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I am frequently asked what procedures or equipment are required in order to clear the protected space for occupancy after a clean agent discharge.


NFPA 2001 (2015) does not require any specific method of verifying or restoring the tenability of the protected space after a clean agent discharge. However, the standard gives the following advice:

A. The steps and safeguards necessary to prevent injury or death to personnel in areas whose atmospheres will be made hazardous by the discharge or thermal decomposition of clean agents can include the following:

(7) Provision for the prompt discovery and rescue of persons rendered unconscious in such areas. This should be accomplished by having such areas searched immediately by trained personnel equipped with proper breathing equipment. Self-contained breathing equipment and personnel trained in its use and in rescue practices, including artificial respiration, should be readily available.

(9) Provision of means for prompt ventilation of such areas. Forced ventilation will often be necessary. Care should be taken to readily dissipate hazardous atmospheres and not merely move them to another location.


During today's NFPA Technical Meeting in Chicago, the following action has taken place on NFPA 11, Standard on Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam:


• 11-1 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 30 was not pursued.
• 11-2 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 23 was not pursued.
• 11-3 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 24 was not pursued.
• 11-4 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 25 was not pursued.
• 11-5 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 26 was not pursued.
• 11-6 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 27 was not pursued.
• 11-7 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 28 was not pursued.
• 11-8 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 29 was not pursued.
• 11-9 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 31 was not pursued.
• 11-10 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 32 was not pursued.
• 11-11 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 33 was not pursued.
• 11-12 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 34 was not pursued.
• 11-13 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 20 was not pursued.
• 11-14 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 21 was not pursued.
• 11-15 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 12, thereby recommending First Draft text passed.


NFPA 11 was passed with 1 amending motions. NFPA 11 COMPLETED.

Come check out my presentation this morning!


NFPA 13 has a lot of requirements but it helps when you know where to find them. Chad Duffy and I have worked to put together an overview of the layout of Chapter 8, Installation Requirements, to help clarify the largest and possibly most confusing chapter in NFPA 13.


I will be speaking at 9:30 in room S401d. I hope to see you there!

NFPA 72-2013 provides two candela intensity choices for wall-mounted visible notification appliances in sleeping rooms. Why are the intensities of 110 cd and 177 cd effective so different and how does one determine which to use?


The determination of whether to use a 110 cd and 177 cd effective depends on the proposed mounting height of the visible notification appliance relative to the ceiling. Following the prescriptive requirements of, wall-mounted appliances need to be mounted such that the entire lens is not less than 80 in. and not greater than 96 in. above the finished floor.


In sleeping rooms, smoke can accumulate at the ceiling without a person who is asleep being aware of it. If a visible notification appliance is being used to awaken the person in the room, smoke might partially obscure the appliance and reduce the effective intensity. Thus, if the visible notification appliance is less than 24 in. from the ceiling, it must have a higher rating (177 cd eff.).


The requirement does not change the mounting height requirement for wall-mounted visible notification appliances in 18.5.5. The hierarchy is as follows:


1. If the visible notification appliance is part of a smoke detector or smoke alarm, the unit must be mounted per the requirements for smoke detectors and smoke alarms. This requirement places the appliance either on the ceiling or on the wall within 12 in. of the ceiling. Therefore the visible notification appliance must be a 177 cd eff. appliance and listed for wall or ceiling mounting as required.


2. If the visible notification appliance is not part of a smoke detector or smoke alarm, and the unit is to be wall-mounted, it must be located at least 80 in. above the floor but not more than 96 in. above the floor. If that places it within 24 in. of the ceiling, it must have a 177 cd eff. rating. If it is 24 in. or more from the ceiling, it can be a 110 cd eff. appliance.


3. If the visible notification appliance is not part of a smoke detector or smoke alarm, and the unit is to be ceiling-mounted, it must be a 177 cd eff. appliance.

