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7 Posts authored by: barrychase Employee

In a recent webinar, industry expert and fire protection engineer, Merton Bunker, discussed significant ways NFPA 72 has changed and why. The information provides not only a great way for you to learn about the changes, but how they could also affect your job.Throughout the webinar, Bunker specifically talks about key changes aimed at designers, installers and AHJs, such as:


  • How to locate and apply the new carbon monoxide detector and alarm requirements
  • How to locate and apply the new testing requirements for Energy Storage Systems (ESS)
  • How to locate new requirements for HVLS fans
  • How to identify new requirements for air-sampling smoke detectors


The recording also covers the code's new mounting height requirements for fire alarm control units, new requirements for Class N circuit protection, and new document storage requirements, and more.


If you’re a registered Xchange user, you have immediate access to the full recording. If you haven’t subscribed to Xchange, you can register today for free. Xchange is a great way to connect with professionals worldwide, explore content, and ask questions. Don’t miss out on all that Xchange has to offer, and subscribe today!

In the midst of a very active and powerful hurricane season, many building owners and managers of industrial and commercial facilities are facing the daunting process of disaster recovery. In determining the best means of restoring electrical systems and equipment to full operation, a decision must be made whether to repair or replace each damaged piece of equipment. Chapter 32, Electrical Disaster Recovery, of NFPA 70B: Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance, 2016 edition, is now available as a free, standalone, downloadable resource from NFPA and includes the following guidance on making these important assessmentsNFPA 70B, 70B

  • Seek the services of qualified equipment assessment personnel, whether manufacturer representatives or subject matter experts.
  • Establish priorities for each system and/or piece of equipment. This will become important as you consider lead times and resource allocation for different recovery options.
  • Determine the availability of parts, direct replacement equipment, and/or dissimilar replacement equipment. It could be necessary to modify the existing system in order to accommodate a different model or a newer technology as a replacement.
  • Understand the effect of each recovery option on the future performance of the equipment and the system, as well as the ability of the original manufacturer to support the equipment. Equipment performance could be compromised as a result of repairs.
  • Consider the lead time and financial impact of each recovery option. Costs associated with an extended downtime could exceed the additional material and labor costs associated with a more rapid recovery solution.
  • Determine whether the repair contractor is qualified to do the work and whether the repairs can be made on site.
  • Consider the age of the damaged equipment and any planned obsolescence.
  • Verify that the authority having jurisdiction will allow repair or replacement of the affected equipment.
  • Review the list of other industry standards and guidelines in 32.2.8 for pertinent information.


Even with these factors in mind, the choice between repair and replace will not always be a simple one. However, following these simple suggestions can be the difference between an impossible task and an informed decision.


Remember to always document the details of the recovery process in a project summary report. See 32.2.16.


The complete current edition of NFPA 70B and related resources are available for free access or to purchase at


Additional disaster-related resources can be found on NFPA's disaster webpage, including tip sheets, related code information, articles, and more.

The 2016 edition of NFPA 11 Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam is now available. Here are 8 important changes that are worth noting.

#1) Manufacturers are now required to publish acceptable ranges of density (or specific gravity), pH, refractive index, and viscosity for the foam concentrates that they produce. These values are intended to be used by laboratories to establish pass/fail criteria for annual quality testing. Because this information has not been consistently available in the past, laboratories have been required to make assumptions about the appropriate tolerances. To further support the measurement of foam quality, new definitions for “film formation” and “spreading coefficient” were also added.

#2) The suction inlet in an atmospheric concentrate storage tank must be located a minimum of 25.4 mm (1 in.) above the bottom of the tank. This creates a settling basin to reduce the risk of sediment entering the system. The volume of foam concentrate located below the inlet is not considered to be usable and cannot be counted as part of the minimum foam supply.

#3) The system piping section has been reorganized to clearly indicate separate requirements for foam concentrate and foam solution. The options for foam solution piping materials have been expanded to permit non-galvanized pipe, while ensuring compatibility of the pipe material with the foam solution.

