November 4, 2020 – National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released NFPA 1700, Guide for Structural Fire Fighting, the first NFPA document connecting fire dynamics research to response strategy, tactics, and best practices for firefighters controlling fires within a structure. The 2021 guide was prepared by the Technical Committee on Fundamentals of Fire Control Within a Structure Utilizing Fire Dynamics. The document was then voted on by NFPA membership, issued by the NFPA Standards Council, and has been approved as an American National Standard (ANSI).
In 2014, NFPA received a new standards project request from a retired Kansas City fire chief asking for the development of a guide that filled the gap between the fire science community and the fire service. The request, which was eventually endorsed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH), UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute, the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) and others, sought to ensure that the methods utilized by the fire service for fire control were based on science and not past fire service traditions or practices.
NFPA 1700 provides evidence-based recommendations to individuals and organizations responding to a structure fire and is based on proven approaches documented from fire investigations, research, and fire dynamics testing to achieve the most successful outcome. Recognized research efforts complement fundamental occupancy, building construction, and building service references within NFPA 1700, while addressing the health and safety of firefighters by reinforcing the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and methodologies for contamination control. The 13-chapter document is designed to help fire service organizations establish effective strategies that consider tactics, search, rescue, and fire suppression operations, as well as civilian and responder safety.
“NFPA 1700 provides guidance for the development of structural firefighting standard operating procedures based on quantifiable research and analysis,” Chris Dubay, P.E., NFPA vice president and chief engineer said. “The Technical Committee looked at basic fire science, fire dynamics in structures as exhibited in recent large scale testing and line of duty death findings, PPE, equipment, fire control, extinguishment, staffing needs, and ways to adopt these strategies into practice and train the fire service – all in the interest of public and first responder safety.”
The 27-member Technical Committee is made up of representatives from the fire service and insurance industry, as well as subject matter textbook publishers, special experts, and stakeholders actively engaged in fire dynamics research; members hail from the United States, Canada, Germany and Belgium. NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations served as a model for how to translate fire dynamics findings in practicable, applicable ways.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
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