Basics of the NFPA and NFPA certification

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 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 five years to ensure that it is kept current with new fire protection knowledge and technologies. The NFPA process requires "balanced" committees and is open to anyone who wishes to participate.

Third-Party Certification

In 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 being certified. Additionally, the certification organization must be primarily engaged in certification work, such as Underwriters Laboratory or Intertek Testing Services.

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 additional testing, and random audits, including sampling, occurs at least twice a year 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.

Individual Standards

Federal and State OSHA Standards

NFPA 1971, 2013 EDITION

Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting

NFPA 1500, 2013 EDITION

Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program

NFPA 1851, 2014 EDITION

Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Firefighting

NFPA 1951, 2013 EDITION

Standard on Protective Ensembles for Technical Rescue Incidents

NFPA 1983, 2012 EDITION

Standard on Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services

NFPA 1992, 2012 EDITION

Standard on Liquid Splash-Protective Ensembles and Clothing for Hazardous Materials Emergencies

NFPA 1977, 2011 EDITION

Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting

NFPA 1999, 2013 EDITION

Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations

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