Copyright

Preface

Effective Use of the International Fire Code

Legislation

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-Resistance-Rated Construction

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 Reserved

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 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 Through 49 Reserved

Chapter 50 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS—GENERAL PROVISIONS

Chapter 51 Aerosols

Chapter 52 Combustible Fibers

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 Reserved

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

Fire service features for buildings, structures and premises shall comply with this chapter.
A permit shall be required as set forth in Sections 105.6 and 105.7.
Construction documents for proposed fire apparatus access, location of fire lanes, security gates across fire apparatus access roads and construction documents and hydraulic calculations for fire hydrant systems shall be submitted to the fire department for review and approval prior to construction.
When fire apparatus access roads or a water supply for fire protection is required to be installed, such protection shall be installed and made serviceable prior to and during the time of construction except when approved alternative methods of protection are provided. Temporary street signs shall be installed at each street intersection when construction of new roadways allows passage by vehicles in accordance with Section 505.2.
The following terms are defined in Chapter 2 :
AGENCY.
FIRE APPARATUS ACCESS ROAD.
FIRE COMMAND CENTER.
FIRE DEPARTMENT MASTER KEY.
FIRE LANE.
KEY BOX.
TRAFFIC CALMING DEVICES.
Fire apparatus access roads shall be provided and maintained in accordance with Sections 503.1.1 through 503.1.3.
Approved fire apparatus access roads shall be provided for every facility, building or portion of a building hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction. The fire apparatus access road shall comply with the requirements of this section and shall extend to within 150 feet (45 720 mm) of all portions of the facility and all portions of the exterior walls of the first story of the building as measured by an approved route around the exterior of the building or facility.

Exception: The fire code official is authorized to increase the dimension of 150 feet (45 720 mm) where:

1. The building is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 , 903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3.
2. Fire apparatus access roads cannot be installed because of location on property, topography, waterways, nonnegotiable grades or other similar conditions, and an approved alternative means of fire protection is provided.
3. There are not more than two Group R-3 or Group U occupancies.
The fire code official is authorized to require more than one fire apparatus access road based on the potential for impairment of a single road by vehicle congestion, condition of terrain, climatic conditions or other factors that could limit access.
Fire department vehicle access to buildings used for high-piled combustible storage shall comply with the applicable provisions of Chapter 32.
Fire apparatus access roads shall be installed and arranged in accordance with Sections 503.2.1 through 503.2.8.
Fire apparatus access roads shall have an unobstructed width of not less than 20 feet (6096 mm), exclusive of shoulders, except for approved security gates in accordance with Section 503.6, and an unobstructed vertical clearance of not less than 13 feet 6 inches (4115 mm).
The fire code official shall have the authority to require an increase in the minimum access widths where they are inadequate for fire or rescue operations.
Fire apparatus access roads shall be designed and maintained to support the imposed loads of fire apparatus and shall be surfaced so as to provide all-weather driving capabilities.
The required turning radius of a fire apparatus access road shall be determined by the fire code official.
Dead-end fire apparatus access roads in excess of 150 feet (45 720 mm) in length shall be provided with an approved area for turning around fire apparatus.
Where a bridge or an elevated surface is part of a fire apparatus access road, the bridge shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with AASHTO HB-17. Bridges and elevated surfaces shall be designed for a live load sufficient to carry the imposed loads of fire apparatus. Vehicle load limits shall be posted at both entrances to bridges when required by the fire code official. Where elevated surfaces designed for emergency vehicle use are adjacent to surfaces which are not designed for such use, approved barriers, approved signs or both shall be installed and maintained when required by the fire code official.
The grade of the fire apparatus access road shall be within the limits established by the fire code official based on the fire department’s apparatus.
The angles of approach and departure for fire apparatus access roads shall be within the limits established by the fire code official based on the fire department's apparatus.
Where required by the fire code official, approved signs or other approved notices or markings that include the words NO PARKING—FIRE LANE shall be provided for fire apparatus access roads to identify such roads or prohibit the obstruction thereof. The means by which fire lanes are designated shall be maintained in a clean and legible condition at all times and be replaced or repaired when necessary to provide adequate visibility.
Fire apparatus access roads shall not be obstructed in any manner, including the parking of vehicles. The minimum widths and clearances established in Section 503.2.1 shall be maintained at all times.
Traffic calming devices shall be prohibited unless approved by the fire code official.
The fire code official is authorized to require the installation and maintenance of gates or other approved barricades across fire apparatus access roads, trails or other accessways, not including public streets, alleys or highways. Electric gate operators, where provided, shall be listed in accordance with UL 325. Gates intended for automatic operation shall be designed, constructed and installed to comply with the requirements of ASTM F 2200.
When required, gates and barricades shall be secured in an approved manner. Roads, trails and other accessways that have been closed and obstructed in the manner prescribed by Section 503.5 shall not be trespassed on or used unless authorized by the owner and the fire code official.

