The National Fire Protection Association is a trade association that creates and maintains private, copyrighted standards and codes for usage and adoption by local governments. Like the ICC, the NFPA provides model building codes, which are specifically geared toward fire prevention.
Initially, the NFPA joined the regional bodies of the ICC in a collective effort to develop an international fire code. Unfortunately, a series of disputes resulted in a set of alternate codes developed by the NFPA and first published in 2002. These Comprehensive Consensus Codes were met with strong opposition, with several attempts made to reconcile the two competing codes. These attempts were ultimately unsuccessful, and the I-Codes have now prevailed as the industry standard. Though California initially adopted the NFPA 5000, it has subsequently moved on to implementation of the International Building Code, aligning with the rest of the nation.
However, the NFPA Standards are still used heavily throughout the nation, particularly in the Eastern & Southern parts of the country. The “NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code” along with “NFPA 1: Fire Code” and “NFPA 101: Life Safety Code” have been used as a basis for local and state building and fire codes since the NFPA’s formation in 1896.
Which code does your state use? For a listing of state-by-state codes, please visit our Public Safety Ordinances Database.