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Oct 5, 2020

Drew Slocum has been involved with the fire protection industry for 17 years. He is the co-founder of Inspect Point, a remote inspection platform, and the host of The Fire Protection Podcast. On this bonus episode of Fire Code Tech, we talk about remote inspection, NFPA 915 and the fascinating work Drew is involved with. We speak about the fire protection podcast scene and discuss some inside baseball about podcasting and what is next for Drew.

Inspect Point

The Fire Protection Podcast

Tell me a little bit about your background?
Tell me a little bit more about your background and how your systems engineering background dovetails with fire protection?
Do you have a project example or a career example of a big learning experience for you?
Tell me about your work on NFPA 915 committee?
What is the line between what can be and what can't be inspected remotely?
Tell me about your work with the new york contractors association?
For those who don't know what is Inspect Point?
Would you speak a little bit about the Fire Protection Podcast and the impetus for the show?
Where do you see the Fire Protection Podcast going?
What are some resources that you recommend to professionals?
What piece of advice would you give to yourself just getting into the industry?



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.

You're in the right place. Hey, I just wanted to check in with everybody before the episode, we are releasing a separate bonus episode this week. We're still gonna have our two regularly scheduled episodes, but I wanted to release an additional interview for your enjoyment. October's a big month for. Fire safety and fire protection.

So I wanted to, uh, pay homage or a tribute to the month and release another episode for you guys to enjoy. On this episode, we have drew locum. Drew is been in the fire protection industry for over 17 years. He is now the host of the fire protection podcast. Drew talks to us about N F P. Team, which is the standard for remote inspection.

We get into interesting topics about the fire protection podcast and also a little bit more about what he does at, in inspect point. If you're a big fan of other fire protection podcasts, you're gonna like this one, because we talk a little bit about behind the scenes and the inception of the fire protection podcast.

Fire code tech. Don't forget to subscribe. So you never miss an episode and follow us on social media. Also, if you want to drop me a, I'd be interested if you have any suggestions for guests or topics you'd like to hear about let's dive into the show. Well, welcome to the show drew.

Thanks for coming on. Yeah. Thanks guys. Thanks for having me been, uh, looking forward to this since you, you, uh, we connected, uh, you know, not that long. Yeah, it's exciting. I'm excited to talk to, uh, a fellow fire protection podcaster. There's not too many in the game, but, uh, it's a exciting time, but I'm excited to get into it with, yeah, I think you're the, the newest to the clan, right?

Or one of the newest there's about, it's like four or five of us now. Yeah, it's exciting. I like, uh, I'm aware of the, uh, fire sprinkler podcast, uh, um, the fire protection podcast. I remember hearing Chris Logan talking about, uh, bison. Oh yeah. Rock Reed. Yeah. I had him on, yeah. And, uh, I've also seen little snippets of some starting and whatnot, but yeah, it's an interesting time.

Yeah, definitely. so cool. So I just wanted to get started with, uh, a little bit about your background and kind of, uh, how you got started in. Yeah, sure. Sure. So I've been in, um, Fire protection for, I think it's 17 years. Hold on. What, what? Yeah, I think it's 17 years, 17 years at this point I started really right out of right outta college.

I went to, uh, the better of the Polytechnic institutes, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Uh, I know there's probably a lot of WPI, uh, listeners out there. So, um, you know, Reder, doesn't have a, a, a, a great fire protect. Uh, they don't have one at all fire protection degree, but, um, you know, the, the godfather of the sprinkler Frederick Renell went to RPI.

So I gotta, I gotta give a shout out there. So, you know, I was an industrial, um, engineer coming outta school, uh, went to work for Tyco, you know, the big manufacturer of, of fire protection equipment. So actually went into manufacturing. I was manufacturing their, their dry pipe valve out of hu Houston, Texas.

Uh, right outta school, um, went into their management leadership program, kind of moved around the, the, the west coast with them, went to another valve manufacturing plant. Then, uh, went down to Arizona manufactured, uh, sprinkler pipe, you know, with allied allied tube and conduit, which is now part of at.

While I was there, kind of dipped my toe into sales a little bit. And, um, then 2008 happened with the, the little bit of a crash there. I was looking for positions of fire protection products out of, uh, New York, uh, took a position with them. Uh, doing more technical sales, selling, selling to contractors, engineers, owners.

So I worked there, you know, moved to New York city, which is quite a change from Arizona. And I went there and, um, I've worked that market for about five years with Tyco. Uh, at that point, you know, Tyco was in kind of in flux at that point. So I, I went over to their competitor, uh, Viking. So I went to Viking mini max for about four years and everything was great with both Tyco and Viking, still great companies.

And, um, uh, while I was, I actually had the idea when I was at Tyco, but, um, Had an idea, you know, was it sitting in an NFP 25 class and, uh, uh, wondered why, why everything is still on paper. So. You know, why not dig, make things more digital in the workflows with, with inspections. So that was, that was way long time ago.

