Your First Line Of Defense

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a recent presentation given on improving our emergency response time by holding fire extinguishers more accountable and linking them to other life safety systems

a recent presentation given on improving our emergency response time by holding fire extinguishers more accountable and linking them to other life safety systems

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  • 1. James Shea National Sales Manager en-Gauge, Inc.
  • 2. Video
  • 3. Definition • A fire extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. It is not intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one which has reached the ceiling, endangers the user (i.e. no escape route, smoke, explosion hazard, etc.), or otherwise requires the expertise of a fire department.
  • 4. First Line of Defense • Provide for control of incipient fires • Provide emergency escape from life threatening events • Limit property damage where fires are contained • Tested with margin of safety for novice fire fighters • Can be early warning device for evacuation
  • 5. Noteworthy History • 1723 - First Patent by Ambrose Godfrey in England • 1818 - First modern fire extinguisher by Captain George William Manby using potassium carbonate & compressed air • 1866 – first patented soda acid fire extinguisher
  • 6. Fire Extinguisher Evolution • 1881 – first US patent for soda acid fire extinguisher by Almon M. Granger • 1950s ABC dry chemical introduced to US from Europe • Today most common type found in commercial buildings and home use is ABC
  • 7. Assumptions on Standardization • Codes required fire extinguishers for specific special hazard occupancies • Fires became unpredictable with addition of new building materials • Operation of fire extinguishers varied from one type to another
  • 8. Assumptions on Standardization • Multiple types of extinguishers for different fires created risk of improper application • True risk assessments of occupancy hazards diminished due to level of experience and field knowledge • Liability and ease made standardization more palatable
  • 9. Effective and Proven • 94% of recorded incidents = a portable fire extinguisher is totally effective in containing & suppressing a minor fire. • 89.9% of the known incidents where fire extinguishers are used, the Fire Service is not called. • 86% of the incidents a fire extinguisher was used by the building owner / occupier Source: “Assessment of the benefits of Fire Extinguishers as fire safety precautions in New Zealand Buildings” By: Biswadeep Ghosh
  • 10. Effective and Proven • Worcester Poly Technical Institute (WPI) - “Fire Extinguishers in Academic Settings” – 15,000 fire incidents in US academic institutions each year involving fire extinguishers – 85% of the time fire extinguishers were effective (72% extinguished / 10% containment / 3% life safety) • EuroFEU Report – 2000 – 80% fire extinguisher effective – 75% Municipal support not required
  • 11. Effective and Proven • State of Texas – Reported Fires – 47 fires within state agencies and state universities – 45% fires were extinguished by a fire extinguisher – 50% fires extinguished by Uniform officials
  • 12. Cost of Fire • Annual Estimates – Roughly 4500 lives annually – 100 fire fighters annually – $14M - $15M property damage
  • 13. The Code World - One Common Theme Fire Extinguishers Remain a Critical Part of Our Life Safety Systems and Are Required By All The Various “Authority Having Jurisdiction”
  • 14. One Common Theme • Uniform Fire Code – Required in all commercial occupancies • International Fire Code – Required in all commercial occupancies – 2009 – elimination of exceptions • Occupational Safety & Health – 1910.157 – Required in all occupancies • Joint Commissions • State, Local requirements • Insurance Underwriters
  • 15. IFC – 2009 Edition • Reasons for change as stated by the author – concern over the inclusion of an exception caused a number of states to delete the exception upon adoption of the IFC/IBC. – 36% of IFC States plus Washington D.C. and New York City have Deleted Line 1 Exception. – 2 States have amended Section 906.1 and the exception to require more extinguishers
  • 16. IFC – 2009 Edition – 2 States use both NFPA 1 and the IFC with more stringent code applicable. – 17 additional States have adopted NFPA 1 as their fire code instead of the IFC. – A total of 33 State jurisdictions and an unknown number of local jurisdictions have chosen to delete the exception in favor of providing the ability to control a fire at its earliest stages.
