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  1. #1
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    Default How to Follow NFPA?

    Perhaps this question has been answered before, but here it is.

    How do poor VFD's like ours follow NFPA codes when you have to pay for a subscription or pay for the CD's to get them? Are the codes listed somewhere for free? Thanks


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Two words..

    Pool resources!

    Go in with other Departments, share the updates as they are relesed.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  3. #3
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    Default

    You can go to their website, www.nfpa.org, and view the codes.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTscott351
    You can go to their website, www.nfpa.org, and view the codes.
    Not quite....to view the codes, you have to pay $$$ for membership...several hundred dollars, I think. The cost would be prohibitive for a financially strapped department.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
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  5. #5
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    Chief:

    NFPA allows anyone to view the codes for free.

    Take NFPA 1410 for example. Click on "Preview this document" link on the bottom of the page.

    While you may look for free, you cannot print, or copy/paste the codes from here.

    The subscription servcie is expensive. I think we pay about $750 a year for the CD of the codes plus updates. That is a lot of money to many fire departments.
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 10-01-2006 at 07:40 AM.
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    Follow OSHA.

    NFPA is mostly a tool for manufacturers to decree obsolesence.

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    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Exactly DCFD.

    To be honest, most departments probably don't follow ALL the NFPA guidlines anyway. I know we certainly don't. We follow the ones that are big and/or convienient.

    When purchasing, use manufacturers as resources. For the most part, you cannot spec or purchase anything that is not compliant at the time of sale anyway.
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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    I have heard of several folks who got their local libraries to purchase a copy of the NFPA codes and standards. That could be a good way to get pooled resources to work, too, since everyone (public included) can look at them.
    ullrichk
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  9. #9
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    Thanks Ken, I thought there was a way to do that, but I could never get it to work.

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    Forum Member Steeda83's Avatar
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    if your state adopts nfpa 1 and 101 nfpa will supply your state with all the free books you want, ofcourse if you want it on disk thats up to you to purchase..im speaking of the code books for inspections ofcourse..not sure if that is what you're asking though

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    I would like to see one department that foloows NFPA to a T. I believe it to be nearly if all impossible. Why do would someone want to subject themselves to some of those crazy "GUIDELINES" anyway. NFPA is NOT law.

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    MembersZone Subscriber SIGNAL99COM's Avatar
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    We all know that NFPA only makes recommendations, and we all have our own opinions on NFPA and what they can do with many of their standards. However, if an injury occurs, you are screwed if you are sued, because in the court room, NFPA is the bible.
    Chris Shields
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    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

  13. #13
    Forum Member Steeda83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehs7554
    I would like to see one department that foloows NFPA to a T. I believe it to be nearly if all impossible. Why do would someone want to subject themselves to some of those crazy "GUIDELINES" anyway. NFPA is NOT law.
    alot of states have adopted parts of NFPA as law..just to point out that it is law sometimes and as signal pointed out..what do you think the lawyers will use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGNAL99COM
    We all know that NFPA only makes recommendations, and we all have our own opinions on NFPA and what they can do with many of their standards. However, if an injury occurs, you are screwed if you are sued, because in the court room, NFPA is the bible.
    Does anyone have a citation were failure to follow an NFPA standard resulted in civil liability? I am not looking for a case where NFPA was used along with other evidence of negligance, but rather where non-compliance with a voluntary NFPA standard resulted in a civil liability. I made this request to NFPA several years ago and after a couple of e-mails to clarify what I wanted, I never heard back from them.


    As the authority having jurisdiction, my FD has both adopted NFPA standards as written and with modifications. There are approximately 150 NFPA standards that affect fire department operations, from the Life Safety Code to water supply and fire attack to vehicle design. No one department can reasonably be expected to follow all the standards. How can a fire department that cannot even afford to buy the codes be expected to follow them? However, if a city or state adopts an NFPA standard as a law or regulation, compliance is mandatory.
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  15. #15
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Open preview. Go to section you need. Hit "Print Screen", then paste into MS Word. Print.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

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    It would help a little if the original poster had stated what standards they needed, as most of the ones that affect firefighters are aimed at how things are made, and us users having them only really matters if we are designing something like a truck, since our requirements may be in conflict with a standard.

