Showcase Your Expertise in Warsaw: Deadline for Abstracts is Friday, 9 October

Since 1996, SFPE, along with several partner organizations, has held a biennial conference to showcase state-of-the-art practices in performance-based code approaches and engineering design methods. In May 2016, SFPE will hold the 11th Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods in Warsaw, Poland.

This event offers a great opportunity to showcase your research and expertise in performance-based codes and fire safety design methods. But time is running out to submit a presentation abstract–the deadline for submissions is Friday, 9 October.

Specification for Submissions

Performance-Based Codes

We are seeking abstracts relating to performance-based regulatory structures, performance-based codes and performance-based standards. Topics of interest include infrastructure needed for the successful implementation of performance-based codes (education, professional registrations, enforcement, legal environmental, etc.) as well as perspectives on experiences (both positive and negative) associated with use of performance-based codes.

Performance-Based Design

We are soliciting abstracts on fire safety engineering methods currently in use or under development. Viewpoints are also sought on dealing with uncertainty and new research findings relevant to performance-based design. Please note that case studies without generalizable results are typically not acceptable.


The participants in this conference will be professionals involved in all disciplines of engineering, regulation development and enforcement, testing, standards of development and development of engineering design methods.

Submittal Requirement

Those wishing to present at the 11th Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design should submit a completed presentation abstract application by 9 October 2015. The conference language is English.

The abstracts should identify the topic being addressed, the approach used or suggested for addressing the topic, and results or recommendations. All topics relevant to performance-based codes or performance-based design will be considered.

Submit abstracts to Melissa Franco, Meetings & Education Manager, mfranco@sfpe.org and include “Warsaw Conference 2016” in the subject line of email.

Details about the program and information about registration will be posted on the SFPE website within the next few months.


Have you registered yet? Early-bird rates for the 2015 Conference & Expo end TODAY

2015 Philly Email Header

Have you registered for the 2015 SFPE North American Conference & Expo yet? If not, don’t delay–today is the last day to register at the early-bird discount rate. Register and book your hotel room today so you don’t miss out on what promises to be an exceptional event. Today is also the last day to save on the post-conference professional development seminars.

This year’s conference holds special distinction, as 2015 also marks SFPE’s 65th anniversary. In recognition of our 65th Anniversary, we have a special keynote presentation on the legacy of SFPE, by David A. Lucht, P.E., FSFPE, Professor & Director Emeritus, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; D. Peter Lund, CAE, SFPE’s First Executive Director for 25 years. These industry luminaries will take a look back at SFPE’s origins and explore the challenges and successes that have helped shape the profession of fire protection engineering and positioned the industry for worldwide growth.

David A. Lucht, P.E., FSFPE,
Professor & Director Emeritus,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

D. Peter Lund, CAE
SFPE’s First Executive Director


To see the full lineup of technical sessions, visit the SFPE website. In addition to the technical sessions, we are fortunate to have a great lineup of keynote speakers:

Daniel Bak, Ph.D., P.E., FSE, Senior Forensic Fire Engineer, Scientific Expert Analysis Limited
Overcoming Cultural Differences in the Practice of Fire Protection Engineering
Carl Baldassarra, P.E., FSFPE, Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
Freedom to Design: How Much Freedom Is There in Today’s FPE Environment?
Jim Crawford, Project Manager, Vision 20/20
Vision 20/20
Kevin McGrattan, Ph.D., FSFPE, Mathematician, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Deconstructing the Zone Fire Model CFAST
Jaime Moncada, P.E., General Director, International Fire Safety Consulting – Performance-Based Design in Latin America
How Feasible It Is
J. Gordon Routley, Eng., FSFPE, FIFireE, Division Chief, Montreal Fire Department
The Lac Mégantic Incident – A Worst Case Scenario
Arthur Schwartz, Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel, National Society of Professional Engineers
Engineering Ethics: You be the Judge

For all the details on this don’t-miss event, visit the SFPE website.


SFPE Foundation Awards Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant to Imperial College London

The Shard

Project will develop a new fire-fighting tool, called the Fire Navigator, which will forecast the spread of a fire inside a smart building using sensors and building information modeling technology

The SFPE Foundation announced that the 2015 Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant has been awarded to Imperial College London’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. The $25,000 grant is named in memory of FDNY Assistant Chief Donald Burns, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001, while setting up his command post to direct the evacuation. The purpose of this grant is to help advance the integration of information modeling as a means of improving infrastructure safety and first responder preparedness.

