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News and Events


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Los Angeles Area NFSA Chapter Honors Area Director Jack Thacker! 

The Los Angeles Area NFSA Chapter held a very special, secret and surprise dinner meeting on October 11th honoring Area Director Jack Thacker for his 12-years of service as the West Region’s Area Director.  The event organized by the Chapter’s Board of Directors, Don Becka of Qualco Fire Protection, President, Stuart Cook o Potter Roemer, Treasurer, Bruce Lecair, Secretary, and Robert Rowe, Southern California Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board and hosted by Sharon Thacker at the Thacker’s home, was a tremendous occasion.  By the way, it was also a huge surprise for Jack who had not idea of what the Chapter was up to! 

Also attending were Vice President of Engineering Mark Hopkins who presented Jack Thacker with a shirt from the NFSA E & S committee and San Francisco Bay Area outgoing President Peter Hulin and newly elected President Dave Scherson, both of Superior Fire Protection in Fremont, CA.  Jack was also presented with a plaque from the Chapter and the NFSA honoring his service and dedication as an Area Director.  The evening was a lot of fun as some great stories and tributes were shared by many of those in attendance.

Jack started his tenure as Area Director in 2006 and has been and honored member of NFSA having received both the Russell P. Fleming Award and the Golden Sprinkler Award while serving as a board member and chair of the Engineering and Systems committee as well as other committees throughout the NFSA.  In California, Jack has served on the California OSFM Automatic Extinguishing Systems Advisory Committee, NFPA 25 Work Group, the AES Fitter Certification Committee and the Water Discharge for Water-based Fire Protection Systems Advisory Committee.  

Thanks for all you have done for us Jack!!!

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Office of the State Fire Marshal Establishes New AES Advisory Committee 

Letters of Appointment to the new members of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Office of the State Fire Marshal Automatic Extinguishing Systems Advisory Committee from State Fire Marshal Dennis Mathisen.  

This committee chaired by Jeff Schwartz, Automatic Extinguishing Systems Program Coordinator, Fire engineering and Investigations Division, will serve the people of the State of California and the CAL FIRE OSFM to address issues related to fire extinguishing systems throughout the state.  NFSA members serving on the committee are Area Director Jack Thacker, Regional Manager Bruce Lecair and Jason Hudgins of Walschon Fire Protection.  The first meeting will be held on December 12th at the Office of the State Fire Marshal in Sacramento, CA.

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NFSA Welcomes Kevin Hall to the Engineering Department! 

During the month of October NFSA President Shane Ray and Vice President of Engineering Mark Hopkins announced that Kevin Hall has joined the NFSA Engineering Team. 

Kevin Hall is a registered P.E. with both a Bachelor of Science degree in 2013 and a Master of Engineering degree in 2016 Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park.  In the summer of 2012, he worked for Reliance Fire Protection (Baltimore), and worked there until this past summer.  He has worked a total of six years on the contracting side of the industry and will be an asset to NFSA and our members with his experience, knowledge and education.  Hall has also qualified for his Professional Engineer license based on his experience, which he attained last fall. 

In addition to his college education and work in the industry, he is an Eagle Scout and Salamander National Fire Protection Engineering Honor Society Member. Both of which require a great deal of dedication and hard work to obtain.  He has also volunteered on the Mount Saint Joseph Alumni Association Board of Directors where he is currently acting as their Treasurer.  You can contact Kevin at extension 131 or his email address at: hall@nfsa.org .

Nashville, Tennessee is the destination for the 2019 NFSA Annual Seminar and North American Expo on May 15-18!  Our host is the Omni Hotel Nashville located in the heart of downtown. Experience Broadway like never before! 

To register and for more information go to: https://members.nfsa.org/events.


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California Office of the State Fire Marshals Office Announces New

2019 Rule-making Package 

As previously announced in the September Southwest Regional Report, the California Office of the State Fire Marshal posted in July to advise that the SFM 2019 Title 24 rulemaking package has been posted to the Building Standards Commission website.   The 45-day comment period has come and gone, and it looks like California will be entering the next code cycle on January 1st.  I will be watching for the final notice and advising when the information is posted by the California Building Standards Council and the California State Fire Marshals websites.

