BlazeMaster Pipe & Fittings has been a committed supporter of the fire sprinkler industry for decades. Its involvement in the industry extends well beyond supplying manufacturers to include education, research, training and support of the various organizations that represent the industry.
Yes, it’s in BlazeMaster Pipe & Fittings’ interest that the industry thrives, but our commitment goes beyond that. By promoting the use of fire sprinklers, the industry saves lives and protects property and businesses. Anything we can do to further that, we will.
Here’s a quick look at our commitment to the industry:
NFSA and IFSA
Founded in 1905, the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) is the oldest fire sprinkler industry organization in North America. It represents all facets of the business, from installers to architects, and lobbies for industry interests in Washington D.C. and state capitals. It formed the International Fire Sprinkler Association (IFSA) to encourage the use of fire sprinkler systems around the world.
BlazeMaster Pipe & Fittings has been a leading member of both NFSA and IFSA for more than 20 years. We belong to the Suppliers and Manufacturers Council, which concerns itself with such matters as product and installation standards, building codes, marketing, legislation and public relations. We also are on the Quality Assurance and Residential Committee, which studies industry quality control issues and recommends strategies for quality assurance, loss control and safety. In addition, the company has a seat on IFSA’s executive governing board.
“BlazeMaster has always stepped up and done its part on various committees and has always been generous about supporting the industry initiatives,” said Bruce LaRue, a director of NFSA and chairman of IFSA.
For example, in 2007, BlazeMaster Pipe & Fittings backed NFSA in the drive to get residential sprinklers mandated in the International Residential Code, and has been active in subsequent campaigns to keep the requirement in the code. We also provide support for NFSA’s local chapters and provide educational materials to the coalitions that advocate for sprinkler requirements with local and state governments.
In another instance, we helped make possible a 2015 IFSA grant to the Brazilian sprinkler association ABSpk to develop a Portuguese-language designer certification program.
The participation of BlazeMaster Pipe & Fittings makes NFSA more effective by making sure the suppliers’ and manufacturers’ voices are heard, said President Shane Ray.
“Participation in the process makes the organization stronger, and we’re blessed with members like BlazeMaster for their input and support,” Ray said. “They’re not only present; they participate.”
He cited BlazeMaster Pipe & Fittings’ active support of the Fire Team USA program as an example of its work on behalf of the industry. Fire Team USA, which was active from 2005-10, was an information/training conference on fire protection public policy held throughout the country, bringing together fire officials, public officeholders, building officials and other stakeholders to discuss ways to improve fire safety at the local level.
In addition, BlazeMaster Pipe & Fittings, through its work on NFSA’s Residential Committee, aided the industry in advocating for extending sprinkler laws to include one- and two-family housing units, in addition to larger multi-family units, Ray said.
We also work to ensure the industry has a trained and qualified workforce by collaborating with the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA). The group represents contractors and BlazeMaster Pipe & Fittings has been an associate member of its Manufacturing and Supplier Council since 1984.
“BlazeMaster is very involved in the association. It’s been a good partnership both ways,” said President Steve Muncy.
We support AFSA’s four-year apprenticeship training program for sprinkler fitters by supplying pipe, education videos, photos, and other materials. We train the installation apprentice finalist participants on proper CPVC installation during AFSA’s annual convention each year.
We also provide material for AFSA’s continuing education programs for managers, layout designers and field personnel.
In addition to exhibiting at AFSA’s annual convention, we work closely with the group’s regional chapters to provide training and certification.
“BlazeMaster gets involved in the local chapters and the contractors get to learn valuable information that helps their businesses,” Muncy said.
Our efforts don’t stop at the U.S. border, either.
The Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association (CASA) is the leading industry organization in Canada. While CASA primarily represents fire sprinkler contractors and installers, we are a proud associate member.
“We’ve had a long, outstanding relationship with BlazeMaster as a member,” said CASA spokesman Matt Osburn.
In addition to exhibiting at CASA’s annual conference, we work with the organization on education initiatives, teaching industry professionals about CPVC and helping installers earn BlazeMaster Pipe & Fittings certifications.
“Their staff is a clear leader from a technical point of view,” said Osburn.
Our advocacy and education initiatives also have helped the industry make inroads with Canadian homebuilder associations, which have opposed residential fire sprinkler legislation.
“CASA is very appreciative of the support BlazeMaster has shown up to this point and we look forward to continued collaboration in the future,” Osburn said.
We’re proud of the fire sprinkler industry and the associations that promote it and keep its standards high. We’re committed to maintaining our support of those organizations and doing what we can to advance the industry together.