The grant was awarded through a partnership with Bentley Systems, Inc., a global leader dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. It will go towards funding the development of a new fire-fighting tool, called the Fire Navigator, which will forecast the spread of a fire inside a smart building on the basis of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology and already existing sensors.

According to Nahom Daniel, the MSc graduate student at Imperial College London who submitted the application for the grant, Fire Navigator will provide real-time building specific information such as the building’s structural framework and current occupancy information, as well as real-time and forecasted fire intensity and smoke distribution, to fire fighters to help inform evacuation prioritization. Fire Navigator will be implemented on Bentley BIM software using a case study of a real building design to show the performance of the system.

“We are deeply honored to accept this award dedicated to Chief Donald Burns,” said Dr. Guillermo Rein, a Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London. “Nahom is a top engineering student with a rigorous background on the fundamental sciences behind fire protection. His strong mathematical and computational skills will serve well to create the forecast algorithms and communicate them with Bentley Systems’ information management software. He understands very well the importance of delivering a solution to fire safety in buildings which is both innovative and practical. Because we are based on London, we have decided to focus our work on the case study of The Shard, the latest smart high-rise building built in UK. Moreover, we have secured the in-kind support of experts from Arup who will help Fire Navigator to be most relevant to the fire protection engineering community.”

“I know Don would be honored to have his name associated with the Fire Navigator project this grant will make possible. He was very interested in technology and fully appreciated the value of innovative methods of preventing fire hazards,” said Lew Reed, Bentley Systems vice president and Chief Burns’ brother-in-law. “Utilizing BIM technology together with existing sensors in smart buildings to aid first responders and reduce deaths and injuries caused by fires is a great way to honor Don’s commitment to safeguarding the firefighters he led.”

A presentation about Fire Navigator will be submitted for presentation to the 2016 SFPE North America Conference and to the official SFPE journal Fire Technology for possible publication.

Last year’s Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant was awarded to Dr. Ofodike Ezekoye and Austin Anderson of the University of Texas Fire Research Group. The grant funded the creation of the Property Risk Optimization by Predictive Hazard Evaluation Tool (PROPHET), a framework designed to provide an informed risk analysis of a building using a combination of BIM software, fire models and statistical analysis. PROPHET offers industry professionals an unprecedented mechanism for incorporating fire analysis into their design and management considerations in a more meaningful manner. It also offers the potential to provide fire departments and first responders with a much better idea of the kinds of fires they might face within a given building, which could save lives. Ezekoye and Anderson presented the results of their research at the 2014 SFPE Conference & Expo.

“This grant provides an important opportunity to advance the science and technology that helps protect the men and women who share Chief Burns’ passion for serving the public in the honorable and selfless profession of firefighting,” said April Hammond-Berkol, Chair of the SFPE Educational & Scientific Foundation’s Board of Governors. “This grant incorporates the principles of fire protection engineering into building information management to provide tools that can be used by first responders.” For more information about the grant, visit the SFPE Foundation website.


New SFPE Engineering Standard on Calculation Methods to Predict the Thermal Performance of Structural and Fire Resistive Assemblies

 SFPE Engineering Standard on Calculation Methods to Predict the Thermal Performance of Structural and Fire Resistive Assemblies (SFPE S.02 2015)

SFPE has published a new standard: SFPE Engineering Standard on Calculation Methods to Predict the Thermal Performance of Structural and Fire Resistive Assemblies (SFPE S.02 2015).

The design of structural fire resistance requires three major steps: (1) determination of the thermal exposure to a structure resulting from a fire (2) determination of the temperature history within the structure, or portion thereof, and (3) determination of the structural response. This standard is limited to the second step in this process.

The standard provides requirements for the development and use of methods to predict the thermal response of structures using listed fire resistive assemblies to time dependent thermal boundary conditions imposed by fires. It provides requirements for calculation methods that provide time dependent temperature field information resulting from fire exposures required for engineered structural fire design (including structural systems and fire barriers). The Annex provides precisely calculated reference temperatures from 16 verification cases that represent a variety of problems that are relevant in fire safety engineering.

To purchase this standard, visit the SFPE bookstore.


