BY JACK J. MURPHY AND SEAN DeCRANE
Although many past codes and standards have addressed building construction, building features, fire protection systems, fireground operations, and past building failures, how will the new codes and standards impact future tactical operations and firefighter safety? In the International Code Council (ICC) International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code (IFC) (2012 editions) and in several new National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, the code and standard changes include new additions, changes in application, modifications, clarifications, special significance, and code section deletions. In the code highlights below, underlining indicates changes to the previous edition of the code or standard. Below are some significant approved code and standard amendments that will influence emergency tactical operations.
New Tactical Intelligence and the Building Information Card (IBC Section 9188.8.131.52 and IFC 508.1.5 Section/Change type: Modification):
- An approved Building Information Card [BIC] that contains, but is not limited to, the following information: general building information; building construction features; exit stairs; elevator banks; building services and system; fire protections systems; hazardous materials; building emergency contact information; etc.
(NPFA 1620, Standard for Pre-Incident Planning, 2010 edition/Change type: New):
- The purpose of this document shall be to develop pre-incident plans to assist responding personnel in effectively managing emergencies for the protection of occupants, responding personnel, property, and the environment.
The standard chapters include the following: Pre-Incident Planning Process; Physical and Site Considerations; Occupant Classification; Water Supplies and Fire Protection Systems; Special Hazards; Emergency Operations; Pre-Incident Plan Testing and Maintenance; Appendix-D/Sample Pre-Incident Plan Field Collection Card and Pre-Plan/BIC; among others.
Tactical considerations. Over the years, at historic emergency incidents and in everyday local incidents, the lack of real-time building intelligence may have hindered many fire departments. Such data would enable fire personnel to rapidly identify what is needed, how to quickly coordinate effective rescues, where to rapidly isolate building systems, and what actions are needed to minimize the danger to the occupants and the impact to the building.
In addition, with many newer structures today, we can no longer be certain, based on a tactical size-up of the exterior, that the construction fits into one of the five types. Many newly built buildings or existing structures with major renovations may feature a mix of construction types, creating a “hybrid” building. Some floors may feature Type I (fire resistive) or Type II (noncombustible with lightweight) construction; other floors may be built as Type III (ordinary) or Type V (wood-frame) construction. On the ticking incident time clock, structure areas with different construction types in such buildings will react differently under adverse conditions. An incorrect size-up of the construction type and its fire rating may result in a sooner-than-expected structural collapse in that area (photos 1, 2).
|(1) In sizing up this building, it appears from the exterior to be Type III ordinary construction with a brick veneer. (Photos 1 and 2 by Jack Murphy.)|
|(2) However, a more knowledge-based size-up of the building under construction reveals two different construction classifications. The lower two floors feature Type I fire-resistive construction, whereas the third through sixth floors feature wood-frame Type V construction. During a fire, each construction classification will react differently, and there is an increased potential of a partial or full collapse of the wood-frame floors above the Type I fire-resistant platform. An eBICard will provide firefighters the necessary building construction features, just as if they were standing in front of the building during the construction phases.|
With such significant construction features already present today, there’s no predicting what the industry will develop in future building system technologies—e.g., to create support beams and columns with less dense structural mass. Major code and standard revisions have been made in the 2010 and 2012 code cycles. Although the code enhancement may appear insufficient, it will drastically impact future tactical operations and enhance fireground safety.
NFPA 1620, Standard for Pre-Incident Planning (2010 ed.), and the new IBC and IFC codes (2012 eds.) will require a BIC.
Providing concise building information in a uniform format is essential. Knowing more about the building in real time will also provide the firefighters with insider information, increase their situational awareness, and affect critical tactical considerations. This real-time information will allow incident commanders (ICs) to deploy resources to known locations to address concerns with building support functions or occupant egress.
At a recent high-rise full building evacuation, it quickly became clear that additional information was needed within the building fire command center in the lobby area and the local dispatch communication center as to elevator locations and floors served; stairwell configuration and location; and the location of protection systems, the fire protection system, and so forth. These events are low occurrence/high risk in such buildings; real-life events can quickly grow into very challenging situations. Early knowledge is one of the best tools an incident commander can use to maintain a firm grasp on immediate objectives.
The fire service future is here now with an electronic building information card (eBICard). Embracing this new technology will cover the last tactical mile for firefighters, giving them building intelligence on arrival and support for tactical operations.
