Fire Service Alert – Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS)
Notice of Change to the Current Edition of NFPA 1982–2013 Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS)
December 21, 2016
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued a Tentative Interim Amendment that requires PASS manufacturers to change the PASS alarm sound required in the current edition of NFPA 1982–2013 for PASS devices manufactured after December 21, 2016, to a new, more audible PASS alarm sound. This impacts stand-alone PASS devices and PASS that are integrated with SCBA.
The 2013 edition of the NFPA PASS standard implemented a standardized PASS alarm sound for all PASS devices. The purpose of the standard alarm sound was to improve firefighter safety, interoperability on the fireground, and the directionality of the PASS alarm sound. For fire departments in the United States and Canada, most PASS devices are integrated with SCBA.
In 2015, the NFPA committee responsible for PASS began to hear concerns from fire departments and firefighters that the new standard alarm sound was harder to hear than the older PASS alarm sounds.
Since the release of the 2013 revision of NFPA 1982, The Technical Committee on Electronic Safety Equipment has identified a more effective pattern of sound and has incorporated it into the Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA), which requires all PASS manufacturers to implement the new universal PASS alarm sound to comply with NFPA 1982, 2013 Edition. The Technical Committee believes this new sound is more audible than the current PASS alarm sound and further enhances firefighter safety.
The TIA is effective for all PASS devices manufactured after the effective date of the TIA, December 21, 2016.
While the TIA does not require that PASS devices or SCBA with integrated PASS devices be updated to the new alarm sound, all users of PASS devices compliant with NFPA 1982–2013 are encouraged to consider upgrading their equipment to incorporate this new and more audible PASS alarm sound. (more information below)
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NOTE: The Proposed 2018 Edition of the NFPA PASS standard (NFPA 1982) includes the new PASS alarm sound.
What is a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA)?
A Tentative Interim Amendment is tentative because it has not been processed through the entire standards-making procedures of NFPA. It is interim because it is effective only between editions of the respective standard (i.e., 2013 vs. 2018). A TIA automatically becomes a public input for the next edition of the standard; as such, it then is subject to all procedures of the standards-making process.
When will the TIA become effective?
The TIA has been by issued by NFPA with an effective date of December 21, 2016, which requires all new PASS devices certified to NFPA 1982-2013 Edition to include the new universal PASS alarm sound. To review the NFPA 1982 document go to www.NFPA.org/1982 or to read the TIA go to www.nfpa.org/assets/files/AboutTheCodes/1982/TIA_1982_13_2.pdf
How will the TIA impact fire departments?
It is important to understand that the issuance of the TIA will not impact the certification of PASS presently in the field. Current PASS that have been certified to meet the NFPA 1982, 2013 Edition standard will continue to maintain their certification as being compliant to the standard and are not required to be updated. All new PASS manufactured after December 21, 2016, will be required to meet the new universal PASS alarm sound as specified in the TIA.
Will manufacturers offer an upgrade to the new universal PASS alarm sound?
For departments that currently own 2013 Edition PASS devices manufactured prior to December 21, 2016, manufacturers are required to provide an option to update the PASS programing to meet the new universal PASS alarm sound. For details surrounding availability of this upgrade, departments should contact their PASS manufacturer or supplier.