ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Fire Code 2015 (IFC 2015)

Part I — Administrative

Part II — General Safety Provisions

Part III — Building and Equipment Design Features

Part IV — Special Occupancies and Operations

Part V — Hazardous Materials

Part VI — Referenced Standards

Part VII — Appendices

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall govern the occupancy and maintenance of all structures and premises for precautions against fire and the spread of fire and general requirements of fire safety.
Permits shall be required as set forth in Section 105.6 for the activities or uses regulated by Sections 306, 307, 308 and 315.
Asphalt (tar) kettles shall not be transported over any highway, road or street when the heat source for the kettle is operating.

Exception: Asphalt (tar) kettles in the process of patching road surfaces.
Asphalt (tar) kettles shall not be located within 20 feet (6096 mm) of any combustible material, combustible building surface or any building opening and within a controlled area identified by the use of traffic cones, barriers or other approved means. Asphalt (tar) kettles and pots shall not be utilized inside or on the roof of a building or structure. Roofing kettles and operating asphalt (tar) kettles shall not block means of egress, gates, roadways or entrances.
Fuel containers shall be located not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from the burner.

Exception: Containers properly insulated from heat or flame are allowed to be within 2 feet (610 mm) of the burner.
An operating kettle shall be attended by not less than one employee knowledgeable of the operations and hazards. The employee shall be within 100 feet (30 480 mm) of the kettle and have the kettle within sight. Ladders or similar obstacles shall not form a part of the route between the attendant and the kettle.
There shall be a portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 and with a minimum 40-B:C rating within 25 feet (7620 mm) of each asphalt (tar) kettle during the period such kettle is being utilized. Additionally, there shall be one portable fire extinguisher with a minimum 3-A:40-B:C rating on the roof being covered.
Asphalt (tar) kettles shall be equipped with tight-fitting lids.
Hi-boys shall be constructed of noncombustible materials. Hi-boys shall be limited to a capacity of 55 gallons (208 L). Fuel sources or heating elements shall not be allowed as part of a hi-boy.
Roofing kettles shall be constructed of noncombustible materials.
Fuel containers that operate under air pressure shall not exceed 20 gallons (76 L) in capacity and shall be approved.
Combustible waste material creating a fire hazard shall not be allowed to accumulate in buildings or structures or upon premises.
Accumulations of wastepaper, wood, hay, straw, weeds, litter or combustible or flammable waste or rubbish of any type shall not be permitted to remain on a roof or in any court, yard, vacant lot, alley, parking lot, open space, or beneath a grandstand, bleacher, pier, wharf, manufactured home, recreational vehicle or other similar structure.
Weeds, grass, vines or other growth that is capable of being ignited and endangering property, shall be cut down and removed by the owner or occupant of the premises. Vegetation clearance requirements in urban-wildland interface areas shall be in accordance with the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code.
Spaces underneath grandstand and bleacher seats shall be kept free from combustible and flammable materials. Except where enclosed in not less than 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction in accordance with the International Building Code, spaces underneath grandstand and bleacher seats shall not be occupied or utilized for purposes other than means of egress.
Storage of combustible rubbish shall not produce conditions that will create a nuisance or a hazard to the public health, safety or welfare.
Combustible rubbish, and waste material kept within or near a structure shall be stored in accordance with Sections 304.3.1 through 304.3.4.
Materials susceptible to spontaneous ignition, such as oily rags, shall be stored in a listed disposal container. Contents of such containers shall be removed and disposed of daily.
Containers with a capacity exceeding 5.33 cubic feet (40 gallons) (0.15 m3) shall be provided with lids. Containers and lids shall be constructed of noncombustible materials or of combustible materials with a peak rate of heat release not exceeding 300 kW/m2 where tested in accordance with ASTM E 1354 at an incident heat flux of 50 kW/m2 in the horizontal orientation.

Exception: Wastebaskets complying with Section 808.
Dumpsters and containers with an individual capacity of 1.5 cubic yards [40.5 cubic feet (1.15 m3)] or more shall not be stored in buildings or placed within 5 feet (1524 mm) of combustible walls, openings or combustible roof eave lines.

