NFPA Standards & Requirements
Download: NFPA Jacket & Pants: Design Requirements
Download: NFPA Boots: Performance Requirements
Download: NFPA Boots: Design Requirements
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)NFPA is a standards writing organization, founded in 1896 and dedicated to the concept of voluntary consensus standards writing. While it is not an enforcing agency, NFPA enjoys a unique reputation; and its standards have been adopted by all levels of government, in many cases giving the standards the force of law. Each NFPA standard undergoes revision every 5 years to ensure that it is kept current with new fire protection knowledge and technologies. The NFPA process is open and anyone can participate.
Third-Party CertificationIn order for an element to be labeled compliant to a given NFPA standard, it must be tested by an independent third-party organization that is not owned or controlled by manufacturers or vendors of the product being certified. The third-party testing agency cannot have any monetary interest in the product to be certified. Additionally, the certification organization must be primarily engaged in certification work, such as Underwriters Laboratories.
This independent third-party company verifies that the design and construction is in accordance with design requirements, and that the element has successfully passed all performance requirements set forth in the standard to which it is labeled. Any change in materials or design requires re-testing and random samples are also taken to ensure that every requirement is tested annually. A third party registrar is also required to validate the manufacturing quality process, in accordance with ISO 9001.
Federal and State OSHA StandardsSeveral states have their own OSHA standards; however, NFPA standards are generally more rigorous than OSHA standards. Since the FED-OSHA standard has not been revised for over twenty years, clothing that is labeled to NFPA standards will easily exceed FED-OSHA standards. However, clothing meeting OSHA will not necessarily meet NFPA, and so it is important for the end users to be aware of existing state OSHA requirements and how they compare to NFPA requirements.
OSHA Rule 29 CFR 1910.1030
Final Rule on Protecting Health Care Workers from Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens
"When there is occupational exposure, the employer shall provide, at no cost to the employee, appropriate personal protective equipment.
"Personal protective equipment will be considered 'appropriate' only if it does not permit blood or other potentially infectious materials to pass through to or reach the employee's work clothes, street clothes, undergarments, skin, eyes or other mucous membranes under normal conditions of use and for the duration of time which the protective equipment will be used."
NFPA 1500, 2007 EDITIONStandard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program
This document addresses the occupational safety in the working environment of the fire service as well as safety in the proper use of tools, equipment, vehicles, protective clothing, breathing apparatus, even details such as overlap between coats and trousers:
The protective coat and the protective trousers shall have at least a 2in (50mm) overlap of all layers so there is no gaping of the total thermal protection when the protective garments are worn. The minimum overlap shall be determined by measuring the garments on the wearer, without SCBA, in both of the following positions:
Position A. Standing, hands together reaching overhead as high as possible.
Position B. Standing, hands together reaching overhead, with body bent forward, at a 90 degree angle, to the side (either left or right), and to the back.
Career, volunteer, private and military departments are included.
NFPA 1851, 2008 EDITIONStandard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, 2008 Edition.
Originally published in February of 2001 and revised to the current 2008 edition, this is a user standard with chapters on administration, definitions, program, selections, inspection, cleaning and decontamination, repair, storage, retirement, verification test procedures, and an annex with explanatory material. The standard requires that organizations, including fire departments, independent service providers, and other entities who wish to perform cleaning and inspection, receive training from the manufacturer. In conjunction with this requirement, Globe offers both in-house training, as well as an online training course through the educational website, PPE101.com. By visiting this website you can register for Globe's no charge online training course on Personal Protective Equipment Advanced Care and Cleaning and learn how to properly care for your turnout gear. This easy to follow program follows the NFPA's 1851 standard chapter by chapter, and is a free course which can be taken at your convenience. Following the course there is an open book test and if you answer 20 of the 25 questions accurately, you can download a certificate which demonstrates that you have successfully completed the Globe training. In the alternative, if you wish more personal, hands on training, you may contact Globe Manufacturing LLC directly for details and information on the in-house program.
The 2001 edition of NFPA 1951 was titled Standard on Protective ensemble for USAR Operations. Although the title has been changed, the standard still deals with technical rescue incidents in urban and other non-wilderness locations that require special equipment. This Standard sets forth requirements for the protective clothing and equipment needs of emergency responders engaged in technical rescue activities, and also includes optional requirements for CBRN protection.
NFPA 1971, 2007 EDITION
Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting
This standard sets the minimum requirements for design, performance, testing, and certification of the elements of the ensemble for body protection in structural firefighting – coats, trousers, one-piece suits, hoods, helmets, gloves, and footwear. As with all NFPA Standards, the 2007 Edition of NFPA 1971 replaced the 2000 edition, and all previous editions. Unlike previous editions, the 2007 edition of NFPA 1971 incorporated design and performance requirements for proximity protective ensemble elements as well as structural protective ensemble elements.
Additionally, the 2007 Edition incorporated design and performance requirements for optional CBRN requirements. This means that departments who wish to specify CBRN protection are able to do so, although they will not be required to specify this level of protection. Manufacturers who label a garment as providing CBRN protection will be required to test against the specific requirements set forth in the standard. In other words, the CBRN protection is optional, but if you are labeling a garment as complying with that option, the test requirements for making the claim are mandatory and must also be third party certified.
NFPA 1977, 2005 EDITION
This revision became effective on February 7, 2005, and represents the third edition of this standard. The standard was completely reformatted according to the new style for all NFPA codes and standards. In addition to the new requirements for manufacturer's quality assurance programs, this revision included additional items of wildland fire fighting protective clothing and equipment that were not addressed in previous editions, including cold weather outerwear, chain saw protectors, load carrying equipment, and goggles.
NFPA 1999, 2008 EDITION
EMTs require specialized protection in some ways more stringent than structural firefighting. These include protective clothing, gloves and face-shielding equipment to protect EMS providers from bloodborne and liquid pathogens. Testing includes 25 wash/dry preconditioning cycles.
CAN/CGSB-155.1-2001, The Canadian General Standards Board standard for Firefighters' Protective Clothing for Protection Against Heat and Flame, was last revised in 2001. Although very similar to NFPA 1971 (2000 Edition), there are some exceptions.
- The Moisture Barrier is subject to a diffusion resistance test, with no THL values required.
- The NFPA 1971 Shower test is not required to validate design.
- The method specified for Flame Resistance testing is different.
- Tear Strength testing is performed after exposure to UV.