Security part of focus of 2004 NFPA show

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Wednesday, October 1, 2003

QUINCY, Mass. - In a nod to its development of security standards, its first significant movement in the security space, the National Fire Protection Association is devoting a portion of its floor space at its next trade show to security products.

Show officials said they expect to see between 30 and 50 companies in the Security Pavilion at the 2004 World Safety Conference and Exhibition, held May 23-25 in Salt Lake City.

“We know that there is a contingent of security product suppliers in the fire show,” said Jerry Carter, exhibition director for ROC Exhibitions, the producer of the World Safety Conference. “We are doing this to try and enhance this aspect of the show and also to try to lend support to the security codes in development.”

The codes, NFPA 731 Standard for the Installation of Electronic Security Systems and NFPA 730 Guide for Premise Security, are two proposed documents developed by an NFPA Technical committee. If adopted in a final vote of NFPA membership in 2005, the proposed codes could serve as an industry-wide standard for equipment installations in the security industry (see related story on page 1).

An organization traditionally known for its fire and life safety code setting operations, the NFPA “sees the opportunity to expand our audience,” said Al Sears, vice president of meetings for the association.

“We are also adding some security programs to our safety track of educational programs,” Sears said, “in the hopes of attracting people that have not been in the show previously and building on the success of the premise security codes as they go down the line.”

The presence of security products won’t be the only new aspect of the 2004 show. This the first year of ROC Exhibition’s production of the show, following a joint venture between that company and the NFPA to produce the Americas’ Security Expo and the Americas’ Fire Expo, held in July.

Attendance at the 2003 show in Dallas topped out at 5,500 attendees, down from previous years, Sears said, which is attributable to the sluggish economy, and low budgets and low staffing levels of many states and municipalities.

The 2004 show will also feature a pavilion centered on the National Electrical Code, which the NFPA also develops.