Harvard Lampoon Building presented Historic Preservation Award

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, chairman of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, recently announced the selection of the Harvard Lampoon Building in Cambridge to receive a 2017 Massachusetts Historical Commission Historic Preservation Award.

“The Massachusetts Historical Commission is proud to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of this year’s awardees,” Galvin said. “The projects the commission is recognizing this year are particularly diverse and represent the many creative ways that significant historic resources are being preserved across the Commonwealth. The restoration of the Harvard Lampoon Building demonstrates an exceptional attention to detail.”

Located just south of Harvard Square in Cambridge, the Harvard Lampoon occupies a building that was one of the last major works of Boston city architect, Edmund Wheelwright. Wheelwright, a Harvard alumnus and a founder of the Harvard Lampoon magazine, one of the nation’s first college humor magazines, wanted the building to embody the comical nature of the publication. Completed in 1909, the Harvard Lampoon Building exhibits a synthesis of the formal Gothic and early Renaissance styles, with Flemish architectural influences, and is marked by a tower at its main entrance.

A century after its completion, the Lampoon Building still retained much of its original character and motifs, but was in need of functional, structural and cosmetic work. The most significant challenge was the need for a secondary means of egress from the second floor to meet modern code requirements. The only feasible option was to add a new exterior door and fire escape on the Plympton Street façade, yet the prominence of this façade meant that any intervention needed to be thoroughly thought out and precisely executed in order to maintain the building’s integrity. To that end, the design for the secondary egress included a new door with a limestone surround and Tudor hood molding, which were carefully integrated into the existing stringcourse. The new fire escape is shrouded with a decorative wrought-iron railing that runs the full width of the Plympton Street façade. Designed after a careful study of early 20th century metalwork in Boston and Cambridge, the railing features metal newels that complement the historic motifs of the building, including “HL” monograms, grotesques with jester hats and three book-shaped cartouches that together spell out the Lampoon’s original motto, “Vanitas.”

Along with the insertion of the new means of egress, significant structural problems were addressed on the Plympton Street façade. A steel beam had rusted over the ground-floor entry and windows, resulting in severe cracking of the surrounding masonry. Once the beam was cleaned, reinforced and waterproofed, the damaged area of limestone was patched and replaced as needed. Restoration of the masonry and windows at the building’s east end was also undertaken. All exterior masonry was cleaned, and inappropriate replacement mortar from previous repairs was replaced with mortar matching the original in color and texture. Similarly, on the inside, the replacement black mortar was removed and, after cleaning off dirt and soot, it was possible to match the original mortar’s lighter color and texture. Leaded glass windows, whose deterioration had been accelerated due to their covering by unvented storm panels, were cleaned and repainted once those panels were removed.

This is the 39th year of MHC’s Preservation Awards program. Projects are considered annually for awards in the categories of Rehabilitation and Restoration, Adaptive Reuse, Education and Outreach, Archaeology, Stewardship and Landscape Preservation. Individuals are considered in the categories of Individual Lifetime Achievement and Local Preservationist. Galvin serves as the chair of the 17-member Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Source: Wicked Local – Cambridge

Bryan offering grant money for safety improvements to downtown buildings

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) The City of Bryan is taking a new approach to making downtown businesses and residences safer. They’re offering grant money to bring older buildings up to new fire code standards.

Some historic buildings in Downtown Bryan have been lost or damaged to fire in recent years. The Court’s Saddlery building was destroyed in January 2011. The Edge’s building, which is home to the Halo nightclub, was significantly damaged in 2015. Even a small fire at RX Pizza back in March had fire crews scrambling to make sure flames didn’t spread.

The city is trying to get the word out about a grant for downtown busineses on Main Street and Bryan Avenue to bring fire safety improvements.

“The Life Safety Grant is really there to help renovate some of the older buildings in Downtown Bryan. It’s very difficult to add a fire protection system or alarm system or exits or windows or doors to some of these old structures without some financial assistance,” said Marc McFeron, the Bryan Fire Marshal.

The Queen Theatre, currently under massive renovation, is the city’s latest grant recipient.
Some historic buildings in Downtown Bryan have been lost or damaged to fire in recent years. The Court’s Saddlery building was destroyed in January 2011. The Edge’s building, which is home to the Halo nightclub, was significantly damaged in 2015. Even a small fire at RX Pizza back in March had fire crews scrambling to make sure flames didn’t spread.

