2022 NFPA Technical Meeting and NFPA 25
This is the first in person meeting for the Annual NFPA Conference and Expo since 2019 and it did not disappoint. The attendance was great with over one hundred ten live education sessions over three days and more than two hundred exhibitors. This conference and expo also are a fantastic opportunity to network with some of the industry leaders from all over the world as well as see some of the latest products. This is also where the technical meeting is held for the current codes and standards in cycle. The technical meeting is where the CAMs are debated and a final vote is made on the amending motions. Only NFPA members in attendance can vote on the amending motions (CAMS)
For the full process of NFPA standards development see the following link.
This year’s tech session included amending motions for the following NFPA codes and standards; 86,130,285,502,855,70, and 25.
For this blog we will focus on NFPA 25.
Many states and jurisdictions are in the 2014 or 2017 edition of NFPA 25, but the process for the standards is always in motion. The 2023 edition of NFPA 25 opened for public inputs, also known as first draft early in 2020. There were approximately 270 suggested changes to the standard and approximately 160 public comments submitted during the second draft of the process. In the end there were approximately 80 changes to the 2020 to the 2023 edition of NFPA 25. These changes include but are not limited to addition or deletion of entire sections, and changes to how a section is written. Seldom are there changes to frequency requirements.
One of the biggest changes is in 2020 edition, requiring existing antifreeze to be replaced with a listed antifreeze solution by September 30, 2022. This will no longer be required, if the legacy antifreeze does not exceed 30% glycol or 38% glycerine by volume and protects to the temperature required for the area, then the solution can remain in service. However, if the solution needs to be replaced, it can only be replaced with a listed antifreeze. No legacy antifreeze can be introduced to existing or new systems.
CAMs submitted for the 2023 edition
Some other changes that will be in the 2023 edition.
- Water to outlet (inspector’s test valves) for dry systems in Chapter 14. Section 14.3.1(15) stated when there is a 50% increase for water to reach the inspector’s test valve an obstruction investigation is required. The 2023 edition will reduce that to 25% and adds additional language for dry systems protecting a dwelling unit.
- Testing requirements to verify nitrogen systems are maintained at 98%.
- Fast response sprinklers will be extended to a 25-year testing requirement.
- There will be language stating that screwdrivers and other means to jam a paddle-type flow from operating is prohibited.
- A complete rewrite of Chapter 11 (foam-water systems)
- A label or tag will be required near a pressure reducing valve(s) to indicate the test results.
This list is certainly not all inclusive, but just a quick look at some of the new changes. Here are a few submissions that did not make it into the 2023 edition of the standard.
- Requirement to remove concealed plates and inspect a percentage of concealed sprinklers every five years. This motion failed because there is no data to determine if this task should or should not be completed. The health care industry has agreed to provide data on potential problems with concealed sprinklers.
- The inspector to verify that non compatible materials are in contact with CPVC pipe
- The definition of accessible.
Again, not an all-inclusive list. The 2023 edition of NFPA should be released to the public sometime in the fall of 2022, then the process starts all over again. In early 2023 NFPA 25 will open up for public inputs, where anyone can make new suggestions for changes to the standard. Please visit the link above