#4) The allowance to provide seal-only protection for outdoor covered (internal) floating roof tanks has been extended to certain composite floating roofs that have been deemed to provide similar performance to metallic roofs. The specific roof features are considered adequate to resist burn through and/or submergence of the roof, in the event of a fire.

#5) Chapter 8 has been expanded to identify key components of system plans, including new details for hydraulic calculations and water supply graph sheets. The list of information to be included, as appropriate, has increased from 13 items to 33.

#6) Valves and hose connections must be installed to facilitate testing of proportioning equipment. Although certain acceptance and maintenance tests are required by Chapters 11 and 12, the standard did not previously include an installation requirement to provide a means of conducting these tests.

#7) The requirements for acceptance testing now include a water supply test and an operational test of control valves. A sample Material and Test Certificate was also added to Annex A to provide a means of documenting the acceptance test results.

#8) Descriptions of new foam proportioning test methods that do not require the discharge of foam concentrate were added to Annex D. Chapter 12 already supported alternative test methods, but specific test descriptions or procedures were not provided.

For a complete revision history of NFPA 11 or to read the 2016 edition for free, please visit the NFPA 11 Document Information Page at

The First Draft of NFPA 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, 2017 edition, is open for public comment until November 16, 2015. Comments can be submitted through the NFPA website (

For this draft, the technical committee passed 64 revisions, including updated references and clarifications of existing requirements. The following revisions incorporate technical changes to the standard:


Section 4.2, FIRST REVISION NO. 8

The standard will recognize the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) for extinguishers sold and installed outside the United States. Previous editions referenced the Workplace Hazardous Materials Identification System (WHMIS) Reference Manual.

Committee’s Substantiation: Canada is replacing WHMIS with the UN's Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).


Section 4.4, FIRST REVISION NO. 71

All extinguishers manufactured prior to 1955 will be considered obsolete and be removed from service. Prior editions limited this to stored pressure extinguishers only.

Committee’s Substantiation: Extinguishers manufactured prior to 1955 are obsolete, were tested to an outdated standard, rated with an outdated rating system, are 60 years old or older, and do not have current manuals or OEM parts available. These extinguishers should be removed from service.


Section 4.4.1, FIRST REVISION NO. 19

All dry chemical stored-pressure extinguishers with an indicated manufacturing date of 1984 or prior will be removed from service immediately. The previous edition allowed them to be removed at the next six-year maintenance or hydrostatic test.

Committee’s Substantiation: All hydrotest dates have passed for stored pressure extinguishers manufactured prior to October, 1984, thus there is no reason to maintain this language.


Section 5.5.7, FIRST REVISION NO. 22

Guidance on selection of portable extinguishers for areas containing oxidizers has been expanded.

Committee’s Substantiation: The proposed change brings NFPA 10 in line with the 2013 edition of NFPA 400 Hazardous Materials Code. There are oxidizers that are incompatible with the application of water. Because the specific type of oxidizer, state of the material, and the quantity present can affect various extinguishment recommendations, referencing the material’s SDS is advisable.





The requirements for visibility of extinguishers and the means of indicating the location of a hidden extinguisher have been clarified and revised.

Committee’s Substantiation: As a minimum, signs or other means need to be provided to indicate the extinguisher location. Fire extinguisher signs are the preferred method for identifying extinguisher locations.



The means of hanging, mounting, and/or securing an extinguisher will be required to be listed or approved. Brackets will be required to have releasing straps or bands. Field-fabricated hangers and brackets will not be permitted.

Committee’s Substantiation: Text was added to help correct problems identified in the field for inappropriate installations.
Too often building occupants/owners believe an extinguisher can be placed in a general use cabinet along with other business storage. The revised text clarifies that the cabinet must be of an approved type.
The annex was revised to remove the specific construction description of a portable extinguisher stand.


Section (new), FIRST REVISION NO. 31

Only surface mounted cabinets or fire-rated cabinets shall be installed in 1-hour and 2-hour fire-resistance-rated walls.