Exceptions:
  1. Dumpsters or containers in areas protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system installed throughout in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, 903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3.
  2. Storage in a structure shall not be prohibited where the structure is of Type I or IIA construction, located not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from other buildings and used exclusively for dumpster or container storage.
Dumpsters with an individual capacity of 1.0 cubic yard [200 gallons (0.76 m3)] or more shall not be stored in buildings or placed within 5 feet (1524 mm) of combustible walls, openings or combustible roof eave lines unless the dumpsters are constructed of noncombustible materials or of combustible materials with a peak rate of heat release not exceeding 300 kW/m2 where tested in accordance with ASTM E 1354 at an incident heat flux of 50 kW/m2 in the horizontal orientation.

Exceptions:
  1. Dumpsters in areas protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system installed throughout in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, 903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3.
  2. Storage in a structure shall not be prohibited where the structure is of Type I or IIA construction, located not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from other buildings and used exclusively for dumpster or container storage.

304.4 Valet Trash Collection Services for R-2 Apartment Occupancies

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The delayed effective date of this Rule is July 1, 2021.
(revised on December 8, 2020 by resolution from an effective date of January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021).
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.

304.4.1 Combustible Trash in a Means of Egress

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Combustible trash or recyclable materials shall not be placed in exits, exit passageways, enclosures for stairways or ramps, corridors, elevator lobbies, or on egress balconies, except as permitted by Section 304.4.2.

The delayed effective date of this Rule is July 1, 2021.
(revised on December 8, 2020 by resolution from an effective date of January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021).
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.

304.4.2

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Combustible trash or recyclable materials in corridors or on egress balconies of Group R-2 occupancies that are awaiting scheduled valet trash collection is allowed as described in Sections 304.4.2.1 through 304.4.2.3.

The delayed effective date of this Rule is July 1, 2021.
(revised on December 8, 2020 by resolution from an effective date of January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021).
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.

304.4.2.1

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Trash or recyclable materials awaiting valet trash collection shall only be placed in a corridor or on an egress balcony within 5 hours of scheduled pickup and shall not obstruct the minimum egress width required by Section 1031.

The delayed effective date of this Rule is July 1, 2021.
(revised on December 8, 2020 by resolution from an effective date of January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021).
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.

304.4.2.2

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Trash or recyclable materials awaiting valet trash collection shall be placed completely inside of one or more containers with a closed lid that complies with Section 304.4.2.3. Additional trash or recyclable material placed outside of the containers, as described in 304.4.2.3, are prohibited.

The delayed effective date of this Rule is July 1, 2021.
(revised on December 8, 2020 by resolution from an effective date of January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021).
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.

304.4.2.3

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Containers used for valet trash collection shall not exceed a capacity of 2.0 cubic feet (15 gallons, 0.06 cubic meters) and shall be provided with tight-fitting or self-closing lids. Containers and lids shall comply with either:
  1. Containers and lids located in an area that is protected by fire sprinklers shall be constructed entirely of noncombustible materials or materials that meet a peak rate of heat release not exceeding 300 kW/m2 when tested in accordance with ASTM E 1354 at an incident heat flux of 50 kW/m2 in the horizontal orientation. Containers and lids shall be listed or bear the label of an approved agency that validates compliance with this requirement; or
  2. Containers and lids located in an area that is not protected by fire sprinklers shall be constructed entirely of noncombustible materials or materials that meet a peak rate of heat release not exceeding 150 kW/m2 when tested in accordance with ASTM E 1354 at an incident heat flux of 50 kW/m2 in the horizontal orientation. Containers and lids shall be listed or bear the label of an approved agency that validates compliance with this requirement.

The delayed effective date of this Rule is July 1, 2021.
(revised on December 8, 2020 by resolution from an effective date of January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021).
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.

304.4.3 Policies and Procedures

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Apartment management shall: have written policies and procedures in place, enforce compliance, and upon request provide a copy of such policies and procedures to the authority having jurisdiction.

