Chris Butts adds ‘value and visibility’ to Pond’s Fire Protection Services and beyond

Chris Butts, PE, SET, CFPS, Pond’s Director of Fire Protection Services is a sought-after fire protection expert, whose skill and wisdom are widely respected at Pond and throughout the industry.

When he’s not managing a team of seven professionals, which includes graduate and registered Fire Protection Engineers (P.E) and Technologists, NICET Certified Level 4 System Technicians, Certified Fire Protection Specialists (CFPS) and two engineering interns, he’s using his 35 years of engineering expertise to grow the next generation of fire protection leaders.

Butts currently serves on two National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committees for NFPA 170-Fire Safety and Emergency Symbols (FIS-AAA), and is a past alternate to the committee chair for NFPA 22-Water Tanks (WAT-AAA).

The NFPA is considered the gold standard for fire protection codes and standards throughout the U.S. and the world.

Since joining the Pond family in April 2016, Butts was also elected to the NFPA’s Certification Advisory Group (CAG) for its Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) program in June 2016.

CFPS is the only ANSI accredited protection certification program worldwide, and the purpose of the CAG is to advise the NFPA certification team on the design development and maintenance of the CFPS program, and to assist NFPA to ensure that the CFPS program is managed in a fair and honest manner.

“Not only is NFPA the gold standard for certification in the U.S., there are fire protection engineers that practice around the globe, such as in Saudi Arabia or the United Kingdom. For those engineers, it’s a major accomplishment to get the CFPS certification,” said Butts.

“It’s very prestigious, and my role is in the administration of the CFPS program. We help NFPA to develop testing standards and exam questions for those being certified through the program.”

NFPA members and certificants can nominate other members and certificants, or nominate themselves for CAG, but the vetting process is competitive. Once accepted as a candidate by NFPA, the list of nominees is distributed to the NFPA’s selection committee for voting.

For this election, NFPA received 80 applications for a seat on the CAG. From those 80 applications, 24 candidates made the cut. Out of those 24, Butts was selected to represent his fire protection peers.

“Part of the reason I actively participate in CFPS is to bring value and visibility to the program, and also to help those that are already in fire protection, to get that credential, so that they can get recognized by the industry,” said Butts.

He added, “I like to participate in my industry, and try to do what I can to help fire protection get some visibility, and get people educated, interested and involved in fire safety and protection.”

Recently, Butts was appointed to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers Greater Atlanta Chapter’s Conference Committee (SFPE), and he continues to serve on SFPE’s Board of Governors Foundation.

In his elected seat on the SFPE Foundation Board, Butts works with other board members to identify philanthropists and donors to fund SFPE scholarships to engineering students in fire protection.

“That’s where my passion comes from. I have been doing this for a long time and I am at a point, where I want to give back,” explained Butts. “I want to help the younger engineers learn about it and become passionate about it.”

For Pond, Butts continues to forge new business partnerships and maintain established partnerships with military and private companies. In the short time he’s been with Pond, the project he is most proud of is the Hanger 21 project.

In a joint venture with another contractor, Butts and two fire protection engineers, are designing fire protection systems for the Hangar and supporting buildings at Andrews Air Force Base—home to Air Force One.

“It’s very exciting for me to work on this project,” Butts exclaimed. “Pond is a good company and it is a good place to work,” he said. “They take care of their employees and they keep their employees happy. I’m glad to be working with a company with such a good reputation—one that is well deserved.”