Fire Safe North America has a strong and active participation with the codes and standards development process through the National Fire Protection Association and the International Code Council, as well as extending their efforts to include codes and standards involvement in Canada.
Through various committees and study groups, Fire Safe North America will be a resource for articles, test reports, research documents, and other information promoting the need for fire safety layering in building design.
Fire Safe North America is a companion organization to Fire Safe Europe, and will cooperate with Fire Safe Europe to accomplish similar objectives. Fire Safe North America has evolved from its predecessor, the Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control, Inc. (AFSCC).
- To promote fire and smoke resistant construction as an essential part of a “balanced fire protection design”
- To promote life safety, property protection and public welfare which includes building resiliency, increased building longevity, durability, and more opportunity for adaptability, reuse and increased resistance to disasters.
- To educate and inform code officials and designers on life safety, property protection and the long term benefits of resilent building design
- To promote fire fighter safety and facilitate fire fighting activities
- To promote the essential fire protection features that complement automatic suppression and enhance building resiliency, as follows:
- Containment by means of Barriers, Fire Rated Floors, Walls, Ceilings and Roof Assemblies
- Structural Fire Protection
- Protection Of Joints, Openings, and Penetrations
- HVAC System Containment/Control Features such as Fire And Smoke Dampers
- Smoke Management utilizing Smoke and Heat Vents, Pressurization, and Engineered Systems
- Protection of Vertical Openings by means of Perimeter Protection, Fire Rated Enclosures, and Fire Rated Doors And Curtains
- Protection of the Components of the Means of Egress
CODES participaTION & developMENT
ICC International Building Code (IBC)
- National Building Code of Canada
- ICC International Fire Code (IFC)
- ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities (ICC PC)
- ICC International Existing Building Code (IEBC)
- ICC International Mechanical Code (IMC)
- ICC International Residential Code (IRC)
- NFPA 101 Life Safety Code (LSC)
- NFPA 1 Uniform Fire Code (UFC)
- IAPMO Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC)
and voting privileges
- ICC Code Technology Committee
- NFPA 101 Life Safety Code
- NFPA 1 Fire Code
Results - A summary of the past 15 years
- FSNA has realized success that is believed to be indicative of future successes.
- FSNA has recognition in the code development arena and is considered a stakeholder.
- FSNA has stemmed the increase in trade-offs – somewhat. Although new trade-offs are continuing to be proposed and are approved at every code meeting, they are being met with more and more resistance, some being flatly disapproved.
- FSNA has allied with influential code and fire officials to help them take a leadership role in the future of building safety with respect to safety layering and enhanced resiliency.
- NFPA and other individuals and organizations continue to validate our positions that sprinkler systems are failing to operate satisfactorily due to contractor error, poor design, piping leaks, corrosion, and lack of water. In notable trade journals, the reliability factor of sprinklers has been adjusted from 98-99% for component reliability to 83%-92% for whole system performance as a result of FSNA activism.
- FSNA retains credible individuals who support the FSNA position and would like to work with FSNA to support our objectives. Based on the work to date, FSNA members know what works.
- The concept of safety layering and enhancing buildings to be more resilient is becoming “common sense” thinking among many code and fire officials.
- The primary challenge now lies in what constitutes a cost effective balance in each building type and occupancy – and what to put back into the IBC and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code – if it has been traded-off for automatic sprinkler systems as an economical incentive. The second challenge is to find the financial resources to pay the people that can make that happen.