Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
The goals of this Code shall be to provide a reasonable level of safety, property protection, and public welfare from the hazards created by fire, explosion, and other hazardous conditions.
Buildings and facilities shall be designed, constructed, and maintained to protect occupants who are not intimate with the initial fire development for the amount of time needed to evacuate, relocate, or defend in place.
Buildings shall be designed, located, and constructed to reasonably protect adjacent persons from injury or death as a result of a fire.
Buildings shall be designed, located, and constructed to provide reasonable access to the building for emergency responders.
Operations shall be conducted at facilities in a safe manner that minimizes, reduces, controls, or mitigates the risk of fire injury or death for the operators, while protecting the occupants not intimate with initial fire development for the amount of time needed to evacuate, relocate, or defend in place.
The safety-during-building-use goal of this Code shall be to provide an environment for the occupants of the building that is reasonably safe during the normal use of the building.
Buildings shall be designed and constructed to reduce the probability of death or injury of persons from falling during normal use of the building.
Buildings shall be designed and constructed to provide for reasonably safe crowd movement during emergency and nonemergency conditions.
Buildings shall be designed and constructed to provide reasonable life safety for occupants and workers during construction and demolition.
Buildings shall be designed and constructed to provide reasonable notification to occupants of fire and other emergency situations.
The storage, use, or handling of hazardous materials in a building or facility shall be accomplished in a manner that provides a reasonable level of safety for occupants and for those adjacent to a building or facility from health hazards, illness, injury, or death during normal storage, use, or handling operations and conditions.
The storage, use, or handling of hazardous materials in a building or facility shall be accomplished in a manner that provides a reasonable level of safety for occupants and for those adjacent to a building or facility from illness, injury, or death due to the following conditions:
The facility shall be designed, constructed, and maintained, and operations associated with the facility shall be conducted, to prevent unintentional explosions and fires that result in failure of or damage to adjacent compartments, emergency life safety systems, adjacent properties, adjacent outside storage, and the facility's structural elements.
In the event that a fire or explosion occurs, the building or facility shall be sited, designed, constructed, or maintained, and operations associated with the facility shall be conducted and protected, to reasonably reduce the impact of unwanted fires and explosions on the adjacent compartments, emergency life safety systems, adjacent properties, adjacent outside storage, and the facility's structural elements.
The facility shall be designed, constructed, protected, and maintained, and operations associated with the facility shall be conducted, to provide a reasonable level of protection for the facility, its contents, and adjacent properties from building collapse due to a loss of structural integrity resulting from a fire.
The facility shall be designed, constructed, and maintained, and operations associated with the facility shall be conducted, to provide reasonable property protection from damage resulting from fires, explosions, and other unsafe conditions associated with the storage, use, and handling of hazardous materials therein.
The fire protection methods of this Code shall assume that multiple simultaneous fire incidents will not occur.
The protection methods of this Code shall assume that multiple simultaneous unauthorized releases of hazardous materials from different locations will not occur.
The protection methods of this Code shall assume that a fire, explosion, hazardous materials release, or external force that creates a dangerous condition has the potential to impinge on hazardous materials being stored, handled, or used in the building or facility under normal conditions. (See Section 5.4 for performance-based design scenarios.)
Prescriptive requirements shall be permitted to be used as part of the performance approach, if they, in conjunction with the performance features, meet the overall goals and objectives of this Code.
The design of every building or structure intended for human occupancy shall be such that reliance for property protection and safety to life does not depend solely on any single safeguard.
Additional safeguard(s) shall be provided for property protection and life safety in the event that any single safeguard is ineffective due to inappropriate human actions, building failure, or system failure.
Every building or structure shall be provided with means of egress and other safeguards of the kinds, numbers, locations, and capacities appropriate to the individual building or structure, with due regard to the following:
- Characteristics of the occupancy
- Capabilities of the occupants
- Number of persons exposed
- Fire protection available
- Capabilities of response personnel
- Height and type of construction of the building or structure
- Other factors necessary to provide occupants with a reasonable degree of safety
- Other factors necessary to protect the building and contents from damage
In every occupied building or structure, means of egress from all parts of the building shall be maintained free and unobstructed.
No lock or fastening shall be permitted that prevents free escape from the inside of any building other than in health care occupancies and detention and correctional occupancies where staff are continually on duty and effective provisions are made to remove occupants in case of fire or other emergency.
Means of egress shall be accessible to the extent necessary to ensure reasonable safety for occupants having impaired mobility.
Each means of egress, in its entirety, shall be arranged or marked so that the way to a place of safety is indicated in a clear manner.
Every vertical opening between the floors of a building shall be suitably enclosed or protected, as necessary, to provide the following:
Nothing in this Code shall be construed to prohibit a better type of building construction, an additional means of egress, or an otherwise more safe condition than that specified by the minimum requirements of this Code.
