For many of us, these are technologically challenging times. Just when I think I have mastered the latest smartphone, it changes. Prepare yourself, because, just like mobile devices, the codes and standards are morphing in ways you might not expect.
Each year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publishes fire statistics. Residential typically leads all other occupancy types in fires, injuries and deaths. However, since the advent of the residential smoke alarm, residential fire deaths have fallen by more than 50 percent.
One of my responsibilities over the years has been to field questions from our members and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) to help them find and understand code requirements. I have benefitted from the process as well.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards addressing electrical hazards, yet hundreds of fatalities and thousands of injuries still occur as a result of electric shock, electrocution, arc flash and arc blast each year.
In my last column, I discussed the ICC code process. This month, I look at the NFPA process. As I previously mentioned, the ICC and NFPA have completely different processes for codes and standards development. Yet, both operate on three-year cycles.
We all know our an industry is governed by codes and standards. While many complain about some of the requirements, few try to do anything about it. We all have an opportunity to fix things that we don’t like. Most people don’t understand the process or believe they can have any effect.