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Staying Ahead of the Fire Alarm and Signaling Code Proposed Changes

Just when one NFPA 72 Fire Alarm and Signaling Code comes out, the next one is already undergoing proposed changes. As a professional, licensed integrator, at GenX Security we are constantly ensuring that we are ahead of the Code by keeping up to date with proposed changes. For instance, did you know that a definition of cybersecurity will likely be added to the 2022 edition as well as to a new chapter that addresses cybersecurity? That's right, in the Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.

The new NFPA 72 Code won't be released until 2022, but that gives us, and you, plenty of time to read up on what's potentially ahead. If there's anything you don't want to fall behind on or be out of compliance with, it's the Fire Code, and for obvious reasons: fire can lead to not only serious destruction but death. And, being out of code at your premises when a fire-issue arises can be the death of your business as well.

So, lets get a jump start and check out a few of the proposed changes for the 2022 edition of the NFPA 72.


As mentioned, a definition for cybersecurity has been proposed for the 2022 edition, as well as addressing cybersecurity in general in a new chapter altogether. This proposed change is:

3.3.64 Cyber Security.

The protection of systems from theft or damage of data, or damage to hardware or software, as well as from unauthorized command or control or access to any information of any services the systems provide.


In addition to adding a definition for cybersecurity, other proposed additions to Chapter 3 - Definitions are for Observation and Minimum Hearing Distance. For Obervation, this definition is proposed to be added for a situation that an inspector feels should be brought to the attention of a building owner but is not having a direct affect on the operation of the fire alarm system. For Minimum Hearing Distance, this definition is proposed to be added as a precautionary measure regarding the avoidance of hearing loss and potential damage to the ear. The proposed definitions are as follows:

3.3.186 Observation.

A suggested correction, improvement, or enhancement to the fire alarm or signaling system that is not considered to be an impairment or deficiency.

3.3.168 Minimum Hearing Distance.

The closest distance that an occupant's ear can be to an audible appliance.


Since there is proposed change to the definition of Observation in Chapter 3 of the Code, proposed changes to Chapter 14 that expounds on the definition in terms of what to do if observations are noted and, who should be notified, and when addressing the observation is required are as follows: Observations. If observations are noted, they shall be permitted to be communicated to the system owner. The system owner shall not be required to address such observations unless the observations become an impairment or deficiency.


In the 2019 edition of the NFPA 72 an error was made which resulted in the deletion of a section on initiating devices and requirements on how they should be supported. For the 2022 edition, this requirement is proposed to be reinstated.


Initiating devices shall be supported independently of their attachment to the circuit conductors.


Some of the most proposed changes are for Notification Appliances, specifically obstructions, which are mainly for your designer and installer of your fire alarm system to take note of. They are: Obstructions.

A. Obstructions to consider include, but are not limited to, light fixtures, duct work, structural elements, and video monitors. In corridors, it is the viewing of the appliance which is of concern. Ceiling mount visual notification appliances shall be mounted such that the effect of the appliance is not blocked by obstructions. The effect of obstruction on distribution of light from wall-mounted appliances shall be considered when determining the location of appliances. The effect of obstructions on the direct viewing of corridor appliances shall be considered when determining the location of appliances.

Are these the only proposed changes to the 2022 version of the NFPA 72? Nope! We'll review some of the other changes in the near future.

In the meantime, if you're looking for a licensed fire alarm system integrator, find out if they are up to date with changes and proposed changes in the Code. And, if you're unsure, give GenX Security Solutions a call. We are always up to date, and we can get you the right system for your needs that will not only pass fire inspection with flying colors but serve you well and safely for many years to come. Our quotes are free, and our reviews are 5-stars! Find out more at


Experience the next generation of interactive security services and solutions with GenX Security.

With custom security integration solutions come custom quotes designed for your needs. Please contact us by clicking here or calling 866-598-4369.


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