Author(s): James Pauley. Published on January 3, 2017.

A Year of Transformation


If I had to use one word to describe 2016 for NFPA, it would be “transformational.”

The core of that transformation is our continued journey from a codes and standards developer to a comprehensive information and knowledge organization. To help us chart that path, we have spent a great deal of time interacting and talking with many of you in order to better understand your current needs and future expectations. This effort is essential for all of you who rely on us to do your jobs effectively, and why supplying you with key information and knowledge—through publications, training, blogs, and more—is critical to advance our mission.

A number of accomplishments from 2016 contribute to that mission. We created segment directors and technical lead roles to advance our commitment to better stakeholder engagement. We established our enforcer advisory committee and held our first Enforcers Forum, part of our commitment to enhancing effective enforcement. We introduced a new edition of the National Electrical Code® and created a new subscription-based online NEC® that includes access to the last three editions, making it easier for users to compare editions. We used your feedback to redesign, creating a website that is easier to navigate and connects users with the information they need quickly; in 2017 we will further refine it to give users more of the content they need. In cooperation with the Boston Fire Department, we developed a hot works training program to educate construction-trades workers on hot-work safety. Xchange, our online community, grew to more than 25,000 members and has become a valuable way for members and others to connect with peers and NFPA technical staff.

We were also very involved with the fire service. We completed our fourth comprehensive needs assessment survey of the U.S. fire service. We held a social media summit to bring together organizations that can amplify the important messages being shared. We held our second Responder Forum for emerging leaders in the field, as well as a successful fire prevention summit in Alabama that we will replicate in other states in 2017. We received a fire grant to study the nation’s fire data systems to see if we can develop a more comprehensive roadmap toward modernizing the collection of accurate fire-related data.

That’s just a sample of what we accomplished with our stakeholder community in 2016—no wonder so many of you tell me NFPA is now much more than a codes and standards publisher. The coming year promises even greater interaction and advancement of electrical, fire, and life safety.