At the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Conference and Expo held in Las Vegas this June, we were one of over 300 exhibitors showcasing our PEX fire sprinkler solutions to AHJs (authorities having jurisdiction), contractors, code officials, fire officials and more. Here are just a couple things we took away from the conference this year:
Residential fire safety is on the minds of many as the local codes begin to change and more and more homes are getting fire sprinklers installed. Cost is always a common question for residential fire sprinklers, so this year the conference had a panel discussing the drop in the average cost per square foot in the last five to six years. A big source of hidden costs is local jurisdictional requirements that go above what the code requires, as well as permit and review fees and fees from the water department to install service lines capable of providing sufficient water for a residential sprinkler system. Education can go a long way towards helping to keep these costs down and keep residential fire sprinklers affordable.
The NFPA show has a huge turnout from fire officials and AHJs who are big advocates for residential fire sprinklers. They play a major part in the push to require fire sprinklers in homes in keeping with the model codes, so obviously it’s very valuable to meet and show them how Uponor’s AquaSAFE™ system is a reliable and affordable option.
This year we had the opportunity to help spread the word that PEX can now be used as a “standalone” option which opens the door for fire sprinkler contractors looking to get involved in residential fire safety to look at PEX as an option.
One thing that was totally obvious: people like what they see when they look at PEX for their residential fire safety needs. Contractors like the flexibility and ease of installation and the fact that it is compatible with more products than other piping options. AHJs like the multipurpose aspect of knowing that the system is being tested for functionality every time a plumbing fixture is used and that the flexibility of PEX means fewer fittings and better hydraulic performance. And, as always, demonstrating how to make a ProPEX® connection and how easily kinks can be repaired was a big hit amongst the uninitiated.
In all, it was a very successful show and a great way to keep Uponor at the forefront of people’s minds when they think about residential fire safety.