NFPA International has released the Second Draft Report of NFPA 150 Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities (which, for commercial reasons, will likely change title to: Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities Code for the 2019 edition). From the project prospectus:
This standard shall provide the minimum requirements for the design, construction, fire protection, and classification of animal housing facilities. The requirements of NFPA 150 recognize the following fundamental principles:
(1) Animals are sentient beings with a value greater than that of simple property.
(2) Animals, both domesticated and feral, lack the ability of self-preservation when housed in buildings and other structures.
(3) Current building, fire, and life safety codes do not address the life safety of the animal occupants.
The requirements found in NFPA 150 are written with the intention that animal housing facilities will continue to be designed, constructed, and maintained in accordance with the applicable building, fire, and life safety codes. The requirements herein are not intended to replace or rewrite the basic requirements for the human occupants. Instead, NFPA 150 provides additional minimum requirements for the protection of the animal occupants and the human occupants who interact with those animals in these facilities.
NFPA 150 is open for NITMAM until March 22nd. This means that the public may respond to the Second Draft Report and challenge any of the technical committee’s decisions in front of the NFPA Standards Council at the NFPA Annual Conference & Expo, June 11-14th, in Las Vegas.
Because many large research universities have significant revenue drivers that involve laboratory animals the original University of Michigan codes and standards advocacy enterprise (collaborating with trade associations and subject matter experts at the Evergreen State University) advocated for practical approaches to ensuring animal life safety without putting the US research industry at risk of being non-competitive with university-affiliated research enterprises in other nations where laboratory animals are treated with a different standard of care.
We supported prevailing arguments against vendor over-reach — i.e. the tendency for well funded stakeholders to build a revenue stream through the standards development process. We recommended forestalling the expansion of fire safety technologies into a broader classification of laboratory animals and were granted that recommendation until the next NFPA 150 revision cycle. We were granted that request.
Leadership at US research universities assume that funding participation of compliance, enforcement and risk management professionals fairly represents their cost-control agenda. It does not. It should be obvious, from the NFPA 159 technical committee roster, which interest groups benefit from participating in the meetings:
NFPA 150 Technical Committee Roster
Not one college or university is participating; despite the size of university-affiliated research enterprises.
Immunology and Regenerative Medicine Research Laboratory – University o
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Category: Fire Protection, Facility Asset Management, Academic, Risk Management
* Link to previous University of Michigan-led advocacy: Issue [11-1]