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Kevin McGrattan, Ph.D., Randall McDermott, Ph.D., Glenn Forney, Ph.D., Kristopher Overholt, Ph.D., Craig Weinschenk, Ph.D. (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and Jason Floyd, Ph.D. (Hughes Associates, Inc.) | Fire Protection Engineering

The Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), first publicly released in 2000, has recently undergone its fifth major revision. Since its first release, FDS has been applied in three major areas: basic research in fire dynamics, performance-based design, and forensic reconstructions of actual fires.

As its applications widen in scope, there is a need to develop new capabilities, while at the same time to verify and validate new and existing algorithms. This is a difficult task because the variety of applicable scenarios is vast and growing.

Read more...

Sept. 24, 2014

—Hearth & Home Technologies recalled certain fireplaces, inserts, log sets and stoves, because the gas valve that’s in the unit might break.

This recall affects Hearth & Home, Heat-N-Glo, Heatilator, Outdoor Lifestyles and Quadra Fire indoor and outdoor natural and propane-gas fireplaces, stoves, inserts and log sets. For a complete list of affected serial numbers, go to Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website. The product’s brand and serial number are printed on the unit’s rating plate, which is near the controls and in the instruction manual.

The recalled products were sold at fireplace stores from May 2014 through June 2014. No incidents were reported. Consumers should stop using the recalled product, turn off the gas to the unit and contact the fireplace store where the unit was purchased to arrange for a free inspection and, if necessary, valve replacement.

For more information, consumers should call Hearth & Home at 800/883-6690 Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. CT or go to hearthnhome.com.

Dec. 3, 2014

—Daikin recalled its Streamer air purifier, because the product’s circuit board can overheat, which poses a fire hazard.

The air purifier is 23 inches tall, 15 inches wide and 8 inches deep. The model’s color is cream. Daikin is printed on the front, and model code MC75KSU is printed on a rating plate that’s on the lower right side.

The recalled product was sold at Goodman Manufacturing and other HVAC contractors and at amazon.com from December 2010 through October 2014. No incidents were reported. Consumers should unplug the air purifier and contact Daikin for a full refund or a free replacement.

For more information, consumers should call Daikin at 888/770-7156 Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. ET or go to daikin.com. 

Nov. 13, 2014

—Challenger Supply Holdings recalled Coaire and Quietside gas-powered tankless water heaters that were manufactured by Daesung Celtic Enersys because they can overheat, which poses a fire hazard.

The recall involves all models of single- and dual-purpose Coaire and Quietside gas-fired tankless water heaters, which heat either 4 or 7.2 gallons of water per minute. The water heaters are white. The models are 25–28 inches tall, 15–19 inches wide and 8–14 inches thick. “S-Line Condensing” appears on the top front of the model, and the brand name Coaire or Quietside appears on the bottom front.

The recalled products were sold nationwide at independent dealerships and on websites such as amazon.com from July 2009 through August 2014. Daesung received 40 reports of models that overheated, including four that involved burns on the wall where the heater was mounted and two that involved a fire and property damage. No injuries were reported. Consumers should stop using the recalled water heaters and contact Challenger Supply to arrange for a free repair.

For more information, consumers should call Challenger Supply at 800/729-6118 Monday–Friday 7:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. CT or go to challengersupply.com.

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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April 14, 2015

—San Pedro Manufacturing recalled its mattresses and mattresses with foundations, because the products fail to meet the federal open-flame standard, which poses a fire hazard.

The rebuilt mattresses and mattresses with foundations were sold in twin, full, queen and king sizes. They were sold in a variety of fabrics and colors, and each has a white federal tag and yellow state tag that is sewn at the foot of the mattress that reads “San Pedro Manufacturing Company, 1041 La Grange Blvd., Atlanta, Georgia 30336.”

The recalled mattresses were sold at A1 Mattress and Furniture, Affordable Furniture, Beds Beds Beds, Bruce Furniture and Thrift, Checkouts, Christian Outreach, Fowlers Furniture, Greenbrier Furniture, Larry Rhodes, Mattress and Furniture Outlet, Mattress and Furniture Warehouse, Mattress Barn, Save Big Mattress and Unclaimed Freight stores from May 2013 through January 2014. No incidents were reported.

Consumers who contact San Pedro Manufacturing Company will have their recalled mattresses picked up, rebuilt to compliant federal flammability standards and returned to the them.

For more information or to schedule a pick-up, consumers may call San Pedro Manufacturing at 855/997-0300 Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. ET.

The next CCAI Training Seminar will be held November 2 - 4, 2015

Governor Brown Directs State Agencies to Revise Flammability Standards

SACRAMENTO – in an effort to protect public safety by reducing the use of toxic flame retardants, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today advised state agencies to revise flammability standards for upholstered furniture sold in the state.

