The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) is partnering with the National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Association (NCOAA) in efforts to improve firefighter safety. Recently code proposals were submitted to enact changes to the International Fire and Building Codes which would establish uniform baseline requirements for carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in all new and existing commercial buildings that have fuel-burning appliances or have attached garages.
At the end of September 2021, following a defeat on these proposals at the spring code development hearings, there was a hearing to reconsider both proposed code changes, IFC-102 and IFC-116. Thanks to great work by many involved, including testimony from the NFFF, both proposals received 2/3 approval by the ICC Membership at the public comment hearing. The next step is to pass the online governmental consensus voting which will then complete the process for this change in the 2024 ICC Code documents.
Why is this important? CO poisoning accounts for 95,000 reported poisonings annually. Health effects of CO poisoning range from fatigue, dizziness, and headaches to long-term neurological disabilities. When members of the public are exposed to CO, so are firefighters. In many instances, both the victim and the firefighters are not aware that CO is the source of the emergency it is determined through atmospheric monitoring, which may be too late in preventing lethal exposure.
How can you help? The Online Governmental Committee Vote will take place October 15, 2021, through November 1, 2021. If you or your agency possess ICC voting privileges, please review the final proposals and vote in support of these proposals. Doing so will reduce risk to the public and firefighters.