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News and Events


NFSA has a Big Fire Prevention Month!!

NFSA was very active on the news during this past Fire Prevention Month and was excited to be able to bring our Association’s message of the Fire Sprinkler Concept to the United States during 2017's Fire Prevention Week. 

For a peek at a few of the places where NFSA demonstrated the true meaning of #fastestwater including Good Morning America, take a look at the link below!



California SFPE Chapters Receive Awards

 Two of the California Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Chapters were the recipients of the Gold Award given by the SFPE Board of Directors at the October Annual meeting.  The Award for Chapter Excellence (ACE) was formerly established in 2005 to recognize SFPE Chapters that demonstrate excellence in contributing to the needs of their members and the Society. Three levels of recognition were awarded; Gold, Silver and Bronze.  The two California Chapters that were presented the 2017 Gold Award are the San Diego SFPE Chapter and the Northern Nevada-California SFPE Chapter.  The 2017 Silver Award was presented to the Southern California SFPE Chapter and the 2017 Bronze Award was presented to the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Student Chapter.  See below for the complete list of 2017 recipients.

2017 Recipients 

Gold: Austin/San Antonio Chapter, Central Savannah River Area Chapter, Chicago Chapter, Greater Atlanta Chapter, National Capital Region Chapter, New England Chapter, New York Empire Chapter, New York Metropolitan Chapter, Northern California  Nevada Chapter, Rocky Mountain Chapter, San Diego Chapter, St. Laurent Chapter, Taiwan Chapter, Tennessee Valley Chapter

Silver: Carolinas Chapter, Cincinnati Tri-State Chapter, Great Plains Chapter, Oklahoma Chapter, Southern California Chapter, Sweden Chapter

Bronze: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Student Chapter, Central Ohio Chapter, Central Virginia Chapter, China Chapter, French Chapter, Japan Chapter, New Jersey Chapter, Northeast Ohio Chapter, Wisconsin Chapter


John Corso Promoted to NFSA Director of Training!!

NFSA President Shane Ray announced in September that long-time Training Manager John Corso has been promoted to Director of Training and Education.  The appointment is due to the resignation of former Director of Training and Education James Lake who has moved on to a similar position with the Viking Corporation. 

Mr. Corso began his career with the National Fire Sprinkler Association after retiring from the Louisville, Kentucky Fire Department in 1999 with 31 years of service, the last four as Chief of the Department. As Director of Training and Education, he is responsible for the operations of the training department, in addition to, assisting in developing, implementing updating and delivering training programs to improve the understanding and comprehension of all Codes and Standards relating to water based fire protection systems. He travels extensively throughout the United States and abroad conducting training seminars to achieve these goals.

Mr. Corso is a member of the International Fire Chief’s Association, the National Fire Protection Association and the Institute of Fire Engineers to name a few. He has served in various capacities as an instructor for Fire Departments, Community Colleges and Universities, Public School systems, and the Fire Service College at Moreton-in-Marsh, England. 

Mr. Corso has traveled throughout North America and Europe lecturing on the “American Fire Service” concentrating on the numerous ways that fire services can enhance the quality of life within their communities by providing broader based community services. As such, he has received many awards and recognitions from many local, national and international groups. He has also been named in several publications related to his leadership in those areas.  He is a member of the Technical Committee on Standpipe Systems responsible for NFPA 14.



California Residential Fire Sprinkler Symposium

Held in Roseville, California!

In response to the statewide need to address and educate water purveyors, fire and building officials on issues affecting the California State Residential Fire Sprinkler Regula

tion, two symposiums were planned in Southern and Northern California in August and September. 

The Symposiums were very useful during the initial adoption of the regulation and widely regarded as a tool for educating and communicating the intent of residential fire sprinkler systems, their use and effectiveness.  Many fire officials, building officials and water purveyors became advocates of residential fire sprinklers and as a result modified their local regulations in line with the state regulations after the Symposiums held in 2011 after the regulation was adopted.

The Roseville Symposium was sponsored by Lubrizol and the California Fire Sprinkler Coalition and was held at the Maidu Community Center on September 20th.  The fifty or so attendees from throughout Northern California consisted of water purveyors, building and fire officials.  Attendees were provided with presentations on issues related to residential fire sprinkler systems from the perspective of the building official, the International Code Council, East Bay Municipal Utility District, JAS Pacific, California State Fire Marshal’s Office and Bruce Lecair from NFSA.  The subjects the panel members addressed focused primarily on water supply arrangements, backflow regulations, cross connections, solutions available to address water pressure and flow and local amendments and system design.

Additional symposiums are being planned for 2018.  


retrofit.jpgFire Chiefs Throughout the United States Meeting to Discuss High-rise Retrofit!!

Fire Chiefs from throughout the United States gathered in Minneapolis in August to listen and discuss the importance of high-rise retrofit with fire sprinkler protection as the nation has witnessed a rise in the number of high profile high-rise building fires, some of which have become deadly. In attendance were Fire Chiefs and Fire Marshals from 33 Metro Fire Departments, as well as State Fire Marshals from 6 states.

During the Summit, NFSA Director of Retrofit, Derrick Sawyer unveiled NFSA's Second Edition of the High-Rise Retrofit Guide, you can find a copy of it here:  http://nfsa.tv/retrofit/Retrofit_Guide_2017/ 

The conference focused on ways to increase the safety of high-rise buildings for residents and firefighters as well ways to prevent high-rise fires through the construction of fire sprinklers and other suppression systems. One of the attendees of this conference was Manuel Neves, the Fire Chief of the Honolulu Fire Department where in July, a fire broke out on the 26th floor of a high-rise building in Honolulu killing three people and injuring more than a dozen occupants.  The building was not required to have a fire sprinkler system because it was built in 1971.  Chief Neves shared his story about his department's efforts to fight the fire and save lives. He added other chiefs have reached out to offer their support and advice on best practices for fighting future high-rise fires. 

