2016 NFPA Conference & Expo aims 
to 'spark' interest of professionals

The NFPA Conference & Expo will bring together professionals from all ends of the spectrum — design, construction and building operations. The goals of this year's event are to facilitate discussions of standards and codes, as well as give them a chance to connect with exhibitors and network. The expo features more than 300 solution providers that reflect the full range of NFPA codes and standards. Attendees are encouraged to join their peers under the same roof at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas June 13-16.

The keynote presentation, “Eyes in the Sky, On the Ground and Under the Waves,” is sure to grab attendees’ attention, focusing on the latest and greatest in prevention, response and monitoring technology that will improve fire and disaster response on the design lines and front lines. 
Don’t miss a chance to be a part of the featured presentation, “Smart Data for Smarter Fire Protection,” which takes place on June 15 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Bart van Leeuwen, “semantic firefighter” and owner and data expert at negatage.nl discusses how big data and advanced analytics help keep communities and firefighters safe. 

The expo has an exhaustive list of education sessions to choose from. The following is a small taste of some the educational sessions.

Lithium Ion Batteries in Energy Storage Systems: Assessing the Hazard

On June 13, Richard Long and Andrew Blum, of Exponent, Inc., will focus on energy storage as an integral component to a resilient and efficient electrical grid, resulting in a greater need for services best provided by energy storage systems (ESSs). This presentation summarizes a hazard assessment of Li-ion ESSs, including a literature review and gap analysis and fire testing.

Assessing Environmental and Economic Impact: A New Tool for Fire Service

In this session, also to be held June 13, Francine Amon, of the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, will highlight the heightened concern for the environment as new levels of contamination are revealed. This session aims to explain a tool that enables fire departments to estimate the value of their services to a community in terms of environmental and financial impact.

Early Wildfire Detection: Case Studies from Around the World

On June 14, Brendan Kramp, of Insight Robotics, will present case studies from communities in North America, Australia, and South Africa with significant wildfire risk that highlight how automation and thermal technology have been used to detect fires early and mobilize a first response. Attendees will be able to identify the key considerations required when evaluating technologies to protect trees, property and lives.

Evaluating Fire Performance of Green Building Features

Also on June 14, Praveen Kamath and Nicolas Dembsey, of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Michael Gollner, of University of Maryland, will discuss a three-year project funded by DHS to investigate specific green building features that may be of concern to firefighters. They will address preliminary outcomes from large-scale fire experiments on green structural systems of domestic housing, and smoke movement in naturally-ventilated atria and large spaces.

Aging Populations, Independent Living, Home Health Care, Safety and the Residential Environment

On June 15, Amanda Kimball, of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and Robert Solomon and Jonathan Hart, of NFPA, will  examine emerging trends in residential, health care, independent living and safety communities and create a vision for the future of safe living in an independent environment. 

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Firefighter: Prevalence, Correlates, and Points of Intervention

Melanie Hom and Ian Stanley, of Florida State University, will open up about how suicide among firefighters has been a growing area of concern. This session will present findings from the study, including career prevalence rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors; demographic and occupational factors associated with increased suicide risk; rates and correlates of help-seeking among at-risk firefighters; and the role of PTSD in conferring suicide risk. Points of intervention (e.g., social connectedness) will be highlighted. This session will aslo take place on June 15.

Speaking of presentations, not only will the expo feature ongoing educational presentations, but there will also be exhibitor presentations on the exhibit floor. Current product discussions include Grundfos, Promat Inc., Air Balance Inc., Det-Tronics, Controlled Roof Vent LLC and Oval Brand Fire Products. Be sure to review the full Exhibitor Presentation schedule online, as it updates frequently.

Finally, attendees will get a chance to win $1,000 in cash, sponsored by EDWARDS Alarm & Detection and FM Approvals. A winner will be drawn every day of the expo, and all attendees need to do is complete the ballot that comes in their tote bags and drop it off at the EDWARDS booth (1101). Drawings will take place at the Grand Prize Stage on June 13 at 7:45 p.m.; June 14 at 3:45 p.m.; and June 15 at 1:45 p.m.

For more information, visit www.nfpa.org/training/conferences/conference. 

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