Termination of Monitoring Service (IFC 901.9/Change type: New)
- For fire alarm systems required to be monitored by this code, notice shall be made to fire code official whenever alarm monitoring services are terminated. Notice shall be made in writing to the fire code official by the monitoring service provider being terminated.
Tactical considerations. In difficult economic times, building owners and managers, challenged to maintain services within their structures, look for ways to cut costs. One avenue is eliminating protection features. Currently, if an owner cancels his fire protection monitoring service, we rely on that owner to notify the fire department and self-report the situation. In most cases, the stoppage is temporary, but in many situations we have seen, the detection or monitoring coverage may be out of service for a long time.
In such a situation, a working fire can grow unimpeded until an occupant or a passerby notifies the fire department. The fire’s growth may compromise the occupants’ ability to effect self-egress out of the building. Trapped occupants create dangerous situations for arriving firefighters, who may be forced to decide between offensive and rescue operations, again allowing the fire to grow. The earlier the fire is detected, the earlier the fire department is alerted and can respond, which is better for all involved. This provision ensures that the fire department is immediately notified that fire protection monitoring coverage has ceased. It can follow up to ensure proper steps are taken to restore coverage and to protect the building’s occupants and responding firefighters.
Sprinkler Protection in Basements (IBC Section: 903.2.11.1.3/Change type: Modification). This section states that
- Where any portion of a basement is located more than 75 feet from openings or where walls, partitions or other obstructions are installed that restrict the application of water from hose systems, the basement shall be equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system.
Tactical considerations. Basement fires are some of the most dangerous fires a firefighter can face because of the confined location and lack of rapid egress. Many situations demand an initial application of the hoseline from the exterior to knock down a large volume of fire. This tactic allows firefighters to enter the basement down the stairs without being subjected to a “blowtorch.” Every firefighter has a story in which this tactic did not or could not work because the hoseline could not reach the seat of the fire. These cases can lead to a dangerous attempt to “make the basement,” putting occupants at risk because of unchecked fire growth or allowing the fire to continue to grow, forcing defensive operations and extended on-scene operations.
This code provision does not restrict the building owner or occupant from creating various rooms or sections within the basement—it is simply stating that, to create a chopped-up basement scenario, you have to protect the occupants and firefighters by installing a fire sprinkler system that will respond to and control the fire for a period of time until the firefighters arrive and complete extinguishment safely.
Roof Gardens and Landscaped Roofs
(IFC Section: 317/Change type: New)
The rapid growth in the size of rooftop gardens and landscaped roofs needed to be addressed. They may not exceed 15,265 square feet in any single area, with a maximum length or width of 125 feet. A major component of green roof construction is energy conservation, which offers a number of savings to a building owner, particularly in summer and winter seasons. In buildings or structures that are equipped with a standpipe system, the standpipe riser needs to be extended to the roof level. A roof garden uniform live load is to be calculated at 20 pounds/square foot, and the weight of the landscaping material needs to be considered as a dead load. The roof installation can also require a Class-A roof assembly with at least a six (6)-foot minimum border around combustible construction such as a penthouse or a mechanical equipment or elevator machine room. Also, the storage of fuel-fired equipment needs to comply with IFC Section 313/Fuel Equipment.
Tactical considerations. In traveling by plane across country, one can view the city’s landscapes and see forests of trees growing on building roofs and balconies. Prior to this code edition, there was no maintenance requirement or rules governing installation or care. Many of these “green landscape” features were installed long after the building was designed and constructed and may raise questions as to whether the roof structures are built to carry the additional load and can handle the retention of water in the plant life actively growing on these roofs. How do you maintain these roofs? And when do you remove vegetation or mow the lawn?
Prior to this fire code change, these questions were unanswered. There are many summer months where we could experience a high risk for a wildfire on top of a 40-story building. This is a real possibility if gasoline, the lawnmower it fuels, and plant fertilizers are present on a combustible roof with dry vegetation. The ensuing fire would severely challenge access and water delivery for responding companies. This code provision addresses a number of concerns by outlining the required maintenance and Class A roof construction to protect against flame spread and building compromise. It may be tough to get your “smoke jumpers” to the roof of a high-rise; ensuring the vegetation is properly maintained is a better option.
Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems (IFC Section: 605.11.3/Change type: New)
- Access and Pathways. Roof access, pathways and spacing requirements shall be provided in accordance with sections 605.11.3.1 through 605.11.3.3.3.
- 605.11.3.2.2. Group R-3 Buildings with Single Ridge. Panels/modules shall be located in a manner that provides two 3-foot wide access pathways from the eave to the ridge on each slope where the panels/modules are located.
