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Atlanta I-85 Fire & Overpass Collapse: Revisiting Hazardous Material Storage Requirements

It is estimated that over 220,000 vehicles travel daily over the stretch of interstate damaged in last week's fire, just north of midtown Atlanta, GA. As commuters struggle with the new reality in a city already plagued by traffic woes, Georgia Department of Transportation officials, investigators and fire and safety officials search for answers in the wake of the disaster. At the same time, those responsible for establishing and enforcing codes and requirements aimed at preventing these incidents look to learn and adapt in the wake of the event.

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Louisiana State Fire Marshal Provides Guidance for Businesses Regarding Reopening After Historic Flood

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal released guidelines and requirements for businesses who plan to reopen following the historic flooding that impacted the region recently. An estimated 6.9 trillion gallons of water fell across the impacted area in early to mid-August.

The following guidelines as published earlier today are in effect through the end of November 2016:

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OSHA Penalties Skyrocket 80% with Changes Effective August 1, 2016

Effective August 1st (2016), companies with more than 250 employees can expect increased scrutiny and fines under OSHA's new enforcement and penalty policies. Area directors from OSHA can offer companies with fewer than 250 employees a fine reduction of 20%.

Under the new guidelines, fines for incidents increased by 80% to a maximum of $124,709 per citation. If multiple employees are involved - and the violation is deemed egregious by OSHA - the offending company can be cited for each employee at the full $124,709 per citation. The penalty for willful and/or repeat violations is now set at $12,470, and the timeframe for classifying a violation as willful or repeat was expanded by two years, from a 3-year period to 5 years.

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CMS Top 10 Life Safety Code Violations & the New Final Rule

Audits by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services accredited agencies can cause sleepless nights for those responsible for fire and life safety systems in healthcare occupancy types. Not only can the outcome lead to having to cut employees loose and steep fines, but because these audits results are reported publicly it can also have a negative impact from a public relations standpoint.

The fact is only 20% of facilities pass annually with zero discrepancies. To help facility management and maintenance better prepare for audits the CMS release a list of the top ten life safety discrepancies by the percentage of facilities cited. Keeping these in mind when preparing for an audit could help you become the one in five to pass your next audit rather than the exception.

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Important NFPA Code updates to ScanSeries & Reports

As a result of frequent requests from healthcare format users using SprinklerScan, there is a NFPA 25 1998 edition year option now available for SprinklerScan on the Setup page and Building Edit page.

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Codes and Standards: Keeping in Step Will Keep You Moving Forward

With hundreds of different devices and systems on the market, it is imperative for fire and life safety professionals to be knowledgeable about the codes and standards that apply locally in order to ensure code-compliant inspections and testing.

Such knowledge, in turn, needs to be as ongoing and evolving as the dynamic code development process itself. Revisions to codes and standards typically take place every three to five years. With these periodic revisions, significant changes that affect inspection, testing and maintenance are often applied as a result of the vitally important, interactive relationship among manufacturers, researchers, engineers and other experts in the fire and life safety industry.

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