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NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, 2016 Edition


State-of-the-art coverage in the 2016 NFPA 72®: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code® reflects new technologies and applications.

The traditional role of fire alarm systems is rapidly evolving. Now, the benchmark for fire alarm systems has changed to give designers, engineers, contractors, installers, and inspectors rules that reflect the current state of the field. An industry milestone, the 2016 edition of NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code has the most advanced provisions ever developed for the application, installation, location, performance, and inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire alarm and emergency communications systems -- including Mass Notification Systems (MNS).

New NFPA 72 facilitates interconnections using networks.

A special task group on networks addressed the risk analysis, design, application, installation, and performance of networks and networking equipment in fire alarm systems, fire EVACS, and MNS. As a result of their findings, NFPA 72 includes a new circuit designation called Class N pathways permitting the use of networks and Ethernet when interconnecting a fire alarm system.

Other changes help you avoid the loss of critical coverage and ensure system interfaces function correctly, such as:

  • Significant revisions in Chapter 21, Emergency Control Function Interfaces and Chapter 24, Emergency Communications Systems
  • Revisions to Level 2 and Level 3 pathway survivability requirements revised to provide greater flexibility of use and to address other “fire-resistive” methods
  • A new Annex on Guidelines for Emergency Communication Strategies for Buildings and Campuses

Hundreds of other revisions make the 2016 NFPA 72 indispensable.

New and updated definitions bring the Code up-to-date and put all users on the same page. The 2016 edition of NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code covers new ground from beginning to end. Order direct from NFPA®, the Code source. (Softbound, 369 pp., 2016)

NFPA 72® National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, 2016 Edition

