Legrand joined in celebration of GFCI technology as the concept received special recognition from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for providing Electrical Shock Hazard Protection by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Protection. The invention of GFCI receptacles, originally developed and driven to widespread use by Legrand’s Pass & Seymour line, was honored in conjunction with all GFCI technology as winner of the 2022 Philip J. DiNenno Prize at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston on June 6 – 9, 2022.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) awards the Phillip J. DiNenno Prize each year to recognize pioneering innovations that have significantly impacted building, fire, and electrical safety. The 2022 DiNenno Prize selection reflects a departure from the traditional recognition of one or more individuals who have played a pivotal role in the creation of a fire and life safety technology. Instead, it honors the ground-breaking technology itself, as many of its innovators are no longer living.
“Legrand is elated that the NFPA chose to honor GFCI innovations, which have played an incredibly important role in improving the safety of homes for half a century,” says Scott Bausch, Legrand’s vice president and general manager for the Pass & Seymour product line. “Since our Pass & Seymour line launched the first-ever GFCI receptacle 50 years ago, the safety and protection this device has provided has helped shape modern electrical code and, most importantly, saved a lot of lives. Innovating for electrical safety is not only our legacy; it continues to be one of our top priorities. So having the invaluable impact of our GFCI products recognized for this is truly an honor.”
Since its initial inception in the 1940s, GFCI technology has evolved into a series of sophisticated protection devices that have drastically reduced the number of tragedies caused by electric shock, saving thousands of individuals from severe injury or worse within their homes and other environments over the last five decades.
“GFCI technology in itself is very important in electrical safety, saving hundreds of lives per year,” says Craig Beyler, DiNenno Selection and Prize Committee chair. The DiNenno Prize typically features a $50,000 award to its recipients. In absence of living recipients, the Phoenix Burn Society for Burn Survivors and the Electrical Fire Safety International (ESFI) have been selected as the beneficiaries of the prize and will each receive a cash donation to support their work in reducing loss from electrical hazards.
The award was officially presented at the NFPA “Stars at Night” award ceremony in coordination with the NFPA Conference & Expo (C&E) in Boston on June 6 – 9, 2022. Jack Wells, who managed the launch and market adoption of the earliest Pass & Seymour GFCI receptacles, served as a legacy presenter of the DiNenno prize alongside Henry Zylstra, who also played a critical role in the advancement of GFCI technology.