 Office of the State Fire Marshal (SFM) Proposed actions.

SFM 01/18: Adopt and amend the triennial edition of the 2019 California Building Code, Part 2, Title 24, Volume 1 and 2.

  • Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) - (PDF
  • Initial Express Terms (ET) - (PDF

SFM 02/18: Adopt and amend the triennial edition of the 2019 California Residential Code, Part 2.5, Title 24.

  • Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) - (PDF
  • Initial Express Terms (ET) - (PDF

SFM 06/18: Adopt and amend the triennial edition of the 2019 California Fire Code, Part 9, Title 24.

  • Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) - (PDF
  • Initial Express Terms (ET) - (PDF

SFM 07/18: Adopt and amend the triennial edition of the 2019 California Existing Building Code, Part 10, Title 24.

  • Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) - (PDF
  • Initial Express Terms (ET) - (PDF

SFM 08/18: Amend the triennial edition of the 2019 California Referenced Standards Code, Part 12, Title 24.

  • Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) - (PDF
  • Initial Express Terms (ET) - (PDF

http://www.bsc.ca.gov/Rulemaking/adoptcycle/2018TriennialCodeAdoptionCycle/CodeAdvisoryCommitteeReview.aspx

NFSA Chapters Southwest Chapter News! 

The Arizona State Chapter met at the Phoenix Fire Department Headquarters on September 11th from for a meeting where members enjoyed a lunch sponsored by Mark Solomon from Ferguson Fire and Fabrication and received a report from Suzanne Grandahl, Water Quality Director (below) at the Water Department at the City of Scottsdale on the new code changes for backflow requirements for their city.  Chapter President Fred Graves (right) then gave a presentation on “Calculating and Reviewing Calculations of Standpipe Systems.”  Those in attendance also received reports on NFSA news and events from Regional Manager Bruce Lecair.  The Arizona State Chapter will be meeting on November 13th at the Phoenix Fire Department Headquarters from for a lunch meeting where members can discuss regional fire sprinkler issues and topics affecting the Valley of the Sun and the State of Arizona.  This will be the final meeting of the year with the next Chapter scheduled on January 8th.  

The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter met on September 27th for a special meeting at Saki’s Spin A Yarn Restaurant in Fremont, CA.  Members were invited to attend and vote for their new Chapter Board of Directors.  The new board members are, Chapter President, David Scherson, Superior Automatic Sprinkler Company, Chapter Vice President, Brandan Day, Walschon Fire Protection Inc., Chapter Treasurer, Nigel Cowan, Westates Mechanical Corporation, and Chapter Secretary, Jon Zang, Battalion One Fire Protection.  Members in attendance discussed a wide range of topics and exchanged information as well as receiving NFSA and statewide updates on the Office of the State Fire Marshal, fire prevention officers and national events affecting the fire sprinkler industry by Regional Manager Bruce Lecair. 

As you saw above, the Los Angeles Area NFSA Chapter held a very special, secret and surprise dinner meeting on October 11th honoring Area Director Jack Thacker for his 12-years of service as the West Region’s Area Director.

The San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles Area Chapters have concluded their 2018 schedule with meeting to resume in Fremont on January 24th and in Downey on February 21st.

 

Fire Prevention Officers Meet in October! 

The California Fire Prevention Officers had a very busy month of October with meetings held at both ends of the state.  The Southern California Fire Prevention Officers met at the Ventura County Fire Department, 165 Durley Avenue, Camarillo, California.  The afternoon presentation was given by Stuart Tom on “California Wildland Urban Interface!  How are communities battling the reality of increased exposure to wildland fire?”  

