NFPA Issues 731 Security Standard, Plans Quick Revisions

QUINCY, Mass. — The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Standards Committee has given its final approval to NFPA 731 — Standard for Electronic Premises Security Systems — and rejected an appeal by the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) to return the standard to committee.

The ruling clears the issuing of NFPA 731 but also opens up the process for revisions that will roll back standby power standards and remove entirely a requirement for short-to-ground supervision.

NFPA 731 sets standards for the application, location, installation and performance of non-residential electronic security systems. Among other items, 731 contains cabling specifications, mandates training and urges verification of alarms.

Also in its ruling, the Standards Committee put the revision cycle for 731 on a fast track. Instead of the usual five-year cycle before a revision, a new edition of NFPA 731 will be issued in early 2008.

Shane Clary — of Pacheco, Calif., contractor Bay Alarm — who chairs the NFPA 731 technical committee, is submitting two tentative interim amendments (TIAs) that would allow for immediate changes to 731. One change would alter the number of hours of standby for systems on battery backup from 24 hours to four. Another would remove a requirement for detection circuits to have short-to-ground supervision.

“We looked at it and said, ‘You know what, they’re right,’” Clary said of criticism of the power requirements. “The committee is not against making changes as long as it makes sense.”

For an extensive look at NFPA 731 and what it means for the industry, click here.


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