Automatic Fire Alarm Association Training Newsletter


In This Edition: 

Part 1: AFAA Virtual Codes Conference and Business Meeting

Part 2: Webinar Schedule for May

Part 3: Free On-Line Training with Jensen-Hughes Academy

Part 4: Pre-Recorded Webinars and PDF Downloads

Part 5: How to Receive Continuing Education Certificates

Part 6: More Webinars and Upcoming AFAA Training



 AFAA webinars are FREE for anyone to register.

Member Benefits

Members receive free certificates, upon request, that can be used towards Continuing Education Credits. 


Non-Members need to pay $50 per webinar to receive a certificate


AFAA will offer at least 10 Webinars this year - so instead of paying $500 or more for your certificates you can join for $195 per year.


AHJ's can join AFAA for $25 per year


Members can also view the recorded version of the webinar at any time and download the PDF of the presentation materials. 


Click Here To Join Today!!! 


 More FREE Training for AFAA Members:

AFAA and our On-Line Training Partner, Jensen Hughes Academy, have teamed up to give our members FREE ACCESS to more than two dozen training programs for the next 60 days! No Excuses! Click HERE for more details

After clicking: AFAA members receive free access for 60 days.

Contact AFAA Training Manager Tim Knisely to get the access code at
[email protected]

Then, go to
to login or sign-up.


Not A Member?
You can't beat the value for the membership fee!

Join Today!


Famous Quote:

“Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much”

Helen Keller


Automatic Fire Alarm Association
Virtual Codes Conference & Business Meeting
Tuesday, May 5 @ 1:00 PM, EDT


Tuesday – May 5, 2020 1:00 PM

Automatic Fire Alarm Association
Business Meeting

President’s Report – Rodger Reiswig
Bylaw Changes – Rick Heffernan
Financial Update – Sue Sadler
Membership Update - Deborah Shaner
Training Update – Tim Knisely

Adjournment of Business Meeting

1:50 PM: 10-Minute break

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM:
Automatic Fire Alarm Association
Virtual Codes Conference

2:00 PM: NFPA 909 Requirements for Cultural Properties

Presented by: Mark Hopkins

Seeing fires at the Notre Dame, Shuri Castle, Brazil’s National Museum and other historical/culturally significant properties is devastating to say the least. NFPA 909 provides protection requirements for museums, libraries and other cultural properties in a wholistic manner. The document requires fire prevention, active fire protection systems, passive fire protection features, and considerations for resiliency and salvage planning. When applied, it imposes additional requirements for fire alarm, detection, security, and fire suppression systems beyond what is minimally required by building and fire codes which will impact cost and schedule. Contractors and designers of these systems need to function as part of the team assembled by the facility operators. Understanding roles and responsibilities is necessary to manage expectations. Communicating effectively will ensure successful projects in these facilities. This program will discuss issues effecting contractors and engineers working in these types of facilities. 

Mark Hopkins, P.E. is the Regional Director and Senior Fire Protection Engineer at TERPconsulting in Maryland.

2:30 PM: Smoke Detection and UL 268
7th Edition

Presented by: Dave Newhouse

This presentation will examine the recently adopted requirements for smoke alarms found in ANSI/UL217 (8th Edition), and smoke detectors found in ANSI/UL268 (7th Edition). Although there are over 250 significant technical changes to these standards, we will be focusing on polyurethane foam and cooking nuisance resistance requirements. Following a brief look at the importance of egress and the reasons behind decreased escape time in today’s fires, we will discuss the dangers of synthetics and the need for changes in smoke detection. We will then study the new performance requirements in the UL standards, then look into the challenges manufacturers are facing and finish up with a view of the codes and compliance dates. 

Presented by Dave Newhouse - Gentex Corporation - Industry Affairs / Regulatory Compliance.
Dave has enjoyed over 30 years in the Fire Protection & Life Safety industry in various roles of Manufacturing, Engineering, Regulatory Compliance and Codes & Standards development. He has proudly served on the AFAA National Board of Directors from 2010 thru 2018 as Chair of Research and Co-Chair of the Codes & Standards Committee and is actively serving on NEMA 3SB-1 Fire, Life Safety, Security & Emergency Communication Section as Chair of the Research Committee.
Dave is currently serving on NFPA 72, 101 & 5000 in addition to the following UL Standards Technical Panels; ANSI/UL 217, 268, 464, 1971, 1638, 864, 1481 & 1711. 

