Oct 11, 2021
Welcome to episode 38 of Fire Code Tech! On this episode we are talking with Will Smith who is a fire protection engineer for nuclear facilities. Will gives insight from his career and we talk about lessons learned about early career success and growth from pain points. This was the first ever recorded episode of Fire Code Tech that was recorded almost two years ago.
Hello, all welcome to the show. I'm Gus Gagliardi, and this is fire code tech on fire code tech. We interview fire protection professionals from all different careers and backgrounds in order to provide insight and a resource for those in the field. My goal is to help you become a more informed fire protection.
Professional fire code tech has interviews with engineers and researchers, fire marshals, and insurance professionals, and highlights topics like codes and standards, engineering systems, professional development, and trending topics in the industry. So if you're someone who wants to know more about fire protection or the fascinating stories of those who are in the field, you're in the right place.
Hello, all welcome to episode 38, a fire code tech. In this episode, we're talking to will Smith. Will is one of my very good friends from college. And in this episode, we talk about his career, which has been mostly in, um, nuclear fire protection. So he's worked for a variety of, um, companies that deal with fire protection and facilities, kind of maintenance and inspection, testing, and maintenance for nuclear facilities.
This was actually the first episode ever recorded of fire code tech. And I, uh, I waited for a while because, um, my initial thoughts were, uh, I didn't really know what I was doing. I didn't, you know, have my interview flow down. And so will, was very kind in order to be Guinea pig and help me try this thing out that I had been wanting to do for about a year at this.
I hope you enjoyed this episode will has some great insight about his career. And he's a very smart guy. Also, don't forget to follow us on social media and subscribe. So you never miss an episode. Let's dive into the show. Hello. How's it going, William, welcome to fire code tech. Hey, thanks for having me guys.
Cool. Well, uh, uh, just to, just to get into the podcast, I just wanted to. Well, how did you get into fire protection? I got into fire protection because my father is a fire protection engineer. Originally. I thought I wanted to be an electrical engineer. And then I, uh, was browsing through some electrical engineering books one day and, uh, saw that they were full of math.
So I asked my dad how much math, electrical engineers had to do. And he said, all. I asked him how much math did he have to do? And he said, not as much. So I told him to help me more about fire protection. That's pretty good. I like that. I like that. It seems like people in fire protection, uh, oftentimes have, uh, An interest, interesting path of, of getting into the field.
And so I like to, I like to hear about that sort of stuff. So you said your, your dad was in fire protection. So, uh, what is, what did your dad do? He started his career in system design. And so he did that for a while. Back when it was all pipe schedule system kind of stuff. And then, uh, he ended up going over to the nuclear.
He got wind of some gig where they needed somebody who was proficient in design. And he jumped on that. And from there, uh, ended up working on, uh, department of energy nuke stuff at their, uh, national labs. And he ended up working straight forward the department of energy and spent his whole career in there and retired from that.
Cool. Very cool. That's. So I wanted to ask you, I saw that you've had a lot of internships and, um, I imagine some people who are listening to this will, uh, you know, be in school or, you know, working on getting into the fire protection industry. So I was wondering if you could just walk me through some of your internships and tell me a little bit about your, uh, essentially pre full-time job.
Uh, out of school experience. Sure. Yeah, I started off, I was working retail and stuff and then was starting to go to college and it locked down that I wanted to do this fire protection thing. And, uh, pretty quickly learned that a lot of stuff is connections. Uh, my dad knew some people. Who, uh, knew of a program that DWE ran for interns.
And he said, Hey, you should go throw your name in the hat. And so I did, and I ended up working in, uh, not in fire protection at all. I was in a facility management, uh, position ended up working in facility management group. And so even though that wasn't related fire protection, it was still kind of interesting.
I ended up working for them when they ended up discovering asbestos in one of their primary building. And so I got my whole summer got turned into this as best as abatement program, but kind of seeing that whole side of stuff, uh, for the whole summer. So that was ended up being an interesting experience, even though it wasn't fire protection.
And then after that, I, there was, uh, I was near the Oak Ridge national laboratory, and so learned that they were doing internships. And again, just kind of threw my name in that and. They had, they ended up putting me in their fire department and I spent one summer and then stayed on after the summer and, uh, came, uh, through the fall and they came back the next summer, I guess they liked me or something.
