Effective Use of the International Fire Code


Chapter 1 Scope and Administration

Chapter 2 Definitions

Chapter 3 General Requirements

Chapter 4 Emergency Planning and Preparedness

Chapter 5 Fire Service Features

Chapter 6 Building Services and Systems

Chapter 7 Fire and Smoke Protection Features

Chapter 8 Interior Finish, Decorative Materials and Furnishings

Chapter 9 Fire Protection Systems

Chapter 10 Means of Egress

Chapter 11 Construction Requirements for Existing Buildings

Chapter 12 through 19

Chapter 20 Aviation Facilities

Chapter 21 Dry Cleaning

Chapter 22 Combustible Dust-Producing Operations

Chapter 23 Motor Fuel-Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages

Chapter 24 Flammable Finishes

Chapter 25 Fruit and Crop Ripening

Chapter 26 Fumigation and Insecticidal Fogging

Chapter 27 Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities

Chapter 28 Lumber Yards and Agro-Industrial, Solid Biomass and Woodworking Facilities

Chapter 29 Manufacture of Organic Coatings

Chapter 30 Industrial Ovens

Chapter 31 Tents and Other Membrane Structures

Chapter 32 High-Piled Combustible Storage

Chapter 33 Fire Safety During Construction and Demolition

Chapter 34 Tire Rebuilding and Tire Storage

Chapter 35 Welding and Other Hot Work

Chapter 36 Marinas

Chapter 37 Combustible Fibers

Chapter 38 through 49


Chapter 51 Aerosols

Chapter 52 Reserved

Chapter 53 Compressed Gases

Chapter 54 Corrosive Materials

Chapter 55 Cryogenic Fluids

Chapter 56 Explosives and Fireworks

Chapter 57 Flammable and Combustible Liquids

Chapter 58 Flammable Gases and Flammable Cryogenic Fluids

Chapter 59 Flammable Solids

Chapter 60 Highly Toxic and Toxic Materials

Chapter 61 Liquefied Petroleum Gases

Chapter 62 Organic Peroxides

Chapter 63 Oxidizers, Oxidizing Gases and Oxidizing Cryogenic Fluids

Chapter 64 Pyrophoric Materials

Chapter 65 Pyroxylin (Cellulose Nitrate) Plastics

Chapter 66 Unstable (Reactive) Materials

Chapter 67 Water-Reactive Solids and Liquids

Chapter 68 through 79

Chapter 80 Referenced Standards

Appendix A Board of Appeals

Appendix B Fire-Flow Requirements for Buildings

Appendix C Fire Hydrant Locations and Distribution

Appendix D Fire Apparatus Access Roads

Appendix E Hazard Categories

Appendix F Hazard Ranking

Appendix G Cryogenic Fluids - Weight and Volume Equivalents

Appendix H Hazardous Materials Management Plan (Hmmp) and Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement (Hmis) Instructions

Appendix I Fire Protection Systems - Noncompliant Conditions

Appendix J Building Information Sign

Appendix K Construction Requirements for Existing Ambulatory Care Facilities

Appendix L Requirements for Fire Fighter Air Replenishment Systems


The provisions contained in this appendix are not mandatory unless specifically referenced in the adopting ordinance.
New buildings shall have a building information sign(s) that shall comply with Sections J101.1.1 through J101.7. Existing buildings shall be brought into conformance with Sections J101.1 through J101.9 when one of the following occurs:

1. The fire department conducts an annual inspection intended to verify compliance with this section, or any required inspection.

2. When a change in use or occupancy has occurred.


1. Group U occupancies

2. One- and two-family dwellings
The building information sign shall be placed at one of the following locations:

1. Upon the entry door or sidelight at a minimum height of 42 inches (1067 mm) above the walking surface on the address side of the building or structure.

2. Upon the exterior surface of the building or structure on either side of the entry door, not more than 3 feet (76 mm) from the entrance door, at a minimum height of 42 inches (1067 mm) above the walking surface on the address side of the building or structure.

3. Conspicuously placed inside an enclosed entrance lobby, on any vertical surface within 10 feet (254 mm) of the entrance door at a minimum height of 42 inches (1067 mm) above the walking surface.