Exception: The restriction on use shall not apply to public officers acting within the scope of duty.

The installation of security gates across a fire apparatus access road shall be approved by the fire chief. Where security gates are installed, they shall have an approved means of emergency operation. The security gates and the emergency operation shall be maintained operational at all times. Electric gate operators, where provided, shall be listed in accordance with UL 325. Gates intended for automatic operation shall be designed, constructed and installed to comply with the requirements of ASTM F 2200.
Exterior doors and openings required by this code or the International Building Code shall be maintained readily accessible for emergency access by the fire department. An approved access walkway leading from fire apparatus access roads to exterior openings shall be provided when required by the fire code official.
Exterior doors and their function shall not be eliminated without prior approval. Exterior doors that have been rendered nonfunctional and that retain a functional door exterior appearance shall have a sign affixed to the exterior side of the door with the words THIS DOOR BLOCKED. The sign shall consist of letters having a principal stroke of not less than 3/4 inch (19.1 mm) wide and at least 6 inches (152 mm) high on a contrasting background. Required fire department access doors shall not be obstructed or eliminated. Exit and exit access doors shall comply with Chapter 10. Access doors for high-piled combustible storage shall comply with Section 3206.6.1.
New buildings four or more stories above grade plane, except those with a roof slope greater than four units vertical in 12 units horizontal (33.3-percent slope), shall be provided with a stairway to the roof. Stairway access to the roof shall be in accordance with Section 1009.16. Such stairway shall be marked at street and floor levels with a sign indicating that the stairway continues to the roof. Where roofs are used for roof gardens or for other purposes, stairways shall be provided as required for such occupancy classification.
New and existing buildings shall have approved address numbers, building numbers or approved building identification placed in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. These numbers shall contrast with their background. Where required by the fire code official, address numbers shall be provided in additional approved locations to facilitate emergency response. Address numbers shall be Arabic numbers or alphabetical letters. Numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches (101.6 mm) high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch (12.7 mm). Where access is by means of a private road and the building cannot be viewed from the public way, a monument, pole or other sign or means shall be used to identify the structure. Address numbers shall be maintained.
Streets and roads shall be identified with approved signs. Temporary signs shall be installed at each street intersection when construction of new roadways allows passage by vehicles. Signs shall be of an approved size, weather resistant and be maintained until replaced by permanent signs.
Where access to or within a structure or an area is restricted because of secured openings or where immediate access is necessary for life-saving or fire-fighting purposes, the fire code official is authorized to require a key box to be installed in an approved location. The key box shall be of an approved type listed in accordance with UL 1037, and shall contain keys to gain necessary access as required by the fire code official.
An approved lock shall be installed on gates or similar barriers when required by the fire code official.
Key boxes provided for nonstandardized fire service elevator keys shall comply with Section 506.1 and all of the following:
1. The key box shall be compatible with an existing rapid entry key box system in use in the jurisdiction and approved by the fire code official.
2. The front cover shall be permanently labeled with the words “Fire Department Use Only—Elevator Keys.”
3. The key box shall be mounted at each elevator bank at the lobby nearest to the lowest level of fire department access.
4. The key box shall be mounted 5 feet 6 inches (1676 mm) above the finished floor to the right side of the elevator bank.
5. Contents of the key box are limited to fire service elevator keys. Additional elevator access tools, keys and information pertinent to emergency planning or elevator access shall be permitted when authorized by the fire code official.
6. In buildings with two or more elevator banks, a single key box shall be permitted to be used when such elevator banks are separated by not more than 30 feet (9144 mm). Additional key boxes shall be provided for each individual elevator or elevator bank separated by more than 30 feet (9144 mm).

