2014 NEC
NFPA Journal September October 2014
September / October 2014 Cultural and Historical Occupancies

In this issue, NFPA Journal explores the mixed history of fire escapes, which double as safety features and deadly hazards. PLUS: St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s unique new mist suppression system; life safety in foreign U.S. embassies; fire loss and catastrophic fire reports, and more.


2013 Catastrophic Fires

The Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona and the ammonium nitrate fire and explosion in West, Texas, top the list of deadliest fire events from last year.

Fire Loss

The number of reported fires in the United States fell to a historic low in 2013, and overall property damage due to fire declined from 2012—but civilian fire deaths increased.

Fire Escapes

100 years ago, an NFPA committee sounded the alarm on fire escapes in its first report. A century later, we’re still wrestling with the problems presented by this Victorian-era technology.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

New York City’s iconic cathedral was a fire disaster waiting to happen. The solution? St. Patrick’s officials decided to build one of the most unique water mist systems in the country.

In Compliance


Settling a fire alarm system testing dispute

NFPA 101

NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, and new provisions for security access turnstiles


Cautionary Tale: Code changes that disregard safety can have tragic results


How often should you test fire pumps? The short answer: It depends.


First Responder

How NFPA standards can help when purchasing equipment for the fire service.


The need to take a closer look at how structures burn in the wildland/urban interface.


A botched furnace repair highlights the need for carbon monoxide detectors.

Wildfire Watch

In defense of defensible space: the takeaway from the San Diego County wildfires.


First Word

Getting Proactive: Fighting the wildfire problem before the fires even start

Online Exclusive

Commentary: Chile’s Fiery Past: Will the Valparaiso Wildfire Change the Future?


Building an embassy: A conversation about the fire and life safety challenges in U.S. buildings around the world

News + Analysis

In A Flash

Data Driven: New research explores fire detection in high-air-flow environments, such as expensive data centers.


Fire Incidents from across the country.

Looking Back

Remembering a pivotal 1949 Montana wildfire and the smoke jumpers of Mann Gulch