Courses Instruct on New Areas of Fire Science: Evolving Building Materials, Changes in Modern Residential Construction and Risks Associated with Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
Northbrook, Ill. - October 29, 2012 - Today UL, a world leader in advancing safety, introduces four eLearning modules with continuing education units (CEUs) for fire service personnel that instruct on new and advanced areas of fire science. Available from Knowledge Services, UL's training and advisory business, the courses empower firefighters to better understand fire behavior in modern home environments and craft operational tactics to enhance safety and response.
For the more than one million firefighters working in the U.S. today[i], shifts in modern home construction and design are contributing to a new reality:
- Fires can become uncontrollable in less than three minutes and reach flashover eight times faster.[ii],[iii]
- Unintended but significant safety hazards emerge in homes built with open floor plans and lightweight engineered lumber.
- More than ever before, furnishings consist of synthetic materials that generate toxic smoke and burn rapidly when ignited.
- With the use of PV panels on the rise[iv], firefighters increasingly encounter shock and casualty hazards when attempting to dismantle PV systems in fire situations.
"Our eLearning modules allow us to deliver tangible knowledge based on new science and research to the boots on the ground, whose lives depend on access to cutting-edge burn test data," said Steve Kerber, UL Fire Research Engineer. "We hope this information enables emergency responders to make better-informed tactical choices in a world of new and increasingly complex situations."
UL's new training builds on a longstanding commitment to collaborate on research with fire departments, science laboratories and the U.S. government, including FDNY, Chicago Fire Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These relationships support the dedicated research, expertise and attention required to help the industry understand and mitigate risk.
Public access to UL's fire training with CEUs is available online any time and from any computer with an Internet connection. Upon successful course completion, learners receive a certificate confirming they have retained and can effectively apply the information presented. The courses are designed to International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) standards, where one CEU equals ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education or training experience.
- 1. Firefighter Safety and Photovoltaic Systems - CEU credit: 0.2
- 2. Impact of Horizontal Ventilation on Fire Behavior in Legacy and Contemporary Residential Construction - CEU credit: 0.2
- 3. Structural Stability of Engineered Lumber - CEU credit: 0.2
- 4. Basement Fires: Understanding Collapse Hazards and Fire Dynamics - CEU credit: 0.3
UL is a premier global safety science company with more than 100 years of proven history. Employing nearly 9,000 professionals in 46 countries, UL is evolving the future of safety with five distinct business units - Product Safety, Environment, Life & Health, Verification and Knowledge Services - to meet the expanding needs of customers and the global public. For more information on UL's family of companies and network of 95 laboratory, testing, and certification facilities, go to UL.com.
[i] NFPA, "U.S. Fire Department Profile." http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=2486&itemID=55953&URL=Research/Statistical%20reports/Fire%20service%20statistics&cookie%5Ftest=1 (Oct. 2011).
[ii] AOL Real Estate, "Hot Stat: Today's Homes Burn Faster Than Ever." http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/11/07/hot-stat-todays-homes-burn-faster-than-ever (Oct. 2012).
[iv] UL, "Firefighter Safety and Photovoltaic Installations Research Project." https://www.ul.com/global/documents/offerings/industries/buildingmaterials/fireservice/PV-FF_Safety_ExecutiveSummary.pdf (Oct. 2012)