SFPE Foundation Grant Supports WPI Textbook

sfpe_foundation_logo_color_faThe SFPE Foundation is pleased to announce a $5000 award to support development of a textbook entitled Fire Performance Analysis for Buildings, which will be published by John Wiley & Sons. Authored by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Professor Emeritus Robert W. Fitzgerald and Associate Professor Brian J. Meacham, the book provides a framework for evaluating the performance of buildings against fire scenarios which link the fire, active and passive fire defenses, people, building architecture, and site conditions.

The fire performance analyses produce a clear understanding of what to expect during a building fire, which in turn becomes the basis of risk characterizations for people, property, operational continuity, exposed buildings and enterprises, and the environment. The award will help support the participation of students and others to assist in the completion of fire performance analysis examples, supporting graphics and the final technical review.

“The Foundation is proud to be able to offer not only student grants, but grants to support novel research in in fire safety science and fire protection engineering. Fire Performance Analysis for Buildings promises to be a publication that aligns with the Foundation’s mission to advance the science and practice of fire protection engineering internationally by advocating and supporting engineering research, technology transfer and education,” said April Hammond-Berkol, Chair of the SFPE Foundation’s Board of Governors.

For more information about the SFPE Foundation or to make a donation, please visit Foundation.sfpe.org.


SFPE Standards-Making Committee on Calculating Fire Exposures to Structures is Seeking a New Chair

SFPE is in the process of updating its first standard (Standard on Calculating Fire Exposures to Structures). Performance-based design of structural fire resistance entails three steps:

  1. determination of the thermal boundary conditions to a structure resulting from a fire
  2. calculation of the thermal response of the structure to the fire exposure, and
  3. determination of the structural response of the structure.

This standard provides methods for the first of these steps.

If you are interested in chairing this committee, please submit the online Committee Application on the SFPE website before September 20, 2015. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Jelenewicz, P.E., FSFPE at Chris@sfpe.org.


SFPE at the NFPA Conference & Expo Next Week

SFPE will be exhibiting at the NFPA Conference & Expo next week in Chicago, IL, as well as sponsoring the Fire Protection Engineering Track.

SFPE staff will be at booth 253, sharing information about SFPE membership, products and other resources. We will have a preview copy of the much-anticipated new edition of the SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, as well as information about pre-ordering. If you’re in the expo hall, please stop by to say hi and to enter to win a $100 gift certificate for the SFPE online store!

The SFPE-sponsored Fire Protection Engineering track includes these sessions:

Monday, Jun 22, 2015

Sprinkler Technology for Storage Protection – 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Speaker: James Golinveaux, Tyco Fire Protection Products
Location: S401bc
Content Type: Code/Standard Updates
This session will discuss the protection challenges inherent in various unique storage scenarios and ways in which those challenges might be met. Also addressed will be the codes and standards that dictate protection schemes and how recent updates will affect your business, including a comparison of storage design requirements in the 2013 edition of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, and the 2011 edition of FM 8-9.

Retrofitting Historic Properties with Fire Protection – 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Speaker: Lowell Black, GSA Fire Protection Branch
Speaker: Mariah McGunigle, GSA
Location: S401bc
Content Type: Best Practices
This session will provide details on how historic buildings have been successfully retrofit with fire protection systems, from the perspectives of both a historic preservation officer and a fire protection engineer. Details will include the on-the-ground methods used to preserve historic fabric while attaining new fire protection in historic structures. This case study will illustrate the importance and effectiveness of collaboration between fire protection engineers, AHJs, historic preservation officers, fire marshals, and building owners.

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015

A Risk-Based Assessment of Tunnel Emergency Ventilation System Design – 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Speaker: John Devlin, Aon Fire Protection Engineering Corporation
Location: S401bc
Content Type: Case Study
This session will present a risk-based assessment method for evaluating alternative emergency ventilation schemes when retrofitting existing tunnel and underground stations in fixed-guideway transit and passenger rail systems.

Fire Exposure Impact on New Cantilevered Buildings – 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Speaker : Stephen Hill, Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc.; Timothy Costello, Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc.; Jared Mattern, Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc.
Location: S401bc
Content Type: Current Events
In New York City, developers and architects have long built some of the tallest and most iconic high-rise buildings in the world. A recent, architecturally innovative trend takes a new approach. By obtaining air rights above adjacent, smaller buildings, new buildings are being designed to maximize their floor area through the use of cantilevered construction. Such construction poses challenges not anticipated by the New York City building code with respect to exterior fire exposure. This session looks at a prescriptive and performance-based design rationale, the development of fire exposure performance criteria and pass/fail thresholds, possible design fire scenarios, and the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling to evaluate the potential severe case exposure.