- 605.11.3.2.4 Group R-3 Building Smoke Ventilation. Panels/modules installed on residential buildings shall be located no higher than 3 feet below the ridge in order to allow the fire department smoke ventilation operations.
Tactical considerations. This is another area not previously addressed in many of the codes, and local jurisdictions established guidelines as best they could. To promote renewable fuel, reduce dependency on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the government has promoted the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) roof panels. Tax breaks and excess energy buybacks made installing PV panels very attractive and affordable. In most instances, fire departments are not notified that a system is installed in their jurisdiction; their first exposure to a PV system is usually when firefighters stumble on it during ventilation operations.
The revised provisions now designate specific locations on the roof structures that will allow firefighters to access the roof areas where ventilation is desired and provide a safe path up and down the roof. Remember, when encountering a roof with PV panels, don’t ventilate through a panel; use your established ventilation locations if ordered to ventilate.
The International Residential Code (IRC) also addresses PV labeling and shut-off features. Remember, the PV panels are not shut off when there is no sunlight! Lighting up the fireground after dark may also produce enough energy to produce a good amount of voltage to the PV roof array system. Ensure that the IC is aware of the presence of the PV panels, particularly if you notice one you can see from street level.
Installation on Roof Prohibited (IFC 6104.3.1 Change type: New)
- LP-gas containers used in stationary installations shall not be located on the roofs of buildings.
Tactical considerations. This code change proposal addresses storing propane cylinders installed on the roofs of fixed structures. The explosion of a propane tank that has been exposed to the heat of flame impingement would be a nasty surprise to firefighters accessing the roof area for ventilation. This does not exclude short-term usage on a roof—e.g., roofers using a propane tank to heat tar for a winterizing application. Major alteration and renovation projects should be linked to the fire department through a building department permit process. This important relationship can assist fire departments in identifying structures that are under renovation and the possibility of a hazardous situation.
Emergency Responder Radio Coverage (IFC Section: 510.1/Change type: New)
All new buildings shall have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building based upon the existing coverage levels.
These requirements which were formerly in the Appendix-J are now mandatory:
- 510.2 Existing buildings shall be provided with approved radio coverage for emergency responders as required in Chapter 11.
1103.2 Emergency responder radio coverage in existing buildings. Existing buildings that do not have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building based upon the existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems of the jurisdiction at the exterior of the building, shall be equipped with such coverage according to one of the following:
- 1. Whenever an existing wired communication system cannot be repaired or is being replaced, or where not approved in accordance with 510.1, Exception 1.
- 2. Within a time frame established by the adopting authority.Exception: Where it is determined by the fire code official that the radio coverage system is not needed.
Tactical considerations. This was an incredibly important issue for the fire service in the code cycle. The majority of fire departments across the country have experienced great difficulties with communications, especially in Type I and II buildings where construction features challenge the reception of our radio waves. These problems have been present for years, but the troubles documented on 9/11 brought them to the forefront. Fire departments have attempted many solutions to overcome these communication challenges, but these new code requirements will give our departments the tools to demand that our radios work in buildings constructed today. These requirements ensure the local jurisdiction’s radios will operate in 97 percent of that building, new or existing, determined by your testing. Although this may not solve all of our communication issues, it certainly is a huge step for the safety of the firefighters and the occupants we are assisting.
Examination of Fire Escapes (IFC Section: 1184.108.40.206/Change type: New)
- Fire escape stairs and balconies shall be examined for structural adequacy and safety, in accordance with section 1004.16.5, by a registered design professional or others acceptable to the fire code official every five years, or as required by the fire code official. An inspection report shall be submitted to the fire code official after such examination.
Code enforcement plays a key role in ensuring that the exterior life safety evacuation and firefighter access stairs are maintained.
Tactical considerations. If you have ever studied for a promotional test, you have encountered numerous firefighting authors warning you about the dangers of operations on a fire escape. “Never stand below the access ladder when it is released because you don’t know the last time it was serviced or operated. It may be corroded and susceptible to failure, placing you in harm’s way.” This is a typical passage in these books and probably has also appeared in Fire Engineering.
The fire service has known the dangers of operating on these fire escapes, but emergency operations require us to operate with some element of risk, and when it comes to accomplishing the required tasks, ICs often have no choice but to rely on fire escapes for operations or occupant evacuation.
