Standard Revision Issued for NFPA 1982


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued its 2007 edition of NFPA 1982: Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS) which contains revisions providing for strengthened performance requirements and testing addressing PASS alarm signal degradation and other issues.

The new edition also addresses other issues that have been brought to the attention of the NFPA Technical Committee by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and others, including problems caused by vibration, probably during transportation, and water ingress into the electronic and power supply compartments. The principal changes contained in the latest revision include:

  1. New water immersion requirements and testing for PASS where PASS is exposed to 350° F for 15 minutes and then to water submersion in 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) also for 15 minutes for each of six cycles; and PASS examined to determine no water ingress, all PASS signals must function properly, and electronic data logging functions must operate properly; following this, PASS is reimmersed in the test water for an additional 5 minutes with the power source compartment(s) open, and following the 5 minutes the PASS is removed from water and wiped dry, then the electronics compartment is opened and examined to determine no water ingress
  2. New high temperature functionality requirements and testing to now have PASS mounted in a circulating hot air oven at 500° F for 5 minutes and the PASS alarm signal must function at or above the required 95dBA sound level, electronic data logging functions must operate properly, and no part of the PASS can show evidence of melting, dripping or igniting
  3. New tumble-vibration requirements and testing for PASS where PASS is “tumbled” in a rotating drum for 3 hours and the PASS alarm signal must function at the required 95dBA sound level and electronic data logging functions must operate properly
  4. New “muffling” of the alarm signal requirements and testing for PASS where PASS is mounted on a test subject and evaluated in five positions (face down with arms extended, supine left, supine right, fetal right with knees drawn to chest, fetal left with knees drawn to chest), and the alarm signal must function at or above the required 95dBA sound level

The Technical Committee anticipates further knowledge concerning PASS performance will be gained as PASS designed and certified to the 2007 edition of NFPA 1982 become available and are put into use in emergency conditions. The Technical Committee, in cooperation with NIOSH and National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), will continue to monitor the performance of PASS in order to assure any issues and developments can be addressed through further revisions.

Emergency services organizations and emergency responder personnel can greatly assist in this monitoring activity by reporting any PASS malfunctions and other problems with proper functioning of PASS directly to both the certification organization whose certification mark appears on the PASS, and to NIOSH – NPPTL (Personal Protection Technical Laboratory).

Free online access to the revised standard can be found at

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