Um, partnered up with some, uh, high, high software developers that I, I went to school with, uh, and some people around upstate New York and we kind of put our heads together with this software platform. We had a, uh, a mutual friend that was a fire protection contractor and, um, Yeah, kind of been doing in spec point for, uh, six years or so now.

And, um, yeah, it's been, it's been a lot of fun. It's, it's kind of the new wave of things and, um, you know, selling sprinklers and, and the technical side before is great. But, uh, the new wave is a lot of the digital technology. Yeah, without a doubt. Yeah, definitely. That's a huge trend in the industry. Yeah. I thought it was kind of interesting, uh, looking at your work history and, you know, seeing your background in industrial engineering, you know, it seems like, uh, kind of the through line in your career is, you know, refining processes and trying to make things more E.

And, you know, I see, uh, in inspect point as just a extension of that, uh, of your career in that regard. So I find that really interesting to, to hear about, yeah, it's weird. And I, I, I got my six Sigma black belt and that's kind of what I went to school for. Got my six Sigma black belt, which is like a process improvement, um, you know, certification.

And, uh, I got that and then got into sales and I kind of put two and two together. Brought fire protection to the process improvement side. So it's, uh, it kind of fits right. for sure. Yeah. Um, I think that, yeah, for people on the podcast probably hear me say this a lot, but you know, fire protection has a lot of room for advancement in the digital age and just, um, just that whole can be refined and, and done more up to date to, it seems like, uh, it stages, it's just a little bit a tick behind some of the other engineering disciplines.

So I'm glad for entrepreneurs and people who are trying to. Uh, push that forward. But, um, anyways, so I talked about a little bit about, um, so your specialty in the industry seems like, um, big in fire protection and for different manufacturers and for, uh, sales and just, um, that seems like, you know, where you would.

Have kind of built your expertise and just your knowledge base in the industry, but yeah, I don't know. Um, do you have like, uh, a specific, uh, project example or like, uh, anything that you could, um, refer to as like a big building experience for your career? Uh, I don't know if, uh, it makes as much sense in the context since you've been in sales or one.

Yeah. I mean, um, obviously the, the six Sigma thing has, has helped out with the process improvements and kind of gotten back into that with this whole inspect point platform. But, um, you know, I worked on a lot of big projects when I was with Tyco and Viking, so, you know, that's more new construction, so it, and it's funny that the, the whole fire protection industry.

It seems, you know, it is driven a lot by manufacturers, right? They're the, they're the big, the big honchos of everything. They've got a lot of the, a lot of the cash, a lot of the capital and they, they control a lot of the process too, which is, is not bad. You know, it fire protection's in a, in a great spot.

Um, But a lot of that's tied to new construction. So like what you're doing engineering wise, a lot of that is tied to new construction. Um, there's a whole aspect of the business on the inspection and service side that it, it doesn't get forgotten. It's just. Um, you need to maintain systems, right? You can, you can put a lot of money into, uh, designing one, uh, correctly, making sure the product is great, but if you're, if you're not regularly maintaining it, it's gonna fail.

And you know, it could fail within a couple years. It could fail 10 years from now. So that, that I, the ITM and the service. Is, um, you know, it's, it's becoming more, um, of a topic lately or, and it's a sector of business. That's that's has a, um, you know, with everything going on right now and just that reoccurring revenue model, I think the, and inspection and service side's more, um, uh, looked at now, um, than it was before.

So I dunno if that answered your question, but, um, No. Yeah, that was a, it was a nebulous question. And I, uh, appreciate the insight that you gave from, you know, your background in ITM. You know, I think that's a good time to just talk about, you know, ITM some more and like, you know, trends in the industry. I think that you touching on like COVID and, and what's going on right now is driving things further and further into.

Technical age is a great time. Yeah. I get asked a lot of times of where, where the industry's heading and, you know, what's the next thing. And I, um, you know, again, the manufacturers drive a lot of that, right? They drive the new innovations. Um, code is always behind innovation, which is unfortunate. And the cycle of code takes it's like seven to eight years until something.

Is fully enacted into a code, which, you know, it it's good. It goes through that long process from, from start to finish, uh, just to make sure, you know, uh, something that is brought into code is, is relevant and important, but, um, it also, you know, you, the, the new kind of technology for, for manufacturers has always.

Let's make a new sprinkler. Let's make a new fire alarm system. Let's make a new, you know, type of extinguisher out there, whatever your fire protection needs are, but that's gonna transition, I think, in the next five years, if it already, hasn't already into the more of the digital space where, um, you have connected systems, uh, whether it's internet of things, O T whether it's gathering data from different systems to make better decisions on design.

Do we even need to, um, have systems, uh, in certain areas? I don't know. So, uh, you know, a lot of the data, a lot of the, you know, the digital side, it seems like that's, that's really the seems to be the wave of the future. And I manufacturers are starting to get on it, but, um, , you know, I sit on NFPA nine, 15 now for remote inspection, which is a very interesting standard cuz it's, it's newer and it's gonna drive some of the other standards as well for, um, remote inspections, which is, you know, inspection is a big P piece of the business, but it's gonna start connecting these systems to, um, do things virtually, which.

