A list of NFPA codes and standardsMayara
There are over 300 NFPA codes and standards that certain groups have to abide by, especially owners of commercial buildings and businesses. If you’re unfamiliar, the acronym NFPA stands for National Fire Prevention Association. Because of the large number of codes, we’ll break down a list of NFPA codes and standards that provide you with a wide range of important rules that your commercial building needs to follow on a daily basis.
NFPA 1—Fire Code
The first NFPA code is about fire prevention in buildings. It specifically goes into detail about general fire protection systems that should be in place, as well as general fire safety practices. For instance, NFPA 1, chapter 11, section 220.127.116.11 states, “Permanent wiring abandoned in place shall be tagged or otherwise identified at its termination and junction points as ‘Abandoned in Place’ or removed from all accessible areas and insulated from contact with other live electrical wiring or devices.”
This code even dives into necessary practices to ensure effective access to the building by the fire department. To illustrate this, chapter 18, section 18.104.22.168.1 states, “Approved fire department access roads shall be provided for every facility, building, or portion of a building hereafter constructed or relocated.” The 2018 version of NFPA 1, which is the most recent version of the code, is massive, but to put it simply, it lays out the necessary fire prevention practices that your building needs to follow. There are even chapters dedicated to specific structures such as laboratories, repair garages, parking garages, and many more.
NFPA 30—Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code
Between NFPA Codes and Standards, this one goes into the required practices pertaining to flammable and combustible liquids. It covers sections such as storage requirements, handling protocols, and risk-control practices. Additionally, just like all the codes mentioned on this list, NFPA 30 comes with a glossary for the important terms to know. For example, it defines the titular term, “combustible liquid,” as “any liquid that has a closed-cup flash point at or above 100F (37.8C), as determined by the test procedures and apparatus set forth in Section 4.4.” Combustible liquids are classified according to Section 4.3.
Section 4.3, the aforementioned section that specifies the correct classification of liquids, divides liquid types depending on their flash point and boiling points. For instance, class IA flammable liquids are identified as liquids with flash points of below 75F (22.8C) and a boiling point below 100F (37.8C). On the other hand, class II combustible liquids are defined as any liquid with flash points at or above 100F (37.8C) and below 140F (60C). To summarize, NFPA 30 is put into place to ensure safe protocols for buildings in which flammable and combustible liquids are commonplace.
NFPA 350—Guide for Safe Confined Space Entry and Work
NFPA 350 defines a confined space as “a space that (1) is large enough and so configured that a person can bodily enter and perform assigned work, (2) has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and (3) is not designed for continuous occupancy.” If your building has a room like this, then you must adhere to the guidelines laid out in NFPA 350. This code specifies how to identify confined spaces, use hazardous materials in or around them, and practice proper pre-entry evaluation techniques.
The pre-entry evaluation is to ensure the environment is safe for new employees to enter and conduct work. Additionally, the pre-entry evaluation breaks down the necessary permits for employees to conduct work in the designated confined space.
NFPA 731—Standard for the Installation of Premises Security Systems
As the name suggests, this code breaks down the do’s and don’ts of property security systems in your building. It covers a wide array of security aspects like video monitoring systems, ambush systems, and intrusion detection systems. Section 7.7.3, which focuses on “compatibility,” states: “All interconnecting cable shall be compatible with the video surveillance system equipment and be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and 4.6.3.”
In fact, there’s a whole section on wiring alone, hence the reference to 4.6.3. This section states guidelines such as 22.214.171.124: “Optical fiber cables shall be protected against mechanical injury in accordance with NFPA 70, article 770.” NFPA codes span anywhere between 50 and 800 pages, all in immense detail such as this. All in all, 731 needs to be studied to understand the ins and outs of installing and maintaining good security systems in your building.
NFPA 1620—Standard for Pre-Incident Planning
The purpose of pre-incident planning is to assess the building, from its physical structure to the people and operating procedures within it, to develop a plan for certain dangerous incidents. This is a necessary process because this is the information that will be put into a document for responding personnel to use when coming to your building in the event of an emergency.
NFPA 1620 breaks down the necessary process for putting together this pre-incident process. It does so by going into detail on topics like site considerations, occupancy considerations, water supplies and fire protection systems, and more. It even contains a section that details how to properly update pre-incident plans over time.
To put it simply, this code is a guiding light for how to properly develop and maintain a functioning, legal pre-incident plan. For instance, building owners may not be aware of necessary steps like the one mentioned in 8.3.1, which states: “The pre-incident plan shall identify and document any vacant and abandoned structures recognized by the AHJ that present life safety challenges, operations challenges, or other challenges to emergency responders.”
As you can see, a list of NFPA codes and standards is filled with small, minute details that businesses and building owners must abide by on a daily basis. As daunting as it may seem, it’s important for you to look these codes over and make sure you follow each and every one of them as it pertains to your building.
At The Fire Alarm Supplier, we can provide you with a wide array of fire prevention equipment for commercial buildings, such as Notifier fire alarm systems, Simplex fire alarm systems, Wheelock fire alarm systems, and others. Properly installing these devices will help you stay safe and up-to-code with the corresponding authorities.