2024 NFPA Voting Guide

The NFPA Technical Meeting for the next editions of NFPA 13, NFPA 20, NFPA 72 and other updated codes and standards, is June 20 in Orlando, Florida. This is your NFSA voting guide and other important on-site NFPA information here.

NFSA Participation in the NFPA Codes and Standards Process

The fire sprinkler industry relies heavily on NFPA codes and standards to ensure fire protection systems are installed correctly, and that the performance of these systems will save lives and property. The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) and the activities of the Engineering and Standards Committee (E&S) and Code Development Team (CDT) performs a very active role in the codes and standards revision process with over 80 member and staff representatives on dozens of NFPA technical committees

An important step in this revision process is the Technical Meeting (also known as Tech Session). NFSA encourages all NFPA members, who are eligible to vote at NFPA to participate at the Technical Meeting on June 20, 2024. For registration, Report of the NFPA motions committee, agenda, and the pre-Tech Session debate, go here. https://www.nfpa.org/events/technical-meeting

NFSA positions and voting guidance on CAMs

The NFSA position on the CAMs below was established recently by the NFSA Engineering and Standards (E&S) Committee. For CAMs not specifically listed, the NFSA has no position and remains neutral.

CAM 13-3                        Support                           Ken Schneider – UA

The CAM seeks to add to NFPA 13, a definition of qualified. Adding this definition will correlate with the same definition to NFPA 14, NFPA 20, and NFPA 25.

CAM 13-4                        Oppose                            Ken Schneider – UA

This CAM proposes changing the language from “knowledgeable and trained” to “qualified.” The NFSA Engineering & Standards (E&S) Committee previously submitted a comment (PC-154) with the language from the previous edition, which used “knowledgeable and experienced.” The NFPA 13 Correlating Committee suggested changing this to “knowledgeable and trained.” However, NFPA 13 has historically used the phrase “knowledgeable and experienced,” a term that has been accepted by the technical committee responsible for NFPA 13. The NFSA’s Engineering and Standards Committee maintains that “knowledgeable and experienced” is the most appropriate phrasing for NFPA 13.

CAM 13-8                        Neutral                            Kevin Hall – AFSA

This CAM proposes removing the approved storage plan from NFPA 13 Chapter 28 (Plans and Calculations) but retaining the reference and requirement in NFPA 13 Chapter 4 under the Owner’s Certificate. The committee rejected NFPA PC 168, which suggested removing the storage plan from Chapter 28, stating that it belongs there. However, retaining this text in Chapter 28 places the responsibility for the storage plan on the fire sprinkler contractor. With the same requirement also present in Chapter 4, there is confusion about who is responsible for the storage plan.

Currently, the 2024 edition of the NFPA 1 Fire Code and the International Fire Code require the owner to have the same storage plan. This alignment emphasizes the need for clarity regarding responsibility. Removing the storage plan requirement from Chapter 28 of NFPA 13 and keeping it in Chapter 4 under the Owner’s Certificate would clarify that the responsibility lies with the building owner, not the fire sprinkler contractor.

CAM 13-14                     Withdraw                       Jeff Hugo – NFSA

This CAM will be withdrawn at the Technical Meeting.

CAM 13-15                     Support                           Jeff Hugo – NFSA

This NFSA-supported CAM proposes reinstating A.10.3.2(9) to its wording in the 2022 NFPA 13 version. The NFSA Engineering and Standards (E&S) Committee indicated that Annex Section A.10.3.2(9) is appropriate and should remain as written. The disputed language of this annex note, approved by the Installation Committee, does not override the Discharge Committee. Instead, it supports the Discharge Committee’s stance that parking garages are an example of an ordinary hazard group 2 occupancy.

This annex section clarifies that where sprinklers are located under the obstructions caused by car stackers, the ceiling sprinklers must be suitable for the general classification of the parking garage. This guidance is necessary and aligns with the requirements of NFPA 13, ensuring that parking garages are adequately classified and sprinklered as ordinary hazard group 2 occupancies.

CAM 13-19                     Support                           Jeff Hugo – NFSA

This NFSA-supported CAM proposes reinstating the definition of Automated Testing and Inspection into NFPA 13. The NFSA Engineering and Standards (E&S) Committee has expressed their disagreement with the proposal to delete this definition. The rationale for the proposed deletion is based on the assertion that this term is not used in the body of NFPA 13. However, this term is indeed used, specifically in Section 29.2.7, and should therefore remain in the document.

 

Maintaining the definition of Automated Testing and Inspection is crucial for clarity and consistency within NFPA 13. Ensuring that all terms used in the standard are properly defined helps maintain a clear and comprehensive understanding of the requirements and practices outlined in the standard.

CAM 13-20                     Support                           Kevin Kelly – Victaulic

This CAM removes the technical criteria from the definition of flexible coupling and relocates it to the body of NFPA 13. This change aligns with the NFPA Manual of Style, which prohibits the inclusion of technical requirements within definitions. This CAM ensures compliance with the NFPA Manual of Style and improves the clarity and organization of NFPA 13, making it easier for users to locate and understand technical requirements.

CAM 13-21                     Support                           Kevin Kelly – Victaulic

This CAM proposes modifying the definition of flexible coupling by removing the technical requirements from the definition, in accordance with the NFPA Manual of Style. This change supports and follows up on CAM 13-20. This modification ensures compliance with the NFPA Manual of Style, enhancing the clarity and organization of NFPA 13 and making it easier for users to locate and understand the technical requirements.

CAM 20-6                        Support                           Kevin Hall – AFSA

This CAM suggests increasing the maximum allowable pump load to 200%. Initially submitted as public input, this as a proposal progressed to a First Revision (FR) during the First Draft meeting. The FR did not pass by a single vote and is currently noted as CI-66 in the First Draft report. In response to the negative feedback, the proposed capacity has been adjusted upwards, and the stipulation to base the horsepower rating on 200% capacity of the rated flow is seen as reasonable. Exceeding 200% capacity is indicative of a severe incident, which falls outside the scope of NFPA 20. The goal of NFPA 20 is to provide a reasonable level of protection, without requiring fire pumps to be indestructible. NFPA 20 sets minimum standards.

CAM 72-2                        Support                           Sterling McConnell, Monaco Enterprises, Inc.

The NFSA Engineering and Standards Committee (E&S) supports the Automatic Fire Alarm Association (AFAA) of this CAM.

CAM 72-6                        Oppose                            J.M. Cholin, Consultants

The NFSA Engineering and Standards Committee (E&S) supports the Automatic Fire Alarm Association (AFAA) opposition of this CAM.

The NFSA is neutral on all of the remaining CAMS. Thank you for participating in NFPA’s Technical Meeting. If you have any questions regarding this voting guide, please contact NFSA’s Vice President, Jeffrey Hugo (hugo@nfsa.org) or Manager of Codes and Standards, Roland Asp (asp@nfsa.org).

Make Your Voice Heard at the NFPA Technical Meeting on June 20th!

Join us in Orlando, Florida, on June 20, 2024, for the NFPA Technical Meeting, where critical updates to NFPA 13, NFPA 20, NFPA 72, and other vital codes and standards will be discussed. Your participation is crucial in shaping the future of fire protection. The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) has outlined key positions on various Certified Amending Motions (CAMs) to guide your vote. Ensure you are registered, review the NFSA voting guide, and be ready to contribute to the essential discussions and decisions that impact the fire sprinkler industry. For more information and to register, visit NFPA Technical Meeting. Make your voice count and help advance fire safety standards!