Author(s): James Pauley. Published on May 1, 2020.

Fundamental Shift


Words cannot describe the past few months as COVID-19 took hold across the globe and changed life as we knew it. During this time, you likely saw lots of information and resources coming out of NFPA at an intense pace, from fact sheets and white papers to videos and podcasts, as we responded in real time to the needs of health care professionals, AHJs, first responders, and many others who rely on NFPA to do their jobs safely and effectively. The variety of resources we were creating demonstrated what we are now able to produce on a regular basis.

It was also a precursor to the future. We are in the process of fundamentally transforming the way we deliver information in this digital age. We know, as you do, that a physical code book or a static digital version of a code are not the best ways to help stakeholders solve problems in real time. Technology is rapidly changing the way we all work. We know you want information faster, on different platforms, and in different languages. We also know you don’t just want the text of a code or standard: you need context and insight that can help you understand problems and develop solutions.

You may have already noticed the shift NFPA is making, one that will become more evident in the months ahead. We have been working hard to create a new way to deliver our content. It will be digital, more connected, and subscription based. This means you will have greater access to a wider array of material than you have today, and you will have it at your fingertips. Our chief objective in all of this is to better serve you.

These changes support our mission in other ways, too. NFPA is a self-funded non-profit, meaning that our critical mission work—including research, public education, and facilitating the development of codes and standards—relies on NFPA generating revenue from the sale of codes and standards, training materials, and certifications. Increasingly, though, that revenue is threatened by the distribution of unauthorized copies of NFPA codes and standards. Riddled with inaccurate and misleading information, these copies can compromise our fundamental safety mission and put us all at risk. Coupled with ongoing challenges to copyright protection, it is time for us to do our work differently. In doing so, we will maintain our essential collaboration with all of you to make the world a safer place.

More to come.