NFPA 731 standard approved, work yet to be done

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

QUINCY, Mass--The Standards Council at the National Fire Protection Association rejected the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association's appeal of NFPA 731, a standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems, in late July. NFPA 731 has now been approved and will be available in the fall. However, the council did note that there were technical errors in the measure.
Those errors were brought to the table when the council discussed the NBFAA's appeal to send NFPA 731 back to the Technical Committee on Premises Security to be reviewed.
This fall, the committee will evaluate two sections in NFPA 731 that discuss circuit and power supply standards for alarm systems.
These sections raised technical concerns during the Standards Council briefing in late July. The technical concerns were originally announced in May in a position paper by the NBFAA, which expressed that the current equipment available to the industry would not meet what NFPA 731 proposed. The committee will file a Technical Interim Amendment that first looks at the language of those items that will be adjusted in the NFPA.
John Fannin, a member of the Technical Committee on Premises Security and industry consultant, said from pre-731 to post-731 the change the industry may see most is a strict requirement with the National Electric Code NFPA 70, otherwise the requirements are common sense.
"People, who are truly in the security business are going to be impacted positively (by the standard)," Fannin said. "It will support their good business practices, and discourage those that have bad business practices."
This summer, the NBFAA applied for membership on the Technical Committee on Premises Security and has two representatives on the committee. According to Scot Colby, NBFAA president, the association did apply for a committee seat roughly one year ago, but was denied due to the committee being full.
With representation on the board, both associations can work together to develop accurate standards.
"We can clarify to the committee the need for changes," he said. "The committee is generally open-minded."