The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing exponentially, with more and more connected devices every day, if not every hour. The concept of a “smart city” is becoming more mainstream; while the exact definition of what makes a city a smart one varies, one thing is certain—a real smart city needs to account for fire and life safety measures when it is being planned and as it is maintained.
Founded in 1896, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share the NFPA mission. NFPA membership totals more than 60,000 individuals around the world.
Within virtually every building, as well as in transportation and numerous outside applications, there are design and operational features that are guided by NFPA codes and standards. These codes and standards address safety in everything from high-rise buildings to residential single family homes to nuclear power plants to fixed guideway trains to underground mines to fast food restaurants to off-shore oil rigs to food trucks to on-board navy ships. These documents have been implemented on all continents, and even have been used in micro-gravity applications like the International Space Station.
Smart cities represent grand visions for a technologically-advanced future world, one that is quickly becoming a reality. The NFPA looks forward to partnering with all involved with this vision to eliminate death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. We are collectively united with the understanding of a better tomorrow, and together we will work toward a sustainable civilization that is inherently safer. Seamless integration of systems, provided services, data exchange and overall engagement of community environments involves myriad considerations—and safety must be at the top of that list.
The future of smart cities is bright. We are at the beginning of a fascinating journey in a new world that is supported by the IoT, stewardship of resources and the constant requirement of adapting to societal needs. It is imperative that the safety community works alongside anyone supporting any smart cities initiative to assure its safe, efficient and ongoing evolution.
It’s a big world. Let’s protect it together™.