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US Fire Departments Respond to a Fire Every 24 Seconds: What Else has the NFPA Found in the 2017 Fire Loss Report?

Every year, the NFPA conducts a fire experience survey and compiles a fire loss report. The number of structure fires has steadily decreased over the past 40 years, with 1,098,000 in 1977 and 449,000 in 2017. Nearly 30,000…

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By the Numbers: A Look at U.S. Fire loss in 2016

By Friday, October 13, more than 3,500 homes and businesses across Northern California wine country had been destroyed and 31 people had died in the deadliest week for wildfires in California’s history. As we continue to think…

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Hot and Cold – Ongoing Phase-Out of HFCs May Lead to the Use of Flammable Refrigerants

It’s been nearly a year since the U.S. and more than 100 other nations around the world pledged to phase out the use of chemical compounds called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in refrigerators and air conditioners. This amendment…

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Which Fire Sprinkler System is Right for Your Facility?

The general concept of a fire sprinkler system has been around since the early 1800s and consisted of a manually-operated system using perforated pipes to deliver water to an area. By the late 1800s, the first automated…

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Choosing the Right Fire Sprinkler – Part 2

In the Part 1 of Choosing the Right Fire Sprinkler, we reviewed sprinkler basics, temperature ratings, and K-factor. In Part 2, we’ll look at installation orientation, response type, design and performance characteristics, and…

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Choosing the Right Fire Sprinkler – Part 1

Choosing the right fire sprinkler is critical to the success of a sprinkler system in controlling or extinguishing a fire. Sprinklers should be chosen by evaluating the occupancy, hazards, and conditions (ceiling height, type…

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Getting a Handle on Your Combustible Dust Exposure – Part 2

Last week, we reviewed the definition of combustible dust, the “Dust Explosion Pentagon”, and identified several historic dust explosions that have resulted in the tragic loss of many lives. This week, we’ll review applicable…

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Getting a Handle on Your Combustible Dust Exposure – Part 1

Any facility that handles combustible particulate solids, including dusts, fibers, flocks, flakes, chips, and chunks should be proactive in evaluating the extent of this hazard in their facility and processes. NFPA defines a…

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Don’t Lose Your Cool… High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) Fans and Sprinklers

In the late 1990’s, dairy farmers were looking for a way to reduce heat stress on their cows, but providing air conditioning in a barn was not economically feasible, and small box fans did not provide the coverage needed. The…

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National Fire Protection Association Releases 2014 Fire Loss Information

Fire departments across the United States responded to almost 1.3 million fires in 2014, resulting in 3,275 civilian deaths and $11.6 billion in property damage. The number of total fires was 4.7 percent higher than the…

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PIRG: Collaborative Research

One of the most common observations about the fire protection industry is that, while it’s certainly growing, it remains relatively small. Students often aren’t aware that fire protection engineering is an option until they’re…

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ESFR Obstructions…The Achilles Heel!

In a recent post, we discussed the history of sprinkler technology. This week, we’ll look at ESFR restrictions and obstructions. Because of the operating principles around which ESFR technology is based, any delay in sprinkler…

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Early Sprinklers

The History of Sprinkler Technology

Photo credit: Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library, St. John’s University Sprinkler protection has evolved over time from a simple system of uncharged pipes with perforations in 1874, to present day sprinkler systems that…

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NFPA 652: Standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust is Coming!

This summer, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will issue NFPA 652: Standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust. Though NFPA had previously developed several standards addressing combustible dust, those standards…

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Combustible Dust Demonstration Apparatus

What do our fire protection engineers do in their spare time? Dale Hansen, one of the Principals of our firm, recently developed a combustible dust demonstration apparatus. The demonstration unit is designed to disperse a…

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