For more information, go the link at:  http://kstp.com/news/fire-chief-high-rise-fire-conference-minneapolis/4578415/#.WbBECBA-5Gs.email

Dennis Mathisen Appointed California State Fire Marshal

The California Governor’s Office announced in June that Dennis Mathisen was appointed as the State Fire Marshal of CALFIRE-Office of the State Fire Marshal on January 10, 2017 by Governor Edmond G. Brown Jr.   He was confirmed on June 29th by the Senate Rules Committee by a 36-0 unanimous vote.

Dennis has been a member of the California Fire Service for over 30 years. He has served as the Chief of State Fire Training, a division of the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Prior to that, Dennis served as the Chief of Public Education for CAL FIRE and managed various educational outreach programs statewide.  Additionally, he is a Type 1 information officer and has served on CAL FIRE’s incident management teams where he has helped mitigate some of California’s largest and most damaging emergencies.  Dennis has been an instructor for Sierra College in Placer County where he taught fire technology courses.

Dennis has been actively engaged in regional and statewide fire service activities throughout his career.  He is a long-time member of the Sacramento Regional Fire Prevention Officer’s Association and the California Fire Chief’s Association, Fire Prevention Officer’s Section, Northern Division.  Dennis has served as an executive board member for both organizations.  Dennis was also active with the Sacramento-Sierra Arson Task Force, the Sacramento Area Youth Fire-setter Intervention Program and the Greater Sacramento Area Fireworks Task Force.  

Dennis holds an Associate’s Degree in Fire Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management.  He is certified as a Chief Officer, Fire Marshal, Fire Officer and Fire Investigator by the California State Board of Fire Services.

See the full article at: http://calfire.ca.gov/about/about_executive_staff_Mathisen

NFSA Southwest Chapter News!

The Los Angeles Area Chapter met on October 19th at the Rio Hondo Golf and Community Center in Downey, California for a dinner meeting with reports from NFSA Area Director Jack Thacker and Southwest Regional Manager Bruce Lecair.  Members in attendance participated in a robust discussion on issues affecting the industry and received extensive NFSA reports on events and issues across the State and throughout the Nation. 

The Arizona State NFSA Chapter was held on Tuesday, November 21, at the Phoenix Fire Department Headquarters at 150 S. 12th Street in Phoenix, AZ. on November 21st.  The lunch meeting was sponsored by Victaulic’s Matthew Virtue who gave a short talk on their newest products.  The group discussion for the meeting focused on “Fire Flow and Flow Testing, what’s the difference and why it matters to Cities, Architects, Engineers, and Contractors.”  Area Director Aaron Bennett and Regional Manager Bruce Lecair discussed NFSA and National news in the fire sprinkler industry. 

Regional Manager Bruce Lecair Receives Top Honor 

NFSA Associate Director of Field Operations and Southwest Regional Manager was honored at the California Fire Prevention Training Institute’s Annual Officer Installation Banquet and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, March 16th.  Bruce Lecair was honored to receive the California Fire Chiefs Association Fire Prevention Division, Southern Section William E. Fox Award in recognition of service, leadership, and constant dedication to the Fire Service, the safeguarding of life, and fire protection. Bruce is the 10th recipient of this lifetime achievement award and the second person to receive this honor while not currently serving in the fire service.  He is recognized for his service on many Office of the State Fire Marshal and Fire Prevention Officers Committees and projects during his fire service and NFSA Career.                                                                                                                                                                                     Bruce_FOX2017.jpg

2016 California Building and Standards Code Effective Dates

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (SFM), along with other state agencies, has completed the process of developing and proposing Building Standards for the 2016 California Building Standards Codes. January 1, 2017 is the statewide effective date, established by the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), for the 2016 California Building Standards Code. All applications for a building permit that occur on or after January 1, 2017 are subject to compliance with the 2016 Code. The 2013 California Building Standards Code remains in effect and is applicable to all plans and specifications, for, and to the construction performed where the application for a building permit is received on or before December 31, 2016.

Click here for More information on the 2016 Building Standards Codes for effective date, amendments by local ordinance, or purchasing the building standards.

Click here for More information regarding the 2016 Building Standards Codes as it applies to state owned, state leased or state occupied buildings.

The general purpose is principally intended to update and codify a new edition of the California Building Standards Code (California Code of Regulations, Title 24) that adopt by reference more current editions of the model codes. The OSFM has also stated that it is their intent to adopt the latest editions of the NFPA standards, which have been finalized by the NFPA Standards Council.  As such, the State Fire Marshal will adopt the 2016 edition of the NFPA Standards.

The following NFPA standards are proposed to the latest edition and have completed the NFPA revision cycle and are updated to the 2015 edition: NFPA 13, 13D, 13R, 14, 20, 22, 24, 31, 51A, 52, 55, 59A, 61, 72, 80, 82, 99, 101, 105, 110, 111, 120, 204, 211, 241, 260, 261, 289, 318, 385, 409, 495, 498, 505, 654, 703, 720, 1122, 1127, 2001.

Changes in IBC/IFC will reflect the adoption years that California amendments previously adopted.  This includes the more recent editions of the following model codes proposed to be adopted by reference are: 

  • 2015 International Building Code (IBC)/2016 California International Building Code
  • 2015 International Fire Code (IFC)/2016 California International Fire Code
  • 2015 International Residential Code (IRC)/2016 California International Residential Code
  • 2015 International Existing Building Code (IEBC)/2016 California International Existing Building Code
  • 2015 Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC)/2016 California Uniform Plumbing Code)
  • 2015 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC)/2016 California Uniform Plumbing Code)