NFPA 1971 Revision on Turnout Gear Delayed

By Alan M. Petrillo
Issuance of the 2012 edition of the NFPA 1971 Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting has been delayed due to several challenges.
The proposed standard, expected to be issued in January, has had seven challenges made relating to gloves and footwear. The standard received no challenges regarding turnout gear, helmets, or hoods.
The challenges are in the form of a notice of intent to make a motion (NITMAM), says Karen Lehtonen, a member of the NFPA 1971 Standard committee and director of products for Lion.
“The challenges revolve around new test methods for footwear and gloves that have been added to the standard,” Lehtonen says, “as well as to how those test methods are applied. They are challenging the efficacy of the new test method and whether the tests will do what the committee thought they would and differentiate results as they thought.”
All of the tests being challenged already are in the current version of the standard, Lehtonen notes. “There’s nothing being challenged about design requirements or pass/fail levels,” she says. “It’s only the manner in which various elements are tested.”
Lehtonen says examples of the challenges being made include the boot flame test, the glove grip test and the glove tool dexterity test.
The NITMAMs (challenges) will be heard at the NFPA membership meeting, June 11 to 14, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lehtonen says. The person who submitted the challenge will state to the membership why he made the challenge, and committee members who were part of the process will be allowed to speak either for or against the motion. The NFPA general membership will vote individually on each of the challenges.
If a motion is rejected at that time, the language in the 2012 edition of the standard would remain as written. If the motion is approved, the testing language would revert to what is in the current 2007 edition of NFPA 1971.
Lehtonen estimated the publication date for the 2012 standard would be some time in August or September.

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