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Friday, 20 February 2015
Expanded Art After Hours Programming, “More in March” at the Zimmerli

Expanded Art After Hours Programming, “More in March” at the Zimmerli


New Brunswick, NJ – The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers offers “More in March” with a dynamic schedule of programs and new exhibitions. In addition to the regular schedule of events during Art After Hours: First Tuesdays, the evening includes a special presentation of the talk “Vision Research: Interactions between Scientists and Artists.” For music lovers, the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra salon series and Music at the Museum invite audiences to explore music in new ways. For younger artists, Passport to Art and Drawing Club offer opportunities to get creative. Activities take place at the Zimmerli, located at 71 Hamilton Street in New Brunswick, on the Rutgers University College Avenue campus. Admission to the museum and public programs is free. Registration fees vary for classes and workshops. For more details, visit www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu.


The Zimmerli stays open late on March 3 for Art After Hours: First Tuesdays. The evening kicks off with a curator-led tour, at 6 p.m., of George Segal in Black and White: Photographs by Donald Lokuta. Lokuta met Segal in 1984 at the sculptor’s studio, located on his family’s farm in South Brunswick, sparking an artistic alliance that would engage him for more than 16 years and result in nearly 15,000 negatives. This new exhibition provides rare glimpses of Segal in the studio, as well as with friends and family. The tour is immediately followed by the next selection in the Big Ten: Art series, spotlighting an intriguing work from the Zimmerli’s collection. At 6:30, Rutgers Professor and Busch Campus Dean Thomas Papathomas presents “Vision Research: Interactions between Scientists and Artists.” With a focus on Salvador Dali's painting Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko), he discusses artists who use an intuitive grasp of visual perception fundamentals to open new horizons in research. Papathomas also highlights how visual scientists use their research-based knowledge of visual brain function to arrive at some understanding of the art experience and, occasionally, venture into making art. Slide Jam follows at 7:30 with artists Megan Suttles and Stephen Westfall discussing their new work. Suttles is the founder and curator of the artists’ collective Hot Wood Arts Center in Brooklyn. Her work explores the eternal struggle between restraint and disorder. Westfall is an Associate Professor in Painting and the Department Graduate Director at Mason Gross School of the Arts. He has exhibited for more than four decades; his paintings have revolved around relationships among colors and between color and composition. The Rutgers Chamber Jazz ensemble performs throughout the evening. Professor Kenny Davis directs these top students from Rutgers Mason Gross Jazz Studies program. Art After Hours takes place from 5 to 9 p.m., offering free admission and complimentary refreshments. To learn more, visit bit.ly/ArtAfterHourZTues


The New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra (newbrunswickchamberorchestra.org) continues its salon series on Saturday, March 7, at 7 p.m. Musical selections are interspersed with wine, cheese, and conversation, inviting guests to chat with the musicians about what inspires them and the process behind their art. An additional performance takes place on Friday, May 8, at 7 p.m. Admission is free for the salon series.


Registration is now open for upcoming sessions of the Zimmerli’s Spring Session of Drawing Club and Summer Art Camp. Drawing Club for Children and Young People meets after school (4:15-5:15 p.m.) for five Wednesdays. Sessions begin March 11 for 9 to 14-year-olds. The schedule for Summer Art Camp 2015 is posted, with classes for all levels and interests. Students can choose from a variety of basics (drawing, painting, sculpture) to such special topics as Adventures in Egyptian Art, Comic Book Creations, and Leap into Chinese Culture. Wes Sherman, a 13-year veteran at the museum, returns to lead a faculty of practicing artists and arts educators. He is a successful independent artist and holds an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts. Advance registration is required for all classes (fees vary). For complete details and to register, visit bit.ly/ZAMclasses.


Music at the Museum spotlights the talents of Mason Gross faculty members. On Sunday, March 15, at 2 p.m., "Piano Plus" features pianists Zoe Browder, Allison Brewster Franzetti, Karen Dalley, and Jing Yang, accompanied by soprano Pamela Stein and percussionist Peter Saleh. The ensemble performs works by Mozart, Crumb, and Salkind-Pearl. This family-friendlyweekend concert series is organized by the Mason Gross Extension Division and hosted by the Zimmerli. Admission is free, but seating is limited. For the complete schedule, visit bit.ly/ZAMMatM.



The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.



Admission is free to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. The museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street (at George Street) on the College Avenue Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and the first Tuesday of each month (except August), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays, as well as the month of August.


Z Café featuring the Food Architects is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a variety of breakfast, lunch, and snack items. The café is closed major holidays, as well as the months of July and August.


For more information, visit the museum’s website www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu or call 848.932.7237.


Posted by tammyduffy at 4:35 PM EST
Magical World of “CATS” Comes to MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre March 13 to 29

Magical World of “CATS” Comes to MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre March 13 to 29



Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s magical musical homage to the feline world, comes to Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre in March.  Playful Theatre Productions will present nine performances over three weekends, including four matinees. Dates and show times for evening performances are: Fridays, March 13 and 27 at 8 p.m., and Saturdays, March 14, 21 and 28 at 8 p.m. Matinees will be presented on Sunday, March 15, Saturday, March 21, Sunday, March 22 and Sunday, March 29 at 2 p.m.  Kelsey Theatre is located on MCCC’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.  An opening night reception with the cast and crew follows the March 13 performance.  

Winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score, “Cats” ran on Broadway for 18 years, totaling 7,485 performances.  Playful Theatre Productions has gathered a talented, spirited cast of actors for this extraordinarily popular show, which is based on T.S. Eliot's collection of whimsical poems, Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats (1939).  

The Kelsey stage will be transformed into a trash-strewn alley populated by the “Jellicle” tribe – the narrator Munkustrap, the wise leader Old Deuteronomy, the playful prankster Rum Tum Tugger, the shunned Grizabella, The Glamour Cat, the hefty Bustopher Jones, and many more.   Expressing themselves in imaginative dance and magnificent music, the cats will croon their way into fans’ hearts with unforgettable songs, most famously the blockbuster hit “Memory.”

