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1,181 Posts authored by: mikehazell Employee


Congratulations to Matthew Campbell for winning our annual National Anthem contest, and being the featured performer during the General Session of the 2017 Conference & Expo in Boston..


Matthew was born on an Air Force base in Goldsboro, NC. He enjoyed being the entertainer of the family from an early age. He was raised around many genres of music ranging from gospel to rock and roll. He works at Murrell Burglar Alarms as an installation technician, and has proudly served the company for 10 years. He also enjoys singing at local events and leading worship at his church. Matthew lives in Tennessee with his wife, Brandi, and their two children.

NFPA's Annual Conference & Expo is taking place in Boston -- and NFPA members can watch live live stream bonus presentations featuring an array of NFPA experts.


Members: whether you've joined us here in Boston -- or are working at your desk, please join us online for these special free live presentations today.


Monday, June 5
(All times ET)

11:00 AM
NFPA 855: Stationary Energy Storage Systems
Brian O'Connor, NFPA Technical Staff


11:30 AM
Effective Development of Electrical Safety Programs
Derek Vigstol, NFPA Technical Staff


12:00 PM
NFPA's Disability Access Review & Advisory Committee
Allan Fraser, NFPA Technical Staff


12:30 PM
Day in the life as NFPA’s Facility Manager
Kevin Carr, NFPA Staff


1:00 PM
New Standard on Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)
Michael Wixted & Curt Floyd, NFPA Technical Staff


1:30 PM
Training & Certification: What You Want to Know
Dennis DiMambro & Leon Katcharian, NFPA Staff


2:00 PM
NFPA Xchange: Connecting with Peers Worldwide
Kyla Caponigro, NFPA Staff

2:30 PM
ITM of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
Matt Klaus, NFPA Technical Staff

Jim Pauley speaks at the General Session of the 2017 NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston.


One hundred and twenty years ago, our efforts to keeping the world safe from fire looked very different than it does today.


During his remarks at the General Session at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston on Sunday, June 4, NFPA President Jim Pauley welcomed attendees to Boston, where NFPA was founded in 1896.


“We sit a short walk from the original headquarters of NFPA,” he said. “Picture this – it is the late 1890’s, most buildings are wooden industrial structures containing a variety of commodities. A fire breaks out and quickly stretches for blocks, consuming everything in its path. Horse-led fire apparatus fills the streets. Getting water on these fires is not an easy task.  The losses are enormous.”


Mr. Pauley noted that while some of the buildings in Boston had sprinklers at the time, not all of them were effective due to the inconsistent ways there were installed. With growing frustration that there must be a better way to save lives and property from fire, a small group of insurance executives gathered to discuss how to standardize our efforts.


Those discussions led to the development of NFPA’s first standard, Rules and Regulations for Sprinkler Equipment Automatic and Open Systems, and marked the beginning of NFPA’s work to revolutionize fire, life and electrical safety.


But NFPA did not do it alone, said Mr. Pauley. “We did it with people just like all of you – engineers, contractors, installers, designers, builders, electricians, fire fighters who joined with us to make that small world safer. All of them worked with us to create a new level of fire safety. All of them helped to revolutionize fire and life safety.”


Despite our collective accomplishments, we all know our work is not done. Mr. Pauley said today, the world is much bigger place: buildings are taller, our challenges are greater, and the demands for our talents and expertise are constant.


“While the times have changed, NFPA’s commitment is exactly the same and fueled exactly the same way – by our quest to make your job easier, our quest to help you be more effective,” said Mr. Pauley. “Because when you do your job well; when you are able to be more effective; together we save lives.”


How are we moving forward? Mr. Pauley said the key is talking to and listening to the needs of our members, customers, and partners – and then delivering solutions.


Mr. Pauley announced the development of a new NFPA mobile app that will allow first responders access to some of the most relevant knowledge and information available. He also discussed responding to calls for training in different formats, and the move away from traditional code-based training to role-based training.


