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NFPA code 72: Keeping workers safe on the job

Posted on by SST

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) was established in 1986 to protect employees from fires and other dangers. The organization sets codes and standards for employers to follow in order to maintain worker safety. The NFPA also regularly updates requirements and regulations in order to ensure employees are protected at job sites. 

When installing a fire alarm system, employers must make sure they abide by the codes and regulations set in NFPA 72.  As part of the code, employers are also required to follow design methods and complete risk analysis requirements. Employers must also follow design requirements regarding mass notification systems set by the NFPA. The code also contains safety provisions in order to meet fire detection, signaling and emergency communication demands. 

National fire alarm and signaling code
NFPA 72 addresses the application, installation, location and performance of fire alarm systems. It also addresses the maintenance, inspection, testing and alerting systems and components required as part of the national fire alarm and signaling code. 

Failure to abide by the regulations in NFPA 72 can result in employee injury if a fire were to break out in a factory or other work site.

Chapter 10 of the code includes the purpose behind the establishment of NFPA 72. 

"The purpose of fire alarm and signaling systems shall be primarily to provide notification of alarm, supervisory and trouble conditions, the alert the occupants, to summon aid and the control emergency control functions," the code states. 

Per Chapter 10, devices and appliances installed must receive their power from from initiating device or signaling line circuits from a control unit. They must also be listed for use with the control unit. 

Inspection, testing and maintenance of fire safety equipment is also required under NFPA 72. Employers are responsible for ensuring the devices and signaling systems are in working order and will alert to dangerous conditions if needed. 

Initial, periodic and performance verification are required under NFPA 72 for several reasons. The first is so employers can guarantee the devices meet design requirements and follow the code. 

Mass notification system requirements are also listed in the code in order to provide protection during a number of potential hazards. These include weather emergencies, biological, chemical and nuclear emergencies and other threats posed to society.

Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection systems.

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