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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will host its annual Conference & Expo at the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, from June 17 – June 20, 2019.

This comprehensive event brings together thousands of the industry’s renowned professionals who will attend more than 120 educational sessions and special events addressing the latest issues, challenges and trends in the world of fire, electrical, and life safety.

NFPA Conference & Expo 2019

The expo floor will also feature an emerging technologies and electrical pavilion

This year’s expo, featuring more than 325 exhibitors, brings to life the products and services needed to meet and maintain compliance with prevailing codes and standards in the design, construction and operation of buildings and facilities of every kind.

The expo floor will also feature an emerging technologies and electrical pavilion, offering product displays with hands- on learning and an immersive virtual reality experience for contractors and electricians, inspectors and building officials, among others.

Notable presentations include:

  • Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response and NFPA 3000 (PS) Program: Lessons Learned and a New Standard on June 18, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

NFPA 3000(PS), Standard for ASHER Program

With an increase in gun-related incidents around the nation, a panel of experts will explain recent events that led to the creation of the NFPA 3000(PS), Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program.

The session will include lessons learned from the specific events in which active shooters were involved, followed by a discussion that includes an overview of the content of the standard and the roles and responsibilities of those working to prevent future incidents.

  • Is it time to P.A.N.I.C.? Shifting Community Risk Reduction from Concept to Reality on June 17, 8 - 9 a.m.

Community Risk Reduction (CRR)

Community Risk Reduction (CRR) is a process that identifies and prioritizes local risks

Find out what the P.A.N.I.C. is all about! Community Risk Reduction (CRR) is a process that identifies and prioritizes local risks to ensure integrated and strategic resource investment to reduce the occurrence and impact of dangerous risks. While CRR is discussed in many fire departments, a full implementation is often hindered by challenges.

During this interactive discussion, presenters will break down five strategic actions, modeled in the acronym P.A.N.I.C., to drive successful CRR implementation and overcome common barriers.

Attendees will find out why successful CRR programs include key inputs from officers, operations and the overall community. They will also learn real-world examples of the process in action, and have the chance to generate additional solutions.

  • Making Hot Work Safety an Everyday Practice on June 17, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

‘Structure Fires Started by Hot Work’ NFPA report

In its 2016 fire incident report, ‘Structure Fires Started by Hot Work’, NFPA presents data showing a U.S. annual average of over 4,000 fires caused by hot work and that doesn’t account for those in industrial occupancies, including oil and gas sector worksites.

US Chemical Safety Board, OSHA, and industry-specific reports confirm that hot work incidents are becoming increasingly common. Participants will receive practical guidance regarding flammable liquids or gases, including the essentials for monitoring concentration buildup of vapors that cannot be seen or detected without special monitoring devices.

  • When Uber Meets Octane: Fire Code Requirements for On-Demand Fueling on June 18, 5 - 6 p.m.

NFPA 30A and the 2018 International Fire Code

NFPA 30A and the 2018 International Fire Code have new provisions for on-demand fueling

NFPA 30A and the 2018 International Fire Code have new provisions for on-demand fueling where gasoline or diesel fuel can be delivered directly to a consumer's vehicle using a smartphone.

This presents a variety of regulatory and emergency response issues to the fire service. This presentation reviews key technical requirements in NFPA 30A, 2018 IFC, US DOT regulations and the potential risks to emergency responders.

  • A New Standard for Energy Storage Systems: NFPA 855 on June 12, 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Safe and Sustainable expansion of Renewable Technology

As the energy storage industry continues to grow, NFPA is engaged in a number of initiatives aimed at promoting the safe and sustainable expansion of this renewable technology. One of NFPA's most substantial contributions is the creation of NFPA 855, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems.

Get the most up-to-date and in-depth information on the contents of the new NFPA 855, which should be published or may have notices of intent to make a motion (NITMAMs) at the 2019 NFPA Technical Meeting.

