IFSJ Exclusive: Creating the NFPA LiNK

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With new features added, IFSJ takes a look at the NFPA LiNK platform

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently announced enhanced features and a supporting YouTube channel to NFPA LiNK, its subscription-based application that delivers digital NFPA codes and standards, expert commentary and supplemental content. The NFPA LiNK YouTube channel is designed to complement NFPA LiNK by providing tutorials and quick-start video guides for optimising NFPA LiNK.

Iain Hoey, Editor at IFSJ, spoke the Kyle Spencer, Director of NFPA LiNK to find our more about the online learning platform and its recent upgrades.

What is NFPA LiNK?

A digital platform providing instant access — via your favorite device — to NFPA codes and standards, plus exclusive expert commentary, visual aids, and more.

Why was it developed and who is it for?

The digital tool enables fire and life safety professionals to easily navigate and understand code requirements based on real-life situations. The platform was developed to streamline workflows, solve industry challenges, and encourage continuous education past traditional handbooks. NFPA LiNK’s capabilities were also developed to simplify communication and collaboration amongst teams, ultimately increasing workplace efficiency.

How does it work?

In NFPA LiNK, users can store content for offline viewing, curate content, bookmark, add notes, share, and collaborate. NFPA LiNK is continuously updated with the latest codes and standards information, enabling workers to always perform their jobs accurately and efficiently. The search feature allows users to quickly search all NFPA code books by keyword or phrase – eliminating time spent scanning physical pages to find answers – and users can filter their search to further refine code content results.

NFPA LiNK is a progressive web application (PWA), which is an enriched application software that is delivered through a web browser. This all-in-one solution allows NFPA LiNK to be delivered to all devices and does not require the installation of an application through an app-store.

What content is available on the platform?

NFPA LiNK provides digital access to 1,500 codes and standards publications dating all the way back to 1993. This includes the most current edition of every code and standard. In addition, NFPA LiNK users have access to 43 documents translated in Spanish, mitigating the challenge of a language barrier during the design-build process.

NFPA LiNK also provides several learning opportunities for subscribers to keep their knowledge growing in a world that is constantly advancing. NFPA DiRECT is a section of the digital tool allowing access to industry-specific scenarios and illustrations. Users who have a Team subscription also have access to team collections where their peers can share industry knowledge, enabling a continuous flow of collaboration and education among teammates.

What are some recent additions to the platform?

The most recent additions to the platform consist of navigational improvements and code change indicators. The NFPA LiNK team is continuously implementing user feedback to improve and personalise the platform to fit the needs of the end-users, as seamlessly as possible. Three new code change indicator tools were recently added to NFPA LiNK. Subscribers can view the prior code edition side-by-side with the current edition to identify and understand changes made to codes.

Additionally, users have access to change summaries which provide detailed explanations to why the changes to the code were made. Lastly, a new indicator was added for Tentative Interim Amendments (TIA), allowing users to make a quick comparison of the original text and the amendment.

Why was the YouTube Channel launched and what can people find on there?

The NFPA LiNK YouTube Channel was launched to provide industry professionals with supplemental content and encourage ways to maximise the use of the platform. The channel offers tutorials, quick-start guides, and explanations to industry specific codes, classifications, and requirements. The channel also serves as a visual guide to future and potential NFPA LiNK subscribers.

Are there any plans to further develop NFPA LiNK?

NFPA LiNK is continuously being updated to include new features that improve the user experience and enable users to work seamlessly and safely. NFPA is constantly searching for user feedback and creating plans to adjust and advance the platform based on the preferences of its everyday users.

Why should people use NFPA LiNK?

People around the world have turned to NFPA codes and standards to do their jobs efficiently and effectively for more than a century. As the world around us is constantly evolving, being able to adapt and grow as an employee will set organisations up for future success. At NFPA, we found that digital transformation solves our challenges rather than creating them. Other leaders may find they are able to create a more meaningful customer experience or interpret their business data more efficiently.

NFPA’s approach to implementing NFPA LiNK was to create a tool that requires little to no training, is easy to access and navigate, and provides tangible value to employees’ daily operations. Digital transformation looks different for everybody; however, the implementation should aim to improve functionality, add value and drive innovation.

This exclusive article was originally published in the June 2023 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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