NFPA Journal - March/April 2013 - (Page 6)

>> FIRSTWORD BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS Chief Philip C. Stittleburg Chair La Farge Fire Department La Farge, Wisconsin BY NFPA PRESIDENT JAMES M. SHANNON Ernest J. Grant First Vice-Chair North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center Chapel Hill, North Carolina Philip J. DiNenno Second Vice-Chair Hughes Associates, Inc. Baltimore, Maryland Our Global Challenge The first reports of a deadly fire in Brazil in January sounded all too familiar: an overcrowded nightclub, pyrotechnics, a raging fire, no sprinklers, too few exits, horrific losses. The fire at the Kiss club in the city of Santa Maria ultimately claimed more than 230 lives and injured hundreds more. Ten years ago, a fire at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island killed 100 people. The similarities between the fires at Kiss and The Station are striking: too many people crammed into too small an area, in violation of legal limits; no fire sprinklers; untreated polyurethane foam used for soundproofing, which contributed to the spread of the fires; ONLINE EXCLUSIVE Jim Shannon and NFPA code experts discuss sprinklers, nightclub safety, and more at and incendiary devices used by bands as part of their acts, which caused the fires. Since The Station fire, similar events have occurred all over the world. In 2009, an indoor pyrotechnics display started a fire in a nightclub in Bangkok, Thailand, that killed more than 60 people and injured many more. That same year, more than 150 died when pyrotechnics sparked a fire in a club in Perm, Russia. In 2004, a patron shot a flare in the Cromagnon nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing almost 200. The same questions were asked after each event: How could this happen? How can we make sure it never happens again? Soon after The Station fire, NFPA convened its Technical Committee on Assembly Occupancies and adopted numerous code changes including lowering the occupancy threshold for when fire 6 Randolph W. Tucker Secretary ccrd partners Houston, Texas sprinklers are required. We were also very active in getting the word out on how dangerous nightclubs can be if special care isn’t taken to make them safe. We have made progress at getting states to strengthen their fire codes, and many communities have stepped up their enforcement. The Kiss fire was a national tragedy in Brazil. The president left a summit meeting of Latin American leaders to return to the country to help the survivors and the rest of the public through the ordeal. The media rushed to gather facts and help the public understand what had happened, and they found much of what they needed at NFPA. Since The Station fire, we have maintained a trove of information about nightclub fires that was widely cited in the Brazilian media. NFPA staff were interviewed and quoted on Brazilian TV and in newspapers. But we will not stop there. Our mission is not just to collect historical and technical information about fires but to do what we can to prevent these events from being repeated. We have been asked to provide technical advice to the State of Rio de Janeiro as it revises its fire code, and we are sending technical staff there to help as officials review their codes. We hope we can provide similar help across Brazil, including the state of Rio Grande do Sul, where Santa Maria is located. NFPA’s mission is to save lives and protect property from fire and other hazards. It is disheartening to see tragedies like these, because we know that the lessons learned from our past experiences can prevent them. Technology has made it much easier for NFPA to reach people in every corner of the world, and with the help of technology it is our obligation to work even harder to make NFPA a global force for fire safety. H. Wayne Boyd Treasurer U.S. Safety & Engineering Corporation Sacramento, California James M. Shannon President President and CEO, NFPA *Bruce H. Mullen Staff Officer Sr. Vice-President and CFO, NFPA *Dennis J. Berry Assistant Secretary Secretary of the Corporation, Director of Licensing, NFPA dIRECTORS Thomas W. Jaeger Past Chair Jaeger and Associates, LLC Great Falls, Virginia Terms Expire in 2013 Donald R. Cook Shelby County Department of Development Services Pelham, Alabama John C. Dean Office of Maine State Fire Marshal Augusta, Maine Chief Rebecca F. Denlinger Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Chief Ned Pettus, Jr. Columbus Division of Fire Columbus, Ohio Dean L. Seavers Pinecrest, Florida Keith E. Williams Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Northbrook, Illinois Terms Expire in 2014 Amy Acton The Phoenix Society Grand Rapids, Michigan James M. Clark Management Consultant Germantown, Tennessee Kwame Cooper Los Angeles Fire Department Los Angeles, California Julie A. Rochman IBHS Tampa, Florida Terms Expire in 2015 Peter Holland Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Lancashire, United Kingdom Brian Hurley Palm Beach, Florida William McCammon East Bay Regional Communications System Authority Dublin, California Harold A. Schaitberger International Assoc. of Fire Fighters Washington, D.C. William A. Stewart Toronto Fire Services (retired) Toronto, Ontario, Canada Peter J. Gore Willse XL GAPS Hartford, Connecticut NFPA JOURNAL MARCH/APRIL 2013 Photograph: dave Yount/NFPA *Not a member of the Board of Directors

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - March/April 2013

NFPA Journal - March/April 2013
First Word
In a Flash
Heads Up
Structural Ops
In Compliance
Electrical Safety
Wildfire Watch
Cover Story: Storage Occupancies
Fifty Years of Smoke Detection
Industrial Occupancies
Chicago 2013
Fire Analysis + Research
Section Spotlight
What’s Hot
Looking Back

NFPA Journal - March/April 2013