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NFPA Conference and Expo

Scheduled for June 11-14 Las Vegas Nevada

Join industry experts and professionals at this year’s conference and expo.  If you haven’t been to an NFPA Expo this is a show to try to attend.  The conference has over 350 classroom sessions, a large expo, and you can help shape the next round of codes issued by the NFPA.

This is a great opportunity for AHJ and Inspectors to stay up to date on an industry that is changing at record pace.  Even if you are new to code development, you should attend and see how the process takes place.

During the event, Deputy Chief Jay Jonas of the New York City Fire Department will give the 2012 NFPA Conference & Expo Featured Presentation at [click to continue…]


Collinwood School Fire

March 4, 1908 Clevland Ohio

The Collinwood School Fire (also known as the Lake View School Fire) of Ash Wednesday, March 4, 1908 was one of the deadliest disasters of its type in the United States during its era. 172 students, two teachers and a rescuer were killed in the disaster in Collinwood, Ohio, a community that has since been absorbed into the city of Cleveland.

While the Lake View School was built with load bearing masonry outer walls, much of the four story building’s floor structure system used wooden joists. It was one wooden joist that caught fire when it was overheated by a steam pipe. The building’s main stair [click to continue…]


The Number one Thing for New Inspectors

What Does Every Inspector Need to Know

One of the greatest tasks a senior inspector can do, is to mentor a new inspector in the business.  Lets face it, we were all new at one point, and literally had no clue what “THE CODE” was.  Some inspectors are hired and have no other existing internal staff to help them along or there is no overlap of new and old inspectors to ensure a proper transition.

As a new inspectors what is the number one thing you need to know?  I am not sure I can get the list down to one:

  • The code is not black and white!  The code is considered a prescriptive code and our worlds that we work in are changing daily.  Lets be realistic, a blocked exit is a blocked exit and the code handles that.  What happens when new technology emerges that is not address by the code?
  • Yes you can write the code!  The code is not developed in some vacuum in ICC or NFPA land.  Once you get your feet on the ground take time to understand the code process for both the NFPA and ICC.  Stay involved and comment on current code changes.  This will keep you on top of your game and aware of the changes.  Think of it this way, when a code is published (take the 2012 IBC), it is already a three year old document!
  • Build [click to continue…]

Does This Meet Code 17

It Looks Really Cool

There are times that fire protection features, egress doors, fire hydrants, and even exit signs get modified to become more attractive to the owner.  I may be a little odd, but I think a well lit exit sign looks great in a store!

For those of you who are not suppression inspectors, the picture shows a remote fire department connection.  A remote FDC is typically installed in downtown settings, west coast (warmer climates), and where a designer or AHJ feels these are more applicable to the fire protection scheme.

Therefore the question at hand, does this [click to continue…]


Model Building Code Training for High School Students

Graduates can earn Certificate of Achievement and an edge when competing for code enforcement and other construction industry jobs

A pilot program that began in Maryland to prepare high school students for careers in code enforcement and the construction trades is expanding nationally with the support of the International Code Council. The Code Council is backing code training for high school students based on a program begun by Harford Technical High School in Bel Air, Md., and encouraging technical and vocational high schools to offer similar programs.

The High School Technical Training Program teaches students the importance of building codes in constructing safe and sustainable structures. The curriculum will cover four major construction fields contained in the ICC International Residential Code: building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical. Graduates of the program will have the opportunity to earn an ICC Certificate of Achievement demonstrating proficiency and knowledge. Besides, it’s a great opportunity to win scholarships for women in science.

“I am excited about this innovative approach to teach high school students about the importance of building codes, and it will provide graduates with an advantage in the job market,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Richard P. Weiland.

Jim Ellwood, Senior Plans Examiner, Building Service Division, Harford County, is the originator of the pilot program at Harford Technical High School and he spoke at the Government Relations Forum during the Council’s Annual Conference in November. “Folks say I’m enthusiastic about this program,” said Ellwood. “How could I not be? I have a group of young people who want to excel in their careers.”

