NFPA Journal Podcast
Every second Tuesday of the month Jesse Roman, staff writer for NFPA Journal, and other experts will dive deep into the latest trends and issue in fire, electrical and life safety.

Ken Willette, Division Manager of Public Fire Protection for NFPA, sits down with Jesse to discuss how NFPA is engaging the fire service.  Ken talks about the change undergoing the fire service right now and where the future will be heading.  Jesse and Ken also discuss the Responder Forum, NFPA’s initiative to engage the emerging thought-leaders of the fire service with experts, analysts and researchers to tackle the upcoming opportunities and challenges.  Please subscribe to the NFPA Journal podcast and feel free to send in any topic ideas and/or guests to

Direct download: Responder_Forum_Podcast_-_Edit_01.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 5:00am EST

Bangladesh is second only to China in garment exports to the West, but unsafe conditions have plagued its factories where thousands of workers have died in preventable tragedies over the years. In response, a consortium of Western retailers founded The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety in 2013 as a way to improve fire and life safety for Bangladesh’s roughly 4 million garment workers. 

On today’s podcast, Jesse speaks with Randy Tucker, a board member on the Alliance, about the ongoing effort to improve factory safety. Jesse also speaks with Kathleen Almand, the vice president of Research at NFPA, who just returned from Bangladesh as part of an NFPA mission to help the Alliance assess the work that has been done so far. 

Direct download: Bangladash_Podcast_-_Edit_02.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Guy Colonna, NFPA’s division manager of Industrial and Chemical Engineering, sits down with Jesse Roman to discuss dust and current cultural events that are bringing the two together.  After an explosion at a dance party in Taiwan that resulted in over 10 deaths, public safety officials of events like “color runs” are looking into the dangers that can come with any dust.  Guy gives a great overview of dust in general and the dangers of it.  Later, Guy talks about the resources offered to public safety officials and organizers alike to keep everyone safe and sound.  

Direct download: Sept_Oct_-_Podcast_-_Edit_01.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 1:54pm EST

In Part III of NFPA Journal Podcast’s three-part suite on drones, robots and unmanned systems, Jesse speaks to Thomas Zajkowski, Flight Operations Manager at NextGen Air Transportation Center UAS Program at North Carolina State University. Thomas and NextGen did a series of wildfire related test with control wildland fire burn in Florida in 2012.  Wildfire is one of the most critical area that drones can assist firefighters.  Thomas talked with Jesse at the Unmanned Systems 2015 Conference in Atlanta, GA. 

Direct download: July_August_-_Drones_Podcast_03.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 2:26pm EST

In Part II of NFPA Journal Podcast’s three-part suite on drones, robots and unmanned systems, Jesse speaks to Helen Greiner, the co-founder of iRobot and the current CEO and founder of CyPhy Works, a manufacturer of consumer and military drones and robots. Greiner discusses the history of robots and drones, where we are now in the technological arc, the potential for these machines to become as ubiquitous in our society as smartphones, as well as how emergency responders are and will benefit from the use of these machines in the future.

Direct download: July_August_-_Drones_Podcast_02.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 4:36pm EST

In part one of NFPA Journal Podcast’s three-part suite on drones, robots and unmanned systems, Jesse speaks to Stephen McKeever, a professor of physics at Oklahoma State and the state’s secretary of science and technology, and Jamey Jacob, the head of the new Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) graduate degree program at Oklahoma State University.

UAS, more commonly known as drones, have shown great promise for helping first responders and public safety officials do their jobs more safely and efficiently. Oklahoma is at the forefront of drone technology for first responders. In addition to Oklahoma State’s drone degree program, the state is home to a test site, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, which specifically tests small drones for use by first responders. During the podcast we discuss the current regulations for public agencies flying drones, what applications these unmanned systems have for public safety and first responders, and what the future may hold. Will every fire department in the country have a drone in its figurative toolbox? Many people, including Jacob, think so. 

Direct download: NFPA_Journal_-_Drone_Podcast_Part_1.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 11:20am EST

Food trucks are on the rise with around 117,000 in operation around the United States.  In 2014 it was estimated that the food truck industry made over $850 million.  Some trucks operate using a 20-gallon tank of propane which is equivalent to 170 sticks of dynamite with its explosive capability.


Unfortunately tragedy struck in July 1st 2014 when a truck exploded killing two people and injuring ten.  Jesse Roman talked about the current environment for fire and life safety on food trucks with Jacqueline Wilmot, staff liaison for NFPA 96: Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations.

Direct download: Jacquline_Wilmont_Food_Trucks_-_Podcast_-_May_June_2015.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Jesse Roman chats with Matt Klaus, NFPA principal fire protection engineer and liaison to the NFPA 13 technical committees, about these updates to 13, why they were made, and why they are important.

In the case of the commodity classification tables, much of the commodity information provided in NFPA 13 is nearly 50 years old, written when storage facilities and schemes were vastly different than today, Klaus explains.  That was a big problem, because the accuracy of those classifications is vital for fire protection.

Cloud ceilings—essentially aesthetic ceiling panels suspended below the actual structural ceiling—are very popular among architects and developers these days because they can hide unsightly wires and pipes, and they look really cool. Unfortunately, they complicate sprinkler system design.

Direct download: Matt_Klaus_NFPA_13_-_Podcast_-_May_June_2015.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 2:16pm EST

Don Bliss, VP of Field Operations, and Jesse Roman, staff writer, dicuss the March April 2015 NFPA Journal cover story on resilience.  They take a big-picture look at one of the most compelling concepts in safety and emergency preparation, and the role codes and standards can play in making resilience happen.

Direct download: Resiliency_-_March_April_2015.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 10:35am EST

In the second past of our podcast on the Triangle Waist Company fire, Casey Grant, the director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, explores why the incident had such a massive regulatory impact in the United States.

You can read more about the fire online at:

NFPA Triangle Waist Fire New York 1911 Casey Grant National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code NFPA101

Direct download: triangle_fire_centennial_2.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 9:30am EST