The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has decided to fast-track NFPA 3000, which is the Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events. The implications for facility managers are significant.
The granting of provisional status significantly accelerates the standard development process. So NFPA 3000 could be in effect as soon as April 2018.
Why Does NFPA 3000 Matter for Facilities Managers?
The proposed standard recently closed to public input, but the role of facilities managers and owners is mentioned several times in NFPA 3000. These mentions are indicative of the standard’s stated objective—among others—to establish a unified command and integrated response.
In terms of specific sections directly related to facility managers, NFPA 3000 currently contains the following (paraphrased):
- Emergency action plans must include specific criteria in their Active Shooter plan. These criteria relate to facility assessments, communication plans, and personal emergency preparedness training. (Section 5.3.2)
- Guidelines will be developed to provide guidance to the public on addressing hazards and taking the appropriate protective actions. (Section 5.7.2)
- Unified command will be established, including fire, EMS, law enforcement, and decision makers from the facility. (Section 8.4.2)
- Determining facility readiness will include evaluating occupant characteristics, updating emergency action plans, and conducting drills. (Section 9.2.1)
A Brief History of NFPA 3000
In August 2016, Fire Chief Otto Drozd III submitted a proposal to the NFPA to “create the first consensus standard for cross-functional emergency preparedness and response to active-shooter events.”
The NFPA approved the proposal and established the NFPA Technical Committee to work on the new standard. Members of the committee include law enforcement, fire, EMS, private security, and federal agencies, as well as healthcare providers, universities and local government.
Now known as NFPA 3000, the stated purpose is “To identify the minimum program elements necessary for organizing, managing, and sustaining an active shooter and/or hostile event response program and to reduce or eliminate the risks, effect, and impact on an organization or community affected by these events.”
While NFPA 3000 is driven by the technical committee and facilitated by NFPA, the process is open to the public, first responders, and any other interested party.
Why is NFPA 3000 Being Fast-Tracked?
Active shooter incidents are happening more frequently and with a more significant impact than they have had in the past. In response, NFPA 3000 is being fast-tracked.
According to NFPA President Jim Pauley, “By employing the unified response outlined in NFPA 3000, first responders, facility managers, hospital officials, and community members can minimize risk before, during and after these devastating incidents.”
How Can Facilities Managers Get Involved in NFPA 3000?
If you’re interested in reading the proposed standard, you can do so through the NFPA 3000 page. The public comment period ended February 23rd, 2018. The NFPA has also provided this fact sheet to quickly get you up to speed with the standard.
Whether you submitted comments or not, your facility’s emergency planning and response will be affected by NFPA. While NFPA 3000 has not been finalized, the current version represents the culmination of nearly two years of planning. The underlying principle of establishing a more integrated response will remain.
That means facility managers must—at a minimum—prepare to adjust their active shooter plans, reevaluate training programs, and align themselves with first responders.
See videos on how the ARC Emergency and Life Safety Mobile Dashboards can help with handling active shooter emergencies.