3:00 PM: Reducing the Sound Pressure Level of Low Frequency Alarms

Presented by: Josh Dinaburg 

Early notification of a fire event is perhaps the most crucial factor in reducing the threat to life. Early notification provides occupants time to safely escape the home before life threatening conditions develop. The sensor performance of smoke alarms and detectors plays a crucial role in providing early notification but the signaling audibility and effectiveness are just as critical for affecting life-saving outcomes. The notification performance becomes especially critical when occupants are sleeping. 

Joshua Dinaburg is a Research Engineer for Jensen Hughes. Over the past 14 years he has conducted numerous experiments in the field of fire protection, including assessments of smoke particle production and detection responses in high airflow, high ceiling, data center, nuclear, and residential environments, evaluation of ignition hazards in cooking, validation of sprinkler activation and distribution for cloud and sloped ceilings, evaluation of optical and video flame detection for industrial and aircraft facilities, evaluation and modeling of clean agent system discharge properties, 3D printing operations for ships and submarine environments, and evaluation of AFFF and fluorine free firefighting foams.

3:30 PM: NFPA 241 and the Fire Alarm Industry: Making Construction Sites for Rapid Demobilization Safer

Presented by: Chris Towski 

This viewpoint is through the eyes of a seasoned member in the fire service. It will focus on the importance for the fire alarm industry to find and follow the requirements of NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alternation, and Demolition Operations, and apply it not only to their everyday yet also should they need to be called upon in the event a construction site needs to be shuttered quickly.
Chris Towski is a Fire Lieutenant for the City of Cambridge Massachusetts Fire Department with over twenty-four years of service. His current position is with the Emergency Preparedness and Coordination Office. He spent over twelve years with the Fire Prevention Office where the primary duties were to enforce State laws and codes related to Fire Prevention and Protection. He is also a Massachusetts Licensed Electrician and Construction Supervisor. He is certified in the fields of Emergency Medical Technician, Firefighter Levels I and II, Fire Officer Levels I and II, Fire Instructor Levels I and II, and Fire Incident Safety Officer. He has been his department’s Electrical Safety Officer for almost twelve years. 

4:00 PM: Conclusion of webinars and
Final comments by AFAA President
Rodger Reiswig

*Continuing education certificates will be issued upon request.*

If you are not a current member of AFAA, there is a $100 fee for the certificate. What better time to join?
To request your certificate, please use this link:

Election of Officers:
You can find details and about each member that is running for an open board seat at You need to be logged in to your member profile to view this page.

The world has changed a bit in the past few months and we need to adjust to those changes. This virtual meeting will be different for AFAA as we have never done anything like this before, so we ask you bear with us as we move into this format this year.


 PART 2:
Additional Webinars in May

Thursday, May 14 @ 1:00 PM:
Key Points an Owner Needs to Know for Specifying a Life Safety System

Life safety systems are changing at a fast rate- the days of old, analog, fire, camera and access control systems are being replaced by addressable, connected and interconnected technologies. These systems no longer just tell you if there is a fire, or determine who gets into a building at a certain time of day. These systems require specifications that are more in depth, however, a good number of specifications that hit the street are outdated and lack the necessary information required to give the owner- the campus facility director- apple to apple bids and good clean pricing. Good specifications help an owner get what they want and what they need, gives them choices, helps them stay within budget, builds partnerships with trusted vendors and builds a solid foundation for future systems. It is also important to remember that these systems are put in place to protect people and property. What we do really can make the difference between life and death and we need to get it right every time.
This presentation will guide you in the key points you need to help specify a life safety system in today’s connected, interconnected world.

