NFPA Moving CO Alarm Requirements into Fire Alarm Code

NFPA task groups and technical committees have worked during the past three years to integrate the requirements of NFPA 720 into NFPA 72. NFPA's goal is to provide smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in a single, comprehensive document.

The National Fire Protection Association announced last week that, with its Technical Meeting in Las Vegas concluded, the requirements of NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide Detection and Warning Equipment are one step closer to issuance by the Standards Council as incorporated into the 2019 edition of NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®. NFPA 720, which has worked to minimize occupants' risk to carbon monoxide in homes and other occupancies since it was first issued in 2003, will be withdrawn once the 2019 edition of NFPA 72 is issued by the Standards Council this August, according to the NFPA news release.

It said several NFPA task groups and technical committees have worked during the past three years to integrate the requirements of NFPA 720 into NFPA 72. NFPA's goal is to provide smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in a single, comprehensive document.

"Having two separate alarm system documents on different revision cycles has proved confusing and inefficient for code officials, enforcers, and authorities having jurisdiction responsible for implementing and enforcing the codes' requirements in their states and jurisdictions," said Richard Roux, senior electrical specialist at NFPA. "Providing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in one document will help make their work much easier and more streamlined."

The release said 38 states currently adopt or reference NFPA 720, which requires carbon monoxide detection in homes. Some states only require that carbon monoxide alarms be installed in new home construction; others only require carbon monoxide alarm installations when there is an attached garage or similar construction.

"All stakeholders who adopt or reference NFPA 720 need to know about the upcoming changes so they can make the necessary adjustments and continue delivering carbon monoxide protection to the states and/or jurisdictions they serve," Roux said. "At NFPA, we're doing all we can to make sure we get the word out, and we strongly encourage anyone with a vested interest in this issue to do the same."

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