The 2013 Edition of NPFA 72

Here's your inside scoop on the latest edition


Q. Were the Record of Completion and other forms removed from NFPA 72?

A. Not removed, just moved. The forms have been relocated to this new Chapter 7 and the sample blank forms/checklists now span 27 pages. Providing an exact reproduction of the “record of completion” form shown in NFPA 72 has never been required. NFPA said they have clarified that misconception with the new language in Section which states that you are to use “Figure through 7.8.2(f)” or just the “elements of Figure through 7.8.2(f) applicable to the installed system.” This is still open to local misinterpretation. The Annex states that “It is the intent of this section to permit using forms other than Figure 7.8.2(a) through Figure 7.8.2(f) as long as they convey the same information.” However, any local inspector can take it exactly as stated (use the Figure or applicable parts of the Figure) and is under no obligation to use the Annex material where it states that you can create and use your own Figure.

The fact is, and always has been, any document you provide that is acceptable to the local code official which contains the applicable information for the system installed, is compliant. It is a shame the Figure (Form) was moved from the “Fundamentals” chapter to the “Documentation” chapter instead of being moved to the Annex where it would be more obvious that the exact Figure (or parts of that Figure) isn’t required; and that NFPA 72’s Figure of a blank Form is not copyrighted material in spite of that declaration at the bottom of each page! Same thing goes for the Test and Inspection form shown in NFPA 72; the applicable information is required, not the duplicated Form as it appears in NFPA 72. Strictly speaking, all sample forms should be located in the Annex section of NFPA 72 and the required information identified and enumerated in the text of Chapter 7.

In future columns, I will present detailed information regarding the brand new paperwork and reports you will have to provide the local code officials and to your customers when your jurisdiction adopts the 2013 edition of NFPA 72.



Greg Kessinger is SD&I’s longtime resident fire alarm and codes expert and a regular contributor. Reach him at