It was a jam-packed four days at the 2017 NFPA Conference & Expo June 4-7 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

More than 370 companies displayed their products on the exposition floor and the NFPA held more 150 educational sessions offering CEU credits throughout the fire protection industry’s annual major event.

On the opening afternoon of the Expo, NFPA President Jim Pauley gave his President’s Report address and noted Boston holds a special place in the organization’s heart as its right near the original headquarters of NFPA.

Pauley noted how major fires throughout history have helped the organization, and fire- and life-safety measures evolve.

“We know our work is not done,” he noted. “We are painfully reminded each day that we have not solved the fire problem. Think about just about the fires that occurred from the time we met last year. We have more work to do.”

Pauley reported that NFPA will be making upgrades to its website, including providing digital content that is tailored exclusively to members and their job duties.

Erin Baumgartner, the assistant director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSEable City Laboratory, was a keynote speaker at the Expo. The SENSEable City Lab tries to understand the effect of digital technology on the urban environment.

“How do we find ways to analyze the space where digital meets physical?” she asked to the assembled members.

Baumgartner discussed one of her team’s projects that included 50 Seattle residents bringing in their trash — including everything from bagels to old TVs. The waste was tagged with GPS trackers and the group was able to monitor where the items went all over the world.

The major electronic items was shown via a dynamic graph to go from Seattle all the way to Florida and across the ocean — which is illegal — to Malaysia, Taiwan and other regions.

“If we want people to get on board with the things we’re trying to show, you have got to find a way to make data more exciting,” Baumgartner states. “Nobody looks at (the trash visualization) and says, ‘This is a good system. That looks efficient to me.’”

The 2018 NFPA Expo is set for June 11-14 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.


For the full image gallery from the 2017 National Fire Protection Association Expo.