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San Antonio Welcomes NFPA 770 Hybrid Technical Committee October 14, 2016

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, Good Stuff to Share, NICET, Uncategorized.
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nfpa-770-drury-suitesThe new NFPA technical committee on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems has gathered in San Antonio, Texas for its third round of meeting beginning October 12 and concludes on October 14, 2016.

Looking to continue the development of  the new NFPA 770 Standard on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems, the committee welcomed principal and alternate members and several guests.  Vice-Chairman Brent Ehmke of Ehmke and Associates is leading the committee in the establishment of standards related to this fire-fighting technology that has been gaining marketplace acceptance for over the past 10 years.

At its December 2015  meeting, the NFPA Standards Council issued the following directive to the committee:

The Council considered the request of the Technical Committee on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems to revise the title and scope of the Technical Committee. After review of the material presented, the Council voted to deny the request of the Committee at this time. The Council notes the timing the request to change the scope of the Committee is premature and directs the Committee to continue drafting the document. Then, if necessary, the Committee can request Council revise the scope to reflect the drafted text of the document. The Council further cautions the Committee about removing the words “Fire Extinguishing” from the title of the Committee. The removal of these words will likely cause confusion as to what the Committee is authorized to address and were intentionally included to avoid this situation. In the present case, the Committee scope needs to address what the Committee does not cover to prevent overlap with other NFPA Committees’ responsibilities.

Standards Council Member James Golinveaux recused himself from the deliberations and vote on this issue.

 

The committee continues to work on its scope, and the standard at this meeting.  To learn more about the committee and its progress click here.

Great Plains Fire Suppression Symposium To Highlight Industry Innovations August 31, 2016

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, Iowa Alarm Association, NICET.
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The Great Plains Fire Suppression Symposium set for September 13, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska will highlight industry innovations in NFPA standards, agent delivery systems, fire extinguishing technology and ATF-mandated considerations.  Experts in all four subjects will present during the morning-long event.Fire Symposium logo

NFPA 3 and NFPA 4 Requirements for Delivering Higher Stakeholder Confidence will be presented by Shane Clary, Ph.D.  Vice President, Codes & Standards, Development;
Bay Alarm Co. and a member of both technical committees. He’ll provide background and insights on these important documents and outline key factors on how best to implement these requirements that bolster stakeholder confidence in all fire systems.

Innovations in Fire Suppression System Technologies provides an understanding from Tim Carman, P.E. Regional Sales Director; Janus Fire Systems on how maximizing agent delivery technologies are impacting fire suppression systems by using higher discharge pressures. Innovations like these are making fire suppression more affordable and accessible than ever.

Hybrid (Nitrogen-Water Mist) Fire Suppression Technology and the new NFPA 770 is a truly unique opportunity to learn directly from the patent holder, Robert Ballard, P.E. Fire Suppression Technology Manager with Victaulic, on how the advanced technology of hybrid fire suppression systems are addressing real-world applications. Plus an update on how the new NFPA 770 standard is being developed to address these systems.

Understanding ATF Regulations Affecting Fire Suppression Releasing Devices is crucial for anyone involved with such systems. Shane Mullen, Managing Director of Device Disposal and Consulting will highlight key requirements for safely handling and disposing of these devices.

The Symposium is a free half-day symposium dedicated to information and education for professionals involved with fire suppression as owners, consultants, specifiers, and end-users.  Continuing Education attendance credit will be provided to each attendee.  A buffet breakfast will also be provided.

Seating is limited, so reservations are required.  Visit www.protexcentral.com to learn more and register today!

 

2nd FSSA Day Features Technical and Business Tracks February 22, 2016

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, Good Stuff to Share, Mass Notification Systems, NICET, PSA, Uncategorized.
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FSSA's 34th meeting ls largest ever.

FSSA’s 34th meeting ls largest ever.

The second day of the Fire Suppression Systems Association’s 34th annual meeting was highlighted by separate technical and business tracks for attendees.

The business track featured understanding communication styles in business settings; planning for business transitions; and mitigating risk and loss in insurance and liability.

Technical sessions included wireless technology & fire suppression; learning of fires in mission critical facilities; and fire protection strategies in air containment aisles.

28 companies have supporedt the FSSA 34th annual meeting with sponsorships of speakers, presentations, breaks, dinners and receptions.

The meeting continues through Tuesday, February 23rd.

34th FSSA Meeting Boasts Largest Attendance Ever February 21, 2016

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, Good Stuff to Share, NICET, Uncategorized.
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Members gather for opening FSSA session.

Members gather for opening FSSA session.

The 34th annual meeting of the Fire Suppression Systems Association opened today with the largest attendance in the association’s history. President Tim Carman welcomed members and guests at the El Conquistador Resort outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The day’s busy agenda included presentations ranging from an economic outlook and forecast from Dr. Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics to FSSA technical committee activities and from overviews of the impact of NFPA’s recommended practice (NFPA 3) and standard (NFPA 4) to understanding agent design concentration on Class C fires greater than 480 volts.  And if that wasn’t enough, others presentations involved stopping the employee turnover revolving door and appreciating that every face tells a story of experience and demeanor.

