Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Nov/Dec 2023 - 52

FIRE SIDE CHAT by Shane Clary
SMARTS & PARTS
Industry Relations Reps, Committee
Members Perform Critical Functions
This article should be considered an editorial. The views expressed
are the author's and not those of Security Sales & Integration.
THE FIRE DETECTION, fi re suppression and fi reprotection
industry relies, in part, on a small but
dedicated group of individuals. They spend many hours in
meetings - both live and virtual - to address potential changes
to the codes and standards that mandate where life-safety
systems are required and how they are to be installed.
The work that they perform also leads the way for new
technologies to be used going forward. This work is performed
through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the
International Code Council (ICC), Underwriters Laboratories
(UL) and other Nationally Recognized
Testing Laboratories (NRTLs).
Educate and Regulate
These same individuals develop
seminars and webinars to educate
the industry and those who regulate
the industry: the Authorities Having
Jurisdiction (AHJs). They also develop
education for these systems' end users.
In addition to working on codes and
a fi re-alarm system took two cycles of NFPA 72, National Fire
Alarm and Signaling Code, to be approved. This was six years.
At the present time, a new standard for fi re protection within
cannabis facilities is under development within the NFPA process.
It will be around four years from the time that the project
started for the standard to perhaps be released by the NFPA. I
discussed this standard, NFPA 420, in a previous article.
standards, they might also be involved
with regulations and laws at the state
and federal levels. They also participate
in work at the international level
through organizations such as the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the International
Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical
Commission (IEC).
The individuals whom I am writing about are in industry
relations.
There are also those who contribute to one or more committees
whose members meet from time to time to make changes to
the codes and standards that govern the fi re-protection industry.
The laws, regulations, codes and standards are not developed
by themselves. They are not written through some artifi cialintelligence
application; rather, they are framed through consensus
with the participation of all involved parties: manufacturers,
AHJs, architects, engineers and other industry experts.
The consensus does not happen overnight, nor does it
happen within a week or even within a month. The allowance
of the use of digital dialers for the transmission of signals from
Become involved.
The others whom you
feel will be taking
care of it might not
be doing so.
NFPA 915 Recently Released
For new technology, NFPA 915 was recently released. This standard
is for remote inspections of fi re-protection systems. The
development of this standard took three years.
The work of promulgating codes and standards is unlikely to
reach the bottom line on the plus side
for a number of years. There is the
expense of the work, which is seen on
the balance sheet. But, over time, the
work in the code and standards arena
shows benefi t.
First and foremost, the benefi t is improved
life safety. The goal of any code
or standard regarding fi re protection is
to save lives and protect property. Over
time, new technologies can increase
system eff ectiveness.
The work of one who is in industry
relations can also include educating
the community of engineers, property
developers, architects, contractors,
end users and AHJs on fi re protection equipment, systems, and
the intent of the codes and standards. This is important work.
A Call for Helpers
The fi re protection industry needs more - not fewer - individuals
in roles like this. Even fi rms that install and maintain
these systems need to be involved with this work. The various
technical committees that develop and maintain the NFPA
codes and standards need subject-matter experts to serve on
the committees. The commitment of being on one committee
entails between two and four meetings during a three- to fi veyear
cycle. There are also the codes that are developed by the
ICC. Every three years, they come up for renewal, at which time
proposals can be submitted for changes to the documents.
Become involved. The others whom you feel will be taking
care of it might not be doing so. SSI
SHANE CLARY, PH.D., is an SSI Industry Hall of Famer and has more than 45 years of security and fi re alarm industry experience. He serves
on a number of NFPA technical committees, and is vice president of codes and standards compliance for Concord, Calif.-headquartered Bay
Alarm Co. He can be reached at smclary@bayalarm.com.
52 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | Nov/Dec 2023

Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Nov/Dec 2023

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