Presenter: Sheryl Tricocci

Sheryl Tricocci is a Regional Sales Engineer with Johnson Controls with over 17 years in the fire protection industry including application design, training, consulting and sales experience. Sheryl currently serves on two NFPA Technical Committees- NFPA 5000 Building Code (BLD-MER) and NFPA 101 (SAF-MER). Sheryl holds a NICET Level IV in Fire Alarm Systems Technologies and is an NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist. Sheryl is a member of the National Fire Protection Association and The Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and served on the SFPE Atlanta Conference Committee for five years. Sheryl also serves as a leader of the Johnson Controls Atlanta Women’s Resource Network. Sheryl has an Associate’s Degree from the University of Florida, a Bachelor of Science in Security Management from Bellevue University, is a certificate holder from Emory University in the Kauffman FastTrac® Program, and is a John Maxwell Certified ™ Coach, Trainer and Public Speaker. 

Thursday, May 21 @ 1:00 PM:
Emergency Communications
Sponsored by Space Age Electronics

A review of the latest requirements of NFPA 72, Chapter 24 – Emergency Communications Systems: Area of refuge (area of rescue assistance) and other required locations as well as the new UL2525 Standard.

This presentation will include changes and requirements to circuit classification and review of the ADA requirements.

Presented by:

Joseph R. Cervantes,Sr. – Western Regional Business Development Manager

Dan Mongeau – Senior Engineer
Space Age Electronics, Inc.

Mr. Cervantes is the Western Region Business Development Manager for Space Age Electronics, Cervantes’ responsibility is the growth and development of Space Age presence in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska & Hawaii, providing solutions to complicated fire protection engineering and building code based problems. He also serves as the Treasurer for SFPE in San Diego and the Secretary Of The Board for the California Automatic Fire Alarm Association.

Dan Mongeau is a product designer and Engineer at Space Age Electronics, Inc. focusing on systems and networked products.. Dan has been providing technology, engineering and design to the family business for over 20 years.  Dan is a member of the NFPA and SFPE, is NICET certified and has a degree in Industrial Design from the Rochester Institute of technology.  Dan is also a proud dad, and volunteers for a number of educational and conservation entities.

Special thanks to Space Age Electronics for sponsoring this presentation.




Part 3:

Free On-Line Training with Jensen-Hughes Academy:

More FREE Training for AFAA Members:

AFAA and our On-Line Training Partner, Jensen Hughes Academy, have teamed up to give our members FREE ACCESS to more than two dozen training programs until June 1st.
No Excuses! Click HERE for more details

After clicking: AFAA members receive free access until June 1st. Contact AFAA Training Manager Tim Knisely to get the access code at [email protected].
Then, go to to login or sign-up.


Part 4:

Pre-Recorded Webinars and PDF Downloads:

Did you know that as an AFAA member you can view a previously recorded webinar? You can also download a PDF version of the presentation.
If you are not a member, you can purchase a previously recorded webinar for $50?
Please click HERE to submit that request.

Please note - you will not receive CEUs for watching a recorded webinar. Those are only issued for participation in the live presentation.


Part 5:

How to Receive Continuing Education Certificates

If you are in need of a continuing education certificate after participating in a live webinar, you must make the request at the following link:

You must have participated for at least 75% of the scheduled time of the webinar to receive credit.

If you are not a member of AFAA there is a $50 fee for each certificate.

Please note, AFAA will only issue a continuing education certificate for ‘live’ webinars. Pre-recorded webinar are available to watch, but are not eligible for credit at this time.


Part 6:

More Webinars and Upcoming AFAA Training

The Weekly Webinars will continue through June!
Topics for June so far include:

June 4th: Emergency Responder Radio Communication Enhancement Systems (Bi-Directional Amplifier)
Presented by David Thompson of Honeywell

June 11th: Class N and Ethernet in Fire Alarm Systems
Presented by Dan Horon of Cadgraphics® Incorporated


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all classroom training has been suspended until further notice.  AFAA is exploring more on-line training opportunities, utilizing our most popular classes.  Stay tuned to AFAA website or social media pages, and watch your email notices for updates for this new training option.  Feel free to contact us with any training questions or suggestions you may have.  Contact us by email at [email protected]  

 Fire Safety Message:

Test Your Smoke Alarms
Practice Your Fire Escape Plan!

This Is A Great Excuse To Get Outside!

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