New Construction Fire Safety Coalition aims to reduce occurrence of fires in buildings under construction
In advance of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) National Fire Prevention Week October 8-14, leading fire prevention and code organizations announce the formation of a Construction Fire Safety Coalition dedicated to reducing the occurrence of fires in buildings under construction, alteration, or demolition. The Coalition has been created in collaboration with the American Wood Council (AWC); Davidson Code Concepts, LLC; FireForceOne; International Code Council (ICC); National Association of Home Builders; National Association of State Fire Marshals; National Fire Sprinkler Association; and a representative of the Cambridge, Mass. Fire Department, in response to recent fires in Massachusetts, California and New Jersey.
Though less than 1 percent of fires occur during the construction stage, those that do can result in injuries, significant financial losses and may require intensive fire service response, straining municipal resources. By developing science-based training programs and making fire safety guidance – including the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and NFPA 1 Fire Code, NFPA 241 Standard for Safeguarding Construction Alteration and Demolition Operations, the International Building Code and the International Fire Code – accessible to all stakeholders across the United States, the Coalition aims to ensure fire fighters and occupants are safe, and buildings under construction remain unharmed by fire.
“Building safety is AWC’s top priority, and we’re working to ensure that our nation’s firefighters, building code officials and developers are equipped with accurate and up-to-date information to effectively do their jobs,” said Kenneth Bland, AWC vice president of codes and regulations. “AWC and our partners agree that the best way to do so is through knowledge and resource sharing, aligning on best practices and providing educational opportunities to stakeholders who are working to keep their communities safe.”
The Coalition is working to accomplish:
- Improved public and fire fighter safety through reduced frequency and/or severity of construction site fires;
- Reduced frequency and/or severity of fires in projects involving construction, alteration, demolition or related activities, including site development and on-site material staging; and
- Reduced negative impacts on neighboring buildings, delays in building occupancy, water resources, and the environment.
“The ICC is pleased to be a part of this collaborative effort to increase fire safety on construction sites,” said Rob Neale, ICC vice president national fire service activities. “A coalition approach is critical to addressing the multi-faceted nature of this challenge. Independently, no single organization can solve this issue, but together this partnership of experts and stakeholders can support systemic change.”
Fire service professionals, regulators and developers can learn more at www.ConstructionFireSafety.org. The Coalition’s educational material is accessible to all stakeholders free of charge. To join forces in preventing construction fires, contact email@example.com.