ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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NFPA Weighs Modifications to Fireworks Standard

Public hearing slated for June; public comments now being accepted

New York, Feb 13, 2008

In response to findings presented in a new research report from the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), the Standards Council of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is considering changes to NFPA 1124, Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles.

A member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), NFPA has a long standing position against any use by the general public of fireworks. In 1999, the NFPA Board of Directors revised the organization’s policy in the interest of public safety, permitting the Technical Committee on Pyrotechnics to develop standards for the retail sale and storage of consumer fireworks. Since then, NFPA 1124 has been expanded and revised with a new section (Chapter 7) to address the sale of fireworks to the general public, including minimum fire and life safety requirements.

A recent FPRF report, “Fire Safety in Consumer Fireworks Storage and Retail Facilities – Hazard Assessment,” documents data on the hazards associated with retail sale of consumer fireworks and identifies research needed to develop appropriate facility fire safety provisions.

In reviewing the report as it relates to NFPA 1124, the NFPA Standards Council determined that the report raises serious concerns about the technical basis for the requirements outlined in Chapter 7, and calls into question whether sufficient research and other technical substantiation exist to support meaningful standards development in this area.

The Council is currently weighing the following actions:

  • revising the scope of the Technical Committee on Pyrotechnics (TC), which is responsible for NFPA 1124, so that it no longer covers the retail sale of consumer fireworks, and
  • taking steps to revise the scope of NFPA 1124 to exclude the retail sales of consumer fireworks, and to delete Chapter 7 from NFPA 1124.

Before making a final decision, the NFPA Standards Council seeks public input on its proposed course of action:

Public Comment Period – until May 9, 2008
Written submissions for the Council’s consideration may be sent to the attention of the Secretary of the Standards Council in hard copy (Codes and Standards Administration, NFPA, One Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169) or via email (stds_admin@nfpa.org).

Submissions must be clearly identified as regarding the Standards Council hearing on consumer fireworks retail sales provisions and should contain the name, affiliation, and address of the submitter(s). Parties are not required to attend or speak at the hearing in order to have their written submissions reviewed and considered by the Council. Regardless of whether or not parties wish to appear at the hearing, all written submissions must be received by NFPA no later than May 9, 2008.

Public Hearing – June 2, 2008
The Council will hold a public hearing on Monday June 2, 2008, from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. in conjunction with NFPA’s World Safety Conference and Exposition (WSCE) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Since the time for the hearing is limited, the Council Chair may, at his discretion, limit the number of speakers and/or the time allotted to each speaker. Every effort will be made to assure that sufficient time is afforded for all points of view. Those wishing to speak at the hearing should notify NFPA in hard copy (Codes and Standards Administration c/o NFPA, One Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169) or via email (stds_admin@nfpa.org) by Monday, May 26, 2008. Registration for the WSCE is not necessary in order to attend the hearing.

For more information or to view any updates to this notice, visit www.nfpa.org/consumerfireworks.

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