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Seize the Opportunity at AFSA’s Annual Convention in Nashville

Grow your business and set your sights on success by attending the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) 35th Annual Convention & Exhibition “A Grand Ole Opportunity: AFSA in Nashville.” Offering 60 hours of technical and managerial seminars, this year’s event promises to provide numerous opportunities to better your business. To be held Wednesday, September 14 through Saturday, September 17, 2016, the convention will be headquartered at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

AFSA’s convention draws over 1,100 participants from around the world. This is the nation’s largest gathering of fire sprinkler professionals, and offers unparalleled professional development opportunities. Following is a brief description of topics to expect at the convention, many offering attendees the opportunity to earn CEUs or CPDs.

A Transparent Look at the Fire Sprinkler Contractors Insurance Market

Leonhart_RobertRobert H. Leonhart – This seminar will address the insurance market and how it relates to industry specific concerns, the needs of every fire sprinkler contractor, and how to assure your insurance company can meet these needs. It will explain the Insurance Concierge Service available to AFSA members that can really separate your insurance program from the competition, by bundling Loss Control, Claims Handling, Experts and Audit services to the contractor. (0.1 CEUs | 1.0 CPDs)

Basic Fire Alarms with Sprinkler Systems

Victor_TerryTerry Victor – This seminar will look into the basics of fire alarm systems so sprinkler contractors have a better understanding of the different types of systems and their wiring arrangements, the differences between sprinkler system devices that interface with a fire alarm system based on the type of response they provide, and the requirements for monitoring and notification of different signals from the sprinkler system. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)

Building Your Backlog: Regardless of Market Conditions

StutzmanRandy Stutzman, FMI – Knowing how to build and manage your firm’s backlog is crucial. With a new business landscape clearly in view, it is time to tune up your firm’s abilities. Your staff knows that it is everyone’s job to win work and keep customers happy and loyal. The key is giving them the right tools, ideas and techniques they need in order to engage new and existing customers and win work faster than your competitors. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)

Building Your Inspection Team Panel
Leavitt_R_2015 copy     Jack Medovich     IMG_3444

Russ Leavitt, C.F.P.S., C.F.P.E., S.E.T., Telgian Corp.; Jack Medovich, P.E., Fire & Life Safety America; & Dwight Green, Accredited Training Solutions – Building a professional inspection team can be challenging in today’s market. This seminar examines proven methods for recruiting, vetting, and training inspectors who have little or no previous fire protection system experience. This knowledge is critical for any contractor who is trying to build a sustainable inspection and testing service offering. To assist in their efforts, attendees will learn about AFSA’s new ITM training program. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)

Challenges of Fire Sprinkler Protection for Architectural Features

TomWellenTom Wellen, P.E. – The current building trends are outpacing the guidance of the NFPA 13 standard and listings of sprinklers. This seminar addresses these challenges such as high ceilings, cloud ceilings, slatted ceilings, integrated HVAC ceiling panels, concealed spaces, etc. NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, cannot be expected to address all so there are some methods, approaches, and resources that can be deployed to keep the project on track. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)

Connecting Actual Job Costs Back to Estimating

OSheaRRyan O’Shea, FMI – One of the biggest risks to a company in a low-margin construction economy is executing a project differently than how it was estimated (and vice versa). The best way to maintain profitability is to create field-friendly budgets, to aggressively track and manage direct costs, and to incorporate actual performance into future estimates. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)

Corrosion, MIC, Incompatible Materials: What is Really Happening In Sprinkler Piping?

Futrell_ScottScott Futrell, P.E. – Black steel, galvanized, and CPVC all experience failures related to MIC, incompatible materials, and / or corrosion. This course will address these issues and assist attendees in identifying the problems and illustrating the different failure modes for steel and nonmetallic piping systems as well as describing and explaining how they occur, what the warning signs are, if any, and comparing what is actually being done to make them worse, or to accelerate the occurrences. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)

CPVC: Overview, Common Questions & Chemical Compatibility

 Townley_DonaldDonald Townley – This seminar will provide attendees with an overview of CPVC and answers to common questions in the fire protection industry. The CPVC system overview will give a brief history of the product and explain performance characteristics along with listings, approvals and standards. Common questions will be answered including where CPVC can and cannot be used, and an update on chemical compatibility. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)

Eliminating the Use of Density/ Area Curves for the Future of Fire Sprinkler Designs

Golinveaux_JJames Golinveaux – Density/Area method of hydraulically calculating a sprinkler system has served us well for many years, but it is time for it to go. Depending on the Density/Area method is similar to believing cassette tapes were the best music would ever sound. Design Pressure is a better method of evaluating performance, but we still have more to learn. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)

