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EN and NFPA – what is behind these standards?

With standardised tests for hydraulic rescue tools, the European standard EN 13204 provides good reference values. But those who want to know which performance a tool is really capable of, should also take the NFPA standard into account because of its more stringent requirements.

NFPA stands for National Fire Protection Association, the US fire safety organisation. The NFPA 1936 Standard on Rescue Tools tests rescue tools under the most extreme conditions. As with the realistic cutting tests of the EN standard, true operational performance is what matters here - not theoretical maximum cutting force!

The measuring range is defined by reality-based requirements

The EN standard demonstrates the difference between theoretical maximum force and actual cutting performance very clearly. But the NFPA standard continues to test with even thicker steel profiles after the EN standard has already awarded the best test result. This method of testing is a reaction to the ever increasing demands at rescue sites: high-strength steel and stronger pillars.

Performance differences only show under the toughest conditions

The NFPA standard provides much more precise results, especially for the latest generation of tools. For example, the motorpump driven S 510 cutter and the electrohydraulic Alpha S 700 (E) cutter - both from LUKAS - achieve the highest ranking according to the EN standard: class H. Only with even stronger steel profiles the eDRAULIC S 700 shows its superiority in practice (see table), even though the earlier model S 510 has the higher theoretical maximal force!


The NFPA test shows clear differences in performance after the EN standard's test range has been exceed

Source: Test (2010) according to NFPA standard 1936

You may also be interested in the article:

"Which cutting power really counts?"

Or watch the video:

"S 700 E performance in NFPA cutting tests"

Equipment & Rescue
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