Monday, February 19, 2018

NFPA 72 2016 Changes and Updates Made Easy

What is NFPA 72 and when do we use it in Fire Alarm design?

The NFPA 72 is a Standard put out by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that covers direction for designing, installing, maintaining and testing fire alarm systems.  Actually it covers a few other key components to life safety including Mass Notification and Two-Way Communication.   This is what drove the addition of the term "Signaling" to the document's title back in the 2010 Edition.

Author's Note:  NFPA 72 is not actually a code.  In fact, it is a standard.  Remember Fire Alarm Standards are like the how-to manual and Fire Alarm Codes are more of a when to do manual.  Find out more here:  Fire Alarm Codes vs. Fire Alarm Standards.  Another quick example is the International Fire Code (IFC) section 907 lets us know when specific fire alarm systems and components are required for each occupancy group.  The NFPA 72 tells us how to install these components.

All information highlighted in this light blue color is NEW to the 2016 edition of NFPA 72.

Do you want to know what fire alarm components are required for each occupancy group?  Click here

What Changed in the NFPA 72 2016 Edition?

This article is to serve as a simple one stop informative document of the changes within the new 2016 NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.  Let's get started:

Key items to note:

  • The following chapters have been reserved for future use: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 25, and 28.
  • There is a new Annex G.  This new annex covers the guidelines for Emergency Communication Strategies for Buildings and Campuses.
  • Annex H is the new location to find Informational References
  • There is NO Cross Reference Index

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 3 - Definitions

There are a few new definitions in the document.  The following is a list of the new items we were able to locate:  If you see the *, consult the Annex A for additional information.  
  • 3.3.11 Alarm. An indication of the existence of a condition that requires immediate response.  Note that this section existing in the previous version (2013) however, the verbiage has been updated.  
  • 3.3.13 Alarm Repeater System. A device or system for the purpose of automatically retransmitting alarm information received by the alarm processing equipment.
  • Level Ceilings. Ceilings that have slope of less than equal to 1 to 8.
  • 3.3.67* Device (Class N). A supervised component of a life safety system that communicates with other components of life safety systems and that collects environmental data or performs specific input or output functions necessary to the operation of the life safety system.
  • 3.3.91 Emergency Response Plan. A documented set of actions to address the planning for, management of, and response to natural, technological, and man made disasters and other emergencies.  Note that this section existing in the previous version (2013) however, the verbiage has been updated.
  • 3.3.92* Endpoint (Class N). The end of a pathway where a single addressable device or a control unit is connected.
  • 3.3.253* Signal. An indication of a condition communicated by the electrical, visible, audible, wireless, or other means. Note that this section existing in the previous version (2013) however, the verbiage has been updated.
  • 3.3.257 Signaling Zone. See 3.3.317, Zone.
  • 3.3.271 Spacing. A horizontally measured dimension used as a criterion in determining the allowable coverage of devices.
  • 3.3.317 Zone
    • 3.3.317.2* Signaling Zone. An area consisting of one or more notification zones where signals are actuated simultaneously.

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 7 - Documentation