NFPA 72 – 2010: A New Era in Emergency Communications
NFPA 72 has long been a critically important document for those involved in fire protection and life safety. Now it has taken on even more significance as a result of sweeping changes incorporated into the new 2010 edition. These changes, the most extensive code revision since 1993, extend the scope of NFPA 72 beyond the realm of fire alarm to include other life-safety systems and functions. In fact, the scope of the revisions and additions is so significant that NFPA 72 has been given a new title: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. The broader title reflects, in large part, the addition of a new chapter – Chapter 24: Emergency Communications Systems. This chapter, for the first time, lays out specific requirements to indicate the existence of an emergency situation and the need to communicate necessary information to facilitate an appropriate response and action. The chapter establishes minimum required levels of performance, reliability and quality of installation for emergency communications systems. (In the previous edition of NFPA 72, Mass Notifications was referenced as an annex, meaning the guidance was purely suggestive.) This white paper will explore Chapter 24: Emergency Communications Systems.