“We focused on giving you opportunities to carry-out the same physical activities of your job with hands on experience for inspection, testing, and maintenance on fire suppression systems,” he said.


Mr. Pauley noted that NFPA’s new hot work training program, created after the deaths of two Boston firefighters, has already been completed by more than 14,000 workers.


Understanding our stakeholder’s need for better data, NFPA is working to develop a flexible platform to capture and process data from fire departments across the country, new artificial intelligence tools to guide inspection prioritization, and GIS-based programs to help fire departments visualize their existing data.


Mr. Pauley said that NFPA is also heeding the call for more information on important emerging issues.



How do we all stay connected during these times of rapid change? Mr. Pauley noted that NFPA Xchange™, an online community where users can network with their peers and NFPA staff, has more than 30,000 (and growing) registered users. And real-time connections are happening by the minute with our more than 250,000 fans on Facebook and 55,000 followers on Twitter.


“As we engage more and more with all of you, we are having greater impact,” he said. “That impact can be seen across the globe.”


From our efforts in Bangladesh to help stem factory fires, to our work in the Middle East to help protect some of the world’s tallest buildings, to our efforts to promote requirements for home fire sprinklers, to our work to lead change in the wildland urban interface --  all of this activity brings us closer to our vision of eliminating loss.


“Just like that group of individuals in 1896, we are being bolder than before, we are working smarter,” said Mr. Pauley. “Together, we are leading in fire, life and electrical safety. Thank you for your part in it. The world needs us more than ever we still can’t do it alone. The more we do together the more we accomplish. It’s a big world. Let’s protect it together.”


Read the full transcript of Jim Pauley's remarks.

The recipients of the Philip J. DiNenno Prize pose with Linda DiNenno and NFPA Chair Randy Tucker.


Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA) is the technical achievement to receive this year’s Philip J. DiNenno Prize during the NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston. The award was presented to David Packham, John Petersen, and Martin Cole, with special commendation given to deceased co-inventor and advocate Len Gibson.


VESDA technology and its pre-eminent role in the global introduction of aspirated smoke detection or ASD has led to a major impact on public safety.


The prestigious DiNenno Prize recognizes groundbreaking innovations that have had a significant impact in the building, fire and electrical safety fields. The prize is named for the late Philip J. DiNenno, the greatly respected former CEO of Hughes Associates, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to fire safety.

The VESDA innovation transformed the fire detection and alarm industry and inspired a whole new aspirated smoke detection area of technology. The installation of VESDA in telecommunication facilities, telephone exchanges, data centers, high technology manufacturing, industrial control rooms and other related facilities has had a significant impact on asset protection and business continuity. In addition, the very early smoke detection by VESDA provides life safety protection for employees working in these buildings.


The DiNenno Prize was established in 2014 following DiNenno’s passing in 2013. A prize committee considers nominations submitted from around the world. More information can be found at


Ann Jones received the 2017 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal for her lifelong devotion to fire safety and having an influential role in the passage of a nationwide requirement for residential sprinklers.


The James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal was established in honor of Jim Shannon, who served as NFPA president for 12 years, beginning in 2002. Mr. Shannon was a vocal advocate for home fire sprinklers and intensified NFPA’s efforts in support of requirements for this technology.


In 2007, Ms. Jones headed a legislative proposal that would give Wales authority to ensure that all new homes are fitted with automatic fire sprinklers. She worked diligently to get cross-party support for sprinklers, sought out skeptical legislators, educated them on safety benefits, and won over the fire and rescue service with her enthusiasm and belief. The sprinkler law passed in 2011, making Wales the first country to pass a nationwide requirement and providing a model for all jurisdictions to follow.


Ms. Jones is from Rhyl, a town on the northern coast of Wales. She worked for more than three decades in the Rhyl Fire Service emergency call center, skillfully handling emergencies with compassion and composure. Over the years, Jones also held a number of key leadership positions with the Fire Brigades Union, was a town councilor, county councilor, and town mayor. In addition, she has been a member of the National Assembly for Wales since 1999, and currently serves as the presiding officer. 


