosurfactants present in aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs) have resulted in various state and international regulations phasing out the use of older foams, and fire departments are seeking guidance as they pursue replacements. This session will discuss the current and anticipated future issues with firefighting foam operations, handling and the transition roadmap for the fire service.

Monday, June 6, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. | Understanding the cost and impact of fire protection in buildings
The economic impact of fire needs to be considered on a macro and micro scale, from the national impact to the cost of fire protection and return on investment. In this session, attendees will learn about the most recent total cost of fire study, which identified several gaps in the data available on the cost of fire, including the economic impact of fire protection in buildings. (Learn more, here)

Tuesday, June 7, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. | Electric Circuit Data Collection
Due on the increasing pace of technological innovation across the electrical power chain, whether the service, feeder, and branch circuit load design requirements in NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® (NEC®), have kept pace has been called into question. In this session, attendees will hear the results of a study which collected an extensive amount of electrical receptacle demand and load data for health care facilities to establish a technical basis to inform the consideration of revisions to the service, feeder, and branch circuit design requirements in the NEC. (Access final report, here)

Tuesday, June 7, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. | Evaluating Data and Voice Signals in Pathway Survivable Cables for Life Safety
Pathway survivability, which is required by several safety systems, is the ability of any conductor, optic fiber, radio carrier, or other means for transmitting system information to remain operational during fire conditions. In this session, the presenters will summarize the recently published Fire Protection Research Foundation study that analyzed the impact of increased temperature on alarm/data signals and voice messages utilizing radio frequencies transmitted across pathway survivable cables.

Tuesday, June 7, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. | The effect of door gap size on the efficacy of swinging fire doors
Fire doors have one job: to prevent fire from spreading. To perform their job, clearance gaps around and under swinging fire doors must resist the passage of smoke, gases, and flames. Attend this session to hear about the research project on the effect clearance gap dimensions under swinging fire doors have on the performance of the assemblies to prevent a fire from spreading. In addition, hear the specifics of full-scale tests of generic fire door assemblies with door gap dimensions the same as or greater than those currently specified in NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.

Tuesday, June 7, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | The impact of drugs on fire risk
The impact of drugs on occupant notification and behavior during a fire cannot be overstated. Especially in the older adult population, even operable smoke alarms might not be enough to prevent fire death when the occupant is under the influence. In this session, attendees will hear about risk factors associated with fire deaths and the common medication classes linked to increased fire risk. In addition, the presenters will share how the findings of this research can help direct future efforts in community risk reduction programs and further define potential limitations in existing occupant alerting technologies. (Access full report, here).

Tuesday, June 7, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. | The dangers of wildland fire smoke inhalation
In this session, attendees will hear from researchers conducting an ongoing investigation into the health effects of long-term wildland fire smoke inhalation on wildland firefighters. The presenters will speak on multiple topics related to the short and long-term health risks wildland firefighters face and initiate a conversation between researchers and key stakeholders.

Tuesday, June 7, 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. | Carbon monoxide detection requirements: do you feel safe?
At the request of the technical committee behind NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, the Fire Protection Research Foundation recently released a report, titled, Carbon Monoxide Detection and Alarm Requirements: Literature Review to summarize the existing requirements for the installation of CO detection devices This session will summarize the findings of this study by outlining the status of existing CO requirements and identify recent revisions made at the latest technical committee meetings so you can stay informed as the process moves forward.

Tuesday, June 7, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. | Reducing Explosion Risks in Energy Storage Systems
Lithium-ion energy storage system (ESS) facilities are presenting new challenges to first responders. In this session, attendees will learn the risks of lithium-ion ESS explosions and how NFPA codes and standards address them. The presenters will also overlay case studies with solutions and identify the remaining gaps that need to be addressed. (Explore more resources at

Tuesday, June 7, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. | Fire Fighter Protective Clothing and Equipment – Cleaning Validation
This presentation will be provided in the form of a panel discussion where multiple experts will discuss the types of contamination found in the fireground, on-scene preliminary exposure reduction strategies, and how to enhance firefighter PPE cleaning procedures.  The panel will also discuss how advanced cleaning and sanitization procedures of PPE elements and selected equipment can reduce repeated exposure to harmful contaminants in unclean or inadequately cleaned PPE and related equipment. (Learn more at

Wednesday, June 8, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. | Performance criteria for aircraft hangar fire protection systems
The fire protection system requirements in NFPA 409, Standard on Aircraft Hangars, assume the presence of a large flammable liquid fuel spill. In this session, attendees will learn about a survey that was conducted to determine the circumstances and losses associated with incidents involving foam system discharges in hangars.  Attendees will also hear about a risk assessment methodology that was developed to evaluate the applicability of alternate fire protection technologies for hangars based on the hangar’s class, operations, and previous loss history. (Access full report, here)

Haven’t registered for the 2022 NFPA Conference and Expo yet? You can still register here:

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Victoria Hutchison
Research Project Manager, passionate about the advancement of fire protection, life safety and emerging technologies through the development of research at FPRF.