NFPA presents awards for contributions in fire and life safety at NFPA Conference & Expo

2016 NFPA Conference & Expo banner

June 13, 2016 The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) presented four awards to recognize outstanding achievements in fire and life safety at NFPA’s Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

Harry C. Bigglestone Award

The 2016 winners of the Harry C. Bigglestone Award are Henrik Bjelland, Ove Njå, Atle William Heskestad and Geir Sverre Braut, all of Norway. Their paper, entitled “The Concepts of Safety Level and Safety Margin: Framework for Fire Safety Design of Novel Buildings,” explores how peer-reviewed journals of fire safety science have approached the safety concepts. The authors argue that the increasingly complex construction seen in modern buildings and infrastructure limits the effectiveness of traditional fire safety science based on natural science principles. They write that a building’s fire safety systems and safety margins are properties of socio-technical systems that need to be managed rather than verified. The paper was selected as the winner from a pool of 81 contenders.

The Harry C. Bigglestone award is given annually to the paper appearing in Fire Technology that best represents excellence in the communication of fire protection concepts. The winning authors also receive a $5,000 cash prize for submitting the most outstanding paper to Fire Technology during the previous calendar year, as determined by the International Editorial Board. This award is named after the late Harry C. Bigglestone, a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and fellow and president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. 

Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal

The project that won the 2016 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal is “Pathways for Building Fire Spread at the Wildland-Urban Interface.” The research report describes fire spread at the wildland/urban interface, and identifies information gaps that impact prevention and protection strategies.

The report was authored by project authors, sponsors and a technical panel; and led by Michael Gollner and his research team at the University of Maryland. The research was initiated based on a need for scientific evidence supporting recommendations and requirements in the wildland/urban interface. The project results were presented at a 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo education session and a research planning workshop for the NFPA Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 1141, 1142, and 1144. A recording of a webinar on the project results is available.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal recognizes a project completed in 2015 that best expressed the Foundation’s safety mission, commitment to overcome technical challenges and the collaborative approach to execution that is the hallmark of all Foundation projects.

Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention Week Award
Siemens Building Technology is this year’s winner of the Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention Week Award for their work with the 2015 Fire Prevention Week theme, “Working smoke alarms save lives, test yours every month.” During Fire Prevention Week, Siemens set up displays about fire safety in every building on their Buffalo Grove, Ill. campus. These included handouts of NFPA publications (campaign brochures and posters, with Spanish translations) for employees to take home to their family and friends. Extra materials were donated to local fire departments, schools and health care facilities.

Within the Siemens Corporate facilities, the NFPA Fire Prevention Week message was broadcast over the internal “Siemens TV” network and displayed throughout the buildings.

This award recognizes businesses that promote fire and related safety messages to their employees and communities during Fire Prevention Week.

Standards Medal

This year’s recipient of the Standards Medal is Richard E. Loyd, the past chairman of the Electrical Section of NFPA, a long-time advocate for the National Electrical Code® (NEC) and a respected contributor to the codes and standards making system. A master electrician and electrical contractor, Loyd opened his own National Electrical Code consulting business in 1986 where he continues to provide forensic inspection, investigations, and codes and safety expertise. He has traveled to all 50 states at least six times to teach the NEC. Today, Loyd currently serves on NEC Panel 8; he will be inducted as a member of the NEC Quarter Century Club this year.

This award recognizes and honors outstanding contributions to fire safety, and the development of NFPA codes and standards. This award is the most distinguished award given by the NFPA Standard’s Council.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275