NFPA Journal®, January/February 2013
By Kaitlyn Greene
This year’s most important event for the fire, life safety, and electrical industries will be held at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois, June 10–13. Join NFPA experts and thousands of industry professionals as they gather for the 2013 NFPA Conference and Expo®, widely regarded as the most comprehensive event in the industry. The event combines an unrivaled educational conference with an exhibition featuring more than 300 participating companies. It’s an ideal opportunity to rub elbows with industry innovators, bend the ears of our expert instructors, and meet others who are working through the same issues and challenges as you are.
The conference includes an impressive list of industry experts and new sessions focusing on changes to 2013-edition codes, including NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems; NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code; NFPA 20, Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection; and others. The education sessions are a valuable resource for new information that you can’t get anywhere else. And by attending the sessions, you earn continuing education units to augment your professional development training certifications. Presentations include many case studies, code updates, and results from an assortment of research projects.
The general session on Monday, June 10, will feature Philip C. Stittleburg, the new chair of NFPA’s Board of Directors and current chief of the LaFarge (Wisconsin) Fire Department, along with NFPA President and CEO James M. Shannon. The featured presentation on Tuesday, June 11, will be “The Pentagon, Fire and Life Safety — Ten Years Later,” by William Fries and Ariam Kloehn of the U.S. Department of Defense. Fries and Kloehn will highlight how the fire protection and life safety features have significantly changed at the world’s largest office building over the more than 10 years since the 9/11 terrorist attack on the building and its occupants. They will address the changes made to enhance passive and active protection and life safety systems, the application and use of international building codes, NFPA standards, Department of Defense Uniform Facilities Criteria, and code “plus” additions to reach solutions.
The conference schedule offers more than 150 education sessions that you can mix and match for a customized schedule. Topic areas are covered in 12 targeted tracks, including:
Building & Life Safety
Technologies, best practices, and statistical data needed by designers, engineers, and building and fire officials responsible for plans review, inspections, and other building-related tasks.
Codes & Standards
Expert guidance on the practical application of NFPA codes and standards, as well as information on recent updates and changes.
Detection & Notification
Code requirements and design issues affecting the application of new technologies in alarm and signaling systems, and the impact of maintenance on system performance.
Best practices in the electrical industry and how they are influenced by new electrical design issues, successful maintenance programs, effective inspection techniques, and safety programs.
Emergency Preparedness/Business Continuity
The latest methods for accurately assessing risks and consequences, emergency preparedness, contingency planning, and incident management and recovery capabilities.
Fire & Emergency Services
A look at what’s new in firefighting technology, safety and preparedness for first responders, incident command strategies, and fire prevention and inspection techniques.
Fire Protection Engineering
Ideas for meeting fire protection challenges using computer modeling, field testing, post-incident analyses, and other methods for developing performance-based building solutions. Sponsored by SFPE.
The importance of proper design, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, and plans review of sprinkler system effectiveness.
How environmentally friendly initiatives affect the design, maintenance, and testing of fire and life safety systems and components.
Strategies for mitigating risk through accurate assessment of occupancy and commodity classification, enhanced reliability of fire protection systems, and other risk factors.
New planning strategies and creative solutions for meeting the challenges of effective public fire and life safety education.
The latest research on critical fire and life safety initiatives, including the reliability of emerging technologies.
The three-day expo will showcase the latest technologies and services from hundreds of the top solution providers in the fire safety, life safety, and electrical industries. Knowledgeable representatives from these companies will be available to answer your questions and offer solutions to your most pressing challenges. The expo provides you with the ideal location to see, touch, and try products, as well as to meet with a company’s technical staff. As always, the expo is free when you register in advance.