And so I ended up working in the fire department as an doing, just kind of shadowing some it and M stuff, uh, inspection, testing, maintenance, and, uh, that kind of side of things. And then my last internship very cool was, uh, actually again, not quite even fire protection related. I ended up going to a career fair at school and just kind of talking to a lot of people, doing some interviews and got asked by Valero to go do, uh, a safety internship.
And so that all was actually safety and industrial hygiene related. So I never actually ended up having a straight fire protection engineering kind of internship. That's funny. That's funny. And for, and for the people who don't know, uh, well, where where'd you end up going to school? I got my degree in fire protection at Oklahoma state university.
Cool. Yeah. And that's where, and that's where we met and that's where we were lab partners and, and that's kind of all where it began, but college . Yeah. No, no, no way you were the smart one, for sure. Um, so like in our program, there's kids who lean towards the safety side of things, and then there's students who are more interested in sort of the fire protection side of things.
So when you were in school, What did you, what was your, you know, experience? Where did you see yourself ending up after school? So, yeah, that's a great question because there was definitely a lot of different, uh, ideas that different students had about what they wanted to do. Um, I know where we went, Oklahoma state university, there was plenty of students that.
Just wanna be a firefighter. You know, they were getting a degree, uh, a lot of, you know, fire departments want you to have a degree in something nowadays. And so for a lot of them, that was the goal. Uh, some wanted, you know, fire, marshal kind of things. And then you definitely had the groups of people that wanted to go into design out there in Oklahoma.
I think there was a lot of people that wanted to go into oil and gas. I knew I always wanted to end up in the nuclear industry. Mm-hmm cause that's what my dad had spent his whole career in. We'd ended up out in east Tennessee, uh, where there is a lot. DOE nuke stuff, um, in that kind of half the United States.
And so I thought that would be a good niche to get into. I didn't end up getting into like DOE new right away. I ended up going into commercial Nu right outta college and working at nuclear power plant. So I, it just kind of what I knew. And so I guess I just kind ended up going that direction, but I remember being the only kid when people talk about where they wanted to end.
you know, you'd hear oil and gas, you know, insurance design, you know, whatever it was. And, uh, I think I was the one person that was like, oh, I wanna go into new. That's really interesting. Yeah. I think that's, that's funny because yeah, most kids are, you know, they, the large majority of jobs are in safety or, and insurance or, you know, fire protection.
Um, so it's, it's, you know, people only know what, uh, what you grew up with. I mean, uh, I think it's funny. I, you know, I ended up being an engineer, but my dad was, uh, an engineer. And so I think it's interesting that, you know, yeah. Like I said, it's kind of that. Connections thing that helps when you're finding a job, but even just knowing where to look and what's out there a lot of the times, I mean, you don't know what you don't know.
And a lot of times you're not gonna know these things unless somebody tells you. And so why does anyone become an engineer? Why does in such a small field is fire protection, kind of a niche field? How does anybody end up in that? Almost everybody had a story of how they ended up even hearing about it in the first place?
Yeah, for sure. It's definitely, uh, extremely niche and, uh, extremely, uh, tight knit as far as it all goes. So, you know, um, so when you started in the fire protection industry, what's like, what's one of the more difficult things about. You started learning about your job or what was one of the more difficult, um, parts of getting into fire protection as a professional?
Was there anything you struggled with or, you know, I can think of some specific design related tasks that were hard for me starting out. Was there anything that you remember thinking when you were first getting into the industry? Oh, man, this is really hard or difficult or I don't quite get this yet. Um, I think there was kind of a general sense of getting outta college and kind of having that anxiety of, uh, of, you know, thinking I was gonna land in a professional field and somebody was gonna expect me to know something, you know, you just spent four years in college, you're gonna show up at this job and, and they were gonna expect you to know something.
I was kind of relieved to find that right out the gate, everybody kind of typically expects you to know nothing. You know, I, I think past four years in school, uh, proving that you can learn. um, and then once you've kind of proven you can learn, and especially in you, these engineering fields, you know, they want to know that you can, uh, learn quickly, adapt quickly, um, process stuff quickly, and then kind of got out and, uh, you know, how to base in fire protection, but as for something in particular that was, uh, difficult to learn.
