The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently published a report based on the May 2018 Building Safety and Security Workshop, which Energetics had the opportunity to support. Energetics’ staff assisted the NFPA with developing meeting content, facilitated small-group sessions for detailed discussion, and drafted the final workshop report.

The NFPA’s primary goal is to prevent loss of life and property due to fire and related hazards. In response to the mass shootings that occurred during the first half of 2018, the NFPA hosted a workshop that brought stakeholders together to discuss adapting traditional safety and security systems to address the disturbing escalation of violent events. More than 40 participants from various professions gathered in Quincy, Massachusetts, to discuss emergency planning, occupant education, and solutions to ensure safety in the case of hostile events.

Expert speakers kicked off the two-day workshop, providing background and context and helping to establish workshop goals. Workshop participants then broke into two groups, one on building environment and one on occupant response. Dr. Emmanuel Taylor and Mr. Walter Zalis of Energetics facilitated the two sessions, leading participants through brainstorming ideas, then discussing, screening, and prioritizing the resulting solutions.

Discussion topics included installing approved building hardware to ensure occupant safety and increasing awareness of current codes, which continue to evolve. Attendees identified new strategies and guidelines to implement safety protocols that could be used by a variety of occupants in diverse environments. Several debates focused on the necessity of increasing education and training. As a result of the workshop, participants were able to come to key conclusions regarding preparing for and responding to violent threats.

Energetics’ work on the report was based on the recommendations and findings identified by workshop attendees, detailing the impact of violent events on building, fire, and life code provisions, as well as short- and long-term strategies to integrate security goals with regulations.

For more information on the workshop, please visit the NFPA website.