You know, even virtually is a, a big turn lately. Right. So, uh, it might, it might kick it into gear more, but even with that, you know, that code, like getting back to that code cycle, it's, it's still gonna be seven plus years until something takes off. So, um, wow. That's pretty remarkable. Yeah. And, and for those, those who don't know.

N FPA, um, nine 15 is the standard for remote inspections. Is that the, the formal name for, yeah, it's the standard for remote inspections and it's a, it's a pretty broad, generic, um, standard. And I think they're, they're just trying to get some technology out there for HJS for building owners that, um, can utilize.

You know, virtual technology to, to do inspections. Um, then I don't think it's really being driven toward the regular ITM, you know, required for NFP 25, 72. Um, some of the other codes, it's more just leaving it open for the HJ to, um, kind of determine what they need to do. So in like, uh, you know, we've had this pause and.

You know, with whatever's going on. Um, there's opportunity. Do, do people do, do building facilities, want people in their facility, so to do an inspection? So that's kind of, it's giving an HJ. All right. Maybe I can do a, a visual inspection with a camera or, um, you know, uh, have a, um, facility manager walk around with.

With an iPhone, just to be on FaceTime, to do a, just any type of inspection, not fire protection, ju a building inspection. Um, so it's kind of covering a, a big basis, which is good. I think it's, you're just trying to, to get a lot of new thoughts going and we'll, we'll refine the code as it, as it kind of comes, uh, around more hasn't even been out for public, uh, comment yet.

So. Yeah, I understand that that nine 15 is in like the extreme early phases of the, of the process, but, and, you know, just like fleshing out the, um, idea of what the standard is gonna be. And. Yeah, that sounds really fascinating. And, uh, just hearing about that, but yeah, I think that, uh, the topic of, um, remote inspections has been coming up a lot lately and, um, you know, I've heard, uh, a little bit of talk of, you know, what's appropriate for remote inspections.

You know, what kind of things can people expect to, you know, be able to conduct remotely and what stuff really has to be done in person or, you know, like where's that line kind of, I'm sure you're pretty aware. Oh yeah, there, you know, there's a big line. I mean, um, and it, you know, business is kind of driven off of, of inspection and service as well.

So there's. There's also a business line there with an actual, um, you know, risk line as well. So, you know, it, it, it all, you know, that all depends. Um, that's, I, I think it's going to push it down to the HJ and, and let them the HJ, whether it be the owner, um, be the fire fire officials to make that determin.

You know, a lot of it right now is, is just a, a general building inspection. It's um, you know, a general, a walkthrough, you know, why, why do you need somebody on site to do a walkthrough when you can do that verse, you know, doing FaceTime or do you need to have somebody on site now when you get into the scheduled maintenance and the schedule inspection, that's a whole different ballgame.

It's, that's all tied to the code, the different NFPA codes. Which that may change over time as well with remote inspection. I mean, and some of the data will, will help that out. Like, um, do you need somebody on site to do a visual? Can you put a camera there? Right. I mean, a lot of that's being discussed by a lot of big professionals in the industry, um, that sit on nine 15 with me and have done some other webinars on it.

It's again. You're right. It's, it's in the early process, but it needs to happen because the technology's already been around for five years. So yeah. Why is it taking so long? Um, so N FPA is starting to get it, um, yeah. And trying to push, push faster and, and, uh, more thoroughly. Definitely. Yeah. It's interesting seeing, you know, I mean, some of these.

You know, fire alarm devices have, uh, testing mechanisms already integrated into it. Correct. You know, so formalizing some of these, uh, inspection standards and yeah, I mean, for a visual inspection on a pressure gauge, you know, why do you need to be there in person to do that? You know, I can see a lot of these visual inspections, um, can just be conducted remotely and yeah.

See a huge benefit and probably they'd get done more often. And like you said before, we'd have data to tie to the event, you know, uh, uh, It's so hard to get, um, proper documentation of inspection data. I, I see it all the time when we're working in existing facilities. And to your point earlier about, you know, it's easy to install a new system and make sure that it's done right.

But the hard thing is maintaining it for 50 years and. Proper documentation of management of change within the facility. And so I think that the digital aspect of it only makes sense. Yeah. You know, it's, it's um, that data and leaving that trail of concrete evidence that this is happening can only protect, you know, people's life safety can protect the building owner.

Well, a lot of, you know, uh, a lot of frequency of inspection in N F P. Kind of created by, you know, seasoned industry for professionals determining it, but they're kind of pulling it out of the air. They didn't have any data to back it up, um, which gets into the whole, you know, a lot of what I've, you know, my degrees in the six Sigma stuff I've done is you need data to prove, um, why you're making a.

So, you know, let's, let's let the data talk for itself and make the decision off of that. Does something need to be monthly? Does it need to be weekly? Does it need to be quarterly? You know, that gets beyond remote inspection, remote inspection, something else, but, um, the data side, there's a whole another set of, um, an FPA standards for, I think it's nine 50 and 9 51.