The delayed effective date of this Rule is July 1, 2021.
(revised on December 8, 2020 by resolution from an effective date of January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021).
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.

304.4.4 Revocation

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The use of doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers in apartment occupancies is revocable by the fire code official for violations of this section.

The delayed effective date of this Rule is July 1, 2021.
(revised on December 8, 2020 by resolution from an effective date of January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021).
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.
Clearance between ignition sources, such as luminaires, heaters, flame-producing devices and combustible materials, shall be maintained in an approved manner.
Hot ashes, cinders, smoldering coals or greasy or oily materials subject to spontaneous ignition shall not be deposited in a combustible receptacle, within 10 feet (3048 mm) of other combustible material including combustible walls and partitions or within 2 feet (610 mm) of openings to buildings.

Exception: The minimum required separation distance to other combustible materials shall be 2 feet (610 mm) where the material is deposited in a covered, noncombustible receptacle placed on a noncombustible floor, ground surface or stand.
Open-flame warning devices shall not be used along an excavation, road, or any place where the dislodgment of such device might permit the device to roll, fall or slide on to any area or land containing combustible material.
It shall be unlawful to deliberately or through negligence set fire to or cause the burning of combustible material in such a manner as to endanger the safety of persons or property.
Acts or processes that have caused repeated ignition of unwanted fires shall be modified to prevent future ignition.
Electric arc, xenon or other light source projection equipment that develops hazardous gases, dust or radiation and the projection of ribbon-type cellulose nitrate film, regardless of the light source used in projection, shall be operated within a motion picture projection room complying with Section 409 of the International Building Code.
Storage of cellulose nitrate film shall be in accordance with NFPA 40.
A person shall not kindle or maintain or authorize to be kindled or maintained any open burning unless conducted and approved in accordance with Sections 307.1.1 through 307.5.
Open burning shall be prohibited when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.

Exception: Prescribed burning for the purpose of reducing the impact of wildland fire when authorized by the fire code official.
A permit shall be obtained from the fire code official in accordance with Section 105.6 prior to kindling a fire for recognized silvicultural or range or wildlife management practices, prevention or control of disease or pests, or a bonfire. Application for such approval shall only be presented by and permits issued to the owner of the land upon which the fire is to be kindled.
Where required by state or local law or regulations, open burning shall only be permitted with prior approval from the state or local air and water quality management authority, provided that all conditions specified in the authorization are followed.
Where open burning creates or adds to a hazardous situation, or a required permit for open burning has not been obtained, the fire code official is authorized to order the extinguishment of the open burning operation.
The location for open burning shall be not less than 50 feet (15 240 mm) from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of any structure.

Exceptions:
  1. Fires in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet (4572 mm) from a structure.
  2. The minimum required distance from a structure shall be 25 feet (7620 mm) where the pile size is 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height.
A bonfire shall not be conducted within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure or combustible material. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
Portable outdoor fire places shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet (3048 mm) of a structure or combustible material.

Exception: Portable outdoor fireplaces used at one-and two-family dwellings.
Open burning, bonfires, recreational fires and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.
Open flame, fire and burning on all premises shall be in accordance with Sections 308.1.1 through 308.4.1 and with other applicable sections of this code.
A person shall not take or utilize an open flame or light in a structure, vessel, boat or other place where highly flammable, combustible or explosive material is utilized or stored. Lighting appliances shall be well-secured in a glass globe and wire mesh cage or a similar approved device.
A person shall not throw or place, or cause to be thrown or placed, a lighted match, cigar, cigarette, matches, or other flaming or glowing substance or object on any surface or article where it can cause an unwanted fire.
A person utilizing a torch or other flame-producing device for removing paint from a structure shall provide not less than one portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 and with a minimum 4-A rating, two portable fire extinguishers, each with a minimum 2-A rating, or a water hose connected to the water supply on the premises where such burning is done. The person doing the burning shall remain on the premises 1 hour after the torch or flame-producing device is utilized.

308.1.4 Open-Flame Cooking Devices

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.

