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Back from Chicago, 2015 C&E wrapped up, Technical Meeting completed, and looking at the schedule ahead, I see that the Public Input closing date for Annual 2017 is less than 2 weeks away (and in case you have been too busy to notice, next week is a short week).  Yes, PI Closing Date for A2017 is Monday, July 6, 2015.  So, what documents are in this cycle - quite a few actually.  To save you having to look it up, I have done a quick survey and find 12 of the documents in the industrial and hazardous chemical portfolio: flammable liquids, service stations, stationary combustion engines and gas turbines, fuel gas code, LP gas at utility plants, fluid heaters, merchant vessels, combustible metals and metal dusts, rocketry and display fireworks.  As you might already know, but a quick refresher for you - the access to the "submit PI" link can be reached from any of the document information pages.  So, will get you to the specific document page for NFPA 30, 30A, 37, 51, 54, 59, 87, 301, 484, 1122, 1123, and 1127.  Great to see so many of you in Chicago!  Hope we stay in touch through exChange.

During today's NFPA Technical Meeting in Chicago, the following action has taken place on NFPA 652, Standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dusts:


•    652-1 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 483 was not pursued.

•    652-2 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 40, thereby deleting new section 7.1.1 was not pursued.

•    652-3 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 41, thereby deleting new section 7.1.2 was not pursued.

•    652-4 Motion to Reject Second Revision No. 44, thereby deleting new section 7.1.1 and A.7.3.1(2)(b) was not pursued.

•    652-5 Motion to Reject Second Revision Nos. 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 143, 49, 66, and 203 including First Revision Nos. 67, 68, 69, 72, 70, 71, 74, 75,. 76, 77, 73, 78 and 99, thereby deleting Chapter 7 failed.

•    652-6 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 625, thereby returning the entire standard to the Technical Committee failed.


NFPA 652 was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 652 COMPLETED.

A frequent question I get is whether NFPA 495, Explosive Materials Code, requires the installation of sprinklers for a commercial stock of smokeless propellant at a location. The trigger for requiring sprinklers in this situation can be found in 14.3.9(5)(h), when you are storing above 800 lb but below 5,000 lb inside a building. At this point you are then required to have a sprinkler system that is installed according to NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. This requirement can be ignored if stored according to 14.3.8(6) which requires a Type 4 magazine constructed and located in accordance with Chapter 9, Aboveground Storage of Explosive Materials.


-Eric Nette, P.E.

During today's NFPA Technical Meeting in Chicago, the following action has taken place on NFPA 33, Standard for Spray Application using Flammable or Combustible Materials:


  • 33-1 Motion to Accept Public Comment No. 14 failed.
  • 33-2 Motion to Accept Public Comment Nos. 10, 11, 12 and 13 failed.


NFPA 33 was passed with 0 amending motions. NFPA 33 COMPLETED.

A new section added to the 2014 edition of NFPA 58 are Automated Cylinder Exchange Stations. These stations are unmanned, automatic computer controlled cabinets that allow individuals to purchase and exchange propane cylinders. This new added benefit allows stores to make sales throughout the day when their store is not otherwise occupied. I have not had the opportunity to see any of them in practice yet, but I have been able to see demo's of them in various locations. Below this post is a picture from the NFPA 58 Handbook of one of these installations.


-Eric Nette, P.E.


Looking forward to Session T16 this morning, Inspecting Facilities for Combustible Dust Hazards, in S404d.  It will be a good follow-up to the presentation yesterday on NFPA's Combustible Dust Standards.  With the development of NFPA 652, Fundamentals of Combustible Dust, we are taking important steps to prevent combustible dust incidents.


See you there!

I get frequent questions about how to apply NFPA 495, Explosive Materials Code, to the production of small arms. The way the standard deals with this is by treating each location in the production process differently. First, the storage of the constituents that make up small arms such as the powder and the primer are stored according to Chapter 14, Small Arms Ammunition and Primers, Smokeless Propellants, and Black Powder Propellants, including the general requirements of the standard. Second, during production, that area is treated according to Chapter 5, Manufacturing and Testing, including the general requirements of the standard. Finally, the storage of the final product is stored according to Chapter 14, Small Arms Ammunition and Primers, Smokeless Propellants, and Black Powder, including the general requirements of the standard.


-Eric Nette, P.E.

Representatives from FEMA will join NFPA Fire Service Section Executive Board members in the booth at C&E. Come by and hear some important and relevant information about Preparedness Initiatives for Flammable Liquids/Crude by Rail Incidents.

