ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Fire Code 2009 (IFC 2009)

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
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 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 words and terms shall, for the purposes of this chapter and as used elsewhere in this code, have the meanings shown herein.

FIRE APPARATUS ACCESS ROAD. A road that provides fire apparatus access from a fire station to a facility, building or portion thereof. This is a general term inclusive of all other terms such as fire lane, public street, private street, parking lot lane and access roadway.

FIRE COMMAND CENTER. The principal attended or unattended location where the status of the detection, alarm communications and control systems is displayed, and from which the system(s) can be manually controlled.

FIRE DEPARTMENT MASTER KEY. A limited issue key of special or controlled design to be carried by fire department officials in command which will open key boxes on specified properties.

FIRE LANE. A road or other passageway developed to allow the passage of fire apparatus. A fire lane is not necessarily intended for vehicular traffic other than fire apparatus.

KEY BOX. A secure device with a lock operable only by a fire department master key, and containing building entry keys and other keys that may be required for access in an emergency.

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 23.
Fire apparatus access roads shall be installed and arranged in accordance with Sections 503.2.1 through 503.2.8.

503.2.1 Dimensions

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
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).

Exception: Fire apparatus access roads constructed and maintained in accordance with NC DOT Minimum Construction Standards for Subdivision Roads, when approved by the fire code official.
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.
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 2306.6.1.
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 1009.13. 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. 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.

505.1.1 Suite/Room Identification

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Where numerical addresses are posted to identify suites or rooms within buildings, the first digit of the suite or room number shall match the floor number signage.
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 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.
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).
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 712 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. Work table.
  14. Generator supervision devices, manual start and transfer features.
  15. Public address system, where specifically required by other sections of this code.
  16. Elevator fire recall switch in accordance with ASME A17.1.
  17. 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.

509.1.1 Utility Identification

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
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 a manner that is 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.

Section 510 Emergency Responder Radio Coverage

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.

510.1 Emergency Responder Radio Coverage in Buildings

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.

510.2 Radio Signal Strength

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.

510.2.1 Minimum Signal Strength Into the Building

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.

510.2.2 Minimum Signal Strength Out of the Building

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.

510.3 Emergency Responder Radio Coverage in Existing Buildings

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
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