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News and Events

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Honolulu City Council passes “Mandatory” Fire Sprinkler Bill That Allows High-rise Condo Owners to Opt Out                            

The Star Advertiser posted on May 26th that a bill passed by the Honolulu City Council requires about 150 older high-rise condominiums to be retrofitted with automated fire sprinkler systems. Except that it really doesn’t.  The final version of Bill 69 (2017) allows condominium associations to opt out of installing fire sprinklers either in hallways or individual units so long as they meet the minimum requirements of the fire safety evaluation forms that would be filled out by a licensed architect or engineer and then submitted to the Honolulu Fire Department.  And those who choose to opt out could still end up paying more to make other safety improvements necessary to pass the evaluations, said Assistant Fire Chief Socrates Bratakos.

The vote on Wednesday was 8-1. Councilman Ikaika Anderson, the lone “no” vote, said he philosophically opposes the idea of requiring property owners to install sprinklers if they preferred to accept the risk of living without them.  

Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, who authored the final language, said her version was a compromise designed to address safety concerns while recognizing that requiring sprinklers could create huge financial burdens for the building associations.  “Different buildings have different conditions,” Fukunaga said after the meeting. “What may work for one building is not necessarily the solution for another building.”

About 368 residential towers, totaling about 38,000 to 39,000 units, do not have fire sprinklers, according to fire department estimates. All were built before 1975, which was when the city first mandated fire sprinklers in all new residential high-rises.  Fire Chief Manuel Neves said he would have preferred a law without opt-outs. “Of course the Fire Department wanted sprinklers everywhere, in every building — we want them in your automobiles as well, he said, drawing a laugh.  “But we’re happy. We’re going to make our community safer.”

To view the full article go to: Honolulu Sprinkler Requirement

 

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April Joint FPO/SFPE Meeting a Huge Success!

The Irish Cultural Center in San Francisco was the where it was at on April 27th as NFSA sponsored the Annual Joint NorCal Fire Prevention Officers/San Francisco Society of Fire Protection Engineers Meeting with Vice President on NFSA Engineering Mark Hopkins (above) in attendance to give a presentation on the on Changes to the NFSA Engineering Website and updates and news in the upcoming codes.

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The event was a great venue for the twelve California Supply and Manufacturers who gathered to support the event organized by Southwest Regional Manager Bruce Lecair who sponsored the event on behalf of NFSA. Those who attended and showed off their product lines were, Spears Manufacturing, Eaton-Tolco, Lubrizol, Victaulic, Flexhead Industries, Knox Company, Smoke Guard, Repcor/Watts Water Tech, Globe Fire Sprinkler, HD Supply, Pace Supply and Hydrogen Innovations.  Thank you for your support!

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The meeting was also an important day for the Northern California/Nevada Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (NCN-SFPE) who awarded the 2018 Annual Academic Scholarship to five students in fire protection engineering programs across the country:  The purpose of the scholarship is to support Fire Protection Engineering students from the greater Northern California/Nevada Region, and to promote the expansion and advancement of the Fire Protection Engineering profession. 

Students meeting the minimum requirements are encouraged to apply for the 2019 awards.  Applicants must be enrolled or have proof of intention to enroll in an accredited Fire Protection Engineering program.   For information on how to apply see www.ncnsfpe.org.

The Southern California Fire Prevention Officers met on April 11th at the Huntington Beach City Adult Center for a great meeting featuring State Fire Marshal reports, NFSA and industry reports, committee reports and an afternoon presentation from NFPA.  This was a great venue and a huge turnout for the Southern California Fire Prevention Officers.

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        NFSA Announces 2018 Award Recipients    

The National Fire Sprinkler Association has proudly announced its 2018 award recipients. The awards will be presented at the Association's Annual Awards Banquet to be held Friday, May 5, 2018.

"The fire sprinkler industry is blessed to have many strong members who have led the way over the years," explained Shane Ray, NFSA President. "Our goal is to recognize those who have served and to recognize their many contributions to the industry." 

 John (Jay) C. Livingston, a fire sprinkler contractor, was selected to receive the Golden Sprinkler Award. Jay is owner and founder of Livingston Fire Protection, Inc. (LFP). LFP is over 53 years young, an amazing achievement in any industry. Mr. Livingston has positively contributed so much during this tenure and continues to do so today. Jay has a heart of gold and lives for his family and for the fire sprinkler industry! He and his company are deeply involved in community service and have donated not only untold hours of service, but free fire sprinkler systems to two homeless centers, two residences and one school for children needing scholastic tutoring and after school places to learn (material donations were by manufacturers and distributers). Jay has written many articles published in Sprinkler Quarterly, Fire Protection Contractor, and numerous other publications. Jay is a member of the NFSA Hall of Fame and played a key role in the establishment of NFSA's Capital Region Chapter. 

The Russell P. Fleming Technical Service Award will be presented to George Stanley of Wiginton Fire Systems. George is Vice-Chair of NFSA's Engineering & Standards Committee and has worked at Wiginton Fire Systems since 1973. Under spoken yet focused on technical solutions on behalf of the NFSA and the entire fire sprinkler industry, George has held every sprinkler contractors position within Wiginton and has served steadfast for 45 years. 