  • 17. Insurance Considerations • In assigning „protection factors‟, insurers assess both „public‟ protection, such as fire department capabilities, fire hydrant distribution and available water supply, and „private‟ protection, such as fire extinguishers, automatic sprinklers, and fire alarm systems, provided inside a building. The levels of reliability of these and other fire-protection systems and services can significantly affect the overall level of fire protection provided to a structure, as well as the insurance rates charged. Source: The Canadian Wood Council
  • 18. Texas Commercial Property Insurance • Five basic elements affect a building´s fire rating. – Construction. Of what materials is the structure built? Are they fire-resistant? Are they combustible? – Occupancy. What businesses use the structure? Are they high-risk or low-risk? – Location. Is the property within a city or town with good fire protection? Is it located outside of a city or town, in an area with limited or no fire protection? – Exposure. Do other hazards exist within the building or within a specified distance that increase the risk of fire? – Fire Protection. Does the building contain sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and alarms that reduce the risk of fire? What level of public fire protection is available?
  • 19. The Big Controversy Flight vs. Fight Who Decides?
  • 20. *Human Behavior and Fire • It is human nature to attempt to extinguish a fire at the incipient stage using whatever means are at hand. • People will most likely look for a portable fire extinguisher when encountering a fire at the incipient stage. • People will wait for further instructions rather than leave the building.
  • 21. Human Behavior - • Several studies have taken place over the last two decades that highlight human behavior in a fire including: – National Research Council – “A Comparison of the 1993 And 2001 Evacuations of The World Trade Center”, Fahey; Proulx – NIST Technical Note 1619 – “Modeling Human Behavior During Building Fires”, Kuligowski – Fire Code Reform Technical Report FCRC TR-97- 11 – “Selected Literature Review On Human Behaviour In Fire” – Many Others
  • 22. Common Sense Fire Safety Plans It just makes good life safety sense to insure those confronted by fire have the latest in technology to support their evacuation plan.
  • 23. Response to Fire Alarm Signal • *Occupants Fail to Respond - There is ample anecdotal evidence that occupants often fail to respond to fire alarms, particularly in facilities other than private apartments or houses. Occupants may ignore the fire alarm signal for different reasons. There are four reasons that are particularly interesting to explore: – Failure to recognize the signal as a fire alarm. – Unaware of the proper response. – Loss of confidence in the system because of nuisance alarms. – Failure to hear the signal. *Source: Fire Protection Engineering Response to Fire Alarms Author Gylene Proulx, PHD
  • 24. Response to Fire Alarm Signal • Many occupants assume that whenever they hear a fire alarm, they can safely dismiss it as a nuisance alarm; denial that the alarm signal is an indication of a genuine problem is fairly common. • 25% of occupants interpreted the sound of the fire alarm as a potential indication of a real emergency *Source: Fire Protection Engineering Response to Fire Alarms Author Gylene Proulx, PHD
  • 25. Fight vs. Flight – Real World • It is not always up to our life safety & evacuation plans • Many occupants avoid early warning signals and will wait till immediate danger is eminent • Many occupants are unable to evacuate due to disability or impairment
  • 26. Fight vs. Flight – Real World • Many occupancies require a “defend in place” strategy due to size, scope of an evacuation – Hi-rise buildings – Healthcare – Hotels – Large places of assembly “A Defend In Place Strategy Must Be Included In All Life Safety Plans as a part of the Chain of Survival”
  • 27. A critical link in the chain of survival?
