Next year’s National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Conference & Expo is an especially important event for those interested in health care codes and standards. At the June 2020 meeting, NFPA members will cast important votes during the technical meeting portion of the program on proposed changes to both NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. Changes approved during the 2020 meeting will be incorporated into the 2021 editions of these codes, shaping health care regulations for years to come.

The American Society for Health Care Engineering’s (ASHE’s) Chad Beebe, AIA, FASHE, CHFM, deputy executive director of advocacy, says the meeting is critical. “Every edition of these documents is important and could pose significant hardships on your facility if an unnecessary or overly burdensome requirement slips through,” Beebe says. “ASHE has been working to align codes and standards so that there is less overlap, fewer gaps and fewer code conflicts. This work is a long process that occurs over several editions. We need votes on the floor to help us maintain the improvements we have made and ensure we don’t lose ground in our efforts.”

ASHE encourages members to join NFPA (or ensure existing memberships are up to date) and to attend the technical meeting. Only NFPA members of record 180 days before the opening of any annual, regular, special or technical meeting who have registered and paid any fees for the meeting can vote at that meeting. To be eligible to vote at the 2020 technical meeting, NFPA memberships must be in place prior to Dec. 17, 2019.

Be ready for 2020 by taking these steps:

  • Save the date of June 15-18, 2020, to attend the conference at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Talk to your leadership now about the importance of this meeting.
  • Become a member by joining NFPA before Dec. 17 to ensure you are eligible to vote.
  • Let ASHE know you’ll be attending by completing the 2020 NFPA RSVP Form