From time to time, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issues new fire code regulations. These fire codes have come a long way from how they used to be designed, phrased, and executed. As such, the future of fire protection means adapting and evolving with the times. Two other organizations with a huge influence on fire safety guidelines are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and International Code Council (ICC). For businesses everywhere, following the directives of these groups is imperative. Always be sure to refer back to NFPA 72, the guidebook for installing smoke detectors, manual pull stations, notification appliances, and other such devices and systems.
IP-Based Communication is the Preferred Way Forward
IP-based communication systems are, by and large, performance-based technologies. However, when the NFPA 72 fire code update in 2016 went live, widespread skepticism slowed the standardization of this solution. Instead, its predecessor, the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), remained the primary linchpin for fire alarm installations.
Cellular and Internet-provided services, however, are the way of the future. The Internet Protocol has now become more reliable than its hardwired landline counterpart. While having multiple cellular networks may seem redundant, they act as fail-safes for one another if one is damaged or otherwise disrupted by fire.
Smoke Detection Products Continue to Evolve
Fire codes also cover fire alarms and smoke detectors. These products continue to advance since more sophisticated technology is intended to be more protective against fire, smoke, and toxic fumes such as gas or carbon monoxide. Further changes occurred in the 2019 edition of the code. In this instance, residential smoke alarms and detectors must be refined to distinguish between ordinary cooking smoke and smoke from actual fire hazards.
Manufacturer compliance became even more strictly enforced. This scenario was because sweeping changes regarding airflow, smoke chamber size and shape, sensor technology, and firmware algorithm updates needed to happen. The revised standards issued by the UL underscore the importance of compliance when it comes to proper fire protection.
New Updates are Forthcoming via the NFPA 72 2022 Edition
You may have noticed a pattern in which the fire codes maintained by the NFPA tend to change every three years. Without updates, there can be no reasonable progress. The upcoming NFPA 72 2022 Edition carries with it even more drastic changes. Cybersecurity, color-coded tagging, remote access, and survivability will be higher-priority facets of fire protection. Another aspect that grew increasingly crucial was the viability of remote access for administrators, owners, technicians, and companies at large.
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