Water Mist System Fire Protection in Data Processing Equipment Rooms/Halls – 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Speaker: Jonathan Carpenter, FM Approvals; John LeBlanc, FM Global
Location: S401bc
Content Type: Research Results
A modern data center can exceed 300,000 ft2 and consist entirely of server racks where power loss is not acceptable and cooling needs are increasing exponentially. These changes create more challenging fire hazards, including higher cable density and novel cooling configurations. This session will define the challenges of applying water mist systems to the hazards associated with grouped cables and storage of commodities in data center processing equipment rooms. Water mist system protection schemes developed are from fire testing in a collaborative project between a commercial insurance company, a data center owner, and a water mist system equipment manufacturer.

Pre-Fire Planning in Sprinklered Warehouses – 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Speaker: Christina Francis, The Procter & Gamble CO
Location: S401bc
Content Type: A Look Ahead
A facility fire is always of concern–place that fire in a warehouse, seated 30 ft (9.1m) high in a double row rack, and the concern grows expotentially. This session will introduce a new incident command application used by P&G to determine fire activity and size within a sprinklered area without requiring immediate entry into the fire area. The engineering concepts of a sprinklered warehouse (control, suppression, out of control and extinguishment) will also be reviewed as they pertain to incident command. Some questions we will address: How long do we wait? When can we turn off the sprinklers? When can we enter the racking system? What to do when the fire growth exceeds the riser hydraulic demand or the fire pump demand?

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015

High Expansion Foam for Department Of Defense Aircraft Hangars– 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Speaker: Samuel Dannaway, S. S. Dannaway Associates, Inc.
Location: S401bc
The presentation will discuss the requirements for high expansion foam systems for U.S. Air Force Hangars and present a case study of a recent high expansion system project.

Fire Protection Design in the Wildland-Urban Interface – 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Speaker: Daniel Gorham, National Fire Protection Association
Location: S401a
Content Type: Current Events
As the fire problem increases in areas of wildland-urban interface, so does the need for fire protection design in these areas. At-risk homeowners can improve their protection by implementing Firewise practices; as new communities are built, they can be designed using best practices and knowledge gained from current research. This session will discuss current knowledge and implementation of fire protection design on a new construction suburban community in the wildland-urban interface.

Design Strategies for Corrosion Control in Fire Sprinkler Systems – 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Speakers: Jeffrey Kochelek, Engineered Corrosion Solutions; Lucas Kirn, Engineered Corrosion Solutions
Location: S401bc
Content Type: Innovation
There are multiple options available to remediate corrosion related failures in fire sprinkler systems, but there are also several approaches that can be used during the design or commissioning phase of fire sprinkler systems that can significantly reduce corrosion activity. With all of the risks associated with corrosion related failures it makes sense to take preventative measures to stop corrosion before it leads to irreparable damage. This presentation serves to provide practical examples which follow the basic tenets of 1) minimize the trapped water present in dry pipe and pre-action systems and 2) minimize the trapped air present in wet pipe systems. Corrosion in fire sprinkler systems is one of the most popular and transformational issues to impact the fire sprinkler industry in many years. Changes in materials of construction (use of black steel over galvanized) to hydraulic calculations (removal of C factor advantage for galvanized pipe) to the use of nitrogen as a supervisory gas in dry systems in place of compressed air all represent a monumental shift in our industry. As the pioneer behind these technical discoveries, ECS seeks to educate the industry about all corrosion related issues. As the leading solutions provider of nitrogen inerting and corrosion monitoring technology for all water based fire sprinkler systems ECS is uniquely positioned to deliver this training.

If you’re attending, don’t forget to stop by booth 253 to say hi and enter the raffle to win a $100 gift certificate for the SFPE Online Store. If you don’t already follow SFPE on Twitter, follow us as we tweet photos from the show.


Want to receive new posts to the SFPE Blog via email? Subscribe here:

Subscribe to receive new posts via email.