The city is trying to get the word out about a grant for downtown busineses on Main Street and Bryan Avenue to bring fire safety improvements.

“The Life Safety Grant is really there to help renovate some of the older buildings in Downtown Bryan. It’s very difficult to add a fire protection system or alarm system or exits or windows or doors to some of these old structures without some financial assistance,” said Marc McFeron, the Bryan Fire Marshal.

The Queen Theatre, currently under massive renovation, is the city’s latest grant recipient.

Some historic buildings in Downtown Bryan have been lost or damaged to fire in recent years. The Court’s Saddlery building was destroyed in January 2011. The Edge’s building, which is home to the Halo nightclub, was significantly damaged in 2015. Even a small fire at RX Pizza back in March had fire crews scrambling to make sure flames didn’t spread.

The city is trying to get the word out about a grant for downtown busineses on Main Street and Bryan Avenue to bring fire safety improvements.

“The Life Safety Grant is really there to help renovate some of the older buildings in Downtown Bryan. It’s very difficult to add a fire protection system or alarm system or exits or windows or doors to some of these old structures without some financial assistance,” said Marc McFeron, the Bryan Fire Marshal.

The Queen Theatre, currently under massive renovation, is the city’s latest grant recipient.

Other locations that have received grant assistance include office and loft space at 212 North Bryan Avenue, and The Halo Nightclub in the Edges Building. The Fire Marshal tells us RX Pizza was also given assistance on fire suppression for their ventilation hoods.

Businesses or property owners interested in the grant can call Stephanie Doland at (979) 209-5073.

Source: Clay Falls with KBTX | Posted: Wed 5:41 PM, Dec 13, 2017 | Updated: Wed 11:20 PM, Dec 13, 2017

Man injured in fall from fire escape in Pilsen

Sun-Times file photo

A man was injured in a fall from a fire escape Tuesday morning in the Pilsen neighborhood on the Near West Side.

About 10 a.m., the 39-year-old man was working on the first-floor fire escape in the 1800 block of South Blue Island when it detached from the building and he fell, according to Chicago Police.

Source: Chicago News By Jordan Owen @byjordanowen 11/21/2017, 03:54pm

County examines expensive, dangerous fire escape

One of the fire escapes at the Wapello County Courthouse goes to the third-floor main courtroom. Tests revealed the staircase is not safe.

OTTUMWA — There are ways to leave the courthouse during a fire. Just don’t flee by the fire escape — it isn’t safe.

The metal stairs outside several Wapello County Courthouse windows may be starting to pull away from that outer wall. Testing should be done every five years, a fire escape salesman and inspector from Ohio said. That was news to the county supervisors.

“I asked the fire department, and they’d never heard of it either,” said the current Wapello County Board of Supervisor’s chairman, Jerry Parker. “But it is a law. And we also want our courthouse to be safe.”

The test went poorly. These stairs are required to support 800 pounds. The fire escapes failed.

“I wouldn’t trust them to support me,” said Parker.

One way to get out to the fire escape is through a door you may have seen (it looks like a window, Parker said) in the main courtroom. There’s an exit sign right in front of it. But besides not trusting the outside metal stairs, law enforcement told the county that providing an easy access escape route in the courtroom where felony trials take place might not be a good idea.

“Really, I think they were worried someone was going to come in that way and hide a gun,” he said.

So that door had already been locked. But a brief examination of the outside of the courthouse shows multiple entry points onto the flawed fire escape. Each has an exit sign by it. None should be used. Which prompts another question: Should those signs be removed, or is that illegal?

This doesn’t mean the board automatically needs to put in new fire escapes. Since the sprinklers have been repaired, supervisors discussed, perhaps the regular steps could be the emergency exit. They’ll need some guidance on rules and what will be safest: For example, fire code may require there to be two ways to escape a burning structure.

An engineer and an architect patrolled the courthouse recently.

“They did a final walk around,” said Parker. “They’ve talked to the state fire marshal’s office and will talk to the fire department here. We should have an answer in about a week.”

Obviously, new fire escapes hadn’t figured into the budget. The estimate said a new fire escape will cost $250,000 for one. The courthouse currently needs two. What it needs to be safe during an emergency could be discussed as soon as the next supervisors’ meeting.

Source: Ottumwa Courier, contact reporter Mark Newman at MNewman@OttumwaCourier.com or visit his Twitter page, @CourierMark.

OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations of 2017

OSHA just named the Top 10 most cited violations of 2017 at the annual National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo held in Indianapolis, IN.

