Despite a welcome decline in the number of fires in certain settings over the past 20 years, the number of false alarms over the same period has been on the rise. The trend, documented through NFPA research, is of particular concern to the fire service, which is deciding how best to address the unwanted alarms problem, especially in commercial settings, while maximizing its resources in a tough economic climate.
Through its code-development process, NFPA has prompted the fire service to assist with the development of a standardized solution addressing the problem of commercial building alarms where there is no working fire. A change to the 2013 edition of NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, would allow for a verification of an actual emergency following a fire alarm signal before the fire department responded to the scene.
In the May/June issue of NFPA Journal, a feature story highlights these and other proposed changes to the new edition of NFPA 72 that takes aim at aspects of alarm use and testing. Topics receiving a Notice of Intent to Make a Motion that become Certified Amending Motions will be discussed during the Association Technical Meeting, which will be held June 13–14 at NFPA’s Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.