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In case you missed it

How Technology Helps London Fire Brigade With Incident Command
How Technology Helps London Fire Brigade With Incident Command

Drones give Incident Commanders an aerial view, increasing their situational awareness of fires and helping them to develop tactics to tackle them. Station Officer Lee Newman details how the technology was implemented by London Fire Brigade and the continued benefits. Identify external risks The Grenfell Tower fire has resulted in revisions to several operational procedures and the introduction of new equipment within the Brigade. A few months after the fire, the Brigade was tasked with setting up a trial to test the feasibility of having a drone capability to identify external risks and assess building stability at incidents, providing essential safety information that could facilitate ongoing internal firefighting operations. Implement the use of drones The Brigade implemented the use of drones and acquired a Matrice 210 V1 and a Phantom 4 Working with partners who had an existing drone capability, as well as drone experts, the Brigade began work to implement the use of drones and acquired a Matrice 210 V1 and a Phantom 4 as a trainer and reserve drone. In the summer of 2018, an Emergency Services bespoke course was run by Essex Police to train the Brigade’s team of drone pilots, who were all PfCO qualified within one week. From start to finish, it took just nine months to get London Fire Brigade’s drone team operational. Working of the drones On its first day of being available for incidents, the team received an order to attend a 15-pump fire at a leisure center, which was under renovation. They were asked to confirm if there were cylinders on the roof of the building and immediately put the drone to use. The team flew and relayed the camera footage onto a large screen that was fitted into a van provided for the trial. The drone footage was able to identify, to the Incident Commander’s satisfaction, that the cylinders were actually rolls of asphalt due to be laid on the roof as part of the renovation. If the drone concept could have proven its use in one job, this was it. The information from the drone allowed the Incident Commander to decide not to make it ‘cylinders confirmed’ and saved a lot of unnecessary extra appliance movements. Applications of drone Since that first callout, the team has been to around 300 incidents of six pumps or more, including persons in the water, fires, and various missing people’s incidents both in London and into other counties, assisting police forces. From start to finish, it took just nine months to get London Fire Brigade’s drone team operational Drone inventory The Brigade’s drone capability inventory includes a Matrice 300 with an H20T dual thermal and optical camera; a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual with multi attachments; a Mavic Air 2 and a Yuneec 520. The Brigade also has a Teradek live streaming device and multiple tablets for receiving the streamed footage. The Brigade operates with two Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs – plug-in hybrid SUVs – and has split the drone equipment into two, with one vehicle carrying the drone and batteries, and the other carrying all the support kit and ancillaries. Working in dark conditions The drones are permitted to fly up to 400 ft above ground level or higher in an emergency and can fly as fast as 50 mph. They also can act as a loudspeaker to give instructions or reassurance and shine a bright spotlight in dark or low light conditions. 24/7 service The Brigade has eight pilots trained and operates a 24/7 service The Brigade has eight pilots trained and operates a 24/7 service. The team is working closely with its blue light partners, including the: Metropolitan Police Service, several search and rescue teams, and a host of fire services surrounding the capital, as well as giving advice to other upcoming drone teams around the UK. Use of drone in future The Brigade’s drone capability has been molded to how it sees the future and what it holds in the way of drone use. For example, the Brigade has developed a capability to drop water rescue aides to people at water incidents, which helps to keep them afloat long enough to be rescued. The drone can also be used alongside the swift water rescue teams to provide situational awareness of hazards and the resulting risks during the rescue phase. Delivering fire escape tools The Brigade also invested in fire escape hoods in late 2018 and has already demonstrated how one might be delivered via a drone to a balcony above the height of an aerial appliance while using the Mavic Enterprise 2 to relay instructions via the loudspeakers. These possible new uses are pushing the boundaries of the Brigade’s original concept and demonstrate how London Fire Brigade works to stay ahead of the curve. 

