Fire Safety Standards for Zoos and Aquariums

Contribution by Ajay Gulati, P.E., Fire Protection Engineer, Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The zoo industry is always asking the question “Are there any fire protection and life safety codes and standards that we can use for our zoo designs?” The answer is YES! NFPA 150!

NFPA 150, Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities Code establishes life and safety requirements for both humans and animals in all types of animal housing facilities. New to the 2019 edition are individual chapters for each category of animal housing. Chapter 15 specifically addresses animal exhibition/public viewing facilities such as zoos and covers some of the unique challenges such as animal sensitivity to fire alarm horns. Also, NFPA 150 has recently been referenced in NFPA 1, Fire Code and has started to gain traction in the last few years. We are excited to see improvements in animal housing fire safety as 150 continues to be utilized.

To find out more click on the following link:

You can also contact Ajay Gulati, P.E at [email protected] who is the Chair for this code and the Fire Protection Engineer for the National Zoo if you have specific questions about fire protection and life safety at zoos.