History of the standards development process

NFPA's code and standard-making process began in 1896, when a small group of concerned professionals met in Boston to address the inconsistencies in the design and installation of fire sprinkler systems. At that time there were nine different standards for piping size and sprinkler spacing, and these business people realized that unless these discrepancies were resolved, the reliability of these sprinkler systems would be compromised. Working together this small group created a standard for the uniform installation of sprinkler systems, which became the blueprint for NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. The NFPA's codes and standards-making process had begun.

For more than 100 years, NFPA has been developing and updating codes and standards concerning all areas of fire safety. An international, non-profit, membership organization, NFPA's mission 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. While NFPA is involved with extensive fire research and produces numerous fire safety educational programs and materials, its lifeblood is its codes- and standards-making system. Currently, there are some 300 NFPA codes and standards used throughout the world.