We want to thank everyone who participated in our end-of-year survey. Here is a summary of the responses with 79 responses logged.
1. How is your staffing?
2. How many of your employees have been sick with COVID-19, if any? Have you had a workplace shutdown or interruption of service due to positive cases?
37 respondents say they were unaffected by illness or shutdowns.
Other responses included:
3. What percentage of your workforce was impacted by employees testing positive for COVID-19, if any?
4. How has revenue been for 2020?
5. What has been the most challenging aspect of business in 2020?
6. Have any of your clients gone out of business this year?
7. In planning for 2021, is there anything you have to plan differently than you normally do?
8. Is there something that you’d like to see NAFED doing to better support you?
There has been growing concern about the presence of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam). PFAS have been associated with serious environmental, pollution, and health issues. This has been a topic of discussion at NAFED conferences for the past three years. The major areas of concern have been at civilian and military airfields, petrochemical facilities, and firefighting testing and training facilities where AFFF has widespread use.
This issue also includes AFFF fire extinguishers. Recently both Amerex and Ansul have stopped production and sales of AFFF fire extinguishers and recharge agents. Badger is in the process of redesigning their stainless-steel cylinders and, once completed, will be offering their AR-AFFF extinguishers. A Buckeye representative stated that they are developing an AFFF extinguisher that should be introduced in the future.
This development has a significant impact on the fire extinguisher service industry. The current NFPA 10 requires that these extinguishers be recharged every three years and hydrotested every five years. However, without the agents being available, the extinguishers cannot be recharged and should be removed from service. Depending on the hazard being protected, another Class B rated extinguisher may be substituted. However, dry chemical or clean agent fire extinguishers do not have the ability to suppress vapors like a foam extinguisher does.
What happens next? New agents are being developed but we do not know what the timeline is before they are approved and developed for use in fire extinguishers.
The next edition of NFPA 10 is scheduled for release in 2021. The new edition contains a proposed revision to Section 184.108.40.206.1 that would read:
220.127.116.11.1 The premixed agent in liquid charge–type AFFF and FFFP fire extinguishers shall be replaced
One fire extinguisher manufacturer stated at the NFPA 10 technical committee meeting that their agent does have a five-year life. Once this agent and extinguisher becomes available there should not be a need to recharge those extinguishers on a three-year cycle.
Make certain that if you are servicing or removing AFFF extinguishers from service, the foam solution should not be disposed of by pouring into the sewer system or pouring it on the ground. The solution is considered a hazardous material and an environmental hazardous substance. Disposal must be in accordance with appropriate federal, state/provincial, and local regulations.
We want to thank everyone who participated in our August survey. Here is a summary of the responses with 119 responses logged.
"We are a small company that works mainly at nursing homes and we follow strict guidelines every day."
We had 88 responses in our latest state of business survey. Thanks to our participants - here are the results!
1. Are you fully open for business?
2. If you let employees go, have you brought them back?
3. If you have had layoffs, about what percent of your staff remains involuntarily laid off?
4. If you've invited employees back, how many of your offers of reemployment have been rejected (they're staying voluntarily unemployed)?
5. How have employees been complying with changes to cleaning/health safety standards?
6. U.S. respondents: have you applied for the Paycheck Protection Program?
7. Any other types of financial assistance you've received? How much has it helped?
8. Have you been able to obtain all the PPE you may need?
9. Have you, your employees, or any family been sick with COVID-19?
10. How are you feeling at this point in the crisis?
We want to thank everyone who participated in our April survey. Here is a summary of the responses with 132 responses logged.
1. Is your business OPEN currently? Is your state/municipality under stay-at-home order?
2. If open, what safety precautions are you taking? (select all that apply)
Some specific responses for "other" include:
3. Are you able to continue allowing your admin/office staff to work remotely
4. Have you had to lay off anyone or expect to soon?
5. Are your customers open and willing to have service done?
6. Have you, your employees, or any family been sick with COVID-19?
7. Have you been able to apply for any of the relief bill financial assistance?
Comments from those who said "No":
8. Do you have any advice for other fire equipment distributors on things you've been able to do or make work during this crisis?
9. Is there any additional information you need at this time?
The largest industry conference, the National Fire Protection Association's Conference & Expo set for June 15-18 in Orlando has officially been canceled.
