Easy-to-Understand NFPA 1971 Garment Performance Testing Coming Your Way

Thermal Protective Performance (TPP) test equipment

Thermal Protective Performance (TPP) test equipment

By Pat Freeman, Globe Technical Services Manager

The 2018 Edition of NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, is anticipated to be published in the third quarter of 2017, barring any public objections to the standard.

NFPA standards have always included an annex, which is intended to provide explanations, clarifications, and even non-mandatory suggestions. However, the 2018 revision of the standard has gone a step beyond and introduced Annex B, which is intended as a guide to better understand performance requirements.

This annex is written in easy-to-understand laymen’s terms and provides not only the test method and section in which the test is located, but also describes how the test is conducted, as well as explaining exactly what is being tested and the reason behind the test (i.e. why is it tested). Additionally, every test includes an actual photograph or drawing illustrating how the test is run.

Below is an example of Annex B (sans the photographs in the actual annex) to demonstrate the layout of the annex, showing just a small sampling of the required testing performed on garments.

annex-b

NFPA is a standards writing organization that uses an open, consensus-based process for the development and revision of all standards. An open consensus-based process means that individuals as well as organizations have provided input and feedback on the 2018 Edition of NFPA 1971.