National Fire Protection Association Webinar

Bob Sullivan with NFPA presented an informative webinar on May 19th on basic information about NFPA standards; fire code adoptions; the ABCs of fire code compliance; the NFPA website; and an overview of how fire codes, fire standards, and local fire code amendments in the City of Austin all interact with each other. 

Questions & Answers from Webinar here:
  1. We have a soda fountain drink dispenser.  Recently we were asked if we monitor the carbon dioxide tank that is part of the system.  My question has to do with the Texas laws that govern the monitoring of the gas.  I think this would fall under the Fire Life Safety umbrella and wanted to ask if Bob Sullivan could speak to this subject?
Bob Sullivan’s Reply:  I did an online search regarding this topic, and found the two attached documents regarding Carbon Dioxide (CO2) systems used for beverage dispensing.  The first document was issued by Austin Fire Department on September 7, 2018, and outlines Austin FD’s requirements for existing CO2 systems used for beverage dispensing.  CO2 is an asphyxiation hazard,  and the requirements in the document were developed to help create a safer environment around sources of CO2.  The second document provides some additional background information about the problems with CO2 systems that prompted these requirements.  At this time, NFPA has no further information on this particular issue.  Any further questions about this topic should be directed to the Austin Fire Department and/or to the TX state-level agency(ies) enforcing the Texas state laws associated with this issue.  
  1. When did the last version of codes come out and when will the next revision come out?
Bob Sullivan’s Reply:  The codes and standards are generally updated every 3-5 years, depending on which specific codes and standards are being referred to.  Right now, the Austin Fire Department enforces the 2015 Edition of the International Fire Code (IFC) with their associated local amendments, and the associated referenced NFPA standards, which are listed in 2015 IFC Chapter 80.  I believe the Austin Fire Department is currently working through the City’s process to adopt the 2018 Edition of the IFC, with their associated local amendments and the associated referenced NFPA standards (and their editions) that are listed in 2018 IFC Chapter 80.  Further clarification should be obtained from the Austin Fire Department, or from any other specific jurisdictions, to determine what codes and standards are currently adopted in their jurisdictions.  Some areas may be under codes and standards adopted by the TX State Fire Marshal’s Office, which may be different editions than the codes and standards adopted in specific cities or jurisdictions.      
  1. Any news related to emergency generators
Bob Sullivan’s Reply:  Nothing specific that I am aware of.  Requirements for emergency generators can be found in NFPA 110 and NFPA 111.  I have also attached an NFPA Fact Sheet (third attachment to this email) that provides information about the Inspection/Testing/Maintenance of Emergency and Standby Power Systems, based on the requirements in the 2016 Edition of NFPA 110.  
  1. Alignment of IFC (510) and NFPA (1221) on ERRC
Bob Sullivan’s Reply:  Several proposals for changes have been submitted for the next edition of NFPA 1221.  Additionally, as part of the NFPA Standards Consolidation Project, NFPA 1221 will be consolidated with NFPA 1061 into NFPA Standard 1225, Standards for Emergency Services Communications. The next meeting for NFPA 1225 will be the First Draft Correlating Committee Meeting, scheduled for June 4-5, 2020.  This meeting will be held as a telephone/web conference call because of COVID-19, and the details for the call are listed on the NFPA 1225 Doc-Info page.  The final requirements for the new edition of NFPA 1225 will be determined through the standards-revision process (including the consolidation process).  How those requirements will compare to IFC Section 510 will become clearer as that process is completed.
  1. How is the elimination of traditional copper POTs lines effecting fire alarm monitoring?
Bob Sullivan’s Reply:  This issue has been addressed in NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.  Section 26.6 in NFPA 72 (2019 Edition) provides several options for Communications Methods for Supervising Stations.  Also refer to NFPA 72 Annex A, Table A.26.6.1 for more detailed information about the options that are available for signal transmission to Supervising Stations in place of the POTs lines that being phased out.
  1. What are the Texas State law requiring gas detection monitoring for carbon dioxide as it relates to fountain drink dispensers?
Bob Sullivan’s Reply:  See my answer to Question #1 above.
  1. What is the best way to keep up to date on any NFPA updates (non technical format for laymen)
Bob Sullivan’s Reply:  For general NFPA Updates, please visit our NFPA Press Room at this link:  On that page, look for another link titled “News Releases” to see the latest news releases from NFPA.  Also, you can sign up for our monthly NFPA Network E-Newsletter, at , for the latest news, research and innovations from the world of fire, electrical and building & life safety, that will be delivered directly to your Inbox.  When you sign up, you can select your areas of interest, and then the newsletter you receive will be customized to deliver the content that you are most interested in.