It takes some time to kind of get your feet planted in the codes. And if PA and I B C you know, you kind of, you kind of get a, an overview in college, um, of some of them, and then kind of coming out, you end up having to dig through a lot of these things. And so, I don't know, I just, I I've spent a lot of my, uh, few years here out of college.
In kind of co compliance, uh, positions, running fire protection programs, doing a lot of kind of co compliance sort of stuff. And, uh, and so we're in the code a lot and just kinda learning to navigate that and such, it just took some time. Okay, for sure. Yeah. I definitely, I definitely can, uh, resonate with that.
You know, um, we had experience with, you know, codes and standards in school, but there's nothing like the reps and the, you know, sets that you get. In, uh, being a professional and just going through the motions on a day to day basis, looking at, you know, nobody's gonna know the code better than the sprinkler designer, the fire alarm designer that looks at that book every day.
So there's definitely some tips and tricks in there. And, uh, yeah, I feel like that one of the big ones for me was learning, um, Just how the format of the NFPA standards, you know, how there's consistency in them and how that's something easy to fall back on. Anytime you're looking at, 'em like go into the introduction and reading, does this standard even apply or.
Going into, you know, the building codes and seeing is this standard even adopted by the building codes and that sort of thing. So I definitely resonate with that, with what you're saying. So absolutely there, yeah, there is, uh, there is reason to the madness in, in the code books. Yeah. Yeah. It seems daunting at first, for sure.
It seems like their, uh, their own language. So. Cool. So can you take me through what a normal, um, day at your job looks like? You know, like what is that? I mean, you know, people here, you know, uh, facilities, engineer, or for, uh, you know, Campus of, uh, buildings that you know, are involved with, uh, nuclear facilities.
What does that, what does that mean? What does that functionally look like? So, you know, everywhere you're gonna end up in fire protection, you know, there's a lot of places that you can end up, you know, like we've kind of mentioned you. I mean, some of these. Some people go into the safety side, some people in the design side and, and even the different industries you end up and are all gonna be different in my little niche of the world, this kind of, uh, department of energy, uh, nuclear facility kind of world.
Um, and what I also did in commercial new. Comes down to running a fire protection program. So there's regulations in place to say, you've gotta run fire protection program. You've gotta do the, you've gotta do it this way. And you've gotta, you know, do these things. And, and, uh, for my particular position now, uh, in kind of this DOE new position, um, There's a set of, uh, regulations that flow down to orders that kind of flow down to deal standards.
And, and they end up basically telling us, you've gotta run a program like this, and you've gotta do these things. So one of those big things is you've gotta get into all your facilities and you've gotta do fire protection engineering assessments. They call them arm the facilities where you kind of go through.
It's not a line by line code review, but it is a assessment to make sure that a, that the building is in compliance, uh, with your program, with your fire protection program at your site. And so I spend a lot of my time, uh, doing that. We are on a rather large campus with, uh, mini buildings and. So I'm always kind of prepping for an assessment and, uh, working in my report, doing a lot of my research in this facility and then doing a walk down, get out into the field, putting eyes on everything, and then coming back and kind of finishing up a report.
and, uh, getting it reviewed and moving on to the next one. And then beyond that, I also support just a, a, a part of the facility as kind of a point of contact in fire protection engineering. So that if they have any questions, they, uh, always have somebody they can contact. And, you know, that's kind of a.
Revolving door on my office of, of other fun things that come up. Cool. So you, you talk about a report a little bit. What kind of, what kind of things is this a hazard assessment? Is this, are you looking at annual maintenance? What kind of things are you looking at on this, uh, report, uh, starts with, uh, you know, a description of the bus of the building at the facility.
Works through the water supply, available to the facility, the fire protection systems, uh, both suppression and alarm that are in there. It touches on, uh, the fire department response. It, uh, goes through all the it and M that's, uh, needed for the systems if it's in compliance. And it goes through all the life safety stuff from emergency lights, exits, um, and, uh, you know, the walkthrough confirms that a lot of that stuff is, you know, in action.
