Reevaluating Our Fire Sprinkler Training & Education
The National Fire Sprinkler Association’s (NFSA) Training & Education team (previously Learning & Development) has been busier than ever. From Florida to Washington, California to Massachusetts, NFSA staff have traveled across the country providing fire sprinkler training to our members and customers.
Whether it be NFPA 13, or one of the several other codes or standards that NFSA provides training on, one thing is certain: people are searching for quality training on fire protection systems.
NFSA’s goal when it comes to fire sprinkler training and education is simple: to provide the best training on the different codes and standards the fire protection industry uses that our members and customers value. We want people to look forward to a training program knowing an NFSA instructor is leading it.
To meet this objective, NFSA must consistently reevaluate and assess our training and education to meet the ever-changing needs of the fire protection industry. Meeting sprinkler installer or service technician wants or needs, for example, may not be what a code official or an authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) needs. For that reason, we need to focus our fire sprinkler training programs to specifically address the needs of all our members.
Reassessing Fire Sprinkler Training
Over the past few months NFSA staff have been updating and reevaluating our training and education programs to ensure we are meeting the needs of our members and customers. As part of this review, NFSA will begin offering some new (and updated) training content that are now available.
Some of the new/updated course offerings include:
Sprinkler Selection for High-Piled Storage:
NFSA has long offered training on NFPA 13 and protection of storage. The goal with this updated training is to look at the hazards associated with high-piled storage from a bigger perspective. The updated class includes criteria from the International Fire Code and NFPA 13. But also encourages active over passive learning techniques by the audience. To do this, participants will need a copy of NFPA 13 in order to be able to participate in this class (which NFSA provides).
Two-day Sprinkler Plan Review:
NFSA has offered one – and two-day plan review classes for many years. For that reason, the course needed an update that incorporated some new, more active learning strategies and techniques. The updated class includes updated Powerpoint content and photos. The two-day class also includes new plan review and hydraulic calculation content for a more hands-on learning experience.
Layout Technician Pathways (Application and Fundamentals):
Another popular NFSA class that was updated was our Layout Technician Training Class (LTTC). This class now incorporates several e-learning modules. The e-learning modules cover everything from fire sprinkler basics to understanding how to calculate hydraulic calculations by hand.
The class also includes a 3-day training done in-person (at NFSA HQ or various locations around the country) where participants can interact and work directly with an NFSA expert instructor on the different requirements involved in laying out a fire sprinkler system. Contact NFSA at Learning@nfsa.org if you’re interested in hosting a Layout Technician Pathways course.
Code and Standards Updates:
We are also reassessing the NFPA update classes that we offer. NFSA members and staff actively participate in hundreds of different NFPA technical committees. Since codes and standards change every three-years, our members have looked to NFSA to provide the most up-to-date training on significant changes that impact the work you do daily.
You now have more options to choose from to meet the needs of your staff. For example, NFSA now “bundles” NFPA update classes so you can choose which NFPA standards you want updates on. Are you looking for updates to the 2022 editions NFPA 13, 13R and 13D, we can do that! Maybe you’re looking for training on NFPA 14, NFPA 20, and NFPA 25, we can do that!
Our fire sprinkler training can be customized to meet what you and your staff are looking for. Point is, we want to give you, our member or customer, more control over the training content that you are looking for.
Finally, a fire sprinkler training program will never be successful unless there is an instructor who is not only knowledgeable, but relatable to the audience. You can rest assured that NFSA offers the best instructors who are not only knowledgeable on the topic, but also have practical experience in the industry.
NFSA staff have experience in the design, installation, inspection, maintenance, plan review and approval of fire protections systems.
Whether it be one of our Professional Engineers or NICET Certified staff, to former authorities having jurisdiction, NFSA will provide you with an instructor that will turn what can be a mundane topic like codes and standards, into an exceptional (and often fun) learning experience.
More about the author
John Swanson currently serves as NFSA’s Codes and Standards Specialist. In this role he provides fire sprinkler training and education and represents NFSA on codes and standards technical committees.
He currently serves as a Principal member of the NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code Technical Committee and is a past member of the International Building Code (IBC) Fire Safety Committee and International Fire Code (IFC) Interpretation Committee.
From 2013-2017, John served as a fire service representative appointed by Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton to the Minnesota Board of Architecture and Engineering.