National Fire Protection Association Referenced Standards
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
The New York City Fire Code (FC) incorporates by reference a large number of industry standards, including dozens of standards developed and published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). A list of Referenced Standards is included in FC Chapter 45.
One of the Referenced Standards is NFPA 45, entitled “Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals.” Currently, both the Fire Code and the New York City Building Code reference the 2004 edition of NFPA 45. The NFPA has recently published an updated, 2015 edition of this standard.
The Fire Department proposes to adopt modifications to the Fire Code to incorporate standards, procedures and requirements from the latest (2015) edition of NFPA 45.
The Fire Department proposes these modifications in response to a number of recent fires in school laboratories. The 2015 edition of NFPA 45 addresses a number of concerns associated with those fires. Among the changes proposed to be made by these modifications are the following operational and maintenance requirements:
- Risk assessments for all experiments and demonstrations that use hazardous chemicals;
- Establishment of instructor responsibilities;
- Initial and refresher training on the laboratory’s emergency plan for instructors and students;
- Proper use of fire retardant clothing when pyrophoric reagents (chemicals that spontaneously ignite in air) are used outside the inert atmosphere of a glove box (a sealed enclosure);
- Proper handling and dispensing of pyrophoric reagents and water reactive materials;
- Restrictions on the use of Bunsen burners and other open flames;
- Prohibitions on the use of improperly functioning exhaust hoods; and
- Prohibitions on the handling and use of hazardous materials when laboratory exhaust ventilation is improperly functioning.
The proposed Reference Standard modifications relate solely to operational and maintenance provisions of NFPA 45. The Fire Department is not proposing to replace the 2004 edition of NFPA 45 with the 2015 edition at this time because the New York City Building Code continues to reference the 2004 edition with respect to design and installation requirements, and it is important to coordinate the two codes.
For legal and editorial reasons, Referenced Standard modifications do not appear as revised (combined) text (that is, the text of the NFPA standard with Fire Code modifications) but as deletions, additions and other revisions to the original copyrighted text of NFPA 45. However, in order to make it possible for the public to understand the nature and purpose of the proposed Referenced Standard modifications, revised (combined) text is included as part of this Statement of Basis and Purpose. The revised text included in this Statement of Basis and Purpose is solely for informational purposes in connection with this rulemaking and is not intended for, nor does it authorize, any commercial use.
The actual text of the proposed Referenced Standard modifications immediately follows. An addendum to this Statement of Basis and Purpose includes the text of the NFPA standard with Fire Code amendments.
Guidance with respect to the interpretation of the Fire Code and Fire Department rules may be obtained using the Public Inquiry Form on the Fire Department’s website, www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/firecode/index.shtml#p6.
New material is underlined. Deleted material is in [brackets].
“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.