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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-19-006
Details
Synopsis: On August 10, 2016, at 11:51 p.m., eastern daylight time, a 14-unit apartment building, located at 8701 Arliss Street, in the unincorporated community of Silver Spring, in Montgomery County, Maryland, partially collapsed due to a natural gas-fueled explosion and fire. The explosion and fire also heavily damaged an adjacent apartment building, 8703 Arliss Street, which shared a common wall with building 8701. As a result of this accident, 7 residents died, 65 residents were transported to the hospital, and 3 firefighters were treated and released from the hospital. The damage from the accident exceeded $1 million. The following are safety issues in this accident: • the location and inspection of service regulators within a structure • the inspection of the gas meter assembly • the notification of the natural gas odor to Washington Gas Light Company • the detection of natural gas through odorants and methane
Recommendation: TO THE INTERNATIONAL CODE COUNCIL: In coordination with the Gas Technology Institute and the National Fire Protection Association, incorporate provisions in the International Fuel Gas Code that requires methane detection systems for all types of residential occupancies with gas service. At a minimum, the provisions should cover the installation, maintenance, placement of the detectors, and testing requirements.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Silver Spring, MD, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA16FP003
Accident Reports: Building Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-19-01
Accident Date: 8/10/2016
Issue Date: 6/10/2019
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: International Code Council (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: International Code Council
Date: 9/18/2019
Response: We note that you intended to discuss this recommendation at the ANSI Z223.1/NFPA 54 Committee meeting, hosted by the American Gas Association (AGA), in July 2019, and that you planned to follow up with the AGA after the meeting to coordinate the recommended provisions via your codes and standards development process. Pending completion of these actions, Safety Recommendation P-19-6 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: International Code Council
To: NTSB
Date: 7/9/2019
Response: -From William R. Bryant, MCP, CBO, President of the Board of Directors, International Code Council: I am in receipt of your letter dated June 10, 2019 regarding NTSB’s findings based on its report titled Building Explosion and Fire, Silver Spring, Maryland, August 10, 2016, NTSB/PAR-19/01. On behalf of the International Code Council, I thank you for submitting safety recommendations to be considered for incorporation into the International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC). The IFGC is a code developed by the International Code Council in accordance with the principles of openness, transparency, balance, due process and consensus as defined in OMB Circular A119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities, codified by PL 104- 113, the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995. The IFGC was developed and is maintained up-to-date on a 3-year code development cycle in partnership with the American Gas Association (AGA). The code is segregated by section numbers into two categories: “code” and “standard” and all is coordinated and incorporated into a single document. The sections that are “code” are designated by the acronym “IFGC” next to the main section number, as an example, Section 1011. The sections that are “standard” are designated by the acronym “IFGS” next to the main section, as an example Section 304. AGA is responsible for the IFGS standard sections based on the development of their standard ANSI Z223.1. The recommendations by NTSB will be on the agenda of an upcoming Committee meeting on ANSI Z223.1/NFPA 54 this month hosted by AGA. We will follow up with AGA on the outcome and will ensure the effort is coordinated via our codes and standards development processes. Thank you again for your letter and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: International Code Council
Date: 6/10/2019
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to assist victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. We are providing the following information to urge your organization to act on the safety recommendation in this letter because we believe your organization can help reduce the risk of future accidents. For more information about NTSB and our recommendation process, please see the attached one-page summary. On April 24, 2019, the NTSB adopted its report, Building Explosion and Fire, Silver Spring, Maryland, August 10, 2016, NTSB/PAR-19/01. The details of this accident investigation and the resulting safety recommendations may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at http://www.ntsb.gov. As a result of this investigation, the NTSB identified the following safety issues: • The location and inspection of service regulators within a structure. • The inspection of the gas meter assembly. • The notification of the natural gas odor to Washington Gas Light Company. • The detection of natural gas through odorants and methane. Accordingly, the NTSB makes the following safety recommendation to the International Code Council. Additional information regarding this recommendation can be found in the noted section of the report. • In coordination with the Gas Technology Institute and the National Fire Protection Association, incorporate provisions in the International Fuel Gas Code that requires methane detection systems for all types of residential occupancies with gas service. At a minimum, the provisions should cover the installation, maintenance, placement of the detectors, and testing requirements. (P-19-006) (See section 2.5.2.) The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number (for example, P-19-006). We encourage you to submit your response to correspondence@ntsb.gov. If your reply exceeds 20 MB, including attachments, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions on how to send larger documents. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response.