4. Inside the building’s fire command center.

5. On the exterior of the fire alarm control unit or on the wall immediately adjacent to the fire alarm control unit door where the alarm panel is located in the enclosed main lobby.
The building information sign shall consist of all of the following:

1. White reflective background with red letters.

2. Durable material.

3. Numerals shall be Roman or Latin numerals, as required, or alphabet letters.

4. Permanently affixed to the building or structure in an approved manner.
The building information sign shall be a Maltese cross as shown in Figure J101.1.3.

The minimum size of the building information sign and lettering shall be in accordance with the following:

1. The width and height shall be 6 inches by 6 inches (152 mm by 152 mm).

2. The height or width of each Maltese cross wing area shall be 11/8 inches (29 mm) and have a stroke width of 1/2 inch (13 mm).

3. The center of the Maltese cross, a circle or oval, shall be 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter and have a stroke width of 1/2 inch (6 mm).

4. All Roman numerals and alphabetic designations, shall be 11/4 inch (32 mm) height and have a stroke width of 1/4 inch (6 mm).
Designations shall be made based upon the construction type, content, hazard, fire protection systems, life safety and occupancy. Where multiple designations occur within a classification category, the designation used shall be based on the greatest potential risk.
The construction types shall be designated by assigning the appropriate Roman numeral, and letter, placed inside the top wing of the Maltese cross. The hourly rating provided is for the structural framing in accordance with Table 601 of the International Building Code,

IA‒Noncombustible 3 Hours
IB‒Noncombustible 2 Hours
IIA‒Noncombustible 1 Hours
IIB‒Noncombustible 0 Hours
IIIA‒Noncombustible/combustible 1 Hours
IIIB‒Noncombustible/combustible 0 Hours
IV‒Heavy timber (HT) HT
VA‒Combustible 1 Hours
VB‒Combustible 0 Hours
The fire protection system shall be designated by determining its level of protection and assigning the appropriate designation to the right wing of the Maltese cross. Where multiple systems are provided, all shall be listed:

AS Automatic sprinkler system installed throughout
DS Dry sprinkler system and designated areas
FA Fire alarm system
FP Fire pump
FW Fire wall and designated areas
PAS Pre-action sprinkler system and designated floor
PS Partial automatic sprinkler system, and designate floor
CES Chemical extinguishing system and designated area
CS Combination sprinkler and standpipe system
S Standpipe system
NS No system installed
The occupancy of a building or structure shall be designated in accordance with the occupancy classification found in Section 302.1 of the International Building Code and the corresponding designation shall be placed in the bottom wing of the Maltese cross. Where a building or structure contains a mixture of uses and occupancies; all uses and occupancies shall be identified.

A Assembly
B Business
E Educational
F Factory or Industrial
H High Hazard
I Institutional
M Mercantile
R Residential
The hazards of building contents shall be designated by one of the following classifications as defined in NFPA 13 and the appropriate designation shall be placed inside the left wing of the Maltese cross:

LH Light hazard
MH Moderate hazard
HH High hazard
The center circle shall include the name of the local fire service and when required the letters TC for tactical considerations. Where fire fighters conduct preplan operations, a unique situation(s) for tactical considerations shall be identified and the information provided to the fire dispatch communications center to further assist fire fighters in identifying that there is special consideration(s) for this occupancy. Special consideration designations include, but are not limited to:

1. Impact-resistant drywall.

2. Impact-resistant glazing, such as blast or hurricane-type glass.

3. All types of roof and floor structural members including but not limited to post-tension concrete, bar joists, solid wood joists, rafters, trusses, cold-formed galvanized steel, I-joists and I-beams; green roof with vegetation, soil and plants.

4. Hazardous materials (explosives, chemicals, plastics, etc.).

5. Solar panels and DC electrical energy.

6. HVAC system; and smoke management system for pressurization and exhaust methods.

7. Other unique characteristic(s) within the building that are ranked according to a potential risk to occupants and fire fighters.
Sign maintenance shall comply with each of the following:

1. Fire departments in the jurisdiction shall define the designations to be placed within the sign.

2. Fire departments in the jurisdiction shall conduct annual inspections to verify compliance with this section of the code and shall notify the owner, or the owner’s agent, of any required updates to the sign in accordance with fire department designations and the owner, or the owner’s agent, shall comply within 30 days.

3. The owner of a building shall be responsible for the maintenance and updates to the sign in accordance with fire department designations.
Jurisdictions shall train fire department personnel on Sections J101.1 through J101.9.
ICC IBC‒15 International Building Code J101.3,
NFPA 13‒13 Installation of Sprinkler Systems J101.6