The Fire Protection Research Foundation, is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to plan, manage and communicate research in support of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mission.
The mission of the international nonprofit NFPA, established in 1896, is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.
The Foundation has issued a request for proposals for a project contractor to develop information to provide guidance to the NFPA 58 Technical Committee on the criteria that should be used to determine threshold value(s) for heavy snowfall.
Co-authored by Joseph L. Scheffey, director of R&D at Hughes Associates, Inc., the paper addresses the problem of calculating friction loss in fire hoses, a common task for fire fighters responsible for operating fire apparatus pumps. Three unrelated fire service facilities participated in the experimental program and conducted field tests, and the collective effort required to conduct this study has allowed the project to address the topic far beyond the available funding resources.
The award recognizes a Fire Protection Research Foundation project that best exemplifies the Foundation’s fire safety mission and the collaborative approach to execution that is the hallmark of all Foundation projects.
The goal of the project is to provide guidance to NFPA technical committees on methodologies to develop technically based separation/clearance distances for hazardous storage/processes. The focus of this study will be those storage and processes within the scope of NFPA 400 – Hazardous Materials Code.
Separation distances are specified in many NFPA codes and standards and have been developed over a number of years with varying technical basis. The Foundation has initiated a project to revisit of the historical basis of selected requirements, and develop information and guidance which may inform a sound technical basis for adjusting these distances.
We are seeking those with an interest and expertise in this field to serve on the project advisory panel, which will provide input, review and guidance to the project. If you have a background in hazard assessment, code enforcement related to hazardous materials and NFPA 400 or have other expertise to bring to the topic and are interested in serving, please respond to email@example.com
JOin us at NFPA's Annual Conference in Chicago Jun 10-13 as we review the results of the Foundation's research over the past year. 20 presentations will feature recently completed projects on fire fighter tactics and PPE, suppression strategies for hazardous commodities including lithium ion batteries, evacuation strategies from tall buildings, and many other topics. We are also sponsoring a look ahead at the issues likely to affect fire and electrical safety over the next five years.
The latest issue of NFPA Journal features "Safety by Design", the story of IKEA's safety research program. Recent Foundation research is highlighted in that story- but gaps remain in the information needed to provide a cost effective solution for IKEA and other retailers and storage companies whose inventory includes these commodities.
This week, the Foundation will meet with sprinkler companies, insurers, and companies like IKEA, to determine the next steps in this research program. Stay tuned for more interesting results.
The Foundation has initiated two projects whose focus is on the impact of green technology on fire safety.
The first, on high rise timber structures, will explore this emerging global construction technique and available data on fire safety considerations. Recent architectural trends include the design and construction of increasingly tall buildings with structural components comprised of laminated wood. Construction is currently underway on a 10‐story apartment building in Melbourne, Australia, with taller structures up to 30 stories under design in Norway, Austria and Vancouver. These buildings are cited for their advantages in sustainability resulting from the use of wood as a renewable construction material.
The Foundation has initiated a Phase 1 project on this topic that includes a literature review to collect information on high rise timber framed buildings and a gap analysis. Read the project summary.
The second project, on exterior walls with combustible insulation, will explore common fire scenarios and appropriate fire test methods. Many combustible materials are used today in commercial wall assemblies to improve energy performance, reduce water and air infiltration, and allow for aesthetic design flexibility. These assemblies include Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS), metal composite claddings, high-pressure laminates, and weather-resistive barriers (WRB). The combustibility of the assembly components directly impacts the fire hazard. There have been a number of documented fire incidents involving combustible exterior walls, but a better understanding is needed of the specific scenarios leading to these incidents to inform current test methods and potential mitigating strategies. Read the project summary.
Fire fighters and other emergency responders are routinely exposed to IDLH conditions (Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health) that contain harmful gases and particulates and require the use of specially designed personal protective equipment. Protecting fire fighters and other emergency responders from these harmful atmospheres is a challenging problem. The goal of this two-year project, conducted collaboratively with WPI and funded through a DHS/FEMA grant, is to develop a sensor to provide uninterrupted real-time information on hazardous conditions to better inform decision making around the use of PPE.
Metal dust explosions are amongst the most complex phenomena addressed by NFPA codes and standards. The goal of this project is a compilation of recent combustible metal explosion incidents in a format that will aid in the understanding of the factors influencing the initiation and control of explosion and/or fire events. Read about the Research Foundation's new project "Combustible Metal Fires and Explosions – Case Studies".