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Fire Alarm Design with the Autism Spectrum Community in Mind

Credit Hours
1 Hour

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Course Description
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism spectrum impacts one out of every 36 children. Individuals on the autism spectrum are found in school buildings, offices, healthcare facilities, and throughout the built environment. This presentation will outline some considerations for fire alarm design when individuals on the autism spectrum are impacted by the fire alarm signal. We will discuss how a “that’s the way we’ve always done it” approach to fire alarm design doesn’t always work when dealing with individuals on the autism spectrum. The 2025 edition of NFPA 72 will contain new restricted audible mode operation (RAMO) and a summary of the new language will be discussed.

Event Presenter
Presenter Icon
John Swanson, NFSA
Codes and Standards Specialist
John Swanson currently serves as NFSA’s Codes and Standards Specialist. In this role he provides training and education and represents NFSA on code development and technical committees. Prior to joining NFSA, John spent 20 years as a Deputy State Fire Marshal-Inspector/Plan Reviewer with the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division and served 8 years as a Firefighter with the City of Lakeville, MN. He currently serves as a Principal member of the NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code Technical Committee and is a past member of the International Building Code (IBC) Fire Safety Committee and the International Fire Code (IFC) Interpretation Committee. He has served as a subject matter expert for the International Code Council (ICC) as an instructor and assisted with the development of ICC exam content. From 2013-2017, John served as a fire service representative appointed by Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton to the Minnesota Board of Architecture and Engineering.

In 2013, John’s son was diagnosed with autism. Since that day, he has a passion to work to improve fire and life safety issues for individuals on the autism spectrum. He has served as a consultant and speaker for organizations throughout the United States on building design that keeps the autism spectrum community in mind.

Event Sponsor

The user acknowledges that the workshops, handouts, and related course materials contained therein are intended for educational purposes only, and should not be considered to be legal advice or a substitute for legal or clinical consultation. These presentations address issues that are multi-faceted, and the user should not assume that the courses discuss every law, regulation, or ethical code that may be relevant to the subject matter. Legal and ethical standards are subject to change and it is always prudent to check to see whether a particular law, regulation, or ethical standard may have changed.

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