USFA and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers Join Together to Protect Firefighters and Evaluate Fire and Life Safety Issues

Emmitsburg, MD – For the first time in the history of the United States Fire Administration (USFA), a course of study developed at the National Fire Academy (NFA) has been adopted for use by a prestigious international engineering society, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, will now offer the NFA’s six-day course Evaluating Performance-Based Designs to its members. This course was developed to help local fire and building officials gain better understanding of performance-based design concepts so they may feel confident reviewing plans submitted for their approval.

“The USFA is pleased to be working and training closely with the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Firefighting has and continues to require the removing of smoke and gases to extinguish fires,” said R. David Paulison, USFA Administrator. “In these times of enhanced construction to mitigate the affects of terrorism or security concerns, this cooperative effort will protect Americans and the lives of firefighters facing emergencies in complex and technically designed and constructed buildings.”

Performance-based building designs differ dramatically from traditional design methods. Sophisticated computer-generated fire effects and human behavior models are used in performance-based building designs to establish minimum safety and fire performance requirements. Traditional building codes tend to be much more restrictive and do not provide the freedom of design that many architects and owners desire. Evaluating Performance-Based Designs will be offered three (3) times on the campus of the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) during the next year.

For more information contact Robert Neale, Training Specialist, USFA, 301-447-1209 or by email at Additional information is available at

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