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.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed a training bundle to help facility managers, building owners, engineers, designers, and code officials address essential safety and security features in the buildings that they are charged with keeping safe and functional. The Balancing Safety and Security with Fire Doors, Dampers and Door Locking Online Training Series provides an introduction to NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives (2016), and delves into the inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) for swinging fire doors, requirements for fire and smoke dampers, and permissible door locking arrangements during a 4-module, 4-hour self-paced training program. Fire door inspections Doors that occupants use to regularly access stairwells etc. need to be maintained to prevent the spread of fire Since 2007, NFPA 80 has included many important technical requirements related to the ITM of fire doors. In the past, fire door inspections may not have always been on the radar of busy facility managers and building authorities, but fire doors are unique in that, they could be used every day and can experience significant wear and tear, depending on their location. Doors that occupants use to regularly access stairwells, storerooms, and hotel rooms, for example, need to be properly maintained in order to prevent the spread of fire and smoke during a fire and ensure optimal working conditions on a regular basis. Conversely, building fire protection systems, such as sprinklers and alarms, smoke control, and fire extinguishers are used only during a fire or emergency. Fire and smoke dampers Those responsible for fire doors often manage the fire and smoke dampers within a building as well. While the damper itself may only be needed during a fire, continuous and compliant inspection and maintenance programs help ensure that the dampers will perform properly during a fire and prevent the spread of fire and smoke throughout the building. This valuable training series provides safety information related to common building systems" Because these systems are not seen by occupants and can be challenging to access if not designed properly, they are often neglected. Finding out too late that a damper has been blocked or held in an open position, is inoperable, or has missing or damaged elements, can be disastrous. Safety Information “The NFPA 80 and NFPA 101 training bundle makes perfect sense for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is the fact that facility managers, AHJs and designers have a lot of ground to cover in their roles,” Kristin Bigda, NFPA Technical Lead for Building & Life Safety said. “This valuable training series provides necessary, but often overlooked, safety information related to very common building systems.” The online training includes more than 30 videos with engineers and others explaining key points, as well as animations, case studies and a Q+A section.