Development of the 2021 edition of the Life Safety Code is well underway. The NFPA 101 First Draft Report, which contains the NFPA 101 First Draft with all approved first revisions (FRs), committee inputs (CIs), and resolved public inputs (PIs), is available for review online. Any topic addressed by an FR, CI, or PI, can be commented on by anyone. The public comment closing date is May 8, 2019, so if you would like to participate in the process, now is the time to submit public comments. If you’re new to the NFPA standards development process or could just use a refresher, head over to the codes and standards page on the NFPA website.
The NFPA 101 First Draft contains a total of 316 FRs (334 including first correlating revisions). A comprehensive understanding of the proposed revisions requires reviewing the entire First Draft Report. I realize relatively few people have time for such an undertaking, so I’ve identified what I think are some of the highlights (noted paragraph numbers are consistent with the First Draft numbering):
- Revised definition of ‘personal care’ to include limited skilled nursing services (3.3.216, A.3.3.216)
- New provision clarifying that non-required fire doors do not require compliance with NFPA 80 (22.214.171.124, A.126.96.36.199)
- New term ‘clear floor area’ used in Ch. 7, Means of Egress (numerous locations, draft definition in CI 188.8.131.52)
- Revised interior exit discharge provisions (7.7.2)
- Revised communicating space provisions to permit smoke detection in lieu of openness (8.6.6)
- New requirements for low-frequency alarm signals (184.108.40.206.3, 220.127.116.11)
- New requirement for fire department two-way radio communication enhancement systems in new and existing buildings in accordance with the fire code (9.15)
- New requirements for outdoor furnishings adjacent to buildings (10.4)
- New requirement for automatic sprinklers in all new assembly occupancy bars and restaurants (18.104.22.168)
- Revised classroom door locking requirements for existing educational and day care occupancies (22.214.171.124.4, 126.96.36.199.6)
- Revised construction limits for existing nursing homes (19.1.6)
- New requirement for automatic sprinklers in existing high-rise buildings containing ambulatory health care occupancies (188.8.131.52)
- New requirement for carbon monoxide detection in existing hotels and dormitories (184.108.40.206)
- New provisions for valet trash services in apartment buildings (30.7.5, 31.7.5)
- Removal of engineered life safety system option for existing, high-rise apartment buildings; new 12-year phase-in for mandatory automatic sprinkler systems (220.127.116.11)
Several CIs were also developed for the purpose of soliciting public comments:
- Proposed Annex A language on dynamic exit signage (7.10.2, CI-6568)
- Proposed mezzanine area limits with automatic sprinklers (18.104.22.168, CI-6598)
- Proposed revised school fire drill provisions (22.214.171.124, CI-6914)
- Proposed mandatory requirement for automatic sprinklers in all new day care occupancies (126.96.36.199, CI-6910)
While this list is not intended to be all-inclusive, it touches on what I think are the “big proposed changes” for the next edition of the Code. Your comments are vital to ensuring that a broad range of stakeholder interests are considered by the NFPA 101 technical committees. For a video overview of these proposed revisions, NFPA members can check out my NFPA Live ARCHIVE: A Preview of the NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 2021 Edition FIRST DRAFT from this past January.
Thanks for reading, and until next time, stay safe!
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