Exceptions:
  1. One- and two-family dwellings.
  2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system and in accordance with Chapter 61.
  3. LP-gas cooking devices having LP-gas container with a water capacity not greater than 21/2 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity].
Open flames such as from candles, lanterns, kerosene heaters and gas-fired heaters shall not be located on or near decorative material or similar combustible materials.
Torches and other devices, machines or processes liable to start or cause fire shall not be operated or used in or upon wildfire risk areas, except by a permit in accordance with Section 105.6 secured from the fire code official.

Exception: Use within inhabited premises or designated campsites that are not less than 30 feet (9144 mm) from grass-, grain-, brush- or forest-covered areas.
Flame-employing devices, such as lanterns or kerosene road flares, shall not be operated or used as a signal or marker in or upon wildfire risk areas.

Exception: The proper use of fusees at the scenes of emergencies or as required by standard railroad operating procedures.
Portable open-flame devices fueled by flammable or combustible gases or liquids shall be enclosed or installed in such a manner as to prevent the flame from contacting combustible material.

Exceptions:
  1. LP-gas-fueled devices used for sweating pipe joints or removing paint in accordance with Chapter 61.
  2. Cutting and welding operations in accordance with Chapter 35.
  3. Torches or flame-producing devices in accordance with Section 308.4.
  4. Candles and open-flame decorative devices in accordance with Section 308.3.
A person shall not release or cause to be released an untethered sky lantern.
When, in the opinion of the fire code official, adequate safeguards have been taken, participants in religious ceremonies are allowed to carry hand-held candles. Hand-held candles shall not be passed from one person to another while lighted.
Candles shall be prohibited in areas where occupants stand, or in an aisle or exit.
The preparation of flaming foods or beverages in places of assembly and drinking or dining establishments shall be in accordance with Sections 308.1.8.1 through 308.1.8.5.
Flammable or combustible liquids used in the preparation of flaming foods or beverages shall be dispensed from one of the following:
  1. A 1-ounce (29.6 ml) container.
  2. A container not exceeding 1-quart (946.5 ml) capacity with a controlled pouring device that will limit the flow to a 1-ounce (29.6 ml) serving.
Containers shall be secured to prevent spillage when not in use.
The serving of flaming foods or beverages shall be done in a safe manner and shall not create high flames. The pouring, ladling or spooning of liquids is restricted to a maximum height of 8 inches (203 mm) above the receiving receptacle.
Flaming foods or beverages shall be prepared only in the immediate vicinity of the table being serviced. They shall not be transported or carried while burning.
The person preparing the flaming foods or beverages shall have a wet cloth towel immediately available for use in smothering the flames in the event of an emergency.
Permits shall be obtained from the fire code official in accordance with Section 105.6 prior to engaging in the following activities involving open flame, fire and burning:
  1. Use of a torch or flame-producing device to remove paint from a structure.
  2. Use of open flame, fire or burning in connection with Group A or E occupancies.
  3. Use or operation of torches and other devices, machines or processes liable to start or cause fire in or upon wildfire risk areas.
Open-flame devices shall not be used in a Group A occupancy.
Exceptions:
  1. Open-flame devices are allowed to be used in the following situations, provided approved precautions are taken to prevent ignition of a combustible material or injury to occupants:
    1. Where necessary for ceremonial or religious purposes in accordance with Section 308.1.7.
    2. On stages and platforms as a necessary part of a performance in accordance with Section 308.3.2.
    3. Where candles on tables are securely supported on substantial noncombustible bases and the candle flames are protected.
  2. Heat-producing equipment complying with Chapter 6 and the International Mechanical Code.
  3. Gas lights are allowed to be used provided adequate precautions satisfactory to the fire code official are taken to prevent ignition of combustible materials.
Open-flame decorative devices shall comply with all of the following restrictions:
  1. Class I and Class II liquids and LP-gas shall not be used.
  2. Liquid- or solid-fueled lighting devices containing more than 8 ounces (237 ml) of fuel must self-extinguish and not leak fuel at a rate of more than 0.25 teaspoon per minute (1.26 ml per minute) if tipped over.
  3. The device or holder shall be constructed to prevent the spillage of liquid fuel or wax at the rate of more than 0.25 teaspoon per minute (1.26 ml per minute) when the device or holder is not in an upright position.
  4. The device or holder shall be designed so that it will return to the upright position after being tilted to an angle of 45 degrees (0.79 rad) from vertical.

