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The Burning Brick Awards!

A Special Message from Frank Kurz

This website started out as purely an information resource; one that, I hoped, would help fill a major gap between the efforts of ASTTBC and CFAA, provide the information technicians really need, and raise the bar for technician practice.  We’ve been featuring the Burning Brick Awards pages for five years.  In that time, I’ve come to realize two things:

    1. That many of the companies we’d singled out for our unique award weren’t going to change the way they did business regardless; and

    2.  The “awards” were actually affecting the way a number of companies (and individuals) perceived the site (being labelled a pariah wasn’t going to create an environment conducive to our educational outreach or the cooperative collaboration required to raise the Standard of Practice).

“Tilting at windmills” is not our raison d'Ítre, and we felt our time would be better spent in focusing on our original purpose.

We will continue to welcome your submissions.  We will be publishing more photo-essays on bad installations, substandard practice, and actual hazards, but not quite in the same manner of presentation.  We’ll actually be refreshing the old pages to better fit with our educational outreach, not as a Burning Brick Award.  That also means that we will no longer be singling out the companies involved and often directly responsible.  It should be noted, however, that the local Jurisdictional Authority will still be receiving the full details so they can continue to follow up on ensuring that the necessary corrections are made (where they deem necessary).

I do wish to give honourable mention to two organizations that we featured as past nominees of Burning Brick AwardsAcme Fire and Safety and Levitt Safety both stand as Stirling examples of organizations that have publicly stepped up to set things right.  For me, these were two watershed moments in six years of disappointment, but I remain hopeful that the other companies will still step up to the plate as well.  I suppose many readers would scoff and say  that such vain hope makes me seem rather naive or a clueless optimist, but c’est la vie!

Google will continue to index the pages that made up this section of the website.  All of them will simply be redirected to this page where you’ll eventually find links to the new articles. 

I should state for the record that the decision to remove the Burning Brick Awards was not prompted by any threat of legal action or other third party interference.  We provided responsible reporting of substandard practice and never strayed from the facts.  The threatened legal proceedings for Libel that often accompanied the publication of an Award never went further than the exchanges of correspondence we’ve also publicly posted here.  Every nomination we featured started as a complaint to either the local Jurisdictional Authority or ASTTBC.  The details weren’t published until we received an official acknowledgment that appropriate corrective measures had been taken or the situation was otherwise dealt with.

We hope you will continue to check out this page and will find the future presentations we’ll be making here both informative and educational even though they’ll be much less confrontational and fun to read.

Thank you.

Frank Kurz
March 16, 2014
(edited March 21, 2014).



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