Hazardous areas in buildings aren’t just those with high-hazard contents—a building’s areas, the materials stored in those areas, and the hazard of those materials are all factors in determining the level of protection according to NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®.
“Evaluating a hazardous area is relative and situational,” writes Kristin Bigda, P.E., a principal fire protection engineer at NFPA. “What constitutes a hazardous area in one occupancy may not be considered a hazardous area in another … The confusion often lies with the concept that a hazardous area is determined not just by the contents or materials in it, by also by the relative hazard of the space compared to the overall hazard of the occupancy. Understanding this distinction is critical to properly applying the code and isolating a fire within that space.”
The new “In Compliance” also includes a look at how new fire alarm systems must meet requirements contained throughout the entire NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®, not just pieces of the code. Our article on NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, helps readers understand when they need to replace sprinklers and what their sprinkler cabinets should contain. And our piece on NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®, looks at the issue of electrical load calculations in the 2020 edition of the NEC®.
The March/April issue of NFPA Journal is available in print, online, and through our NFPA Journal mobile apps for Apple and Android devices.