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The purpose of this code is to establish the minimum requirements consistent with nationally recognized good practice for providing a reasonable level of life safety and property protection from the hazards of fire, explosion, or dangerous conditions in new and existing buildings, incident to the occupancy and maintenance of structures and premises and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operation.
This code establishes regulations affecting or relating to structures, processes, premises and safeguards regarding all of the following:
  1. The proper maintenance of fire protection features required by the construction code in effect at the time of first occupancy; by the Fire Safety Code (N.J.A.C. 5:70-4); or by the provisions of other, applicable fire safety rules or ordinances lawfully promulgated by the State or by a local enforcing agency.
  2. The hazard of fire and explosion arising from the storage, handling or use of structures, materials or devices.
  3. Conditions hazardous to life, property or public welfare in the occupancy of structures, premises, or mobile enclosed units.
  4. Fire hazards in the structure or on the premises from occupancy or operation.
  5. Conditions affecting the safety of fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.
This subchapter shall be applicable to:
All buildings, structures, and premises within this State, with the exception of owner-occupied one- and two-family dwellings used exclusively for dwelling purposes; and
All fire safety hazards arising from the storage, handling or use of substances, materials or devices and arising from conditions hazardous to life, property or public welfare in the use or occupancy of buildings, structures, sheds, tents, lots or premises.
Such handling or use shall be construed as referring, as well, to industrial processes and equipment whether or not they are subject to Uniform Construction Code provisions.
Buildings or other facilities built under and in full compliance with the codes in force at the time of construction or alteration thereof, and that have been properly maintained and used for such use as originally permitted, shall be exempt from the requirements of this subchapter pertaining to any of the following matters:
  1. Fire protection of structural elements.
  2. Isolation of hazardous operations.
  3. In lieu of requiring the installation of safety devices or systems or when necessary to secure safety in addition thereto, the fire code official may prescribe limitations consistent with the provisions of nationally recognized standards, on the handling and storage of materials or substances, or upon operations that are liable to cause fire, contribute to the spread of fire, or endanger life or property.
This code shall apply to any outdoor activities, uses or operations for which requirements are established by this code.
If a section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this code is, for any reason, held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this code.
In the event any part or provision of this code is held to be illegal or void, this shall not have the effect of making void or illegal any of the other parts or provisions hereof, which are determined to be legal; and it shall be presumed that this code would have been adopted without such illegal or invalid parts or provisions.
The following provisions are general provisions for precautions to be applied to the use of all properties.
Any dangerous or hazardous conditions that are outlined in 1 through 10 below shall be removed or remedied in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.10:
  1. Dangerous conditions that are liable to cause or contribute to the spread of fire in or on said premises, building or structure or endanger the occupants thereof.
  2. Conditions that would interfere with the efficiency and use of any fire protection equipment.
  3. Obstruction to or on fire escapes, stairs, passageways, doors or windows, liable to interfere with the egress of occupants or the operation of the fire department in case of fire.
  4. Accumulations of dust or waste material in air conditioning or ventilating systems or grease in kitchen or other exhaust ducts.
  5. Accumulations of grease on kitchen cooking equipment, or oil, grease or dirt upon, under or around any mechanical equipment.
  6. Accumulations of rubbish, waste, paper, boxes, shavings, or other combustible materials, or excessive storage of any combustible material.
  7. Hazardous conditions arising from defective or improperly used or installed electrical wiring, equipment or appliances.
  8. Hazardous conditions arising from defective or improperly installed equipment for handling or use of combustible, explosive or otherwise hazardous materials.
  9. Dangerous or unlawful amounts of combustible, explosive or otherwise hazardous materials.
  10. All equipment, materials, processes or operations that are in violation of the provisions and intent of this code.
Where any activity regulated by this chapter is also regulated pursuant to the "Protection of Underground Facilities: One-Call Damage Prevention System" N.J.A.C. 14:2-1 et seq., such as any activity involving a road opening, blasting, demolition or excavation, no permit or approval granted pursuant to this chapter shall be considered valid unless such activity is conducted in compliance with the above cited regulations and the parameters contained within the One-Call confirmation ticket, a copy of which shall be provided to the fire code official upon request.
The codes and standards referenced in this code shall be those that are listed in Chapter 80, and such codes and standards shall be considered to be part of the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each such reference and as further regulated in Sections 102.7.1 and 102.7.2.
Where conflicts occur between provisions of this code and referenced codes and standards, the provisions of this code shall apply.
Where the extent of the reference to a referenced code or standard includes subject matter that is within the scope of this code, the provisions of this code, as applicable, shall take precedence over the provisions in the referenced code or standard.
The provisions of this code shall not be deemed to nullify any provisions of local, state or federal law.
References to chapter or section numbers, or to provisions not specifically identified by number, shall be construed to refer to such chapter, section or provision of this code.
