Structural Fire Protection - there's a standard for that!

Blog Post created by kristinbigda Employee on Jun 21, 2015

  The 2012 edition marked the first edition of NFPA 557, Standard for Determination of Fire Loads for Use in Structural Fire Protection Design. This document dates back to 2003, when it was proposed that NFPA create a document to address the need for guidance and standardization in the area of structural fire engineering. The Technical Committee on Hazard and Risk of Contents and Furnishings was assigned the document and work began shortly thereafter.

  NFPA 557 addresses the determination of the fire load and fire load density to be used as the basis for the evaluation and design of the structural fire performance of a building. The purpose of NFPA 557 is to provide standard methods and values for use in the determination of fire loads and fire load densities for design-basis fires. This is done using a risk framework. Two methodologies are detailed in the document: an occupancy-based density method and a survey-based method.

   The 2016 edition contains new language that requires the evaluation of a fire load to be prepared by an approved person as and requires the building owner to be responsible for confirming that anticipated fire load densities will not exceed values used for the design.  New language in Chapter 4 provides required performance and test criteria for noncombustible and limited-combustible materials.  Additional updates to terminology, definitions, and referenced publications have been made throughout the document to reflect current industry standards and technology.


Interested in being involved in the development of NFPA 557?  The Technical Committee is now accepting new members.  For more information or to submit an application, visit the document information page at and check out more information about the development of NFPA 557 and the committee!