A new Selection, Care and Maintenance (SCAM) document will be a companion standard to the NFPA certification standard used by manufacturers. It is due for draft release on September 8, 2016. NFPA 1983 Standard on Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services provides the requirements for labels, product information, design criteria, performance requirements, and testing procedures for life safety rope, hardware, harnesses and related equipment for rescue and escape. While often quoted by users, NFPA 1983 is a manufacturer’s document and does not provide the type of information to the end user that a SCAM document would.

The NFPA requested the Technical Committee on Special Operations and Equipment to develop a SCAM document for life safety rope and equipment. The initial task group of Steve Hudson, Jeremy Metz, JC Colorado, Dean Paderick and Jim Frank met in Orlando, FL in 2010. The task group generated extensive notes on life safety rope and equipment. Then Steve Hudson and Jim Frank drafted the notes into an NFPA document. Further task group meetings refined the document and sent it to the committee.

The SCAM addresses the following areas:

  • Program
  • Records
  • Selection
  • Inspection
  • Cleaning and Decontamination
  • Repair
  • Storage
  • Retirement and Disposition

The Selection chapter looks at the level of training and the planned types of responses of the end user. The chapter then goes into more detail about the characteristics of each type of equipment that should be taken into consideration when making a selection. The following chapters generally refer the purchaser to the manufacturer’s user instructions which, due to the requirements of NFPA 1983, are very specific.

The initial task group realized that just knowing the fundamentals in selecting life safety rope and equipment was somewhat limiting without some additional knowledge of rope and equipment. The result was an extensive Annex section designed to educate the potential user of life safety rope and equipment making NFPA 1858 truly a user’s document.

The first draft of NFPA 1858 has been approved by the committee and will be posted on the NFPA website on September 8, 2016. At that time, the first draft is open for public comments with a closing date of November 17, 2016.