Automatic Fire Alarm Association History

The Automatic Fire Alarm Association (AFAA) is the only not-for-profit association exclusively focused on the fire alarm industry. Founded in 1953 in Chicago, Illinois by a mixed group of contractors, engineers, and manufacturers. It grew to be a two-tiered organization (National and Local) in 1987 when Larry Neibauer became Executive Director. AFAA now has several Regional and Local Member Associations representing 9 states nationwide. Membership consists of manufacturers, consulting engineers, distributors, AHJ's, and end users.

The National AFAA's primary focus includes active participation in the codes and standards making process of both the International Code Council (ICC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). AFAA has 34 individuals representing the association on 37 NFPA Technical Committees. In addition, AFAA has representatives on 3 UL Standards Technical Panels and the ICC Industry Advisory Committee. Consistent involvement in the codes and standards making process is vitally important to the sustainability of the fire alarm industry. Without this involvement, requirements for fire alarm systems would erode rapidly.

AFAA's second focus is the development and presentation of quality fire alarm training programs for the industry. Three consistent seminars on basics of fire alarms, testing and inspecting fire alarms, and code requirements for fire alarm systems. In addition, AFAA also provides training to help individuals prepare for NICET fire alarm certification. AFAA was instrumental in the development of NICET Fire Alarm Systems certification program back in 1988 and still remains a strong proponent of certification for our industry.

In addition to seminars, AFAA provides sponsored webinars multiple times per year. These webinars are all technical presentations, not sales pitches by the sponsor. All webinars are free of charge, but only AFAA members get access to CEUs and recorded webinars at no charge. That is a huge cost saving benefit.

The Local Associations focus is to provide training on a local level, build relationships with AHJ's and other organizations, and promote professionalism on a local level. Members of our state and regional associations also are members of the National AFAA. Our website has a link to each Local Association's websites.

Due to the contributions that our members and supporters have given us, AFAA also issues awards annually. We are so grateful for everyone that has had a helping hand in where we are today. We couldn't have done it without you!

In February 2019, we attended the FSSA tradeshow and wanted to share a short video. FSSA Video