The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced that the NFPA Standards Council has approved the development of NFPA 420, Standard on Fire Protection of Cannabis Growing and Processing Facilities.
The new standard, which was originally proposed in response to serious fires that have occurred at cannabis facilities in recent years, will provide clear guidance on fire protection standards for facilities that produce, process, and extract cannabis.
Fire protection aspects of growing and processing facilities
“With the rapid legalization of medical and/or recreational use of cannabis throughout the U.S. and the exponential growth of cannabis facilities around the globe, developing provisions that minimize fire and associated risks for facility staff and first responders - as well as nearby structures and occupants - is critical to safety,” said Kristin Bigda, Technical Lead of Building and Life Safety at NFPA. The overall goal is addressing the protection of facilities from fire and related hazards
NFPA 420 will build upon the work started several years ago in NFPA 1, Fire Code, which addresses the fire protection aspects of the growing and processing facilities. The new stand-alone document will expand upon those requirements, referencing appropriate resources as needed, with the overall goal of addressing the protection of facilities from fire and related hazards where cannabis is being grown, processed, extracted, and/or tested.
NFPA 420 Intend
Blazes at cannabis facilities across the U.S. continue to be reported in the news, underscoring the timeliness and relevance of the new standard. Earlier this month, a three-alarm fire destroyed a cannabis facility in Shelton, Washington.
NFPA 420 is envisioned by the council to include requirements for inspecting, systems testing, and maintenance of cannabis growing, processing, and extraction facilities. It also is anticipated to establish the general skills, knowledge, and experience required among facility operators and facility managers responsible for ensuring adequate levels of safety at these facilities.
The start-up roster for the Technical Committee on Fire Protection of Cannabis Growing and Processing Facilities (CGP-AAA) will be appointed at the NFPA Standards Council meeting in August 2021. Applications to serve on the committee are being accepted through June 15, 2021.