For forensic engineers and fire investigators in the discipline of fire/explosion loss investigation, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 921 Guide to Fire & Explosion Investigation is a crucial resource. It is one of hundreds of guides utilizing scientic-based information in pursuit and defense of fire investigation and litigation.

To quote the NFPA directly, “(The) 921 sets the bar for scientific-based investigation and analysis of fire and explosion incidents. Referenced in the field, in training, and in court, it is the foremost guide for rendering accurate opinions as to incident origin, cause, responsibility, and prevention.”

Purchasing a downloadable PDF guide on the NFPA website costs $155.

Here’s how to view the entire guide for free:

1. Navigate the “Codes & Standards” page on the NFPA website

Click this link to navigate the “Codes And Standards” page of the NFPA website.

Scroll slightly; the secondary area displays a module with three tabs: “Current & Prior Editions,” “Next Edition,
and “Technical Committe.”

Select the “Current & Prior Editions” tab. Next, from the “Edition” drop meu, select “2024 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations.” Then, click the DocInfo_Fee_Access Button to the right of this menu.

Note: The Edition drop-menu will yield available previous editions if you are investigating a older case file.

2. Log In to the NFPA Portal (Account Required)

A login screen appears prompting you to login to the NFPA site. If you lack an existing account, you will need to create one.

Creating an NFPA account is a relatively comprehensive and quick procedure. You will need to note first and last name, email address and company, and designate and confirm a password. A verification code will be emailed to the specified email address for confirmation (all typical account creation procedures, by 2024’s standards!)

3. “Accept” Terms on the Terms Acceptance Screen

Terms literature will appear the first time you log in to the NFPA portal. Click “I Accept.”

4. Navigating the Free Guide

Congrats! You’ve unlocked access to the complete 503 page guide. To the left is a dynamic, clickable Table of Contents to conveniently “jump” to the desired chapter. In the lower right corner are your “Zoom in and zoom out” tools. Please be aware that this free version of the guide cannot be downloaded, and that additional tools (such as the ability to make annotations on the guide or search within the guide for a word, term or phrase) require a paid subscription.

Further NFPA Resources

The NFPA website provides additional 2024 code handbooks for other disciplines, including NFPA 54 National Fuel Gas code , NFPA 70 National Electrical Code. Definitely a “book markable” website resource!