Fire can incite awe, terror, or any other host of emotions, but these flames are just the visible effect of combustion. This chemical reaction takes place in the presence of oxygen, heat, and some kind of fuel, giving off smoke and other gaseous products, many of which are invisible to the same human eyes that detect them.
Due to the light and heat they give off, fires have long held a presence indoors, whether in the home or elsewhere. Fireplaces are by no means a new component of homes, as they were not only the hub of the house in early America but predate Benjamin Franklin by millennia. As such, the standard for fireplaces and similar appliances, NFPA 211, dates back to the early 1900s. The current edition of this standard is NFPA 211-2019: Standard For Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, And Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances.
Fire gives off heat energy, which can be relatively easy to identify due to the comfort it provides, and combustion products, including carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other fumes. However, carbon monoxide is found in these fumes, and the highly-toxic gas can build-up indoors. Due to this, and a variety of other invisible threats, the removal of waste gases through flues and similar means is a key concern with fireplaces and chimneys.
Appropriately and reliably, this issue is also integral to NFPA 211-2019, which also focuses on the reduction of fire hazards associated with the construction and installation of these appliances and the installation of solid fuel-burning appliances.
Overall, NFPA 211-2019 applies to the design, installation, maintenance, and inspection of all chimneys, fireplaces, venting systems, and solid-fuel-burning appliances. The reach of this standard is vast, as it can be used for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.
Some topics addressed in this standard include the selection of chimney and vent types, masonry heaters, smokestacks in nonresidential applications, and Level 1-3 inspections of existing chimneys.
NFPA 211-2019 revises the 2016 edition of the same standard. During the periodic revision process, updated references, such as product listings, were added. The new edition has also been changed by permitting the installation of decorative shrouds at the termination of a factory-built chimney.
NFPA 211-2019: Standard For Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, And Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances, 2019 Edition is available on the ANSI Webstore.