On Monday, Session M47, starting at 11:00 am in S404bc, I will be presenting about NFPA's new combustible dust standard, NFPA 652.  Join me as I discuss the development of this new standard and overview the content and how it relates to the existing, industry or commodity-specific dust standards.  Click here to read more about NFPA 652 and the combustible dust standards. NFPA Journal - Credible Risk, March April 2015

During the last revision cycle of NFPA 58 the Technical Committee decided to revise the document to include the following definition of Vehicle Barrier Protection (VBP).


"3.3.79* Vehicular Barrier Protection (VBP).    A system or method to provide physical protection for LP-Gas storage areas or installations from vehicular incursion. "

"A.3.3.79 Vehicular Barrier Protection (VBP).  Numerous effective means to provide protection for LP-Gas installations from impact by motor vehicles are available. The system or method selected depends on local conditions with regard to the kinds of traffic that can be reasonably expected and the environment surrounding the location. Examples of such protection include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •      (1)Guard rails
  •      (2)Steel bollards
  •      (3)Raised sidewalks [minimum of 6 in. (150 mm) in height]
  •      (4)Fencing
  •      (5)Ditches
  •      (6)Berms (not to exceed 50 percent of the container perimeter)
  •      (7)Jersey barriers
  •      (8)Parking bumpers [minimum of 6 in. (150 mm) in height]
  •      (9)Fencing/gates "


References to protection of various containers and appurtenances installations include the reference to VBP but leave a performance based requirement for these installations. The Technical Committee at this time has left it to the AHJ to review and approve the appropriate VBP based on these requirements.


-Eric Nette, P.E.

At the NFPA Annual Technical Meeting (Tech Session), Thursday, June 25th beginning at 8:00 am in the S100 Ballroom, NFPA members will hear the discussion of two Certified Amending Motions (CAM) submitted for NFPA 652.  NFPA 652 is the proposed new standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust and originally received 6 proposed motions; however, the proponent for four of the motions withdrew theirs so only two remain - 652-5 and 652-6.


  • 652-5 Proposes to delete Chapter 7 on Dust Hazard Analysis
  • 652-6 Proposes to return the entire document to committee


If you are interested in the NFPA combustible dust standards, I hope you will consider attending the Tech Session to follow the final stages in the development of this proposed new standard.  For more detailed information regarding the report of the Motions Committee and the specific CAM for NFPA 652 please click on the link that follows.

The 2015 edition of NFPA 45, Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals, includes a new chapter on educational and instructional laboratories. There have been many incidents involving laboratory demonstrations in the recent past, and it is intent of the Technical Committee on Laboratories Using Chemicals that this new chapter will help to promote laboratory safety within the educational community.


For more information, you can view the standard for free on the Doc Info page. There is also a new digital handbook available in our catalog.

During the last revision cycle, the Technical Committee for the National Fuel Gas Code made several revisions to the requirements for CSST bonding in Chapter 7 of NFPA 54. These were based off of a study done by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) that indicated that the location of the bonding jumper does not impact the efficacy of the protection, but that the length and size of the connector are critical factors. That study can be found on the Doc Info page here.


Do you have input on how these requirements (or any other section of the code) can be improved in the next edition? The document is open for Public Input until July 6, 2015- only 2 more weeks so submit your input here today!

NFPA 53, Recommended Practice on Materials, Equipment, and Systems used in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres, is a Fall 2015 document and the committee is currently being balloted on the Second Draft. One of the revisions includes an expanded table of Oxygen Index, Autoignition Temperature, and Heat of Combustion data for nonmetallic materials used in oxygen service.  Keep an eye out for the Second Draft report, coming out soon.


In the meantime, check out the medical oxygen fact sheet and safety tips on the NFPA website.

NFPA BargeVisit 001.jpgJust in time for the 4th of July, NFPA's Code for Fireworks Display is open for public input.   Anyone interested in suggesting a change to the code can submit a public input at   The Code covers the construction, handling and use of fireworks at outdoor professional displays.   Requirements such as spectator separation distances, proper installation of mortars, safe ignition of pyrotechnics and operator qualification provide a level of safety to both the pyrotechnic operators and the public .  The code even covers the setup of displays on floating platforms.    A few years ago I was lucky enough to observe the setup of a fireworks display on a barge in Boston!   The experience gave me a whole new appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes for some of these spectacular fireworks displays!