The cast includes Kaitlyn Anthony of Bordentown as Victoria; Noah Barson of Richboro, Pa., as Macavity/Rumpus Cat; Kyle Blocker of New Brunswick as Rum Tum Tugger; John Boccanfuso of Yardville as Alonzo; Reise Bridgers of Hamilton as Victor; Tia Brown of Lawrenceville as Bombalurina; Emily Cobb of Ivyland, Pa., as Coricopat; Jaci D’Ulisse of Trenton as Electra; Devyn Fox of Yardley, Pa., as Rumpleteazer; Shannon Garahan of East Brunswick as Jellylorum; Wyatt Kim of Yardley, Pa., as Carbucketty; Jaimie McMillin of Bordentown as Grizabella; Michael O’Hara of Yardley, Pa., as Bill Bailey; Emily Christine O’Sullivan of Hamilton as Cassandra; Trina Mar of Croydon, Pa., as Admetus; Kate Skelly of Bordentown as Jemima; Nicholas Pecht of Hamilton as Bustopher Jones/Gus; James Petro of Hamilton as Munkustrap; Sasha Saco of Philadelphia, Pa., as Jennyanydots; Tom Sawyer of Yardley, Pa., as Tom Skimbleshanks; Colleen McMahon Skillman of West Windsor as Demeter; Matthew Snyder of Levittown, Pa., as Matthew Mungojerrie Roman Sohor as Parlin as Deuteronomy; Rachel Tovar of Trenton as Tantomile; and Michael Zweig of Philadelphia, Pa., as Mr. Mistoffelees.  Pit singers include Heather Corson, Vianna Fagel, Sally Page, Amanda Ramus, Michelle Rittmann, and Michelle Whitescarver.

The production staff includes Producer Suzanne Smith, Assistant Producer Hilary Leboff, Director/Choreographer Dani Tucci-Juraga, Music Director Laurie Gougher, Master Builder James Petro, Lighting Designer Robert Terrano, Associate Lighting Designer Star McCloud, Sound Designer Evan Paine, Assistant Lighting Designer Eric Collin, Light Board Operator Chris Neilsen, Wigs by Donna Reed, Makeup Designer Koren Zander, Costumers Kate Pinner and Michelle Rittmann, and Stage Managers Nancy Russell and Ruth Kresge.

Tickets for “Cats” are $20 for all. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

Posted by tammyduffy at 4:15 PM EST
Monday, 16 February 2015
Fifth Shades of Grey a Review by Duffy

Fifty Shades of Grey


Review by Tammy Duffy

A film about dominance, dominated the market this weekend, Fifty Shades of Grey. Is the movie really about dominance, submissiveness or a true love story where two people find love at the highest of levels. Does this couple have what people long for, a relationship filled with love, trust and communication that works at all levels? You betcha! Hence, why they made almost $90 million in the opening weekend. American's long for the great American love story.  We are romantics at heart.


When the first book by E. L. James was released I had a friend loan it to me to read. When she gave it to me to read she said, "Oh my god, tell me what you think of the book, this poor girl went through hell." After I read the book I told my friend what I thought. I said, "Lucky girl." I did not view what she went through as hell.  I read the other two books in the trilogy. They were enjoyable, but I do question why the ending of the third book, E. L. James killed her ability to write the next book.  I will not ruin the ending for those who have not read it. It was not the ending I wanted.


Anastasia Steele found someone who she could really communicate with at all levels. They trusted each other. So many relationships and marriages end because there is no trust and no communication. I think all couple should go through courses before they get married that evaluate their ability to communicate and trust each other. This will lower the divorce rate.


During the filming of this movie Dakota, according to sources, never went into the red room until she had to be filmed. She wanted to be surprised at all levels. Consequently, during the filming Dornan spent a lot of time in the red room during filming to acquaint himself with the tools.


Charlie Hunnam was originally cast in the role of Christian Grey alongside Dakota Johnson in the role of Anastasia Steele. Hunnam gave up the part with Jamie Dornan taking over. It was a tough casting call after Charles Hunnam had to quit the film. Dornan clearly needs acting classes.


The soundtrack of the film is fantastic. At the opening of the film legendary artist, Annie Lennox belts out , “I put a spell on you”. My mind gets lost in her voice.  It was just fabulous.


 Dakota Johnson did a fantastic job capturing the essence of the character Anastasia as demonstrated in the books. Her shy innocence, yet her ability to dominate the film and the story is captured perfectly.  However, Jamie Dornan cannot act. He cannot kiss, He cannot perform S&M, he cannot he cannot he cannot....If I was going to let someone tie me up to a bed post there better be chemistry and he better know what he is doing. He had the mannerisms of Doogie Howser, MD. The change in casting at the last minute is palpitated in this film. This should be a lesson to director, Sam Taylor-Johnson. A director always needs to have a back-up plan. 


Dornan did not capture the essence of Christian Grey, Charlie Hunnam would have. Amelia Warner, Dornan's wife has nothing to worry about having her husband in this film. He was so awkwardly animated in the film that I found myself laughing at him. I felt bad for him. He was as awkward as a virgin scientist. However, Anastasia's chemistry portrayed towards Grey was spot on to the book. So, one may ask, why did E. L James chose to make Grey look so sexually awkward in this film? Why did she cast Dornan who has the persona of the weirdo Chris who is currently on the Bachelor series? There is no doubt this is because of the sudden changing in casting, their choices were limited. Dornan  should take acting lessons before they start filming the rest of the films.


I have reset my expectations for Grey's character in the film and definitely think the other two films will be enjoyable. According to sources, Melanie Griffith said she will not go and see the film, due to the nudity of her daughter. The film is not about the nudity in my opinion. I think Griffith should go see it for she would be very proud of what her daughter has done.

Posted by tammyduffy at 7:58 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 16 February 2015 10:02 AM EST
Friday, 13 February 2015
Cybersecurity Meeting In CA, Invitation Only

Cybersecurity Meeting In CA, Invitation Only

 By Tammy Duffy

Today, the White House hosted a cybersecurity event with Silicon Valley's top corporate leaders to discuss the growing cyberattack threats.

The summit was held at Stanford (Calif.) University, and officials from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service and the FBI will also be in attendance, asking the private sector companies to share information on how to combat future cyberattacks.

The list of confirmed speakers included Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as CEOs of Bank of America, Bancorp, American Express, Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Facebook, Google and Intel.

Notably missing from the panelists and speakers are representatives of Home Depot, J.P. Morgan Chase, Target, Sony and Anthem — five companies who suffered major, public data breaches over the past year. A senior administration official said the companies were not excluded from the panels. Why one might ask?  Additionally, officials from the National Security Agency and CIA were not on the list of panelists and speakers.

Privacy was the central theme at the panel, along with consumer protection and cybersecurity 

Posted by tammyduffy at 6:29 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 13 February 2015 6:54 PM EST
Cybersecurity Meeting In CA, Invitation Only

Cybersecurity Meeting In CA, Invitation Only

 By Tammy Duffy

Today, the White House is hosted a cybersecurity event with Silicon Valley's top corporate leaders to discuss the growing cyberattack threats.

The summit was held at Stanford (Calif.) University, and officials from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service and the FBI will also be in attendance, asking the private sector companies to share information on how to combat future cyberattacks.