Governor Brown has asked the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation to review the state’s four-decade-old flammability standards and recommend changes to reduce toxic flame retardants while continuing to ensure fire safety.

“Toxic flame retardants are found in everything from high chairs to couches and a growing body of evidence suggests that these chemicals harm human health and the environment,” said Governor Brown. “We must find better ways to meet fire safety standards by reducing and eliminating—wherever possible—dangerous chemicals.”
Studies show that humans are at risk from exposure to toxic chemicals used as flame retardants in upholstered furniture. A 2008 study by the Environmental Working Group found that toddlers often have three times the level of flame retardant chemicals in their bodies as their parents, and California children have some of the highest levels of toxic flame retardants in their bodies.

A peer-reviewed study by scientists at Cal/EPA found that California women have much higher levels of toxic flame retardants in their breast tissue than women in other states and countries. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley found statistically significant associations between flame retardant levels in the blood of California women and reduced fertility. The researchers believe this link may result from alterations in thyroid hormone levels after exposure to the chemicals.

Numerous studies demonstrate that firefighters have significantly elevated rates of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and brain cancer. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine concluded that firefighters have a significantly elevated risk of cancer that may be attributed to toxic chemicals they inhale, including flame retardants.

The guidelines in place now—Technical Bulletin 117 for flammability standards—will be updated to reflect modern manufacturing methods that can lower the use of harmful chemicals.

The process to change these regulations will include workshops and the opportunity for public comment as well as administrative review.


Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Press Release - Contra Costa County FPD

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District

Press Release

Subject: Walnut Creek Man Arrested for Arson
Release Date:April 10th 2012
Contact:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
925-941-3541 Office
925-383-5034 Cell
Vic Massenkoff, Fire Investigator

Late on Friday April 6th, 62 year old Walnut Creek resident Brent Robert Kastroff waskastroff
arrested by Contra Costa County Fire District Investigators and the Walnut Creek Police Department at his home in the community of Rossmoor.

In January of this year, Fire Investigators received information about a small fire that occurred on private property on Vista Del Valle in Lafayette. The property is a large parcel that contains 3 homes, but the majority of the 90 acres is grass covered land that even when maintained can still pose a wildfire threat to nearby homes and residents due to it’s size and topography. The investigation lead to the discovery of a previously unreported fire in May of 2011 in the same area; however there were no leads in either incident.

Read more..

Press Release

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District
Press Release

Subject:        Serial Arsonist Arrest
 Pittsburg, Antioch, and Bay Point areas
Release Date:  December 21, 2011

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Fire Investigators, assisted by the Pittsburg Police Department, arrested arson suspect, Thomas Hartman, 53 years old, from Pittsburg late Thursday afternoon December 15, 2011 after a Superior Court Judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

Read more.. 

Investigation Nabs Suspects in Car Fire That Seriously Injured LAFD Captain

The Los Angeles Fire Department is pleased to announce the arrest of Maria Porras, 35 and Rigoberto Diaz, 37 both of Los Angeles, in conjunction with an auto-insurance fraud scheme involving an auto fire which occurred near Elysian Park in January 2011.

Read more..

Citronella Candle Hazard

Members and Friends

As you all are aware, we at CCAI want you to be informed. Therefore, I will relate to you an incident that happened in Irvine, CA.

A young school teacher was living in an upscale three story apartment complex on the second floor. The apartment had one bathroom, one bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen area off the living room. The ceiling above the kitchen was at 7 feet while the rest of the apartment was standard height of 8 feet. The apartment has fire sprinklers and one sprinkler is located above the kitchen counter and would reflect water onto the range and counter top if activated.

For some reason the school teacher was burning a Citronella candle on the counter top adjacent to the sink. The candle she purchased was in a small metal bucket with a hoop handle; the candle was not confined in glass. The teacher was washing dishes in the sink when her cat jumped onto the counter top and knocked over the bucket containing the candle. She reacted and reached for the toppled candle with both hands. In one hand she had a glass that she was washing, which contained an amount of water. Some of the water went into the bucket with the candle. A flame came out of the bucket and caused the sprinkler to activate. The water from the sprinkler also got into the bucket and there was an explosion. This entire event happened in a matter of seconds. 

The thought of a candle exploding was a mystery to me and investigator partner, Harry Hatch. We checked several stores trying to purchase the same type of candle the school teacher had described, but no luck. We wanted to see just what the candle would do and also prove or disprove the event.

After looking up Citronella candle fires on the net, we were very surprised to learn that yes, if you add water to a burning Citronella candle it will flare up and sometimes cause an explosion. We all learn something all the time. Be informed and go to yahoo, type in Citronella candle fires and have a look at the videos; you may be as surprised as we were.

Do not be afraid to write us with your hints or new investigation experiences. CCAI is in the business to keep you up to date and informed.

Be Careful Out There
Brad Hamil
Past President
2010

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