Most building occupants are trained to evacuate as soon as fire alarm system activates. In some industrial occupancies, however, that might not be feasible, says Ron Coté in his new column “First Things First” in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal. Fortunately, NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, provides requirements for protecting such personnel and helping ensure that, when they are ready to leave the building, a safe route will be available.
Such requirements demonstrate a feature of NFPA 101 that makes it so effective: its occupancy-based format. Each occupancy chapter of NFPA 101 recognizes the characteristics of the occupants and the functional needs of the occupancy, and tailors its requirements accordingly. This means that life safety requirements do not interfere unnecessarily with an occupancy's day-to-day operations—just one reason the code is so widely used.