Magazine article Information Management

NFPA Standards Council Votes to Uphold Appeal

Magazine article Information Management

NFPA Standards Council Votes to Uphold Appeal

Article excerpt

At its January 15 appeal hearing, the Standards Council of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) voted to partially uphold an appeal to relax the requirements for compartmentation in the proposed 2003 revision of NFPA 232 Standard for the Protection of Records. According to a letter from Casey C. Grant, P.E., NFPA Standards Council secretary, a full decision on this agenda item will be issued in due course. Until then, the full implications of the Council's decision to uphold the NFPA 232 appeal are unknown and the 2000 edition of the standard remains in effect.

The Debate

The 2000 edition defines compartmentation as "the subdivision of a building into relatively small areas so that fire or smoke can be confined to the room or section in which it originates" It requires that firewalls separate storage compartments and that in records centers, the maximum storage volume of records should not exceed 250,000 cubic feet in a single compartment.

A hotly contested debate has been burning about whether to continue to include records center compartmentation in the upcoming revision of NFPA 232. The TC working on the revision had once considered a motion to remove compartmentation from the standard but decided by a majority vote during its fall meeting to keep compartmentation. But when the vote was sent out for ratification by a letter ballot, as required by NFPA, the ballot for that requirement in the standard did not pass, as the vote was evenly split, 12-12. This meant compartmentation would not be included in the revised standard. …

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