NFPA 520, Standard on Subterranean Spaces, covers the particular fire and life safety factors in these special environments, including means of egress issues such as orientation and excessive travel distances, poor ventilation, communication difficulties, and nontraditional behavior of fire.
The standard allows the following occupancies in new and existing subterranean space buildings: public assembly, business, educational, detention and correctional, health care, board and care, residential, industrial, mercantile, and storage uses.
For the 2021 edition, NFPA 520 has incorporated substantial changes: two new chapters have been added to the standard. The new chapters present performance-based design as an option and provide guidance on the required considerations.
Required tests for fire resistance rating determination are added for clarification.
NFPA 520 is an essential resource for installers, contractors, designers, engineers, facility managers, first responders, and anyone involved with fire and life safety or emergency response in these special environments.
It regulates all developed subterranean spaces except tourist caverns, wine storage caverns, gas and oil storage reservoirs, hazardous waste repositories, utility installations such as pump stations, working mines, transportation and pedestrian tunnels, aboveground buildings with belowground stories, and cut and cover underground structures specifically addressed in the building code.
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