Uh, In compliance in the field. Um, it, it's very comprehensive. Uh, just kind of making sure that every element of our program is actually being carried out in the facility. I'm sure that fire sprinkler. Yeah. And fire alarm are very common for your facilities. Are there, are there other types of fire protection systems that well, we've got a whole host of systems.
And so we have a lot of, uh, in some cases we have really unique, uh, kind of applications and, you know, we end up ha having a whole gamut of systems, everything from, you know, we, we've got your standing kind of, we pipe dry pipe and, and, uh, a lot of it kind of antifreeze loops, even though we're trying to get away from that.
Oh, wow. And. Yeah, cool. Just kinda a little bit of everything. Um, just with kind of the size of facility and we end up just kind of being a whole small city and manufacturing and kind of everything all in one. Uh, and, and so for a lot of the, sorry, go on old. And so you can be dealing with, you know, stuff from back in the forties, all the way up to stuff that was installed yesterday.
So you end up seeing kinda wide gambit of. Cool. Very cool. That's always, that's always one of the things that I brag about when I talk about fire protection to people in other jobs or industries is how varied the work we get to do is with the, you know, new construction and existing construction. And.
You know, different system types and all that sort of thing. So I always find that that's the, the spice that makes the job, uh, interesting and meaningful to come back to. Absolutely. You can see a lot of history, uh, as you go out and look at some of these old systems and, and, uh, stuff that's in place.
That's super neat. That's super neat. So, um, so, oh yeah. I remember what I wanted to ask. I wanted to ask you about. So you were talking about antifreeze systems. Have you seen any of this? Uh, I forget who the company is, but they just released a, a UL listed antifreeze. Uh, have you seen anything about that? I thought that was interesting.
I haven't you'd have to tell me about it. Oh, it's uh, it's not a big deal, but the, before there was not a, a listed anti-free solution due to, you know, all the trouble they've had with the oh. People mixing the antifreeze on site and, you know, charging these systems. But now I, I can't quite remember who I'm sure I could look it up real quick, but, um, yeah, they have a listed antifreeze now, which I feel like could be a game changer for keeping some of these more antiquated systems in service.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, cause you know, I know as far as the, for us, we end. Trying to remove a lot of 'em, that's kind of the goal when the opportunity arises, we'd rather just, uh, you know, re well, remove it, get it out of place. And I think there's even some, uh, isn't there kind of a deadline for getting some of these systems out.
I think there is, but, uh, it's shows that Tyco has a, has a UL listed antifreeze. So that's kind of interesting. But yeah, I imagine that people are still hesitant to use the systems. You know, if there's only one person who's manufacturing, a listed antifreeze, I'm sure it's still not ideal. Yeah. Um, especially so.
Especially in what we have other options. Definitely. Definitely. So, in talking to you before you were telling me that you work with, uh, you guys have a rather large fire protection division. Can you tell me about that a little bit? Uh, we do, we have probably, uh, about a half a dozen guys who work on these far pick engineering assessments.
And then we have probably two or three guys that are dedicated to writing FHAs um, And so, I mean, it's, it's a pretty large group and, uh, we definitely have enough work to keep everybody lazy, but it's definitely the largest, uh, group of fire protection engineers I've ever worked in. That's awesome. That's really cool.
It's always nice to have, uh, people who are knowledgeable around you and helping you learn and mentorship and that sort of thing. So, um, I, I benefit from the youngest member of the group. I get. Not worry about being the smartest person in the room. And instead get to just, uh, ask these guys for their wisdom.
That's super nice. That's always very meaningful. I know that, uh, I know that when we were in school, we had teachers telling us to pick a job for your, for your mentors and don't just be locked in on how much money you can make. So I always found that to be solid advice. Yeah. Um, Cool. Well, to give people some, uh, idea of the magnitude of the campus that you work on, like approximately how many buildings do you guys take a look at in a year?
Do you have to evaluate all the buildings on your campus in like in one year's time? So buildings that are, uh, nuclear facilities, they have to be evaluated every. But facilities that aren't and we have a lot as there's a lot of support buildings for these. Um, they get an evaluation every three years, uh, falls out from, uh, yeah, the D we orders on how to run and manage a fire protection program, uh, for their facilities.