    Exception: Devices that self-extinguish if tipped over and do not spill fuel or wax at the rate of more than 0.25 teaspoon per minute (1.26 ml per minute) if tipped over.
  5. The flame shall be enclosed except where openings on the side are not more than 0.375-inch (9.5 mm) diameter or where openings are on the top and the distance to the top is such that a piece of tissue paper placed on the top will not ignite in 10 seconds.
  6. Chimneys shall be made of noncombustible materials and securely attached to the open-flame device.

    Exception: A chimney is not required to be attached to any open-flame device that will self-extinguish if the device is tipped over.
  7. Fuel canisters shall be safely sealed for storage.
  8. Storage and handling of combustible liquids shall be in accordance with Chapter 57.
  9. Shades, where used, shall be made of noncombustible materials and securely attached to the open-flame device holder or chimney.
  10. Candelabras with flame-lighted candles shall be securely fastened in place to prevent overturning, and shall be located away from occupants using the area and away from possible contact with drapes, curtains or other combustibles.
Where approved, open-flame devices used in conjunction with theatrical performances are allowed to be used when adequate safety precautions have been taken in accordance with NFPA 160.
Open flame, fire and burning in Group R occupancies shall comply with the requirements of Sections 308.1 through 308.1.6.3 and Section 308.4.1.
Candles, incense and similar open-flame-producing items shall not be allowed in sleeping units in Group R-2 dormitory occupancies.
Powered industrial trucks and similar equipment including, but not limited to, floor scrubbers and floor buffers, shall be operated and maintained in accordance with Section 309.2 through 309.6.
Battery chargers shall be of an approved type. Combustible storage shall be kept not less than 3 feet (915 mm) from battery chargers. Battery charging shall not be conducted in areas accessible to the public.
Ventilation shall be provided in an approved manner in battery-charging areas to prevent a dangerous accumulation of flammable gases.
Battery-charging areas shall be provided with a fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 having a minimum 4-A:20-B:C rating within 20 feet (6096 mm) of the battery charger.
Powered industrial trucks using liquid fuel, LP-gas or hydrogen shall be refueled outside of buildings or in areas specifically approved for that purpose. Fixed fuel-dispensing equipment and associated fueling operations shall be in accordance with Chapter 23. Other fuel-dispensing equipment and operations, including cylinder exchange for LP-gas-fueled vehicles, shall be in accordance with Chapter 57 for flammable and combustible liquids or Chapter 61 for LP-gas.
Repairs to fuel systems, electrical systems and repairs utilizing open flame or welding shall be done in approved locations outside of buildings or in areas specifically approved for that purpose.
The smoking or carrying of a lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette or any other type of smoking paraphernalia or material is prohibited in the areas indicated in Sections 310.2 through 310.8.
Smoking shall be prohibited where conditions are such as to make smoking a hazard, and in spaces where flammable or combustible materials are stored or handled.
The fire code official is authorized to order the posting of "No Smoking" signs in a conspicuous location in each structure or location in which smoking is prohibited. The content, lettering, size, color and location of required "No Smoking" signs shall be approved.

Exception: In Group I-2 occupancies where smoking is prohibited, "No Smoking" signs are not required in interior locations of the facility where signs are displayed at all major entrances into the facility.
A posted "No Smoking" sign shall not be obscured, removed, defaced, mutilated or destroyed.
Smoking shall not be permitted nor shall a person smoke, throw or deposit any lighted or smoldering substance in any place where "No Smoking" signs are posted.
Where smoking is permitted, suitable noncombustible ash trays or match receivers shall be provided on each table and at other appropriate locations.
Lighted matches, cigarettes, cigars or other burning object shall not be discarded in such a manner that could cause ignition of other combustible material.
Where the fire code official determines that hazardous environmental conditions necessitate controlled use of smoking materials, the ignition or use of such materials in mountainous, brush-covered or forest-covered areas or other designated areas is prohibited except in approved designated smoking areas.

