NFPA/NIOSH Standards Adopted By DHS For Protective Equipment

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today adopted five NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards for personal protective equipment for first responders. These adoptions will assist state and local procurement officials in selecting the best available protective equipment.

The standards, the first of their kind to be adopted by DHS, will protect first responders against chemical, biological and other hazards at emergency incidents.

The five standards are: NFPA 1951, Standard on Protective Ensemble for USAR Operations; NFPA 1981, Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus for Fire and Emergency Services; NFPA 1991, Standard on Vapor-Protective Ensembles for Hazardous Materials Emergencies; NFPA 1994, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Chemical/Biological Terrorism Incidents; and NFPA 1999, Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations. (See descriptions below.)

In addition, DHS adopted three other standards, from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, (NIOSH), for respirators to protect against chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear environments.

The standards adopted today will also provide manufacturers with requirements for the design, performance, testing, and certification of equipment.

At a press conference announcing the adoption of standards, at the District of Columbia Fire Station #3, NFPA President James M. Shannon said,