The Leadership in Public Safety Award is the NFSA's highest award to a fire official or advocate and will be presented to Charles Hood, San Antonio Fire Chief. Hood was instrumental in efforts to retrofit residential high-rise buildings in San Antonio following the tragic Wedgwood fire in 2014. He and his team have worked to identify all high-rise buildings in their fire district that are not protected with fire sprinklers and are now working to bring all those buildings up to code with the inclusion of fire sprinklers. 

Hall of Fame recipients will also be honored. Hall of Fame inductees have contributed nearly all their working lives to improving the fire sprinkler industry. 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees include: Rich Ackley, Dalmatian Fire Neil Cahill, National Fire Sprinkler Association Frank J. Fee, III, Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc. John Joyce, Geo. M. Robinson & Co. George Leaverick, Underwriters Laboratories Art O'Neil, Automatic Sprinkler Corporation of America and Cary Nicol, Viking SupplyNet 

 

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NFSA Chapters Meet in March! 

“S.F. Chapter honors John Joyce Sr.”

The Arizona State Chapter held their March meeting at the Phoenix Fire Department Headquarters at 150 S. 12th Street in Phoenix, Arizona on March 20th.  The meeting was an open forum style event with discussion on local issues related to the fire sprinkler industry and a report from Regional Manager Bruce Lecair.  The next meeting will be held on May 15th followed by meetings on July 10th, September 11th, and concluding the 2018 schedule on November 13th.

The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter held their meeting on March 22nd with NFSA President Shane

Ray and Area Director Jack Thacker in attendance.  Reports were held to a minimum as this was a special night for the Chapter to honor the family of NFSA Hall of Fame Inductee John Joyce Senior who passed earlier this year.

 Mr. Joyce began his career at the age of 18 and served in the industry for over fifty years.  He was President of George M. Robinson & Co starting at the company in 1959 and working in virtually every capacity.  He was a long time NFSA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter member and former Chapter Chairperson.  He also served as Chairman of the UA Local 483 Sprinkler Fitters Apprenticeship Committee and as Trustee of the Pension Fund.  He was instrumental on establishing the Work Recovery Program.  

The family of Mr. Joyce was presented with their father’s 2018 NFSA Hall of Fame Plaque by NFSA President Shane Ray.  Those in attendance were given a few insights and kind words to the Joyce Family from Jack Thacker, Shane Ray and Chapter President Peter Hulin.

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NFSA has new links for Tax Reform Information!

Below are links to the latest NFSA resources that share about fire sprinkler incentives in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  NFSA recently conducted meetings in Washington, DC and are hopeful that the technical corrections will indeed be realized this year.  Congressman Brady (Chairman of House Ways and Means) is a strong advocate and our team at NFSA is continuing to work with him to obtain changes in the law that will enhance and promote fire sprinklers.

In the meantime, we continue to share the good news for small business owners that Section 179 provision listed in the bill are correct.  NFSA is hearing of buildings across the United States have are already being retrofitted with fire sprinklers because of this incentive.

All new resources are available on our website in the tax reform section www.nfsa.org/taxreform .

 

California Fire Prevention Officers and Industry

Meet in Buellton at CFPI!

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This year’s California Fire Prevention Institute’s (CFPI) Conference held in Buellton, California during the week of March 12-16 was an enormous success and a very busy week of classes, committee meetings and coalition meetings with some fun and networking squeezed in.  The 37 classes ranged in topics from 13D systems to management of fire prevention divisions.  The National Fire Sprinkler Association was a silver sponsor and was very visible throughout the conference attended by Associate Director Bruce Lecair and Northwest Regional Manager Suzanne Mayr.  

Bruce Lecair led off the week on Monday morning teaching a NFPA 24 Underground Fire Service Systems class.  The 4-hour class was attended by 60 students covered the updates and information contained in NFPA 24.  On Tuesday, Bruce gave an update on NFSA news and events at the California Fire Sprinkler Coalition CFPI Face to Face Meeting attended by members of the Coalition from the Northern and Southern California FPO’s, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Supply and Manufacturers, and other stakeholders across the nation including NFPA and ICC.

On Wednesday Bruce co-moderated the two 2-hour annual Hot Topics Fire Sprinkler Forums with topics pertinent to fire sprinklers in California and issues that are important to AHJ’s throughout the state.  The topics included updates on subject matter such as the AES Fitter Certification Program, an update from Viking, a Home Fire Sprinkler Day Update and a forum of open topics related to the fire sprinkler industry. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Regional Manager Suzanne Mayr set up and hosted a fantastic tabletop display and handed out NFSA materials and information.  “I couldn’t have done it without her!!” 

On Thursday evening the Annual Officer Installation Banquet and Awards Ceremony was held and on Friday a few more classes were given before everyone headed for home.  All in all, the conference was a very productive week and a major event.  Next year’s conference will be held again on March 11-15 in Buellton, California at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. 

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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.

 

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)