The program has [click to continue…]


Fire Marshal 101 Webinar – December 15

On December 15 we will be conducting a webinar with our friends at the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).

What do fire chiefs who have not promoted up through the ranks of a prevention division need to know about the often misunderstood fire marshal’s position? The fire marshal is often the face of an organization, the one who may bear the brunt of potential controversies from business and community leaders.

Join Fire Marshal Mike [click to continue…]


Jumpstart Your Fire Prevention Efforts

Three key elements for invigorating public education programs

This is a special post from Bobby Clark

Fire prevention is the front line offensive assault unit of firefighting. The officers who fill these ranks are proactive, stubborn, righteous and creative; they face almost hopeless odds, but they persevere. They must maintain vigilant awareness in an environment that would overwhelm the average person. That is what makes them and this profession unique. Unfortunately, complacency has infested certain areas of fire prevention, specifically public education.

Public education, it seems, has morphed from a vibrant, proactive concept into a seldom-thought-about item, something that’s included in the department’s mission statement, but merely to check a box. But here’s the thing: Public education is the most important program a department can invest in. The mission of every department is life safety and property conservation, and the only way to truly accomplish that is through a regular, creative, robust public education program.

Don’t get me wrong; time is, as we all know, our [click to continue…]


Seeking Experienced Fire Inspectors for Part Time Employment

InspectionReportsOnLine.net (IROL), a web based clearing house for life safety inspection reports or “Third Party Reporting” is looking for experienced fire inspectors to join their growing team!  This program is full of great opportunities and is a growing trend in our business.

IROL was developed specifically with the needs and requirements of the Fire Inspectors and AHJs in mind. Utilizing their site will:

  • Save time and costs in the processing of inspection reports
  • Increase efficiency
  • Increase Code Compliance rates
  • Eliminate the need to file paper copies of reports (It’s Green)
  • Improve and make easier the communications between AHJs, Property Owners and Service Providers

And it is ABSOLUTELY FREE for Fire Prevention Bureaus and AHJs: No costs, No contracts, and No Commitments!

IROL is looking for [click to continue…]

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ICC Update

2012/2013 Code Change Cycle Information Available

The Code Council has recently posted the Code Change Proposal form online for the 2012/2013 Code Change Cycle. That form is available as both a Word Document and PDF file here.The list of the Group A and Group B Committees responsibilities also is available on ICC’s website.  Group A Code Change Proposals are due January 3, 2012

Call for Applicants to Join the New ICC-ES Environmental Committee

ICC-ES is issuing a call for applicants to join the recently approved Environmental Committee that will support the expansion of ICC-ES Environmental Programs. 

The role of the Environmental Committee is to consider and approve criteria for products and systems under the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and other green building codes and rating systems. Click here to learn more and should be completed and submitted by November 30, 2011.

Read Conference Daily News Updates!

Follow all the action of ICC’s 2011 Annual Conference by checking out the Conference Daily News.

ICC Applauds California Governor’s Reinforcement of Building Standards Process

The Code Council commended California Governor Edmund Brown Jr. for vetoing Assembly Bill 275 that The Code Council voiced its concern with the Legislature and the Governor that passing the [click to continue…]


Call for Presentations

Vision 20/20 is seeking proposals for presentation at the 2012 National Symposium on Model Performance in Fire Prevention.

Vision 20/20 is a collaborative effort to bridge the gap in fire prevention in the United States. It is sponsored by the Institution of Fire Engineers U.S. Branch and funded through Fire Prevention and Safety Grants by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Presentations may be submitted from local and state fire prevention officials, researchers, or other prevention advocates. Prevention projects or programs must have demonstrated some level of effectiveness at meeting specific objectives.

Model programs will be presented that are representative of all disciplines of fire prevention:

  • Engineering (plan review programs, new technologies, etc.)
  • Enforcement (fire code adoption, administration or enforcement)
  • Education [click to continue…]