Chicago Bans Dogs From Firehouses, Despite Long-Held Tradition
Chicago Bans Dogs From Firehouses, Despite Long-Held Tradition

There is a long tradition of canines in the fire service, from Dalmatians riding shotgun in the fire truck to mixed breeds rescued from fires that later become the fire company mascot. The tradition has taken a hit recently in Chicago, where dogs are no longer allowed at firehouses after one station dog killed a smaller breed canine near a firehouse in the Englewood neighborhood. The incident The firehouse dog in Chicago, named Bones, was a mixed breed stray rescued off the street that was living at Engine 116 at 60th Street and Ashland Avenue. A neighbor was walking her smaller breed dog past the firehouse and watched in horror as Bones attacked and killed her small dog. After the incident, Chicago’s Acting Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt issued a department memo: “Any and all prior permissions for dogs in the fire stations or on fire apparatuses are hereby revoked … effective immediately.” Chicago Firehouse dogs Most of Chicago’s firehouse dogs are strays that were picked up and brought to firefighters by the public. Fire crews and paramedics care for the dogs, train them, feed them and get them inoculated and spayed or neutered, then ask formal permission to keep the dogs on site. Historically, permission has been granted, in effect saving the dogs from being euthanized. Breed of choice The tradition of dogs and the fire service goes back centuries, to the 1700s, when carriage dogs first trotted alongside horse-drawn fire carriages. Dalmatians were the breed of choice, given their good temperament, calming effect on the horses Dalmatians were the breed of choice, given their good temperament, calming effect on the horses, and grace under pressure. The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) began utilizing Dalmatians as early as the 1870s. Dalmatians as firehouse ambassadors When motorized vehicles came on the scene, Dalmatians were already associated with firefighters, who continued to keep them on-site as firehouse residents and mascots. Increasingly, Dalmatians and other dogs became public ambassadors for firehouses and were involved in public education about fire safety and emergency preparedness for school and community groups. For example, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog, a Dalmatian from Clarksville, Ark., was a character in her own set of children’s books about fire safety and traveled around the country teaching children about fire tips. reduce stress, provide comfort Currently, firehouse dogs are other breeds, too, many rescued from house fires or other tragedies. Firehouses often adopt dogs, who become symbols of resiliency, bravery, fortitude – and provide comfort and companionship for firefighters who face high levels of stress on the job. After the 9/11 attacks, two firefighters from Rochester, N.Y., gifted the FDNY Ladder 20 company a Dalmatian puppy, appropriately named Twenty. The dog served as a source of comfort to the firefighters, who lost seven members of the company in 9/11. Dogs recognize signals Taken in as a stray in 1929, a dog named Nip served 10 years with New York’s Engine Company No. 203. During his service, the dog was injured by broken glass, falling debris, scalding burns, and bruises from falling off the fire engine. Nip could recognize all bells and signals. On fire scenes, Nip could alert firefighters if he knew something was wrong and sometimes run into burning buildings to look for victims. Unfortunately, Nip was killed by a hit-and-run driver in front of the firehouse in 1939 (and was stuffed by a taxidermist and displayed at the firehouse until 1974). Dogs promote fire safety Dogs promote fire safety outside the firehouse Dogs also promote fire safety outside the firehouse. For example, accelerant-sniffing dogs are trained to detect minute traces of accelerants that may be used to start a fire, according to the State Farm Arson Dog Program. The special bond between firefighters and dogs is the stuff of legend, despite the recent unfortunate events in Chicago – an ignoble scar on a long, colorful history of dogs in the fire service. Hopes remain that the decision can somehow be reversed, based on social media postings. “This is the first tragedy I have heard of in … 25 years,” said the administrator of the Firehouse Pups group.

What Impact Has COVID-19 Had On The Fire Industry?
What Impact Has COVID-19 Had On The Fire Industry?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had ramifications for almost every industry, some more than others. With the pandemic stretching well into a second year, the non-medical consequences continue, and many are wondering about which of the required changes might become permanent. As regards the fire sector, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What impact has COVID-19 had on the fire industry?

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