Ann Jones of Wales received the Shannon Advocacy Medal during NFPA's Conference & Expo in Boston.

Ken Isman receives the NFPA Standards Medal from Kerry Bell, (left) Chair of the NFPA Standards Council and Principal Engineer at UL, and NFPA President Jim Pauley.


This year’s recipient of the NFPA Standards Medal is Kenneth E. Isman, a clinical professor in Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland.


Over the years, Mr. Isman has served on the building code/safety to life, fire pumps, water cooling towers, water tanks, and sprinkler committees, and was a member of the NFPA Standards Council for seven years. Today, he continues to serve on the NFPA 101, 5000, 20, 13, 13D, and 13R committees.


He has contributed significantly to the handbooks for NFPA 13, 13D, and 13R, and played an integral role in creating the first edition of NFPA 25. In addition, he was a contributor to the Fire Pump Handbook and the Fire Protection Research Foundation High Volume/Low Speed Fans and Sprinkler Operation project. Mr. Isman incorporates 22 NFPA codes into his course curricula at the University of Maryland.


This award recognizes and honors outstanding contributions to fire safety, and the development of NFPA codes and standards. This award is the most distinguished award given by the NFPA Standards Council.

The winner of the 2016 Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention Week Award is Siemens Building Technologies for their exceptional Fire Prevention Week program.


Siemens partnered with Marvel Comics to script, design, and produce a digital and printed quad-fold comic poster. The comic illustrates how an emergency voice communication system can help spur building occupants to action. The storyline focuses on Siemens’ intelligent voice communication system and features popular Marvel Comic characters such as Iron Man and Captain America.


During Fire Prevention Week 2016, Siemens distributed the comic strip and related materials in high traffic zones throughout their six buildings at corporate headquarters and 104 field offices, local schools, and fire departments.


This award, presented during NFPA's Conference & Expo, recognizes businesses that promote fire and related safety messages to their employees and communities during Fire Prevention Week.


NFPA recently announced the theme of the 2017 Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!", which focuses on the importance of home escape planning and practice.

The 2017 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal was awarded to “Lithium-Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment – Phase 3: Sprinkler Protection Criteria for Lithium Ion Batteries Stored in Cartons” during the NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston.


The research project is the third phase in a project aimed at developing a guidance protocol for fire protection of lithium-ion batteries for storage. The reports seeks to provide technical data to NFPA 13 to fill the knowledge gap in understanding if lithium-ion batteries in storage require different storage. The research was made possible by a group of primary and contributing sponsors, contractors, and a technical panel.


The award was presented to Benjamin Ditch of FM Global, who is the project contractor, on behalf of all those involved in the project.


The Research Foundation Medal recognizes the Fire Protection Research Foundation project completed in the previous year that best exemplifies the Foundation’s fire safety mission, committee to overcome technical challenges, and the collaborative approach to execution that is the hallmark of all Foundation projects.

The Harry C. Bigglestone award is given annually at NFPA's Confernce & Expo to the paper appearing in Fire Technology that best represents excellence in the communication of fire protection concepts.


The 2017 Bigglestone Award was awarded to Enrico Ronchi, Erica D. Kuligowski, Daniel Nilsson, Richard D. Peacock, and Paul A. Reneke, for their paper entitled “Assessing the Verification and Validation of Building Fire Evacuation Models.”


This paper is intended to open a discussion on the main issues associated with the definition of a standard procedure for the verification and validation of building fire evacuation models, including the definition of the acceptance criteria of a standard verification and validation protocol. The winning paper was chosen from a pool of over 100 eligible papers.


Lead author Enrico Ronchi, an associate senior lecturer in evacuation modelling in the Department of Fire Safety Engineering at Lund University (Sweden), accepted the award on behalf of his co-authors.


This award honors the memory of Harry Bigglestone, who served as a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and who was a fellow and past president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize.