The list of confirmed speakers included Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as CEOs of Bank of America, Bancorp, American Express, Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Facebook, Google and Intel.

Notably missing from the panelists and speakers are representatives of Home Depot, J.P. Morgan Chase, Target, Sony and Anthem — five companies who suffered major, public data breaches over the past year. A senior administration official said the companies were not excluded from the panels. Why one might ask?  Additionally, officials from the National Security Agency and CIA were not on the list of panelists and speakers.

Privacy was the central theme at the panel, along with consumer protection and cybersecurity 

Posted by tammyduffy at 6:29 PM EST
Love Is In The Air!

Love Is in the Air – and the Water –

at Six Flags Great Adventure


Kissing Sea Lions and Love Birds of All Shapes and Sizes

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the World’s Largest Theme Park






Bring together two kissing sea lions, a pair of love birds and the married couple that makes it all possible, and you’ve got a recipe for Valentine’s Day at Six Flags Great Adventure. This weekend, three special couples will celebrate their love Six Flags-style – California sea lions Kenobi and Dichali, blue and gold macaws Eugene and Ariel, and their caretakers, animal training supervisors David and Jessica Peranteau.


Animals brought Dave, a Philadelphia-area native, and Jessica, an Ohio native, together 19 years ago when they were both hired as marine animal trainers. The couple married in 2000 and has traveled the world working with land and marine mammals ranging from tiny hedgehogs to massive orcas. The two settled in New Jersey at Six Flags Great Adventure in 2004, and have developed thriving animal education programs in addition to nurturing and training more than 100 exotic animals, including hand-rearing capuchin monkeys, otters, lions and bears. They have a five-year-old son, Noah, who knows that animals are part of their family. Noah even shares his birthday with the park’s first-ever baby sea lion, Magoo, who was born June 25, 2014.  “I feel like I have two children born on the same day,” Jessica said.


“Animal care requires incredible dedication 365-days a year,” Dave Peranteau said. “Jess and I care so passionately about the animals and know that by educating the public about animals, particularly ones that are threatened, endangered or extinct in the wild, we ensure that future generations like Noah’s will be able to see and appreciate them just as we do.”


Something Is In the Water…It Must Be Love


Each morning when the sea lion trainers arrive for work at Fort Independence aqua stadium, they find California sea lions Kenobi and Dichali snuggled up together, sound asleep.


Although sea lions are not monogamous by nature, these two have developed a strong bond and enjoy spending the majority of their time together. The flippered couple serves as an integral part of the theme park’s animal education program, displaying natural and learned behaviors. One of their most memorable behaviors is a kiss.


Kenobi and Dichali often give kisses to each other, and occasionally share that moment with special guests and their trainers. Jessica Peranteau admits that there is something special about a sea lion kiss.


“It is cold, wet, and prickly.  Add a few fish ‘breath mints’ and a sea lion kiss is something you will never forget,” she said.


Cousins to seals and walruses, sea lions are native to the Pacific coast. Males can weigh up to 800 lbs., and although Kenobi is described as sweet and timid, the nine-year-old has a loud roar that earned him the nickname “T-Rex.” Dichali, who is eight years old, is described as extremely intelligent and loves to learn new things. “She loves to ‘test’ new trainers to make sure they are as smart as she is,” Jessica added.


Love Is in the Air


When you ask the Peranteaus to identify the most loyal and long-standing couple in their care, without hesitation they name Eugene and Ariel. They are a stunning pair of blue and gold macaws, whose species can be found in the rainforests of Central and South America. Blue and gold macaws are monogamous by nature and mate for life, so these two appear to be in their relationship for the long haul.


“Eugene and Ariel are madly in love, and are both quite jealous creatures. Eugene clearly dislikes male trainers around Ariel, and although Ariel can be quite flirtatious with men, she can be rather rude to female trainers who get close to Eugene,” Jessica said.



An attentive mate, Eugene often grooms Ariel’s feathers. The birds are in their twenties, and with an average life span of 60 to 80 years, appear to have several decades of companionship still ahead of them.


Guests can see Kenobi and Dichali in the theme park’s Fort Independence arena, and Eugene and Ariel on the Safari Off Road Adventure, beginning April 3. For more information on Six Flags Great Adventure, visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure or call 732-928-2000.



Posted by tammyduffy at 6:19 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 13 February 2015 6:28 PM EST
Friday, 6 February 2015
Grant From N.J. Department of Health Enables Trenton Health Team to Engage Faith-Based Organizations in Improving Health

Grant From N.J. Department of Health Enables Trenton  Health Team to Engage Faith-Based Organizations in Improving Health




A grant of $300,000 from the N.J. Department of Health has been awarded to the Trenton Health Team to implement a program called "Faith in Prevention." In a city where 39 percent of the residents are deemed obese and 16 percent suffer from diabetes, the focus will be on getting and staying healthy by creating a partnership between the city's healthcare collaborative and the faith community.
"Through this program, we will be encouraging community residents to take ownership of their health and well-being," said Dr. Ruth Perry, THT executive director. Dr. Perry has provided leadership in the development of a comprehensive community health needs assessment for the city
of Trenton, in which faith-based organizations played a key role.
"Faith-based organizations already take care of the sick," said Gregory Williams, director of community engagement. His responsibilities include implementation of THT's Community Health Improvement Plan, which was developed last year as a blueprint for achieving THT's goal of making Trenton the healthiest city in the state. "Faith-based organizations, many of which consider the body the temple of the soul,
have a tradition of healing.  As we implement our CHIP, the faith community will be serving a vital role."
The Faith in Prevention grant from the N.J. Department of Health will fund the "Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More" curriculum, designed to promote healthy eating and physical activity. This project will also address CHIP priorities, especially health literacy, obesity and healthy lifestyles, and chronic disease.
Easing the transition from hospital to home will be another area of focus,
with faith-based groups working closely with patients being discharged from area hospitals. By helping patients return home, making sure they eat well, take their medicines and follow their clinician's orders, the church and CDC leaders will help patients recover and at the same time reduce hospital readmissions, reducing overall costs to the healthcare system.
Williams said THT will select 10 faith-based organizations to implement the education and prevention program funded by the state. Groups chosen for the program will start with a self-assessment to determine the
needs and interests of their congregation and community. Grant funds will also underwrite programs encouraging people to eat healthy foods and increase physical activity.
In implementing the grants, Dr. Perry said THT will work with its vibrant Community Advisory Board, composed of nearly 50 Trenton area organizations that share the common goal of improving Trenton residents' health.