No new construction or existing building shall be occupied in whole or in part in violation of the provisions of this Code unless the following conditions exist:
Where compliance with this Code is effected by means of a performance-based design, the owner shall annually certify compliance with the conditions and limitations of the design by submitting a warrant of fitness acceptable to the AHJ.
The warrant of fitness shall attest that the building features, systems, and use have been inspected and confirmed to remain consistent with design specifications outlined in the documentation required by 5.1.8 and 5.7.3 and that they continue to satisfy the goals and objectives specified in Section 4.1. (See 5.1.11.)
Buildings or portions of buildings shall be permitted to be occupied during construction, repair, alterations, or additions only where required means of egress and required fire protection features are in place and continuously maintained for the portion occupied or where alternative life safety measures and building protection measures acceptable to the AHJ are in place.
In buildings under construction, adequate escape facilities shall be maintained at all times for the use of construction workers.
Flammable, hazardous, or explosive substances or equipment for repairs or alterations shall be permitted in a building while the building is occupied if the condition of use and safeguards provided do not create any additional danger or impediment to egress beyond the normally permissible conditions in the building and is such that materials are safeguarded when the building is unoccupied.
In any building or structure, whether or not a physical alteration is needed, a change from one occupancy classification to another shall be permitted only where such a structure, building, or portion thereof conforms with the requirements of this Code that apply to new construction for the proposed new use, except as follows:
- Where, in the opinion of the AHJ, the proposed occupancy or change in use is not more hazardous than the existing use, based on life safety and fire risk, the AHJ shall be permitted to approve such change of occupancy provided compliance with the requirements of this Code for buildings of like occupancy or use are specifically incorporated to safeguard the life, health, and welfare of persons.
- Change of tenants or ownership shall not be construed to be a change of occupancy classification where the nature of use and assigned occupancy classification remain the same.
Where specifically permitted elsewhere in the Code, existing construction features shall be permitted to be continued in use in conversions.
Whenever or wherever any device, equipment, system, condition, arrangement, level of protection, fire-resistive construction, or any other feature is required for compliance with the provisions of this Code, such device, equipment, system, condition, arrangement, level of protection, fire-resistive construction, or other feature shall thereafter be continuously maintained. Maintenance shall be provided in accordance with applicable NFPA requirements or requirements developed as part of a performance-based design, or as directed by the AHJ. [101:188.8.131.52]
No existing life safety feature shall be removed or reduced where such feature is a requirement for new construction. [101:184.108.40.206]
Existing life safety features obvious to the public, if not required by the Code, shall be either maintained or removed. [101:220.127.116.11]
Existing life safety features that exceed the requirements for new buildings shall be permitted to be decreased to those required for new buildings. [101:18.104.22.168]
Any device, equipment, system, condition, arrangement, level of protection, fire-resistive construction, or any other feature requiring periodic testing, inspection, or operation to ensure its maintenance shall be tested, inspected, or operated as specified elsewhere in this Code or as directed by the AHJ. [101:22.214.171.124]
A material that complies with any one of the following shall be considered a noncombustible material:
- * The material, in the form in which it is used and under the conditions anticipated, will not ignite, burn, support combustion, or release flammable vapors when subjected to fire or heat.
- The material is reported as passing ASTM E136, Standard Test Method for Behavior of Materials in a Vertical Tube Furnace at 750 Degrees C.
- The material is reported as complying with the pass/fail criteria of ASTM E136 when tested in accordance with the test method and procedure in ASTM E2652, Standard Test Method for Behavior of Materials in a Tube Furnace with a Cone-shaped Airflow Stabilizer, at 750 Degrees C.
Where the term limited-combustible is used in this Code, it shall also include the term noncombustible. [5000:126.96.36.199.2]
The material, in the form in which it is used, exhibits a potential heat value not exceeding 3500 Btu/lb (8141 kJ/kg) where tested in accordance with NFPA 259. [5000:188.8.131.52(2)]
The material has a structural base of a noncombustible material with a surfacing not exceeding a thickness of 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) where the surfacing exhibits a flame spread index not greater than 50 when tested in accordance with ASTM E84, Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, or ANSI/UL 723, Standard for Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials. [5000:184.108.40.206.1]
The material is composed of materials which, in the form and thickness used, neither exhibit a flame spread index greater than 25 nor evidence of continued progressive combustion when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or ANSI/UL 723, and are of such composition that all surfaces that would be exposed by cutting through the material on any plane would neither exhibit a flame spread index greater than 25 nor evidence of continued progressive combustion when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or ANSI/UL 723. [5000:220.127.116.11.2]
An alternate approach for a material to be considered a limited combustible material is where the material is tested in accordance with ASTM E2965, Standard Test for Determination of Low Levels of Heat Release Rate for Materials and Products Using an Oxygen Combustion Calorimeter, at an incident heat flux of 75 kW/m2 for a 20-minute exposure, the peak heat release rate does not exceed 150 kW/m2 for longer than 10 seconds, and the total heat released does not exceed 8 MJ/m2. [5000:18.104.22.168.3]