So I, I mean, if I had to guess, I'd say we probably end up about. 30 or 40 assessments a year that kind of gets wow. The group. Um, if 30 might be a good number, I'll go with that. That's awesome. That's a lot of buildings. That's a lot of buildings to be typically, you know, part of a program. Yeah. Typically most guys have one a month and so you just kind of start the month working through it and, uh, one a month or one every other month.
So you've talked to me before about, uh, kind of your relationship with the as, or would you consider yourself an authority having jurisdiction or I, I remember speaking with you before you telling me that you kind of function as a pseudo HJ, but not really an a J. Uh, yeah, so our group, um, we don't do any of the design work.
We have a separate group that does the fire protection design stuff. And, uh, so we are kind of in that code authority, uh, position. And so for this part of the site that I oversee, I become kind of this pseudo AJ. I am out there in the field. I answer the questions and whatnot, and, uh, how that role kind of falls out for us is, uh, DWE has a person on.
D we official on site, who is the AJ and, uh, but then. The contractor for the site, the whole site is run by, uh, under a contract and there's just a handful of DWE people there. And so then within the contract, you have, uh, our contractor authority having jurisdiction, and there's kind of a, uh, a world of things that he's allowed to just kind of give his approval on.
And if it kind of goes above that line, then he has to touch base with the DOE HJ. And so we're then, uh, Fire protection engineers like myself, we're out in the field and we, uh, get involved in those situations. And if we need a AJ approval, then we would just go to, to the AJ or our staff and ask, uh, him to look something over.
So he kind cool. So it's just kind of a, you know, flow down like that. Interesting. That's an interesting structure, how you guys are kind of tight knit, but also you, you use. Structure of command or, you know, kind of, uh, chain of command type of thing to working with the onsite, AJ and working as a AJ yourself.
Very cool. So are there any like, uh, trends or themes in the industry that you see right now for your job where, you know, uh, like for my industry, Architecture and engineering field and, you know, design side of things. I can see that the way that contracts are handled are shifting more towards the design build side of things, uh, away from the design bid build process.
And that's kind of a trend in our industry. And, uh, but I didn't know if you could think of anything specifically that you feel is trending. In your job position or, or something that's, uh, yeah. Of that nature, you know, I really can't think of anything. That's really kind of trending in my corner of the world, but could also just be because I'm relatively new.
I feel like, you know, everything just seems new to me. I'm sure. If you asked somebody who was older on the staff, they would tell you how everything's wildly changing these days. sure. Sure. So what's, uh, what's one thing that you wish you would've known, um, getting into the fire protection field that you know now, but you didn't know when you got into the field.
You know, I, it's kind of hard for me to say I had a pretty good base with my father being, you know, in the very similar field to me where I'm at now. So I always had somebody I can balance things off of. Um, sure. I,
I haven't had anything that I really felt like, you know, it was. Something that I really wish I knew beforehand that I missed out on. Yeah. Um, just probably what I mentioned earlier that, that kind of stress of when I first kind of stepped outta college and feeling like, you know, I needed to be this productive member of society right away.
And while you should always strive to be that, I think most people understand that for your first two years, you're pretty much in training. They're teaching you what they want you to know. Sure. Definitely. Yeah, I think it's so hard, especially for a young professional guys starting to work, um, in the field and you get into the job and you and your gungho and you want to, you know, charge into, uh, the problems and start really, you know, getting into the mix.
And the reality of it is it's gonna take, you know, days and weeks and months before you get properly integrated. The way that your company does business and the workflow of how things get done. So it's a very, uh, it's, uh, you know, it's stressful, but honestly, it's one of the more easier parts of your career, but it's very stressful because you don't understand how you fit in the equation yet.
And I, you know, I can see the struggle. Young professionals, young engineers that work at my company, you know, they, they wanna be involved. They wanna learn, they want to, you know, get into the problems, but they're just not, they're just not acclimated into how things are done yet. So yeah, I, that's something that I definitely think about.
Um, How can I help, you know, young professionals get acclimated? Or how could you, you know, what would you say to say to somebody, you know, getting into the field and, you know, get acclimated. And for me, it's, you know, understand where your resources are, understand your codes, understand your, you know, international building code or whatever your jurisdiction, um, is I important because.
