NEMA Introduces New Fire Service Standard

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff January 5, 2006

The National Electrical Manufacturers Assn.’s Signaling Protection and Communications Product Section, representing elements of the fire-alarm industry, recently released SB 30-2005, Fire Service Annunciator and Interface.

Developed jointly by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, NEMA and the U.S. fire alarm industry, SB 30 facilitates the development of uniform equipment for use by the fire service to display essential information during fires and other emergencies, and is intended for use by both incident commanders and first responders.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the need for obtaining and distributing information about hazardous conditions in buildings in advance of the arrival of first responders, provided significant impetus in the development of this standard.

SB 30 covers the design, operation and arrangement of equipment intended to display essential data and status of building systems for use by firefighters in the role offirst responders, as well as for incident commanders. It is also intended to cover requirements for firefighter interface equipment to provide real-time information of value in making rapid assessments in support of tactical decisions and for monitoring the safety of firefighters.

The standard also contains a set of recommended fire-service display icons for use in the graphical and spatial formats that are both functional and accessible at the scene of a fire or other hazardous situation. It is intended to increase life safety conditions by providing firefighters with key parameters associated with the conditions of the building where a fire emergency is occurring prior to their arrival on-scene.

“By using the form-factor data in this standard, manufacturers will develop intuitive firefighter and first responder user interfaces that readily display building information and facilitate rapid situational assessment,” says Andrew Berezowski of the Signaling Protection and Communications Section.

SB 30-2005 may be purchased at or by contacting Global Engineering Documents at (800) 854-7179 (within the U.S.), (303) 397-7956 (international), or (303) 397-2740 (fax).