NFPA Membership provides you with many benefits. One of them is access to Section Membership -- select an area that best fits your career (choose from 11 Sections) for access to trends, advance notice of changes in codes and standards, to connect with others like you and so much more.
The Building Fire Safety Systems (BFSS) Section brings together members involved or interested in promoting fire safety in structures through the application of active fire and life safety systems and equipment in buildings. Learn more about the Building Fire Safety Systems Section.
The Building Fire Safety Systems Section is sponsoring the following Conference sessions at NFPA Conference & Expo this year:
Monday, June 9
M03 Concealed Spaces Requirements in NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
Cecil Bilbo, President, Academy of Fire Sprinkler Technology
Audrey Goldstein, Associate Fire Protection Engineer, NFPA
Matthew Klaus, Principal Fire Protection Engineer, NFPA
The issue of concealed spaces is widely discussed in the sprinkler industry. Although NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, requires a building to be fully sprinklered, in some cases sprinklers can be omitted from concealed spaces, depending on the type of construction and the presence of combustibles. This session will clarify what constitutes a concealed space, when sprinklers are permitted to be omitted from these spaces, and what design adjustments must be made to account for the increased hazard.
M05 Photovoltaic System Fire Hazards
David Hague, Manager, Technical Engineering, Liberty Mutual Insurance
Skip Donnell, Technical Director, Liberty Mutual Insurance
The recent increase in solar panel installation on both residential and commercial buildings and the further development of solar power technologies has resulted in a substantial number of operating photovoltaic systems in the United States. This session will outline the fire hazard presented by larger, roof-mounted photovoltaic systems due to the operating nature of these systems and their proximity to building roofing systems. In addition to exploring the ignition mechanism, the presenters will provide case studies of large-loss fires related to photovoltaic systems and discuss methods to prevent future incidents involving this technology.
M19 Four Phases of Public Safety in the Built Environment, a Joint Responsibility
Robert Camacho, Building Commissioner, Town Of Boxford Mass
Strong code enforcement departments create safer sustainable buildings with joint responsibility being a critical component. The concept of joint responsibility is demonstrated by analyzing the significant role of code officials, various municipal departments, and design professionals in each of the four phases of public safety in the built environment: Building Permits (plan reviews/approvals); Construction (inspections/certificate of occupancy); Maintenance (buildings & structures/violations); and Incident/Disaster/Recovery. What happens in phase 4 greatly depends on the mitigation steps taken in phases 1, 2, and 3. This Session encourages open discussions using real-life examples of general administrative policy & procedure, "enforcement impediments," violations, complaints, the importance of continuity, jurisdictional responsibility, and accountability.
M21 How Microinverters Make Solar Safe
Luke Hinkle, President, My Generation Energy
John Berdner, Director of Global Regulatory Compliance, Enphase Energy
Matthew Paiss, Fire Captain, San Jose Fire Department
Gordon Bowman-Jones, Director, Walsh Carter & Associates
This cross-industry panel will discuss how photovoltaic systems using string inverters differ from those using microinverters, including how they affect fire risk and firefighter safety. Panelists representing the perspectives of code compliance, solar design, and fire fighter safety, will discuss how the technologies vary in terms of the fire risk they present and their compliance with arc fault detection and ground fault requirements of the 2011 and 2014 editions of the National Electrical Code. They will present case studies of firehouses with solar installations and explain ways fire risk can be mitigated through informed system design, clear system designation, and fire industry involvement in setting local codes.
M30 Do Sprinklers Really Make a Difference? Yes, They DO!
Frederick Sanford, Technical Director, Liberty Mutual Insurance
Ralph Tiede, Vice President Risk Engineering, Liberty Mutual Insurance
This session will provide a comparison of approximately 1000 fires in various commercial and industrial occupancies and the dollar losses associated with them. Side-by-side comparison of sprinklered and nonsprinklered properties will show how sprinklered fires remain under control while nonsprinklered fires quickly grow out of control. Also included will be a discussion of fires where sprinklers were present but were less effective for reasons such as concealed spaces, etc.
M32 Water Mist – Effective for High Challenge Hazards, but What About Buildings?
Zachary Magnone, Senior Engineer, Tyco Fire Protection Products
Stuart Lloyd, Principle Fire Protection Engineer (Europe), Zurich Risk Engineering UK
Water mist systems are proven to provide effective fire protection for high challenge specific hazards such as machinery spaces, industrial oil cookers, etc. – but what about light and ordinary hazard occupancies in buildings? This session will seek to provide awareness regarding the unique features, test methods, and challenges associated with applying water mist systems in traditional building occupancy applications.