Further information directly from the NFPA can be found here.
We want to thank everyone who participated in our survey. Here is a summary of the results.
2. If open, what safety precautions are you taking? What changes to employee habits?
Some specific responses include:
Responses for "other":
Remote services people are using:
7. Is there anything NAFED can do for you at this time?
As more and more states issue stay-at-home orders that require non-essential businesses to shut down, NAFED has received several calls asking if the service and maintenance of life safety and fire protection equipment and systems is considered an essential business.
We have reviewed several of the state orders and descriptions regarding essential businesses. We have also had discussions with others in the industry, and our consensus opinion is that YES, the installation, service, and maintenance of life safety and fire protection equipment is an essential business.
Although your operations are essential, you must remember that business is not “as usual.” You must take all the safety precautions that are currently required. Some actions that you should consider are:
NAFED along with FEMA and the Government Regulations Committee are monitoring the situation and a paper is being prepared for submittal to state and provincial agencies. Mark Conroy of Brooks Equipment is coordinating these efforts.
Visit the CDC, NIOSH, and your state's website for additional information.
There will be other changes to your operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is important to remember to be safe.
We also have received additional guidance from industry partners and the Department of Homeland Security regarding essential operations during this time:
Guidance for Maintaining Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems Regardless of Occupancy Status (NFPA)
Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce (DHS - Cyber & Infrastructure Security Agency)
NAFED staff participated in a webinar "Coronavius (COVID-19): What You Need to Know" presented by the National Safety Council in partnership with the CDC. We've been given access to share this webinar with you so you can stay informed on what the World Health Organization is now classifying as a global pandemic and consider what steps may need to be taken for yourself, your business, and your employees, if you haven't already.
View the presentation here.
Other helpful links on COVID-19:
• An infographic from CDC explaining how to keep workplaces, schools, homes and commercial sites safe from coronavirus
• OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
• NIOSH Guidance on coronavirus in workplaces
• CDC guidance on mass gatherings and large events
• CDC tips on what to do if you are sick
Regarding the Conference
NAFED is aware that the progressing situation may impact our future scheduled events. We are in close touch with our event venues in Atlantic City and Chicago and will be monitoring all local advisories. If there are any changes, we will update you as soon as that decision is made. We understand if you need to make changes to your reservation and will be waiving the cancellation fee.
Be safe and be well.
New Fire Equipment Industry Benchmark Shows Positive Conditions for Early Summer
CHICAGO, Illinois. (July 17, 2019) – The fire equipment industry has a new, innovative industry benchmark, and it shows positive business conditions for the month of June 2019. The benchmark, the “NAFED Gauge,” is an exclusive index from the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED).
"This cutting-edge benchmark will help companies in the fire equipment industry make better business decisions,” said Danny Harris, CAE, NAFED Executive Director. “It is one more way that NAFED is contributing to our members' success as they seek to protect the lives and property of others."
This first-ever NAFED Gauge was well represented in the number and geographic distribution of responses. A large majority of these June 2019 responses rated current business conditions as positive, with 88% choosing that answer when asked the question, “How would you describe your current business conditions?” This translates to a NAFED Gauge reading of 121, with a number over 100 indicating conditions are positive.
"While that number by itself is helpful, NAFED members can also access other important measures for future business expectations, current challenges, and current sources of revenue," said Tim Krulan, NAFED President. "This is a goldmine of information that makes NAFED membership a critical business tool for any company involved in the fire protection services and equipment industry."
While this is the first month for the NAFED Gauge, future months will allow the industry benchmark to project trends that can be of ever greater help in planning for the future.
You can view the June benchmark data here.
Members will be able to access all future benchmark data by logging in to the member area of the NAFED website at www.nafed.org. Those companies that are not currently members can also find membership information on the NAFED website.
For more information about NAFED or the NAFED Gauge, contact Tamara Matthews, Communications Manager, at email@example.com.
The National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED) is a trade association serving companies that sell, distribute, and service fire equipment. Members sell and service portable fire extinguishers in addition to a full range of fire protection services including the installation and/or maintenance of pre-engineered kitchen systems, industrial systems, fire alarms, security systems, sprinklers, fire hose and standpipes, and emergency and exit lighting. NAFED members work in commercial, industrial, and residential settings making buildings safe and giving individuals the tools they need to fight early-stage fires.