NFPA and French reach agreement on translating sprinkler standard

Published on September 30, 2003
Pact may lead to wider availability of NFPA codes and standards in Europe

September 30, 2003 – The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) has reached an agreement to translate one of its most important standards into French, opening the door to make NFPA codes and standards more widely available in Europe.

The licensing agreement allows the Centre National de Prevention et de Protection (CNPP), an insurance-industry organization that promulgates safety codes and standards throughout France, to translate NFPA 13, Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems. CNPP will then sell the document to businesses and government agencies that wish to use it outside the United States.

Although NFPA standards have been translated and used around the world, this agreement is considered a major breakthrough because it involves an exclusive arrangement with an influential association in Europe.

"We are pleased to have this agreement with France," said Arthur E. Cote, NFPA's executive vice president and chief engineer. "It opens the door for NFPA standards to be used to complement European standards. Now other organizations in Europe may start looking to NFPA as a source of fire-safety codes and standards."

Although Europeans have their own national and European codes for sprinklers, NFPA 13 is widely recognized and used by industry and insurance companies. Contractors, government agencies and other authorities have long awaited a translation into French.

"The availability of NFPA 13 in French will enhance fire safety in Europe," said Cote. "It's a highly advanced code, derived from sophisticated research and full-scale testing, through an open consensus process. As a result, sprinkler systems conforming to NFPA 13 have proven effectiveness and are practical to install."

Translating NFPA 13 is only the beginning for NFPA and CNPP. Soon, the two groups expect to reach similar agreements on translating NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection; NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems; and NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code™.

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 scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. NFPA headquarters is located in Quincy, MA, USA.