M33 Developing More Effective Warnings for Fire Evacuations
Bryan Hoskins, Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University
The Life Safety Code has as a goal the protection of all people not intimate with ignition. During some recent building evacuations, people have delayed evacuating. Developing more effective warnings requires knowing how people actually behave during fires, rather than relying on myths about how people will respond,. It is also crucial to meet the information needs (in terms of both content and delivery) of people with a range of ability levels that may be in the building, not just the majority of the population. This session will provide a step-by-step method for developing the most effective warnings.
M45 NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems: Roles and Responsibilities
Matthew Klaus, Principal Fire Protection Engineer, NFPA
Robert Caputo, President, Consolidated Fire Protection
One of the most common problems for those using NFPA 25 is understanding who is responsible for what. There are often multiple stakeholders in the inspection/testing/maintenance process, such as the owner, one or more AHJs, insurance representatives, and contractors. It is critically important that everyone be aware of the responsibility and liability of each party. This session will discuss potential stakeholders, what their responsibilities are, as outlined by NFPA 25, and how those responsibilities are carried out in the field.
M46 Hybrid Water Mist Fire Protection Systems
Michael Gollner, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland
Peter Raia, Student, University of Maryland
Hybrid extinguishing systems are not currently addressed in NFPA standards. These systems are unique because they use an inerting gas such as nitrogen as well as fine droplets of water (or clean agent) typical of water mist systems. FM Global has developed Approval Standard 5580 and also determined that the oxygen concentration is not depleted enough to classify this as a clean agent, though it doesn't show all of the same characteristics as a standard water mist system. This session will review how these systems function and the Fire Protection Research Foundation/University of Maryland project to gather information that will provide guidance on where these systems could best be addressed within NFPA documents.
M47 Sprinkler Technology: Storage Protection
James Golinveaux, Senior Fellow, Tyco Fire Protection Products
This session will discuss the protection challenges inherent in various unique storage scenarios and how to meet those challenges. Also addressed will be the codes and standards that dictate protection schemes and how recent updates will affect your business, including a comparison of storage design requirements in the 2010 edition of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, and the 2011 edition of FM 8-9.
Tuesday, June 10
T05 The 2015 Edition of ANSI/ICC A117.1 "Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities"
Allan Fraser, Senior Building Code Specialist, NFPA
The session provides an update and analysis of the changes being made for the 2015 edition of A117.1. A117 is the document that provides all the technical criteria used for accessibility by all the national model building codes. It can be rather difficult to navigate. Learning about what's new may help make compliance a whole lot easier.
T06 Sprinkler Expansion In an Occupied Long-Term Care Facility
Kymberly Wells, Administrator, Marquis Mt. Tabor
It's one thing to install sprinklers in unoccupied buildings (e.g., schools during summer break), but how do you install additional sprinkler heads in all resident rooms and bathrooms in a 5-story, OCCUPIED facility, continue to provide care, medications, and treatments, meet all compliance requirements, AND come in ahead of schedule? Preparation and Communication!
T07 NFPA 11-2015, Standard on Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam, Changes
Barry Chase, Fire Protection Engineer, NFPA
This session will present proposed changes from the 2010 to the 2015 edition of NFPA 11, which is to be voted on by the Association at the Technical Reports session later in the week. Any Certified Amending Motions will be discussed.
T13 Fire Pump Installations for Tall Buildings
Milosh Puchovsky, Professor of Practice, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Fire pump installations for tall or high-rise buildings often require the coordination of multiple fire pumps and associated equipment, presenting unique design and code enforcement challenges. Such buildings, which can range in height from 75 ft to over 2500 ft, require the effective use of fire pumps and water tanks to provide the necessary flow and pressure for the installed water-based fire protection systems throughout the building. The hydraulic demands of the associated sprinkler and standpipe systems need to be appropriately considered with respect to applicable regulations, anticipated fire incident operations, available equipment, and testing protocols. This presentation will examine the design options and limitations of NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection, with regard to tall buildings.
T23 NFPA 3 and NFPA 4 In Action -- Harvard University
Matthew Klaus, Principal Fire Protection Engineer, NFPA
Maurice Pilette, President, Mechanical Designs Ltd.
