NFPA standards for first responder personal protective equipment adopted by U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Published on March 26, 2007
March 26, 2007 - The U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adopted eight National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for first responder personal protective equipment. Three of the eight documents were adopted for the first time by DHS and the remaining five were re-adoptions of the latest editions of standards currently being recognized by DHS. The requirements set by the documents aid state and local procurement officials in selecting the best protective equipment available.

The standards will better protect first responders in emergencies involving chemical, biological and other hazards. They will also provide manufacturers with the necessary guidelines for designing, testing and certifying this equipment.

“NFPA has long been a strong advocate for equipment and protective clothing standards for first responders and continues to lead efforts in this area,” said James M. Shannon, NFPA’s president. “These latest adoptions by DHS will go a long way in ensuring the safety of emergency personnel.”

The three newly adopted standards are: 

The five standards re-adopted to the current editions are:

"DHS is committed to ensuring that the equipment which is purchased to protect first responders is the very best available.” said Bert M. Coursey, director of DHS Office of Standards. “The adoption of these NFPA standards sets requirements that help those manufacturing and purchasing this necessary equipment as well as those who depend on this equipment for their personal safety.”

In addition to the latest adoptions and re-adoptions, DHS previously adopted several NFPA documents that remain in use today. They are:

NFPA has incorporated NFPA 1976, Standard on Protective Ensemble for Proximity Fire Fighting, previously adopted by DHS, into the 2007 edition of NFPA 1971, which was included in recent adoptions by DHS.

All NFPA safety codes and standards are developed through a process accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The 200 technical committees responsible for developing and updating all 300 codes and standards include 7,000 volunteers, representing enforcing authorities, installation and maintenance, labor, research and testing, insurance, special experts, consumers and other users.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1-617-984-7275

NFPA standards adopted by Department of Homeland Security

NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care and Maintenance of Structural Fire Fighting Protective Ensembles (2001 Edition)
This document specifies minimum selection, care, and maintenance requirements for structural fire fighting protective ensembles, and the individual ensemble elements that include coats, trousers, coveralls, helmets, gloves, footwear, and interface components that are compliant with NFPA 1971. This first edition of NFPA 1851, issued in 2001, was developed to be a companion document for NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensemble for Structural Fire Fighting.

NFPA 1852, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) (2002 Edition)
This standard establishes procedures as part of a program to provide care and maintenance for open-circuit SCBA and combination SCBA/SAR in order to reduce the safety risks and potential health risks associated with poorly maintained, contaminated, or damaged SCBA. The edition of NFPA 1852 issued in 2002 was the first.

NFPA 1951, Standard on Protective Ensemble for Technical Rescue Operations (2007 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1997, this standard answers the need for personal protective equipment for fire and emergency services personnel operating at technical rescue incidents involving building or structural collapse, vehicle accidents, confined spaces, trench cave-ins, scaffolding collapses, high angle climbing accidents, and similar incidents. The first edition of NFPA 1951 was issued in July 2001.

NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting (2007 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1973, this standard establishes minimum levels of protection for fire fighting personnel assigned to fire department operations including but not limited to structural fire fighting, proximity fire fighting, rescue, emergency medical, and other emergency first responder functions. The first edition of NFPA 1971 was issued in 1975.

NFPA 1975, Standard on Station/Work Uniforms for Fire and Emergency Services (2004 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1975, this standard specifies requirements for the design, performance, testing, and certification of non-primary protective station/work uniforms and the individual garments comprising station/work uniforms. The document sets requirements for fire and emergency services personnel station/work uniforms that will not contribute to burn injury severity. The first edition of NFPA 1975 was issued in 1985.

NFPA 1981, Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for Emergency Services (2007 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1975, this standard specifies the minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing, and certification of open-circuit self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and combination open-circuit self-contained breathing apparatus and supplied air respirators (SCBA/SAR) for the respiratory protection of fire and emergency responders where unknown, IDLH (immediately dangerous to life and health), or potentially IDLH atmospheres exist. The first edition of NFPA 1981 was issued in 1981.

NFPA 1982, Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS) (2007 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1980, this standard was developed in response to requests from the fire service to establish requirements for a device that would sound an audible signal for aid if a fire fighter became incapacitated while operating at an emergency. This standard specifies minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing, and certification for all Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS) for emergency services personnel. The first edition of NFPA 1982 was issued in 1983.

NFPA 1991, Standard on Vapor-Protective Ensembles for Hazardous Materials Emergencies (2005 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1986, this standard specifies the minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing, and certification of vapor-protective ensembles and individual protective elements for chemical vapor protection for fire and emergency service personnel. Additional optional criteria are provided for ensembles and individual protective elements that provide protection for chemical flash fire escape, liquefied gas, chemical and biological warfare agents, and chemical and biological terrorism incidents. The first edition of NFPA 1991 was issued in 1990.

NFPA 1992, Standard on Liquid Splash-Protective Ensembles and Clothing for Hazardous Materials Emergencies (2005 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1985, this standard specifies minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing, documentation, and certification for liquid splash-protective ensembles, ensemble elements, and protective clothing used by emergency response personnel during hazardous materials incidents. The first edition of NFPA 1992 was issued in 1990.

NFPA 1994, Standard on Protective Ensembles for First Responders to CBRN Terrorism Incidents (2007 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1998, this standard specifies the minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing, and certification of protective ensembles for fire and emergency services personnel operating at domestic terrorism incidents involving dual-use industrial chemicals, chemical terrorism agents, or biological terrorism agents. The intent is that the ensembles would be available in quantity, easily donned and used, and designed for single exposure use. The first edition of NFPA 1994 was issued in 2001.

NFPA 1999, Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations (2003 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1990, this standard specifies the minimum documentation, design, performance, testing, and certification requirements for new single-use and new multiple-use emergency medical protective clothing, including garments, gloves, footwear, and face protection devices, used by fire and emergency services personnel during emergency medical operations. The purpose of the standard is to establish a minimum level of protection from contact with blood and body fluid-borne pathogens for personnel performing patient care during emergency medical operations. The first edition of NFPA 1999 was issued in 1992.

NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire (2007 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1999, this standard shall provide minimum requirements for the design, construction, evaluation, and certification of flame-resistant garments for use by industrial personnel, with the intent of providing a degree of protection to the wearer and reducing the severity of burn injuries resulting from accidental exposure to hydrocarbon flash fires. The first edition of NFPA 2112 was issued in 2001.

NFPA 2113, Standard on Selection, Care, Use, and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire (2007 Edition)
Based on work begun in 1999, the purpose of this standard is to reduce the health and safety risks associated with the incorrect selection and use of flame-resistant garments and those risks associated with incorrectly maintained, contaminated, or damaged flame-resistant garments. The first edition of NFPA 2113 was issued in 2001.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 USA
Telephone: +1 617 770-3000 Fax: +1 617 770-0700