Published on July 1, 2016.

In Briefs


The height of summer grilling season has arrived, and so have the months with the largest number of home fires involving grilling.

Between 2009 and 2013, an annual average of 8,900 home fires involved grills, hibachis, or barbecues, causing an annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 160 reported civilian injuries, and $118 million in direct property damage, according to NFPA’s “Home Grill Fires” report, published in April. July is the peak month for grilling fires followed by May, June, and August, the report found. The leading causes of grill fires were a failure to clean, having the grill too close to something that could catch fire, and leaving the grill unattended.

NFPA has a collection of resources to help you and your communities stay safe, including tip sheets and videos. Read the new report and view educational materials on grilling by visiting the NFPA webpage on grilling.


In May, President Obama signed into law a bill that will allow members of Congress to give flags that have flown over the Capitol to families of firefighters, police officers, and other first responders who have died in the line of duty.

The measure, called the Fallen Heroes Flag Act of 2016, passed both the House and Senate with widespread support.

Along with the flag, the bill provides that families receive a certificate signed by the official providing the flag “that contains an expression of sympathy for the family.”


NFPA has produced a document aimed at helping fire service leaders launch community risk reduction programs in their local departments.

The paper, Community Risk Reduction: Doing More with More, was written by several members of NFPA’s Urban Fire and Life Safety Task Force, comprised of representatives from large, urban fire departments around the country whose work involves community risk reduction.

The paper provides a historical overview, case studies of successful risk reduction programs, an outline of the benefits of these programs, and recommendations for how fire service leaders can get a community risk reduction plan endorsed and implemented in their area.

Read the white paper and several other reports and presentations related to urban fire safety.


A free new online guide is now available to assist building owners and occupants with disabilities in planning for the possibility of an emergency evacuation.

NFPA’s “Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities,” released in May, is the second edition of the guide and features updated statistics, graphics, photos, and links, as well as new technological capabilities that allow screen readers who are blind or low-vision to access content online. There is also an expanded, more detailed checklist for the personal evacuation planning process.

NFPA’s Disability Access Review and Advisory Committee (DARAC) and other nationally recognized advocates helped create the original guide in 2007. It is a comprehensive evacuation planning strategy that establishes the needs, criteria, and minimum information necessary for proper planning for a range of disabilities including mobility, visual, hearing, speech, and cognitive impairments.

“Accessibility among the disabled community is a relatively recent subject that we’ve begun to address in fire and building codes, but it’s one we must continue to proactively focus on, so that we can fully meet the safety needs of people with disabilities,” said Allan Fraser, senior specialist for NFPA’s Building Fire Protection division. “Moving forward, we plan to update the guide more frequently with timely updates and information that reflect the continually changing and evolving built environments in which we all work and live.”