New codes adopted by NFPA council after fire

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Monday, September 1, 2003

QUINCY, Mass. - A host of changes to fire and safety codes were given the nod by the Standards Council of the National fire Protection Association in late July, changes that were first proposed in the wake of the fatal Rhode Island nightclub fire and the crowd crush in Chicago.

Members of the Standards Council issued their ruling to approve all seven Tentative Interim Amendments following a meeting July 25, culminating a process that began in March, immediately following the fire and crowd incident in February.

The Standards Council approved five TIA’s relating to the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, including restrictions on festival seating for certain occupancies, requirements that crowd managers be used for all assembly occupancies and more stringent recording keeping and inspections of egress requirements.

Changes to NFPA 101 also include the requirements of sprinkler systems in all new and existing facilities with occupancies of more than 100.

The NFPA 5000 Building Code was modified to restrict festival seating in occupancy levels of more than 250, with some restrictions, and addition of a sprinkler requirement for all new nightclub type facilities and festival seating venues.

Many of the TIAs were generated from the meeting in March, where families of the victims of The Station nightclub fire spoke to technical committee members. A number of the TIAs were also submitted by the International Fire Marshal’s Association.

At press time, the Standards Council decision was scheduled to become effective 20 days after the decision was issued, according to Casey Grant, secretary of the NFPA Standards Council.