Here’s How and Why CGA Participates in Building and Fire Code Revision Cycles
March 17, 2021
The Compressed Gas Association’s participation in the development and revision of external codes plays an important role in advancing the Association’s safety mission. Specifically, CGA staff and member volunteers actively contribute to the development of codes published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the International Code Council (ICC), and other external bodies.
NFPA publishes more than 300 codes and standards, many of which are directly applicable to the gas industry. ICC publishes 15 codes; CGA actively participates in the update cycles for several of these I-Codes – particulary the International Fire Code (IFC) and the International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC). These codes and standards play a significant role in our industry because local and state jurisdictions frequently adopt or cite either the IFC, the NFPA 1 Fire Code, or NFPA 55, Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code.
NFPA 55, in particular, has undergone some significant changes in recent code cycles, including:
- Creation of a new chapter for cryogenic fluid central supply systems at health care facilities.
- Development of a new chapter for liquid nitrous oxide supply systems.
- Revision of the chapter on carbon dioxide systems to provide more details on carbon dioxide beverage systems.
- Updates to separation distances to hydrogen supply systems and more guidance on how to apply separation distances.
- Revisions to requirements for emergency isolation systems.
- Enhancement of methods to deal with supply systems in courtyards.
The Adhoc Code Committee Work Process
CGA provides input to these external codes through the Ad Hoc Code Committee (AHCC) work process, which is used to coordinate CGA’s and our members’ interests in the development and revision of building and fire codes and standards.
At the beginning of each NFPA code cycle, it is important for CGA members to review the codes to determine whether it will be necessary for CGA to submit any Public Inputs. (Public Inputs are similar to Proposed Changes, which are submitted to CGA publications to recommend modifications). Each AHCC meets prior to the Public Input deadline to review any potential changes that have been proposed by CGA members. If approved by the AHCC, CGA will submit these Public Inputs.
The AHCC also meets to review and determine voting positions on all of the Public Inputs that have been submitted.
The I-Codes have a slightly different code cycle, but the AHCC follows a similar schedule in meeting to discuss whether to submit comments and/or respond to comments submitted by others.
CGA also maintains strategies and long-term goals for each of these codes. The Hazardous Materials Codes Committee has work items dedicated to developing and updating these goals and strategies, as well as tracking the list of CGA members who participate on NFPA technical committees. In this manner, CGA ensures that all of our code-related activities throughout the different parts of the industry work in harmony together.
CGA member participation in the AHCC work process plays a vital role in ensuring that our Association submits appropriate proposed changes to external codes and standards, as well as providing the optimum response to proposed changes that have been submitted by other organizations.
If you work for a CGA member company, and have questions or would like to participate in the Hazardous Materials Codes Committee or on any of the AHCCs, contact CGA Committee Project Manager Tom Deary or CGA Technical Manager Rob Early. To send an email to Tom, complete the web form below.