Published on May 2, 2016.

The Sections

A conversation with Tom Dake of the Building Fire Safety Systems section

What fields, industries, or occupations do your members come from?

Tom Dake_CMYK_opt

About the author: Tom Dake
Tom Dake is vice president of Fire and Life Safety Operations for Superior Industrial Insulation Company in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been in the field for 15 years.

Our members come from a wide variety of different fields, industries, and occupations. Anywhere there is the design, approval, manufacture, distribution, installation, maintenance, and certification of alarm, detection, suppression, security, and smoke control systems, you will find our members.

What codes and industries are important to your section?

Codes that deal with the built environment are important to our section. This would include, but not be limited to NFPA 3, Recommended Practice for Commissioning of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems; NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code; NFPA 80, Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives; and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®.

What key code issues do you anticipate for your section in the near future?

As technology improves and buildings continue to age, matching the right technology with the building infrastructure will continue to be a challenge.

What events and activities has the Building Fire Safety Systems section recently completed, and what’s coming up for you?

Our section continues to grow. As one of the largest of NFPA’s membership sections, we are working to have more events and activities. Our meeting in June will feature opportunities to provide feedback for upcoming presentation topics, as well as discuss information for the Association Technical Meeting in Las Vegas.

What do members get out of belonging to this section? Why should someone join the Building Fire Safety Systems section?

Members can get a lot out of their involvement with this section. Networking with other members and identifying resources we can use in our day-to-day professional careers to solve problems is one of the primary benefits of membership. As with most organizations, the more you put into the organization, the more you're going to get out of the organization. Joining the Building Fire Safety Systems section is the first step toward getting these benefits.

How can section members become involved, and what is available to assist them?

Members can get involved in several ways. They can visit us in person at the NFPA Conference & Expo (; they can get involved online through the newly created NFPA Xchange (, where members can work with each other to ask and answer questions, share stories and news articles, and have general discussions about the field and what's happening; and they can submit session proposals during the call for presentations to build the content for the annual Conference & Expo to share their knowledge with peers.

Anything else you want to add?

Visit us at our booth at the upcoming NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Get involved in the section that fits your interests and careers. Each of us brings unique experiences and knowledge to the table that together make this organization stronger. When we share our knowledge with others, we further the mission and vision of NFPA. The professional relationships I have built stemmed from getting involved in the section and sharing resources.