Exception: A single key box shall be permitted to be located adjacent to a fire command center or the non-standard fire service elevator key shall be permitted to be secured in a key box used for other purposes and located in accordance with Section 506.1.

The operator of the building shall immediately notify the fire code official and provide the new key when a lock is changed or rekeyed. The key to such lock shall be secured in the key box.
An approved water supply capable of supplying the required fire flow for fire protection shall be provided to premises upon which facilities, buildings or portions of buildings are hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction.
A water supply shall consist of reservoirs, pressure tanks, elevated tanks, water mains or other fixed systems capable of providing the required fire flow.
Private fire service mains and appurtenances shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 24.
Water tanks for private fire protection shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 22.
Fire flow requirements for buildings or portions of buildings and facilities shall be determined by an approved method.
The fire code official shall be notified prior to the water supply test. Water supply tests shall be witnessed by the fire code official or approved documentation of the test shall be provided to the fire code official prior to final approval of the water supply system.
Fire hydrant systems shall comply with Sections 507.5.1 through 507.5.6.
Where a portion of the facility or building hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction is more than 400 feet (122 m) from a hydrant on a fire apparatus access road, as measured by an approved route around the exterior of the facility or building, on-site fire hydrants and mains shall be provided where required by the fire code official.

Exceptions:

1. For Group R-3 and Group U occupancies, the distance requirement shall be 600 feet (183 m).
2. For buildings equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2, the distance requirement shall be 600 feet (183 m).
Buildings equipped with a standpipe system installed in accordance with Section 905 shall have a fire hydrant within 100 feet (30 m) of the fire department connections.

Exception: The distance shall be permitted to exceed 100 feet (30 m) where approved by the fire code official.

