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Michael Hawthorne
Chicago Tribune
Created: August 29, 3014

Aug. 29--As furniture makers move to phase out toxic, ineffective flame retardants, the chemical industry is waging an aggressive last-ditch campaign to preserve a lucrative market that reaches into virtually every American home.

One of the world's leading manufacturers of flame retardants is suing California to block a new flammability standard that starting next year will allow furniture manufacturers to eliminate the chemicals from new upholstered sofas and chairs sold nationwide. The lawsuit, scheduled to be argued Friday in a Sacramento courtroom, is backed by the American Chemistry Council, the industry's chief trade group.

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Report Receipt Date: JUL 02, 2014 
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V402000 
Potential Number of Units Affected: 175

Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company

SUMMARY:

Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2014 Ford Fiesta vehicles manufactured October 25, 2013, to February 27, 2014. Due to a manufacturing error, the fuel tank may leak.

Read the full details at NHTSA

Recall date: August 26, 2014

Description

This recall involves Hewlett-Packard’s LS-15 AC power cord. The power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers and with AC adapter-powered accessories such as docking stations. The power cords are black in color and have an “LS-15” molded mark on the AC adapter end of the power cord.


Read the full details at CPSC

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.

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Recall date: August 27, 2014 Description

The recall involves Amana, Century, Comfort-Aire, Goodman and York International-branded Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps. The units are rated 230/208 volt, 3.5 kW and are most often installed in walls of hotels, motels, apartment buildings and commercial spaces to provide room climate control. The recalled units are beige with serial numbers ranging from 0701009633 through 0804272329. The brand name is located on the unit’s front cover.  The serial number is located on the control board plate found by lifting the unit’s front cover.

 

Read the full details at CPSC

 

Upholstered Chair Fire Tests Using a California Technical Bulletin 133 Burner Ignition Source D.W. Stroup, L. DeLauter, J. Lee and G. Roadarmel Building and Fire Research Laboratory National Institute of Standards and Technology U.S. Department of Commerce Gaithersburg, MD 20899 Upholstered Chair Fire Tests Using a California Technical Bulletin 133 Burner Ignition Source  D.W. Stroup, L. DeLauter, J. Lee and G. Roadarmel Building and Fire Research Laboratory National Institute of Standards and Technology U.S. Department of Commerce Gaithersburg, MD 20899

 

Abstract

A series of fire tests were conducted to characterize the potential hazard from ignition of an upholstered chair.  The particular chair was selected as part of a fire investigation being conducted by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Heat release rate was determined as a function of time from ignition using the oxygen depletion principle.  Two tests were conducted with the chairs placed in the open under large calorimeters.

The third test was conducted with the chair located in a room.  Peak heat release rates obtained during the tests ranged from approximately 1 MW to 2.5 MW.

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November 10-12, 2014 Training Seminar

CCAI Training Seminar November 10 - 12, 2014 
Click here for the registration form
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White Paper-NHTSA

A Case Study of 214 Fatal Crashes Involving Fire.
Carl L. Ragland
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Hsi-Sheng Hsia
Research and Special Programs Administration
United States
Paper Number 9X-S4-O-08
Carl L. Ragland
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Hsi-Sheng HsiaResearch and Special Programs Administration
United States
Paper Number 9X-S4-O-08

ABSTRACT
A detailed case study of 214 fatal tire related 
crashes was conducted to determine whether the death was 
caused by the fire or blunt trauma. The cases were also 
examined to determine the specific crash conditions which 
caused the fire. This analysis was necessary because none 
of the existing fatal crash databases contained sufficient 
details to determine the impact configuration or the cause 
of death. Two hundred and ninety three (293) fatalities 
occurred in these crashes. Sixty-five (65) ofthese fatalities 
resulted from fire, with 30 of these fatalities from 16 rear 
impacts. The speed of impact was determined in eight of 
the 16 cases which caused these 30 burn fatalities. In these 
eight cases, the average rear impact speed was 54 mph with 
speeds ranging from 50 - 60 mph, at 7 1% overlap (7 1 % of 
the rear vehicle width engaged), and collinear at 6:00 
O’clock. By projecting these cases to the national sample, 
the number of rear impact fire related fatalities may be 
estimated between 94 and 191.

Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation

Part 1

As the spring fire season approaches, fire investigators across the country will be responding to wildfires to conduct origin and cause investigations. In many jurisdictions, investigators are assigned to a type of investigation that is unfamiliar. During the response, the investigator may be thinking that it is no big deal, having already investigated hundreds of structure fires. How hard can a wildfire be? The answer is simple; you must be trained in wildfire investigation to understand the process.

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Part 2

In Part 2 of “Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation,” we will continue to discuss the main points for the local fire investigator to focus on when conducting a wildfire investigation. Hopefully, last month’s article was an eyeopener for some local investigators to expand their education. The topics we will cover this month will be fire cause determination and fire cause categories/ignition sources. Investigators should become familiar with NFPA 921 and NWCG Wildfire Origin and Cause Determination Handbook.

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Zero-clearance fireplaces a main source of fires

Chief: Almost one-third of High Desert house fires caused by zero-clearance fireplaces

A Helendale house fire earlier this month that caused $50,000 in damages was the latest in a string of residential blazes to be traced to a zero-clearance fireplace, a County Fire official said.

Battalion Chief Warren Peterson blames zero-clearance fireplaces for roughly 30 percent of house fires responded to by San Bernardino County Fire.

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USDC Pennsylvania Permits Vaporizer Fire Case to Proceed to Trial

In MUTUAL BENEFIT INSURANCE COMPANY v. KAZ, INC.,Civil Action No. 1:12-CV-2108 (Feb. 20, 2014) at http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020140221C81 was a civil action filed by plaintiff Mutual Benefit Insurance Company ("MBIC"), as subrogee of Betty and Allen Miller, alleging strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty against defendant Kaz, Inc. ("Kaz"). MBIC seeks reimbursement of monies paid pursuant to an insurance policy issued to the Millers, whose house was damaged in a fire. MBIC alleged that Kaz designed, manufactured, distributed, and sold a vaporizer that caused the fire. Presently before the court is Kaz's motion in limine to exclude the testimony of one of MBIC's submitted experts, Randolph Marshall of Marshall Forensic, LLC. For the following reasons, the court denied the motion.

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The Six Motives for Firesetting

At any point during your career as a fire investigator you will be assigned to investigate an incendiary fire. When the investigator arrives on the scene, information about the incident will be coming from a variety of sources, including police, firefighters, witnesses and the occupants or owner. It is critical to sort all of the information and analyze it properly. During the investigation we must use critical thinking and ask many questions such as, why was this fire was deliberately set? Why was the home, business or vehicle the target of an arsonist? What was the motivation of the arsonist?

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