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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:

    • Fire Detection and Notification

    • Mass Notification

    • First Responder Interface

    • Elevator Monitor Status

    • BAS and Smoke Control Interface
    • Suppression, Supervisory and other Special Hazardous System Monitoring
    • Supervisory Signaling Station Notification
    • Electronic Security
    • Access Control
    • CCTV
    • Intrusion
    • Combination System
  • 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

Vice Chair

Rodger Reiswig
Director, Industry Relations
Johnson Controls


Suzanne Alfano
(Industry Programs)

Vince Baclawski
(Technical Services)

Mark Kohorst
(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

Purpose: The Building Codes Committee is responsible for developing public input and public comments on the following codes of interest to the members of 3SB: IBC, IFC, IRC, NFPA 1, NFPA 99, NFPA 101, NFPA 318, NFPA 409-411-423, NFPA 801-803-805, NFPA 909-914, and NFPA 5000. The public input and public comments are processed through the NEMA Codes and Standards Committee for approval as NEMA public input and public comments and submitted to the appropriate organization.

The Committee is also responsible for identifying NEMA representatives to serve on the Technical Committee responsible for the development and maintenance of the codes under the purview of the Building Codes Committee.

In addition to the above the BCC is also responsible for identify pending regulatory activities and legislation that could, if approved, amend a fire or life safety code in a state or local jurisdiction that may require an industry response. Develop and maintain a database and map for Model Codes, NFPA 72 and possibly 720 in each state and major municipalities.

Richard Roberts, Chair

David Reyse, Vice Chair

Installation Code Committee

Purpose: The Installation Codes and Standards Committee is responsible for developing public input and public comments on the following codes and standards: NFPA 3-4, NFPA 70, NFPA 72, NFPA 75, NFPA 76, NFPA 90 A-B, NFPA 170, NFPA 720, and NFPA 730-731.

The Committee is also responsible for identifying NEMA representatives to serve on the Technical Committee responsible for the development and maintenance of the codes and standards under the purview of the Installation Codes Committee.

Finally, the Committee is responsible for tracking, reporting and taking up action as appropriate on ISO and UL issues of importance to the Section members including the harmonization of UL and ULC standards for fire alarm systems.

Rodger Reiswig, Chair

Jim Mongeau, Vice Chair

Manuals Committee

Purpose: The Manuals Committee is responsible for the development, sales, distribution, and maintenance of all Section standards publications, guides, manuals, etc.

John Schertel, Chair

Andrew Berezowski, Vice Chair

Research Committee

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

Dave Newhouse, Chair

Dan Finnegan, Vice Chair

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Detection and Notification Committee

Purpose:  The Detection Committee develops technical justifications for and Section positions on matters related to fire, gas, and intrusion detection and notification equipment. The focus includes national, state and local technology requirements, codes and standards, and interaction with federal agencies and other stakeholders. 

Wendy Gifford, Chair

Rick Heffernan, Vice Chair


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Emerging Technology Committee

The Emerging Technology Committee is responsible for the discovery and analysis of emerging technologies as they relate to Section products.  The committee serves as a watchdog to the Section and as an advocate for the adoption of approved new technologies.  Currently the Technology Committee is focused on the development of technical justifications for and Section positions on matters related to all forms of wireless communications technology as it relates to products within the Section Scope. This includes ISM band, proprietary and cellular radio frequency signaling both on and off premises.

Maria Marks - Chair

Andrew Berezowski – Vice Chair


Systems Committee

The scope of this committee encompasses the integration, testing and maintenance of life safety building systems technologies (such as Fire Alarms, Security Systems, and Emergency Communication Systems) with other building technologies, including Smart Buildings, HVAC, Elevators, and Communications.

Denise L. Pappas, Chair

John Schertel, Vice Chair

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.

Denise L. Pappas, Chair

Dan Finnegan, Vice 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

The Government Affairs Committee serves as a resource to all committees in helping to develop positions on legislative and regulatory measures for Section review.  The committee solicits bids and recommends engagement of outside lobbyists and consultants as needed to advance state and national priorities.  The committee also prepares white papers, issues briefs, and correspondence to legislative and regulatory agency officials on key issues of importance. Members of the Government Affairs Committee include both Section members and government relations experts from within member companies.

John Steele, Chair

Rick Heffernan, Vice 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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