The 2016 editions of NFPA 2, Hydrogen Technologies Code and NFPA 55, Compressed Gases and Cyrogenic Fluids Code, will be issued this month.  NFPA 2 relies heavily on NFPA 55 for material on the safe storage and use of bulk and non-bulk quantities of hydrogen.  This cycle is the first time that the two committees worked closely together to develop content, holding a joint second draft meeting last summer to review public comments on the material that is common to both documents.   Major changes were made to NFPA 2 on fueling and repair garages for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  NFPA 2 also added new material on hydrogen equipment enclosures, which are finding new uses throughout industry.  NFPA 55 has revised the chapter on Carbon Dioxide, with a focus on beverage dispensing systems, and added new material on Liquid Nitrous Oxide systems.  The committees have developed a new partnership, and are looking forward to working together during the next revision cycle.

The Hydrogen and Industrial Medical Gases (NFPA 2 and NFPA 55) technical committees have formed a joint task group to look at separation distances for liquid and gaseous hydrogen.  Hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell vehicles are currently being built in California and are planned for the Northeast and the rest of the country.  Separation distances in the codes have presented a challenge for the installation of new stations.  The group is working on developing the basis for and modeling release scenarios that can be used to establish safe separation distances.  The goal of this work is to develop public input for the 2019 edition of both documents.

The committee on Liquefied Natural Gas recently completed the Second Draft stage in the document revision cycle, with potential publication in Fall 2015.


Check out all the changes at the doc info page:

When determining whether the maximum allowable quantity (MAQ) has been exceeded for a particular control
area, are empty containers that previously held flammable or combustible liquid to be included?

No.  NFPA 30 does not count empty containers in determining the MAQ.


NFPA 82 - Crematoriums

Posted by ericnette Employee Jun 17, 2015

A frequent question I get here is whether or not NFPA 82 covers crematoriums under the definition of an Incinerator. Let's look at the definition of an Incinerator:


"3.3.7* Incinerator.    Equipment predominantly designed for burning solid waste."


In the standard we do not define "solid waste". Therefore the definition of waste falls to Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary.


"4 a :  damaged, defective, or superfluous material produced by a manufacturing process: as (1) :  material rejected during a textile manufacturing process and used usually for      wiping away dirt and oil <cotton waste> (2) :  scrap (3) :  an unwanted by-product of a manufacturing process, chemical laboratory, or nuclear      reactor <toxic waste> <hazardous waste> <nuclear waste>

     b :  refuse from places of human or animal habitation: as (1) :  garbage, rubbish (2) :  excrement—often used in plural (3) :  sewage"


Most of the AHJ that I speak to do not classify Human or Animal remains as waste.


-Eric Nette, P.E.

The next edition of NFPA 484, Standard for Combustible Metals, is open for public input until July 6th, 2015. To submit a public input using the online submission system, select NFPA 484 from the Document information pages (list of NFPA codes & standards) . Once on the NFPA 484 document information page, select the link "The next edition of this standard is now open for Public Input" to begin the process.  You will be asked to sign-in or create a free online account with NFPA before using this system.


The First Draft meeting for the document is scheduled for August 25th to 27th at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Knoxville, TN.  One goal of the committee at the first draft meeting is to work towards correlating 484 with the new NFPA 652 standard, Fundamentals of Combustible Dusts.  Additional details on the meeting can be found on the document information page for NFPA 484.


NFPA 58 - Important Building

Posted by ericnette Employee Jun 17, 2015

How do you classify an "Important Building" for separation distances in Chapter 6 of NFPA 58? In the standard we don't define this term, and leave it up to the AHJ.


I do have a couple reasons some AHJ's have declared some buildings are an "Important Building":

1. Replacement Value

2. Human Occupancy

3. Value of the Contents

4. Vital Role in the function of the Business or it's Records

5. It's role in Emergency Operations


-Eric Nette, P.E.


NFPA 52 Reorganization

Posted by sbershad Employee Jun 17, 2015

The Vehicular Alternative Fuel Systems technical committee has been working on a complete reorganization of NFPA 52, the Vehicular Gaseous Fuel Systems Code.  This code covers both compressed and liquid natural gas fueled vehicles.  These vehicles have seen increased use over the past several years, particularly in fleet usage.  Natural gas is a clean burning fuel, creating less carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline or diesel.  The new edition, just finishing up second draft now, will be simpler and easier for the user, grouping material common to both fuels together, and then listing supplemental requirements for each fuel.  The new edition will be published in 2016.