NFPA 1: Chapter 52, Energy Storage Systems, #firecodefridays

Blog Post created by kristinbigda Employee on May 6, 2016

We are at the "one week to go" mark.  That's one week to go until the public comment closing date for the 2018 editions of some major NFPA documents such as NFPA 1, Fire Code, and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code.


This is the opportunity for YOU get involved in the process.  The committee developed revisions and committee inputs during the First Draft stage and now is the opportunity to comment on these new ideas. There are some significant revisions being proposed for the next edition of NFPA 1 relating to valuable topics that will have a great impact on the Code.


A Committee Input is a "trial balloon" of sorts that floats a new topic out for public review.  It is not yet an official revision to the document, but remains as an active subject through the revision cycle until a revision is made.  Public comment is highly encouraged and necessary.  One Committee Input that is out for public comment is on Chapter 52, currently titled 'Stationary Storage Battery Systems'.  The Committee Input renames Chapter 52 to 'Energy Systems' and includes an expansion of the scope to address energy storage systems (ESS) and energy generating systems.


ESS requirements should cover battery systems, and/or fuel cells and other technologies such as chemical, mechanical and thermal that are being explored for use in today’ energy conscience environment.  Proposed changes better align the requirements of Chapter 52 to be compatible with other model codes as well as NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®.


The use of ESS is rapidly expanding across North America and AHJs are facing the challenge of having to evaluate installations of new ESS technologies and applications in locations throughout the built environment. These include chemical (i.e. hydrogen fuel cells), mechanical (i.e. fly-wheel systems) and thermal technologies. Currently, there are few if any fire code requirements in place to provide guidance on how to mitigate potential hazards.


As this is being proposed as a Committee Input, additional comments and feedback from the public is anticipated and encouraged.  You can access this Committee Input by viewing the NFPA 1 First Draft Report.  Have comments?  You have until Friday, May 16 to submit your proposed changes and revision. 


Is your jurisdiction looking for guidance on Energy Storage Systems?  What challenges do you face with this technology?