The National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo brings together the world’s largest gathering of safety professionals annually and this year was no exception. Hundreds of safety professionals attended yet again one of the largest forums for health and safety, products, education, and networking events where they revealed OSHA’s most cited violations for this current year.

As stated by NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P Hersman, “The OSHA Top 10 is more than just a list, it is a blueprint for keeping workers safe. When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day.”

For those involved in the fire escape industry, it comes as no surprise that Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.501) continues to maintain the No. 1 spot on this list. While, scaffolding (29 CFR 1926.451) comes in at third and ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053) at sixth place in the list shedding light yet again to the most prominent violations handed out by OSHA thus far.

OSHA states that employers must train workers in hazard recognition and the care and safe use of equipment such as ladders and scaffolds, and fall protection systems.

Falls can be prevented when employees understand proper set up and safe use of equipment.

Ladder Safety: Employees must be trained to properly use a ladder- this includes safety measures like:
-Maintain three points of contact
-Place the ladder on level footing
-Always face the ladder
-Secure the ladder by locking the metal braces at the center of the ladder
-Don’t overreach
-Don’t walk the ladder

Scaffold Safety: Employees must be trained to safely set up and use scaffolds- this includes safety measures like:
-During setup: fully plank scaffolds, complete all guardrails, ensure stable footing and plumb and level
-Ensure proper access to scaffolds
-A competent person must inspect the scaffold before use
-Don’t climb over cross braces
-Don’t stand on guardrails
-Don’t use a ladder on a scaffold
-Roof Safety: Employees must be trained to avoid fall hazards on -a roof and properly use fall protection equipment-this includes safety measures like:
-Make sure your harness fits and is not defective when using PFAS
-Always stay connected/tie off
-Ensure that all anchor points are safe
-Protect all holes, openings and skylights
-Don’t sit or walk on skylights or other openings

Below is a full list of OSHA’s top 10 violations and some NFPA codes and standards in hopes of helping to resolve and mitigate future violations related to stairways and ladders, scaffolding, and fall protection training and requirements.

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (29 CFR 1926.501): 6,072 violations

2. Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200): 4,176 violations

3. Scaffolding (29 CFR 1926.451): 3,288 violations – Scaffolding is addressed in Chapter 8 of NFPA 241, the Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. The document provides measures for preventing or minimizing fire damage to structures, including those in underground locations, during construction, alteration, or demolition. More information about this standard and how it applies to all construction projects regardless of size can be found in a recent NFPA Bulletin titled, “Prevention Construction Site Fires”

4. Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134): 3,097 violations

5. Lockout/Tagout (29 CFR 1910.147): 2,877 violations

6. Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053): 2,241 violations – Ladder accidents happen all the time it is crucial to perform safety checks before ladders are to be used in order to guarantee safe-working conditions. OSHA encourages you to review the Ladder Safety Checklist before each use.

7. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178): 2,162 violations

8. Machine Guarding (29 CFR 1910.212): 1,933 violations

9. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503): 1,523 violations

10. Electrical – Wiring Methods (29 CFR 1910.305): 1,405 violations

Article Created by Gabriel Cabrera, Chief Technology Officer for the National Fire Escape Association on Oct 11, 2017.

Club in Hot Spot Over Fire Escape

There are no lyrics to explain how concerned members of the Dunedin Musicians’ Club are after discovering the 42-year-old institution could be closed for lack of a fire escape.
Club member and fundraising concert organiser Iain Johnstone said the club was recently notified about new fire escape regulations that would severely impact on its operations.

The building has a fire escape but it is no longer compliant with current rules.

Because the club no longer had a second fire exit from its first floor premises down to Manse St, fire authorities had limited the number of patrons in the venue to 50, including band members.

It could hold up to 150 people, Mr Johnstone said.

“Half of our capacity is band members at the moment.
“This puts enormous pressure on our ongoing viability — and ability to survive in the short term — as we plan the way forward,” he said.Most of the club’s income is from bar sales.

“With the limited numbers, we’ve already had to cancel a big concert which normally brings in a lot of revenue.”

Finding another venue would be too expensive, he said.

“If we can’t get the money, it’s a possibility we might have to close the club, which would be a shame after 42 years.”

Mr Johnstone said the non-profit organisation needed about $10,000 to build the new fire escape.

It planned to hold a Mula for Musos concert at the Crown Hotel on September 30, to raise money for the development.

The concert starts at 5.30pm.