Ensuring Antifreeze Systems Meet the Current NFPA 25 Requirements

Leedy_JoanJoan Leedy – This seminar will be a review of the current NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, recommendations for antifreeze solutions including where and when it can be used, what concentrations are acceptable, and how to refill a system. It will include a review of the upcoming deadlines for potentially eliminating antifreeze solutions in sprinkler systems if a listed solution does not become available. It will explain how to test antifreeze to determine the percentage solution of glycerin and propylene glycol to ensure the system meets the NFPA 25 code requirements. (0.1 CEUs | 1.0 CPDs)

Field Supervisor Training Series (Part 1): Improving Field Productivity

Caputo_BobBob Caputo, C.F.P.S., C.E.T. – This first segment will address the need for sharp focus on field productivity, providing specifics on why and how to improve field performance, measuring productivity, smart use of field resources and manpower, and building better teams to drive toward positive outcomes. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)

Field Supervisor Training Series (Part 2): Planning For Success

Caputo_BobBob Caputo, C.F.P.S., C.E.T. – This second segment will focus on pre-game planning: anticipating and avoiding common mistakes, eliminating lost time, the importance of pre-job start-up calls and meetings, using project estimate data and job conditions to create action plans, and recording progress using job cost reports and as-built progress plans. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)


Field Supervisor Training Series (Part 3): Leadership Skills

Caputo_BobBob Caputo, C.F.P.S., C.E.T. – The conclusion of this three-part series will focus on improving communication skills: motivating people, confronting and dealing with difficult people and situations, and team building. Identify contributions of project players in terms of successful startup and continuation of jobs in progress. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)


Fire Sprinklers in the IBC and IFC

TomWellenTom Wellen, P.E. – The codes are an important part of your library in addition to the NFPA standards. Not knowing what the codes require can have a detrimental affect on your daily operations. This seminar will address the requirements for sprinklers by the codes, rated separations, and conflicts. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)


Flexible Sprinkler Drops

Dooley_MikeMike Dooley – This course will provide attendees technical information on flexible drops and why they were developed. The course will go into detail on the differences in hose construction of flexible drops, review FM and UL approvals and listings and where to find this information, differences in the hydraulic calculations, the different bend radius’s, and different mounting bracket assemblies available in the market. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)

Freeze Protection for Fire Sprinkler Systems

Leavitt_R_2015 copyRuss Leavitt, C.F.P.S., S.E.T. – This seminar involves an in depth discussion regarding the when, what, and how of freeze protection for fire sprinkler systems. The highest numbers of subrogation claims submitted against fire sprinkler contractors involve the freezing of fire sprinkler systems. It is critical that contractors who install and maintain sprinkler systems understand freeze protection. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)

High-Rise Standpipe Systems & NFPA 14 Update

Leyton_SteveSteve Leyton – This presentation discussion of NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems, will include performance-based standpipe design, vertical staging of fire pumps, proper zoning and protection of standpipes, pressure regulation, auxiliary water storage on upper floors, and changes to NFPA 14, 2016 edition. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)

In-Rack Sprinkler Design

Golinveaux_JJames Golinveaux – When ceiling only designs are not available, In-Rack sprinklers are often the only solution. Understanding the new design and installation rules from NFPA, FM and Manufactures are critical to providing adequate fire protection. Attendees will have a better understanding of the selection, design and installation process of in-rack sprinklers. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)

NFPA 13, 2016 Edition: Commodity Classification Update

Morcos_AngeleAngele Morcos – This presentation will be a discussion of the work that went into updating the commodity classification guidelines in the 2016 edition of NFPA 13 and how to implement them. This presentation will also provide insight on the scientific research, testing and analysis that is conducted to determine commodity classification. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)

NFPA 13, 2016 Edition Update

Klaus_MattMatthew J. Klaus, P.E. – This session will focus on the technical changes of the 2016 edition of NFPA 13 to include the impacts on the design and installation sprinkler systems. Topics of discussion will include modifications to the commodity classification tables, cloud ceilings, air vents and exposed, expanded group A plastic storage. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)


NFPA 13 Installation Rules, Chapter 8

Golinveaux_JJames Golinveaux – Chapter 8 of NFPA 13 is the hiding spot for everything we don’t know where to put into the standard. This course will break this chapter down into the relative sections for a comprehensive understanding of the rules of installation. The attendee will better understand the intent of the installation rules and identify important criteria often overlooked due the chapter’s complexity. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)

NFPA 13 Obstruction Rules Explained

Klaus_MattMatthew J. Klaus, P.E. – This session will look at the various obstruction rules in Chapter 8 of NFPA 13 and outline the application of the rules based on the type of sprinkler being installed. The program will outline where the various sprinkler rules should be applied, including the three and four times rules, and also define types of obstructions to better apply the standard. (0.1 CEUs | 1.0 CPDs)

