During a speech at this year’s National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Conference & Expo held in Boston from June 12-15, NFPA President Jim Shannon spoke about the important role NFPA serves as an organization. He explained how the organization has helped bring about changes to codes and standards following fire tragedies and emphasized the importance of the residential fire sprinkler movement. “The Triangle Shirt Waist fire 100 years ago this past March, the Coconut Grove Fire here in Boston in 1942, the Hartford Circus Fire in 1944, the Our Lady of Angles School Fire in Chicago in 1958 and the Station Night Club Fire in 2003 were all horrible events in American history,” said Shannon. “But, they all led to important changes in codes and standards, public education and awareness.” NFPA’s response to the more recent fires has been a stronger push for fire protection, however, Shannon stated that NFPA is also becoming more proactive with fire protection efforts. He praised the organization’s motivated efforts to improve fire safety, including support for smoke alarms and residential fire sprinklers. Most importantly, Shannon spoke about the need for residential fire sprinklers as “the appropriate minimum safety standard for new construction” nationwide. The means by which NFPA is supporting its directive is through the advocacy efforts of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative, which aims to deter anti-sprinkler lobbying and legislation nationwide through education. Shannon ended his speech by heralding those who have contributed to NFPA over the years: “And, that brings me back to all of you who come to NFPA and bring your technical expertise, your professional experiences and, more than anything else, your commitment to our one big unifying idea: by bringing together in the NFPA process the right people with the right technical experience, we can make the world a safer place for everyone.” Read the full transcript of Shannon’s full speech.]]>