Canadian Consulting Engineer

CODES & STANDARDS: NFPA gets into the building code business

The code will incorporate ASHRAE's Standard 90.1 and 90.2 and be part of a full set of codes developed by NFPA and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). NFPA is developing a ...

May 1, 2002  Canadian Consulting Engineer

The code will incorporate ASHRAE’s Standard 90.1 and 90.2 and be part of a full set of codes developed by NFPA and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). NFPA is developing a National Electrical Code, Life Safety Code, Building Code and Uniform Fire Code, Uniform Plumbing Code and Uniform Mechanical Code.

NFPA members will put the proposed NFPA 5000 Building Code to the vote at the association’s World Safety Congress in Minneapolis in May.

Standards evolve as fire systems become more complex

In February, David Goodyear, CET of the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office described a raft of recent and upcoming changes to Underwriters Laboratory of Canada (ULC) standards for fire alarm equipment and systems. He was speaking at a Canadian Fire Safety Association meeting in Toronto.

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Changes to standards are trying to keep up as building systems become more computerized and interconnected.

ULC is, for example, in the process of creating a new standard — ULC S561 — to govern central control stations’ construction, equipment, operation and manning.

Another committee is amending CAN/ULC 536 and 537 for the inspection, testing and verification, i.e. commissioning, of fire alarm systems.

On the distant horizon, Goodyear said, are new standards for dealing with the correct installation of ancillary devices — everything from mag lock access systems, to fire extinguishers, elevator honing devices, entertainment systems and even smoke control and exhaust pressurization. At present, these ancillary devices are governed only by equipment standards, he said, and their integration is not well understood except by consulting engineers.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers is partnering with the National Fire Protection Association to issue an energy code.

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