How are NFPA standards and codes kept up to date?

December 13, 2023

by Nils Deacon, Manager, Inspections and Rating Services

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an “international nonprofit organization . . . that seeks to reduce the burden of fire and other hazards by providing consensus codes and standards designed to minimize and reduce the effects of fire.” It also does extensive training and research in this field. The organization was established in 1896, with strong insurance roots helping in its foundation.

Codes and standards are developed with the understanding that there is a balance of risks and costs that society is willing to accept to reduce the possibility of harm. They are “consensus documents” written by knowledgeable individuals, applying current best practices and the latest technology in the fire and life safety field.

NFPA Technical Committees are tasked with revising standards if needed. Committees are made up of interested members of the fire protection community. Professionals of varying disciplines are represented. They include manufacturers, installers / maintainers, insurance, and enforcing authorities. A committee’s membership is comprised so that no particular interest makes up more than a third of the group. This ensures balance to the process and its results.

Committees meet on a periodic basis, depending on the standard. Public input concerning the standard is discussed and if found important enough, standard language is revised.

DISCLAIMER: This information reflects the interpretation of MSO, Inc. with regard to NFPA Standards and Codes. It does not represent NFPA’s official position on the items discussed.

Properly maintained and placed fire extinguisher.