NFPA applauds new charitable fund to support fire service

Published on July 28, 2008
July 28, 2008 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has agreed to receive and distribute the proceeds of a new charitable fund designed to assist fire service and other public officials in participating in the NFPA Signaling Systems Project, the standards development project that develops NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®.

NFPA continually seeks the active participation of the fire service and other enforcement officials throughout NFPA’s consensus standards development activities, including the technical committees that make up the Signaling Systems Project. These “enforcers” are responsible for enforcing the requirements of the National Fire Alarm Code in communities throughout the country and provide an important perspective and voice that needs to be represented on the code development project to ensure broader consensus and a higher quality code. While there is always a strong interest from the code enforcement community in participating in consensus standards development activities, full participation can frequently be impeded by tight municipal and other governmental travel budgets.

A group of longtime NFPA supporters interested in promoting greater enforcer participation on the Signaling Systems Project have proposed a new and innovative way to address the problem of limited funding. By establishing an independent charitable endowment fund through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, these supporters hope to achieve that goal by providing an enduring funding source for enforcers. The Fund, known as the NFPA Signaling Systems Project Enforcer Participation Fund, once operative, will make grant money available to fund travel and others costs of committee members on the Signaling Systems Project who are classified according to NFPA procedures as “enforcers.“

The Fund has been designed with safeguards to ensure that recipients of funding support will retain their independence and separation from donors to the Fund. The Fund will be administered by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, which will own all funds once contributed. In order to maintain the fire service and other enforcers as independent voices for safety on the Signaling Systems Project, donors to the Fund will have no control over or ability to direct the use of the funds once contributed. Instead, proceeds of the Fund will be distributed annually by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to NFPA, which has agreed to be the designated beneficiary of the Fund. NFPA will then make grants to fund the participation of fire service and other enforcers on the technical committees of the Signaling Systems Project. NFPA will have the sole responsibility for determining how to manage and distribute grants so as to maximize enforcer participation throughout the Signaling Systems Project.

The Fund’s founders are now in the process of initial fundraising. They have set an initial fundraising goal of $250,000, with annual distributions commencing when the Fund’s principal has reached that threshold. The Fund is an independent initiative of the Fund’s founders, and the founders and others participating in soliciting funds are not agents or employees of NFPA. NFPA, however, applauds this effort as a unique approach to dealing with the perennial problem of adequate funding for fire service and other public officials participation in NFPA standards development activities. “True consensus codes means that all interested and affected groups have an opportunity to participate. A key voice is that of public safety officials and others who enforce NFPA codes and standards at the local, state and national level. NFPA is excited about this Fund and regards it as an innovative way to promote the full involvement of these important participants,” said Christian Dubay, NFPA vice president and chief engineer.

The founders of the Fund are currently soliciting donations. Anyone interested in making donations or in learning more about the fund, should contact the Fund founders directly:

Questions relating to NFPA’s planned use of the Fund’s proceeds should be directed to Chris Dubay, Vice President, Codes & Standards.

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NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

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