NFPA 150, Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities, clearly defines what must be in place to ensure the safety of you, your animals, and your facility (vet clinics, boarding houses, zoos, etc.). The goals of this standard are four-fold:
- To provide an environment for human occupants inside an animal housing facility that is reasonably safe from fire and similar emergencies.
- To provide an environment for animal occupants inside or adjacent to a structure that is reasonably safe from fire and similar emergencies.
- To provide reasonable safety for fire fighters and emergency responders during search and rescue operations for animal and human occupants.
- To attempt to minimize loss of property and interruption of facility operations from fire and similar emergencies. (NFPA 150:184.108.40.206.1)
Class 1 - building housing animals with no general public access (private kennels, processing plants, barns, veterinary clinics)
Class 2 - building housing animals with restricted public access (areas of limited and infrequent public access)
Class 3 - building housing animals with regular public access (zoos, show grounds, pet stores, etc.)
Category A - animals that pose a potential risk to rescuers or the general public, animals that cannot be moved without risk to the health and welfare of the animal or other animals, animals that are impossible or impractical to move, animals that are not mobile or in a mobile enclosure
This would include any animals that are ferrel, diseas carriers, or poisonous, under anesthesia, injured or ill, too large to move, or too large to move without additional staffing, and animals that cannot be led by collars or within rolling cages.Category B - any animals that do not fall into Category A
Once you have determined the class and category of the facility you can then determine occupant loads, egress requirements, and what fire protection systems will be needed.
The chart below shows industry standard enclosure size requirements (this can be utilized to determine occupant load and egress factors):
- fire sprinkler system required in any facility handling Category A animals
For more information onf NFPA 150, read this article from the National Fire Protection Association.