This decision, after almost a year of deliberation, should quiet those critics who say NFPA should stay out of the building code business and stick to developing fire and electrical codes. This argument never made sense, especially when you consider that about 80 percent of a building code's provisions relate to fire and life safety. CBSC recognized this fallacy and the important role NFPA plays in promoting safety in the built environment in the United States and around the world.
As president of NFPA, I was proud to hear so many of you and our supporters describe to the commission why you and they support NFPA and how NFPA is the organization best equipped to serve the people of California in this way. It came through loud and clear that NFPA's strength lies in our philosophy that the best decisions about safety are made, not when a single category of stakeholders makes the decisions, but when a variety of safety experts and stakeholders bring the full range of perspectives and experience to the decision-making table.
Let me be clear. The enforcement community is an essential part of our code-development process, providing both an important perspective on safety and providing invaluable insight into the practical concerns of code usability. Bringing together the contributions of the enforcement community, as well as those of engineering and design experts, academics, manufacturers, installers, consumers, the insurance industry and others in a consensus process that prevents a single interest from dominating, guarantees that the final products are codes and standards that best protect the public.
During the debate, California authorities raised another major issue: the importance of a code developer's ability to support its code's implementation and use. Developing codes is only part of the process, and code adoption is just the beginning of NFPA's relationship with a jurisdiction. In California, we're already working with state officials on amendments and tailoring training and certification programs to meet the state's needs.
While California has used NFPA codes and standards, including the National Electrical Code®, for generations, our relationship with the state will grow exponentially with the implementation of the building code, and we're eager to meet the challenges this expanded role presents.
When our Board of Directors approved the development of NFPA 5000 nearly four years ago, we knew that it would be difficult to develop the code and achieve its adoption in so short a time. We've come a long way in four years, and we're dedicated to keeping up the momentum. With the implementation of NFPA 5000 in California alone, one in nine Americans will live in a jurisdiction in which NFPA 5000 is the operative building code. We're confident that widespread use of this effective and high quality building code will powerfully advance our 107-year-long mission of saving lives and protecting property.
As we move ahead, we'll always remember why NFPA has such a reputation for quality in protecting lives and property. It's because we bring the right people together in the right process to produce codes and standards we support during their implementation and their use. It's the commitment of NFPA and its dedicated participants to safety and to the fairness of our process that led California to chose us to provide its building code and a fire code, and it's why NFPA has been the leader in safety for so many years.
James M. Shannon