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Systems existing buildings

Carefully review the scope and application of the sections of each code

The new editions of the codes and standards generally refer to the building systems and existing fire protection as such and do not require changes to those based on the latest edition of the code or standard systems. The latest edition of the code or standard generally refers to newer editions of the standards mentioned. For example, the 2006 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code Code refers to the 2005 edition of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code. The 2006 edition of the Life Safety Code, however, requires that existing systems must comply with the latest edition of that standard. Section 9.1.2 of the Life Safety Code states:

9.1.2 Electrical Systems. Wiring and electrical equipment must comply with the provisions of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, except where such facilities existing facilities were approved, which should be allowed to continue in service.

This allows the existing electrical system to remain in service provided that had been previously approved. The purpose is to establish that the existing system was approved under a previous edition of the Code, applicable at the time of installation.

Similar provisions of the Life Safety Code apply to other building systems, including: Fire alarm systems: 9.6.1.3 "... existing installation approved, which should be allowed the continuation of the service."

Air conditioners, heating, ventilation ducts and related equipment: 9.2.1 "... except when these were approved existing facilities, which should be allowed to continue in service." Waste bins, hoppers for laundries, and incinerators: 9.5.2 "... except when these were approved existing facilities, which should be allowed to continue in service."

Other standards include similar provisions.

For example, NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, established in Section 1.4 "retroactivity clause, 'Except where specified otherwise, the provisions contained in this rule shall not apply to facilities, equipment structures and existing facilities or the construction or installation would have been approved before the effective date of this standard. " Other NFPA standards on clauses similar facilities include retroactivity. In case of NFPA 25, Standard adopted for inspection, testing and maintenance of hydraulic systems for fire protection shall apply to all systems, both new and existing. Similarly, the NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm Code, Chapter 10, "Inspection, Testing and Maintenance" applies to both new systems and existing systems. Other standards refer to existing facilities in a somewhat different way. For example, NFPA 30, Code of Flammable and Combustible Liquids, Section 1.4 "Retroactive" refers to existing facilities as follows:

"Except as otherwise established, it should not be expected that the provisions contained in this Code are applied to facilities, equipment, structures or installations or approved for construction or installation prior to the effective date of this Code, except in Where the competent authority determines that the situation presents a clearly defined life or adjacent real risk. "

This provision includes more options to the competent authority in determining whether a situation presents a "clearly defined risk." This applies to the safe performance of an operation and not just to a particular system.

The newest of a code or standard editions generally do not apply retroactively to existing systems. However, the application of each code or standard should be evaluated specifically for each project. It is important to carefully review the scope and application sections of each code.

Chip Carson, PE, is owner and president of Carson Associates, Inc., Warrenton, Virginia. He is also a board member of the NFPA.

By Chip Carson, P.E.

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