Why do only horizontal split-case fire pumps require elbows and tees to be installed a minimum of 10 pipe diameters from a pump suction flange when in a horizontal plane parallel to the pump shaft?


Placing an elbow or tee with the centerline in the horizontal plane within 10 pipe diameters of the suction flange creates an unbalanced flow of water into the impeller. An unbalanced flow causes an axial load to be placed on the pump shaft and bearings, causing excessive wear to the bearings and subsequent damage to the pump over time and/or severe cavitation if not corrected. The requirement for elbows within 10 pipe diameters of the suction flange applies only to horizontal shaft fire pumps. In an inline (vertical shaft) fire pump, gravity already creates an axial load imbalance so the imbalance from an elbow is of less concern.

NFPA 72-2013 requires a risk analysis be provided.


24.3.11 is titled Risk Analysis for Mass Notification Systems.* Each application of a mass notification system shall be specific to the nature and anticipated risks of each facility for which it is designed. Performance-based design and the risk analysis shall be applied in accordance with Section 24.7. Risk Analysis. The design of the mass notification system shall be based upon a risk analysis prepared in accordance with 24.3.11 specific to the nature
and anticipated risks of each facility for which it is designed.

In addition to many other innovative features at the NFPA conference and its general session this year, two of our award winners will honor innovative technology, past and present, that have had and will have a major impact on fire safety.  Please join us.

NFPA 68, Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting, is being revised in the Fall 2017 revision cycle and is now open for Public Input. The final date for submitting Public Input to this document is January 7, 2016. If you have an interest in revising this document, the committee looks forward to reviewing your recommendations. See the Doc Info page for more information.

In October 2014, the Standards Council approved the development of a new technical committee and a new document on hybrid (water and inert gas) fire extinguishing systems. A call for members was issued, and an initial roster of twelve voting members was appointed in April. The new committee will hold its first meeting on Sept 29-30, 2015 in St. Louis, MO.


If you have any questions on this project, please contact me.

Recently, I have received several inquiries regarding materials used to construct and/or coat a rooftop landing pad.


NFPA does not review or approve materials, products, or designs for compliance with our standards. However, NFPA 418 Standard for Heliports, 2011 Edition, requires the rooftop landing pad surface to "be constructed of approved noncombustible, nonporous materials." [5.4.1] Because the standard requires the materials to be approved, they should be reviewed and accepted by the authority having jurisdiction prior to use or application, in order to avoid costly changes. The noncombustibility of the material(s) and/or coating(s) should be appropriately substantiated by the manufacturer and/or helipad designer. The following criteria for determining noncombustibility has been accepted by the technical committee for the 2016 edition of NFPA 418:

  1. A material that, in the form in which it is used and under the conditions anticipated, will not ignite, burn, support combustion, or release flammable vapors when subjected to fire or heat
  2. A material that is reported as passing ASTM E136, Standard Test Method for Behavior of Materials in a Vertical Tube Furnace at 750 Degrees C
  3. A material that is reported as complying with the pass/fail criteria of ASTM E136 when tested in accordance with the test method and procedure in ASTM E2652, Standard Test Method for Behavior of Materials in a Tube Furnace with a Cone-shaped Airflow Stabilizer, at 750 Degrees C


The Second Draft of the 2016 edition is open for NITMAM until August 21, 2015.


If you have other questions on NFPA 418, please visit the “Technical Questions” tab at

Please Note:  NFPA members and public sector officials may request a Technical Document Interpretation.  Interpretations are provided by NFPA staff on an informal basis.   If you are not a member of NFPA and would like information on the benefits of membership, please call NFPA Customer Sales at +1 800 344-3555 or visit our web site at .

See the latest NFPA 72, Mass Notification System Risk Analysis Webinar.

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.

