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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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Trivia

Trivia Questions of the Month

The trivia questions are not only fun but informative.  Who doesn't like learning something new, right?

Trivia question for August

The first propulsion means for fire pumps, whether they were hand or steamed powered, consisted of human beings pulling the pump.  Fire crews from the early 1900s were carried around by people, the apparatus had little room for personnel, they moved slowly and when they arrived at the scene, the firefighters were often too tired to do anything.  Luckily, in most cases, the fires died out before they even arrived, so there was little left for them to do.

Towards mid-1800s, and the age of steam, the introduction of the paid firefighters made room for horses to be largely put to use and pull the fire pumps.  This improved the response time of the fire brigades, but still didn't solve the firefighter transport issue.  People literally ran to the fires and, despite the fact that the pump was already there; they had some resting to do before getting to it.  The introduction of running boards and back steps, tail boards, later solved this problem as well.

The continuing development in fire-fighting technologies and equipment made life a lot harder for the horses.  The increase in weight of the fire engine slowly turned the horses as ineffective as the people were before them.  Often, after half a mile or so, the travel speed would decrease dramatically.  This called for a new means of propelling the engines.

Enter the self-propelled fire equipment.  The first self-propelled, steam powered fire engine in the US came to be in 1841 and it was built in New York.  Strangely enough, it didn't catch on.  Firefighters considered such a propulsion solution dangerous and unreliable.  It took decades before the steam powered fire engines really caught on.

However, the reign of the steam didn't last long.  Despite the fact that steam powered fire engines were still in use, here and there, up until the 1920’s, motorized fire trucks became more and more common by the early 1900’s.  Horse-drawn or steam powered engines started being turned into motorized fire engines.  By 1913, Ahrens-Fox Manufacturing Company from Cincinnati was the leading company when it came to the conversion.  From 1911, Mack Trucks began producing fire trucks, slowly becoming the most famous manufacturer in this field.

Many take the motorized fire equipment we use today for granted.  Yes it is big and shiny and very impressive, BUT, when was the first motorized fire engine used and where was it used?  What was the first fire department in California to become motorized?

I could ask that you trust to memory, but I know many will go to their computer for help. Good luck.

Click on any link below to find the trivia question and answer for that month.

 

 

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