by Josh Pringle, VP of Business Development
When giving a presentation to a professional organization I don’t often feel intimidated either by the people or the subject matter. Heck, they asked me to come and present after all. But when I entered the room outside Dallas to meet with the Fire Protection Association of North Texas, and later in the month in Daytona Beach to address the Florida Fire Chiefs Association, a feeling that I was the knucklehead in the room quickly came over me.
These professionals in fire and safety have combined hundreds of years of experience and have performed thousands of hours of training. They have been recognized by their peers as the leaders of their organizations. They have garnered local, state, and national awards for their performance and leadership in firefighting, inspections, investigation, community relations, and life safety. Who the heck am I to come in and teach them anything?
I was honored this month to be asked by these two well respected and nationally recognized organizations to present to their organizations about the science of carbon dioxide, national trends in usage, the changing nature of codes and regulations, and how gases are detected and monitored. Both organizations were very interested in the quickly changing landscape in commercial CO2 use as well as how their organizations and jurisdictions should view and review the codes surrounding the gas.
Each session led to some interesting conversations about different aspects of stored carbon dioxide systems and its inspection. As new and updated regulations like the International Fire Code, the National Fire Protection Association, the National Board Inspection Code, and the new OSHA Confined Space Regulations go in to effect, more inspectors and marshals have questions about what they should be inspecting for.
One aspect of the sessions dealt with uniformity and consistency in jurisdictions. Local municipalities have tasked fire and building inspectors to "be on the same page" so local businesses do not receive conflicting information. Additionally, inspectors and marshals questioned local versus state regulations, and how to interpret conflicting policies.
These are the men and woman that are viewed as the face of codes and jurisdictions when they meet with the public. They are going to be questioned about these codes and in most cases, have been provided very little education about CO2 and related incidents.
We are happy to provide education, context, and industry experience so these local leaders can help their jurisdictions write sensible codes. But more importantly, so they can clearly explain to the public about the positive impact these codes will have on their health and safety.