Michael Hazell

Facilities for Fire Training and Associated Props Looking for Comments

Blog Post created by Michael Hazell Employee on Dec 16, 2014

Submit public comments
Deadline: February 1, 2015

At its August 2014 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council reviewed the scope and title for a new committee on Facilities for Fire Training and Associated Props. After review of all the material before it, the Council voted to publish a notice to solicit public comments for the need of the project, information on subject matter resources, those interested in participating, if established, and other organizations actively involved with the subject.

The following justification for the new project has been submitted to the Council:

a. Explain the Scope of the new project/document:
Standard on Fire Training Structures, Props, and Equipment.

b. Provide an explanation and any evidence of the need for the new project/document:

The Fire Service Training TC currently is assigned responsibility for NFPA 1402, Guide to Building Fire Service Training Centers, which is a document that provides general information to architects, engineers, and fire service entities on possible components of fire training centers. The scope of the document is "food for thought" and ideas to consider when planning or designing a training center. The committee is aware that there is an increasing need to have a prescriptive standard available to provide minimum mandatory requirements for the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of gas-fired props, and for the design and construction of live fire training structures (burn buildings) and other training props. This need has surfaced because of a growing awareness of fire fighter injuries that have occurred with gas-fired training props that have not been designed and constructed in a manner that provides a minimum required level of safety to all participants. The Fire Service Training TC has a growing concern that if a nationally recognized standard is not developed for gas-fire live fire training props we will see additional injuries and potentially fire fighter fatalities in the future.

The Committee has spent the past two years evaluating the possibility of converting 1402 from a guide to a standard. It has concluded that a new, separate standard for fire training structures, props, and equipment is needed and that the remainder of 1402 needs to remain as a guide for the following reasons:

(1.) The Training Committee has expanded the scope of the new, proposed standard from just live fire training structures, props, and equipment to also include non-live fire training structures, props, and equipment. This would move more of the exiting 1402 content into the new standard.  Given this increased scope, the Training Committee believes it is important to separate these items into a new standard.

(2.) The current version of 1402 contains information intended to provoke thought for anyone planning to build a fire training center. Most of the current text does not need to be converted to a standard.  If 1402 were converted to a standard, most of the existing content would move to the annex, in which case:

a. Readers might not know it is there. b. Most of it would not relate directly to any content in the body of the standard. c. By being in the annex of a standard instead of in a guide, the content might be interpreted as standard requirements, too. Legal entities already try to interpret the current 1402 guide as if it is a standard.  Moving that content into the annex of a standard would strengthen the position of those legal entities. 

c. Identify intended users of the new project/document:
(1.) Manufacturers of gas-fired and other live fire training props used to train fire fighters. (2.) Architects and engineers that design fire training structures and props and specify fire training equipment. (3.) Fire agencies that purchase gas-fired props and other fire training structures and props to train fire fighters. (4.) Fire fighters that are potentially exposed to unacceptable risk from gas-fired and other fire training props and structures that have not been manufactured, designed, and constructed to a nationally accepted standard. (5.) Operators of fire fighter training centers.

d. Identify individuals, groups and organizations that should review and provide input on the need for the proposed new project/document; and provide contact information for these groups:

ISFSI; IFSTA; IAFC; NVFC; IAFF; NAFTD; Manufacturers; Technical Committee on Fire Service Training, Technical Committee on Special Effects. 

e Identify individuals, groups and organizations that will be or could be affected, either directly or indirectly, by the proposed new project/document, and what benefit they will receive by having this new document available:

See item C above.

f. Identify other related documents and projects on the subject both within NFPA and external to NFPA: 

NFPA 1402 is a related document but is an advisory document that cannot mandate minimum requirements.

NFPA 1403 is related in that it mandates minimum requirements and procedures for live fire training exercises.

DIN standard (Germany or whole EU?) addresses the subject in a limited capacity.

g. Identify the technical expertise and interest necessary to develop the project/document, and if the committee membership currently contains this expertise and interest: 

See C above. In addition, the Fire Service Training TC currently has the necessary expertise, including two manufacturers  of gas-fired  training props, a special expert also in the gas-fired training prop manufacturing industry, engineers that specify gas-fired training props for fire fighter training centers and design fire training structures, builders of fire training structures, owners of fire training centers that use fire training structures and props, users of fire training structures and props, manufacturers of fire fighter training materials related to fire training structures and props, and representation from national research/testing laboratories.  In addition, the Fire Service Training TC has organized a task group of outside experts, especially from the 160 Committee, to assist with the standard for gas-fired props.

h. Provide an estimate on the amount of time needed to develop the new project/document: 

The proposed document could be developed in approximately three years.

i. Comment on the availability of data and other information that exists or would be needed to substantiate the technical requirements and other provisions of the proposed new project/ document: 

The Fire Service Training TC believes that there is adequate availability of data and information on the "best practices" design and construction of gas-fired fire fighter training props and fire training structures and props that are required to substantiate the technical requirements and other provisions of the proposed new project.

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