Wildfire Community NJ

NFPA wildfire standards revised for 2017

Over 2016, NFPA's Wildland and Rural Fire Protection Standards Committee held its “second draft review” of public comments to ensure the standards remain relevant in their field.

As explained by NFPA, the standards development process encourages public participation in the development of its standards. All NFPA standards are revised and updated every three to five years, in revision cycles that begin twice each year.

This public participation to the standards began in 2015 for the 2017 revision cycle of NFPA 1144: Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire, and NFPA 1143: Wildland Fire Management.

The committee's work culminated in a review meeting in Nashville, TN, over September 29, 2016. Revisions and clarifications were made to the standards and will be presented to NFPA's Standards Council in 2017.

I spoke with the committee staff Liaison, Tom McGowan, who shared highlights of the committee's deliberations and new revisions for each standard below.

NFPA 1144 – Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire

• Clarified definitions including defensible space, fire resistive, ignition-resistant material, immediate landscaped area, noncombustible material, slope, structure ignition zone, water supply, wildland/urban interface and intermix.

• Map elements to also include hydrants, cisterns, and water sources

• Structural assessment will include an evaluation of the site for conflagration hazards.

• Significant revisions to construction design and materials of the structure and components supported by ASTM testing standards and specific compliance elements found in chapter 5:

 Roof design and materials
 Vents for attics, subfloors, and walls
 All projections including balconies, carports, decks, patio covers, enclosed roofs and floors
 Exterior vertical walls
 Exterior openings

NWCG pc April Deming, NPS 2014_09_09-19_36_23_966-CDTNFPA 1143 - Wildland Fire Management

• Revised terminology from Wildland Fire Control to Wildland Fire Management to be more representative of the document's intent.

• Aligned training and qualifications with NFPA or National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG)

• Aligned incident management chapter to National Incident Management System (NIMS)

• Clarified the terminology and redefined fire suppression subsections including size-up, fire engagement and management, and mop-up and demobilization.

• Revised responsibilities of Public Information Officer (PIO) to comply with NIMS.

• Revised responsibilities of Safety Officer to participate in tactics and planning meetings as outlined in NIMS.

• Clarified required documentation for Finance and Administration.

• Updated NWCG publications reference material.

The revised editions for 2017-2019 will become available in mid-2017. We encourage you to learn more about NFPA's various wildland fire standards and to utilize them in your local risk reduction activities.

I share my thanks to the members of NFPA's Wildland and Rural Fire Protection Standards Committee for their volunteer work over the past two years as well.

Photo Credit: (second) NWCG photo library, April Deming, NPS 2014_09_09-19_36_23_966-CDT

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Lucian Deaton
Program Manager focusing on domestic policy impacting community wildfire risks & international collaboration for Firewise USA®.

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