Fire hydrant systems shall be subject to periodic tests as required by the fire code official. Fire hydrant systems shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times and shall be repaired where defective. Additions, repairs, alterations and servicing shall comply with approved standards.
Private fire service mains and water tanks shall be periodically inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with NFPA 25 at the following intervals:
1. Private fire hydrants (all types): Inspection annually and after each operation; flow test and maintenance annually.
2. Fire service main piping: Inspection of exposed, annually; flow test every 5 years.
3. Fire service main piping strainers: Inspection and maintenance after each use.
Unobstructed access to fire hydrants shall be maintained at all times. The fire department shall not be deterred or hindered from gaining immediate access to fire protection equipment or fire hydrants.
A 3-foot (914 mm) clear space shall be maintained around the circumference of fire hydrants, except as otherwise required or approved.
Where fire hydrants are subject to impact by a motor vehicle, guard posts or other approved means shall comply with Section 312.
Where required by other sections of this code and in all buildings classified as high-rise buildings by the International Building Code, a fire command center for fire department operations shall be provided and shall comply with Sections 508.1.1 through 508.1.5.
The location and accessibility of the fire command center shall be approved by the fire chief.
The fire command center shall be separated from the remainder of the building by not less than a 1-hour fire barrier constructed in accordance with Section 707 of the International Building Code or horizontal assembly constructed in accordance with Section 711 of the International Building Code, or both.
The fire command center shall be a minimum of 200 square feet (19 m2) in area with a minimum dimension of 10 feet (3048 mm).
A layout of the fire command center and all features required by this section to be contained therein shall be submitted for approval prior to installation.
The fire command center shall comply with NFPA 72 and shall contain the following features:
1. The emergency voice/alarm communication system control unit.
2. The fire department communications system.
3. Fire detection and alarm system annunciator.
4. Annunciator unit visually indicating the location of the elevators and whether they are operational.
5. Status indicators and controls for air distribution systems.
6. The fire-fighter’s control panel required by Section 909.16 for smoke control systems installed in the building.
7. Controls for unlocking stairway doors simultaneously.
8. Sprinkler valve and water-flow detector display panels.
9. Emergency and standby power status indicators.
10. A telephone for fire department use with controlled access to the public telephone system.
11. Fire pump status indicators.
12. Schematic building plans indicating the typical floor plan and detailing the building core, means of egress, fire protection systems, fire-fighting equipment and fire department access, and the location of fire walls, fire barriers, fire partitions, smoke barriers and smoke partitions.
13. An approved Building Information Card that contains, but is not limited to, the following information:
13.1. General building information that includes: property name, address, the number of floors in the building (above and below grade), use and occupancy classification (for mixed uses, identify the different types of occupancies on each floor), estimated building population (i.e., day, night, weekend);
13.2. Building emergency contact information that includes: a list of the building’s emergency contacts (e.g., building manager, building engineer, etc.) and their respective work phone number, cell phone number, and e-mail address;
13.3. Building construction information that includes: the type of building construction (e.g., floors, walls, columns, and roof assembly);
13.4. Exit stair information that includes: number of exit stairs in the building, each exit stair designation and floors served, location where each exit stair discharges, exit stairs that are pressurized, exit stairs provided with emergency lighting, each exit stair that allows reentry, exit stairs providing roof access; elevator information that includes: number of elevator banks, elevator bank designation, elevator car numbers and respective floors that they serve, location of elevator machine rooms, location of sky lobby, location of freight elevator banks;
13.5. Building services and system information that includes: location of mechanical rooms, location of building management system, location and capacity of all fuel oil tanks, location of emergency generator, location of natural gas service;
13.6. Fire protection system information that includes: locations of standpipes, location of fire pump room, location of fire department connections, floors protected by automatic sprinklers, location of different types of automatic sprinkler systems installed (e.g., dry, wet, pre-action, etc.); and
13.7. Hazardous material information that includes: location of hazardous material, quantity of hazardous material.
14. Work table.
15. Generator supervision devices, manual start and transfer features.
16. Public address system, where specifically required by other sections of this code.
17. Elevator fire recall switch in accordance with ASME A17.1.
18. Elevator emergency or standby power selector switch(es), where emergency or standby power is provided.
Fire protection equipment shall be identified in an approved manner. Rooms containing controls for air-conditioning systems, sprinkler risers and valves, or other fire detection, suppression or control elements shall be identified for the use of the fire department. Approved signs required to identify fire protection equipment and equipment location shall be constructed of durable materials, permanently installed and readily visible.
Where required by the fire code official, gas shutoff valves, electric meters, service switches and other utility equipment shall be clearly and legibly marked to identify the unit or space that it serves. Identification shall be made in an approved manner, readily visible and shall be maintained.
Approved access shall be provided and maintained for all fire protection equipment to permit immediate safe operation and maintenance of such equipment. Storage, trash and other materials or objects shall not be placed or kept in such a manner that would prevent such equipment from being readily accessible.
All new buildings shall have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building based upon the existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems of the jurisdiction at the exterior of the building. This section shall not require improvement of the existing public safety communication systems.
Exceptions:
1. Where approved by the building official and the fire code official, a wired communication system in accordance with Section 907.2.13.2 shall be permitted to be installed or maintained in lieu of an approved radio coverage system.
2. Where it is determined by the fire code official that the radio coverage system is not needed.
3. In facilities where emergency responder radio coverage is required and such systems, components or equipment required could have a negative impact on the normal operations of that facility, the fire code official shall have the authority to accept an automatically activated emergency responder radio coverage system.
Existing buildings shall be provided with approved radio coverage for emergency responders as required in Chapter 11.
A construction permit for the installation of or modification to emergency responder radio coverage systems and related equipment is required as specified in Section 105.7.5. Maintenance performed in accordance with this code is not considered a modification and does not require a permit.
Systems, components, and equipment required to provide emergency responder radio coverage system shall comply with Sections 510.4.1 through 510.4.2.5.
The building shall be considered to have acceptable emergency responder radio coverage when signal strength measurements in 95 percent of all areas on each floor of the building meet the signal strength requirements in Sections 510.4.1.1 and 510.4.1.2.
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A minimum signal strength of -95 dBm shall be receivable within the building.
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A minimum signal strength of -95 dBm shall be received by the agency’s radio system when transmitted from within the building.
The emergency responder radio coverage system shall be designed in accordance with Sections 510.4.2.1 through 510.4.2.5.
Buildings and structures which cannot support the required level of radio coverage shall be equipped with a radiating cable system, a distributed antenna system with Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-certified signal boosters, or other system approved by the fire code official in order to achieve the required adequate radio coverage.
The fire code official shall maintain a document providing the specific technical information and requirements for the emergency responder radio coverage system. This document shall contain, but not be limited to, the various frequencies required, the location of radio sites, effective radiated power of radio sites, and other supporting technical information.
Emergency responder radio coverage systems shall be provided with an approved secondary source of power. The secondary power supply shall be capable of operating the emergency responder radio coverage system for a period of at least 24 hours. When primary power is lost, the power supply to the emergency responder radio coverage system shall automatically transfer to the secondary power supply.
If used, signal boosters shall meet the following requirements:
1. All signal booster components shall be contained in a National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association (NEMA) 4-type waterproof cabinet.
2. Battery systems used for the emergency power source shall be contained in a NEMA 4-type waterproof cabinet.
3. The signal booster system and battery system shall be electrically supervised and monitored by a supervisory service, or when approved by the fire code official, shall sound an audible signal at a constantly attended location.
4. Equipment shall have FCC certification prior to installation.
The emergency responder radio coverage system shall be capable of modification or expansion in the event frequency changes are required by the FCC or additional frequencies are made available by the FCC.
The installation of the public safety radio coverage system shall be in accordance with Sections 510.5.1 through 510.5.4.
Amplification systems capable of operating on frequencies licensed to any public safety agency by the FCC shall not be installed without prior coordination and approval of the fire code official.
The minimum qualifications of the system designer and lead installation personnel shall include:
1. A valid FCC-issued general radio operators license; and
2. Certification of in-building system training issued by a nationally recognized organization, school or a certificate issued by the manufacturer of the equipment being installed.