The Fire Suppression Systems Association is a not-for-profit trade association, drawing members domestic and internationally and is comprised of a blend of designer/installers, manufacturers, consultants, academics, and suppliers working together to share ideas and strategies for the benefit of the fire suppression systems industry. FSSA members are dedicated to the highest level of safety, reliability and effectiveness of special hazards fire suppression.

Committee updates tout FSSA's industry influence

Committee updates tout FSSA’s industry influence

FSSA is dedicated to promoting use of, and being the recognized leader on, special hazard fire protection systems; employing existing and new technologies to safeguard people, high-value assets and the environment.  As a global reaching organization, they provide their members with support and guidance with many questions or issues that arise, with a strong united voice.

The annual meeting continues through Tuesday, February 23rd.

 

NFPA 770 Hybrid Technical Committee Meets In Charleston February 2, 2016

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, Good Stuff to Share, NICET, Uncategorized.
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The new NFPA technical committee on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems has gathered in Charleston, South Carolina for its second round of meeting beginning February 2, 2016. IMG_0853

Looking to continue the development of  the new NFPA 770 Standard on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems, the committee welcomed principal and alternate members and several guests.  Chairman Jeffery Harrington of the Harrington Group is leading the committee in the establishment of standards related to this fire fighting technology that has been gaining marketplace acceptance for over the past 10 years.

At its December 2015  meeting, the NFPA Standards Council issued the following directive to the committee:

The Council considered the request of the Technical Committee on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems to revise the title and scope of the Technical Committee. After review of the material presented, the Council voted to deny the request of the Committee at this time. The Council notes the timing the request to change the scope of the Committee is premature and directs the Committee to continue drafting the document. Then, if necessary, the Committee can request Council revise the scope to reflect the drafted text of the document. The Council further cautions the Committee about removing the words “Fire Extinguishing” from the title of the Committee. The removal of these words will likely cause confusion as to what the Committee is authorized to address and were intentionally included to avoid this situation. In the present case, the Committee scope needs to address what the Committee does not cover to prevent overlap with other NFPA Committees’ responsibilities.

Standards Council Member James Golinveaux recused himself from the deliberations and vote on this issue.

 

The committee continues to work on its scope, and the standard at this meeting.  To learn more about the committee and its progress click here.

New NFPA Hybrid Technical Committee Meets September 30, 2015

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, Good Stuff to Share, NICET, Uncategorized.
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The new NFPA technical committee on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems began its inaugural meetings in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 29 and 30, 2015.

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Looking to develop the new NFPA 770 Standard on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems, the committee was represented by nine principal members, an alternate principal member and several guests.  Chairman Jeffery Harrington of the Harrington Group is leading the committee in the establishment of standards related to this fire fighting technology that has been gaining marketplace acceptance for over the past 10 years.

At its October 2014 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council voted to approve the development of a new committee and a new document on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems. The Council directed that a call of members interested in serving on the proposed new Technical Committee be published.  NFPA Staff was directed to return to the Council with a proposed startup roster and a proposed committee scope.

In April of this year, the Council voted to approve the proposed scope for the Technical Committee on Hybrid (Water and Inert Gas) Fire Extinguishing Systems as follows:

APPROVED COMMITTEE SCOPE:  This committee shall have primary responsibility for documents covering the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of hybrid (water and inert gas) fire extinguishing systems that use a combination of atomized water and inert gas to extinguish fire.  This scope does not include systems that use only inert gas or only atomized water (water mist) to achieve extinguishment.  It also does not include twin fluid water mist systems that use inert gas to propel and/or atomize water mist droplets without generating a significant inert gas concentration in the protected space.

The committee will continue to work on its scope, and the standard for the next several months.  To learn more about the committee and its progress click here.

Central Iowa Code Consortium Seeks Proposals August 4, 2015

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Iowa Alarm Association, Mass Notification Systems.
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The Central Iowa Code Consortium (CICC) announced on August 1, 2015 that code proposals will be accepted for all of the International Code Council’s construction and maintenance codes through September 30, 2015.  During the coming months seven code committees, made up of local government and industry representatives, will review the 2015 editions of the International Codes as well as local proposed changes to those codes.Screen Shot 07-28-15 at 11.01 AM

The CICC is a collaborative effort between all participating communities to review code changes, recommend changes to these codes, and produce a metro “model” code for all communities to consider through their local code adoption process.  This project does not propose to make recommendations on permit process, code administration, appeals processes, or specific local amendments deemed necessary by local code officials.  The goal is to publish a metro code that would promote uniformity and consistency between local communities.

Central Iowa communities with memos of understanding in place to participate in the CICC process include:  Altoona, Ankeny, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Des Moines, Grimes, Johnston, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Urbandale, Waukee, Windsor Heights, West Des Moines and Polk County.

Anyone can submit code proposal through the on-line submission form located here.

For more information on the Capital Crossroads Vision, click here.

Data Center Fire Protection Challenges Highlighted at FSSA February 23, 2015

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, NICET, Uncategorized.
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FM Global, a recognized leader in loss prevention services worldwide, presented Challenges of Data Center Fire Protection to the delegates attending the Fire Suppression Systems Association’s 33rd Annual Meeting in Clearwater, Florida.