Chapter 1 Administration
1.1 Scope 
1.2 Purpose 
1.3 Application 
1.4 Retroactivity 
1.5 Equivalency 
1.6 Units and Formulas 
1.7 Code Adoption Requirements
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
2.1 General 
2.2 NFPA Publications 
2.3 Other Publications 
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1 General 
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions 
3.3 General Definitions
Chapter 4 Reserved
Chapter 5 Reserved
Chapter 6 Reserved
Chapter 7 Documentation
7.1 Application. (SIG-FUN) 
7.2 Minimum Required Documentation. (SIG-FUN) 
7.3 Design (Layout) Documentation 
7.4 Shop Drawings (Installation Documentation). (SIG-FUN) 
7.5 Completion Documentation 
7.6 Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance Documentation. (SIG-TMS) 
7.7 Records, Record Retention, and Record Maintenance 
7.8 Forms
Chapter 8 Reserved
Chapter 9 Reserved
Chapter 10 Fundamentals
10.1 Application 
10.2 Purpose 
10.3 Equipment 
10.4 Design and Installation 
10.5 Personnel Qualifications 
10.6 Power Supplies 
10.7 Signal Priority 
10.8 Detection and Signaling of Conditions 
10.9 Responses 
10.10 Distinctive Signals 
10.11 Alarm Signals 
10.12 Fire Alarm Notification Appliance Deactivation 
10.13 Supervisory Signals 
10.14 Trouble Signals 
10.15 Emergency Control Function Status Indicators 
10.16 Notification Appliance Circuits and Control Circuits 
10.17 Annunciation and Annunciation Zoning 
10.18 Monitoring Integrity of In-Building Fire Emergency Voice/Alarm Communications Systems 
10.19 Documentation and Notification 
10.20 Impairments 
10.21 Unwanted Alarms
Chapter 11 Reserved
Chapter 12 Circuits and Pathways
12.1 Application 
12.2 General 
12.3 Pathway Class Designations 
12.4 Pathway Survivability 
12.5 Shared Pathway Designations 
12.6 Monitoring Integrity and Circuit Performance of Installation Conductors and Other Signaling Channels 
12.7 Nomenclature
Chapter 13 Reserved
Chapter 14 Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
14.1 Application 
14.2 General 
14.3 Inspection 
14.4 Testing 
14.5 Maintenance 
14.6 Records
Chapter 15 Reserved
Chapter 16 Reserved
Chapter 17 Initiating Devices
17.1 Application 
17.2 Purpose 
17.3 Performance-Based Design 
17.4 General Requirements 
17.5 Requirements for Smoke and Heat Detectors 
17.6 Heat-Sensing Fire Detectors 
17.7 Smoke-Sensing Fire Detectors 
17.8 Radiant Energy-Sensing Fire Detectors 
17.9 Combination, Multi-Criteria, and Multi-Sensor Detectors 
17.10 Gas Detection 
17.11 Other Fire Detectors 
17.12 Sprinkler Waterflow Alarm-Initiating Devices 
17.13 Detection of Operation of Other Automatic Extinguishing Systems 
17.14 Manually Actuated Alarm-Initiating Devices 
17.15 Fire Extinguisher Electronic Monitoring Device 
17.16 Supervisory Signal-Initiating Devices
Chapter 18 Notification Appliances
18.1 Application 
18.2 Purpose 
18.3 General 
18.4 Audible Characteristics 
18.5 Visible Characteristics - Public Mode 
18.6 Visible Characteristics - Private Mode 
18.7 Supplementary Visible Signaling Method 
18.8 Textual Audible Appliances 
18.9 Textual and Graphical Visible Appliances 
18.10 Tactile Appliances 
18.11 Standard Emergency Service Interface
Chapter 19 Reserved
Chapter 20 Reserved
Chapter 21 Emergency Control Function Interfaces
21.1 Application 
21.2 General 
21.3 Elevator Phase I Emergency Recall Operation 
21.4 Elevator Shutdown 
21.5 Fire Service Access Elevators 
21.6 Occupant Evacuation Elevators 
21.7 Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Systems 
21.8 Door and Shutter Release 
21.9 Electrically Locked Doors 
21.10 Exit Marking Audible Notification Systems
Chapter 22 Reserved
Chapter 23 Protected Premises Fire Alarm Systems
23.1 Application 
23.2 General 
23.3 System Features 
23.4 System Performance and Integrity 
23.5 Performance of Initiating Device Circuits (IDCs) 
23.6 Performance of Signaling Line Circuits (SLCs) 
23.7 Performance of Notification Appliance Circuits (NACs) 
23.8 System Requirements 
23.9 In-Building Fire Emergency Voice/Alarm Communications 
23.10 Fire Alarm Systems Using Tone 
23.11 Suppression System Actuation 
23.12 Off-Premises Signals 
23.13 Guard's Tour Supervisory Service 
23.14 Suppressed (Exception Reporting) Signal System 
23.15 Protected Premises Emergency Control Functions 
23.16 Special Requirements for Low-Power Radio (Wireless) Systems
Chapter 24 Emergency Communications Systems (ECS)
24.1 Application 
24.2 Purpose 
24.3 General 
24.4 In-Building Fire Emergency Voice/Alarm Communications Systems (EVACS) 
24.5 In-Building Mass Notification Systems 
24.6 Wide-Area Mass Notification Systems 
24.7 Distributed Recipient Mass Notification Systems (DRMNS) 
24.8 Two-Way, In-Building Wired Emergency Services Communications Systems 
24.9 Two-Way Radio Communications Enhancement Systems 
24.10 Area of Refuge (Area of Rescue Assistance) Emergency Communications Systems 
24.11 Elevator Emergency Communications Systems 
24.12 Stairway Communications Systems 
24.13 Information, Command, and Control 
24.14 Performance-Based Design of Mass Notification Systems 
24.15 Documentation for Emergency Communications Systems
Chapter 25 Reserved
Chapter 26 Supervising Station Alarm Systems
26.1 Application 
26.2 General 
26.3 Central Station Service Alarm Systems 
26.4 Proprietary Supervising Station Alarm Systems 
26.5 Remote Supervising Station Alarm Systems 
26.6 Communications Methods for Supervising Station Alarm Systems
Chapter 27 Public Emergency Alarm Reporting Systems
27.1 Application 
27.2 General Fundamentals 
27.3 Management and Maintenance 
27.4 Communications Methods 
27.5 Alarm Processing Equipment 
27.6 Alarm Boxes 
27.7 Public Cable Plant 
27.8 Emergency Communications Systems (ECS)
Chapter 28 Reserved
Chapter 29 Single- and Multiple-Station Alarms and Household Fire Alarm Systems
29.1 Application 
29.2 Purpose 
29.3 Basic Requirements 
29.4 Assumptions 
29.5 Detection and Notification 
29.6 Power Supplies 
29.7 Equipment Performance 
29.8 Installation 
29.9 Optional Functions 
29.10 Maintenance and Tests 
29.11 Markings and Instructions
Annex A Explanatory Material 
Annex B Engineering Guide for Automatic Fire Detector Spacing 
Annex C System Performance and Design Guide 
Annex D Speech Intelligibility 
Annex E Sample Ordinance Adopting NFPA 72 
Annex F Wiring Diagrams and Guide for Testing Fire Alarm Circuits 
Annex G Guidelines for Emergency Communication Strategies for Buildings and Campuses 
Annex H Informational References 
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