The recent vote by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to amend its standards for animal housing facilities would require fire sprinkling systems in newly constructed and some existing facilities.
The NFPA’s uniform codes and standards are widely utilized by state and local governments to set building and fire codes, and by insurance companies as minimum standards to maintain coverage and by international organizations.
The change by the NFPA is a substantial change of the standards for animal housing, according to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). In the past, the sprinkler requirement has applied only to facilities such as zoos, veterinary clinics and pet shops.
But the new revisions would cover all barns and any other facilities where animals are kept or confined.
NPPC believes the overbroad fire codes carry the potential of significantly increasing the cost of new barn construction and maintenance and could subject producers to biosecurity risks during annual sprinkler system inspections.
NPPC is in the process of filing an appeal with NFPA over the decision to amend the animal housing standards.