Life is precious, and all efforts must be made to reduce or prevent incidences that can result in death or injury through hazards that can be prevented or avoided. As a result, NFPA takes it upon itself to publicize the need to prevent all damages or losses that result from fire as well as provide the codes and standards.
The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) is a global nonprofit organization committed to reducing and eliminating all forms of fire, electrical, and related hazards such as injury, death, property damage, and economic losses.
The body focuses on eliminating fire and electrical dangers through public education, research, the publication of codes and standards, and training. The association may not have the legal authority; however, it is referred to in most legal codes that relate to fire protection.
Table of Contents:
- Functions and Purposes of NFPA
- Must-Know NFPA Information for Shop Drawing Professionals
- NFPA 1: Fire Code
- NFPA 10: Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
- NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
- Use of Qualified Designers
- Allowing for User’s Needs
- System Installation
- Meeting NFPA Standards in NPFA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code)
- Take Away
The National Fire Protection Association has remained at the forefront of providing the needed guidance to prevent and, possibly, eliminate fire and electrical hazards.
NFPA establishes codes and standards that are capable of ensuring safety and correct installation of products and services that relate to all aspects of fire safety.
More than 300 NFPA codes have been established with a substantial collection of recommendations that have a significant impact on the work and safety conditions of contractors, builders, facility managers, medical workers, and many more.
The codes are extensive and are aimed at preventing and eliminating the incidences of fire and electrical accidents. However, the codes cover different aspects and also concern the shop drawings professionals.
To achieve the best results possible, NFPA requires the understanding and support of all professionals involved in the shop drawing of fire safety products used in homes. The aim is to ensure compliance with the codes and that the best practices in the industry are strictly adhered to for the protection of everyone.
Interestingly, NFPA does not have legal authority, but the body gives a direction and guideline that must be followed by professionals to guarantee the safety of the users of their services. As a guide, NFPA has some information for shop drawings companies to ensure that their drawings meet the latest codes and standards, and does not put anyone in jeopardy.
The bulk of the information NFPA intends to pass to shop drawing experts are contained in relevant NFPA codes and standards. However, this article focuses on bringing information to light for easy reference and adherence to guarantee compliance with the best practice expected in the industry.
NFPA outlines the essential procedures that must be followed to comply with the fire code. The association through NFPA 1 focuses on designing safer buildings and ensuring that they are safe, which in turn will guarantee the safety of the users of such buildings.
Many states in the USA adopt the NFPA, and all shop drawings of new or existing buildings must perfectly outline and comply with the fire code. Shop drawings experts are, however, required to pay diligent attention to fire code in the shop drawings.
Important information that metal shop drawings companies should pay attention is the placement of fire extinguishers in the building. According to the codes and standards, shop drawings company should ensure to include the locations of portable fire extinguishers in the architectural drawings of a building.
This particular code and standard specify that the design and installation of sprinkler system should be a priority in the drawing of the home. The sprinkler systems have proven to be effective in the suppression of fire accidents because they slow a fire’s progress.
Shop drawings companies are required to work with a sprinkler contractor when preparing shop drawing that features the fire safety device to comply with the provision of the codes and standards provided by NFPA 13.
The provision of NFPA 13 requires that a project is to be designed by qualified persons who are knowledgeable in the relevant system and able to identify the design and installation requirements without any hassles.
As a result, only qualified persons are expected to work on the design and installation of fire protection systems. Some of NFPA standards specify that the designers must be qualified but did not state how to determine if the person(s) is qualified. Rather, the appropriate state or local qualifications board should determine this.
Another aspect of the NFPA reference standards emphasizes considering users’ need when creating shop drawings including floor and stone shop drawings for a project. An item should be provided where it would be useful for the users by making the tool functional and not just placed where it would be difficult for people to use especially fire protection systems. In addition, designers should use their discretion in producing drawings that are relevant and accessible to users when needed.
For instance, sprinkler control valves, and fire pump test headers should be designed to be installed to the outside or to an acceptable drain. Also, the main assemblies not piped to the outside or drain should be designed in a way to allow for their best use without hindering the users. However, the designer is given the freedom, at his or her discretion, to structure the sprinkler system properly for maximum use.
There may be issues during the installation of fire protection systems and the attention of the persons responsible for installing each component of the system, such as the duct smoke detectors, valve supervisory switches, and the water flow switches, will be requested.
As a result, the shop drawings team should indicate who should connect each aspect of the system as all connections must be completed before the acceptance test will be conducted.
However, proper commissioning of fire protection systems must be carried out to assess the installation and discover if any mistakes have been made. The commissioning is also required to determine if the installation was done according to the applicable codes and standards. But proper planning, design, installation, and commissioning by qualified persons as required by the NFPA standards, fire risks can be prevented and reduced to the minimum.
There are requirements that shop drawings professional must meet under NFPA 72, which includes an additional level of protection for persons occupying the building and firefighters, in case of emergency. The requirements for shop drawing professionals are contained in Section 7.4, Shop Drawings, in Chapter 7, Documentation.
Here is the information required on all plans:
Name of protected premises, owner, and occupant (where applicable)
Name of installer or contractor
Location of protected premises
Device legend and symbols in accordance with NFPA 170, or other symbols acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction
Date of issue and any revision dates
The Code goes further to in 7.4.5 to indicate that the Floor plan drawings shall be drawn to an indicated scale and shall include more information, where applicable.
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