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    The Role of ASTM Standards in NFPA Performance-Based Codes

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    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) develops full-consensus codes and standards in a process that differs in several ways from ASTM. They have recently established an initiative to develop performance-based options for NFPA documents. The most visible effort to date is the promulgation of a proposed performance-based approach for NFPA 101, the Life Safely Code®. This paper introduces the NFPA code writing process and its performance-based activities. The performance-based option for the year 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code® is outlined, indicating where ASTM standards are referenced. Experience with developing this product has identified several obstacles in the evolution of performance-based fire safety codes. Proposals are suggested for considering these obstacles as opportunities for ASTM standards development.


    ASTM, codes and standards, fire safety, life safety, NFPA, performance-based

    Author Information:

    Watts, JM
    Director, Fire Safety Institute, Middlebury, VT

    Committee/Subcommittee: E05.39

    DOI: 10.1520/STP13367S