310.9 Hookah or Water Pipe Use

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The use of hookahs or similar devices within buildings shall comply with all of the following:
  1. An approved ventilation system is required.
    1. The room or building shall comply with the North Carolina Mechanical Code Section 403.3 for a smoking lounge.
    2. Carbon monoxide accumulation shall be controlled in accordance with the North Carolina Mechanical Code Section 502.
  2. Coals shall be transported from the preparation area in an approved noncombustible container.
  3. Hookah pipes shall be located and positioned in such a manner as to prevent overturning.
  4. Disposal, use, or handling of ashes and coals shall comply with Sections 305.1 and 305.2.
Temporarily unoccupied buildings, structures, premises, or portions thereof, including tenant spaces, shall be safeguarded and maintained in accordance with Sections 311.1.1 through 311.6.

311.1.1 Abandoned Premises

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Buildings, structures and premises for which an owner cannot be identified or located by dispatch of a certificate of mailing to the last known or registered address, which persistently or repeatedly become unprotected or unsecured, which have been occupied by unauthorized persons or for illegal purposes, or which present a danger of structural collapse or fire spread to adjacent properties shall be considered abandoned, declared unsafe and abated by demolition or rehabilitation in accordance with the International Building Code.
Storage and lease plans required by this code shall be revised and updated to reflect temporary or partial vacancies.
Temporarily unoccupied buildings, structures, premises or portions thereof shall be secured and protected in accordance with Sections 311.2.1 through 311.2.3.
Exterior and interior openings accessible to other tenants or unauthorized persons shall be boarded, locked, blocked or otherwise protected to prevent entry by unauthorized individuals. The fire code official is authorized to placard, post signs, erect barrier tape or take similar measures as necessary to secure public safety.

311.2.2 Fire Protection

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Fire alarm, sprinkler and stand-pipe systems shall be maintained in an operable condition at all times.
Exceptions:
  1. Where the premises have been cleared of all combustible materials and debris and, in the opinion of the fire code official, the type of construction, fire separation distance and security of the premises do not create a fire hazard.
  2. Where buildings that will not be heated and where fire protection systems will be exposed to freezing temperatures, fire alarm and sprinkler systems are permitted to be placed out of service and standpipes are permitted to be maintained as dry systems (without an automatic water supply), provided the building has no contents or storage, and windows, doors and other openings are secured to prohibit entry.
Fire-resistance-rated partitions, fire barriers and fire walls separating vacant tenant spaces from the remainder of the building shall be maintained. Openings, joints and penetrations in fire-resistance-rated assemblies shall be protected in accordance with Chapter 7.
Persons owning, or in charge or control of, a vacant building or portion thereof, shall remove therefrom all accumulations of combustible materials, flammable or combustible waste or rubbish and shall securely lock or otherwise secure doors, windows and other openings to prevent entry by unauthorized persons. The premises shall be maintained clear of waste or hazardous materials.