"These faith-based programs will help us expand on our community connections, building awareness and participation in nutrition and active lifestyle programs that will be delivered through the infrastructure of a trusted and readily available resource: the community's churches and faith-based organizations," she said.
"Through this grant we will also work with faith-based partners to support a smooth transition for community members who have been hospitalized, helping to ensure that follow-up resources are available to reduce avoidable re-admissions wherever possible."

About the Trenton Health Team
Trenton Health Team (THT) is an alliance of the city's major providers of healthcare services including Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the city's Health Department. In collaboration with residents and the city's active social services network, THT is developing an integrated healthcare delivery system to transform the city's fragmented primary care system and restore health to the city.  The THT receives generous support from The Nicholson Foundation, corporate partners and other foundations.

For more information, visit www.trentonhealthteam.org

Posted by tammyduffy at 2:46 PM EST

 A new era begins in New Hope & Lambertville on Friday, February 6, 2015! The two vibrant river towns are kicking off the beginning of a new ongoing series of First Friday events that combines galleries and artist’s studios on both sides of the Delaware River- First Friday by The Greater Lambertville – New Hope Chamber of Commerce.

From 5pm to 9pm, over a dozen galleries from both Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA will be participating in what the organizers hope will become one of of the most robust cultural events in the country. You can also expect live music and special offers at area bars and restaurants.

Beyond just a gallery crawl, plans for the series include partnerships and guest speakers from leading museums and cultural institutions from NYC to Philadelphia, artist demos and curator talks, a large works show, an outdoor sculpture show and a performance art series.

- See more at: http://hunterdon.happeningmag.com/first-friday-lambertville/#sthash.2x0F4JP4.dpuf





Posted by tammyduffy at 12:10 PM EST
Thursday, 5 February 2015
Paws or Pedi’s: The Advantage of a Medical Grade Pedicure

Paws or Pedi’s:  The Advantage of a Medical Grade Pedicure


By Tammy Duffy



Our first mode of transportation as infants, is our feet. Our feet allow us to do so much.  As we grow we stand on our feet, we dance, we run. sometimes in heels, all day. We even use them to hold open subway doors and a multitude of other tasks. We need to keep them as healthy as possible with regular care and early treatment for any problems.

As a marathoner and triathlete, my feet are an important asset.  They are prone to stress fractures, sprains and strains. Calluses are part of my protective barrier to get across the finish line without a blister.Taking care of them is an important aspect of my training.

After a long marathon, nothing feels better than a spa pedicure at the local salon. For years I have gotten these pedicures. They used blades, utensils, the normal tools of the trade on my feet. I have watch friends get horrible infections from manicures and pedicures. I consider myself one of the lucky ones that I never had such an issue. However, once you read this article you will learn what is really happening in the industry. You will also learn the precautions you need to take to safeguard your feet. A medical grade pedicure is your answer.  I will never go to another salon for my pedicure, only to a podiatrist.


Beauty Schools across the Country have suddenly seen a drastic 2 year drop in the enrollment of nail technology courses for nail technician’s as a separate training discipline yet, cosmetology course enrollments have held steady. (Remember, nail technicians only do nails while cosmetologists do hair and nails.) The prices for nail technician provided services have also dropped for services providing manicures and pedicures nationwide in many markets. However, the number of nail salons have expanded exponentially throughout the USA. So, my readers, what do you think is happening?


If there is a significant decrease in enrollment how are there so many “nail technicians” out there?  Here is what is happening…..one or two people will actually attend beauty school in a nail salon and teach the others in their salon. The certificates on the wall are fake in many instances. A quick search on line will show that their registration number does not exist or belongs to someone else.  Therefore, they are not licensed, just been trained on the job.  This is the unfortunate truth.


There are more than 70,510 beauticians, barbers, cosmetologist hairstylists, skin care specialists and manicurists licensed in the State of New Jersey. There are more than 9,237 shops, 702 cosmetology- hairstyling teachers and 28 schools are also licensed by the Board. However, there are only 11 inspectors in the State of New Jersey.


In NY State, there are just 24 inspectors assigned to probe all beauty, but with more than 10,000 shops in the city alone, there are dirty, dangerous and potentially deadly practices going unpunished.



Fungal and bacterial infections, hepatitis and HIV can be spread if salons don’t follow safe procedures. In the U.S., some women have died after being exposed to unsanitary conditions at their salons.


I have sat in the waiting area of salons and watched what was happening in my home town. I have had manicures and pedicures for years at these salons. I found, over and over, dirty tools and unsafe, even illegal, practices, happening in the salons. I have gotten pedicures at the area salons and been victim of these unsafe procedures myself.


In New York and New Jersey, all files and wooden cuticle sticks must be new for each customer. But, this is not what is happening in the salons. What is evident is manicurists grabbing used tools over and over again for different customers.


The same goes for waxing: aestheticians should use a different stick for every wax application, but that often was not the case.


Clippers and any stainless steel tool must be soaked in barbicide — that clear blue liquid that kills bacteria on shared instruments — or other approved disinfectant, again, many salons do not even have barbicide at the salon.


The Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling was created to protect New Jersey consumers who avail themselves of the services regulated by the Board and to promulgate and enforce regulations relating to the practice of cosmetology and hairstyling, barbering and beauty culture. The Board consists of 11 individuals who must be residents of New Jersey. The members of the Board are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Six of the 11 members must hold practicing licenses issued by the Board and must have been engaged in the practice of beauty culture, barbering, or cosmetology and hairstyling for at least five years prior to their appointment. One of the 11 members must hold a teacher’s license issued by the Board of Beauty Culture Control or by the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling. They cannot get every where. Many salons have never been inspected.


Many women will go to the nail salon to be pampered and may get something they don't expect. They could get an infection, MRSA, HIV, Genital Herpes, fungi, bacteria, skin ulcers, etc. Many of these ailments require surgery, grafts or laser surgery to correct.


A Fancy Nails in Watsonville was shut down after investigators found high levels of tuberculosis-related bacteria in all of the salon's footbaths. The owner of Fancy Nails admitted to state investigators that he never cleaned the suction screens in the footbaths where debris from hair, skin and nails accumulate — that is where the bacteria is believed to have built up.  When you walk into a salon, ask them when they last cleaned the screens. Ask them to show you the screen. If they refuse, walk out.

The majority of the salons simply had poor sanitation practices. Nail buffers and emery boards, which are supposed to be thrown away after one use, were being used on customer after customer.


Part of the problem may be that almost half of all nail technicians nationwide are immigrants for whom English is a second language. They may not be able to read the labels on the disinfectant itself because the labels usually are written in English.


The competition is very intense to cut prices amongst the salons. The technicians are paid less, so perhaps they're not as skilled. Salons cut back on the quality of you disinfectants, or maybe you don't even use real disinfectants. Ask to see the MSDS sheets for the products they use to disinfect. You will be surprised at the results. I can guarantee you will walk out after this little analysis. 


