Introducing NFPA Global Solutions: Enhancing global safety standards

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Jim Pauley [left] and Carlos Correia [right]

The NFPA has unveiled its new Global Solutions subsidiary – but what does it mean for the fire protection industry?

On 28 March 2024, the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) announced the creation of NFPA Global Solutions™, a fully-owned subsidiary aimed at extending the reach of NFPA’s mission to reduce loss from fire, electrical, and related hazards globally. Led by Carlos Correia, President of NFPA Global Solutions, this initiative seeks to offer comprehensive compliance solutions, digital products, and advisory services beyond NFPA’s traditional offerings.

Simultaneously, NFPA unveiled NFPA Global Advisors™, a strategic business line within NFPA Global Solutions, designed to assist governments and corporations worldwide in bolstering safety, representing a strategic move to assist governments and companies worldwide in enhancing their safety systems through the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem™.

Under the guidance of NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley, and led by Carlos Correia, the former NFPA vice president of strategic initiatives now President of NFPA Global Solutions, this expansion is set to further the NFPA’s mission. In an exclusive interaction with IFSJ, NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley and Carlos Correia, President of NFPA Global Solutions, delved into the depths of NFPA’s latest strategic endeavour, and why it represents a pioneering step towards enhancing global fire protection measures, promising a broader spectrum of compliance solutions, digital products, and advisory services tailored to meet the intricate demands of the international safety community.

What motivated the establishment of NFPA Global Solutions, and how does it align with NFPA’s broader mission?

Pauley: Many of our key stakeholders – engineers, installers, authorities, fire service – have been asking for more from NFPA than our traditional offerings of codes and standards and training. NFPA Global Solutions will allow us to better support our stakeholders and further support the NFPA mission by expanding the scope and reach of our offerings, allowing NFPA to engage in activities it couldn’t as a non-profit entity.

Our focus is on tools and solutions that will help these stakeholders be able to do their jobs even better than they do today. Many entities in the standards development world have created structures that allow them to expand their offerings of services to their stakeholder base.

Can you explain the role of NFPA Global Advisors within NFPA Global Solutions and its importance to your strategy?

Pauley: NFPA Global Advisors is a business within NFPA Global Solutions that helps governments and companies establish and/or improve their systems of safety by implementing the elements of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem.

More specifically NFPA Global Advisors can help governments and companies –

  • Use codes & standards as effective tools for establishing a baseline of safety,
  • Establish regulatory, enforcement and compliance practices that support safety, including professional training and qualifications,
  • Map digital systems that simplify and improve the compliance framework,
  • Understand new and emerging risks through the application of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem that need to be addressed, from wildfire and innovative high-rise construction to batteries and other energy storage technologies.

I also think it’s important say what it is not: It’s not a design engineering consulting company.

How will NFPA Global Solutions tailor its offerings to meet the unique safety challenges faced by different regions around the world?

Correia: Every region of the world is at a different place in their safety journey. NFPA Global Solutions will work closely with each to identify the challenges unique to their business and their region to provide solutions that advance safety and positively impact the environments in which they operate.

Can you talk about the types of compliance solutions and digital products NFPA Global Solutions will be introducing?

Correia: NFPA Global Solutions will focus on:

  • Testing, inspection, and certifications services used to demonstrate compliance with standards and regulations,
  • Digital products to help NFPA customers and stakeholders in their jobs,
  • Through NFPA Global Advisors, provide services to governments and companies on how to best implement the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem™.

How does NFPA Global Solutions plan to work alongside governments and companies to implement the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem?

Correia: NFPA has a long history of working with every stakeholder group in the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem to tackle emerging and persistent fire challenges. NFPA Global Solutions and NFPA Global Advisors adds additional components that can provide more formalized support and resources to governments and companies to further the ecosystem.

What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities in expanding NFPA’s safety ecosystem globally?

Pauley: The biggest challenge to expanding the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem globally is complacency. Too often governments and others only implement necessary safety measures after a tragedy. However, the biggest opportunity is the recognition through the ecosystem that safety is a system, and everyone has a role to play. There is tremendous interest across the globe in learning more about implementation strategies for the ecosystem to prevent catastrophes and improve overall safety.

How will acquisitions and innovation play a part in the growth strategy of NFPA Global Solutions?

Correia: Acquisitions and innovations will play a major role in the growth of NFPA Global Solutions. By acquiring and creating businesses in the areas of compliance solutions, digital products, and advisory services, we’re able to offer more and different services to the NFPA stakeholder base to serve broader safety needs across the globe.

With the evolving nature of safety risks, how do you envision the future development of safety ecosystems like the one NFPA is promoting?

Pauley: We have learned something very important since we first introduced the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem in 2018 – it can be applied to almost any safety problem. Whether it’s wildfire, lithium-ion batteries, or fires in buildings under construction; the ecosystem makes sense as an approach to put the right solutions in place. It encompasses all aspects of safety.

Policymakers setting the right regulatory framework; jurisdictions using the most updated codes and standards; applying all the standards – including referenced standards; prioritizing safety across the board; promoting the development of skilled workers in design, installation, inspection, and ongoing maintenance; supporting effective code enforcement; providing effective preparedness and response capabilities; and educating the public on the dangers posed by these hazards so they can take action for their own safety.

What are your long-term aspirations for NFPA Global Solutions, and how do you see it transforming the landscape of fire, life, and electrical safety?

Pauley: In support of the NFPA mission, NFPA Global Solutions will help to transform the landscape of fire, life, and electrical safety by providing organizations and governments with additional tools to eliminate death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards, both in the current environment and as risks continue to evolve.

This NFPA expansion will benefit the safety community worldwide. As the work of NFPA Global Solutions drives greater use of, and compliance with, codes and standards, it will increase demand for many other products and services that are integral to protecting people and property around the world. Summed up in a sentence – our objective is to make sure that safety isn’t ignored.

This article was originally published in the May 2024 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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