NFPA 25, 2014 Edition

Leavitt_R_2015 copy

Russ Leavitt, C.F.P.S., S.E.T. – This seminar provides an overview of the 2014 edition of NFPA 25. The latest edition of the standard refines the owner’s responsibilities including the requirements frequencies of inspections and tests, and revisions that assist in limiting the liabilities associated with performing inspections, testing, and maintenance. (0.1 CEUs | 1.0 CPDs)


NFPA 25, 2017: A Move Forward

Leavitt_R_2015 copy

Russ Leavitt, C.F.P.S., S.E.T. – This seminar discusses the major revisions with the 2017 edition. These revisions include a reformatting of the Chapter Summary Tables, and splitting the requirements for deluge and pre-action valves in Chapter 13. The seminar will also include a review of revisions that were proposed but not accepted by the technical committee. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)


Organizing For Growth: How to Build a Sustainable Organization

Management TrainingRyan O’Shea, FMI – One of the most painful aspects of the market downturn has been the trauma experienced by many contractor organizations. Many firms had enjoyed such robust growth during the previous decade that most had never felt the pain of reductions, hiring freezes and cutbacks in professional development in force. Now many companies are questioning if they have the right organizational strategy and resources in place as the market changes yet again. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)

Seismic Brace Layout and Calculations

Wagoner_KennethKenneth W. Wagoner C.F.P.E., C.F.P.S., S.E.T.– Protection of fire sprinkler systems from damage due to earthquakes is mandated by building and structural codes in areas where seismic activity is likely. This seminar will cover layout of lateral and longitudinal braces, as well as vertical and lateral restraints, including the necessary calculations to support the brace layout. Additionally, some information will be provided on revisions to the standard affecting seismic bracing in the 2016 edition. (0.15 CEUs | 1.5 CPDs)

Selling Service Agreements on Life Safety Systems

Siderowicz_JoeJoe Siderowicz – This presentation will be a discussion of how to sell service agreements on sprinkler systems, what to offer, how to present the agreement, and how to close service agreements on life safety systems. (0.1 CEUs | 1.0 CPDs)



The Benefits of Corrosion Mitigation: Why Prevention Makes Cents!

Management TrainingJosh Tihen – Over the last 15 years, new innovative products such as nitrogen generators, automatic air vents and corrosion monitoring stations have hit the market. These products have slowed corrosion and extended the life of sprinkler systems, thus increasing their value. This seminar will explain why appropriate corrosion prevention techniques are a financial win for the contractor, the engineer, the end user and the industry as a whole. (0.1 CEUs | 1.0 CPDs)

The Construction Value Chain: Matching Your Value Proposition to the Needs of Your Customer

Management TrainingRandy Stutzman, FMI – Remember that customers buy on their perception of value. If you do not differentiate yourselves in the eyes of the buyer, you will force the customer to buy solely based on price. In order to improve your results, you must conduct an objective analysis of your strengths and then match them to the right market sectors and targets, capitalize on shared values with your customers, learn how to communicate your core competencies to create the best value for your customers and company, and separate customer value points from selling price. (0.2 CEUs | 2.0 CPDs)

Book Your Stay

Convention headquarter hotels are booked years in advance for an event. Due to an increase in attendance over the years at AFSA’s annual convention, there was a need to increase the group room block at this year’s venue. Therefore, AFSA rescheduled the official 2016 convention dates for September 14-17 so that the headquarter hotel, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville could accommodate the larger attendance size.

All of this year’s seminars, exhibits, networking breakfasts and lunches, the opening general session, golf tournament, and transportation to offsite tours and parties will be held within the resort’s conference complex. This premier Opryland hotel offers guests an unforgettable getaway with all the excitement and energy of Music City under one spectacular roof. Featuring an extraordinary selection of dining, shopping, recreational activities and entertainment, there’s never a shortage of things to do at this resort. The resort also impresses with its Gaylord Springs Golf Links, home to the AFSA Convention Golf Tournament on September 14. Gaylord Springs Golf Links has been recognized consistently among GolfWeek’s best courses to play in Tennessee.

To be sure you get the benefits of booking in the official AFSA room block, be sure to book directly through AFSA’s convention webpage ( or through the helpful booking agents at 615-889-1000. Be sure to state you want the AFSA Group Rate of $210 (outside view) or $235 (atrium view) plus tax inclusive of resort fee. In addition, request a room closest to the convention center when making your reservation!

AFSA encourages convention attendees to sign up for a Marriott Elite Rewards account if they do not already have one. The advantage to being a member at the Gaylord Opryland is that members are eligible to check-in at the Magnolia Desk, the most convenient location if requesting a room near the convention center. The hotel reservation deadline is August 12, 2016. After this date, AFSA attendees will not be guaranteed the group rate.

Start Planning Now!

Mark your calendar and start making plans… AFSA promises to offer education, excitement and entertainment at this year’s convention! For more information on this year’s event, visit And don’t forget to reserve your room at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center at the special AFSA group rate. Don’t miss this grand ole opportunity in Nashville!



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