With this code requirement, building owners are now responsible for having trained and certified engineers evaluate and ensure the fire escape’s safety and submit reports with the local jurisdictions to ensure compliance. This is a great example of the codes ensuring a safer work environment for our members by specifically requiring that certified personnel inspect elements of our work environment.
Hydrant for Standpipe Systems (IBC 507.5.1.1/Change type: New)
- Buildings equipped with a standpipe system installed in accordance with Section 905 shall have a fire hydrant within 100 feet (30 m) of the fire department connections.
Tactical considerations. When firefighters operate off a standpipe system, it usually means they are remote from the direct water source and in a location that restricts rapid means of access and egress. When operating in these conditions, it is important to maintain a reliable water supply that has a reduced chance of interruption. By requiring a hydrant within 100 feet of the standpipe system, the code requires that a reliable water supply be within easy access of the supplying engine to ensure this consistent supply.
Covered and Open Mall Buildings (IFC 905.3.3/Change type: Modification)
Covered mall and open mall buildings shall be equipped throughout with a standpipe system where required by Section 905.3.1.
- 4. At public entrances at the perimeter line of an open mall building.
Tactical considerations. Whether covered or open, malls present unique challenges to responding firefighters. In a covered mall, access issues include potentially long attack line layouts, which place the advancing members in a compromised position with numerous sections of hoseline. Their safety depends on the condition and size of the hose and the water source’s pressure. Moreover, the extended stretch could create friction issues and reduce the amount of water available.
In an uncovered mall, we still face these difficulties, especially with access challenges such as small driveways and access roads. These also have sizeable fuel loads, and if a sprinkler system becomes compromised, there tends to be a large exposure risk. Standpipe use reduces a number of these concerns and provides the IC with some options in his tactics.
Traffic Calming Devices (IFC 503.4.1/Change type: New)
- Traffic calming devices are prohibited unless approved by the fire code official.
Tactical considerations. This is also another movement gaining quite a bit of momentum and comes under the urban engineering movement (UEM). Among a number of UEM concerns is controlling traffic and reducing traffic injuries, deaths, and emissions. Many of the people involved are very committed to their cause, as are members of the fire service. The key to this energy is not to operate in a vacuum. Many of the initiatives or changes in the traffic patterns being instituted have a direct impact on fire department response. Some urban engineering includes traffic circles, speed bumps, narrow streets, and limited vehicle access. This list presents a number of concerns right away. We have heard stories of fire apparatus getting caught up on the inside of the traffic circle and having to be lifted or towed off, obviously impacting their response to the emergency in which they were assigned.
Speed bumps not only slow the response of the responding emergency vehicles, but they also can cause havoc on the heavy fire vehicles’ suspensions.
Narrow streets and limited access are intended to slow traffic, discourage vehicle use and encourage pedestrian traffic and bicycle use, and reduce the potential for pedestrian and motor vehicle interaction.
Although these initiatives have reduced motor vehicle accidents according to a number of studies, we have not looked at the impact of our reduced response times and whether that has a disparate impact on the community’s health. In Cleveland, Ohio, a major thoroughfare was “re-engineered” and has become a response nightmare for our companies. We have altered our response routes and eliminated use of this main street as much as possible. Unfortunately, our two main health institutions are also on this street. During heavy-use times, passage can be very challenging.
The goal of this code change is to ensure the local fire chief has input on future efforts at traffic alterations or re-engineering. The fire service does not want to stymie economic or local growth or enhanced engineering efforts; we just want to ensure we will be able to respond when we are called. Unless we participate in these discussions, others who may not understand the requirements of responding fire apparatus will make decisions on the traffic patterns that leave us trying to figure out how to meet our responsibilities during an emergency.
Furniture Storage and Display in Group F-1, M and S-1 Occupancy (IBC Section: 903.2.4 / 903.2.7 / 903.2.9 / Change type: Modification)
An automatic sprinkler system is now required in occupancies where upholstered furniture or mattresses are manufactured, stored, or displayed:
- 905.2.7.4 – A Group-M occupancy area used for the display and sale of upholstered furniture or mattresses that exceeds 5,000 square feet.
Tactical considerations. During the ensuing code hearing after the Charleston, South Carolina, tragedy, there was spirited and passionate debate concerning the safety of a response to a furniture facility. Although this tragedy offers many lessons to learn, a very apparent one is the typical furniture store fuel load and how quickly the fire can spread with ferocious intensity.
