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Nasfm's Mission Is Two-Fold

  • To protect human life, property and the environment from fire.
  • To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of State Fire Marshals' operations.

What We Do, Why We Do It:

Picture a ticking clock. We do, because fire prevention must work at all hours, and because once fire ignites, a few minutes can spell the difference between life and death. We'll use a clock to show that fire protection involves a number of never-ending factors, each one following the next like the seconds, minutes and hours on a clock.

Residential Fire Prevention
Catastrophic Fire Prevention




Residential Fire Safety

Fires that take place in residences are the deadliest fires that occur, according to the Fourteenth Edition of "Fire in the United States," a report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Fire Administration, and the National Fire Data Center.

NASFM's mission is to protect lives, property and the environment from fire, and our primary focus is on preventing fires from occurring in the first place. To do this, we encourage manufacturers to make consumer products as fire-safe as they can be, and work to educate individuals to be careful with ignition sources. Click on the links below to learn more about NASFM's efforts to prevent various types of fires that occur in the home.

Catastrophic Fire Prevention

It is rare for more than three persons to die in a fire, largely because most deadly fires occur in the home. But periodically, America suffers a truly major fire - often in places of public assembly - and when they occur, scores die. The deadliest structural fires were predictable and preventable. From the Our Lady of Angels elementary school to the Beverly Hills Supper Club and MGM Grand, hundreds of lives could have been saved by following well-understood rules.

The National Association of Fire Marshals' (NASFM) highest priority is protecting human life. Most of the Association's initiatives are directed at preventing the most dangerous of residential fires. However, NASFM believes that the scenario for the next major fire in a public place is reasonably predictable and preventable. The Association is especially concerned about large retail stores containing significant quantities of easily combustible fuel, with multiple ignition sources, inadequate exiting, and insufficient sprinkler systems, located on congested thoroughfares likely to hamper fire and rescue workers. NASFM will seek to work with those industries presenting this level of hazard, insurers, local code authorities and the news media to identify and prevent the next major fire.

Proposed Changes to the International Code Council


Bulk Retail

    • Report on Assessing the Fire Performance of Calcium Hypochlorite

    • Request for Data Pertaining to the Safety of the Pool Chemical Known as Calcium Hypochlorite

      The Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 430, Code for the Storage of Liquid and Solid Oxidizers, is now considering amendments to Section 7-3, "Quantity Limitations for the Storing of Oxidizers," and Table 7-3.1, "Maximum Quantity of Oxidizers Allowed in Retail Occupancies Without Special Protection, in Pounds."

      In support of the work of the NFPA Technical Committee on Hazardous Materials, the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has requested its Science Advisory Committee to collect and assess data pertaining to the fire performance of the oxidizer/pool chemical known as calcium hypochlorite.

      NASFM is especially interested in any data that may have been used to define the existing requirements, and data that would suggest that a change in the requirements is now indicated.

      By Monday, March 31, 2003, please send information to the Science Advisory Committee at [email protected] or c/o the National Association of State Fire Marshals, 1319 F St, NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20004.

      Margaret Simonson, PhD
      Chair, Science Advisory Committee


Health Care Facilities


Furniture Stores & Warehouses: Assessing the Hazard, Guidance
for Code Officials

NASFM encourages its members to use all existing authority to ensure the safety of upholstered furniture and mattress retail stores and warehouses. This report provides guidance to code officials regarding the Model Codes when addressing the fire protection of furniture stores and warehouses containing hazardous amounts of polyurethane foam and products made with polyurethane foam. The NASFM Model Codes Committee and Board of Directors have reviewed and approved this guidance document.

Please Note: Due to large file size, the documents below may require more time than normal to download.

Quick Reference Documents


Initial Report of the Partnership for Safer Buildings

At the July 2002 annual meeting of the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), the NASFM Catastrophic Fire Safety Task Force, chaired by New York State Fire Administrator James Burns, launched the Partnership for Safer Buildings (the Partnership) to review and make recommendations pertaining to the adequacy of the fire safety provisions of the new model building codes. NASFM was fortunate to attract experts from Factory Mutual Research, Underwriters Laboratories, the American Chemistry Council, the California Fire Chiefs Association, the architect/developer community, our membership and the NASFM Science Advisory Committee to work on this initiative.

From the start, the Partnership planned to issue at least two reports. NASFM 's Board of Directors recently approved its first report, which outlines the most obvious weaknesses in the model building codes. Click here.

Given our nation's heightened state of alert, we must do all that we can to ensure that our buildings are safe. The Partnership's work will not end with this report. It is now moving forward with a more systematic review of the model building codes, more site inspections and more contacts with groups that are interested in this issue. NASFM continues to support this work and, where necessary, will call for emergency amendments by the model building code organizations.

NASFM would like to thank James Burns, the members of the Catastrophic Fire Safety Task Force and the members of the Partnership for Safer Buildings for contributing their time and energy to this important effort.
















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