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All Places > NFPA Today > Blog > 2012 > May > 14!|src=|alt=May June Journal|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=May June Journal|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0167667d7103970b!NFPA Journal has now made it easier than ever to keep up with fire and life safety news by offering a newly developed [digital version |] that makes stories and information more accessible. The May/June digital version is available through the [NFPA website |] and offers hot-linked content from the print version. A special branded app will be available through the Apple App Store in June.

This issue focuses on the upcoming NFPA Conference & Expo (June 11-14, 2012) with highlights on code changes, educational sessions and special events, including:


NFPA recently launched a recruitment campaign to increase the number of code enforcers participating on NFPA’s technical committees. NFPA seeks to have code enforcers represent at least 20 percent of the overall technical committee membership by 2013.

“One of the greatest strengths of the NFPA standards-development process is broad participation. We work extremely hard to ensure we have a balance of interests on these committees,” said James Shannon, president of NFPA. “We need code enforcers because they have particular knowledge and experience on how our codes and standards are applied in the field. We need them to provide their expertise to the important work that is being done by our technical committees in order to advance our safety mission.”

Recent cuts in municipal budgets, including elimination of travel expenses for public employees, have made it harder for code enforcers to participate in technical committee meetings. In response to this concern, NFPA created a special fund to subsidize 80 percent of travel and lodging expenses that may come when code enforcers participate in technical committee meetings. The assistance with these expenses is available to code enforcers who are public employees or part of the volunteer fire service.

“We created this special fund as part of our commitment to make NFPA technical committees as accessible as possible to code enforcers whose participation is needed to ensure that we have a balance of voices in the process,” said Shannon.

To learn more about the benefits of joining an NFPA technical committee and to apply online, code enforcers can go to

2012 nfpa conference and expoCurious about the safety upgrades taking place at the Statue of Liberty? Want the specifics on the largest nuclear fire disaster in U.S. history? Interested in hearing how NFPA's Sparky the Fire Dog made an appearance at Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays?

These and other savory topics will be discussed during education sessions at this year's NFPA Conference & Expo, June 11-14 in Las Vegas. Get a taste for this year's hot topics in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, which features a subjective rundown of education session highlights. Complementing a session on the newest research on fire extinguisher use, for example, is another on new health hazards for firefighters.

After reading the feature story, make sure to take a peek at the more than 130 ed sessions taking place during this year's conference.

-Fred Durso, Jr.

ElectricianIn a world of market research, focus groups, and leading indicators, it’s easy to overlook the most direct way of learning from customers — talking to them. Last week I met up with a local master electrician whose truck is a common sight in my neighborhood.

The first thing I noticed was that he brought a tabbed and worn copy of the NEC as well as a copy of 72 for which he made his own tabs.

I asked what NFPA could do to improve his job and his experience using the code. Like others have said before, he wished that local AHJs would interpret and apply the code the same way he does . He noted that when he and the AHJ have a disagreement, he’s the one who loses money. He also wished the NEC was smaller, but at the same time, he admitted there wasn’t anything that he thought could be taken out. In fact, he wished the book had more information, but could somehow be smaller.

He has also recognized a new challenge he must deal with: His customers are becoming more educated, skeptical, and inclined to look things up on the Internet. It’s no longer enough to explain that something is required by code. Consumers now expect him to explain why. He added that having access to this information would also be useful in training his helpers more effectively.

This is prime stuff for new product development. He wants an easy way to explain common code questions in consumer-friendly language. He wants a more portable, compressible format. He is starting to see the code as more than a safety document — it is becoming a training and sales document as well.

Fortunately for all of the master electricians like mine, NFPA’s new digital-first Content Strategy is focused directly on these customer challenges. We’re launching a number of new mobile products. Our training focus is expanding beyond face-to-face sessions and into blended learning and self-paced lessons, learning tools suitable for his helpers. Our goal is to support safety in as many ways as we can.

Individual conversations don’t define new products, but they can definitely shape them. Who knows your job better than you? If you want to talk, please let me know. I’m always interested in listening. 

-Matt Cannavale

Learn more about the assessment of wildfire regulatory and planning tools at the 2012 conference and Expo. This session will be presented by NFPA’s Molly Mowery, Ray Bizal, Don Elliot of Clarion Associations, and Casey Grant of the Fire Protection Research Foundation on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 from 9:30 am to 10:30 am.

The risk of catastrophic fire occurrence in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) is a major issue in today’s fire protection community. There are many potential tools for zoning administrators, planners, and fire/emergency managers to consider when addressing their community’s wildfire risk. These tools include comprehensive planning, land use regulation, building codes and standards, voluntary programs (e.g. Firewise Communities/USA recognition program), Community Wildfire Protection Plans, and hazard mitigation planning.

This topic will be addressed through a panel discussion that will focus on: framing the WUI problem and general tools for addressing the WUI; regulations as a tool and results of a recent applicable research study; and highlighting current NFPA codes related to wildland fire. This session is sponsored by the Fire Service Section, Fire Protection Research Foundation, and the Wildland Fire Management Section.

Register online today or for more information take a look at all of the educational sessions we have to offer.

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