As most of you know, the NFPA 86 Standard for Ovens and Furnaces is the primary standard in the US governing the safety of the fuel (natural gas or propane) delivery and ignition systems on bakery ovens. Like most NFPA standards, it is revised on a 3 to 4 year cycle, with the most current revision (2011) becoming effective on August 25, 2010.

In the previous edition (2007), changes were made that removed some “grey” areas of the language. The result was that new or upgraded direct fired gas ovens required two redundant solenoid control valves in the gas line at each ribbon burner. While this certainly added some additional cost and complexity, it was not typically viewed as having a severe impact on installation or costs.

In contrast, the 2011 edition incorporated some changes that stood to have a major impact on the design and cost of ovens used in our industry. In addition to the dual solenoid valve requirement, the NFPA 86- 2011 standard now required that BOTH of those solenoid valves be monitored for Proof-of-Closure. This change introduced significant cost and complexity to any oven that was to be upgraded or installed. It means the use of a PLC with significant associated I/O would be needed. In addition, the availability of valves properly equipped for use in typical industry ovens were non-existent. The few valves that are available, barely fitting the criteria, are of a physical size that is very difficult to properly install and expensive. One estimate projected an increase in project cost of approximately $1,000 per BURNER.

Banner-Day became aware of these changes in the standard and the pending issue late in the revision process but prior to the release of the 2011 edition. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the revision and approvals process, nothing could be done that late in the process to resolve the issue. Banner-Day also realized that working as an industry would be much more effective than working alone and soon brought our findings and concerns to ASB. The ASB safety committee, at the direction of the ASB Chairman, in collaboration with Banner-Day personnel, immediately began drafting a Temporary Interim Amendment (TIA) to the NFPA 86-2011 to alleviate this issue.

We are pleased to advise that after an extended effort, hard work and a several months of nail-biting, NFPA has approved the TIA, effective March 21, 2011. As of that date, individual ribbon burners will still require two solenoid valves at each burner, but will NOT require them to be monitored for Proof-of-Closure.  

Readers will notice the words “Temporary” and “Interim”. This Amendment, while in effect at the end of March, is not permanent. It automatically becomes a proposal for permanent change during the next revision cycle (scheduled for the 2015 edition). Banner-Day will continue working with and through ASB to make this change permanent and prevent the incredible, unnecessary burden that was nearly imposed on the industry.

If you’d like a copy of the official TIA, or would like more information, please contact us (877) 837-0584 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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