Earlier this year, PMI released a blog post talking about NFPA 2500 – what it is, what it might mean to you, and how to use it. If you want to review that information, you can find it on our website, at www.pmirope.com.
One of the things we talked about in that post was the release date of the NFPA 2500 document and just how long it might be before you actually see gear being marked to the new standard.
Today I am here to let you know about an important update to NFPA 2500; but if you haven’t reviewed the original post you might want to check that out too.
There are more than 30 people who are part of the NFPA Special Operations Protective Clothing and Equipment Committee that oversees NFPA 2500. The people who sit on this committee are not just manufacturers, but also represent test labs, fire departments, training companies, rescue teams, and more. NFPA standards development processes are compliant with ANSI protocol, and prevent any one interest group from becoming a majority. This may come as a surprise to some who might believe that standards are written by and for manufacturers themselves.
The NFPA 2500 standard combines what used to be three separate documents… NFPA 1983 (which was equipment focused); NFPA 1858 (which provided selection use and care information) and NFPA 1670 (which outlines team competency for Technical Rescue.) Now, the substance of all three of those documents is contained in just one standard.
This is important, because if you are a fire department you might be accustomed to looking for markings on your equipment that say NFPA 1983, along with some year-reference.
But pretty soon the equipment you’re used to seeing with these markings is going to be marked NFPA 2500, with (1983) in parenthesis, and then the effective year – in this case, 2022. This standard is updated once every five years, so it will be awhile before that effective date is changed again.
Here’s where the new information comes in. In our previous post, we talked about the fact that the standard was released in 2021, with a 2022 effective date, and we talked about how manufacturers were given a deadline of September 2022 to get all their gear re-tested and re-marked to the new standard.
However, earlier this year NFPA released a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA), extending that deadline for an additional six months, due to administrative delays.
As a result of this change, marking to the new NFPA 2500 (1983) 2022 standard, which was released all the way back in 2021, is actually not required until early 2023!
Please keep in mind that there is no limit on when you have to stop buying or using equipment that is marked to older versions of the NFPA 1983 standard; in fact, most of the provisions and requirements for equipment testing have not really changed. There are no NFPA requirements to stop using certain equipment, there are no particular hazards or concerns associated with continuing to use gear marked to a previous version of the NFPA standards. Their only rule is that as of Spring 2023 MANUFACTURERS have to stop selling equipment marked to the 2017 edition of 1983.
Stay vertical, and keep on climbing with PMI!