Those are gonna be your bread and butter questions as a fire protection engineer. I, I would recommend that somebody, uh, you know, take the opportunity in their early career when, uh, they may have more time. It may not be as laid down with tasks to, to take every opportunity to learn. Um, no, uh, time you ever spend getting more familiar with your codes, getting more familiar with the, uh, the, the regulations that drive the work you do.
you know, whether that be, you know, uh, you know, like in my, uh, industry, the, the regulations and the DOE orders and the DOE standards and whatnot, um, no time ever spent learning that material and learning what drives your job position and learning your resources, uh, you know, your code and whatnot is ever going to be, uh, a waste.
Get, you know, definitely get into the procedures, get into the code, get into the regulations and whatnot, and kinda learn that document base. Uh, it's gonna always serve you. Yeah. Yeah. One of the more grueling things I, I ever had to do, you know, on the entry into a job is, you know, just have the, as my assignment be to just sit down and read the code book and, you know, it sounds, you know, unproductive or cruel or it's like, you know, just takes forever, but read a read NFPA 13 or N FPA 72 cover to cover.
Yeah. You know, sounds like. Torture, but you, you, like you said, there's not a moment you spend reading one of these code books that isn't helping you put a based layer of, you know, understanding on that will help you in your career for sure. Absolutely. for sure. So can you think of any, are you, uh, interested in any, uh, online resources or are there, is there anybody you follow in social media or anything like that for fire protection news or fire protection information?
No, I'm probably behind in keeping up with fire protection information, uh, you know, online resources that I use, uh, the CoBooks hosted, you know, theba has online their. Nice. We'll have access to all those and multiple additions of those. You kind of run into needing that sometimes. And, um, any other resources that I use?
Uh, not really, um, not online. It doesn't feel like there's a whole lot of stuff out there. It doesn't feel like that, you know, fire protection as an industry kind of has, um, a whole lot of resource and material online. Or, or spaces for people to kind of get together and, uh, balance ideas off of each other.
We have, uh, a local chapter of, uh, S F P E. um, and that's helpful where you can get to know more fire protection engineers and kind of develop those connections of people. Who've had different experiences that you can call up and, you know, bounce questions off of. Uh, so for me, that it's kind of the general resource I end up going to, we, we fortunately work with quite a few engineers and, uh, and then no, several more that I can always kind of take those questions too.
that's good. I mean, there's no better resource than a person who's done it before, but, um, yeah, I think one of my favorite ones that I like to use a lot is, uh, Myer fire, and, um, oh yeah. Have you, have you read much of his blog articles or anything like that? Yeah, I've, it's been in there from time to time and, uh, and been linked several his articles at least.
Yeah, he, he just had a new one come out. I think this week that, uh, he broke down all the requirements in the international building code that, uh, talk about when a sprinkler system was required and he put it all on a cheat sheet. So, I mean, if that would've existed, when I was first getting into the sprinkler industry, I would've been like, wow, this is so great.
You know? , but it's nice that people are just starting to, uh, you know, generate these things and kind of have these conversations and make it a little easier for us. Absolutely.
So will, can you think of any times where you've had like, uh, a failure or a pain point where you ended up learning from it or, you know, maybe something that, uh, one of your. Engineering, uh, coworkers caught or something where you thought, oh man, that's, you know, I can't believe I missed that. Or something like to that nature that helped you learn or something you always remember.
Yeah, that happens all the time. Um, one of my, one of my largest pain points so far, it was when I was in commercial new, we were, uh, Having our tri inspection, where our regulator comes in once every three years. And it kind of does a big program review, you know, and, and they're always looking for something to, to write you up on.
And we felt like we've been doing a pretty good job and we have 'em come in and they're, they're asking for information on, uh, uh, you know, all these specific areas and we're giving it to 'em, we're answering questions and we're like, yeah, this is gonna go pretty well. This is gonna go pretty well. And, uh, Without getting down into the details, we kind of had a, a grid system and we thought we had everything kind of tested the way we needed to.