Many inspectors found many discount salons using heavily diluted disinfectants — in some cases, not sterilizing instruments at all. Tests on one set of clippers found bacteria from human feces.


Many salons were caught using razor-sharp credo blades to scrap calluses from customers' feet. Credo blades are illegal in salons (NJ and NY are one of the 45 states where they are illegal) because they are likely to cause bleeding and exposure to harmful bacteria. I personally have had Credo blades used on my heels of steel at the salon near the Acme on RT 33 in Hamilton,  NJ numerous of times.


The manicure and pedicure industry is a six billion dollar industry. Fungal infections are on the rise in the salons due to the massive pressure to succeed and get as many customer through the salon each day. Be careful. The salons are dirty. They are transferors of  hepatitis, HIV, Fungus and bacteria, etc.   Many salons have never seen an inspector. Ask the salon when the last time they were inspected. If they look at you sideways or say,”Never.”,  take that response as your signal to walk out.


Files and wooden cuticle sticks must be new for each customer. However, upon visiting salons, this is not the case.  Hospital grade disinfectants like Barbicide have to be used, however many use Windex vs Barbidcide or some other “mystery cleaner.” Dubious UV light “disinfectant machines” are used. However, they are not approved for disinfecting devices.


Have you ever gotten waxed? Watch how the do it? Do they change the wax stick each time they are applying wax to you? I have had my eyebrows done in the past and they did not change the wand. They use the same stick for you for your entire treatment.  No double dipping!! I have seen behavior utilized in high end spas being done. One can contract genital herpes for this technique. Hepatitis B can also be easily contracted this way as well.


Foot spas or pedicure baths should be washed and disinfected after each use in accordance with the disinfection requirements for that state. Did you know that the row of chairs are actually recirculating the water all day between each chair?  So, if the filters are not cleaned rigorously or professionally cleaned, whatever your chair mate had ailing them, now becomes your ailment. When you enter a salon ask them when the last time they had the filters professionally cleaned. If they cannot answer or hesitate, walk out of the salon. In the event the footbaths are not clean, the  chance you will get an ailment is 100%. Even if the tools are clean that they use, if the footbaths are filthy, your days are numbered in regards to foot health. Serena Williams in 2011 fell victim to a filthy footbath, impacting her athletic ability that year.


The concern should not end there. We all have aging family members. Be aware as they enter nursing homes and long term care facilities. Some nurses and podiatrists or podiatric assistants are going bed to bed cutting nails in nursing home with one pair of nippers and wiping them off with alcohol wipes. This pattern of disinfection fails miserably, in fact it is worse than what nail salons are doing nationwide because  they are “licensed” to know better. Podiatry assistant’s programs are voluntary and depend entirely upon how a podiatrist wants to use them.  They are not state licensed individuals who have completed state prescribed testing.


So how do we avoid all of this bacteria ?


Get a medical grade pedicure, end of story. The likelihood that states will change their behaviors with inspections is  unlikely so you must protect yourself. There are different ways that medical pedicures are offered.  They can be done in a podiatric doctor’s office. A doctor’s office that has a very expensive autoclaver on site to sterilize the tools that are used for your pedicure and manicure. Some podiatric practices only have the physicians do the pedicures (this is my favorite as an athlete). Some practices have state registered nail technicians do the pedicures within their podiatric practice or  some have an advanced trained nail technician do the pedicure in their practice.


There is an argument that these advanced trained individuals are going to be taking over our industry, this is inaccurate. State laws prevent them from acting in an advanced capacity unless they are under a physician’s license.  Let’s face it, those podiatrists who hire people to do routine care, can hire someone one day and they are cutting nails for them the next day. This is unacceptable unless they come to the table with advanced skills. Make sure you ask the question when you make your appointment, who is doing the pedicure? What are their credentials? Just because it is advertised as a medical grade pedicure, does not mean it really is done by a professional.


Do nail technicians already do advanced care illegally with or without the benefit of training? Yes, every day. Not a single state cosmetology board has enough inspectors to stop it now or in the future. Make sure you ask the right questions when you make your appointment and keep asking them when you get to your appointment.


There are podiatrists across the country who have already recognized basic nail technicians are the only licensed individuals to provide beauty services to hands and feet in every state. One of the first podiatrists to do this was Oscar Mix. He incorporated nail technicians directly into his practice over 20 years ago. They just need extra advanced training to perfect their current skills and be real assets to a practice. Interestingly, there are also podiatrists who have surgical practices or specialty practices referring patients to nail salons without medical oversight instead of our brother podiatrists to handle routine foot care. Yes, this also happens all the time.


A medical-grade pedicure is the perfect way to relax and treat your feet to much-needed care and attention. It complements medical treatments of foot ailments by preventing foot disorders and can be a helpful support in healing. It’s the ultimate in luxurious foot care.


While a traditional cosmetic pedicure focuses on making your toenails look as good as possible, and gets rid of some dead skin, it ignores real problems and sometimes creates them. Not to mention, your feet are on display in front of all the other customers.


Unlike nail salons, podiatric professionals are trained to examine and treat foot and nail disorders using advanced equipment and tools…and the strictest hygiene protocols. A medical pedicure is an esthetic and therapeutic foot care treatment performed in the private setting of a medical clinic.


A medical pedicure is a non-invasive, wet or dry procedure performed by highly skilled foot care specialists or the surgeon him or herself. This is combined podiatry with nail care. Guaranteed to be safe and hygienic, it addresses issues such as: Athlete’s foot, corns, Calluses ,dry cracked heels, Fungus, Ingrown/overgrown toenails, nail discoloration. Even if you have zero ailments you can still go for a medical grade pedicure. This ensures that you will not put yourself at risk, the risks earlier explained in this article from a regular nail salon.


You will not be picking out your color at most of these medical grade pedicure sites. Your bare, buffed toenails look gorgeous on their own, so they actually don’t stock nail polish.


If after reading this article you are still compelled to go to a nail salon for your pedi treats, please follow the follow advice….


  • Always get a new pair of shoes; and toe separators. These are commonly reused in salons. If salons have a bucket that says, Place toe separators and shoes here”, the likelihood they are reusing these items is quite high.


  • Never let your waxer double dip a wax applicator stick; watch them like a hawk!
  • Always make sure your waxer and pedicure attendant wears gloves; you have no idea what they just touched.
  • Be sure all tools are soaked in barbicide before they’re used on you; if not, walk out of the salon
  • Bring your own buffer or pumice stone, files and pushers or ask for a new one for your service. If they refuse to use yours, walk out.
  • Seeing a “sealed package” with tools in it does not guarantee that the place is using a $5,000 autoclaver to clean their utensils. Make them show you the autoclaver!
  • Bring your own pumice stone and scraper, nail clipper, cuticle clipper, etc


Even doing the above will not ensure “happy feet”. The minute you place your feet in a bacteria riddled footbath, it’s game over.


