Author(s): Scott Sutherland. Published on May 1, 2009.

"...Stormy, husky, brawling / City of the big shoulders ..."

NFPA Journal®, May/June 2009

Welcome to our coverage of the 2009 NFPA Conference & Expo.



NFPA 72: Much More Than Fire Alarms
The code gets an important revision and a new name: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.

NFPA 400: Hazardous Materials Code
Looking for one-stop hazmat fire protection for the most volatile materials?  Look no further.

NFPA Code Summaries
What does are NFPA's members buzzing about?  Our technical experts offer quick summaries of documents under consideration in this revision cycle.

Conference Education Sessions
Places to see, people to meet, notes to scribble, and knowledge to own.

Fermilab: Fire Safety at Light Speed
Visit a place that not only pushes the boundaries of physics, but also the boundaries of fire protection.

McCormick Place: Out of the Ashes
Home to this year's annual conference, the facility was also the site of a memorable Chicago fire.

 Latest conference info

The name of this year’s event may be new, but the experience remains the same: scores of education sessions, including case studies, test results, and code updates; more than 20 pre-conference seminars; 10 different conference tracks; the Association’s technical meeting; abundant networking opportunities; the Expo, with some 300 exhibitors; and special events like the tours of Fermilab and Underwriters Laboratories, and a performance by The Second City improv comedy group. In short, everything you’ve come to expect from the world’s leading fire and life safety conference.

Making it even better, in my estimation, is this year’s host city. No city can claim a more tragic, complex, or ultimately productive relationship with fire as Chicago, which has used its misfortune to create some of the nation’s most progressive fire codes. (Our host venue, McCormick Place, is the product of one of those fires, and we tell the story on page 90.) All that history is just part of what makes Chicago one of my favorite cities. That, and the beaches along Lake Michigan, the galaxy of bustling restaurants, the amusements of Millennium Park, and the sheer size and vigor of the place. “Stormy, husky, brawling / City of the big shoulders” was how the poet Carl Sandburg put it all those years ago, and that vibe is still there. I hope our coverage in the pages that follow captures some of that energy, along with the variety of NFPA’s work and the urgency of its mission.

I look forward to seeing all of you in Chicago.

Scott Sutherland,  executive editor