The 2016 NFPA Conference & Expo is heading west to Las Vegas and manufacturers are excited to pack their bags.

With more than 360 exhibitors set (as of pme’s press time) to display June 13-16 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, interest in the fire protection industry is at a fever pitch. Elkhart, Ind.-based valve manufacturer NIBCO will showcase an enhanced grooved butterfly valve that requires less torque and handles up to 350 psi. The company is eager to get in front of engineers and its other customers in the fire protection market during the show.

“We’re proud of our American heritage and we view the NFPA Expo as the major venue to meet with industry leaders to understand the trends and needs of fire systems as they evolve to increase fire safety,” said NIBCO’s Donald Marlow, product manager – valves and actuation.

Pentair’s Infrastructure and Industrial Products Platform Director Zeki Oral concurred: “NFPA always has been a part of what we do. We built our first fire pump nearly 100 years ago and we have been walking hand-in-hand with NFPA ever since. The expo is a perfect venue for us because it allows us to interact with AHJs (authorities having jurisdiction), system designers, operators and procurement agents.”

Oral notes the commercial fire protection business is strong and he’s also seeing “a pronounced uptick in the power market.”

“Fire protection is no different than the rest of our (country’s) infrastructure, much of it is reaching retirement. So the outlook for project work is strong,” he says. “As we see NFPA being recognized more and more throughout the world, we are experiencing many of the regional and local standards taking on some, if not all, of the elements of NFPA’s regulations as they strive to provide more adequate and reliable fire protection for their populations.”

Uponor will make attendees aware of the benefits of using PEX in 13D residential sprinkler systems. “PEX can be used in both standalone and multipurpose applications, making it extremely versatile and available for a large variety of installers, says Melisa Rodriguez, P.E., Uponor’s design services supervisor – fire.

Personally, if Rodriguez can find a spare moment during what is shaping up to be a busy show, she wants to see the enhancements and new products showcased at the expo. “I try to attend what I can under the fire protection engineering category so I can stay up-to-date on new technologies,” she states. “This year there is a session on composite insulated panels, a building material we are starting to see more and more. It presents some unique challenges for fire protection.”

Bill Flynn, who leads Rectorseal’s international firestop division, will be at the NFPA Expo and says NFPA has become important in building projects around the world.

“It is all about the code issues and NFPA is the most prestigous code around,” Flynn notes.

On the NFPA Conference and Expo’s website, the NFPA puts a spotlight on “Xtended Sessions” — 2 1/2-hour seminars that will allow for enough time and deeper discussion for important industry topics. Currently, the following sessions, which will be held June 14 from 2-4:30 p.m., will be “Xtended Sessions.”

  • T60 The Fire Investigator Becomes an Expert Witness: A Review of NFPA 921, Guide for Fire Investigation, and NFPA 1033, Qualifications for the Fire Investigator.
  • T61 Access, Egress, Duress: The Fusion of Codes and Security in the Classroom.

For more information and to register for the 2016 NFPA Conference and Expo, visit

This article was originally titled “On the move” in the May 2016 Fire Protection and Design section of PM Engineer.