NFPA Conference & Expo: Empowering fire protection

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Experience the forefront of innovation, codes, and technologies at the 2023 NFPA Conference & Expo, where industry leaders gather to shape the future of fire protection

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is set to organise its yearly Conference & Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, from June 19th to 21st, 2023. The event is a comprehensive gathering of top industry professionals, who will participate in over 110 educational sessions discussing recent developments, challenges, and trends in fire, electrical, and life safety.

The Expo, showcasing more than 300 exhibitors, will provide a platform for attendees to explore the latest products and services essential for ensuring and maintaining compliance with relevant codes and standards in the creation and operation of all types of buildings and facilities. The event will be punctuated by pavilions, presentations, and special events focusing on diverse areas like electrical safety, emerging technologies, and community risk reduction (CRR), among others.

The NFPA will also host the Spotlight on Public Education (SOPE) on June 19-20, shedding light on various public education topics such as fire prevention programs for various age groups, the effectiveness of community partnerships, and CRR strategies to enhance community-wide impact.

Following the conference, the NFPA Technical Meeting will commence on June 22, providing an opportunity for NFPA members and the general public to voice their views on each certified amending motion (CAM). Depending on the volume of CAMs, the meeting may extend to June 23, allowing ample time for comprehensive debate and action.

The Keynote Speaker

Dr. Albert Manero, the Co-Founder of Limbitless Solutions and an engineer by profession, has dedicated his life to effect global change through the power of creativity, inclusion, and empathy. His nonprofit organisation, Limbitless Solutions, aims to make 3-D printed bionic prosthetic limbs accessible to all, with a special focus on children, veterans, and first responders.

As a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate student at the University of Central Florida, Dr. Manero was inspired to establish Limbitless Solutions after learning about the high costs of prosthetic limbs. Within a year of its founding, the organisation had developed and donated its first prosthetic arm, garnering widespread attention and support, including from Microsoft’s The Collective Project and actor Robert Downey Jr.

His team’s innovative work extends beyond prosthetics to include projects like a jaw and facial muscle-controlled wheelchair for those diagnosed with ALS, quadriplegia, and spinal cord injuries, and the use of video game technology in stroke rehabilitation. Dr. Manero’s vision aims to revolutionise perceptions of science by integrating art, humanity, and aesthetics into this traditionally technical field.

The Expo

The NFPA Expo is set to be a spectacular event, creating a tangible platform for the essential products and services integral to the design, construction, and operation of various buildings and facilities. This crucial gathering will provide attendees with the opportunity to ensure they meet and maintain compliance with the prevailing codes and standards. At this premier industry event, compliance and safety intersect with innovation, offering a unique blend of educational and networking opportunities.

The ExpoAdvantage pass offers complimentary three-day access to the exhibit hall and special exhibitor presentations for those who register before June 15, 2023. Expo hours span across three days from June 19 to June 21, packed with opportunities to evaluate thousands of products, meet experts at the NFPA booth, participate in the digital passport program, attend exhibitor presentations, and much more. The Expo also presents a chance to network, grow personal and professional contacts, and uncover solutions to technical challenges.

2023 Technical Meeting

In a critical update, the 2023 Technical Meeting is announced to be a single-day event, a change that’s attributed to the number of Notice of Intent to Make a Motion (NITMAMs) received for the Annual 2023 standards. This intensive session will take place on Thursday, June 22nd, with a start time of 8:00am. The meeting will commence with the presentation of Committee Service and Special Achievement Awards, recognising outstanding contributions in the field.

Following the awards ceremony, a concentrated session of debate and presentation of certified amending motions will take place. All Certified Amending Motions, as recorded in the final Motions Committee Report, are set to be discussed and finalised within this single day. The complete agenda and the sequence of the certified amending motions will be posted on the official website, with the final details expected to be available on or before June 8, 2023.

On the agenda

The 2023 NFPA Conference and Expo is set to be a platform for engaging presentations and discussions on a wide range of topics related to alternative fuels. Attendees can look forward to sessions covering chemical and industrial aspects, codes and standards, community risk reduction strategies, and data collection, management, and utilization practices. Design and engineering considerations, along with detection and notification technologies, will be explored in detail.

Electrical safety and emergency preparedness will also take centre stage, alongside discussions on emerging technologies and issues. Energy storage systems, facility management, and the fire and life safety ecosystem will be among the key areas of focus. Additionally, the conference will address critical concerns such as first responder health and safety, hazardous materials management, and health care considerations within the alternative fuels industry. Inspection and code enforcement practices, international impact, life safety measures, and loss control strategies will also be discussed.

NFPA products and services will be showcased, and public education initiatives will be highlighted. The conference will provide a platform for sharing the latest research findings and insights, while addressing storage and warehousing practices, fire suppression techniques, and the availability of tools and resources. Transportation considerations and wildland fire management will also feature prominently, making the event a comprehensive gathering for anyone interested in the diverse aspects of fire and safety.

Key sessions

On Monday, June 19, a presentation titled “Addressing Life Safety Risks and Hazards of EV Manufacturing” will discuss the unique hazards in lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle (EV) production. James Taylor and Tanner Burke from ACS Group will present from 8am to 9am.

Another session, “Fireground Contaminant Exposure Control: National and Regional Approaches” will focus on exposure control policies and training used by fire departments. Meanwhile, “Emergency Action Plans and the Role of the Fire and Life Safety Director” will emphasize the importance of emergency action plans in protecting building occupants, from 10:30am to 12pm.

Tuesday, June 20, begins with a significant presentation titled “Constructing the World Cup – Qatar Civil Defense leads with Fire and Life Safety” at 8 am. It will delve into Qatar’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022, including extensive infrastructure expansion, construction, and renovations to ensure fire and life safety, crowd management, and stadium protection. Qatar’s Civil Defense, part of the Ministry of Interior, will share their experiences, highlighting successes and challenges in this unique event.

Later in the day a session called “Fire Alarm Contractor Shortcuts and Mistakes: How to Avoid Common Code Violations” will educate attendees on identifying and avoiding common code violations committed by fire alarm technicians. The discussion will refer to NFPA 70 (National Electrical Code) and NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code) and their practical application in the field.

On Wednesday, Lieutenant Joe Kovalsky will discuss “Mental Health Resources in the Fire Service: Tips, Advice, and More,” addressing the industry’s mental health challenges and the stigma around seeking help. Attendees will hear a firefighter’s personal journey with PTSD and treatment.

Elsewhere, Ashley Rodrigue, Public Affairs Director at Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, will present “Data-Driven Community Risk Reduction: Innovative Ideas and Action Steps,” equipping participants with tools to implement effective Community Risk Reduction initiatives, connecting theory to practice.

IFSJ at NFPA Conference and Expo

The IFSJ team will be exhibiting at the show on stand 965 and are looking forward to catching up many of you there!

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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