Contemporary furniture manufacture’s may use large amounts of polyurethane foam; add to this a large amount of furniture in one building, and we can begin to understand the challenge. The initial code revision required any retail or mercantile business selling furniture to be sprinklered regardless of size. The final revisions made during the very next cycle were the product of an economically driven code change that requires a furniture store to be protected with a sprinkler system if it exceeds the 5,000-square-foot threshold.
We don’t yet know if this threshold is adequate, but larger furniture stores will be required to be protected by a sprinkler system. One challenge the fire service will have is to ensure the system is designed specifically for the fuel load in the building.
During initial response, it will be very important to support the building’s sprinkler system, attempt to contain the fire as soon as possible, and use a risk vs. reward decision process to determine the feasibility of offensive operations.
Fire Safety During Construction ((IBC Section 3313/Change type: Addition)
Water Supply and Fire Protection.
- An approved water supply for fire protection, either temporary or permanent shall be made available as soon as combustible material arrives on the site.
Tactical considerations. One of the times of highest fire risk is while the building is under construction. Large amounts of combustible construction materials are delivered to and stored at the site; at the same time, the high fire risk operations of cutting, welding, and on-site heating during the winter can create a potential for a large fire. If such a fire occurs while structural elements are exposed and vulnerable, there is potential for a collapse early in the event. This code change requires construction crews to install the water-delivery systems prior to storing these combustible materials. This allows early responders to access a water supply and more quickly apply hose streams, thereby limiting the fire’s growth and its impact on the exposed structural elements.
Fire Apparatus Access Roads (IFC Appendix D105.1/Change type: Modification)
- Where required. Where the vertical distance between the grade plane and the highest roof surface exceeds 30 feet, approved aerial fire apparatus access roads shall be provided. For purposes of this section, the highest roof surface shall be determined by measurement to the eave of a pitched roof, the intersection of the roof to the exterior wall, or the top of parapet walls, whichever is greater.
- Width (IFC-D105.2) Aerial fire apparatus access roads shall have a minimum unobstructed width of 26 feet (7925 mm), exclusive of shoulders, in the immediate vicinity of the building or portion thereof.
- Proximity to Building (IFC-D105.3) At least one of the required access routes meeting this condition shall be located within a minimum of 15 feet (4572 mm) and a maximum of 30 feet (9144 mm) from the building, and shall be positioned parallel to one entire side of the building. The side of the building on which the aerial fire apparatus access road is positioned shall be approved by the fire code official.
- Obstructions (IFC-D105.4) Overhead utility and power lines shall not be located over the aerial fire apparatus access road or between the aerial fire apparatus road and the building. Other obstructions shall be permitted to be placed with the approval of the fire code official.
Tactical considerations. Although this may be an Appendix in the code, the authority having jurisdiction can adopt it as a local ordinance. One of the most important considerations is scene access. In the current building climate, there is an increase of interaction between development and wildland exposures. There is an increased awareness of the urban and wildland interface and the potential risks it presents. With this Appendix, an IC can ensure he has input on the access of fire apparatus to structures being built within the jurisdiction. This allows the building owner to create a structure in close proximity to the beauties of nature and free from mainly overhead obstructions, thus allowing the fire department close access to the building in the event of a fire.
Soon after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) made 30 recommendations for enhancements to the codes and standards in high-rise buildings. Both the ICC and the NFPA have been active in this process.
|(3) A high-rise building under construction with a large volume of fire on the upper floors. (Photo by Ron Jeffers.)|
Fire Service Access Elevators (IBC Section: 403.6.1/Change type: Modification)
- In buildings with an occupied floor more than 120 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access, no fewer than two fire service access elevators, or all elevators, whichever is less, shall be provided in accordance with Section 3007. Each fire service access elevator shall have a capacity of not less than 3,500 pounds.
The code approval for the second elevator car was based on information that pointed out at least two elevator cars are necessary for firefighter operations in high-rise buildings.
(IBC Section: 3007/Change type: Modification)
Modifications to this code section have been made to ensure that the fire service access elevators are able to continue to operate and service firefighters during an emergency. Some modified key items are as follows:
- Prohibited Locations. (IBC 3007.3.1) Automatic sprinklers shall not be installed in elevator machine rooms, elevator machine spaces, and elevator hoistways of fire service access elevators.
- Water Protection. (IBC 3007.4) An approved method to prevent water from infiltrating into the hoistway enclosure from the operation of the automatic sprinkler system outside the enclosed fire service access elevator lobby shall be provided.
- Structural Integrity of Hoistway Enclosures. (IBC 3007.6.1 ) The fire service access elevator hoistway enclosure shall comply with Sections 403.2.3.1 though 403.2.3.4.
