NFPA World Safety Conference and Exposition 2008: When manufacturers show their cards

Paul Curry shares what he’s looking forward to at the June 2-5 conference
Sunday, June 1, 2008

LAS VEGAS--The NFPA World Safety Conference is an event that Paul Curry, never misses. Owner of SPC Inc, a fire installation company based in Jessup, Md., he goes for the educational sessions, to see the new products, and given the venue this year, to “roll the dice.”

However, perhaps most valuable are the face-to-face meetings with manufacturers, both big and small. “A lot of manufacturers hold their cards close to the vest until the show,” Curry said. “There are a lot of open houses where the manufacturer will invite you in to show you what they’re working on. This is something you don’t get to do unless you go to the show.”

It’s a casual opportunity for frank discussions. “They might want to show you something they’re not quite ready to release and they want to ask your opinion. By the time you have the second beer, you really start telling them what you think.”

Often, Curry can share insight with the manufacturers about what kinds of products will sell in his geographic region and in the specific verticals where he works.

“The needs in California are much different than in New York, and New York is different from [what will sell] in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “We can tell them that if you want to sell this in a certain jurisdiction you’ve got to change this or that.”

In early April, Curry had selected the three sessions he would attend. He told Security Systems News about his choices:

M17 NFPA’s Proposed New Project on Commissioning of Fire Protection Systems, NFPA 3. Curry said the creation of NFPA 3 is a good idea that would “even the playing field. When you go to final testing and commissioning [you know what to expect from the AHJ],” he said. He’s interested in finding out the status of the committee’s work and the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. “That’s true in all the sessions.”

M41 Getting More Out of Your Campus Fire Alarm Systems: Mass Notification Systems. “Since we do a lot of schools in my area, it’s important for me to go to see where they’re headed,” Curry said, adding that information about specifying the systems will be helpful to him.
T-88 Carbon Monoxide Detector Siting: A Technical Basis. “In the beginning, they used to just put CO detectors in homes or in small sites in areas in a lower basement, but now more and more customers [driven mainly by the insurance industry] are asking for this,” said Curry.

Specifically, he’s interested in finding out about parking garage applications.