NFPA 1: How does the Fire Code address resiliency today and in the future? #FireCodefridays

Blog Post created by kristinbigda Employee on Feb 24, 2017

In our rapidly and constantly changing world we hear often about this thing called "resiliency".  But, what is it and how does it relate to model codes such as building, life safety and fire codes? 


NFPA has been exploring the concept of resiliency for the past few years and seeking to identify how our codes and standards should be evolving to address the development of resilient buildings, systems, and communities.  In December 2014, the Fire Protection Research Foundation issued a report, "Disaster Resiliency and NFPA Codes and Standards" which sought to review NFPA codes and standards and identify how resiliency does and should be applied to them and other NFPA activities. In addition, NFPA has held workshops and published articles on the topic of resiliency.


As stated in the report: Since its formation, the NFPA has addressed fire as the disruptive event. The objective of this project is to include other disruptive events (disasters) in addition to, or in place, of fires. This review is intended to identify those provisions in NFPA codes and standards that embody the concepts of resiliency and compile available information to serve as a technical reference for those documents. This review is also intended to identify key gaps in knowledge necessary to support the integration of resiliency concepts into NFPA codes and standards.


So, how does this relate to NFPA 1? Well, traditionally, codes such as building codes and life safety codes, and even fire codes, have regulated issues related to life safety and property protection as a result of fire.  A recommendation put forth in a 2010 conference report Designing for a Resilient America: A Stakeholder Summit on High Performance Resilient Buildings and Related Infrastructure was that new building codes and standards should extend beyond the traditional life-safety goals to include resilient design concepts on a performance-based approach that support the resiliency of buildings and infrastructure. Stronger codes will have a greater impact and provide a critical tool to communities seeking to build resilience.  NFPA 101, Life Safety Code and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code are the two NFPA codes with goals and purposes most closely related to resiliency and have been evolving over the past years to address this concept.  But, let's not forget NFPA 1 in the mix.


In past post's I have mentioned the extensive scope of NFPA 1 as a fire code.  The requirements of NFPA 1 are developed based on 16 different components as outlined in the scope per Section 1.1.1.  In addition, the purpose of the Code is "to prescribe minimum requirements necessary to establish a reasonable level of fire and life safety and property protection from the hazards created by fire, explosion, and dangerous conditions."   Just as building and life safety codes have evolved to address design loads and safety objectives of emergencies similar to fire, NFPA 1 may find itself further evolving to address additional protection needed to provide for life safety from fire and similar emergencies to building occupants, property protection, and enhanced emergencies responder safety.  With over 100 NFPA codes and standards referenced in NFPA 1 and over 50 codes and standards with direct extracts into the Code, the document will automatically address resiliency as other documents evolved as well. 


How can YOU help?  Comment below to tell us how NFPA 1 should address resiliency in the future?  How is this concept of resiliency impacting you and your community? 


Finally, in a continued effort to support the concept of resiliency in NFPA activities, NFPA will be supporting and attending the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) biennial conference this April 2017 to present two papers related to the theme of the conference, "Resiliency of the Integrated Building: A Community Focus".  We look forward to developing a new relationship with the architectural engineering community in their endeavor to address resiliency through their use of codes and standards and safety information.


For more information:

AEI 2017 Conference – Resilience of the Integrated Building

April 11 – 13, 2017

Oklahoma City, OK


Learn About Emerging Technologies & Trends in Building Design, Construction and Maintenance

We have a very robust TECHNICAL PROGRAM – representing individuals from 9 countries - with over 90 presentations.  Technical topics include subjects such as: building materials; building envelopes, building structural systems; community planning for resilience, forensic studies, integrated systems and much more!  Sponsorship Opportunities and Exhibitor Opportunities are available.



Post-Disaster Safety Evaluations of Buildings 

SPECIAL SESSION: Recent Oklahoma Earthquakes and the Built Environment featuring:
Jeremy Boak, Director, Oklahoma Geological Survey
Muralee Muraleetharan, Geotechnical Engineering Professor, Kimmell-Bernard Chair in Engineering, David Ross Boyd and Presidential Professor
Scott Harvey, Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering


Dr. Louise K. Comfort, Ph.D., Director, Center for Disaster Management, University of Pittsburgh


NETWORKING LUNCHEON (Leadership Exercise)
MarsCity Resilience Challenge

Hans Butzer, Architect, AIA, AK NW, LEED AP BD+C


NIST Panel Discussion on Guidance and Tools for Community Resilience Planning

Claims Reduction through Understanding Failure


As always, thank you for reading, and happy Friday!  Stay safe!


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