- Access. (IBC 3007.7.1) The fire service access elevator lobby shall have direct access to an enclosure for an interior exit stairway.
- Lobby Enclosure. (IBC 3007.7.2) The fire service access elevator lobby shall be enclosed with a smoke barrier having a fire-resistance rating of not less than 1 hour, except that the lobby doorways shall comply with Section 3007.7.3.
- Standpipe Hose Connection. (IBC 3007.10) A Class I standpipe hose connection in accordance with Section 905 shall be provided in the interior exit stairway and ramp having direct access from the fire service access elevator lobby.
Tactical considerations. Fires in high-rise structures always provide access challenges. In structures where using the stairwell to transport firefighters and their equipment is not realistic, we needed alternatives. Based on input from a number of fire service representatives, a number of proposals were put forth regarding elevator performance and fire service use. Although the fire service wanted three fire service elevators, elevators with robust shaftways, and additional protections for use in a fire, the code committees decided on two dedicated fire service elevators. However, they did increase the size of the required elevators.
For safe operation, these proposed elevators needed enhancements to protect the firefighters operating within them. Sprinklers are prohibited to reduce the risk of compromising the electrical system and operation of the elevator. We do not want an elevator to become trapped on an upper level and create a dangerous condition for the firefighters. To this end, the machine room is required to have additional protection to ensure water from operating sprinklers outside the room does not enter the room. Beside new shaftway requirements, there are lobby enclosure enhancements above the street level with direct access to a stairwell and standpipe system if a rapid egress must be effected.
These additional features should allow firefighters to access the upper floors of a high-rise in a fire in a much shorter time. This reduces the time of deployment and the strain and stress on the firefighters and allows intervention to be undertaken sooner, hopefully reducing risks to firefighters and the occupants.
Stair Width. NFPA 101 and NFPA 5000 have increased the minimum stair width from 44 to 56 inches in a high-rise building when a stairway handles an increasing occupant load of 2,000 or more.
Tactical considerations. Who can ever forget the iconic picture of the lone firefighter walking up the steps at the World Trade Center during the attacks with the stream of occupants filing past him making their way out? The picture is a perfect example of the challenges firefighters face while trying to gain access to the emergency location. Although a wider stairwell takes up some rentable space, it allows occupants to effect egress while firefighters use the stairwell to stage and prepare to deal with the emergency. The increased stairwell width will address both concerns of occupant egress and firefighter access.
Even in this era of hard economic times, it is essential that the fire service continue to stay engaged in the code development process to better safeguard our fireground work environment. The potential costs of uninvolvement include firefighter injuries and the challenge of playing catchup with the constant changes in our work environment.
International Code Council, International Building Code (2012 edition).
International Code Council, International Fire Code (2012 edition).
National Fire Protection Association 101, Life Safety Code (2012 edition).
National Fire Protection Association 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code (2012 edition).
JACK J. MURPHY, MA, is a fire marshal (ret.), a former deputy chief for the Leonia (NJ) Fire Department, and a licensed New Jersey state fire official. He is a board trustee for the New York City High-Rise Fire Safety Directors Association, a member of the National Fire Protection Association’s High-Rise Building Safety Advisory and Pre-Incident Planning Committees, and a deputy fire coordinator for the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety (Bergen Region). He is the author of various fire service articles and of the RICS: Rapid Incident Command System field handbook (Fire Engineering, 1998) and wrote the “Pre-Incident Planning” chapter of Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II (Fire Engineering, 2009). With Jim Tidwell, he co-authored Bridging the Gap: Fire Safety and Green Buildings (2010). He co-hosts the fireengineering.com “Taming Your Work Environment” podcast and is an advisory board member of Fire Engineering and FDIC. Murphy has a master’s degree and several undergraduate degrees.
SEAN DeCRANE is a 21-year-veteran of and a battalion chief with the Cleveland (OH) Fire Department. He is the EMT coordinator and an adjunct instructor with the Cleveland Fire Training Academy. DeCrane represents the International Association of Fire Fighters at the International Code Council (ICC) and is a member of the ICC Fire Service Membership Council’s Governing Committee. He has served on the ICC’s Fire Code Development Committee for the 2009 and 2012 editions and serves on the Underwriter Laboratories Fire Council. He is an Ohio-certified fire life safety inspector and fire instructor. He co-hosts firengineering.com’s “Taming Your Work Environment” podcast with Jack Murphy and has written a number of articles for Fire Engineering.