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NCTA Proposes Changes to NFPA1 Model Fire Code

Posted on 5/6/2013 by Lauren Mangnall

For growers and retailers of Real Christmas Trees, it's crucial to ensure that consumers are allowed to display trees without undue restrictions.

There are two model codes in use that determine whether a cut Christmas Tree can be displayed in any building - the International Fire Code (IFC) and National Fire Protection Association Code 1 (NFPA1). These codes are modified on a three-year cycle, and sometimes changes are proposed that could increase or decrease the restrictions on where Christmas Trees can be displayed. For that reason, it's important for NCTA to monitor the code-making process.

Through funding from the Real Tree Advocacy Fund and TIP, NCTA maintains memberships in both code groups, and in 2012, sponsored a representative at the code committee meetings of NFPA. NCTA also submitted a proposed change to NFPA1 that would allow cut Christmas Trees to be displayed in additional building types including "places of worship." Unfortunately, the proposed change was rejected by the NFPA technical committee.

States and municipalities can modify the model codes, even after adoption, making it difficult to know which restrictions or exemptions are enforced when a local fire marshal says "you can't display a Christmas Tree here." To help monitor the codes on a local level, NCTA has set up a network of volunteers within each state called Code Coordinators. Volunteers are given tools and information that helps them to monitor any proposed changes in their state that could affect the Christmas Tree industry. This hopefully reduces the chances of being "surprised" by any negative changes. Contact Rick Dungey at 636/449-5070 or for more information on being a Code Coordinator in your state.


Click here to see the proposed 2015 Model Code as it pertains to cut Christmas Trees. You'll need to register (it's free) and then follow these instructions once you've logged in:
  •  In the left-hand sidebar, click on Chapter 10 and scroll down to 10.14: Combustible Vegetation. A couple of lines down, you'll see a grey block with a link called Pls (2) - click on this to see the proposals
  •  Then go to and do the same where Pls (1) is located to see another proposal.
  •  You'll notice that sections 10.14.3 and have an asterisk; this indicates that there is information in Annex A corresponding to these code items - click on this section to view the additional recommendations.