When Jim Pauley became president of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in July 2014, it seemed a natural evolution for a man whose career has been steeped in codes and standards-related activities. With more than 65,000 members, the NFPA is the world’s leading authority on fire safety, having developed hundreds of fire prevention protocols adopted by facilities across the globe.
As he settles into what could arguably be described as his most challenging role to date, Pauley took time to answer some questions regarding fire safety in the workplace.
Continue reading for this weeks first installment in this 2 part series.
Q: You became president of NFPA in July 2014. What inspired you to take on this challenging role?
A: The mission and the passion of the people at NFPA is really what brought me here. I had been involved with NFPA for more than 20 years as a member, committee member, committee chair and customer. I had great respect for the organization.
As the search for a new president got underway, I realized that being able to lead such a great organization was really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Q: The NFPA is a very large, multi-faceted organization. Where do you plan to focus your efforts as you settle in to your new position?
A: We are a large, multi-faceted organization, but our mission is very straightforward — “Reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life.”
That mission provides the focus. I describe it in two simple ways: First, everybody comes home — our first responders, our electrical workers and the general public. Second, everybody has a home to go back to.
Are we making people safer at home? Have we educated them about the devastating impact of fire at home and how to prevent it?
Q: In broad terms, how does the NFPA help companies address fire safety?
A: I believe we do that in two ways.
First, through our codes and standards — we have many of the best practices and technical details about how to protect a commercial or industrial location from fire.
Second, we have many programs and materials that companies can use to educate their own employees about the hazards of fire both at work and at home.
Check back next week for the second half of this interview when Jim Pauley answers questions on necessary preventative action to reduce workplace fires, common pitfalls, and help breaking down NFPA Regulations.
*Excerpts taken from Robi Garthwait’s interview with Jim Pauley