NFPA Seeks Comments on Standard for Fire Control of Structures Based on Fire Dynamics

At its April 2015 meeting, the Council reviewed the request of Richard Dyer, Kansas City, Missouri, that NFPA establish a new project to develop an NFPA Standard on fire control of structures based upon fire dynamics.  After review of all the material before it, the Council voted to solicit public comments of need for the project, information on resources on the subject matter, those interested in participating, if established, and other organizations actively involved with the subject. The proposed Technical Committee scope and title is as follows: 

  • PROPOSED COMMITTEE TITLE:  Technical Committee on Fundamentals of Fire Control Within a Structure Utilizing Fire Dynamics
  • PROPOSED COMMITTEE SCOPE:  This Committee shall have primary responsibility for documents relating to techniques and methods used in firefighting based on accepted scientific principles and research in the field of fire dynamics.

The following justification for the new project has been submitted to the Council:
a.  Explain the Scope of the new project/document: 

The scope of this project would be primarily focused on creating a guide for structural fire fighting. Currently, there is no North American document that has been created utilizing the ANSI consensus process to establish recommended procedures for suppressing fires within structures. The document would be designed to assist governmental, military and private industry fire fighters who are charged with suppressing structural fires with recommended procedures, including strategy and tactics, for combating fires within all types of structures.
b. Provide an explanation and any evidence of the need for the new project/document: 

In recent years there has been a significant amount of research that has been published concerning structural fire fighting. The new research conducted by NIST and UL has provided very valuable information that should be resulting in significant changes in order to improve structural fire control and to improve the safety of the firefighters who have the responsibility of fire suppression. There is a need to transform the fire research into a “model fire fighting guide” that would be developed by bringing fire scientists, combat fire fighters, trainers, educators and fire administrators together on one committee to reach the recommended practices through the NFPA consensus process.

c. Identify intended users of the new project/document:

The users would be the fire departments charged with suppressing fires and the guide would be the document that could be utilized to develop departmental standard operating procedures. IFSTA could utilize the document as a guide for the development of training materials to be utilized by the fire service. State training directors could then utilize the IFSTA materials to develop training materials that would be utilized in fire fighter and fire officer training and certification programs. The combat fire fighters charged with suppressing structural fires would be the ultimate end user through the integrated utilization of the guide.

d. Identify individuals, groups and organizations that should review and provide input on the need for the proposed new project/document; and provide contact information for these groups: 

IAFC, IAFF, NVFC, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Metro Fire Chiefs Association, NIST and UL.

e. Identify individuals, groups and organizations that will be or could be affected, either directly or indirectly, by the proposed new project/document, and what benefit they will receive by having this new document available:

The two primary groups that would be affected include the fire research community and the fire service. There is a critical need to bring the scientists together with the personnel responsible for combating fires in order to insure that the research and science of fire is being utilized in the field. The ongoing fire research is of little value if it is not bringing about a change of procedures by the fire service. The fire service will be able to serve the public better by utilizing the most current fire research that is available and at the same time it should result in improved safety for combat fire fighters.

f.  Identify other related documents and projects on the subject both within NFPA and external to NFPA:

NFPA 921 is a document that has created a template for bringing about science and field application together. NFPA 921 has had a tremendous impact on fire investigation and a guide concerning structural fire suppression could have the same type of outcome. There are numerous NFPA documents that would have a relationship to this guide and could be referenced within the document.

g. Identify the technical expertise and interest necessary to develop the project/document, and if the committee membership currently contains this expertise and interest: 
A new committee including career and volunteer fire fighters, fire chiefs, fire trainers/educators, fire protection engineers and fire scientists would be needed to develop this guide.

h. Provide an estimate on the amount of time needed to develop the new project document:

Unknown, but the time and years to fully develop NFPA 921 may provide a good estimate.

i. Comment on the availability of data and other information that exists or would be needed to substantiate the technical requirements and other provisions of the proposed new project document: 

The current available training materials combined with the recent NIST and UL research would provide a good starting point for the development of this document.

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