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New NFPA 1700 Guide for Structural Fire Fighting Provides Evidence-Based Recommendations

NFPA has released NFPA 1700 Guide for Structural Fire Fighting, the first NFPA document connecting fire dynamics research to response strategy, tactics, and best practices for firefighters controlling fires within a structure. 

 

In 2014, NFPA received a new standards project request from a retired Kansas City fire chief asking for the development of a guide that filled the gap between the fire science community and the fire service. The request, which was eventually endorsed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH), UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute, the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) and others, sought to ensure that the methods utilized by the fire service for fire control were based on science and not past fire service traditions or practices.

 

The 13-chapter guide provides standard operating procedure (SOP) recommendations for responding to a structure fire based on recent large scale testing and line of duty death findings. Recognized research efforts complement fundamental occupancy, building construction, and building service references within NFPA 1700, while addressing the health and safety of firefighters by reinforcing the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and methodologies for contamination control. The Technical Committee on Fundamentals of Fire Control Within a Structure Utilizing Fire Dynamics looked at basic fire science, fire dynamics, PPE, equipment, extinguishment, staffing needs, and ways to adopt these strategies into practice and train the fire service – all in the interest of public and first responder safety.

 

The 27-member Technical Committee is made up of representatives from the fire service and insurance industry, as well as subject matter textbook publishers, special experts, and stakeholders actively engaged in fire dynamics research; they hail from the United States, Canada, Germany and Belgium.

 

NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations served as a model for how to translate fire dynamics findings in practicable, applicable ways.

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