Khela Thorne, Senior Developmental Editor, NFPA
Paul Dunphy, Electrical Inspector and Compliance Coordinator, Harvard University
Commissioning and integrated system testing of fire protection and life safety systems is an emerging concept in the building and construction industry. With NFPA 3 now having been published for 3 years, the benefits of going through the process of commissioning and life safety are being seen by many owners. This session will highlight Harvard University's experience with commissioning systems using NFPA 3, including an overview of the benefits of this process to the "owner."
T31 New Code Requirements for Fire Service Access Elevators (FSAE) and Occupant Evacuation Elevators (OEE)
Sagiv Weiss-Ishai, Fire Protection Engineer, Northern California-Nevada Chapter of SFPE
In high-rise buildings, elevators are extremely useful tools for firefighters to fight fires and rescue occupants. The main reason for developing the Fire Service Access Elevator (FSAE) was to provide firefighters with a safer and more efficient means to fight fires and rescue occupants in the upper floors of high-rise buildings. The FSAE was first required by the 2009-IBC for high-rise buildings over 120 feet in height. Occupant Evacuation Elevators were also introduced first in the 2009-IBC as an exception to e required third exit stairway for buildings over 420 feet in height. The OEE are intended to be used by building occupants to evacuate the building during fire emergencies - In case of a fire: USE the elevator!. This class will discuss the specific code requirements for the FSAE and OEE including the IBC codes and NFPA standards.
T33 Electrically Driven Fire Pump Installation Requirements
Jeffrey Sargent, Regional Electrical Code Specialist, NFPA
This presentation will cover installation requirements from the NEC, NFPA 20, and NFPA 110 that impact the installation of electrically driven fire pumps. Important changes to Article 695 of the 2014 NEC will be explained. Among those who would benefit from attending are those responsible for designing, installing, or inspecting the electrical infrastructure supplying fire pumps.
T41 Gaps in ITM Standards--An Evaluation of Potential Solutions
Matthew Klaus, Principal Fire Protection Engineer, NFPA
Amanda Kimball, Research Project Manager, Fire Protection Research Foundation
William Koffel, President, Koffel Associates
The intent of NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, is to confirm that the system components in place are in good working order and will function properly if a fire event occurs. However, the scope of this standard, when considering inspection-related activities, is limited to "wear and tear" issues; it doesn't cover deficiencies in system design or installation. This creates a situation where safety hazards can remain in place without any protocol for identifying them. This gap in the ITM standards raises the following questions: Should NFPA 25's scope be reconsidered? Should a new standard on conducting design evaluations be developed? Should NFPA 3, Recommended Practice on Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems, address a periodic system "re-commissioning activity" for some or all occupancies? Should these re-commissioning events be addressed by the occupancy chapters of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code? This session will discuss these and other questions addressed in a Fire Protection Research Foundation Workshop.
T45 Modeling Storage Occupancies Under Sloped Ceilings
Victoria Valentine, National Fire Sprinkler Association
Kenneth Isman, National Fire Sprinkler Association
NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, doesn't provide guidance when a storage occupancy has a sloped ceiling over 2 in 12. This presentation will review modeling done to begin determining criteria for sprinklers where such conditions exist. The goal is to determine the number and location of sprinklers likely to operate during the fire. In addition, the necessary discharge criteria for the sprinklers to control or suppress the fire below will be analyzed.
T52 Automatic Fire Alarms--a Qualitative Approach
Mark Jones, Fire Chief, Bucks Fire and Rescue
In recent years, a trend emerged in which England's fire services addressed automatic fire alarms by reducing the first response. In Buckinghamshire, the fire department advocates a different approach: adopting a qualitative approach and working closely with commercial and industrial premises managers, they devised a strategy that minimizes unwanted fire signals. Learn how one fire department can lead the way in making significant improvements without negatively affecting the reputation of local emergency services.
T54 Best Practices for Performing Standpipe Flow Tests, PRV Valve Testing, and Other Less Frequent Tests Required by NFPA 25
Terry Victor, National Manager - Sprinkler Business Processes, Tyco/SimplexGrinnell
NFPA 25 includes the requirements to test some water based systems less frequently than on an annual basis. These tests are usually more complicated and require special knowledge, skills, equipment and test instruments. This session will review the NFPA 25 requirements and describe methods used to perform these tests, and provide the pass/fail criteria for each test.
