NIST report proposes improvements in firefighter safety

NIST report proposes improvements in firefighter safety

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 911 is a report of the Firefighter Thermal Exposure Workshop: Protective Clothing, Tactics and Fire Service Personal Protective Training Procedures, held in June 1996. Firefighters, industry representatives, and NIST fire experts attended. The purpose of the workshop was to explore ways to improve firefighter safety.

The following proposals were put forth:

Develop a standardized fire severity scale that could be used to recognize conditions where protective clothing and equipment will not provide adequate protection.

Identify the mechanics of heat transfer in which contact with hot surfaces and thermal gases burn even a firefighter wearing protective clothing.

Design protective clothing that can be quickly donned and removed.

Create a standard risk analysis method for buildings and contents.

These proposals are contained in the Special Publication. A copy may be obtained from James Randall Lawson, B366 Polymer Building, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-0001; (301) 975-6877. E-mail:

Source: Fire Control Digest, Vol. 23, No. 6, June 1997; Washington Capital News Reports, Inc. Fairfax, VA 22031, (703) 573-1600.

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