Committee’s Substantiation: Only surface mounted cabinets or fire-rated cabinets which are specially constructed with gypsum board installed on the sides, top, bottom, and back and are intended to be installed in 1-hour and 2-hour fire-resistance-rated walls. Cabinets that are not fire-rated should not be installed in these walls as they would make the entire fire-rated wall non-compliant.


The 2016 Edition of NFPA 409 Standard on Aircraft Hangars was issued by the Standards Council at their April 2015 meeting. This new edition incorporates several significant changes that impact the design of fire protection systems in new Group I and Group II aircraft hangars.


#1 - Foam System Zoning. Low-level foam systems in Group I hangars can now be divided into zones that are independently activated, based on activation of an associated sprinkler zone or automatic detection zone. Manual activation is still required to cause all zones to discharge simultaneously and to provide coverage over the entire storage and servicing area. However, automatic activation of smaller zones may limit the affected area and the consumed quantity of foam solution in the event of an isolated fire or accidental discharge.


#2 - Water Reservoirs. The standard has long required water reservoirs to be divided into equal parts, in order to ensure that at least half of the required supply is always maintained in service. This has been changed to a recommendation, because the water reservoirs for hangars are dedicated supplies that do not require redundancy in all cases.


#3 - Redundant Fire Pumps. Historically, NFPA 409 has attempted to ensure the reliability of hangar protection systems by requiring the installation of a redundant fire pump, such that the minimum water demand can be met with the largest pump out of service. This has been relaxed in recognition of the reliability of modern fire pumps that are maintained in accordance with industry standards. The 2016 edition requires a minimum of two pumps, but a redundant pump will not be required for systems that use two or more pumps to meet the minimum demand. All pumps must be of equal capacity.


#4 - Reserve Supplies of Foam Concentrate. Previous editions have required the installation of a connected reserve supply of foam concentrate with a manual means of switching between the main and reserve supplies. The reserve supply is now permitted to meet the requirements of the 2016 edition of NFPA 11 Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam. This edition of NFPA 11 does not require a connected reserve (though it is obviously permissible to provide one). Instead, the reserve supply must be either stored on-site or available within 24 hours in order to put the system back into service after operation.


To review all of the changes in the new edition of NFPA 409, see the Second Draft Report.

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!List of Annual 2015 documents issued by the NFPA Standards Council as Consent Standards

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NFPA 11, 2016 Edition


The 2016 edition of NFPA 11 Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam will be presented for action during the 2015 NFPA Technical Meeting, which will take place during the Conference and Expo in Chicago on June 22-25. In total, fifteen amending motions have been certified for this document.

If pursued, amending motions 11-1 through 11-14 will seek to accept public comments related to self-expanding foam systems, which are not currently addressed by NFPA 11. If the motion passes, the scope of the standard will be expanded to incorporate requirements for this new technology.

If pursued, amending motion 11-15 will seek to reject a second revision that limits the use of unprotected carbon steel pipe to wet pipe systems that are filled with foam solution or water (Second Revision No. 12). If the motion passes, the standard will return to the First Draft text, which permitted unprotected carbon steel pipe to be used for any system having outlets that are closed to the atmosphere.


For information regarding the NFPA Standards Development Process, visit .

!|src=|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Download this year's NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) agenda

NFPA 407-2017The NFPA Technical Committee on Aircraft Fuel Servicing met on September 24-26, 2014, to develop the First Draft of the 2017 Edition of NFPA 407 Standard for Aircraft Fuel Servicing. The result is a completely reformatted standard that organizes the requirements into chapters based on the type of aircraft fuel servicing equipment (i.e., fueling facilities, fueling vehicles, rooftop heliports, and self-servicing). In addition, each chapter makes use of a consistent numbering system for each topic. Prior editions organized the information into broader chapters for Design and Operation, which have proved difficult to navigate in practice.

At the same time, the committee considered input from the public and reviewed each and every requirement with respect to existing technologies, updated knowledge, and current best practices. The draft incorporates many technical changes.

Those who use or reference NFPA 407 are encouraged to review the draft, which can be accessed from the NFPA 407 Document Information Page. It will remain open for public comment until May 15, 2015.

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