That's starting getting into the more data collection side to determine. Um, you know, to make decisions on, on future, uh, revisions of the code. So, yeah, that makes sense. I think that data driven decisions and, you know, I was just talking with somebody recently about, you know, how energy storage systems or a new hazard for fire protection and, you know, uh, what can we do?

How do we determine, you know, how to, uh, protect these hazards? Well, Rigorous testing, looking at the data and having data driven decisions, you know, about these, um, new things, uh, that pose a hazard and these new processes. So I think that's just the new way of doing businesses. Hey, let's look at the data.

Let's analyze the data and let's decide from there instead of just rule up thumb or, you know, That, that sort of thing. So I definitely get it, but, uh, very interesting. Very interesting. Well, um, so I saw that you are, uh, on, or you are part of the, uh, New York fire sprinkler contractor association. Yeah. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Yeah, it's uh, so I've been in a New York market for, uh, Going on 11 years now. Um, I moved outta New York city last year, but I'm still heavily involved with the HJS there FD and Y do B, but I'm, uh, there's been an, Association's been around for 84 years. It's one of the, it's probably older than N FSA and, and a FSA even.

Um, it's a New York fire, sprinkler contractors association, all the contractors, um, around New York either have been a part of it, or it's kind of transitioned over the years, but, um, it's a group of contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, and HJS all getting together. Um, used to be in a room now we're doing it virtually, but, um, Yeah, just getting together to put all our ideas on and get on the same page.

So I think that's a great way for jurisdictions to, um, really progress, right. Is if all, all stakeholders and all parties are all on the same page and put their ideas together. So, you know, F D and Y bounces a lot of ideas past the. so, um, you know, because they wanna make the right decisions for the city that, you know, that they're protecting.

So it, it, it's a great camaraderie that we have with, uh, you know, the different jurisdictions around New York city and, um, the Metro area. So, um, yeah, so I'm the executive director for that. It's, it's similar to like an a F S a and FSA, but we are fully independent. We've been around for again. 84 or so years.

And, uh, yeah, it's a, it's a, it's fun, but it's also very, um, uh, localized too. So that sounds awesome. That's cool to be involved with the professional society and, and one in such a, you know, a place that, um, definitely on the cutting edge of what's required for the industry. You know, I've, I've had work in.

In New York and New York city. And, uh, definitely seems like they are far more, you've done engineering in New York city. Uh I've I had a project at the LaGuardia airport. Um, but, uh, so yeah, so it's definitely, uh, placed that is more progressive, you know, they're not as keen on the idea of delegated design and they're, you know, just, um, interested in.

Doing things, uh, I'd say, uh, more by the book than some jurisdictions. Yeah. They've got their own, they've got their own rules and, um, you know, rightfully so. It's a, it's a different, uh, city than the rest of the world. So, um, but they, they, they, they, um, adopt pretty much the standards as is, and a few exceptions here or there to, to, you know, kind of New York eyes.

It, so. I wanted to talk a little bit more about, um, the work you're doing at, in spec point. I know, uh, you mentioned a little bit, um, before you know, about, uh, your work there and, you know, for those who don't know what is inspect point. Oh, so, um, yeah, I, I guess I probably should have started with that.

Right. So in spec point is a cloud based, uh, software solution for, uh, fire protection essentially. And what it does is it. Kind of, uh, you know, from a contractor's point of view or a facility's point of view, it keeps you in compliance or it runs your inspection, um, process. So from all the NFP 25 72, 2001, uh, 10 for extinguishers.

So. If you're in that business as a contractor, it runs all the inspection. You can, uh, it's a mini CR CRM as well. So you can have all your customers in there. You can send proposals, you can send quotes. Um, you also can dispatch your technicians out of there to follow up with work, to make those fixes. So it kind of, from a contractor's point of view, it, it runs your.

Recurring revenue stream and for facility side, it, it keeps you in compliance and we kind of tie everything back to the code, but it it's fully customized as well. So if you're a, you know, if your, your own jurisdiction or, or want to, uh, see your own kind of inspection templates, we can do that. So, um, it's been fun.

We're very cutting edge. We, we, it, it's funny when coming from the manufacturer's world. You know, what, if you came out with, you know, five to 10 new products a year, it was good. Um, it was a good day. It was a good year to, to go to your customers with those new products. Well, we're putting out about 20 new features or 20 new products every month.

Um, and we're able to do that because it's, you know, it's, it's a software and, uh, a lot of that's my team, my, my software team and my customer success team is, is impeccable. Um, and we've been. You know, we're still a pretty young company, but, uh, we're highly looked at throughout the fire protection community.

Without a doubt. That's very interesting. It seems like, uh, the idea of inspection testing and maintenance and the, the burden. It can be, it seems like it's a burden on, um, certain jurisdictions. Mm-hmm , you know, to have the fire department, you know, uh, engage in, you know, do inspections or whoever the authority having jurisdiction is.