So, lets emphasize the importance of a medical grade pedicure one more time by sharing another example from the CDC.


In 2000, an outbreak of Mycobacterium fortuitum furunculosis affected customers using whirlpool footbaths at a nail salon. They swabbed 30 footbaths in 18 nail salons from 5 California counties and found mycobacteria in 29 (97%); M. fortuitum was the most common. Mycobacteria may pose an infectious risk for pedicure customers.


Before this outbreak, M. fortuitum and other rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) caused localized cutaneous infections but usually in a healthcare-associated setting with surgical or clinical devices contaminated with water from the hospital or from the municipal water system. In the nail salon outbreak, they suspected that the mycobacteria entered the footspas through the municipal tap water and thrived in the large amount of organic debris accumulated behind the footspa recirculation screens. However, cultures of tap water at that nail salon later in the investigation yielded RGM in the M. chelonae-abscesses group but not M. fortuitum.


Since RGM are commonly found in municipal water systems, and since the nail care business is a $6 billion and growing industry in this country, the CDC hypothesized that similar whirlpool footbath–associated RGM infections occurred sporadically but went unnoticed.


Five large counties from different parts of California (Alameda, Sacramento, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego) participated in the survey. Counties chosen served large populations and had multiple nail salons with whirlpool footbaths. In each county, a team including the regional investigator of the California Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology and a local public health professional visited selected nail salons. They assessed footspa equipment, cleaning solutions, and cleaning techniques and frequencies. Swab samples were also collected.


In each participating county, a convenience sample of >3 different nail salons equipped with whirlpool footbaths located in the town’s main business section was randomly selected for the survey. Salon managers were questioned about cleaning and disinfection regimens of their footspas. Pedicure equipment time in service within the salon and make and model numbers of whirlpool pedicure equipment were noted. For each salon, 2 separate footspas were sampled, unless that salon only had 1 footspa, in which case only 1 swab was collected. Using a screwdriver, investigators removed the grate or filter screen covering the recirculation port in each footspa basin and inspected the area behind the screen for debris. A sterile, cotton-tipped culturette was used to swab this area and placed in standard transport medium.


Isolated from the whirlpool footbaths were 10 species of mycobacteria, 6 of which were RGM: M. fortuitum, M. mucogenicum, M. smegmatis group, M. mageritense, M. neoaurum-like RGM, and a pigmented unidentified nontuberculous mycobacteria.  M. fortuitum was the most frequently isolated mycobacterium, found in 14 (47%) of the 30 footspas surveyed and from all 5 counties. Rapid growers, including M. fortuitum,were found in 23 (76%) of the footspas. Slow-growing mycobacteria species were also recovered, including M. avium complex, M. gordonae, M. simiae, and M. lentiflavum. These species were less frequent than the rapid growers, except for M. avium complex, which was found in 5 (17%) of the footspas.


The whirlpool footbaths sampled came from 3 manufacturers. Disinfectants reportedly used included a variety of brand name products and chlorine bleach, used at intervals of 1 to 14 days. Five (17%) footspas reportedly did not go through any disinfectant process. Twenty-five (83%) of the surveyed footbaths had collected visible debris or slime behind the recirculation screen cover, either on the screen itself, on the tub surface, or both. Fifteen (50%) of footspa operators reported never having cleaned behind this screen. One footspa had no screen or visible debris; nevertheless, it tested positive for mycobacteria.


Take good care of you feet, you one get one set.  After much investigation of the podiatric offices in NJ doing medical pedicures, I highly recommend going to the Caring Podiatry practice in Monroe, N. J. 


The physicians are the ones doing the pedicures at Caring Podiatry.  They actually have a coupon available right now for their service through Living Social. 

https://www.livingsocial.com/cities/517-mercer-middlesex-counties/deals/1369140-medical-grade-pedicure-or-laser-toenail-treatment .  I just bought one for myself and my mother. Their hours are quite flexible and convenient.













Posted by tammyduffy at 1:35 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 5 February 2015 1:52 PM EST
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Matchstick Dwellings: How to Stay Safe

Matchstick Dwellings: How to Stay Safe


By Tammy Duffy




As the building industry evolves, it's constantly developing ways to create building materials and methods that can allow construction to be done in the most efficient way possible. Building professionals and engineers are working to decrease the time involved in not only the production but the installation, as well. There are towns that brag about their economic development, but in actuality they are developing matchstick hotels and fast burning dwellings. The focus on resident safety is not existent. It’s money over life.


Cost is clearly the driving force in these decisions.  A physical example of this evolution has been the introduction of lightweight construction. It's brought serious ramifications to the fire service and how work is done on the fire ground.


A few weeks ago we all witnessed in the news the fire that occurred at the Edgewater dwelling in Bergen County, N.J.  The Avalon at Edgewater complex -- built on the site where the Avalon River Mews was consumed by an inferno as construction neared completion in 2000 -- resembled a battlefield: shattered walls, scorched timbers, a haze of thick, choking smoke.


Edgewater Police Chief William Skidmore said Avalon maintenance workers were using a blowtorch to perform plumbing repairs in a first-floor apartment at about 4 p.m. when the fire began inside a wall. Instead of immediately calling 911, the workers first phoned their supervisor, leading to a 15-minute delay in the emergency response, Skidmore said.  That decision, the chief said, “certainly didn’t help” in stopping the fire’s spread.  “It was mostly a big contributor because it was a delay in the response of the fire department," he said.


The fire raged for nearly seven hours, destroying 240 of the complex’s 408 units. Two firefighters and two civilians suffered minor injuries. More than 500 people lost their homes, and about 520 others from neighboring buildings and houses were displaced temporarily. Christie, at the afternoon press conference, pledged his administration’s assistance. What will his assistance be, get the people back on their feet? That is not enough. There has to be changes made to the building codes in NJ to safeguard the residents of the state.







“If it was made out of concrete and cinder block, we wouldn’t have this sort of problem,” Edgewater Fire Chief Thomas Jacobson said. “It’s very difficult because once it’s in the walls and floors, we’re chasing it.”


This was not the first time a fire raged through the Edgewater complex. A fire in 2000 also involved wood-frame construction. That blaze destroyed four buildings. The fire alarm and sprinkler systems worked properly during that large fire at Avalon, and the two-building complex, owned by AvalonBay Communities, met all state and local fire codes.


