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At this year’s C&E you can get a small taste of what it is like to train like a fire fighter. NFPA is offering you the opportunity to spend the day at Chicago’s Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy. will start the day with a brief overview of how NFPA standards are applied within the fire service. After that (and after you sign the waivers holding NFPA harmless of course), you’ll don personal protective equipment and participate in several training evolutions. You won’t be entering burning buildings, but you will be advancing hose lines up a staircase, performin search and rescue, using extinguishers on flammable liquid fires, performing an exterior fire attack getting an overview on fire apparatus.  NFPA staff participated in a similar program at the Massachusetts Fire Academy. Check out this video to see what it is all about. If you're interested in joining NFPA for this unique opportunity register now, because space is limited.

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To kick off Daylight Savings Time, clocks “spring forward” at 2am Sunday morning. Before everyone goes to bed tomorrow, they'll change all of the clocks throughout their homes to reflect the time change. NFPA wants to remind everyone that this might also be a good time to change the batteries in all of your home's smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. 

To stay safe, replacing batteries in all smoke alarms should be done at least once a year, but changing them while changing all of your clocks serves as a great reminder. In addition, smoke alarms should be tested once a month and if an alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

[For more smoke alarm safety tips, check out our downloadable tip sheet |]. 

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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...

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