You know, engage in ITM and, you know, for the building owner, it seems like it's a, it's a big, uh, expense and it's something that I think could be done better. So it's, it's cool to hear you talk about and spec Bitcoin and yeah. That you guys are so embracing tech and just, uh, that digital, uh, aspect of, yeah, there's a lot coming.

We're always innovating, you know, IOT's. Uh, potential next step platform, as well as, uh, integrating with some of these HJ softwares, um, software platforms as well, HJS have their own, you know, compliance platforms. So we're, we're working very aggressively to, to, um, you know, make things easier for the HJ, the contractor, the building owner.

So just makes sense. Yeah. And so you guys inspect, you know, not just your, uh, typical fire alarm and fire sprinkler, but I mean, you guys pretty much inspect like the gambit of, uh, everything that you can think of fire protection, like. Pre action, deluge, fire pumps, you know, stand pipes, you know, fire hydrants.

So I think that's pretty interesting that it's a whole spectrum. It's, you know, fire alarms, special hazards, you know, kitchen, suppression systems, um, extinguishers. Uh, fire doors, fire doors is a whole different market. You know, fire dampers is a whole different market, uh, smoke control systems. Those are so, so they're different sectors.

They're, they're run differently. The compliance is different. So every feature and module in our software is kind of geared to that NFPA quote, unquote code or the actual style of in. um, and then we have a full, customized solution where you could run your OSHA, you know, inspections off of it, even so, oh, wow.

The OSHA that seems like a whole nother can of worms. There's a lot of, there's a lot of compliance, especially now with all the, the safety and, and health and safety going on with, um, with buildings. There's a lot, there, there's a lot of compliance, so it, the, the platform's there, we just, um, you know, you can customize whatever you need.

Well, awesome. Well, I wanted to, I, you know, uh, talk to you about the fire protection podcast and, you know, talk about, you know, your inspiration for the fire protection podcast and yeah. I'd like to hear more about it. Yeah. I, um, you know, I listen to a lot of podcasts. Um, I'm a big golfer, so I listen to a lot of book golf podcasts, which, you know, it can be a little boring golf sometimes, but the podcasts make a little.

um, you know, I listened to some business business podcasts out there and Joe, Rogan's a big one big fan of big fan of his. So, um, the, the idea, uh, probably was a couple years ago, we didn't start it until, or I didn't start it until last year. Uh, around this time, maybe April of 2019. But we, we had the domain, um, uh, uh, one of the, one of the partners in, in spec point, pat Doyle, he's a big podcast guy too.

So, um, , you know, we, we threw it around and we're like, let's just toss some information out there. And, um, at that time I think Chris Logan was probably five episodes or so in, at that point and with the fire sprinkler podcast. So I was like, you know what, there's another podcast going. We better, we better get on this.

So, uh, You know, it's, it's been fun. We're 21 episodes in, um, we talk a lot about, uh, generic, uh, fire protection, the whole, all the different, there's a lot of different fire protection sectors. Right? So I, I could go a lot of different ways. It's not just sprinkler. It's not just alarm, it's not just suppression, but we get into the business sides of it too.

Um, and you know what we're dealing with right now with, uh, what's going on globally. So yeah, it's, we don't really talk about in spec point. It's more new technology out there, new ideas, you know, you had Andy Lynch on from fire, um, uh, fire solutions group. And I had him on pretty, I, I never knew about that technology, augmented reality.

So, um, I had him on it's a really cool. Um, and I think there's, there's an avenue for, it's just, uh, uh, finding the customer, finding the market for it. So, um, just getting information out there has been pretty powerful for that. So, uh, it's been fun. I did, I did a, a podcast at NFPA last year at a, at a tequila bar.

I dunno if you heard that one, but we did a Facebook live and it was actually a controversial topic. It was. Nitrogen and, um, nitrogen and, and air compressed air and, and dry and pre-action systems and, uh, pros and cons to both. And, uh, you know, it's a pretty controversial topic. So why might as well throw some beer tequila at it and see what happens right.

That sounds like always a great time. I wish I could do more of 'em and you know, with everything happening right now, there's, there's not a lot of face to face, but we'll, we'll still be back there. . Yeah, that's awesome. No, uh, it's funny cuz I was, uh, I'm a big fan of podcasts too. And when I was thinking about, uh, doing one, I didn't know yet about the fire protection podcast and I was thinking about names and I was trying to get my domain in order and I, uh, I was like, oh my gosh, the fire protection podcast, it makes so much sense.

And I typed it in. And you had a, I think you were two episodes in, it was last April. And I just, just was like, oh my gosh, I missed it by that much. And I was like, what a genius name we had pat had pat grabbed the domain probably a year and a half before. So just sitting on it and then, you know, we just, you know, he, he let me run with it, so it's been good.

That's awesome. No, it's, that's great. And I think it's, I think it's all good stuff. Like you said, that there's so much room and for just people to get more knowledge. Fire protection, or I think that there's not enough spaces where people just kind of talk shop about, um, different stuff in the industry and you know, what their thoughts on it and getting to hear professionals, uh, speak their mind and whatnot is a huge deal.