Wherever used in this code, the term "fire code official" shall be deemed to mean and include "fire official." The term "code" shall be deemed to mean and include "Subchapter 3 of the Uniform Fire Code," N.J.A.C. 5:70-3. The term "Uniform Construction Code" shall be deemed to mean and include N.J.A.C. 5:23 New Jersey Uniform Construction Code.
The codes and standards referenced in this code shall only be those that are listed in Chapter 80, and such codes and standards shall be considered part of the requirements of this code only to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where differences occur between the provisions of this code and the referenced standards, the provisions of this code shall apply.
  1. This section, together with the codes, national standards and appendices it adopts by reference, shall be the primary guide to accepted practice with respect to any material, equipment, system or method of installation, use, operation or maintenance therein specified.
  2. When this section and the codes, national standards and appendices it adopts by reference are silent, a manufacturer's recommendations for the installation of any material or assembly may be considered to be accepted practice; provided, however, that a manufacturer's recommendations shall not be read to overrule this subchapter or any code, national standard or appendix which it adopts by reference.
To determine the acceptability of technologies, processes, products, facilities, materials and uses attending the design, operation or use of a building or premises subject to inspection by the fire code official, the fire code official is authorized to require the owner or agent to provide, without charge to the jurisdiction, a technical opinion and report. The opinion and report shall be prepared by a qualified engineer, specialist, laboratory or fire safety specialty organization acceptable to the fire code official and shall analyze the fire safety properties of the design, operation or use of the building or premises and the facilities and appurtenances situated thereon, to recommend necessary changes. The fire code official is authorized to require documentation to be prepared by, and bear the stamp of, a registered design professional. This provision shall not be applied to systems installed and approved pursuant to the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code.
Any suit or criminal complaint instituted against any officer or employee because of an act performed by that officer or employee in the lawful discharge of duties and under the provisions of this code shall be defended by the legal representatives of the jurisdiction until the final termination of the proceedings. The fire code official or any subordinate shall not be liable for costs in an action, suit or proceeding that is instituted in pursuance of the provisions of this code; and any officer of the department of fire prevention, acting in good faith and without malice, shall be free from liability for acts performed under any of its provisions or by reason of any act or omission in the performance of official duties in connection therewith.
Where any device, equipment, system, condition, arrangement, level of protection, or any other feature is required for compliance with the provisions of this code, or otherwise installed, such device, equipment, system, condition, arrangement, level of protection, or other feature shall thereafter be continuously maintained in accordance with this code and applicable referenced standards.
Equipment requiring periodic testing or operation to ensure maintenance shall be tested or operated as specified in this code.
Where any work or installation does not pass an initial test or inspection, the necessary corrections shall be made so as to achieve compliance with this code. The work or installation shall then be resubmitted to the fire code official for inspection and testing.
Any material, equipment, or system listed or labeled for the purpose to which it is applied shall be used, operated and maintained in accordance with that listing or labeling in addition to this subchapter's requirements.
The fire official is authorized to require replacement of any service, material, equipment or device subject to this code that is the subject of either a voluntary or mandatory recall under state or federal law. Any service, material, equipment or device that is the subject of such recall shall not be deemed in compliance with any provision of this code requiring the service, material, equipment or device to be listed.
A record of periodic inspections, tests, servicing and other operations and maintenance shall be maintained on the premises or other approved location for not less than 3 years, or a different period of time where specified in this code or referenced standards. Records shall be made available for inspection by the fire code official, and a copy of the records shall be provided to the fire code official upon request.

     The fire code official is authorized to prescribe the form and format of such recordkeeping. The fire code official is authorized to require that certain required records be filed with the fire code official.
Maintenance and testing shall be under the supervision of a responsible person who shall ensure that such maintenance and testing are conducted at specified intervals in accordance with this code.
Portable or fixed fire-extinguishing systems or devices, and fire-warning systems, shall not be rendered inoperative or inaccessible, except as necessary during emergencies, maintenance, repairs, alterations, drills or prescribed testing.
Overcrowding or admittance of any person beyond the approved capacity of a building or a portion thereof shall not be allowed. The fire code official, upon finding any overcrowding conditions or obstructions in aisles, passageways or other means of egress, or upon finding any condition that constitutes a life safety hazard, shall be authorized to cause the event to be stopped until such condition or obstruction is corrected.
The fire code official shall have the authority to authorize disconnection of utility service to the building, structure or system in order to safely execute emergency operations or to eliminate an immediate hazard. The fire code official shall notify the serving utility and, where possible, the owner or the owner's authorized agent and the occupant of the building, structure or service system of the decision to disconnect prior to taking such action. If not notified prior to disconnection, then the owner, the owner's authorized agent or occupant of the building, structure or service system shall be notified in writing as soon as practical thereafter.