7 Deadliest Violations

Ensure the lifetime of your business or establishment by knowing and mitigating these 7 deadliest fire/life safety violations:
  1. Systems -  Are fire sprinkler/fire alarm systems installed and in good working order?
  2. Occupant loads - Know your maximum occupant load, and prevent overcrowding at your establishment.
  3. Exiting and Egress - Maintain all exits and exit pathways free of obstructions.
  4. Interior finish - Use only properly fire rated materials for your interior decorations.
  5. Electric - Properly use extension cords without overloading, and follow electrical safety practices.
  6. Pyrotechnics - Ensure that all pyrotechnic uses are permitted through your local fire department.
  7. Emergency plan - Have an emergency plan, and train with the plan to ensure successful activations when needed.
Get the complete report with checklists, forms and more information from

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To Businesses That Want to Be Green

UPS Corporate Office First in Industry to Earn Both LEED Gold Status and Energy Star Certification

Read the full story here.

Check out the UPS blog for an interactive display of how they stay green and efficient.

The National Fire Protection Association offers some resources for green and energy efficient building practices.  NFPA 5000 Annex G offers the following:

G.1 Scope. This annex provides regulations for the planning, design, construction, and occupancy of buildings or structures to improve life, health, property, and public welfare through methods of design and construction that will enhance and encourage a positive environmental impact and sustainable construction.

G.2 Purpose. The purpose of this annex shall be to provide regulations to enhance and encourage a positive environmental impact and sustainable construction of buildings.

G.3 Application. Buildings and sites shall comply with the minimum provisions of ASHRAE 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings.

G.4 Residential Buildings. Residential buildings shall comply with the minimum provisions of ANSI/ICC 700, National Green Building Standard.

The National Association of State Fire Marshals offer an extensive resource on fire safety and green buildings. Download the free .pdf guide, Bridging the Gap: Fire Safety and Green Buildings.

How To Sell Tires and Prevent Fires

Many auto repair establishments start out as just that, then, over time, they add tire sales to their list of services.  However, the fire code offers very stringent requirements on the proper and fire safe storage of tires. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1:33) provides in-depth details on fire prevention measures, and storage procedures that must be taken. These requirements pertain to the storage of more than 500 tires. Here are a few of the highlights:

1.  Fire deparment access roads need to be maintained.  Any doors or gates to the property will require fire department access (  If there are several tire storage piles, then access roads need to be created and maintained between and to each pile.  The following chart outlines the distances acceptable for fire department access roads and separation from other structures.  Fire department access roads are not to be less than 25' in width.

2.  All ignition sources (cutting, welding, heating devices, open fires, burners, vehicle exhaust) are prohibited within the tire storage area.  "No Smoking" signs shall be prominently displayed.

3.  An emergency response plan shall be created by the owner, this plan should be submitted to the local fire authority for approval and recommendations.

4.  Firefighting equipment shall be maintained on site.  The required equipment consists of:
  • (1) 2A:10BC fire extinguisher
  • (1) 2.5 gal water extinguisher
  • (1) 10 ft. long pike pole
  • (1) rigid rake
  • (1) round point shovel
  • (1) square point shovel

5.  The tire storage area shall have minimum 10' high fencing surround the area.  Signage is to be posted which states the name of the operator, operating hours, emergency contact numbers, and site rules.  This signage is to be posted at the entrance to the facility.

Professional Resolutions for 2012

The below resolutions for 2012 have been adapted from an article originally appearing in CSE Magazine.

1. Get introspective. Think about your career and determine your needs for self- and corporate improvement. What have you been wanting to learn but haven’t taken the time to act on?

2. Invest in training for yourself. Whether it’s technical/tactical/operational or soft-skills training such as time management, public speaking, or English as a second language, set up a training program that will benefit your career.

3. Establish or evaluate the corporate mentoring program. If you have a mentoring program, take its pulse and see if it needs sprucing up.

4. Establish or evaluate a brown-bag internal training program. Whether you have internal or external speakers once a month or more, brown-bag or lunch-and-learn seminars are great ways to enhance skills and help earn continuing education units (CEUs).

5. Join and be active in essential professional associations/societies, such as FFMIA, NFPA, IFMA, ISFTI, and others. Having staff update the company on codes/standards, conference sessions, awards programs, etc., is grist for the brown-bags mentioned in number 4 above.

6. Research new technologies/tools/strategies and share with the staff.

7. Research research. That’s not a typo. Spend some time looking for new or recent research reports you might have missed on topics important to your job. Use informal seminars to share knowledge.

8. Get into the field. Shadow commissioning providers, operators, suppliers, and construction contractors. Learn how systems perform and age in the field. Share the knowledge.

9. Get visible. Many of the above resolutions will lead to publishable technical articles in trade publications. Also, become a Webinar and/or conference speaker. Develop a reward program for staff members whose articles are published or who participate in a conference or webinar event.

10. Focus on economics. Learn the ins and outs of your clients’ businesses and citizens needs. Share the knowledge in brown-bag sessions.

11. Check on past projects. Overtly or subliminally check to see how past projects are doing in the “real world.” Try to learn strengths and weaknesses of past work to improve future work.

12. Reassess guide specifications, SOG's, and internal processes. Take everything learned in 2011 and apply it for 2012 and beyond.