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Technical Areas

SFPE's Technical committees and task groups develop engineering guides, standards, and other technical initiatives of the Society. 

Technical Committee News

Subcommittee on Standards Oversight Passes Ballot on Final Version of Human Behavior Guide

The following is the report on the responses to the SFPE Subcommittee for Standards Oversight (SCSO) Ballot on the Final Version of the SFPE Human Behavior Guide, 2nd Edition, dated April 2, 2018:

•             Number of members on Subcommittee -- 11

•             Number of members voting affirmatively -- 11

•             Number of members voting negatively with reasons – 0

•             Number of members voting negatively without reasons -- 0

•             Number of members abstaining -- 0

•             Number of members not returning ballots – 0

As such, in accordance with SFPE Procedures, the document is approved for publication. 

Moving forward, the document will be published by Springer and will be available in hard-copy and digital formats. SFPE would like to thank the SFPE Human Behavior Task Group for drafting a successful document.

Additional information about the publishing this guide will be announced once it becomes available. 

Kees Both Appoint to the SFPE Subcommittee for Standards Oversight

The SFPE Board of Directors has appointed Kees Both, Ph.D. to the SFPE Subcommittee for Standards Oversight (SCSO). Kees is the Technical Director, manager Standards & Regulations, senior project leader, and member management team for ETEX Building Performance - Innovation and Technology Centre.

Kees is an SFPE member and vice president of the SFPE Benelux Chapter (founding member). He also served as co-chair of the program committee for the SFPE Rotterdam 2018 Conference. He is a member of SFPEs Standards Making Committee on Calculating Fire Exposures to structures (SFPE S.01) and the editorial board for SFPEs Fire Technology journal.

Kees serves on numerous fire safety related committees for the following organizations: Belgian Standardization Institute (BEN), Dutch Standardization Institute, (DEN), European Committee for Standardization (CEN), ISO, and NFPA. He has earned a MSc from TU Delft in Civil Engineering and a Ph.D. from TU Delft / TU Eindhoven in Civil Engineering.

The SCSO is comprised of members with experience on SFPE engineering task groups and standards committees. This body is charged with assuring balance, adjudicating issues, and undertaking related oversight activities as required by the ANSI process.

The subcommittee’s scope includes:

  • Approving new technical document projects
  • Appointing technical development committee members
  • Acting on appeals of actions of technical development committees
  • Releasing drafts of technical documents for review and comment
  • Issuing technical documents

SFPE Board Endorses Subcommittee’s Recommendations on SFPE Handbook

The Subcommittee for Handbook Development (SCHD) has completed its report that overviews the Subcommittee’s review of the 5th edition. The report outlines 15 recommendations for future editions of the SFPE Handbook related to format, development and content. These recommendations were endorsed by the SFPE Board of Directors:

Format Recommendations:

1.   Provide both digital (non-eBook format) and print version of the Handbook for the Sixth Edition

2.   Review sales figures for printed copies, and complete a survey after the Sixth Edition printing to determine future demand for printed copies

3.   Further explore an eBook option after the Sixth Edition Printing

4.   Continue with the 6- to 7-year frequency, and publish as one multi-volume set at one time and consider reducing to two volumes

5.   Consider an online subscription service offering for the Handbook

6.   Suggest that Chapter Authors to submit content in LaTeX but note that submitting in Word will be acceptable

Development Role Recommendations:

7.   Appoint an Editorial Board with a remit of correlating and reviewing content between Sections

8.   Reinforce the role of the Section Editor with the following remit:

   •   Review and coordinate chapters and consolidate chapters with overlapping or
       redundant content

   •   Develop a consistent nomenclature

   •   Develop consistent equation numbering

9.   Appoint Deputy Section Editors to assist Section Editors

10.   Request that authors develop a succession plan

Content Recommendations:

11.   Request Section Editors and Deputy Section Editors conduct a review of chapter content

12.   Develop an introductory User’s Guide – this could incorporate portions of the Performance-Based Design Chapter and a discussion of how to use the book for other uses

13.   Organize an informal peer review process of the current chapters of the current Fifth Edition to provide authors and editors comments for the Sixth Edition

14.   Consider incorporating content from SFPE Engineering Practice Documents and Engineering Guides on a case-by-case basis 

15.   Content from SFPE Engineering Standards should not be considered for inclusion in the Handbook; however, content related to new methodologies that are published by a standards-making committee should be published.

The entire report can be found on the SFPE Website at:

New Scopes approved for New Design Fire Scenarios and Design Fires Standards

The SFPE Standards Making Committee for Design was originally tasked with drafting a standard that would include establishing criteria for design fire scenarios, design fires and acceptance criteria for a performance-based design. The Committee plans on dividing this project into three different standards. The first completed standard will be Design Fire Scenarios followed by Design Fires and Acceptance Criteria. The SFPE Board of Directors has approved the scope of work for the first two documents:

          SFPE Standard on Design Fire Scenarios

          Scope: The scope of this standard is the determination of the design fire scenarios
          to be used in performance-based design for building design for fire safety

          SFPE Standard on Design Fires

          Scope: The scope of this standard is the determination of the design fires to be
          used in conjunction with the fire scenarios in the SFPE Design Fire Scenarios
          Standard. The design fires are intended to be used in performance-based design
          for building design for fire safety.

The work for these documents will remain under the SFPE Standards Making Committee for Design Fires. The scope for the third standard on acceptance criteria is still being considered by the committee.

SFPE Technical Director Represents SFPE at ISO TC 92/SC 4 (Fire Safety Engineering) Meeting in Surrey, British Columbia

On 9-13 April, SFPEs Technical Director Chris Jelenewicz, P.E., FSFPE represented SFPE as its Liaison to the ISO TC 92/SC 4 meeting in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. At this meeting, Chris made a general presentation on SFPEs current technical activities. This presentation included getting feedback on SFPEs Long-Range Technical Document Plan and other SFPE technical projects.

SFPE Becomes Member of ANSI

At the start of 2018 SFPE became a member of ANSI. This is SFPEs first step to becoming an ANSI-accredited standards developer (ASD). Becoming an ANSI-ASD would fulfill a major strategic initiative that will assist SFPE standards becoming referenced in the building and fire codes. From SFPEs perspective, since ANSI-ASDs conduct their work in a manner that is open to public scrutiny that provides interested stakeholders with an opportunity to be heard, without dominance by any party. Currently, SFPEs application to become an ANSI-ASD is going through the ANSI review process.

Subcommittee for Research & Innovation Launches Roadmap that Identifies Research Needs for the Fire Safety Engineering Profession

On Tuesday October 10 at the SFPE North America Conference and Expo in Montreal, Canada, the SFPE Subcommittee for Research and Innovation (SCRI) unveiled SFPEs research roadmap that highlights the research needs for the fire safety engineering profession. This roadmap is intended to be a living document that will be central to defining the future of SFPEs technical initiatives.  Its main focus was based on what research is needed by practicing fire safety/protection engineers. The roadmap can be found at Since this is intended to be a living document, the SCRI will always be looking for your feedback on how to improve this document. Please send comments to the SFPE Technical Director at

Upcoming Technical Committee/Task Group/Working Group Meetings:

  • Tuesday, May 15, 2018 4pm Eastern Time
    SFPE S.03 Standards Making Committee for Design Fires – Online
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 4pm Eastern Time
    SFPE Long-Range Technical Document Planning Committee

Current Technical Committees & Task groups

To view a complete list of the standards and guidelines produced by these working groups, visit the SFPE Resource library.

Technical Documentation

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