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Fire, Life Safety, Security and Emergency Communications

Purpose Statement: To be the principal source of technical, training and educational information essential for the specification and manufacture of reliable life safety products, their installation, performance, maintenance and inspection.

The Fire, Life Safety, Security and Emergency Communications Section develops technical standards and guidelines for its products.

Product Scope

  • Audible and visual signals including bells, horns, speakers and strobes for use in fire alarm systems.

  • Automatic detectors for fire protection and other life safety hazards including heat, smoke, flame, gas, biohazard detectors, etc.

  • Smoke Alarms, CO Alarms and combination Alarms

  • Life safety protective signaling systems include:

  • Two Voting Classifications have been authorized but are not yet organized
    • Paging Systems, Devices or Accessories Voting Classification paging systems, devices or accessories including those of the audible and visual type
    • Manual and Automatic Operated Contact Devices Voting Classification manual and automatic operated contact devices of the type principally used as accessories for, or components of products falling within the scope of the Signaling, Protection, and Communications Section

  • Health Care Communications and Emergency Call Systems Group

Click here for detailed product scope information.

Technical Activities

Marketing and Promotion

Government Affairs

Detection and Notificiation

Healthcare Communications and Emergency Call Systems Group

Market Economics


Related Standards

On-going Projects

Upcoming Events



Section Officers


Andrew Berezowski
HBT Fellow Advanced Systems Technology
Honeywell Security & Fire


Rodger Reiswig
Director, Industry Relations
SimplexGrinnell LP


Suzanne Alfano
(Industry Programs)

Vince Baclawski
(Technical Services)

Jonathan Stewart
(Government Relations)

Technical Activities

Standards play a vital part in the design, production, and distribution of products destined for both national and international commerce. Sound technical standards benefit the user, as well as the manufacturer, by improving safety, bringing about economies in product, eliminating misunderstandings between manufacturer and purchaser, and assisting the purchaser in selecting and obtaining the proper product for his particular need.

NEMA devotes much of its time, effort, and resources to voluntary standardization activities. NEMA standards are offered and recommended to become American National Standards under the procedures of the American National Standards Institute, usually under the canvass method. This decision rests with the particular subdivision or subdivisions concerned. NEMA standards are also often submitted for consideration as IEC standards components or references. It is the intent of the association to continue its support of these, and many more, activities as the best method to continue providing sound and safe electrical products for the use of all.

Building Codes Committee

Propose: To develop NEMA proposals and comments on proposals on the codes and standards of other organizations that are under the Committee's purview. To identify candidates to represent NEMA on technical committees of other organizations that are under the purview of the Committee.

Richard Roberts, Chair

David Reyse, Vice Chair

Installation Code Committee

Purpose: To develop NEMA proposals and comments on proposals on the codes and standards of other organizations that are under the Committee's purview. To identify candidates to represent NEMA on technical committees of other organizations that are under the purview of the Committee.

Leon Newsome, Chair

Roger Reiswig, Vice Chair

Manuals Committee

Purpose: The development and maintenance of standards publications, guides, brochures and white papers sponsored by the section.

Isaac Papier, Chair

John Schertel, Vice Chair

Research Committee

Purpose: Directs Association and Industry-wide research projects in collaboration with other industry associations and groups

Isaac Papier, Chair

Andrew Berezowski, Vice Chair

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Detection and Notification Committee

This committee  monitors local, state and federal regulations governing smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detection devices and tracks changes/additions to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards and the International Code Council (ICC) building codes.

Check out Life Fire Safety.org for more information on NEMA's Recommended Policies for State Adoption of Carbon Monoxide Detection Legislation, issue briefs and white papers on smoke and carbon monoxide detection, and position statements on state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives.

Wendy Gifford, Chair

Rick Heffernan, Vice Chair

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Marketing and Promotion

The Section guides the development of industry-wide marketing and promotion of new technology for the purpose of increasing industry and consumer awareness. Sponsoring press releases, magazine articles and brochures, the Section works to increase awareness of the value of signaling, protection and communication products

Communications Committee

Purpose: Develops marketing, promotion and awareness projects for the industry through other associations such as Society of Fire Prevention Engineers, Residential Fire Safety Institute, National Fire Protection Association, etc.

Bob Boyer, Chair

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Government Affairs

Through NEMA, the section develops industry positions on legislative and regulatory initiatives that may affect member products, markets, and customers. NEMA's work has resulted in contributions to public policy development and in promoting competitiveness, technological progress, and public safety. On the Public Policy page members can search for federal and state representatives to convey opinions regarding life safety or other issues related to the electroindustry.

NEMA impacts state and federal issues which impact life safety products by monitoring U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) activities, advocating on state and federal legislative and regulatory measures, and working to secure NEMA-championed provisions in fire, life safety, and building codes.

Government Affairs Committee

This group monitors and provides direction for federal and state issues impacting smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarm and detector products.

John Steele, Chair

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Healthcare Communications and Emergency Call Systems Group

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Membership in NEMA is open to any firm actively engaged in the manufacture in North America of a product within the NEMA scope and for sale in the open market. Membership of foreign firms is subject to product section policies and NEMA Board of Governors approval.

NEMA operates on a fee-for-service basis. Each product section establishes its projects and activities and approves an annual operating budget. Visit Joining NEMA for more information on membership.

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Related Manufacturers

Related Standards

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