We were testing all parts of it. And, uh, they ended up coming in and, uh, saying we were, we were missing something and, and we strongly disagreed. And so we kind of went back and forth and, uh, you know, we were able to point to the code and go look, here's what it says. Here's how we're meeting that. You know, we're not really seeing the.
and it kind of came down to a, to, to not a, a code issue, but a preference issue. And, mm. You know, we didn't feel like a, a preference issue should get written up as a violation. And so, or a finding wherever you wanna call it. And so, uh, regularly came through and they did, they, they wrote it up as a, as a finding.
And so we got pinned with that. And of course our management's coming going, why are we having this finding, you know, what's going on? And, and, uh, so we're explaining what's going on and our position and their position and, uh, This is just, you know, within the first year of me being outta school and I'm like, boom, we've got this, here's the code.
Here's, you know, the reality, this, you know, we, we got this one in the bag and, uh, and we were like, you know, we, we have to go, we have to go fight on this. And we, uh, we gave the whole pitch to our management and they said, nah, take it just shut up and take it. And I, I blown away. I was blown away. I was like, but we don't have, we are in the right.
And they said, we don't care, shut up and take it. This works, you know, if that, if that's gonna be the finding they're gonna walk away with or what, and, and in the end, you know, it's probably a good call. You know, if that's the finding, they're gonna walk away with not a big deal. We can resolve that really easily.
They felt like they came in and got us learn something and, and we all move on. But, uh, it was kind of a pain point, cuz I, I did a lot of the research. I did a lot of the leg. Arm putting this case together just knew I had put together just this watertight case, uh, that this was a preference issue, not a code issue.
And, uh, ended up being told that that's nice. That's nice. Just let 'em right. As a finding, we're not gonna fight him on it. It was, it was a bit of a pain point yeah, definitely. That's one of those things that you never forget and it's, and it always sticks with you in your career, but it probably makes you stronger.
Yeah. Yeah. All, every bit of it was a good learning experience. yeah, for me, I can think of, uh, more than a couple times where, uh, my design or, you know, my intent for a design is, you know, caused me some pain and you know, mostly, a lot of times, like you say, it stems from the authority having jurisdiction and, um, preferences or local ordinances, you know, something.
You know, a student out of school or, you know, maybe even some design professionals might not know is that, you know, each city, each state has their own local ordinances and they. Can be, uh, Dr. Uh, very impactful. So like for Oklahoma, their state fire marshal has an ordinance that essentially says that if you replace any major component of a antiquated or deficient fire alarm system that you have to upgrade, the entire facility is fire alarm system.
So. I've had that, uh, get me in trouble before, you know, oh, we're, you know, we're not touching this portion of the facility and the facility was renovated in 2012, you know, and then it ends up coming back that, uh, you know, depending on whoever reviewed it last time that, you know, they didn't see it last time or, or didn't go to that, you know, uh, state fire marshal last time.
And this time it's, uh, comes down the line. You know, that's something that they are want to happen and all you can do is just say, okay, and you're the authority to have in jurisdiction. And you have the last word and, you know, take care of it. Absolutely. Yeah.
Um, so that's always, uh, those can be, uh, hard pills to swallow though. It, even though when, you know, it's the, it's the right thing to. Yeah. Yeah. It, it can be, um, you know, we ran into that and, uh, especially my last job where we had the regulator, you know, and we had to, you know, when they said jump, we said how high?
And, and, uh, to some extent where we are now, you know, we have our, our customer, you know, department of energy and, you know, they're the authority having jurisdiction. And, you know, when they come in and, and they say, you know, Nope, we want done this way. Okay. We'll throw plan a out the window. How'd you want it done?
yep. That's interesting. That's very interesting. I like that. That's awesome, man. I can't tell you. It means a lot to me that, uh, you come on and talk to me about the podcast stuff. I've been spinning my wheels on this for a while. So it means a lot to me. I'm excited about it and I'm excited to, to help and assist or be a part of as much as I can or you want me to, or yeah.
Uh, I think it's a good thing. I think it's a fun thing. And I think it's great. Yeah. Thanks for listening everybody. Be sure to share the episode with a friend, if you enjoyed it, don't forget that fire protection and life safety is serious business. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are by no means a professional consultation or a codes and standards interpretation.
Be sure to contact a licensed professional. If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life safety. Thanks again, and we'll see you next time.