These qualifications shall not be required where demonstration of adequate skills and experience satisfactory to the fire code official is provided.

When an emergency responder radio coverage system is required, and upon completion of installation, the building owner shall have the radio system tested to ensure that two-way coverage on each floor of the building is a minimum of 90 percent. The test procedure shall be conducted as follows:
1. Each floor of the building shall be divided into a grid of 20 approximately equal test areas.
2. The test shall be conducted using a calibrated portable radio of the latest brand and model used by the agency talking through the agency’s radio communications system.
3. Failure of a maximum of two nonadjacent test areas shall not result in failure of the test.
4. In the event that three of the test areas fail the test, in order to be more statistically accurate, the floor shall be permitted to be divided into 40 equal test areas. Failure of a maximum of four nonadjacent test areas shall not result in failure of the test. If the system fails the 40-area test, the system shall be altered to meet the 90 percent coverage requirement.
5. A test location approximately in the center of each test area shall be selected for the test, with the radio enabled to verify two-way communications to and from the outside of the building through the public agency's radio communications system. Once the test location has been selected, that location shall represent the entire test area. Failure in the selected test location shall be considered failure of that test area. Additional test locations shall not be permitted.
6. The gain values of all amplifiers shall be measured and the test measurement results shall be kept on file with the building owner so that the measurements can be verified during annual tests. In the event that the measurement results become lost, the building owner shall be required to rerun the acceptance test to reestablish the gain values.
7. As part of the installation a spectrum analyzer or other suitable test equipment shall be utilized to ensure spurious oscillations are not being generated by the subject signal booster. This test shall be conducted at time of installation and subsequent annual inspections.
The emergency responder radio coverage system installation and components shall also comply with all applicable federal regulations including, but not limited to, FCC 47 CFR Part 90.219.
The emergency responder radio coverage system shall be maintained operational at all times in accordance with Sections 510.6.1 through 510.6.3.
The emergency responder radio coverage system shall be inspected and tested annually or whenever structural changes occur including additions or remodels that could materially change the original field performance tests. Testing shall consist of the following:
1. In-building coverage test as described in Section 510.5.3.
2. Signal boosters shall be tested to ensure that the gain is the same as it was upon initial installation and acceptance.
3. Backup batteries and power supplies shall be tested under load of a period of one hour to verify that they will properly operate during an actual power outage. If within the 1-hour test period the battery exhibits symptoms of failure, the test shall be extended for additional 1-hour periods until the integrity of the battery can be determined.
4. All other active components shall be checked to verify operation within the manufacturer’s specifications.
5. At the conclusion of the testing, a report, which shall verify compliance with Section 510.5.3, shall be submitted to the fire code official.
The building owner shall modify or expand the emergency responder radio coverage system at their expense in the event frequency changes are required by the FCC or additional frequencies are made available by the FCC. Prior approval of a public safety radio coverage system on previous frequencies does not exempt this section.
Agency personnel shall have the right to enter onto the property at any reasonable time to conduct field testing to verify the required level of radio coverage.
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