Fire Code: NFPA 150 Proposed Revisions

Fire Code: NFPA 150 Proposed Revisions

In 2019 the National Fire Protection Association updated NFPA Code 150: Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities Codes to include “Chapter 12 Category 2: Horse Facilities”. The updated code requires fire sprinklers to be installed in all “horse facilities used for temporary or permanent housing for horses….where horses are housed for general board and care in a small commercial or professional facility greater than 5000 ft2.”

This year NFPA has further revised NFPA 150 to include requirements for fire sprinklers in all medium CAFOs as well as horse facilities. This would essentially require any horse operation not currently covered under NFPA Chapter 12 Category 2 that exists on CAFO properties with other livestock (medium beef CAFOs consisting of 300 or more cattle) to install sprinkler systems in their barn.

States, counties, and towns adopt fire codes at will; however, the language chosen comes directly from NFPA codes. Several states currently enforce NFPA Chapter 12 Category 2 for horse facilities.

If your locality has adopted a fire code related to horse facilities, you could be at risk of having your business shut down until the property meets the appropriate code. Further, localities often have steep fines for operating outside of their legal fire codes.

Many agricultural facilities are unable to install sprinkler systems due to water access and availability issues, as well as lack of access to equipment inspectors. Further, installation comes at a great cost that is often unobtainable for many family-owned operations.

The revision is currently in review. AHC has submitted comments to NFPA recommending the updated language requiring medium CAFOs to install sprinkler systems to be struck. You can learn more about NFPA 150 at: