The NFPA Podcast is the place for safety professionals to stay up to speed on the fast-paced world of electrical, fire, and life safety. Hear in-depth conversations with people out in the field about how they are confronting new challenges and staying on top of emerging technologies to keep the world safe. Listen the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.
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Doing It Right: Energy Storage and Solar Installs
As the number of energy storage and photovoltaic systems being installed across the world continues to rise dramatically, so does the need for trained professionals to ensure that these systems are reliable and safe for decades to come. Today on the podcast, we discuss the various codes and standards needed for the proper installation and maintenance of ESS and PV; and then our experts give advice on what you should know if you are involved with overseeing and implementing these projects (2:00).
Then, on a new Code Corner, NFPA electrical expert Dean Austin talks about the National Electrical Code· requirements for electrical room dedicated space involving equipment 1000 volts or less (31:21).
Resister for the Feb. 29 webinar, “How to More Safely Integrate Energy Storage Systems (ESS) and Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems into Your Facility and Community.”
Where is AI Headed?
We wrap up our two-parter about how AI technologies might impact fire and life safety by talking with Xinyan Huang, a fire protection engineer, professor, and AI researcher at the Research Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He tells us about a few of the AI tools he and his colleagues are developing and how they may one day help with everything from designing safer buildings to guiding firefighter robots (2:54).
And then, on a new Code Corner, engineer Shawn Mahoney talks fire alarm design, and explains the differences between the alarm, trouble, and supervisory signals in a fire alarm system (56:15).
Read the cover story "Our AI Future" in the new issue of NFPA Journal
Artificial Intelligence and the Fire Service
Today’s podcast is the first in a two-part series looking at how artificial intelligence technologies could impact fire and life safety. In this episode, we focus on AI’s potential impact on the fire service. How might fire departments use AI? What are the dangers? What guardrails need to be in place to ensure that the technology is reliable and safe?
We pose those questions and many more to Preet Bassi, the CEO of the Center for Public Safety Excellence. She tells us why caution is the operative word, and why she’s skeptical that AI will ever replace human decision makers on the fireground (3:51).
Then, on a new Code Corner, engineer Robin Zevotek provides some information about a little-known NFPA standard on fire department data and the role it could play in AI adoption (37:08).
Sustainability vs. Fire Protection
Lithium-ion batteries and photovoltaic panels are technologies that may improve environmental sustainability, but also present challenges to fire protection engineers. Conversely, chemical flame retardants may lead to better fire outcomes, but also have potentially serious impacts on human health and the environment. Today on the podcast, we talk about some of the inherent frictions that exist between sustainability and fire protection efforts (2:43). Can we find the right balance to effectively achieve both?
Then, on a new Code Corner, for those who have ever wondered how NFPA codes and standards are developed and revised, NFPA engineer Shawn Mahoney offers an excellent overview of the process and how the public can get involved (31:40).
Short-Term Rentals: Risky Business
From elevators that can decapitate you to grills that can explode in your face, short-term rental properties aren’t short on things that can hurt you—or worse. In fact, short-term rental safety expert Justin Ford calls these properties the most dangerous sector of the travel and hospitality industry. In this episode, we sit down with Ford to discuss a brief history of the short-term rental market, what safety hazards can exist in these properties, and, importantly, what owners and renters alike can do to maximize safety. This episode first aired in June 2022.
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Read Justin Ford's feature story, "Renter Beware," from the Fall 2023 issue of NFPA Journal
As destruction from wildfire in the U.S. continues to set records, it’s become abundantly clear that the country’s current strategies are not working. But what should we be doing differently? Over the past year, a wildfire commission, comprised of 50 experts from a range of fields, met to try and answer that incredibly complicated question. In September, the commission sent Congress its final 300-plus page report, containing nearly 150 separate recommendations. Today on the podcast, we are joined by one of the commission members, NFPA wildfire expert Michele Steinberg. She gives us an inside look at how the report was crafted, what changes might come from it, and why she’s optimistic that the effort will bear fruit (3:30).
Then, on a new Code Corner, NFPA first responder tech lead Curt Floyd provides information for departments about some recent changes to the NFPA standards regarding fire apparatus (45:32).
Great, but needs to be updated more
Podcasts are great but I am more interested in life safety devices and incidents. Not uploaded enough
Good podcast, but is way way wayyyy too long to digest the information, and are released too infrequently. Would be better to split them into 10-20 minute segments and release the shorter podcasts weekly. My attention span can’t handle an hour of technical discussion at this moment in time.
Great info and detailed
Great mix of stuff. Always informative.