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.
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