NFPA Conference & Expo Gives Nod to Winner of the Phillip J. DiNenno Prize with a Special GFCI Panel Session on Monday
Since its inception in the 1940s, Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) have evolved into a series of sophisticated protection devices that have increased the protection of people from electric shock. It has also allowed for greater degrees of safe electrical power usage among numerous applications in all types of environments. Since its introduction in the National Electrical Code (NEC) in the 1970s, GFCIs have saved thousands of lives. This important technology received full attention on Monday during an early morning session at NFPA’s Conference & Expo in Boston. The special panel event paid tribute to the winner of the 2022 Phillip J. DiNenno Prize, Electrical Shock Hazard Protection by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Protection. The session introduced Jack Wells, primary associate at Pass & Seymour (P&S) and Henry Zylstra, author and holder of numerous patents pertaining to single-pole, two-pole, and other types of GFCI breaks. During the panel session they shared stories about their involvement in the development and commercialization of GFCI technology. Together with Alan Manche, Schneider Electric, and Steve Rood, Legrand Electrical Wiring Systems, they also discussed and helped review the role GFCIs have played in electrical safety over the years. Both Wells and Zylstra served as legacy presenters of the DiNenno prize at a special “Stars at Night” award ceremony last night at the conference. Widespread installation of GFCI protection throughout the built environment has directly led to significant, quantifiable increases in society’s current levels of electrical safety. And as the panel agreed, GFCI technologies will continue to prevent tragedies attributable to electrocutions even more so in the future. The Phillip J. DiNenno Prize recognizes pioneering innovations that have significantly impacted building, fire, and electrical safety. The prestigious award is named for the late Philip J. DiNenno, the greatly respected former CEO of Hughes Associates, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to fire safety. Read the full release about the winner of the 2022 DiNenno Prize.