First of its kind requirement aimed at reducing construction site fires
March 8, 2023 – In response to the growing number and severity of construction fire incidents in the City of Boston, the Boston Fire Department has established a new training requirement through the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) for Fire Prevention Program Managers (FPPMs) working on construction sites in the city, effective January 1, 2023.
The training, Fire Prevention Program Manager Online Training Series, supports the building industry through the requirements and guidelines defined in NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations, which calls for a fire prevention program and a designated manager to enforce safety on construction sites. The NFPA training program is the only such program currently recognized by the Boston Fire Department.
“Today’s building environment demands that professionals responsible for safety on construction sites be formally trained on ways to reduce the risk of fire and other hazards to protect workers and property,” said NFPA president and CEO Jim Pauley. “Working closely with the Boston Fire Department in this effort illustrates our shared alignment and mission of promoting effective fire safety outcomes in communities.”
For every city construction, alteration, or demolition project necessitating a construction safety permit, the Boston Fire Department requirement mandates that a FPPM and Alternate FPPM complete an affidavit acknowledging the completion of the NFPA Fire Prevention Program Manager course. The form is then signed by the licensed builder associated with the Boston Inspectional Services Department (ISD) building permit for the location.
The NFPA training program helps ensure that NFPA 241 is followed and confirms for construction companies, building owners, and supervisors that designated personnel are on site to manage an effective fire prevention program and that construction sites maintain the needed:
- building safety and fire protection systems;
- hazard protection; and
- inspections, permits, and procedures.
Construction fires remain a serious issue of concern, risking lives and causing millions of dollars in damages each year. Each year in the United States, fire departments respond to an average of 4,300 fires in buildings under construction, according to a report released by NFPA last October. The economic impact of these blazes is significant, with an average annual estimate of more than $375 million in direct property damages. They also cause, on average, 62 annual civilian injuries and five annual civilian deaths.
“With building projects across the City of Boston on the rise,” said Pauley, “the new requirement helps FPPM professionals gain the critical skills needed for this position and apply their knowledge and training, solving for the inherent safety challenges that exist on construction sites today.”
NFPA will host a related webinar, Tackling the Construction Fires Crisis, on March 21, 2023, to address construction site safety and the role of the FPPM. Participants can also take advantage of the free resources that will be made available at the event. Register for the event or sign up for the online FPPM training series on the NFPA website. For team training, contact NFPA’s group training department.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
About the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)
Founded in 1896, NFPA® is a global, self-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275