Fire Safety: Comprehensive Information on Fire Incidences in Federal Facilities Is Lacking
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Developing standards that protect against fire and testing products against those standards are critical in promoting fire safety. According to the National Fire Protection Association NFPA, business office properties, including federal offices and other federal civilian facilities, annually experience thousands of fires, over 100 million in property losses, and dozens of casualties each year. The government and the public rely on product standards, testing, and certification for protection from fires. For example, organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories, the American Society for Testing and Materials, and NFPA are standards-development organizations that are part of the private sector process for developing standards on a voluntary, consensus, and largely self-regulated basis. Generally, the technical committees of these organizations include manufacturers, government officials, consumer representatives, and others who discuss and propose standards and testing procedures. The nations system for developing standards and testing products to certify their compliance with those standards is complex. The system consists of a decentralized, largely sell-regulated network of private independent standards-development organizations, testing laboratories, and government agencies. For example, there are about 50,000 private sector voluntary standards, developed by more than 620 organizations. This number does not include over 44,000 regulatory and procurement standards developed by some SO federal regulatory and procurement authorities, or other codes, rules, and regulations containing standards that have been adopted by state and local governments.
- Safety Engineering