Published on May 4, 2015.

NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, is nothing if not dynamic, and we can expect a number of important issues to be discussed by the Technical Committees in advance of the 2019 edition of the code.

One key issue that will receive much attention is the interface between the fire alarm system and the elevator control system to incorporate what’s referred to as “occupant evacuation operation.” This feature is intended to allow the use of elevators for evacuation prior to elevator recall in the event of an emergency.

Another important aspect of the work related to the 2019 edition of NFPA 72 will be to investigate methods where the code can contribute to making fire alarm systems more robust and reliable. The intent here is to reduce false alarms and to minimize the dangers false alarms can pose to both occupants and first responders.

Finally, the changing technologies of communicating by the fire alarm systems with the supervising stations will need to be evaluated to ensure more rapid and efficient alarm communications.

WAYNE D. MOORE, P.E., FSFPE, is vice president at Hughes Associates.