State and federal standards require many public buildings, including schools and town halls, to incorporate studs made out of metal so that if a fire breaks out, the studs will be among the last things to fall, said Judson Moore, president of the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs Association and a firefighter in Cumberland County. Why is this same requirement not made in residential dwellings and hotels being built?


The real point of this article to create awareness; if you have not altered your approach and attack on these types of fires, you need to adjust immediately. A recent walk around a construction site in Hamilton , NJ (Mercer County) demonstrated a new matchstick hotel going up.  (see attached photos). There are no metal studs demonstrated in the new structure that is going up.  There are a few metal studs evident in the structure that was built first on the property, but that strategy has changed and its all wood. A conversation with local firefighters revealed that although these buildings meet code, but they are a large challenge for fire fighters. Those who chose to stay at these hotels will have no idea of the risks associated with the dwelling upon entering it.


When structures are made wholly of wood, collapses are often inevitable. Firefighters can’t fight that from the interior.   They have to back out and fight it in a defensive mode, where they’re not going inside unless absolutely necessary to save lives. Those in the dwelling are on their own to get out.


As demonstrated in the fire in Bergen county recently, firefighters continued to douse hot spots in the wreckage.  Due to the complex’s lightweight wood-frame construction, the fire spread so rapidly.  The firefighters were all but helpless to contain it.


Although these lightweight construction  materials reduce construction costs and have consistently demonstrated equivalent or even superior quality under non-fire conditions, the same cannot be said when these materials are exposed to fire loading during a residential structure fire. The result is progressive structural collapse due to the failure of these lightweight structures, resulting in firefighter injuries and death.


Over 1,700 firefighters have died since the year 2000 due to getting trapped in buildings due to collapse. (Source: FEMA) These firefighters were killed after becoming lost, caught or trapped in structures. Numbers like these should motivate us to ask why our current fire attack tactics aren’t sufficient to allow us to fight structure fires in a way that gets the job done, protects occupants and prevents us from getting killed in the process. Why are town leaderships allowing this type of construction?


Over the past few years, you may have noticed an increase in reports of firefighter close calls and fatalities related to lightweight construction, which has hopefully created better awareness of the issue within the fire service. It has forced departments to evolve further to differentiate between conventional framing and those using lightweight pre-engineered materials. There is extensive training programs that have been developed by  UL and other agencies to assist the firefighters in their efforts.


The introduction of lightweight construction materials should have changed the way people operate on the fire ground. A series of tests done by the UL offered some glaring results. The failure time of a non protected 2x10 framing member was 18 minutes and 30 seconds after ignition time, and the equivalent member in a "TJI" failed in 6 minutes and 30 seconds.


There’s a contention today that building construction is getting more complex and creating more hazards for firefighters. This is true. But the real reason firefighters get killed in structures is that they’re operating with a set of assumptions about structural integrity that may or may not be true—even from one month to the next. This begs the question, “How much do you know about modern building construction?” How much do the Mayors and planning boards in towns really understand the fire hazards associated with these lightweight construction buildings? Are they only focused on allowing companies to come in and build and have lost sight on the safety of the people who will live and stay in the buildings?




How can you protect yourself and your fellow firefighters? Firefighters need to develop a culture of continual and evolving size-up. We have heard it a million times; "Size-up starts when the tones go out." But for me, size-up starts when you wake up in the morning. Size-up will also need to evolve over time to allow for changes in the fire industry, the construction industry, and changes in your own response area. We all need to take ownership of this.


Size-up for today is only as good as today. We need to educate our firefighters to be able to rapidly identify various types of construction, and the methods and materials utilized. Consider developing a system to notify responding firefighters of potential construction hazards. The towns that are allowing this lightweight construction to take place as part of their economic development should be forced by the state government to have mandatory training for their firefighters and residents.


Certain communities have already developed a hazmat-like placard system that allows responding firefighters to determine the type of construction upon arrival. The signage design and location would be in a predetermined location enforced by the local building and code officials. Children should be educated on this in the school systems as part of their annual fire safety curricula. 


As mentioned, one aspect of building construction that firefighters must know about is lightweight wood construction. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recognized that there needed to be more accurate and relevant information regarding lightweight construction so firefighters could achieve a safer operational environment. As such, the USFA partnered with the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) to develop a comprehensive Web-based educational program about lightweight construction components—information that has not been provided in an easily accessible format in the past. Included in this program is FireFrame, an interactive tool on building construction that was developed with the assistance of several state and local fire training systems.


Structural collapse is always a very serious threat, but we put ourselves in even more danger if we aren’t aware of the risks associated with the building materials involved. The USFA, AF&PA and IFSI have taken one important step in providing the fire service useful information about lightweight construction. Of course, in addition to lightweight wood construction we must also be aware of the issues associated with the “green” building movement, re-development that’s increasing densities, land-use policies that mix residential and commercial occupancies, change in the density and flammability of building contents, and more. Lightweight construction is a good place to start, but as I said before, we must know as much as possible about all types of buildings we enter to be as safe as possible.


Firefighting operations related to modern lightweight construction: lightweight steel, parallel chord MGP trusses, metal gusset plate wood trusses and lightweight structural steel, proper nozzle selection and working from protected positions.



As the building industry evolves, it's constantly developing ways to create building materials and methods that can allow construction to be done in the most efficient way possible. Building professionals and engineers are working to decrease the time involved in not only the production but the installation, too.


Cost is clearly the driving force in these decisions — and a physical example of this evolution has been the introduction of lightweight construction. It's brought serious ramifications to the fire service and how we work on the fire ground.


This article highlights some of the dangers of lightweight construction and offer some size-up recommendations. Over the past few years, you may have noticed an increase in reports of firefighter close calls and fatalities related to lightweight construction, which has hopefully created better awareness of the issue within the fire service. It has forced departments to evolve further to differentiate between conventional framing and those using lightweight pre-engineered materials.


The introduction of lightweight construction materials should have changed the way you operate on the fireground. A series of tests done by the UL offered some glaring results. The failure time of a non protected 2x10 framing member was 18 minutes and 30 seconds after ignition time, and the equivalent member in a "TJI" failed in 6 minutes and 30 seconds.


Firefighters should be trained in not only the construction types and methods, but also to understand the differences in fire behavior as a result of different construction methods. Building construction will determine the number of firefighters, apparatus and equipment needed to control fire, proper location of attack and vent, and whether the attack should be an offensive or defensive one.


Government and fire leadership must clearly understand fire progression and constantly assess the time the fire has been involved. There may be certain fires that may be an exterior attack on arrival just as a result of the amount of time the run was dispatched and the amount of time it took to respond.


