NFPA's Don Bliss and Jim Pauley (center left) pose with fire and life safety leaders in Israel
NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley delivered keynote remarks today at the Fire Protection Association of Israel Annual Conference.
NFPA collaborated with stakeholders in Israel two years ago to help launch the Israeli Fire Protection Association. FPA-Israel is lead by Shmuel Netanel, the country's first fire protection engineer. As an NFPA member for nearly 30 years and a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Telecommunications for nearly two decades, Netanel is no stranger to NFPA and vice versa.
Fire and life safety issues that are important in Israel today include:
- High rise residential buildings that are over 30 stories high and lack adequate inspection and maintenance of fire protection systems
- Wildfires are also top of mind in Israel. Just one year ago, Israel experienced four days of raging fires that drove tens of thousands from their homes
- Codes, standards, education and enforcement are a priority. Israeli law states in the absence of a local standard, NFPA is the default for fire protection. FPA-Israel wants stakeholders to be more informed about codes, and to get more involved with technical committees.
- Israel decreed that all new residential homes and apartments have at least one independent smoke alarm and one fire extinguisher. Authorities are now lobbying for all existing homes to be retro-fitted to include at least one smoke alarm.
More than 450 fire, electrical and life safety professionals are attending the 2-day conference in an effort to learn more about Israel’s challenges and the solutions for moving forward. Sessions are focused on educating diverse stakeholders on best practices; helping local authorities address persistent risks and emerging hazards; and establishing a fire safety infrastructure that will serve Israel’s citizens and properties well.
Pauley concluded his remarks by reminding the audience that there is not a single answer to the fire problem. The NFPA leader challenged attendees to recommit to and promote a full system of fire prevention, protection and education; and to work together to make a significant impact. He asked the audience to take advantage of the collective wisdom in the room and at NFPA. “Now, is not the time to be complacent or content with what you know,” Pauley said. “Dig deeper. Learn more.”