FAQ Friday, NFPA 80 - Is it applicable to existing installations?

Blog Post created by kristinbigda Employee on Mar 8, 2013

It depends.  (Don't you love when answers to code interpretations results in "it depends"?)

NFPA 80, 2013, is an installation standard and for the most part is applicable to new installations only.  As an installation standard, it is often referenced by model building and life safety codes.  The edition referenced by the adopted codes is required for compliance. It is not the intent of the document that all existing installations meet the new criteria for installation unless the existing situation involves a hazardous situation as determined by the AHJ.  Section 1.3 of the standard clearly states the following:

1.3 Retroactivity.
1.3.1 This standard is based on product and engineering practices recognized as acceptable at the date of issue.
1.3.2 Unless otherwise noted, it is not intended that the provisions of this document be applied to facilities, equipment, structures, or installations that were existing or approved for construction
or installation prior to the effective date of the document.
1.3.3 In those cases where it is determined by the AHJ that the existing situation involves a distinct hazard to life or property, retroactive application of the provisions of this document shall be permitted.

But why "it depends" you ask?   Chapter 5 for the inspection, testing, and maintenace of fire doors, fire windows, and fire shutters, is applicable to BOTH new and existing installations.  In fact, section clearly states that  "The requirements of this chapter shall apply to new and existing installations...", just in case you forget.

Chapter 5 covers field modifications, general maintenance, repairs, acceptance testing, periodic inspections, and record keeping for all required inspections and tests. 

More on Chapter 5 requirements to come...