Illinois Fire Inspectors Association Report

Discussion created by ssawyer on Apr 1, 2019

We recently had a seminar on "Sprinkler Technical Submittals" taught by one of our local fire sprinkler contactors. This class was very beneficial and hopefully cleared up a lot of misconceptions.  We will be contacting the instructor to discuss having him present a class on sprinkler calculations, so we can verify what is being submitted, as he feels that is something that needs to be presented.


Illinois has a new Governor, and with that usually means new department heads. However, we are please to say that Matt Perez was re-appointed as the State Fire Marshal. We congratulate him on that, and look forward to more productive years working together.


A large thank you to all who attended last month’s Fire and Life Safety Conference in East Peoria. Almost 110 people registered to attend – including some from Kentucky and Wisconsin. Twenty-one vendors participated and there were many sponsors. Thank you to all who helped make this possible. The highlight of the conference had to be Shawn and Alvaro telling about their experience surviving, and sustaining severe burns, from the Seton Hall dormitory fire in 2000.


Plans are being made for the 2020 conference. If you would like to present a topic, go to our website and fill out a form for consideration.


For our members who might get stumped with a question, Ask the Expert. Do you have a question that you are having trouble getting an answer on? If so, check out our website. We have created a spot to ask questions to two people who have a great deal of fire safety expertise. Their answers are not “official” from NFPA, ICC, or any company, but it may provide you with direction to the question(s) you are dealing with.


Last week two members of the IFIA met in Springfield regarding a fire alarm bill that we introduced. The bill would require fire alarm personnel to have certifications for the level of work that they perform. We met with the bill sponsor, Sen. Cullerton, the IBEW – who supports us, ADS, and the Illinois Electronic Security Association. While we did not come away with an agreement on language, everyone’s concerns were voiced and, knowing more, we will continue with our efforts.


We are in the process of getting our classes and the Fire and Life Safety Conference approved for ICC Preferred Provider status. This is very close to being done, and will help in recertifying with ICC as 50% of those hours must be preferred provider points.


Due to weather conditions, NFSA had to cancel a recently scheduled event with legislators in Springfield. The new date is May 1. The Illinois Municipal League will be holding the legislative day on the same day, so many mayors, managers, and legislators will be present. Members are encouraged to attend in uniform.


It is with great sadness that we recognize the passing of the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance's first Executive Director, Mary Werderitch. She was instrumental in making the agency what it is today. Today the Alliance has a very nice building in Mt. Prospect that Mary was instrumental in acquiring, However, many may not recall that prior to their current building, the Alliance was run out of the basement of her home.


“Those special Alliance memories of Mary Werderitch will always bring a smile, 

If only we could have her back with us for just a little while, 

Then we could sit and talk again at meetings... just like we used to do, 

She always meant so very much as a pioneer and original leader of the IFSA, and always will too,

The fact that she is no longer here will always cause us pain, 

She will be fondly remembered as the heart and soul of her beloved IFSA.”


Looking for more resources for knowledge sharing? Connect with the Fire Marshal Interchange. The U.S. Fire Administration is having a soft launch of the new Fire Marshal Interchange (FMI), a secure information platform allowing fire marshals from across the United States to share knowledge and information outside jurisdictions. By sharing information on the FMI with others in your profession, you will help bring awareness to – and learn about – problems and trends threatening the lives of those you have sworn to protect from fire and life safety issues. The world of the fire marshal is ever changing. The FMI provides you with a resource to collaborate with other like-minded professionals to discuss basic and oftentimes complex situations that arise throughout the nation. Interactions here can allow for better mitigation planning when confronted with significant life safety concerns.


The FMI controlled access page provides:

  • Training & Resource List Calendar and Links Section.
  • Contacts list for fire marshals nationwide.
  • Discussion Boards to share information.
  • Reference Libraries with topical categories to share documents.
  • A Multimedia section to share pictures and videos.


The FMI website resides on the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). Email to request access to the FMI. You will receive an invitation with details on enrolling. After we vet you into HSIN, we’ll notify you of your access to the FMI.


Check the website for the following upcoming events:

April 22 – 24, 29, 30 – PFLSE in Downers Grove

April 19 – Mini-sem on commercial kitchen inspections and IFIA meeting

May 31 –  ONE WEEK LATER – Understanding performance based design and IFIA meeting

June 28 – IFIA mini sem and meeting

Jul/August – No membership meeting.


Robert Morris

Executive Director, IFIA