2016 NFPA 520 Standard - Current Edition
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  • 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)


    Interested in other editions of NFPA 520? Use the drop down menu above to select the edition year you need.

  • Table of Contents (2016 Current Edition)

    NFPA® 520 Standard on Subterranean Spaces, 2016 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 Construction Features
    4.1 Occupancy in Subterranean Spaces
    4.2 Compartmentation Requirements
    4.3 Interior Finish
    4.4 Electrical Installations
    4.5 Control of Smoke Spread
    Chapter 5 Means of Egress
    5.1 Means of Egress Within the Building
    5.2 Means of Egress from the Common Space
    5.3 Occupant Load Determination
    5.4 Egress Capacity
    5.5 Exit Doors
    5.6 Illumination in Common Spaces
    5.7 Marking
    5.8 Refuge Areas and/or Refuge Chambers
    5.9 Exit Passageway
    Chapter 6 Fire Alarm, Detection, and Suppression Systems
    6.1 Fire Alarm Systems
    6.2 Sprinkler Systems
    6.3 Standpipe Systems
    6.4 Water Supply
    6.5 Maintenance
    6.6 Emergency Power
    6.7 Standby Power
    6.8 Alternative Power Supplies
    Chapter 7 Emergency Preparedness
    7.1 Emergency Action Plan
    7.2 Breathing Apparatus
    7.3 Fire Exit Drills
    7.4 Fire Extinguishers
    Chapter 8 Fire Department Provisions
    8.1 Communications
    8.2 Pre-Fire Planning
    8.3 Fire Department Access
    Annex A Explanatory Material
    Annex B Diagrams of Subterranean Spaces
    Annex C Informational References
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