Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB), is now a contributing blogger for the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative. Lia will regularly post about the challenges and successes he experiences in Illinois. Here’s an excerpt of Tom’s first blog post:

When I left the Orland Fire Protection District to take on a new endeavor at NIFSAB, there was no job description for me. In its meager beginnings, NIFSAB served as a centralized source for basic information and research about fire sprinkler codes and education. We also advocated for a grassroots approach to fire sprinkler education; if a fire department requested assistance or education, we responded in person the next day and offered advisory support. What has NIFSAB been up to since its inception? For starters, NIFSAB gives fire and building officials the chance to see how a fire sprinkler operates. (I was with a fire department for 10 years before seeing a sprinkler in action.) Through the use of two demonstration trailers, fire officials can witness a sprinkler system’s operation. The traveling trailers head to approximately 30 different locations each year. Other fruitful efforts by NIFSAB are the side-by-side burn demonstrations, which feature two simulated, residential rooms, one protected with fire sprinklers and one unprotected. NIFSAB conducts more than 50 demonstrations a year, from village board meetings to Fire Prevention Week open houses at fire stations.  To date, we have conducted more than 460 demonstrations over a 10-year period.
Read Tom’s latest blog posts.  ]]>