  • 28. Critical Link In Chain Yet……
  • 29. Improving Response Time • “it is still possible that someone will first reach for a portable fire extinguisher and forget to sound an alarm or forget to notify the fire department before trying to extinguish the fire.” • the benefit of interfacing with the building fire alarm system to monitor the portable fire extinguisher can improve the overall effectiveness of the fire protection for a building. • The point behind the value of the extinguisher monitoring system rests with an understanding of the critical importance of time to truly effective fire protection. The common thread to every successful or unsuccessful outcome of a fire suppression effort relates to time. Time represents the yardstick of fire suppression “Using a Systems Approach and New Technology to Reduce Response Fire Protection Engineering – 2010 Time” Q1Publication By: Wayne D. Moore, P.E., FSFPE
  • 30. Improving Response Time • The Monte Carlo Casino fire raged for 15 minutes before fire alarm system detected fire • Officials state “up to ten Monte Carlo owned fire extinguishers were used prior to alarm”. • Officials further stated “Had fire extinguishers been monitored by the buildings alarm system, they would have had a ten to fifteen minute head start on fighting the fire”. • January 25, 2008 • $100M Business Interruption first month
  • 31. Improving Response Time January 26, 2010 Family of students killed in Hoover motel fire file wrongful death suit • The parents of two 18-year-old Cordova cousins killed Jan. 16 in a motel fire in Hoover have sued the motel owner and an employee who authorities believe accidentally started the blaze… The suit names as defendants Chris Parekh, one of the owners of the Days Inn South … Other defendants, whose identities were unknown to the plaintiffs, include the motel's insurance company, any entity that did maintenance or repair work at the motel and the manufacturer and/or distributor of a fire extinguisher that authorities were told failed to work. • Allegations in the suit include that Bhagat and motel management failed to properly respond to the fire, failed to maintain fire extinguishers at the motel, failed to notify authorities of the fire fast enough, and failed to warn guests. • •
  • 32. Good For Life Safety – Good For The Environment Green Collar Research White Paper Green Impact • Reduces use of water supply (sprinklers / municipalities • Reduces impact on landfills – burnt materials / non-recyclable equipment • Reduces CO2 impact – Fire truck emissions / service vehicles • Reduces release of toxins – water runoff / sulfur dioxide, arsenic, others from diesel fuel consumption • Supports energy conservation
  • 33. Technology Addresses Key Concerns • Delays to sound alarm, notify public • Theft • Vandalism • Failure to work • Cost of monthly inspection
  • 34. Summary • Fire extinguishers are proven and effective • Fire extinguishers are critical to all life safety programs • Technology exits to link fire extinguishers to the other monitored life safety and security systems • Precedence for 24/7 surveillance is already part of our codes • Evolution of fire protection systems to save lives and protect property is paramount
  • 35. Electronic Monitoring Systems
  • 36. Appendix Material
  • 37. NFPA 1Fire Code – 2009 Edition • 2.1 General – The document or portions thereof listed in this chapter are referenced in this code and shall be considered part of the requirements of this document • 2.2 NFPA Publications National Fire Protection Association 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, 2007 Edition…………
  • 38. NFPA 1Fire Code – 2009 Edition • Section 4.4.1.1 – The design of every building or structure intended for human occupancy shall be such that reliance for property protection and safety to life does not depend solely on any single safeguard • Section 10.8.1 – Persons shall not render any portable or fixed fire extinguishing device or any fire warning system or device inoperative or inaccessible
  • 39. NFPA 1Fire Code – 2009 Edition • Section 13.1.2 – The property owner shall be responsible for the proper testing and maintenance of the equipment and systems • Section13.1.4 – A minimum of 36” (914 mm) of clear space shall be maintained to permit access to and operation of fire protection equipment, fire department inlet connections, or fire protection system control valves. The fire department shall not be deterred or hindered from gaining immediate access to fire protection equipment
  • 40. NFPA 1 Fire Code – 2009 Edition • Section 13.6.1 General Requirements – The selection, distribution, inspection, maintenance and testing of portable fire extinguishers shall be in accordance with NFPA 10 and section 13.6 • Section 13.6.1.2 – The selection and installation of portable fire extinguishers is independent of whether a building is equipped with automatic sprinklers, standpipe and hose, or other automatic fire protection equipment
  • 41. IFC – 2006 Edition • Table 901.6.1 (extracted) Fire Protection Maintenance Standards SYSTEM STANDARD Portable fire extinguishers NFPA 10
  • 42. IFC – 2006 Edition • Section 906.1 - Where required. Portable fire extinguishers shall be installed in the following locations. 1. In new and existing Group A, B, E, F, H, I , M, R-1, R-2, R-4 and S occupancies. Exception: In new and existing Group A, B and E occupancies equipped throughout with quick response sprinklers, portable fire extinguishers shall be required only in locations specified in Items 2 through 6. 2. Within 30 feet (9144 mm) of commercial cooking equipment. 3. In areas where flammable or combustible liquids are stored, used or dispensed. 4. On each floor of structures under construction, except Group R-3 occupancies, in accordance with Section1415.1. 5. Where required by the sections indicated in Table 906.1. 6. Special-hazard areas, including but not limited to laboratories, computer rooms and generator rooms, where required by the fire code official.