Association Technical Meeting, June 12–13
At the heart of the codes and standards development process is the Association Technical Meeting on Wednesday, June 12, and Thursday, June 13. More than 20 documents are up for review at the upcoming meeting, including NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, and NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. Other documents covering welding, fireworks, lightning protection systems, roads and tunnels, gas hazards on vessels, aircraft rescue and airports, petroleum gas, qualifications for fire professionals, and more will also be voted on during these sessions. If you’re a member of a technical committee, you’re eligible for a 20 percent discount on conference registration when you register by April 26.
The 2013 NFPA Conference and Expo also offers a variety of full- and multi-day training seminars before and after the conference. Several seminars will only be available in Chicago and are noted below. Make special note of the seminars on Friday, June 14, that will address changes to the NEC® and NFPA 25, Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, documents that will be considered at the Association Technical Meeting the two days prior. You can’t get any more up-to-date than that.
Four three-day seminars will be held on Saturday, June 8, through Monday, June 10:
Nine two-day seminars will be held on Saturday, June 8, through Sunday, June 9:
One one-day seminar will be held Saturday, June 8:
Three one-day seminars will be held on Sunday, June 9:
Two one-day seminars will be held Friday, June 14:
The Convenience of the Windy City
Centrally located with numerous flight schedules, Chicago is an ideal location to gather our national and international members. Combine that with endless dining options and reasonable hotel rates, and you have a perfect destination for any training budget. Come to the NFPA Conference and Expo for an incomparable learning experience and explore all that Chicago has to offer.
Stay on top of the Conference and Expo by visiting our blog at nfpa.typepad.com/conference. Features include new sessions, speaker highlights, Chicago info, video clips, and much more. We encourage you to use the blog to share tips and provide feedback before, during, and after the conference about your experience. You can follow us on Twitter at #NFPAConf and “like” us on Facebook. Visit nfpa.org/conference for more information.
This year’s Conference and Expo abounds with training opportunities — more than 150 classes and multi-day seminars that will earn participants CEUs as well as valuable professional knowledge — and any of them can have a positive impact on your career. Just ask Sherrill Nardontonia.
Two years ago, Nardontonia was working as an administrative assistant at WellSpan York Hospital in York, Pennsylvania. One day, she was pulled aside by the hospital’s director of engineering. The hospital had undergone seven life safety surveys over the course of a year, and the engineers needed a go-to person to manage code compliance. As someone who had never cracked a code book, Nardontonia was a little apprehensive when the engineering director approached her with the idea of taking on the job. But she was game, and took the advice of the engineers by registering for an NFPA seminar. She had no idea of the career-changing events that were in store for her.
The five-day seminar, “Life Safety Code, NFPA 99, and the SOC for the Joint Commission Compliance,” was a whirlwind of information, Nardontonia says, but it was also immensely helpful in allowing her to understand the material and to immediately begin applying it. “This seminar paved the way for me to uphold the high standards set by the director of engineering,” she says.
Nardontonia points directly to NFPA instructors Bill Koffel and Jim Lathrop for making all the difference in her learning experience. “I was captivated by Jim’s teaching style and the way he integrated stories to back up his material,” says Nardontonia, who is now York Hospital’s regulatory compliance assistant. “Bill was very professional and knowledgeable of every aspect of the codes he was teaching and impressed me with his ability to recite codes immediately when asked a question. The NFPA training experience gave me a stepping stone to bigger and better things in my career.”
For more information on NFPA training opportunities, please visit nfpatraining.org/seminars.
In this Section:
|Prepping for the Worst
Hurricane Sandy tested emergency procedures at health care facilities all along the East Coast. Can new provisions in NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities, help ensure things go smoother during the next big storm?
|Long Time Coming
On the eve of a new requirement that all U.S. nursing homes be sprinklered, a look back at 50 years of progress and the new challenges that continue to emerge.
|Rebuilding a Hospital
How key lessons learned from the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, are being incorporated into the design, construction, and emergency planning of the new Mercy Hospital Joplin.
|Chicago View: A Preview of the 2013 NFPA Conference
Scores of education sessions and seminars, hundreds of displays of products and services, and countless opportunities forprofessional networking on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan.