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1.1* Scope. A.1.1 A major concern of industrial fire protection professionals is the protection of employees and property from the threat of fire in the workplace. In 1980 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defined its requirements for industrial fire brigades. These requirements apply to industrial fire brigades once corporate or local management, in the role as an authority having jurisdiction, has determined that they want an industrial fire brigade at a facility. In OSHA, 29 CFR 1910.156, Subpart L, two types of industrial fire brigades are defined in an attempt to establish levels of industrial fire brigade function and to identify the training and safety requirements for each of those levels. Industrial fire protection professionals have wrestled with categorizing every existing industrial fire brigade into either the incipient stage category or the interior structural category. In attempting to develop a state-of-the-art industrial fire brigade standard, the Technical Committee on Loss Prevention Procedures and Practices has followed OSHA’s lead in setting requirements based on the incipient and interior structural industrial fire brigade definitions. The adoption of NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, by the NFPA in 1987 brought about an entirely new perspective—that of inclusion of the industrial fire brigades in the same category as municipal fire departments. Although the work done by the Technical Committee on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health is admirable and is intended to safeguard all fire fighters, the Technical Committee on Loss Prevention Procedures and Practices believes that a separate industrial fire brigade standard is needed. Although every industrial fire brigade is unique, just as every municipal fire department is unique, industrial fire brigades, including those that can be referred to as industrial fire departments, have far different needs in many respects from those of municipal fire departments. The primary difference between industrial fire brigades and municipal fire departments is that industrial fire brigades must deal with conditions and hazards that are limited to those that exist within a given facility that is generally privately owned and operated. Although these site-specific hazards can and do represent the same degree of hazard to both industrial fire brigade members and municipal fire fighters, industrial fire brigade members are not usually concerned with, nor are they expected to deal with, hazards and emergencies beyond the boundaries of the facility that the brigade serves. In addition to this primary difference, it must be remembered that at an industrial facility a program of occupational safety and health has already been established for all personnel including members of the industrial fire brigade. Further, industrial fire brigades constituted in accordance with this standard will, of necessity, have a much more thorough knowledge of the buildings and facilities where they respond than do municipal fire fighters who must respond to a significantly greater variety of buildings and facilities, many of which have unidentified and undisclosed hazards. A municipal fire department, as a local government function, must provide a service to a very broad-based municipality with a multitude of unknown factors at every given response. Variables such as property size and accessibility; building size, construction, and contents; manufacturing process hazards; fixed fire-extinguishing systems and special agent availability; and storage and use of solvents, oils, chemicals, or other hazardous materials are all potential unknown factors that can hinder the effectiveness of any municipal fire department and place a greater safety risk on the fire fighters. This distinct advantage of familiarity achieves a higher level of industrial fire brigade safety and allows for the fundamental difference between a municipal fire department and an industrial fire brigade. 1.1.1 This standard contains minimum requirements for organizing, operating, training, and equipping industrial fire brigades. It also contains minimum requirements for the occupational safety and health of industrial fire brigade members while performing fire fighting and related activities. 1.1.2* This standard shall apply to any organized, private, industrial group of employees having fire-fighting response duties, such as emergency brigades, emergency response teams, fire teams, and plant emergency organizations. A.1.1.2 This standard is intended to meet or exceed the industrial fire brigade–related requirements of OSHA, 29 CFR 1910, Chapter XVII, Subpart L, “Fire Protection.” Further, this standard is intended to assure the industrial fire brigade member with an appropriate degree of occupational safety and health while performing industrial fire brigade response duties, just as NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, assures an appropriate degree of occupational safety and health for the municipal fire department member. For additional information on industrial fire brigade organization, see Chapter 4 in the NFPA Industrial Fire Hazards Handbook. 1.1.3* This standard shall not apply to industrial fire brigades that respond to fire emergencies outside the boundaries of the industrial site where the off-site fire involves unfamiliar hazards or enclosed structures with layout and contents that are unknown to the industrial fire brigade. A.1.1.3 It is the intent that industrial fire brigade members, who are trained and qualified under the guidance of this standard respond to familiar hazards that are common to the industrial facility being protected. Industrial fire brigades complying with the requirements of this standard should be permitted to respond to fires outside the boundaries of the industrial facility only when the industrial fire brigade is trained and familiar with the hazards associated with the fire. For example, an industrial fire brigade having appropriate training in accordance with this standard can respond to a fire involving an enclosed structure outside the boundaries of the industrial facility, if such response was anticipated and preplanned by industrial fire brigade management. Each industrial fire brigade member should be familiar with the layout and contents of the structure and should be provided with the opportunity to tour the structure at least quarterly. 1.1.4 This standard shall not apply to medical response, confined space rescue response, and hazardous material response activities.
This standard presents requirements for organizing, operating, training, and equipping industrial fire brigades. It also contains requirements for the occupational safety and health of industrial fire brigade members while performing fire fighting and related activities
Topics applicable to all industrial fire brigades include education and training, organization, medical and physical requirements; equipment; and apparatus. NFPA 600 also provides specific requirements for brigades performing incipient stage fire fighting, advanced exterior fire fighting only, interior structural fire fighting only, and advanced exterior and interior structural fire fighting.
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