Learn about NFPA 704

What is NFPA 704?

What is NFPA 704?

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) standard “NFPA 704: Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response” is a safety standard that defines how hazardous materials are identified for emergency responders.

This standard provides information on a rating system for potentially hazardous materials. This is vital information to emergency personnel, who use it to educate their decisions on firefighting techniques and the use of personal protective equipment.

The NFPA 704 sign, also known as a “fire diamond” or NFPA diamond, uses the color and number codes described in NFPA 704 to provide all of this life-saving information to responders at a glance.

Each color designated by NFPA 704 represents a different type of hazard: health, flammability, and reactivity.

The severity of each type of hazard is graded by the system of numbers, with 0 standing for the lowest severity and a rating of 4 being the highest.

The white section is only used for special hazards. A majority of NFPA 704 signs will have a blank white section.

For more information about specific parts of NFPA 704 and the NFPA, visit the pages below.

What is the NFPA?

The NFPA is a non-profit organization that promotes safety standards, education, and advocacy on fire and electrical-related hazards. Learn more...

What does the NFPA hazard rating system mean?

The NFPA hazard rating system is part of NFPA 704: Standard System for the Identification of the Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response. NFPA 704 defines a code of colors, numbers, and symbols for emergency personnel to identify hazardous materials. Learn more about these codes here.

What are the NFPA color codes?

The NFPA color codes for the NFPA 704 standard identify the type of hazard that a material presents. The colors used are blue, red, and yellow, and each stand for a unique type of hazard. Learn more...

What is NFPA 170?

NFPA 170: Standard for Fire Safety and Emergency Symbols is a safety standard that defines fire safety, emergency, and other related safety symbols for use in signage, diagrams, and plans. Learn more...

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