The fire from the exterior may be visually "attackable," but the floor structure may not allow for an interior attack. Six minutes is a very small window to operate under. Use a defensive strategy whenever trusses have been compromised or exposed to fire, and remember basic risk reward concepts.


One major element of structural firefighting that’s changed in recent years: building construction. By now you’ve heard about how lightweight construction changes the way fires burn. But in many cases, we’re still approaching fires the same way we did 30 years ago.


Lightweight, wood-frame buildings burn extremely fast and hot. If the fire breaks out of the container (or room of origin), then it’s “off to the races.” As fire exits a container and vents to the outside of the structure, it will spread upward very rapidly, involving everything combustible in its path. Fire venting from a window or door will quickly burn into combustible truss voids. Once fire has entered the void, the roof decking will burn through and the truss may collapse in less than 5 minutes. The fire will also enter the overhead and/or floor void from within the container. A post-flashover fire will not be contained, and the fire and super-heated fire gases will penetrate through numerous pathways into combustible void spaces.


Fire in lightweight steel (non-combustible) buildings also spreads quickly. The rapidly growing contents fire will quickly heat the lightweight steel trusses and structural members, causing rapid collapse. These lightweight structural systems are often not protected by any fire-rated membrane or sprinkler system. (Note: The best time to discover this situation is while conducting inspections and preplanning.)


So why is fire behavior in lightweight structures so unique and deadly? Since the late 50s and early 60s, structures built of wood and steel, or any combination of the two, have utilized lightweight building design and lightweight structural building components, such as gusset plate trusses, plywood, wood I-beams, OSB sheeting and other engineered systems. Gone are the days of solid-sawn dimensional lumber joists and decking.


In addition, as structures get lighter in structural weight, they’re loaded with contents and furnishings that burn hotter and more quickly than ever before—a deadly combination for building occupants and firefighters.


What does this mean for us? We have NO time! Once the fire has flashed in the container, the container can no longer hold, absorb or contain the heat. As fire enters combustible lightweight voids, collapse is imminent.


Fire tactics taught more than 30 years ago were developed by firefighters who fought fires in conventionally built structures. Clearly, these tactics will not work in lightweight structures and, as such, we must modify our tactics.

Modifying tactics means operating from protected positions until we can control the fire and verify that fire is not in the combustible voids above and below us. We should not enter a structure without clearing the overhead void and the floor void.


Light-weight engineered floor systems provide architectural, economic and productivity benefits to the homeowner and the construction industry with assumed status quo in fire safety. However, under fire conditions, these light-weight engineered floor systems lead to greater risk of structural failure in a shorter time as a consequence of the reduced cross-sectional dimensions of the engineered products as compared to traditional dimensional lumber floor systems. So, despite the superior structural performance of these new products to traditional lumber construction under ‘normal’ conditions, the trend reverses in a fire environment. This is highlighted by the increasing number of firefighter fatalities due to collapse of these engineered systems under fire conditions. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued a report, Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters Due to Truss System Failures, highlighting the risks of injury and death that can occur during fire-fighting operations involving engineered floor truss systems.


The construction industry is continually introducing new engineered products that provide better structural stability, allow for faster construction time and are more cost effective. Additionally, the market for green or environmentally sustainable building materials experienced a growth rate  of 23% through 2006 and is expected to continue growing at a rate of 17% through 2011 according to Green Building Materials in the U.S. The increased market demand for environmentally sustainable products is driving engineered lumber products to further reduce material mass that could potentially result in even further concern for fire safety in building construction today.


There are also some amazing new products, if used in conjunction with these lightweight construction materials can make a huge difference in the event there is a fire. Watch this attached video below to see an example of this with the use of fireproof intumescent paints.






As residents and travelers we often we check into a hotel at the end of a long day traveling or playing at the beach or amusement park and don’t even bother to learn how to exit the room safely in the case of a fire.  It is so important to be prepared in case a fire does break out. Surviving a hotel fire begins right after you check in. When you get to your room take a few moments to check out possible escape routes. A vast majority of new hotels are built using lightweight construction techniques.


When planning your fire escape plan remember:


Walk down the corridor and find the fire exits.

Never use the elevator in a fire - the call buttons may take you to a floor filled with smoke or flames.

Check the exits out to make sure they are usable! Do the doors open? Are the stairways clear?

Count the doorways and any other features between your room and the exits. If the corridor is dark and full of smoke, you'll need to know your way as you crawl along the wall to the exit.

If the hotel has a fire alarm system, find the nearest fire alarm. Be sure you know how to use it. You may have to activate it in the dark or dense smoke.

Check your room. It's important to know the layout of your room because you may have to stay in it if smoke in the corridor cuts off your escape. Many people have lived through a hotel fire by remaining in their rooms protected against smoke and gases while awaiting rescue.

Begin by putting your room key close to where you sleep so you can find it easily. You will need it to get back into your room if smoke or fire blocks your exit. You may want to keep it in your pants pocket or on the night stand.

Try the windows. Do they open? How do the latches work? Which one would you use in an emergency?

Look out the window to see what's outside. Is escape possible? You may be only a few feet from the ground and you can get out this way if the hall is not usable. If you are on an upper floor, there may be a roof or deck within safe dropping distance. Dropping from more than two floors usually results in injury.


If a fire does break out in the hotel, here are some things you should do:


1. Open a window to vent the room if there is any smoke.  If you are on the first or second floor you may be able to drop to the ground safely. If you are up any higher, you are usually better off staying put. Although some people survive jumps form 35 feet or more, they are usually seriously injured.

2. Let someone know you are in room. If the phone works, call for help. Hang a bed sheet out the window to signal firefighters, but don't try to climb down.

3. Fill the tub with water.  It might be needed for fire fighting. Turn on the bathroom fan if it helps to clear your room of smoke.

4. Wet towels and sheets. You'll need them to put around doors and cracks if smoke seeps in. Use your ice bucket to bail water.

5. Get fresh air. Make a tent over your head with a blanket at a slightly opened window to get fresh air. If the window does not open, you may have to break one out with a chair or drawer. If heat and flames are rising outside the window form a lower floor, don't breathe smoke-laden air.

6. As a last resort. Finally, if your room becomes untenable, you may be forced to make for the best exit. But remember to keep low.


Remember that few people are burned to death in fires. Most people die from smoke, poisonous gases and panic. Panic is usually the result of not knowing what to do. If you have an escape plan and adapt it to the emergency, you can greatly increase your chances of survival.


It's a good idea to always pack a flashlight in your suitcase. You may need it to guide yourself through smoke or darkness.












 photos by DUFFY: Construction site on Rt. 130 Hamilton , NJ Mercer County

Posted by tammyduffy at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 23 June 2016 9:56 PM EDT

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