    Techincal Committees are made up of various people from the fire service, manufacturers are actually a small minority. It is my experience that they are the ones that usually do not want new fancy bells and whistles as it makes selling stuff hard and costs them money they cannot always recoup. It seems that the worst offenders for expensive additions are union reps - "it is for the safety of the firefighter!" - which is hard to argue with and seldom are they really wrong.

    Standards are not expensive, nor do you have to be a member to get them. Individual standards are available directly from NFPA.org at prices ranging from $30 to $50 each, maybe more for some.
    Last edited by MTFires; 10-02-2006 at 12:50 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenNFD1219
    Does anyone have a citation were failure to follow an NFPA standard resulted in civil liability? I am not looking for a case where NFPA was used along with other evidence of negligance, but rather where non-compliance with a voluntary NFPA standard resulted in a civil liability. I made this request to NFPA several years ago and after a couple of e-mails to clarify what I wanted, I never heard back from them.
    This is an easy one.....

    Lairdsville=murder............ .....my opinion only.......
    IACOJ Member

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    [QUOTE=MTFires]Techincal Committees are made up of various people from the fire service, manufacturers are actually a small minority. It is my experience that they are the ones that usually do not want new fancy bells and whistles as it makes selling stuff hard and costs them money they cannot always recoup. It seems that the worst offenders for expensive additions are union reps - "it is for the safety of the firefighter!" - which is hard to argue with and seldom are they really wrong.
    QUOTE]

    The technical committees are basically run by the manufacturers, even though they are a minority. The manufacturers are looked to as experts, asked what they can provide, they act as technical references for the other members, they elaborate on technical developments, and provide their biased feedback. Unfortunately innovation does not have a big part to play in these committees.

    Just look at the new 1971 standard that is out. Overall protection is being diminished because manufacturers told the committee : "this is what you need". Manufacturers do not want to invest in developping better products that offer more protection, since the ROI is not guaranteed. There are several technological developments that have been ignored because the big manufacturers don't want the new smaller manufacturers that really innovate and develop better products to have an advantage. The technical committees are run by the good old boys, and large manufacturers that are keeping the standards low, so they can keep their profits without having to make better products. NFPA 1971-2007 edition is just one example that shows this blatant manipulation of our safety.

    Hope the NFPA will someday work to improve and increase safety, rather trying to maintain the status quo for the benefit of a few large manufacturers.

    Have a safe one.

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    Cool How the Feds. see it

    If you work for a Department that either is supported by or supports the Feds. then you have better adopt the N.F.P.A. Standards. Adopting the Standards has helped my full-time Department a lot, seeing how we have to keep 4 personnel on the units at all times..........

    Have you tried getting the N.F.P.A. Standards and IFSTA Manuals through a Federal Grant? You can use Training, Fire Prevention and Firefighter/Officer safety for your justifications.

    How bout going to the public and asking the big businesses for donations? Is that possible? To justify that, all you have to show them is that by your Department not having this type of standard their business is in jeopardy by not being able to be properly protected.

    How about a fund raiser? Is that possible?
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    I think everyone agrees that you are screwed if you don't follow NFPA within reason and even then, with the sue happy lawyers you're probably f'd anyway if something happens. Realistically, since we are a smaller department (presumably like you), we always try to reference the NFPA standard and implement or use their recommendation to be as close to compliance as possible.

    I think that everyone tries to follow the standards because they know they would be screwed if they didn't, but seriously as a volunteer department if I'm short one matched set on a truck, did I really blow it? I guess it depends when the lawyer knocks on the door and asks why their building burned down and they say my truck wasn't NFPA compliant.

    We have added the subscription to our budget each year and the council/mayor is aware of it. The potential litigation you may save is usually revered as money well spent.

    Stay safe!
    DPH

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