11-2016The 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 motions pass, 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


6.1.2 of NFPA 14 protection of aboveground pipe criteria for standpipe systems. As Staff Liaison to the Technical Committee on Standpipes I often receive questions where users struggle to understand what must be protected and how it is to be accomplished. In an effort to clarify the issue the Technical Committee on Standpipes has proposed revisions to 6.1.2 for the 2016 edition. So, if you have questions on 6.1.2 please take some time to read the following changes as I hope these will help to clarify the requirements.


Replace Section 6.1.2 with text as shown below.


6.1.2 Protection of Aboveground Piping.* Standpipe system piping shall be protected from mechanical and fire damage in accordance with this section.


A. Standpipes should not be installed in non-sprinklered areas of combustible construction.* Standpipe systems shall be protected in accordance with Table


A. Where pipes that supply combined systems in areas or buildings that are sprinklered, or are installed in non-sprinklered, combustible buildings or areas the piping should be protected. Protection of pipe should also be provided in any area of a structure or building that poses a degree of hazard greater than that normal to the general occupancy of the building or structure. This includes areas for the storage or use of combustibles or flammables; toxic, noxious, or corrosive materials; and heat-producing appliances.


Table - Protection of Aboveground Piping


High Rise

Non High Rise

Construction Type

Sprinkler Protection































1 - Refers to either a horizontal standpipe or the horizontal portion of any standpipe such as a feed main.

2 – AS = fully sprinklered building in accordance with NFPA 13

3 – NS = non sprinklered or partially sprinklered building Protection shall consist of one of the following methods:

a.) Enclosure in a fire rated exit stairway.

b.) Enclosure in fire rated construction with such rating equal to that of the enclosed fire rated exit stairway.

c.) Listed fire wrap or other insulating material applied directly to the pipe with such rating equal to that of the enclosed fire rated exit stairway. Where exit stairways are not required to be enclosed in fire rated construction, standpipe systems shall not be required to be protected. Class II standpipe systems are not required to be protected. Where additional standpipes are needed to meet travel distance requirements in non-high rise buildings, protection of piping is not required. Seismic bracing, where required, shall be in accordance with NFPA 13. Piping subject to mechanical damage shall be protected by steel posts, concrete barriers or other approved means.

A recent edition of Joint Commission Online provided tips for compliance with requirements relating to the testing of fire pumps and standpipe systems as well as inspections of automatic fire-extinguishing systems located in kitchens.


Read the tips here.


Note that while these tips refer to the 1998 editions of both NFPA 25 and NFPA 96 (because of the currently adopted 2000 edition of NFPA 101 by CMS), the most current version of each of these standards is the 2014 editions.


IT Equipment Fire Protection

Posted by jonhart Employee Jun 16, 2015

NFPA 75 is the Standard for the Fire Protection of Information Technology Equipment (ITE). Whether or not NFPA 75 is applicable to your ITE installation is dependent upon a risk assessment that considers the impact of numerous factors in determining the level of acceptable fire risk. Below, is a link to an article in Campus Fire Safety that identifies these factors and provides a basic overview of applicable fire protection requirements for the protection of ITE. 


Fire Protection of Information Technology Equipment

Both the single interlock and non-interlock systems require only one event to occur before water is admitted to the system. The single interlock system is activated by the release of the detection system. Sprinkler activation does not affect this function. The non-interlock system is activated if either the detection system or a sprinkler operates.


The double interlock preaction system requires two events to occur before water is admitted to the system. One event consists of the activation of a device installed on the supplemental detection system. The other event includes the operation of a sprinkler that causes the maintained air pressure in the system to fall to a predetermined level, which is similar to that of a dry pipe system. When one of these events occurs, the system activation valve goes into a preset position. When the second event occurs, the valve opens, and water enters the system. Water does not enter the system until both events occur. These two events can occur in any order and result in the same outcome.



Matt Klaus

Want to get a sense for some of the major changes that will be going into NFPA 13 for the 2016 edition but don’t have much time? Check out this video that hits the major changes in 100 seconds!


To review all of the changes to NFPA 13, you can view the First and Second Draft reports at:



Matt Klaus