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Stanley Briers

 

Navigating the legislative process

Stanley Briers of the Texas Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Mechanical Contractors Association, and a member of the Texas Fire Sprinkler Coalition, spoke about his experience in navigating the legislative process..dpuf

Stanley Briers has spent years navigating the legislative process in Texas. For nearly five decades, he has been a member of the Houston Construction Industry Council, the group that advises the mayor and city council on building code matters. He currently serves as legislative chair of the Texas Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Mechanical Contractors Association, and understands the importance of getting to know legislators before you may need them for sprinkler-related efforts.

"[My fellow association members] and I work on a personal basis with legislators," said Briers, also a member of the Texas Fire Sprinkler Coalition, at NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in North Carolina. "They may not remember our names, but they know our faces."

Cultivating these relationships is crucial in getting your foot in the legislative door to advocate for sprinklers, added Briers. He also told attendees to be willing to compromise with elected officials and leverage the power of the media. "The people that control the press control this country. We need to be speaking to the press." 

He urged fire departments to elect a spokesperson who could frequently speak to the media at the scene of a house fire, stating "we wouldn't be here with all of this equipment had this house been sprinklered."