Monday, January 22, 2018

Quantified Assessment of Options

The second trait in Paul Bryant’s, 7 Traits of Highly Effective Fire Engineers, is “being objective”.  Successful fire protection professionals make decisions based on facts, even if these facts contradict personal experiences or beliefs. To reduce the level of subjectivity in the selection of fire protection solutions, Bryant provides a table he refers to as the “quantified assessment of options”.

This table bases fire protection system selection on three factors: performance, logistics, and economics. Performance describes how a system will perform within a specific environment.  Logistics refers to the practical application of system installation and maintenance. The economic factor addresses the life cost of the system.

Each system or technology option will be scored on these three factors. Each of these scores will be multiplied and a total score provided. The total score should provide a clear path for the best choice of system or technology to be used.

The table template is as follows:

*the number scale may be project specific as differing projects may weigh one factor more than another

Here is a sample issue addressed utilizing the table:


This table and the “quantitative assessment of options” process will help to avoid pre-judgement and base systems and technologies on their pure merits.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Reading Meyer Fire? You Must!

If you're not already reading Meyer Fire (, you need to start immediately!  Meyer Fire is the independent resource for fire protection professionals.  Meyer Fire creates resources for the Fire Protection P.E. exam.  The Meyer Fire site produces a weekly blog post and a daily fire protection question. Additionally, the site offers tools and resources including calculators, articles, and a job board.

Here are 10 must-read posts to get you started:

  1. Advantages of Return Bends in Fire Sprinkler Systems
  2. Slope Requirements for Fire Sprinkler Pipe
  3. Breakout of a Floor Control Riser Assembly
  4. Sprinkler Ceiling Obstructions
  5. Solving Noise from Dry-System Compressors
  6. Components of a Fire Sprinkler
  7. Sprinkler Design for Elevators
  8. New Occupant Load Factors Coming to NFPA 101
  9. Details and Requirements of the Inspector's Test
  10. The Other (Easy) Way to Space a Smoke Detector

An awesome "added value" feature of these posts is the hand drawn (by Joseph Meyer) fire protection system components (such as the one below)!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Making CRR Work for Your Department

"Firefighter" by Justin Hoffman

Since, 1830 when James Braidwood penned one of the earliest guideson the causes of fires, and the means of preventing them”, fire departments have been practicing some form of community risk reduction. With the modern standards of NFPA 1730, NFPA 1452, and NFPA 1300, fire prevention organizations now have a reference tool and clear guidance on how to best conduct community risk reduction activities prevent fire, preserve life, and protect their communities.

Over the last few months, several posts have been published as a resource for CRR activities:

Presented below, as a sort-of  end cap to this series of posts, are some general tips and items to be considered before leaving the firehouse and engaging in CRR activities.

  • Dress professionally in a uniform that clearly identifies you with your department
  • Ensure a full supply of resources and handouts are available
  • Work only in teams, of at least two people.
  • Remember the primary goal of the CRR “mission” is to eliminate hazards to life and property. Be able to clearly articulate this to your community.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Florida Fire Prevention Code, 6th Edition

January 1, 2018 marked the effective date of the 6th edition of the Florida Fire Prevention Code. The Florida Fire Prevention Code is composed of the 2015 editions of NFPA 1, Fire Code and NFPA 101, Life Safety Codewith Florida specific amendments.

These Florida state specific amendments, local amendments, informal interpretations, past editions, and future notices can be accessed from the Florida Fire Prevention Code page, from the Division of State Fire Marshal. 

The full list of adopted codes, standards, and referenced documents and editions are listed in FAC 69A-60.005.

Douglas True, Fire Prevention at Dade City, has built an amazing set of plan review spreadsheets based on this latest edition of the FFPC. These sheets include plans review checklists and calculations.  This document can be downloaded here,

Florida Fire Prevention Code, 6th Edition can be purchased from BNi Building News.