Let SFPE Help You Prepare for the PE Exam

Online ed banner

The online PE exam prep course is an excellent tool to help prepare you for the 2015 Fire Protection Engineering PE Exam. The online PE exam prep course has been revised to meet the current NCEES exam specifications. You will be able to access 14 live, 1.5 hour sessions from anywhere. Each session is taught by a subject matter expert using interactive web conferencing technology, which will allow you the opportunity to ask questions as they arise throughout each session. This effective educational online prep course will help you organize and navigate through the reference materials and allow for maximum retention.

Register today and set yourself up for success!

Who Should Attend:

Anyone preparing for the PE Exam, or anyone needing a refresher including existing engineers, fire marshals and loss control specialists. Participants will come away with an understanding of the principles of fire protection engineering. Even if you are not taking the exam this year, but want to assess your readiness for a future exam, this online PE exam prep course will provide you with a fundamental understanding of the principles of fire protection engineering.

Topics Include:

  • Exam Preparation & Exam Taking Strategies
  • Fire Protection Analysis
  • Fire Protection Management
  • Human Behavior
  • Fire Dynamics
  • Fire Protection System
  • Smoke Management
  • Explosion Protection
  • Passive Building Systems

Enrollment Includes:

  • Participation in either the Tuesday or Thursday session
  • Two-hours of access to instructors outside class hours
  • Electronic copies of the online PE exam prep training slides

Educational Training Schedule:

14 live, 1.5 hour online sessions

  • July 7 – October 6  (Every Tuesday) from 2:30 – 4:00 PM EDT
  • July 9 – October 8 (Every Thursday) from 6:30 – 8:00 PM EDT

You have the flexibility to attend the Tuesday or Thursday session each week.

Exam Scheduled for October 30, 2015

Reading Requirements:


  • Non-Member Registration Fee – $1,995 USD*
  • SFPE Member Registration Fee – $1,395 USD

* Non-member registration includes a complimentary one-year membership to SFPE. Your membership includes discounts on future education and publications, free monthly member only innovation webinar series, FPE Magazine, Fire Technology Journal, and many other benefits that can be found here.


Professional Development Hours (PDHs) are only granted for the sessions in which you fully participate. Your participation is verified by being logged into the web conference technology during the session. The maximum number of PDHs that can be awarded for the 14 weeks is 21 PDHs, even if the sessions run long or you attend a Tuesday and Thursday session in a given week. Recordings of the sessions are available in case you miss a session or if you wish to listen to the session again, however no PDHs credit can be given to sessions that were missed and then made up by listening to the recording. These rules are necessary to maintain the integrity of the PDH granting process.

For questions please contact Melissa Franco at mfranco@sfpe.org or (301) 915-9724.


Follow the SFPE Europe Conference on Fire Safety Engineering on Twitter

The 1st SFPE Europe Conference on Fire Safety Engineering kicked off this morning in Copenhagen, Denmark with over 160 fire safety engineers in attendance.

You can learn more about the event and see a lineup of upcoming sessions and speakers on the conference website. If you couldn’t attend, you can still follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #SFPEEurope. Attendees are sharing lots of great photos and comments.

To make it easy to follow the Twitter activity around the conference, we’ve set up a few visual feeds of the hashtag. Prefer a more basic, linear display of tweets? Click here to display Twitterfall on your desktop and it will keep updating throughout the event.  Or if you prefer a more visual display, keep this one up on your screen and it will constantly refresh with the latest tweets and photos from the conference. Finally, if you want something really fancy, try this one–but be sure to click the icon in the top left corner to view the full-screen version without the ads.

We’re excited to see so much enthusiasm and great sharing at #SFPEEurope. If you couldn’t attend this conference, you can still mark your calendar for the 2014 SFPE Conference & Expo, November 8-13 in Philadelphia, PA. More details and registration information will be posted soon on the SFPE website.



New SFPE Digital Publication: SFPE Europe

Issue 1 screenshot

SFPE has launched a new digital magazine, SFPE Europe. The mission of SFPE Europe is to highlight the practice of fire protection engineering and fire safety engineering in Europe and to showcase current research being done in the field.

You can view the first issue here, and subscribe to receive future issues via email.

The launch of SFPE Europe coincides with the inaugural SFPE Europe Conference on Fire Safety Engineering being held from 4-5 June 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Watch our Twitter stream for tweets and photos from the conference, and if you’re attending, please use the hashtag #SFPEEurope to share yours.