Participants of NFPA's two-day Building Safety & Security workshop in Quincy, MA
NFPA’s Building Safety and Security workshop wrapped up this afternoon, with attendees reporting on key conclusions from breakout sessions held over the past two days. Discussions focused on challenges within the built environment; emergency planning for occupants; messaging challenges; and coordinating with first responders.
After much conversation and debate, key conclusions for multiple aspects of active shooter and hostile events were developed, including ideas and recommendations for effectively preparing for and responding to these violent threats. Common threads for many of the strategies and concepts revolved around more education and training, clearer communications, and increased collaboration between stakeholders and communities.
Participants discussed extensively the need to strike the right balance between addressing security and fire safety in today’s world.
NFPA moved very quickly to organize this workshop as a result of the mass shootings that we have already witnessed in the first few months of 2018. NFPA ran a similar workshop in December 2014 with a specific goal of looking at built environment, response and security issues in the K-12 and college/university environment. The report for that workshop was released in May 2015. Several recommendations in that report have been included in the 2018 editions of the NFPA 1, Fire Code, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®, and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code®. In addition, other changes have been made to the premises security documents that NFPA develops – NFPA 730, Guide for Premises Security and NFPA 731, Standard for the Installation of Electric Premises Security Systems.
Another recommendation in the 2014 workshop report identified the need for better coordination and training among first responder agencies — specifically law enforcement, EMS providers and fire departments. Earlier this month, NFPA officially announced the release of a new provisional standard, NFPA 3000™(PS): Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostilve Event Response (ASHER) Program, that was developed on a fast-track schedule to address that specific planning component.
This workshop encompassed a two-day commitment from a dedicated cross-section of more than 40 professionals to continue the discussion. Each brought their diverse experiences, insights and perspectives to the event, all with the ultimate goal of saving lives.
Findings from the workshop will be presented in a report, which we’ll be putting together and posting online in the coming weeks. Information and recommendations in the report will be fed directly to various NFPA technical committees with the idea of developing and proposing code changes for future editions of NFPA documents. They will also be shared with groups within NFPA such as NFPA’s Policy Institute, government affairs department and public education departments to help facilitate and achieve the goals and recommendations of the report.