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NFPA 72 - 2019: 4 Changes To Note

Alex Flitton
Jun 5, 2019 11:02:19 AM

Three years ago, in 2016, the latest version of NFPA 72 was released, marking some influential changes to the fire industry’s most influential regulatory document.

Now, in 2019, this year’s version has more changes, marking an emphasis on clarifying emergency communication guidelines for and improving mass notifications for fire protection engineers.

NFPA 72: Changes To Note

Some of the changes include major adjustments to entire sections, while others are mere clarifications of terminology. In each case, they are important to note, especially since the changes aim to improve the overall efficiency for understanding the document and the regulations that each party must follow.

*We did not address all the changes in this article, and a personal, in-depth review of the latest version of NFPA 72 is required to get a full understanding of its contents.

Withdrawal of NFPA 720

The first major change to note in the 2019 edition, is the withdrawal of NFPA 720, the Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment. The standard did not go away, though, since it was simply relocated under the NFPA 72 provisions.

If you’re looking for an entire section for CO-related rules, though, you won’t find them. In fact, each part of what once was NFPA 720 has now been scattered throughout NFPA 72. The two have become intertwined, which inadvertently follows a trend in the manufacturing space where fire and CO detectors are housed together in a single unit.

Terminology Clarifications

The next change to note, is adjustments made to the terminology used in the document. These changes make understanding the document much easier, and more closely reflect terminology used outside of the regulatory space.

Some term changes include:

Old Terms New Terms
Speaker Loudspeaker
Visible Visual (When referring to alarm notification appliances)
Communication Communications
  Activate (for electrical activations)
  Actuate (for mechanical actuations)

Pre-Recorded Communication

Another change in the latest version of NFPA 72 requires that prerecorded messages installed in devices must, at a minimum, include the official spoken language for the geographical area. The change does not limit the use of multiple languages in the device.

Devices, Systems Listed Under NFPA 72

The NFPA 72-2019 doesn’t spare any extra details, and even makes sure to explain that smoke alarms aren’t the only tools examined in the standard. It covers a handful of related devices. The document mentions the application, installation, location, performance, inspection, testing, and maintenance of:

  • Fire alarm systems
  • Supervising station alarm systems
  • Public emergency alarm reporting systems
  • Fire and carbon monoxide detection and warning equipment
  • Emergency communication systems (ECS)

NFPA 72-2019 also includes information on mass notification systems for a series of applications. A mass notification system could be used for:

  • Fire emergencies
  • Weather emergencies
  • Terrorist events
  • Biological, chemical, or nuclear emergencies

Working With An NFPA-Certified Central Station

If providing top-rate service to your customers is one of your primary goals, then you’ll also want to work with a central station that is NFPA certified, in addition to adhering to other industry standards.

AvantGuard specializes in providing monitoring solutions in a connected world, and in that mission, we work hard to earn certifications from The National Fire Protection Association, Underwriters Laboratories, Factory Mutual (FM), The Monitoring Association, and more.

To learn more about Avantguard’s credentials: CLICK HERE

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