Knowing When...: Navigating The NFPA Standards-Revision Process by ProQuest


Also with a proposal closing date of Nov. 24 are two documents from our wildland project, NFPA 1 141 - Standard for Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Suburban and Rural Areas and NFPA 1142 - Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Firefighting is seeking proposals. NFPA 1 141 is being submitted for revision to help coordinate its provisions with changes in the NFPA Fire Code (NFPA 1) and NFPA 1142.

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Knowing When…: Navigating
The NFPA Standards-Revision Process
Changes Affecting Firefighter Safety Up for Discussion This Fall

             ith the fall of 2009 quickly                      for the proposed change. Some submitters        for reconsideration. After the close of the
             approaching, several Nation-                      provide extensive substantiation for their      comment period, the TC must again meet
             al Fire Protection Associa-                       proposals, but a simple statement of the        and consider each of the comments sub-
tion (NFPA) documents that have im-                            need for the change will suffice.               mitted, voting to accept, accept in prin-
portant ramifications for the fire service                          Shortly after the proposal closing date,   ciple or reject each comment. As was the
are up for revision. Before we discuss                         the technical committee (TC) responsible        case with proposals, the TC must provide
what those standards are, let me review                        for the standard will meet                                        substantiation for any ac-
how firefighters can get involved in our
standards-making process.
                                                               to review each proposal          Firefighters can                 tion other than accept.
                                                               that has been submitted.                                               Proposal and com-
     All NFPA standards are on set revi-
sion cycles ranging from three to five
                                                               The TC may accept a pro-
                                                               posal, accept it in principle
                                                                                               participate in the                ment forms can be down-
                                                                                                                                 loaded from the NFPA
years. Notice that a particular standard is                    (with modification) or re-
entering its revision cycle and open for                       ject it. Accepted proposals     revision process                  website and submitted
                                                                                                                                 online via e-mail. These
public proposals is published in NFPA                          become incorporated into                                          forms are also in the back
News, ANSI Standards Action and Fed-                           the working draft of the          by submitting                   of all of our standards and
eral Register and posted at                      standard. If the TC does                                          may be faxed or mailed to
Additionally, those interested in a partic-                    anything other than accept        proposals and                   NFPA Standards Admin-
ular standard can subscribe to the “Alert                      the proposal, it must pro-                                        istration, 1 Batterymarch
Me” feature on our website that will send
you an e-mail notice when ever a change
                                                               vide its justification for the
                                                               action taken. For example,
                                                                                                   comments.                     Park, Quincy, MA 02169;
                                                                                                                                 fax 617-984-7249. Addi-
to the standard is proposed or adopted.                        if you submitted a proposal stating that all    tional details about the process are avail-
     There are two primary mechanisms                          turnout gear shall be black in color that       able at the NFPA website.
for public input to our standards: propos-                     was rejected by the TC, the TC must ex-              This fall, eight Public Fire Protection
als and comments. In the revision cycle,                       plain the basis for rejecting the proposal. A   documents are open for public propos-
proposals come first and are an oppor-                         typical substantiation may be, “There is no     als. Within our Fire Service Occupational
tunity for someone to submit proposed                          research that supports limiting the color of    Safety and Health (FSOSH) project, two
changes to any aspect of a standard. A                         turnout gear to black.”                         documents are open: NFPA 1500 – Stan-
proposal could be a recommendation                                  Once all of the proposals have been        dard on Fire Department Occupational
for new language or a change to existing                       acted upon by the TC, they are pub-             Safety and Health Program and NFPA
language. Proposals can be submitted at                        lished as a “Report on Proposals,” or in        1582 – Standard on Comprehensive Oc-
any time, but as a given standard enters                       our vernacular, an ROP. The ROP may be          cupational Medical Program for Fire De-
its revision cycle a “Call for Proposals” is                   downloaded from the NFPA website or a           partments, both
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