Author(s): James Pauley. Published on January 4, 2016.

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Recapping a few of the highlights from a busy 2015. BY JIM PAULEY

THE YEAR 2015 was my first full year as president and CEO of NFPA. Many people have asked me what it was like to arrive at NFPA after a 30-year career in the electrical industry, and if I’d make the same choice again. My answer is simple; if you’re going to leave a three-decades-long career in one industry to do something else, leading NFPA would be the best possible thing to do. I would make the same decision again in a heartbeat.

NFPA has accomplished much in its 120-year history, and we have a lot yet to do. Last year marked the beginning of our journey to accomplish more for fire and electrical safety. A few of those accomplishments:

» We introduced a new vision and mission for NFPA that will take us into a new era as an information and knowledge organization. For many years, NFPA has done much more than just develop codes and standards, but this shift recognizes the vast opportunities around information and, more importantly, recognizes that codes and standards are not just books but are themselves collections of information and knowledge.

» We reoriented our strategy to be fully stakeholder focused. That means having a deeper understanding of what all of you do each day and working to find solutions that can help you make decisions and make your jobs easier. The strategy encompasses all of our stakeholders but takes on a special focus with the enforcement community and the first-responder community.

» We changed our annual Conference & Expo to drive more stakeholder focus and involvement; many of you provided us with great feedback in answering the question about what NFPA should be doing for you and with you to advance fire and electrical safety.

» We heightened our focus on data and added experts to NFPA’s staff with a deep understanding of data and the role it can play for an information and knowledge organization.

» We extended our Firewise wildfire program into nearly 130 new communities.

» Our Fire Analysis and Research Division produced 20 reports, completed a Wildfire Needs Assessment Survey, and began the five-year Fire Department Needs Assessment Survey.

» The Fire Protection Research Foundation completed nearly two dozen research projects and co-authored, with NIST, the “Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting.”

» We continued to exemplify the consensus codes and standards development process. We held more than 250 technical committee meetings in 47 cities with nearly 6,000 people attending, impacting 154 standards.

I want to offer a special thanks to the National Electrical Code® technical committee. As many of you know, this is our largest standards project. As I write, the committee just completed its second-draft meetings. For some fascinating stats around the NEC process so far, visit

We made progress last year, and the we is all of us—you, NFPA employees, the NFPA board and leadership, and our thousands of volunteers and partners who support our work each day. Here’s to a successful 2016.