Board Message Posted August 2021

It is with fondness that we remember Tom O’Connell from the Chicago Fire Dept.
Tom died August 10th at the age of 88. To the older members of the IFIA, Tom was often
seen with Pat Mieszalla presenting ground breaking fire prevention programs. He was
known nationally for his efforts in the area of public education, including development
of his children's "Learn not to Burn" program, and establishment of the Illinois Burn Camp.
Other efforts included Illinois' smoke detector and fire sprinkler legislation, and the creation
of the Illinois Fire Fighters Memorial.


The IFIA would like to recognize your members who have gone above and beyond in doing the job. We’d also like
to help you recognize citizens or businesses that have supported your education and prevention efforts. If you’d like to nominate someone, check our website. A description of the various awards can be found there.


On November 9th and 10th, the IFIA will be offering a two-day basic Fire Alarm Plan Review class. It will be presented by Warren Olsen, and held at the Roselle Fire Department. Due to each student getting plans to review, this class will be limited to 25 people, so register early. A description of the class is below:


This class introduces attendees to the process of conducting a basic fire alarm system plan review. Students will learn the reasons why plan reviews are conducted and where model building and fire codes include, in their documents, the requirement that plans and specifications for fire protection systems, including fire alarm systems, must be reviewed and approved before systems are installed. The basic seminar primarily covers the requirements found in NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, for initiating devices and notification appliances and their correct placement on fire alarm system shop drawings. The seminar introduces the concept of circuits and pathways as well as the calculations used for notification appliance circuits and battery standby. This seminar would be a benefit to individuals who have little or no fire alarm plan review or design experience; or, for the reviewer that conducts infrequent fire alarm plan reviews and would like refresher training.


Our next mini-seminar is on September 24, from 0800 – 1200, and it will be on Fire Investigation. The class will be virtual and will only cost $25. Registration is available on the IFIA website at No manuals will be provided, so students must supply their own for reference and notes. A description of the class is below:


The class will provide an overview of the pivotal NFPA documents impacting fire investigation.  The new edition of NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigation (2021 Edition), NFPA 1033 Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigators (2022 Edition) and the new NFPA 1321 Standard for Fire Investigation Units which is in draft. This presentation will provide the attendees with specific information on the changes that will impact their fire investigations. The class will be presented by the Immediate Past Chairman of the NFPA 921 Committee, Member of the NFPA 1033 Committee and the current Chairman of the NFPA 1321 Committee.


If you are interested in obtaining an Advance Fire Prevention Officer certification, one of the classes needed is a Plans Review Class. The Building and Fire Code Academy in Elgin is offering this class. To our knowledge, this is the only in-person class that is approved.


This five-day course utilizing the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) program structured specifically for fire prevention personnel, this interactive class will include identification and examination of the FEMA course objectives 1-20 as they correspond to municipal codes, standards, and plan reviews, the interpretation and evaluation of code requirements and plans in compliance with fire and safety standards, plan and code familiarity in reference to fire and life safety through discussion, and kinetic examples of plan review and applicable construction documentation. Students will also analyze and interpret applicable sections of the International Building Code© and the International Fire Code©. This class meets the requirement for the Plan Review portion of the Fire Inspector II certification.


Class dates are Oct 19, 21, 26, 28, and Nov 2. Registration can be done at:


Are you one of the fire departments having difficulty in finding out about construction occurring in schools, or in getting in to do fire inspections on that work? If so, read on. The following link will take you to the School Code, specifically Article 3 on the Regional Superintendent of Schools (105 ILCS 5/Art. 3). You should read the entire document, but the sections shown below deal with being made aware of plans and specifications received by a regional office of education for any future construction or alteration of a public school, and how to perform new construction inspections under the jurisdiction of a regional superintendent.


Sec 3-14.20

If a municipality or, in the case of an unincorporated area, a county or, if applicable, a fire protection district wishes to be notified of plans and specifications received by a regional office of education for any future construction or alteration of a public school facility located within that entity's jurisdiction, then the entity must register this wish with the regional superintendent of schools. Within 10 days after the regional superintendent of schools receives the plans and specifications from a school board and prior to the bidding process, he or she shall notify, in writing, the registered municipality and, if applicable, the registered fire protection district where the school that is being constructed or altered lies that plans and specifications have been received. In the case of an unincorporated area, the registered county shall be notified. If the municipality, fire protection district, or county requests a review of the plans and specifications, then the school board shall submit a copy of the plans and specifications. The municipality and, if applicable, the fire protection district or the county may comment in writing on the plans and specifications based on the building code authorized in Section 2-3.12, referencing the specific code where a discrepancy has been identified, and respond back to the regional superintendent of schools within 15 days after a copy of the plans and specifications have been received or, if needed for plan review, such additional time as agreed to by the regional superintendent of schools. This review must be at no cost to the school district.


Sec 3-14-21d

(d) If a municipality or, in the case of an unincorporated area, a county or, if applicable, a fire protection district wishes, then the entity must register this wish with the regional superintendent. These inspections must be based on the building code authorized in Section 2-3.12 of this Code. The inspections must be at no cost to the school district.



Speakers confirmed to date:


Brene Duggins

            A four hour “pre-conference” Presenting Virtually Anywhere

Pat Kenny

            Stand Up and Be the Best, and Mayday for Mental Health

Steve Chikerotis

            Power of Positivity

Josh Fulbright


Meredith Hawes

            NFPA’s “LINK”, and other resources

Kamal Alijazireh

            NFPA 30

John Pierce

            Area of Rescue Assistance requirements

FLSE attendees

            A crowd favorite of a round table on current issues and practices


























It was a hot day, but several IFIA member staffed the fire service tent at the State Fair. On our day, the crowds were considerably down from previous years, bout those to visited received some good safety information. Pictured is Nick from the Northern IL Fire Protection Districts, Mike Schmitt, Mike Toika, Bob Morris, Cindy Wilson, Jay Atherton, Mike Rons, and Don Huenecke.


For anyone looking for a Youth Firesetter class, one will be offered in Rockford on September 16 & 17. See the below link for details.


There is also one being offered in Springfield November 1 & 2












The following are the latest recalls from the Consumer Products Safety Commission:

Generac Recalls Portable Generators Due to Finger Amputation and Crushing Hazards: 

Sling Loungers Sold at Dollar General Recalled Due to Amputation, Laceration, and Pinching Hazard; Manufactured by Shanghai Worth Garden Products: 

Two Million Dehumidifiers With Well-Known Brand Names Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazards; Manufactured by New Widetech: 

LG Energy Solution Michigan Recalls Home Energy Storage Batteries Due to Fire Hazard: 

Zen Magnets and Neoballs Magnets Recalled Due to Ingestion Hazard:  

Hallmark Recalls Teethers Due to Choking Hazard: 

Intertex Recalls Blower Fans Due to Fire Hazard:  

Marin Mountain Bikes Recalls Bicycles Due to Fall and Crash Hazards: 

TJX Recalls Counter Stools Due to Fall and Injury Hazards; Sold at HomeGoods and Homesense Stores:  

Primark Recalls Scent Stamper Pens Due to Elevated Levels of Benzyl Alcohol; Risk of Skin Irritation: 

Ravin Crossbows Reannounces Recall of White Arrow Nocks Due to Injury Hazard and Additional Incidents; Nearly Two Dozen Serious Injuries Reported: 

Nordstrom Recalls Children’s Socks Due to Choking Hazard: 


Check the website for the following upcoming events:

Sept. 24 – Fire Investigation – virtual

Nov 9 & 10 – Basic Fire Alarm Plan Review at Roselle Fire Dept.

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