Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Leadership

Fire Protection Research Foundation receives grant for fire service research

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), was awarded $990,000 in a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Emergency Preparedness Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the Department of Homeland Security to conduct three research projects in support of the fire service.

“Firefighters stand to benefit greatly from valuable research made possible through this grant,” said Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. “Ultimately, work conducted in these projects will lead to a higher level of fire safety for members of the fire service as well as for the general public.”

The first project funded by the grant tackles the issue of measuring the effectiveness of enforcement involving fire safety code compliance. Specifically, this project will develop a refined methodology to measure fire prevention inspection effectiveness, to meet the needs of today’s state and local fire prevention personnel. The result is anticipated to be a tool for fire safety enforcement organizations to measure how fire prevention activities can reduce fire risk in communities.

The second project will look at firefighting tactics under wind driven conditions. The results will help determine ways for firefighters to control structure fires under these challenging circumstances. This information will be especially useful when dealing with large structure fires, like those in high rise buildings, where firefighters often face specific challenges due to wind.

The third project will study the thermal capacity of firefighter protective clothing. Firefighter protective clothing is designed with a series of layers and air gaps to prevent the energy of the fire environment from being transferred to the firefighter. When protective layers are compressed, the energy is sometimes transferred to the user and can cause burns. Information learned through this research will pave the way for future enhancements in the testing and design of protective clothing for firefighters.

All three projects are slated to be completed by July 2008. For more information, visit the Fire Protection Research Foundation section on NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org/foundation.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates consortium-funded research on a broad range of fire safety issues in collaboration with scientists and laboratories around the world. The Foundation is an affiliate of NFPA.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization 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. Visit NFPA’s Web site at www.nfpa.org.