  • 43. IFC – 2006 Edition • 906.2 General requirements. Fire extinguishers shall be selected, installed and maintained in accordance with this section and NFPA 10.
  • 44. IFC – 2009 Proposal 906.1 (IBC [F] 906.1) Proponent: Robert J Davidson, Code Consultant/Alan Shuman, President, representing the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) Revise to remove the exception currently in 2006 standard: 906.1 (IBC [F] 906.1) Where required. Portable fire extinguishers shall be installed in the following locations. 1. In new and existing Group A, B, E, F, H, I , M, R- 1, R-2, R-4 and S occupancies.
  • 45. IFC – 2009 Edition • Reasons for change – Since the first publication of the International Fire Code, concern over the inclusion of an exception caused a number of states to delete the exception upon adoption of the IFC/IBC. • 36% of IFC States plus Washington D.C. and New York City have Deleted Line 1 Exception. • 2 States have amended Section 906.1 and the exception to require more extinguishers • 2 States use both NFPA 1 and the IFC with more stringent code applicable. • 17 additional States have adopted NFPA 1 as their fire code instead of the IFC. • A total of 33 State jurisdictions and an unknown number of local jurisdictions have chosen to delete the exception in favor of providing the ability to control a fire at its earliest stages.
  • 46. IFC – 2009 Edition • Reasons for change – Not in the original draft of the International Fire Code – Did not exist in any of the legacy fire codes – Currently does not exist in NFPA 1 Uniform Fire Code, NFPA 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers or NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code
  • 47. Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) • 1910.157(a) Scope and application. – The requirements of this section apply to the placement, use, maintenance, and testing of portable fire extinguishers provided for the use of employees. Paragraph (d) of this section does not apply to extinguishers provided for employee use on the outside of workplace buildings or structures. Where extinguishers are provided but are not intended for employee use and the employer has an emergency action plan and a fire prevention plan that meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.38 and 29 CFR 1910.39 respectively, then only the requirements of paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section apply.
  • 48. OSHA • 1910.157(c)(1) The employer shall provide portable fire extinguishers and shall mount, locate and identify them so that they are readily accessible to employees without subjecting the employees to possible injury • 1910.157(c)(4) The employer shall assure that portable fire extinguishers are maintained in a fully charged and operable condition and kept in their designated places at all times except during use
  • 49. OSHA • 1910.157(e)(1)The employer shall be responsible for the inspection, maintenance and testing of all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace • 1910.157(e)(2)Portable extinguishers or hose used in lieu thereof under paragraph (d)(3) of this section shall be visually inspected monthly • 1910.157(e)(3)The employer shall assure that portable fire extinguishers are subjected to an annual maintenance check. Stored pressure extinguishers do not require an internal examination. The employer shall record the annual maintenance date and retain this record for one year after the last entry or the life of the shell, whichever is less. The record shall be available to the Assistant Secretary upon request
  • 50. State (Example of AHJ) • California Department of Boating and Waterways – FIRE EXTINGUISHERS – “Any vessel carrying passenger's for-hire must carry fire extinguishers even if the vessel is less than 26-feet in length propelled by outboard motors, and has no closed compartments.”
  • 51. Joint Commissions • EC.02.03.01 – Requires fire extinguisher inspections at 30 day intervals – Requires proper record keeping and documentation storage – Compliance is low hanging fruit for auditors – Failure to comply can delay federal $ to institutions