2019 NFPA Conference and Technical Meeting

I have been in the fire sprinkler industry for 21 years and this was my first visit to the NFPA conference. The conference was held at the Henry B Gonzales Convention Center located in San Antonio Texas. The expo floor was packed with about 350 vendors, there was educational sessions, and of course the NFPA technical meeting. The attendance was rumored around 6,500 consisting of industry experts, AHJs, building management, building owner’s, contractors and many more.

Expo Floor

One of the best parts of the conference is the educational sessions. Over three days there were more than 100 different educational sessions to choose from. The sessions covered many aspects of fire protection, wildfires, community risk reductions, electrical safety and stored energy, just to name a few. I was able to attend several sessions given by some of the best industry experts. Most of the sessions I attended were Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) related such as data collection for ITM, connected technologies for water-based fire protection systems, Fluorine free foams, oxygen reduction systems, NFPA 25-2020, and fire pump testing requirements. There was no shortage of good industry related conversations as well as time to mingle with some of the brightest leaders in the fire protection industry.

One of the biggest reasons to attend the conference is for the technical meeting held the last day of the expo. During this meeting any NITMAMs (Notice of Intent to Make a Motion) that were accepted as CAMs (Certified Amending Motion) were heard by the NFPA committee and voting members. During the technical meeting, the floor is open to debate as to why a specific CAM should or should not be amended to a standard.

Technical meeting

Once a CAM is heard on the floor the NFPA members can vote to accept or reject the CAM. For this year’s technical meeting there were 11 standards that had CAMs to be heard on the floor, five of these CAMs were for NFPA 25-2020 edition.

  • CAM 1- The motion was to remove the requirement to inspect for the general information sign.
    • This motion failed
  • CAM 2- The motion was to change language approve by the NFPA 25 technical committee in the 2nd draft report requiring that a fire pump that does not meet system demand be deemed an impairment.
    • This motion failed
  • CAM 3- This CAM was removed by the submitter, therefore no vote was needed
  • CAM 4- The motion was to add language in NFPA 25 that was extracted from NFPA 72 requiring a 90-second maximum time for a flow switch to activate.
    • This motion passed
  • CAM 5- The motion was to add adoptable language in annex G should a jurisdiction want to implement a color-coded tagging system.
    • This motion passed.

Terry Victor of Johnson Controls (JCI) speaking at the technical meeting.

There will be approximately 80 approved changes/additions out of 177 public inputs submitted for the NFPA 25-2020 edition.

If you have never attended an NFPA conference you should make plans for next year which will be held in Orlando Florida, June 15-18 2020, you will not be disappointed.