The Northern California Fire Prevention Officers met on Friday, October 26, 2018, 9:30 -3:00 at the Petaluma Community Center at 320 N. McDowell Blvd. in Petaluma, CA.  This was the Breast Cancer Awareness meeting where all in attendance wore something pink!  The meeting was also an opportunity for vendors from the Sacramento area to show off their latest fire protection goods and services Both meetings featured reports and news from industry and government stakeholders as well as committee reports, including a detailed report from Regional Manager Bruce Lecair

 

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Important ICC Dates to Watch! 

Are you an ICC Governmental Member Voting Representative? Chances are, if you are a code official and a current member of ICC, you most likely are your jurisdiction's voice on important safety issues. You must be validated to be eligible to vote this fall on the proposed changes. Be sure to make your community's voice heard by becoming validated by Sept. 24, 2018 and vote on proposed changes to the:

  • --2021 IBC
  • --2021 IFC
  • --2021 IRC (Plumbing and Mechanical Codes)
  • ...and more!!!!

NFSA OFFERS ALL CODE OFFICIALS COMPLIMENTARY MEMBERSHIP WITH YOUR ICC MEMBERSHIP FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2018.

THIS BENEFIT ALLOWS FULL ACCESS TO MANY NFSA FEATURES, SUCH AS:

  • Expert of the Day (EOD): Phone or email questions to fire sprinkler codes and standards experts.
  • National Fire Sprinkler Magazine: Receive a digital copy of the latest in the fire sprinkler world to learn what’s new in codes and standards.
  • TechNotes: The industry’s most relevant fire sprinkler technical issues.
  • Archives: Access to past articles, white papers, TechNotes, and more.
  • Voting guidance: NFSA provides technical guidance on the current NFPA and ICC code cycles.
  • Product Advisories: Access to all the fire sprinkler related manufacturer’s advisories.
  • Chapters: Find and participate in a local NFSA chapter, while being an NFSA member!
  • Training and events: Receive member discounts for all training! Online, on-site, and archived training. Much archived training has CEU’s.

 CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Your trial period will expire on December 31, 2018. Your membership will automatically renew as a Subscriber Member for $85, unless cancelled. You are limited to one promotional membership or coupon code.

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NFSA Chapter Grants Available 

Have an idea for how to advance outreach & promotion of NFSA’s mission within your region and through your Chapter?  What about assistance with legislative issues related to the fire sprinkler industry? Please tell us what you’d like to do!  NFSA is currently sponsoring up to $10,000.00 for NFSA Chapter Grants in supporting outreach, promotion, and/or legislative initiatives.  Successful applications must include detailed information in the project narrative, a timeline for implementation, and a project cost.  Specific details on expectations of how many people will be reached or impact effects from the implementation should also be included. All funding requests shall meet the mission of the NFSA. 

Who is Eligible? All NFSA Chapters nationwide. 

 Grant Scope and Information: 

  1. Media, outreach, information, & promotions focusing on widespread acceptance of the fire sprinkler concept.

“and/or”

Legislative proposals, issues, or defense of the widespread acceptance of the fire sprinkler concept. 

  1. The project should include some grassroots citizen action in support of the widespread acceptance of the fire sprinkler concept.
  2. Chapters would apply based on criteria established as the overall focus of industry promotion for the current political and economic environment.
  3. Grant priority will also be given to grant applications that connect to the national marketing campaign (i.e. media buys for placement of the upcoming NFSA commercial)
  4. Awardees will be determined by priority of financial cost-benefit in obtaining stated goals.
  5. The first round of grant funding will begin September 1 and will continue if funding is available, but there is the possibility that funds will be depleted in the first round.
  6. Grant applications will be accepted now and will remain open until the end of the year.
  7. All grants are subject to follow up documentation on success measures and effectiveness.

We hope you’ll consider applying for funding of projects that you are not able to fund with existing budgets.  Questions?  Feel free to reach out to Vickie Pritchett, Director of Outreach & Government Relations at pritchett@nfsa.org.  Link to the Grant Application:  https://nfsa.org/chapter-grant-application/

 

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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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NFSA has 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 .