Call to Action: NFPA 72 Code Hearings
Published: 1/18/2011
Author: The International Association of Fire Chiefs

The Time to Lead on Commercial False Alarms is Now

Fairfax, Va., January 14, 2011... The IAFC is calling on fire and emergency service leaders to take action now to address the quiet, but pervasive, threat of false alarms in commercial facilities. We need your leadership to get the facts and ensure national-level discussion at the NFPA 72 code hearings in San Diego next week.

IAFC has submitted a series of proposals via the NFPA code change process to update NFPA 72 with the specific intent to provide solutions to the problems caused by the number of false alarms in commercial facilities. The proposals aim to take a comprehensive approach to address both the root cause of the issue (reducing false alarms) and the protocols for response to such calls. The IAFC has created a fact sheet (pdf) that outlines our proposal to NFPA 72 and dispels the myths circulating by opponents.

The proposals center around four main concepts:

  • A 90-second verification delay identical to current residential code and including an opt-out provision if a chief doesn’t feel the delay is optimal for the locality
  • Recommendation for point ID capability
  • Adding a 45-second minimum to pressure change in retard chambers
  • Maintenance of the alarm systems by an approved professional

Before discussion even begins, these proposals have drawn vocal opponents. We are calling on fire service leaders to learn the facts, dispel the myths and provide the opportunity for open and professional dialogue. We owe our personnel and our public nothing less.

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