And you know, if you look at big industries, like you. Tech and other industries, it's like, Hey, these guys have have podcasts. And these guys, you know, a lot of different people, you know, there's not just one, like you said, Joe Rogan, there's not just one comedy podcast. There's like, you know, 20 of them, there's three of 'em.

And so there's a lot of room at the table for people to, you know, uh, have these conversations. And I just think it's good. Yeah, it is. It is good. It's something to listen to, you know, and you get a lot of, uh, I get listeners all over the world. I mean, most of them are north America in the us, but, um, a lot of 'em are, you know, over in Asia, over in, you know, down in, um, Australia, New Zealand, it's, it's weird where you connect with these people.

So, um, yeah, it's interesting. It's a, it's a global. It's a global spread on podcasting. So it's, uh, it's been good. So if you ever need any, you know, feedback or whatever, um, you know, or any assistance with that, and are you doing this all yourself? Yeah, it's all me. I'm doing all the, all the, all the, uh, yeah, pretty much all of it.

Yeah. My, uh, fiance helps me out. Um, she's. PR and marketing professionals. So she helps me out with some of the social media stuff and, and, uh, will read my terrible writing and make it look good. But other than that, it's me editing it's it's me, uh, booking and yeah, well, I was that's, you know, that's what happens and, uh, That's definitely what happens and you'll get, you know, if he gets big enough, then you'll get a team behind you.

And Chris is still doing his on his own. Um, it's kind a one it's, you know, podcasting a lot of times a one person show. So, um, but it is good. It's good to get information out. Um, and, um, I, I, it also ties back to what you're doing professionally a little bit too. Yeah, I feel a little bit, uh, it's a little bit of a selfish goal because, you know, I get to ask people questions, but you know, not only are these things that I think are interesting, but you know, these things, I don't know.

So I get to, you know, reach out to people who are professionals in their field like you, and you know, you, you're sitting on N FPA at nine 15, you know, you're gonna be a part of a standard. That's gonna be a part of history and we get to sit down and have a conversation and. I come away with, uh, you know, knowing more about it all.

And it's like, man, this feels like a life back. Yeah, yeah, no, it's good. It's, uh, I'm glad you're doing it. And um, well, there'll be a few more that pop up here or there it's, and it's fun that people are doing it kind of, you know, there's, there's a few manufacturers doing it. N NFPA is doing it, but I feel if you're tied to one of those big, you know, no, I'm not taking a shot at any of those big players, but you're kind of, uh, I don't know, you're, you're kind of strapped sometimes in what you can discuss or what your opinions can be on certain things.

Cause it's, you know, you're tied to that bigger business and which is not a bad thing, you know, there's still room for that. It's just, um, you you'd rather have it more open and honest and kind of coming from, coming from the heart a little. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I, you know, ICC has a international, uh, code consortium has a, a podcast and, you know, uh, I listen to it and, you know, I think it's interesting and they cover some topics that are.

you know, I'd put on the same level as like what, uh, S F P E, and one NF P a likes to talk about in the regard that, you know, they talk about what's really trending in the industry. And like, in my mind, I'd be interested if they would just do a podcast talking about like different chapters in their standard, you know, it's like, and I think that part of that is like you're saying, uh, because they are such a large organization, you know, it's not as.

Personal as that. Sure. But yeah, it's interesting. I, I, I definitely think there's, I I'm I'm for all of it. I'm for Viking doing a podcast I'm for I doing a podcast. Yeah. I, you know, And, uh, yeah, I think it was interest really interesting. What you were talking about earlier about people around the world listening.

It's like, I think that we, we, uh, forget, you know, like ICC or, you know, like we talk about building code issues or NFPA standard issues. And like we forget there's, you know, Uh, so many countries around the world that adopt the same model codes as we do. And, you know, uh, ICC is a phenomenon that's, uh, mostly developed by people from, uh, north America, predominantly the us, but there are countries, you know, like all around the world that gives you same codes and standards.

So it's uniquely, uh, a north American thing, but it's also. Pretty global, like all this that we're talking about. So yeah, definitely.

Cool. Well, uh, yeah, so I just like, uh, on the topic. To fire protection podcast. Like where do you, where do you see it going? Or like, where do you want to, to take it? You know, like, I like what you're doing now, but like, do you have a, a big goal for it? Or like where you wanna go with it? I want Spotify to gimme a hundred million dollar contract.

That's what I want. Yeah know, I think that that deal was low. I think they give more than a hundred, but yeah, I hear you about that anyway. Um, no, I, I, I keep getting ideas out there. Um, I, I mean, I haven't even attacked any of the fire alarm stuff, so I wanna, I wanna, I have a lot of fire alarm ideas that I want to get out to the market.

