The Results of the last 15 years
- FSNA has realized success that is believed to be indicative of future successes.
- FSNA has recognition in the code development arena and is considered a stakeholder.
- FSNA has stemmed the increase in trade-offs – somewhat. Although new trade-offs are continuing to be proposed and are approved at every code meeting, they are being met with more and more resistance, some being flatly disapproved.
- FSNA has allied with influential code and fire officials to help them take a leadership role in the future of building safety with respect to safety layering and enhanced resiliency.
- NFPA and other individuals and organizations continue to validate our positions that sprinkler systems are failing to operate satisfactorily due to contractor error, poor design, piping leaks, corrosion, and lack of water. In notable trade journals, the reliability factor of sprinklers has been adjusted from 98-99% for component reliability to 83%-92% for whole system performance as a result of FSNA activism.
- FSNA retains credible individuals who support the FSNA position and would like to work with FSNA to support our objectives. Based on the work to date, FSNA members know what works.
- The concept of safety layering and enhancing buildings to be more resilient is becoming “common sense” thinking among many code and fire officials.
- The primary challenge now lies in what constitutes a cost-effective balance in each building type and occupancy – and what to put back into the IBC and NFPA® 101® Life Safety Code® – if it has been traded-off for automatic sprinkler systems as an economic incentive.
Building with Fires In mind
Since its inception in 1999, Fire Safe North America (FSNA) and its predecessor, the Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control (AFSCC) have been active in promoting the concept of balanced fire protection design.
It is the position of FSNA that balanced fire protection design, also referred to as safety layering, redundancy, or reliability enhancement integrates multiple features and systems into the design to reinforce one another in case of the failure of any one. Safety layers include active protection such as a suppression system AND built-in fire and smoke features AND detection features to facilitate early notification and safe egress.
FSNA does not promote non-sprinklered buildings. FSNA does promote built-in passive fire and smoke protection as essential to safety layering, which also includes the widespread installation of fire sprinklers. The combination of active and passive fire protection provides a better fire safety environment than either one alone.
When Energy Efficient, Sustainable Buildings Are Designed And Constructed With An Appropriate Combination Of Active And Passive Fire Protection With Consideration For Emergency Responders, The Buildings Are Fire Safe And More Resilient. They Are Better Able To Ensure Continuity Of Operations, Increase Durability, Increase Adaptability For Reuse, Increase Resistance To Disasters, And Improve Life Safety For Occupants And Firefighters.
We strive to protect the public welfare by:
- Promoting fire and smoke resistant construction as an essential part of a “balanced fire protection design”
- Encouraging life safety, property protection and public welfare which includes building resiliency, increased building longevity, durability, and more opportunity for adaptability, reuse and increased resistance to disasters.
- Educating and informing code officials and designers on life safety, property protection and the long-term benefits of resilient building design
- Promoting firefighter safety and facilitating firefighting activities
- Supporting the essential fire protection features that complement automatic suppression and enhance building resiliency, as follows:
- Containment by means of Barriers, Fire Rated Floors, Walls, Ceilings and Roof Assemblies
- Structural Fire Protection
- Protection Of Joints, Openings, and Penetrations
- HVAC System Containment/Control Features such as Fire And Smoke Dampers
- Smoke Management utilizing Smoke and Heat Vents, Pressurization, and Engineered Systems
- Protection of Vertical Openings by means of Perimeter Protection, Fire Rated Enclosures, and Fire Rated Doors And Curtains
- Protection of the Components of the Means of Egress
Codes Participation & Development
ICC International Building Code (IBC)
National Building Code of Canada
ICC International Fire Code (IFC)
ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities (ICC PC)
ICC International Existing Building Code (IEBC)
ICC International Mechanical Code (IMC)
ICC International Residential Code (IRC)
NFPA 101® Life Safety Code® (LSC)
NFPA® 1 Fire Code (UFC)
IAPMO Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC)
FSNA Representation and Voting Privilages
NFPA 101® Life Safety Code®
NFPA® 1 Fire Code