What is the National Fire Protection Association?
The origins of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) extend back to 1896. It was initially formed by a group of insurance firms to standardize the then-new fire sprinkler systems. It has since grown into a reported 50,000+ member, United States based, global nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The organization works to achieve these goals by delivering information and knowledge through their more than 300 codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share a similar vision and an interest in furthering their mission. That stated mission is to help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge and passion.
The established codes and standards, designed to minimize the risk and effects of fire by establishing criteria for building, processing, design, service, and installation around the world, must pass through a rigorous development process.
What is the Process for the Development of NFPA Codes and Standards?
As a consensus-based code making process, NFPA encourages public participation and values the input and recommendations of those whose work affects the safety of others – from electricians to engineers to first responders. This process provides a network of intelligence from which ideas can be generated and submitted for review. The more than 250 technical committees, comprised of approximately 9,000 volunteers with a wide range of professional expertise, review public recommendations and vote on the inputs in a process that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. NFPA provides free online access to its codes and standards.
All NFPA standards are revised and updated every three to five years, in revision cycles that begin twice each year. Normally a standard’s cycle takes approximately two years to complete. Each revision cycle proceeds according to a published schedule which includes final dates for each stage in the standards development process. The four fundamental steps in the NFPA standards development process are:
- Public Input
- Public Comment
- NFPA Technical Meeting
- Standards Council Action (Appeals and Issuance of Standard)
NFPA Technical Committees and Panels serve as the principal consensus bodies responsible for developing and updating all NFPA codes and standards. Committees and Panels are appointed by the standards council and typically consist of no more than 30 voting members representing a balance of interests. NFPA membership is not required to participate on an NFPA Technical Committee. Appointment to a Technical Committee is based on such factors as technical expertise, professional standing, commitment to public safety, and the ability to bring to the table the point of view of a category of interested people or groups. Each Technical Committee is constituted to contain a balance of affected interests, with no more than one-third of the Committee from the same interest category. The Committee must reach a consensus to act on an item.
The NFPA Standards Council is a 13-person committee appointed by the NFPA Board of Directors. The Council oversees the Association’s codes and standards development activities, administers the rules and regulations, and acts as an appeals body. The Council administers about 250 NFPA Technical Committees and their work on nearly 300 documents addressing topics of importance to the built environment. The Council meets three times each year.
How are NFPA Codes and Standards Implemented?
It is NFPA’s belief that there inclusive and consensus-based process is the best model to help keep the public safe and property protected in our increasingly complex and ever-changing environment. While NFPA strongly recommends that organizations and individuals adopt the latest version of all their codes and standards, they do not enforce their adoption or use. The decision to adopt and implement these codes and standards into law is determined by local jurisdictions.
What Strategies Does the NFPA Use to Achieve their Goals and Educate the Public?
- Fire Protection Week: an annual campaign that addresses a specific fire safety theme
- Learn Not to Burn: addresses the leading causes of injuries and death among children
- Remembering When: addresses the leading causes of injuries and death among older adults
- Sparky the Fire Dog: the official mascot of NFPA
Outreach and Advocacy
- Fire Sprinkler Initiative: encourages the use of home fire sprinklers through increased awareness and adoption of local ordinances and model codes.
- Fire wise Communities Program: encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks.
A variety of resources and training venues offering access to codes and standards and CEU opportunities. These include seminars, certification programs, the annual NFPA Conference and Expo, and other texts, guides, and other materials targeting firefighter and other first responder safety.
As the premier resource for fire data analysis, research, and analysis, NFPA guides educational outreach, supports the work of NFPA Technical Committees, plans, manages, and communicates research in support of the NFPA codes and standards, and frames the fire-loss picture for organizations, the media, and the public.
Membership provides the latest information, tools, professional connections, to help those in the industry make the right decisions toward the safety of the public and protection of property.
- NFPA Journal: members-only bimonthly magazine covering industry news.
- NFPA Journal Buyers Guide: products and services from leading fire protection and fire service manufactures and consultants.
- NFPA Journal Latino American: the #1 source of fire, security, and life safety information in Latin America
NFPA is strong and effective organization leading the way as the premier organization for reducing the burden of fire and related hazards. Experts from around the globe are encouraged to joint NFPA in the work of fire safety and property protection. For information on membership: https://www.nfpa.org/NFPA-Membership.
NFPA Products Available from OnlineSafetyDepot.com
Many of our products are NFPA certified and can be found in any of our fire safety related categories on our site. Some products such as the Fire Extinguisher Tamper Seals indicate that they are NFPA certified, others are NFPA Certified but don't currently have them listed in the description. If you have question about a product and whether or not it meets NFPA standards or not feel free to contact us!