Robert Kasiski, a senior engineering specialist with FM Global, provided an engaging presentation of data center market statistics including total estimated worldwide data center floor space of over 286,000 square feet across over 509,000 centers. Additionally he noted that new technology and best-practices are increasing the need to be vigilant in providing proper fire protection coverage.
IMG_0648Kasiski noted that lithium ion batteries are becoming more prevalent in UPS rooms that support data centers. These alone present issues to assuring adequate protection from fire. Another emerging challenge deals with the myriad cables throughout a center that present one of the signle largest combustible loads. He noted that the practice of “retire-in-place” for legacy cables only compounds issues.

Noting that new server imersion technologies are being explored in data centers to mitigate cooling issues, Kasiski indiated this is an area of increasing research interest for his firm.

Several video clips of FM Global fire tests were shown involving cables, cable trays and other combustibles. The results of these tests were of great interest to the delegates.

The presentation concluded with Kasiski listing key issues going forward to be addressed not only by FM Global but the data center and fire protection communities including: understanding the consistency of change within a data center; identifying unrecognized hazards and accepting that current fire protection schemes may not meet the everchanging needs.

The Annual Meeting continues through Tuesday, February 24th.

Industry Gathers for 33rd Annual FSSA Meeting February 20, 2015

Posted by shawnpci in Change Leadership, Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, NICET, Uncategorized.
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Over 190 members of the fire suppression systems industry are gathering in Clearwater Beach, Florida to participate in the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Fire Suppression Systems Association at the Sandpearl Resort.20140221-092429.jpg

The three-day event will feature presentations from the Association’s Technical Committee Chair, Daniel Hubert, as well as the Association’s Technical Director, Tom Wysocki. Association president, Eric Burkland, will recap recent developments and improvments in the Association’s new on-line Training Program.

FSSA’s involvement with NFPA Code and Standards development will be highlighted by Derek Wester who provides oversight of the Association’s participation.  Bill Eckholm, chair of FSSA’s Public Policy Comittee will report on recent committee activities.

The opening session’s Keynote Presentation will be by Geno Church, Chief Word of Mouth Inspiration Officer of Brains on Fire. His presentation, THE PASSION CONVERSATION, changes one’s perspective on marketing by explaining the three motivations for why people talk about businesses and causes.

Other topics of interest to be presented will include updates on NICET, challenges in data center fire protection, exposure limits of HF in museum and archive applications as well as innovations in industrial explosion protection.

As always, several networking events are planned throught the course of the event.

For more information about FSSA and its annual meeting, visit www.fssa.net.

The meeting runs through Tuesday, February 24th.

Yes Virginia, Data Center Fires Really Do Happen November 26, 2014

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Responding to recent comments from a facility manager that fires in data centers are rare, Onward and Upward offers a recap of three such fires that have happened in the previous 11 months with details on each.

♦ A fully-powered, but unused transient-voltage surge suppressor (TVSS) failed in the Hoover State Office Building’s basement lHoover State Office Bldg.evel data center on the afternoon of February 18, 2014.  The failure caused significant damage to the unit and produced smoke throughout the room.  A quick-thinking employee activated a manual release station that discharged over 2,400 pounds of FM-200 clean fire-suppressing agent throughout the room and raised floor.  In addition, the agent release also triggered the emergency-power-off circuit dropping power to critical equipment.

The Des Moines, Iowa fire department responded within minutes of receiving the signal from the building’s automatic fire alarm system.  Upon arrival, the fire was extinguished and personnel were assessing the fire damage and working to restore operations.

♦  The catastrophic failure of a capacitor caused dense smoke to be generated within the cabinet of an uninterruptible UPS Failed Capacitorpower supply (UPS) unit at a central Iowa data center on March 19, 2014.  The FM-200 clean agent fire suppression system incorporated a VESDA air-sampling smoke detection system that quickly sensed the smoke and automatically released 385 pounds of agent.  The fire was extinguished by the time local fire teams arrived on the scene.

While the facility itself was unaffected by smoke damage or the clean agent discharge, it took over a day and a half for personnel to locate the failed component deep within the UPS unit.

♦ The malfunction over-heating of evaporator coils on a self-contained computer room air-conditioner ignited collected dust and paper filaments in the raised floor of a Des Moines area data room.  The slow smoldering of the materials was sensed by a smoke detector located under the raised floor on the evening of September 18, 2014.  A second smoke detector confirmed the smoke condition and initiated the discharge sequence that notified the building’s automatic fire alarm system and released 274 pounds of FM-200.

The small data room was unoccupied at the time of the event.  When facility and fire department personnel arrived, the fire was extinguished and there was no damage caused by the agent’s discharge.

While it maybe uncommon to have three events occur within a short time span, it’s clear that it’s not uncommon for fires to occur in data centers.  Each of these incidents could have easily gotten out-of-hand and escalated into major disruptions for these facilities.  However, because of forethought by prudent operators and well-designed and maintained clean agent fire suppression systems, the effects of each of these fires was minimized so that mission-critical functions could return to normal.