Author(s): James Pauley. Published on January 2, 2018.

NFPA, Evolving


For NFPA, 2017 was a year of change. We successfully continued our journey to become the top global information and knowledge organization in fire, life, and electrical safety. We introduced our new NFPA brand, and our new theme—“It’s a Big World. Let’s Protect It Together”—has resonated across the globe.

We brought many of you together to tackle key issues in fire and electrical safety. Our Responder Forum graduated a class that has addressed important issues faced by the fire service. Our “Compliance Through Collaboration” event included representatives from the electrical, fire, and building enforcement areas who examined how collaboration can help achieve safety goals over the life of a building. Our fire marshals’ forum expanded its reach to include Costa Rica and Brazil.

We are listening to you, and we are developing resources to help you do your jobs better. Significant fire events led us to create new tools for enforcers and users. After the Grenfell fire in London, we created an online interactive tool around NFPA 285, Fire Test Method for Evaluation of Fire Propagation Characteristics of Exterior Non-Load-Bearing Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components, and we introduced a tool to help jurisdictions prioritize their efforts to address buildings with this type of cladding. After a number of large fires in buildings under construction, we introduced new resources to help apply NFPA 241, Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations.

The year also brought focus to additional standards areas we’re pursuing, including active shooter incidents, the use of drones by the fire service, energy storage systems, professional qualifications for electrical inspectors, and a new guide for the performance of electrical inspections.

This year promises to be just as exciting. We will increase our investment in data and tools to help you visualize the fire problem. We will increase our efforts on community risk reduction, firefighter health and safety, and electrical safety. We will work to expand our online community, Xchange, which has grown to more than 40,000 participants.

For many of you, it’s likely we aren’t the NFPA you used to know—the more involved you become, the more you’ll recognize that NFPA is broader and deeper than you ever realized, an NFPA focused on helping you solve day-to-day fire, life, and electrical safety problems. I encourage each of you to dig deeper and learn more about what we’re doing and how we can help.

It’s a big world. Let’s protect it together.