Editor’s Note: The following letter comes from Jeff Sims, director of state relations and program advocacy with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), and was distributed to ARVC members this week:

I’m writing to let you know about some important proposed changes to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1194 Standard for Recreational Vehicle Parks and Campgrounds, a nationally recognized document. I recognize that many of you have never heard of the NFPA 1194, so I wanted to make you aware of the proposals and the possible impact to your park operations.

The NFPA mission today is accomplished by advocating consensus codes and standards, research, and education for safety related issues. While arvc has a Model Code which mirrors many of the elements in NFPA 1194, I routinely use NFPA 1194 when working with state and local governments when they are developing new regulations for the industry.

The RV Park Industry is represented on the NFPA 1194 committee by arvc Board Member Garry Cole, Wade Elliott of Utility Supply Group and Doug Mulvaney of KOA. The committee meets to discuss proposed updates to NFPA 1194 Standard May 22 – 24, 2012 in Seattle.

Please review the five proposals below and send me any comments you may have no later than May 18 to [email protected] I will forward all comments received in one document to the committee.

If you would like to know more about NFPA 1194, please go to www.nfpa.org. These documents do have an associated cost and are copyrighted so, unfortunately, I am unable to include a copy.

Proposal 1 Revise text to read as follows: This site plan shall show the location of the street address markers, show and identify camping unit sites, each stand, major structures and facilities, and water supply for fire protection purposes in the Recreational Vehicle Park or campground, to facilitate responseby emergency services such as fire, police, and ambulance.

Add a new 5.1.10 to read:

5.1.10 Street Address Addresses shall be assigned in a logical, consistent manner based on the local addressing system. Street names shall be phonetically unique. (1141:5.2.16) At each intersection, non-combustible signs shall be installed with the name of each road. (1141:5.2.17) These signs shall be installed a minimum of 7 ft (2.1 m) above the traveled way. (1141: The letters on the signs shall be no less than 4 in. (100 mm) in height, with at least a 0.5 in. (12.7 mm) stroke, reflective and of a contrasting color to the background of the sign. (1141:

Substantiation. Having adequate and easily recognizable street (road) signs with addresses enhances the response time for emergency responders in an emergency situation especially in rural and suburban areas. The text has been extracted from 1141 for consistency.

Proposal 2

Add new text to read as follows:

5.5. Campgrounds shall not be located in areas designated as flood plains or where there is frequent accumulation of storm water or other surface water.

Substantiation. Frequent flooding of these areas undermines roadways, compromises electrical systems, and poses other health and safety problems that cannot be repaired or treated as a maintenance issue.

Proposal 3

Revise text to read as follows: Portable fire extinguishers shall be provided by the recreational vehicle park or campground operator and shall be of the multipurpose dry chemical type or equivalent.

Substantiation. The current sentence could be interpreted to mean that the extinguishers are not required. Adding “shall be” clarifies they are required.

Proposal 4

Revise text to read as follows: Extinguishers shall be selected, installed, inspected and maintained in accordance with NFPA 10.

Substantiation. NFPA 10 provides minimum requirements for selection, installation, inspection and maintenance of extinguishers. It is important to select extinguishers that are most suitable for the hazards present. Periodic inspection and maintenance helps assure that extinguishers will work when they are needed.

Proposal 5

Add New Section 7.8 and renumber rest of section accordingly:

7.8.2 Waste Treatment System. The waste treatment system design capacity shall be based on a minimum discharge of 35 gallons (1132.5 L) and a maximum of 60 gallons (227.1 L) per day per site.

Substantiation. The drainage flow for RV parks and campgrounds has been a point of debate between AHJs across the nation for many years. Park developers and campground owners continually inquire for purposes of wastewater management on what the minimum discharge rates should be to which the sewer/septic systems would be designed. Minimum potable water supply rates are addressed in NFPA 1194 Section 7.2.4, and it’s time to add requirements to identify minimum discharge rates for the waste drainage system.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you should have any questions at (303) 681-0401, ext. 110.

Jeff Sims