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NFPA 1521 Standard for Fire Department Safety Officer

NFPA 1521
Standard for Fire Department Safety Officer

Published: 2008
Status: Active

Current Edition: 2008    Next Edition: 2014

Understand the qualifications and responsibilities of fire department safety officers with NFPA 1521.

Updated to reflect the current best practices in fire department organization and position appointments, the 2008 NFPA 1521 addresses all the qualifications and functions of both a health and safety officer and an
incident safety officer.

Changes in the 2008 NFPA 1521 for health and safety officer (HSO) include:

  • Added requirement for the HSO to be aware of the requirements in NFPA 1403: Live Fire Training Evolutions, to be involved all live fire training pre-burn inspections, and to ensure supervision is provided for actual live fire training
  • Requirement that the HSO have the authority to attend fires and investigate accidents, injuries, and near misses
  • Deleted requirement that an HSO be a fire department officer or meet the requirements of NFPA 1021

Revisions for incident safety officer (ISO) include:

  • ISO no longer needs to be a fire department officer, but must meet the requirements of NFPA 1021: Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications, Level 1.
  • Requirement that the ISO have knowledge of fire science and behavior, and be able to predict hostile fire events
  • Addition requirements concerning ISO response to pre-designated incidents
  • New Annex detailing how the ISO should write a post-incident analysis (PIA) report
  • New Annex with examples of forms for ISO use at the incident scene

Definitions used in the Standard were revised for consistency with other NFPA® health and safety standards. (Softbound, 41 pp., 2008)


NFPA 1582
Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments

NFPA 1581
Standard on Fire Department Infection Control Program

NFPA 1500
Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program

NFPA 1407
Standard for Training Fire Service Rapid Intervention Crews

NFPA 1932
Standard on Use, Maintenance, and Service Testing of In-Service Fire Department Ground Ladders

NFPA 1500E
Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, 2007 Spanish Edition

NFPA 1141
Standard for Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Suburban and Rural Areas

NFPA 1931
Standard for Manufacturer's Design of Fire Department Ground Ladders

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