NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment

Upon adjournment of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, the requirements of NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide Detection and Warning Equipment are one step closer to issuance by the Standards Council as incorporated into the 2019 edition of NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®. NFPA 720, which has worked to minimize occupant risk to carbon monoxide in homes and other occupancies since it was first issued in 2003, will be withdrawn once the 2019 edition of NFPA 72 is issued by the Standards Council this August.

Several NFPA task groups and technical committees have diligently worked over the past three years to integrate the requirements of NFPA 720 into NFPA 72, with the goal of providing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in a single, comprehensive document.

“Having two separate alarm system documents on different revision cycles has proved confusing and inefficient for code officials, enforcers and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) responsible for implementing and enforcing the codes’ requirements in their states and jurisdictions,” said Richard Roux, senior electrical specialist at NFPA. “Providing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in one document will help make their work much easier and more streamlined.”

Some 38 states currently adopt or reference NFPA 720, which requires carbon monoxide detection in homes. Some states only require that carbon monoxide alarms be installed in new home construction, while others only require carbon monoxide alarm installations when there is an attached garage or similar construction. Some of these requirements are the result of state statute, while others are amendments to a state’s building code.

Roux emphasizes the importance of making sure that states and jurisdictions are aware of NFPA 720 being rolled into NFPA 72.

“All stakeholders who adopt or reference NFPA 720 need to know about the upcoming changes so they can make the necessary adjustments and continue delivering carbon monoxide protection to the states and/or jurisdictions they serve,” said Roux. “At NFPA, we’re doing all we can to make sure we get the word out, and we strongly encourage anyone with a vested interest in this issue to do the same.”

An article in the May/June 2018 issue of NFPA Journal“Smarter About Smoke,” provides a complete overview of key changes to the 2019 NFPA 72, including the integration of NFPA 720.

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.