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Updated: Aug 8, 2022

Through FireTox’s internship program, one of our talented fire protection engineering students, Zelda Zhao, recently had an opportunity to get boots on the ground at a fire scene. FireTox EQUIP is designed to provide interns with exposure to four quadrants of the fire protection engineering profession: 1) Fire Safety & Combustion Toxicity Research, 2) Fire Investigation & Litigation Support, 3) Fire Protection System Design & Construction Management, and 4) Code Compliance Inspection & Risk Assessment. Ms. Zhao has gained considerable experience in the research quadrant while also getting exposure to risk assessment and fire investigation. Next up for Ms. Zhao is a visit to a building undergoing a fire alarm and sprinkler system upgrade, so she can get some hands on experience in design and construction. If you are interested in learning more about EQUIP, visit

The FireTox team was busy this week at the NFPA Annual Conference and Expo presenting important findings from our recently completed, NIST-funded, research project which evaluated the relationship between drug use and fire risk. The research team studied toxicology and fire investigation reports for nearly 1000 fire decedents. The study has identified the most prevalent prescription, illicit, and over-the-counter medications present in decedents and trends in demographics, incident time, smoke alarm presence and operability, fire origin and cause, and human behavior. Stay tuned for more information on accessing the full research report and the comprehensive dataset.

Updated: May 12, 2022

Did you know that certain medications can impact your risk of falling and/or sustaining an injurious fall? Did you know that some of these same medications may impact your ability to awaken to a smoke alarm? To learn more, check out a recent NFPA podcast that highlights FireTox’s important research findings. You can also access the full report here.

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