And, um, that's such a big mark that we haven't, um, touched and, and a lot of, you know, sprinklers separate than suppression. That's separate than fire alarms. So, and a lot of those don't cross lines too often. So, um, there's different avenues. Uh, I mean it's a fire protection podcast, so there. You know, potential six different sectors to fire protection.

Um, you know, it could, it could be split out even more. And then, you know, there's a lot of categories that haven't touched. I haven't had a fire door podcast yet, so, um, you know, there's, there's a lot there and, um, you know, it'd be nice to integrate it back with what we're doing at inspect point, too. And to drive some of that.

Yeah. So. Yeah, it's just a, it's it's fun right now. And becoming an industry, um, market leader been been fun and, um, you know, I would like to do some more live ones at some of the shows, uh, hopefully next year. But, um, it, it it's a lot, there's a, there's a lot of work into it. And as, as you know, there's a lot of work to, to get 'em out and to do 'em right as.

Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Yeah. It's a lot of work to do. 'em right. You don't just wanna put out something that's, you know, not quality and not thought through and yeah. On your, uh, remark about, you know, the different avenues of fire protection. I mean, yeah. If you're looking at. Building holistically, or even, you know, if you're not looking at a building, I mean, there's, uh, fire protection now for, for wildfires and for, you know, I mean, there's so many different things you could talk about and, and people you could talk to.

So yeah, I definitely think that's, uh, that's a good point. Yep. But anyways, I know we've talked a lot about, uh, remote inspections and, um, ITM and where that's going in the digital age, but I just wanted to pick your brain a little bit about, you know, what you see as, uh, any other meaningful trends in the industry right now.

I know we talked about COVID and what that's doing to. Uh, fire protection right now, but yeah. Yeah, I think, um, I mean the industry's gonna gonna change through this. I, um, you know, I'm on the sales and marketing side a lot and, and just the business side, um, I don't think, you know, fire, protection's not going away.

It's always gonna be driving forward with the code, which is a good, great part. Great part of the industry, you know, we'll through ebbs and flows with the economic cycle with new construction. I think we're on the, uh, the brink of a, a pretty big new construction decline. Um, you know, there's a lot of backlog right now with current projects out there, but what's happening after that.

And I think, uh, there, there should be con concern over that, cuz there's, there's not a lot of funding. Um, or it's kind of left because of, uh, what the economic fallout from this, uh, situation we are in. So, but that could be only, you know, eight, 18 month, 12 month blip. You, you know, maybe even shorter. So it'll come out of that even stronger.

And, but it'll change the way we do things. On a business side, on the sales side on just working, you know, all the remote working and, uh, virtual stuff. Um, cloud based systems. We have a cloud based system from, from day one. That's like a, that's a huge thing now. Um, you know, a go-to meetings, Microsoft team zoom.

That's like a, nobody would've thought of that six months. No people would still used it six months ago, but now everybody's having to use it. Um, are you working from home? Gus? Are you in the office? Mm-hmm uh, so I was working from home for. Almost three months. Um, just went back in my company's doing like a phase return, but, uh, you know, it's, it's definitely pretty, pretty wild.

Yeah. It's gonna change work. And, and does that impact the, you know, construction landscape a little bit? um, you know, you know, I came from the sales and marketing side. And how does that, how does that affect it? Because before, when I worked, when I saw engineers like yourself at taiko and biking, I'd go into the office, I'd buy, I do a lunch and learn, you know, all that buy 'em lunch, hang out, you know, after work occasionally.

And that's not going to you you'll, you'll still have that, but not as much over the next year or so. I think. Um, yeah, so, you know, the companies have to be a little bit more nimble and, uh, think outside the box a little more. Yeah. Yeah. I definitely hear what you're saying about, you know, what is this gonna mean for the.

For the built environment or for, you know, the production of new buildings in the next couple years. I, you know, right now, uh, we're fortunate that the, uh, the economy was so white hot before all this hit, or, you know, I don't know what kind of, uh, backlog anybody in the industry would be working on. Um, so I think it'll be interesting.

I don't know. What the, what that there's gotta be, you know, a time where we see the impact of this for people, you know, constructing new buildings or even maintaining, you know, existing buildings. Right. So that we're, we're gonna see that. I don't know when that ripple, you know, hits everybody, but the, the Stone's been dropped into the, um, but yeah, it's very interesting to think about.

And, uh, Another topic I wanted to ask on the fire protection, professional development side of things is, you know, what kind of, uh, resources would you recommend or where do you like to go to find out information about fire protection? I know you've mentioned a lot of really that you've worked for really great, you know, larger companies there's Tycos and, and Vikings.

They all have great stuff online. Yeah. Where do you like to go to consume information or resources or tools for fire protection? Well, I mean, fire protection podcast is a great one. uh, um, yeah, I can plug there. Um, you know, yes, the manufacturers, again, they're the ones driving the industry, um, because you know, that's where the, that's where the money's at and, uh, they're the big public company.

