Responding to Design Demand

Due to overwhelming demand and sold-out classes, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) has added one class to its Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School: November 2-13, 2015. Only two other 2015 classes were available as of press time: July 20-31 and September 14-25. All schools are held at AFSA’s Training Center in Dallas, Texas.

Comprehensive Curriculum

The school presents a comprehensive, practical approach to preparing fire sprinkler system drawings and is designed to train a beginner to be productive immediately upon returning to work. This class is designed for those with no experience or those who need assistance with design. Students learn by actually planning and drawing sprinkler systems while studying and applying NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, 2013 edition. Two full weeks of instruction are divided into 60 percent study and review of NFPA 13, 2013, and 40 percent preparation of fire sprinkler system layout, shop drawings and hydraulic calculations.

Comments from recent design school graduates include:

  • “Overall, I enjoyed this class. It has been a truly enlightening experience.”
  • “Five stars!”
  • “I found the class to be very informative and enjoyable.”
  • “… a very good class and I will recommend.”
  • “I especially enjoyed the class trip to Cowboys Stadium.”

Field Trip

One “perk” for students attending the school is a field trip, usually a tour of the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium (or other interesting venue when schedule conflicts arise). This unique opportunity not only takes visitors on a tour of this world-famous attraction, but also allows an inside look at the building’s fire protection system.

“This field trip shows what we learned in class out in the real world,” comments AFSA Director of Technical Development & Codes Phill Brown, S.E.T., C.F.P.S., and primary instructor for the school. “It allows our students an in-depth look at a functioning fire protection system. It’s also a fun way to wrap up the school.”

Experienced Instructors

The school is led by two experts in the field, Brown and Tom Wellen, P.E. Brown, a NICET Level IV,  has an associate degree in Applied Science/Fire Science and has over 50 years of industry involvement, including 26 years of contracting experience. He represents the interest of AFSA and its members in the building codes. He also serves on several National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) technical committees.

AFSA Staff Engineer Tom Wellen, P.E., provides instruction for the class. Wellen holds a bachelor of science degree in Engineering Technology, Fire Protection and Safety Technology from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and is actively involved with the NFPA and Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). He has over 20 years of designing, testing, reviewing, and engineering experience, and is a registered fire protection engineer in the States of Texas and California. Wellen also serves on several NFPA committees.

Registration Details

The cost for AFSA members is $1,100; non-members $1,600. The first three schools of 2015 sold out well in advance and only 15 students are enrolled per school, so early registration is encouraged. For more details and to register, visit or call AFSA’s Education Department at (214) 349-5965.

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