Source: Otago Daily Times By John Lewis john.lewis@odt.co.nz

Philadelphia’s L&I Needs Your Help Locating City Fire Escapes

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections is asking for your help in a public safety campaign. It’s trying to track down every fire escape in the city.

City Council passed a law, last year, requiring building owners to get every fire escape on their property inspected. L&I spokesperson Karen Guss says the department received 400 reports by the July 1st deadline.

But there’s a problem.

“Philadelphia, like almost every city, has no central data base of fire escape locations,” said Guss.

She says the city decided to crowd source the locations.

“We built an app that’s on our website and you can tell us, ‘I saw a fire escape and here’s where it is,’” Guss explained.

Guss says if they find one with no inspection report, the owner will be cited, though the main goal is to get them inspected.

“Folks have a grace period. We very much want them to file those reports now,” Guss said.

The law was inspired by the tragic 2014 death of 22-year-old Albert Suh, killed when the rusty fire escape he was sitting on crashed to the ground near Rittenhouse Square.

Source: CBS Local Philadelphia KYW1060 All News. All the time. @Pat Loeb

Pat Loeb’s radio experience has the makings of a country song: she lived a lot of places, went down a lot of roads, but they all led her home — to Philadelphia and to KYW Newsradio, where she started her career some 30 years ago. Born and rais…
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NFPA 1: Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demo Operations

Chapter 16 of NFPA 1, Fire Code, requires structures undergoing construction, alteration, or demolition operations to comply with NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. NFPA 241 provides measures for preventing or minimizing fire damage during construction, alteration, and demolition operations. (The fire department and other fire protection authorities also should be consulted for guidance.)

The requirements of NFPA 241 cover issues such as the location and use of temporary construction for offices, storage, and equipment enclosures; control of processes and hazards such as hot work; temporary heating and fuel storage; and waste disposal. The general requirements also cover temporary wiring and lighting, site security, access for fire fighting, and on-site provision of first aid fire-fighting equipment.

Extensive details from NFPA 241 are included, as extracts, in Chapter 16 of NFPA 1. NFPA 1, 2015 edition, extracts from NFPA 241, 2013 edition.

In addition to compliance with NFPA 241, Chapter 16 contains some additional, NFPA 1 specific, provisions:
A fire protection plan must be establishes where required by the AHJ. (A fire safety program helps control fires and emergencies that may occur during construction or demolition operations by early planning and implementation of safety measures.)
Fire department access roads in accordance with Section 18.2.3 of NFPA 1 must be provided at the start of a project and maintained throughout construction. This ensures adequate access for the fire department should a fire or emergency occur.

Construction and demolition operations can be dangerous, and history has shown us that major fires and property damage can occur, if the proper safety measures are not followed. NFPA 1, through NFPA 241, offer the provisions necessary to ensure safe construction and building demolitions.

For additional information, check out this article from the Jan/Feb 2015 NFPA Journal about the recent uptick in huge fires at residential complexes under construction, and how NFPA 241 can protect these buildings from loss.

Source: Kristin Bigda Fire Protection Engineer with NFPA, Blog Post on Aug 11, 2017

https://community.nfpa.org/community/nfpa-today/blog/2017/08/11/nfpa-1-safeguarding-construction-alteration-and-demo-operations-firecodefridays?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nfpablog+%28NFPA+Today+BLOG%29

Kristin is a Principal Fire Protection Engineer at NFPA. Works with codes and standards related to life safety, building protection, fire doors and passive fire protection strategies.

Howdy Ya’ll! We’ll Be In Texas Next Month To Host a Fire Escape Awareness Seminar, Come Join Us, As We Speak to Local AHJ’s Across Texas About The Dangers of Fire Escapes!

Join us for our monthly meeting & training for June 2017. This month we will be joined by Francisco Meneses with the National Fire Escape Association to discuss fire escapes. We will discuss the basics of code requirements as it relates to the -history of fire escapes -standardizing the process of inspecting fire escape systems -standardizing the process of Repairing, Certifying and/or Load Testing Fire Escape Systems -introduction of Industry Standard Documentation
2012 IFC 1104.16.5.1 Fire escape stairs must be examined every 5 years, by design professional or others acceptable and inspection report must be submitted to the fire code official.

All members in attendance will be issued one CEU for one hour. Please make sure to RSVP and please bring $10 for a buffet lunch.

visit the Fire Prevention Association of North Texas for more details: http://fpant.org/