So they're driving a lot of the innovation technology. So keeping in loop with. Whether you're local, uh, business development or territory salesperson, that's, that's always key seeing those webinars, uh, online, uh, once they're back get to a trade show, trade shows are, you know, you see the big, uh, the powerful companies out there, but you also see the smaller companies like myself, like in spec point, like some of the, you know, other startups, other manufacturers out there, and you actually get to put your hands on and, and see the products.

If you can get to a trade show, you know, every couple of years or whatever, wherever it's at highly recommend it, whether you know, your, your company pays for it, or you just pony up, take a few days off and, and head there. Cause it's usually in a, a decent location. Um, but highly recommend going to a trade show.

Um, you know, I'm going to too many of 'em. It gets a little over overdone, but, um, you know, N FPA is a pretty, pretty, uh, massive conference. Um, a lot of, you know, and all the industry leads are there. So, um, online, I mean training resources, fire, Tech's a great resource for fire, uh, fire protection training for fire, alarm, sprinkler, all that, um, fire techs.

And yeah, I, I, I didn't think of it until you asked me that, but trade shows is a, is a pretty good one. Um, you meet a lot of people too. So those that face to face and, uh, you know, you're there for a day or two and, uh, you should get a lot out of it by even just walking the show for sure. Yeah. I think that's a great note.

I mean, I haven't got that. Chance yet to go to N FBA, but it seems like the opportunity to connect with people and to, you know, see what's going on. Get a sense of the pulse of the market is, uh, there's not too many better opportunities. Another, another one now that David, uh, you know, every, every place, every region in the country, uh, and outside the country has, has local Associa.

You know, I'm part of the, you know, head of the New York sprinkler one, that is a great opportunity for young professionals to get involved in the industry. And I learned that early on at Tyco to go to these association meetings, cuz you, you, you create those relationships with, with everybody in the industry and, um, You know, I hate to say relationships is, is a great way to progress, but it, it is, um, you know, get involved, volunteer your time to do some charity work for those associations, you know, uh, be on the golf committee team, you know, um, whether it's S F P E N FSA, a FSA, a FAA for fire alarm NAED for, for suppression, those are, uh, you know, getting involved in those associations.

You know, you're not getting paid to do. But it's very valuable. Yeah, definitely. I mean, you're not getting paid to do it, but you know, you're getting to be around like-minded professionals and you can make connections that are, uh, you know, more meaningful than. You know, any kind of compensation, you know, just, uh, being able to know somebody from S F P E and be able to call 'em up and pick their brain about some piece of technology or some piece of code is pretty invaluable.

So exactly. Yeah. I like that suggestion a lot. Cool. So, um, yeah, I really like, um, it seems like you are. Very well versed in, um, sales and in marketing and have a good sense of like, uh, just a business development. So I'm really kind of interested in, you know, um, just thinking about yourself or your own career what's, you know, what, what would you have told your like younger self or what's one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who's just getting into the business?

You're just getting in the business. I mean, absorb as much as you can. uh, getting involved in those associations is a key, key part of that. I think, you know, just don't do your nine to five and go home. And, um, you know, getting those associations are in the evening hours a lot of times. So, you know, volunteer your time to get involved with that.

I think that's, that's a big piece, you know, I did that early on and it, and it benefited, um, You know, uh, I, I, I got a piece of advice and this is how I got into sales. One time is, you know, uh, a lot of business and a lot of these associations happen with golf tournaments. So, uh, get yourself a set of clubs, take a few lessons.

And you, you wouldn't understand how much that that does on the, on the business side of. Uh, on the tech side, maybe not as much, uh, you know, on the tech side, obviously get, you know, get involved in certifications, get involved in the NFPA code cycles too. I didn't get, I didn't know that too much until recently the NFPA code cycle.

So I wish I knew that. Um, and then you can drive decisions that way, whether, whether it's just a designer, whether you're a technician, you can, you can input to NFPA. Um, so. I never knew that until a couple years ago. So, um, yeah, I mean, uh, another big piece of advice, get your LinkedIn profile up to date.

It's it's. I mean, even if you're very happy where you're at, if you wanna be involved in the industry, make sure you're present on LinkedIn cuz that's, uh, that's pretty important just to knowing those connections. Um, whether it's on the business side or just a technical resource side, pretty important.

Yeah, without a doubt, you know, you gotta dig that well before you're thirsty. If you're just, you know, waiting to develop your LinkedIn profile and, you know, make some meaningful connections when you need a new job, that's not really, really when you need to do it. So that's great. Well, awesome drew. Uh, I appreciate you coming on the show.

Uh, where can people find more information about you and inspect point and the fire protection podcast, inspect Um, my email is pretty easy, and the fire protection podcast. Uh, you can find it on apples or, you know, It's apple podcast, apple podcast, Google podcasts, uh, Spotify, Stitcher, uh, any, any podcast environment you actually can go to our website, inspect too, and, and find it there.

But, um, and then find me on LinkedIn connect. You know, that's always a good place too. Awesome. Cool. Well, thank you so much, drew. I appreciate it. Yeah. Thanks GU. Great talking to you. 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. Fire protection and or life safety. Thanks again. And we'll see you next time.