Three days of knowledge sharing are on tap for attendees at this year’s NFPA Conference & Expo, promised NFPA Chair Randy Tucker of The Woodlands, TX, who welcomed attendees to Boston for NFPA’s 121st annual meeting.


“In an era where things move at lightning speed individuals and organizations need to keep pace to remain relevant,” he said. “Everything you see and hear over the next few days will be concrete examples of how NFPA is doing just that.”


Mr. Tucker said he is proud of all that NFPA and its members, supporters, and friends have accomplished, and even prouder of the work that has been done in the last three years under the leadership of president Jim Pauley.


“We’ve done this while managing our resources to sustain this critical organization,” he said. “Everything we do is aimed at our singular focus: eliminate the fire problem throughout the world. Thank you for the roles you will play in making this vision a reality.”

Russell Leavitt, Chair of NFPA's Governance and Nominating Committee, presides over the election of new board members.


Jim Sullivan, Jeff Cash, and Roger Montembeault were elected to the NFPA board of directors during today's association’s annual Conference & Expo in Boston. The three-year term for each member takes effect upon the close of the conference.


Jim Sullivan is the president of IDG International Publishing Services, where he previously served as vice president of licensing, and as director of finance and administration. In 2013, he was elected a board member of FIPP, a network for global media that represents content-rich companies and individuals involved in the creation, publishing and/or sharing of quality content.


Jeff Cash is the fire chief and emergency manager for the City of Cherryville, North Carolina, Fire Department. He has been a member of the department since 1981, previously serving as a firefighter, driver engineer, captain and training officer. Cash serves as deputy executive director of the North Carolina Fire Chiefs Association, and as past president of the North Carolina State Firemen’s Association and the Western North Carolina Firemen’s Association. He also serves on the executive committee of the National Volunteer Fire Council, and is a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Officer Professional Qualifications.


Roger Montembeault is the consultant/owner of The Montembeault Group, Inc. He has previously served as president/owner of Flotronix Corporation; executive vice president of General Signal Corporation; vice president of sales and marketing for Peerless Pump Co.; and general manager for Goulds Pumps. Montembeault is currently a member of the NFPA Task Group on Connectivity (NFPA 20), and is a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).


Two board members, Russ Leavitt and Eric Rosenbaum, were re-elected to a second term. Kwame Cooper, a retiring member of the board, was previously elected to serve as the assistant treasurer.


All eyes on the Eastern seaboard are on Hurricane Matthew, which has already churned through western Haiti, and as of this writing, is heading toward Cuba. Our friends at FEMA have compiled a helpful list of safety tips -- what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which forced the emergency evacuation of three hospitals in the New York City area, there was much focus on ensuring proper backup power and expedited power restoration for critical healthcare facilities.


In 2015, NFPA Journal® spoke with Eric Cote, one of the founders of Powered for Patients, an initiative to protect patient health when power supplies were compromised. Read the interview, which includes Mr. Cote's take that hospitals and utilities can do much more to work together before a disaster to help avoid a loss of power, and also to expedite the restoration of power.


Also see: Checklists for facility managers on safeguarding emergency power supply systems before, during and after disasters. The checklists are excerpted from FEMA Document P-1019: Emergency Power Systems for Critical Facilities: A Best Practices Approach to Improving Reliability.


More about a recent U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ruling that  >hospitals, transplant centers, critical access hospitals and long-term care facilities carefully evaluate their emergency and standby power systems.

During the Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, NFPA members considered proposed changes to four NFPA documents. The fourth document up for consideration, NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, was passed with 12 amending motions. See details on our Conference & Expo blog.

During the Technical Meeting today in Las Vegas, NFPA members are considering proposed changes to four NFPA documents. The third document up for consideration, NFPA 75, Standard for the Fire Protection of Information Technology Equipment, was passed with zero amending motions. See details on our Conference & Expo blog.

During the Technical Meeting today in Las Vegas, NFPA members are considering proposed changes to four NFPA documents. The second document up for consideration, NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, was passed with eight amending motions. See details on our Conference & Expo blog.

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