One of the most effective ways to protect people and their property is through the implementation of fire, electrical, and building safety codes and standards. The adoption of the National Fire Codes® has been a major objective of the NFPA for the last 100 years, resulting in some 300 codes and standards used throughout the world today. NFPA provides support services to assist state and local officials with code adoption, training and certification of personnel, and code advisory services.
NFPA also serves as a local safety advocacy partner in many ways.
Briefings to Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
NFPA staff will brief AHJs on the contents of its code or standard, the consensus process under which the code or standard was developed, and its benefits. NFPA also helps draft language for model legislation and will testify at public hearings.
Post-adoption technical support
Some of the ways in which NFPA provides support following the adoption of an NFPA code or standard include:
On-Site Training: NFPA will provide on-site training for code officials in areas such as building and life safety, fire prevention, automatic sprinkler systems, and fire alarms.
- Documents and Training Materials: code officials also receive sufficient copies of the adopted NFPA documents and related training materials for their staff.
- Technical Advisory Services: code officials can obtain answers to code interpretation questions simply by calling, writing, or e-mailing the appropriate expert at NFPA.
Building Code and Regional Fire Code Development Committees
The Building Code and Regional Fire Code Development Committees are comprised of members from a cross-section of building and fire code enforcers. The objectives of these committees are to develop and comment on code change proposals and provide representative input to NFPA's code and standard-making system. In this way, NFPA serves its open consensus process by expanding the base of participants.
The impact of NFPA codes and standards
Adoption of NFPA codes and standards, as well as increased public awareness of safety practices, have resulted in substantial reductions in loss of life and property. Implementation of fire and life safety codes and standards is evidenced in many aspects of day-to-day life. The design of building exits, the manner in which electric wiring is installed, the materials used in curtains and drapes, and the placement of fire detectors and sprinklers are just some examples of areas influenced by NFPA's codes and standards. NFPA codes and standards are reviewed and revised on a periodic basis to keep current with new knowledge and technologies. Many codes and standards are amended to include lessons learned from significant incidents or to recognize new technologies or methods
A century of advocacy
The NFPA´s commitment to establishing uniform, state-of-the-art fire, building, and life safety codes and standards began more than one hundred years ago, when a small group of concerned professionals gathered in Boston to address inconsistencies in the design and installation of fire sprinkler systems. Now the NFPA is considered the leading worldwide advocate for fire, building, and life safety with more than 75,000 members from over 70 nations. Membership in this international, nonprofit organization is open to all people. Today every building, process, service, design and installation in society is affected in some way by NFPA´s 300 codes and standards.