Fire sprinkler expo to make history

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Friday, July 27, 2012

PATTERSON, N.Y.—The National Fire Sprinkler Association, the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association and the new Mexican Fire Sprinkler Association plan to make history next year by partnering to host what is being billed as “the first-ever North American Fire Sprinkler Expo.”

The event will be held next April in Las Vegas in conjunction with the NFSA Annual Seminar.

“We want to highlight the three countries coming together,” Russ Fleming, the new president of NFSA, told Security Systems News. He said the NFSA Annual Seminar and North American Fire Sprinkler Expo will mark “the first time in the history of the industry” that contractors, suppliers and manufacturers from all over the continent have the chance to meet in one place to network, conduct business and learn.

Fleming in March became the new president of NFSA, based here, replacing John Vinello, who retired after 28 years on the job.

Fleming said the NFSA has always had a strong relationship with its Canadian cousin, CASA. “In fact,” he said, “we helped start that organization 51 years ago … and we’ve had several of our board meetings in conjunction with their annual meeting and they’ve always sent a pretty healthy delegation to our annual seminar as well.”

He continued, “They indicated several years ago that they were interested in having their annual meeting at the NFSA Annual Seminar and Exhibition.” The NFSA adds an exhibition to its seminar every other year, and the event is slated for April 4-6, 2013 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Then, this year, the Mexican Fire Sprinkler Association was formed, Fleming said. The sprinkler industry is small there, “but growing very fast,” he said.

“It seemed like a natural tie-in,” he said, “since that organization had been formed and since we were already having the Canadian association joining us in Las Vegas, it seemed like a good idea to invite the new Mexican association as well, and then combine the associations of the three countries into one big expo. This way, manufacturers and suppliers can reach industry leaders from all the countries at the same time.”

The event is still in the early planning stages. Fleming said the NFSA seminar and expo usually has about 100 exhibitors and as many as 1,500 attendees. Now, with all three associations involved, he said, “we’re hoping to have more than that.”

For more on the event, go to www.nfsa.org.