T63 NFPA 2001-2015, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, Changes
Barry Chase, Fire Protection Engineer, NFPA
This session will present proposed changes from the 2012 to the 2015 edition of NFPA 2001, which is to be voted on by the Association at the Technical Reports session later in the week. Any Certified Amending Motions will be discussed.
T69 Smoke Alarms: Nuisance Source Characterization
Joshua Dinaburg, Research Engineer, Hughes Associates, Inc.
Daniel Gottuk, Senior Engineer, Hughes Associates, Inc.
During the development of the 2013 edition of NFPA 72, Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, the Technical Committee added several new provisions to further reduce nuisance alarms. There is a lack of characterization of common nuisance sources for the development of new performance test protocols, so the Fire Protection Research Foundation is undertaking a Phase 1 project to gather research on nuisance source characterization, identify the knowledge gaps in the available information, and develop a test plan.
Wednesday, June 11
W02 Sprinkler Protection of Storage Occupancies--Varied Design Approaches
Russell Leavitt, Executive Chairman, Telgian Corporation
NFPA 13 allows the designer to use any applicable design approach when designing a sprinkler system. Control mode density area (CMDA), control mode specific application (CMSA), and early suppression-fast response (ESFR) sprinklers can all be used for the protection of storage. This session will review the advantages of each approach based on the commodity and storage configuration as well as the requirements for the use of each type of sprinkler.
W12 NFPA 13 vs. NFPA 13R for Multifamily Residential Occupancies--The Model Building Code Perspective
Jeffrey Shapiro, President, International Code Consultants
Marshall Klein, Fire Protection Engineer, Marshall A Klein Assoc. Inc.
The permissible use of NFPA 13R to protect multifamily occupancies is governed by model building codes. Architects, engineers, contractors and code enforcers often question how these codes limit the permissible use of NFPA 13R, particularly with respect to popular architectural designs that involve pedestal/podium style buildings and buildings that contain multiple occupancies, accessory occupancies or incidental uses. This program will demystify application of the building codes and NFPA 13R to apartments, condominiums and other multi-family occupancies.
W13 Photovoltaics for the Fire Service
Searay Beltran, CEO, Consultant & Trainer, County of Maui, DOF
This presentation will provide building and fire officials with an awareness of fire safety provisions for photovoltaic systems. As a result, officials will be prepared to make informed decisions to mitigate potential hazards, ensure operational safety during an emergency, reduce fire hazards, and minimize economic impacts.
W25 Fire Alarm Requirements of the Model Codes and How They Work With NFPA 72
Ray Grill, Principal, ARUP
NFPA 72 provides the requirements for the installation, maintenance, and testing of fire alarm and emergency communication systems. However, it doesn't require that systems be installed. Building and fire codes provide the criteria for when a fire alarm system is required and what types of devices are to be provided. This session will review the requirements of NFPA 101 and the IBC for various occupancies and discuss the interaction between NFPA 72 and building codes.
W30 Fire Protection of Solid Shelves in Rack Storage
Garner Palenske, Vice President, Aon Fire Protection Engineering
One of the more controversial requirements of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, concerns the protection of solid shelves within storage racks. These requirements have recently been upgraded, resulting in the increased use of rack sprinkler protection. The basis of these requirements is fire testing work conducted by Chet Schirmer in the 1970s. The overall testing program has withstood the test of time, but limited testing was conducted for solid shelves, and sprinkler technology has changed enormously since then. This session will both address current testing and review the original testing, including information found in the previously unpublished notes and letters of Mr. Schirmer.
W45 NFPA 70E-2015, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, Changes
Paul Dobrowsky, Electrical Safety Specialist, Innovative Tech Services
David Dini, Research Engineer, UL LLC
This session will present proposed changes from the 2012 to the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E, which is to be voted on by the Association at the Technical Reports session later in the week. Any Certified Amending Motions will be discussed.
More About the Conference
The Conference program has 25 case studies and more than 150 sessions overall. To navigate the program, there are 13 tracks and a new online session search tool that allows you to search sessions, speakers, tracks, and keywords for the Conference.
Check out the entire blog for great info on restaurants, new Vegas features, articles and show highlights! More info is available on NFPA Conference & Expo, conference sessions, expo, NFPA Technical Meeting, sponsors, and the keynote speaker Michael Beschloss and the Featured Presentation on the emergency response to the 2013 Boston Marathon. (Register by April 25 to take advantage of the Early Bird discount pricing.)