Construction Fire Safety and the Path to Recovery When it Goes up in Flames

When:  Jul 2, 2024 from 14:00 to 15:00 (ET)

 This presentation will cover standards and code requirements by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and International Fire Code (IFC) for construction fire safety during new, remodel, or demolition construction.

NFPA and IFC refer specifically to a fire prevention management plan (FPMP) and fire prevention program manager (FPPM). With over 4,000 construction fires recorded each year and hundreds of millions in direct property loss, there is a major problem throughout the country. Construction sites are inherently dangerous with temporary power setups, hot works such as welding, and improvised heat sources along with cooking procedures. FPMP and FPPM are established to help prevent and mitigate the loss when a fire does occur.

With the increase of combustible materials utilized during large multi-family residential and commercial construction largely found in podium or pedestal construction, there is an increased risk for fires during construction when the structure is not fully protected by fire protection systems. These fires have grown in size and intensity with multi large scale, multi alarm fires occurring on construction sites (Charlotte, Las Vegas, Los Angeles) all within approximately two months of each other.

When a fire occurs on a construction site, there are some unique items that should be addressed. Effective and early communication and coordination amongst involved members of the recovery team helps to chart a successful path to recovery. A charted path will be presented and discussed on ways to lead to a successful recovery that starts with proper understanding of codes and requirements during construction, proper investigation and involvement and communication between all professionals such as the claim professional, subrogation and legal counsel, and technical expert. A deeper review of the 5-alarm fire in Charlotte, NC that occurred to a multi-family residential podium construction where tragically two lives were lost and millions of dollars in direct property loss.

John Heinen is the Principal Fire Investigator and Owner of Compass Fire Investigations and Consulting.  He has over 20 years of fire investigation experience as both a public and private fire investigator and has personally investigated thousands of fires along with managing many more to successful adjudication and recovery.  Along with John's experience, he holds a M.S. in Occupational Safety and Health with a B.S. in Fire Science.

John worked for public municipal fire departments in the fire marshal's office and ended his public career as a dedicated fire investigator for the Charlotte Fire Department Fire Investigation Task Force.  In his private career, he has created and led a nationwide training program for new and seasoned fire investigators and established and directed a nationwide fire investigation business line prior to forming his own fire investigation company.  He continues to practice forensic fire investigations and present throughout the country along with risk and fire prevention consulting work.  John is a subject matter expert on NFPA 241:  Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations, and has led and managed numerous forensic fire investigations on construction sites from the initial investigation through successful recovery throughout the U.S.   He holds fire investigation certifications from both the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) and National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) along with Private Investigator (PI) licenses, and is a qualified fire investigation and fire code expert in the U.S. Judicial system. 


Online Instructions:


Mackenzie Haberman