2021 NFPA 520 Standard - Current Edition
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  • Description

    NFPA 520, Standard on Subterranean Spaces, helps safeguard people and property against fire and related hazards in subterranean spaces and buildings.

    NFPA 520, Standard on Subterranean Spaces, covers the particular fire and life safety factors in these special environments, including means of egress issues such as orientation and excessive travel distances, poor ventilation, communication difficulties, and nontraditional behavior of fire.

    The standard allows the following occupancies in new and existing subterranean space buildings: public assembly, business, educational, detention and correctional, health care, board and care, residential, industrial, mercantile, and storage uses.

    For the 2021 edition, NFPA 520 has incorporated substantial changes: two new chapters have been added to the standard. The new chapters present performance-based design as an option and provide guidance on the required considerations.

    Required tests for fire resistance rating determination are added for clarification.

    NFPA 520 is an essential resource for installers, contractors, designers, engineers, facility managers, first responders, and anyone involved with fire and life safety or emergency response in these special environments.

    It regulates all developed subterranean spaces except tourist caverns, wine storage caverns, gas and oil storage reservoirs, hazardous waste repositories, utility installations such as pump stations, working mines, transportation and pedestrian tunnels, aboveground buildings with belowground stories, and cut and cover underground structures specifically addressed in the building code.

    Get up to date with the most current requirements by placing your order for NFPA 520, Standard on Subterranean Spaces, today. (Print, 28 pp., 2021)

  • Table of Contents (2021 Current Edition)

    NFPA® 520 Standard on Subterranean Spaces, 2021 Edition

    Chapter 1 Administration
    1.1 Scope.
    1.2 Purpose.
    1.3 Application.
    1.4 Retroactivity.
    1.5 Equivalency.
    Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
    2.1 General.
    2.2 NFPA Publications.
    2.3 Other Publications.
    2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections.
    Chapter 3 Definitions
    3.1 General.
    3.2 NFPA Official Definitions.
    3.3 General Definitions.
    Chapter 4 Fire Protection Approaches
    4.1 Fire Protection Approach.
    4.2 Fire Risk Assessment.
    Chapter 5 Performance-Based Design Approach
    5.1 Performance-Based Design Approach.
    5.2 Goals and Objectives.
    5.3 Qualifications.
    5.4 Independent Review.
    5.5 Final Determination.
    5.6 Maintenance of Design Feature.
    5.7 Performance Criteria.
    Chapter 6 Construction Features
    6.1 Noncombustible Material.
    6.2 Occupancy in Subterranean Spaces.
    6.3 Compartmentation Requirements.
    6.4 Interior Finish.
    6.5 Electrical Installations.
    6.6 Control of Smoke Spread.
    Chapter 7 Means of Egress
    7.1 Means of Egress Within the Building.
    7.2 Means of Egress from the Common Space.
    7.3 Occupant Load Determination.
    7.4 Egress Capacity.
    7.5 Exit Doors.
    7.6 Illumination in Common Spaces.
    7.7 Marking.
    7.8 Refuge Areas and/or Refuge Chambers.
    7.9 Exit Passageway.
    Chapter 8 Fire Alarm, Detection, and Suppression Systems
    8.1 Fire Alarm Systems.
    8.2 Sprinkler Systems.
    8.3 Standpipe Systems.
    8.4 Water Supply.
    8.5 Maintenance.
    8.6 Emergency Power.
    8.7 Standby Power.
    8.8 Alternative Power Supplies.
    Chapter 9 Emergency Preparedness
    9.1 Emergency Action Plan.
    9.2 Breathing Apparatus.
    9.3 Fire Exit Drills.
    9.4 Fire Extinguishers.
    Chapter 10 Emergency Response Provisions
    10.1 Communications.
    10.2 Pre-Fire Planning.
    10.3 Emergency Response Access.
    Annex A Explanatory Material
    Annex B Diagrams of Subterranean Spaces
    Annex C Informational References
  • 2016 Edition Description

    NFPA 520 safeguards people and property against fire and related hazards in subterranean space buildings.

    NFPA 520, Standard on Subterranean Spaces covers the unique fire and life safety considerations that exist in subterranean spaces, including means of egress issues such as orientation and excessive travel distances, poor ventilation, communication difficulties, and nontraditional behavior of fire.

    The Standard allows the following occupancies within new and existing subterranean space buildings: public assembly, business, educational, detention and correctional, health care, board and care, residential, industrial, mercantile, and storage uses.

    Requirements include the latest criteria for:

    • Construction features
    • Means of egress
    • Fire alarm, detection, and suppression systems
    • Emergency preparedness
    • Fire department provisions

    Changes in the 2016 edition of NFPA 520 include updates to referenced documents.

    NFPA 520 is an essential resource for installers, contractors, designers, engineers, facility managers, first responders, and anyone involved with fire and life safety or emergency response in these special environments. It regulates all developed subterranean spaces except tourist caverns, wine storage caverns, gas and oil storage reservoirs, hazardous waste repositories, utility installations such as pump stations, working mines, transportation and pedestrian tunnels, aboveground buildings with belowground stories, and cut and cover underground structures specifically addressed in the building code. (Print, 17 pp., 2016)

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