INFORMATION

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Negligence

- The Texas Supreme Court has overturned a jury verdict in favor of a man who died from burns he received during an explosion at his company. A jury awarded the man's family $42.5 million in damages due to the company's gross negligence in permitting the explosion. The state supreme court, after reviewing the facts in the case, ruled that the company had implemented numerous safety measures to protect against such explosions and had a vested interest in keeping the workplace safe and operational. (Diamond Shamrock Refining Co. v. Donna Hall, Supreme Court of Texas, No. 02-0566. 2005)

When Dorms Get Too Warm

- College students are many things, but cautious isn’t usually one of them. And when the emotional tinder swirling in young adults mixes with physical tinder, such as paper and cheap furniture, in population-dense dorms, the combination can be highly combustible. That may be one of the reasons why about 1,300 fires occur in U.S. college and university dormitories every year. Unfortunately, in most dorm fires, no automatic sprinkler system is there to douse the flames.As part of a U.S. Fire Administration initiative to improve fire safety in college housing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted fire experiments in abandoned dorm rooms in Arkansas. Link to NIST via SM Online to get the free DVD .

Did You Know That?

- Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater is a no-no, but what’s worse is not having adequate fire protection in that same crowded theater. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center does not appear to comply with some fire-safety requirements. Auditors found, for instance, that there was no program for managing the storage of scenery, props, and other combustible materials. GAO testimony on the topic is at SM Online.

Don’t Lock in Fire Code Violations

- How to ensure that security devices don’t create life-safety problems, especially with regard to egress points.

Campus Safety

- A report on fires in student housing finds that most occurred off-campus.

Numbers

- 7 Percent of calls to U.S. fire departments in 2003 that were made to report actual fires. The vast majority of calls to fire departments, according to the National Fire Protection Association, sought medical assistance, while false alarms accounted for one out of every ten calls.

Agriculture Inspections Compromised

- The 2002 decision to transfer agriculture inspections to Customs and Border Protection has hurt the nation's ability to protect against foreign pests.

NFPA Pocket Guide to Electronic Security System Installation

- When it released NFPA 730 (Guide to Premises Security) and NFPA 731 (Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems) in 2005, several security industry associations and leaders questioned why a fire-standards organization was getting involved in security

Extinguishing Fire Safety Problems

- A New Hampshire school updates its maintenance andinspection of fire extinguishers.

Fire Protection

- The National Fire Protection Association has issued guidelines for security system installations.

It Does Not Pay to Delay

- According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a fire breaks out in a building every 60 seconds in the United States. Automatic sprinklers can play a vital role in saving lives and preservation of property.

High-Rise Fire Safety

- Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Chicago Fire Department, and the Chicago Housing Authority recently set controlled fires in an abandoned Chicago apartment building to test a new fire-fighting technique. Link to the video clip.

Fahrenheit 1,832

- The historic Anna Amalia library in Weimar, Germany, is installing a tailor-made fire system as part of a reconstruction project after the building was gutted by a runaway blaze in 2004.
 




Beyond Print

SM Online

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