Well, there certainly is a lot going on in the NFPA 1 world these days. A new code revision cycle, exciting educational sessions coming up at the NFPA Conference and Expo, publication of the 2018 NFPA 1 Handbook…and the list goes on.
Looking back: Last week, the Fire Code Technical Committee met in Denver for their Pre-First Draft meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to plan for the upcoming revision cycle, conduct a preliminary review of some public inputs and to being drafting first revisions to the document. One of my favorite things about working with NFPA 1 has always been the diverse topics that the Code addresses. It means I get to expand my knowledge and understanding of a variety of technical topics (like fire safety issues with cannabis processing…who knew!) as well as learn from experts on the committee with backgrounds in anything from hazardous materials, testing and materials, code enforcement, fire fighter protection, life safety, fire alarm, and suppression. The topics that the Technical Committee address are always changing and expanding in order to accommodate the changing fire safety, building construction and security world. This meeting was no different.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the committee completed a preliminary review and discussion on 48 public inputs, created 5 different working task groups addressing a variety of topics from life safety and security to radio communication systems and portable generator placement. The committee had preliminary discussions on the following technical topics: addressing security in NFPA 1 and references to NFPA 3000, NFPA 855 and new provisions for energy storage systems, flammable refrigerants, tiny homes and fire department access, mobile repeaters, nonsprinklered residential occupancies, fire department access roads, marijuana grow rooms, distilleries, stationary and portable generators, additive manufacturing, mobile cooking, inspection, testing and maintenance of storm shelters, repair garages for alternative fuel vehicles, valet trash, spaceports, and flying unmanned vehicles. (It should be noted that just because the topic was discussed does not mean that there will be revisions to the 2021 edition.) There are many emerging technologies that will be impacting NFPA 1 over the next few cycles, and it’s important for the committee to be ready to serve our stakeholders and enforcement community, both new and old. I very much look forward to working with the committee this cycle to make valuable changes to the Fire Code and I know I will learn many things along the way.
Looking ahead: Tomorrow, I leave for the NFPA Conference and Expo (the Superbowl of NFPA events!) in Las Vegas. The highlight of my time in Las Vegas will be a presentation about the AHJ’s perspective of cannabis growing and fire safety, including an overview of new Chapter 38 in NFPA 1. Ray Bizal of NFPA and Jennifer Hoyt and Jacob Nunnemacher of the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services and I will be co-presenting an interactive discussion about the topic. We hope to educate AHJs and non-AHJs alike on the new(er) issue of enforcing fire safety at marijuana growing and processing facilities. We hope you will join us on Monday at 10am PST! I look forward to meeting some new Technical Committee Chairs at a training session on Sunday, attending educational sessions, meeting our NFPA community at the NFPA expo booth (if you read this blog, stop by and say hi and introduce yourself!), and checking out the features of the building of the future feature in the expo.
If you are interested in other NFPA 1-related issues, be sure to check out the following educational sessions:
- T05 - The Fire Inspector as an Educator - The Educator as a Fire Inspector
- T09 - World Overview of ESS/PV Landscape
- T16 - Energy Storage Systems (ESS): Fire Safety Concepts
- T36 - Assessing Fire Risk in High-Rise Buildings with Combustible Insulation: A New Tool for the Enforcement Community
- T37 - Using R-290 (Propane) in Commercial Refrigeration Applications: Hazards and Mitigation Measures
- T39 - Energy Storage Systems (ESS): Fire Service Safety Considerations
- T60 - Fire Inspection - A Vital Need
- T69 - The New NFPA 855 Standard on Energy Storage Systems - Content and Concepts and Training and Code Changes
- W24 - Remote Inspection: Experience from the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- W46 - The Changing Face of Refrigerants -- How the Move Toward Flammable Refrigerants Affects You
- W55 - Fire and Life Safety for Large Festivals
To follow along with this NFPA 1 code development cycle, including meetings information and agendas, check out the next edition information here.
I’ll be posting about my adventures at the Conference and Expo in Las Vegas on twitter and you can follow along at @KristinB_NFPA.
Thanks, as always for reading. Stay safe!