May 12, 2020 - As the federal government and many states begin allowing businesses to reopen, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed a checklist to help building owners and facility managers prepare, ensuring that fire protection and life safety systems in commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings are properly checked and functioning.
“During the lockdown policies in place over the past couple of months, many of the ongoing inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) activities typically required by locally enforced codes and standards may not have been completed for a variety of reasons,” said Val Ziavras, technical services engineer at NFPA. “Regardless of the level of ITM performed during this time, it is imperative that building owners and facility managers verify the performance of all building fire protection and life safety systems prior to reoccupation.”
The new NFPA resource addresses the factors that should be confirmed by a qualified person before re-opening a building to ensure the safety of all its occupants. Based on the assumption that the building was in compliance prior to being closed, the checklist provides some initial steps to help make sure the occupancy is safe enough to reopen until a qualified professional can complete the regularly scheduled ITM of all fire protection and life safety systems. Ziavras notes that this process should be completed as quickly as possible.
“Any alterations to the building that adhere to public health guidelines, such as the installation of physical barriers or automatic door openers, will need to be evaluated to ensure that they are properly designed and installed and do not negatively impact the fire protection and life safety systems currently in place,” said Ziavras.
The newly available checklist reflects the latest in a series of COVID-19 related resource developed by NFPA to address fire and life safety issues, concerns, and challenges that have emerged over the past couple of months. Additional resources are developed as they are added to the NFPA website.
Visit the NFPA coronavirus landing page to access all newly released documents, as well as existing COVID-19 related information, guidelines, and resources provided to date.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
As we navigate the evolving situation with COVID-19, we remain committed to supporting you with the resources you need to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, electrical, and other hazards.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
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