Exceptions:
  1. Buildings or portions of buildings undergoing additions, alterations, repairs or change of occupancy in accordance with the International Building Code, where waste is controlled and removed as required by Section 304.
  2. Seasonally occupied buildings.
Persons owning or having charge or control of a vacant building containing hazardous materials regulated by Chapter 50 shall comply with the facility closure requirements of Section 5001.6.
Any vacant or abandoned buildings or structures determined to be unsafe pursuant to Section 110 of this code relating to structural or interior hazards shall be marked as required by Sections 311.5.1 through 311.5.5.
Placards shall be applied on the front of the structure and be visible from the street. Additional placards shall be applied to the side of each entrance to the structure and on penthouses.
Placards shall be 24 inches by 24 inches (610 mm by 610 mm) minimum in size with a red background, white reflective stripes and a white reflective border. The stripes and border shall have a 2-inch (51 mm) minimum stroke.
Placards shall bear the date of their application to the building and the date of the most recent inspection.
The design of the placards shall use the following symbols:
  1. This symbol shall mean that the structure had normal structural conditions at the time of marking.
  2. This symbol shall mean that structural or interior hazards exist and interior fire-fighting or rescue operations should be conducted with extreme caution.
  3. This symbol shall mean that structural or interior hazards exist to a degree that consideration should be given to limit fire fighting to exterior operations only, with entry only occurring for known life hazards.
  4. Vacant marker hazard identification symbols: The following symbols shall be used to designate known hazards on the vacant building marker. They shall be placed directly above the symbol.
    1. R/O—Roof open
    2. S/M—Stairs, steps and landing missing
    3. F/E—Avoid fire escapes
    4. H/F—Holes in floor
The use of these symbols shall be informational only and shall not in any way limit the discretion of the on-scene incident commander.
Unoccupied tenant spaces in covered and open mall buildings shall be:
  1. Kept free from the storage of any materials.
  2. Separated from the remainder of the building by partitions of not less than 0.5-inch-thick (12.7 mm) gypsum board or an approved equivalent to the underside of the ceiling of the adjoining tenant spaces.
  3. Without doors or other access openings other than one door that shall be kept key locked in the closed position except during that time when opened for inspection.
  4. Kept free from combustible waste and be broomswept clean.
Vehicle impact protection required by this code shall be provided by posts that comply with Section 312.2 or by other approved physical barriers that comply with Section 312.3.
Guard posts shall comply with all of the following requirements:
  1. Constructed of steel not less than 4 inches (102 mm) in diameter and concrete filled.
  2. Spaced not more than 4 feet (1219 mm) between posts on center.
  3. Set not less than 3 feet (914 mm) deep in a concrete footing of not less than a 15-inch (381 mm) diameter.
  4. Set with the top of the posts not less than 3 feet (914 mm) above ground.
  5. Located not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from the protected object.
Barriers, other than posts specified in Section 312.2, that are designed to resist, deflect or visually deter vehicular impact commensurate with an anticipated impact scenario shall be permitted where approved.
Fueled equipment including, but not limited to, motorcycles, mopeds, lawn-care equipment, portable generators and portable cooking equipment, shall not be stored, operated or repaired within a building.

Exceptions:
  1. Buildings or rooms constructed for such use in accordance with the International Building Code.
  2. Where allowed by Section 314.
  3. Storage of equipment utilized for maintenance purposes is allowed in approved locations where the aggregate fuel capacity of the stored equipment does not exceed 10 gallons (38 L) and the building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
The fire code official is authorized to require removal of fueled equipment from locations where the presence of such equipment is determined by the fire code official to be hazardous.
Vehicles powered by flammable liquids, Class II combustible liquids or compressed flammable gases shall not be stored within the living space of Group R buildings.
Indoor displays constructed within any occupancy shall comply with Sections 314.2 through 314.4.
Fixtures and displays of goods for sale to the public shall be arranged so as to maintain free, immediate and unobstructed access to exits as required by Chapter 10.
The display of highly combustible goods, including but not limited to fireworks, flammable or combustible liquids, liquefied flammable gases, oxidizing materials, pyroxylin plastics and agricultural goods, in main exit access aisles, corridors, covered and open malls, or within 5 feet (1524 mm) of entrances to exits and exterior exit doors is prohibited where a fire involving such goods would rapidly prevent or obstruct egress.

314.4 Vehicles

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Liquid- or gas-fueled vehicles, boats or other motorcraft shall not be located indoors except as follows:
  1. Batteries are disconnected.
    Exception: Alternative-fueled vehicles in which manufacturer prohibits the disconnection of power supply.
  2. Fuel in fuel tanks does not exceed one-quarter tank or 5 gallons (19 L) (whichever is least).
    Exception: Diesel-fueled vehicles, the maximum fuel amount permitted shall be 20 gallons.
  3. Fuel tanks and fill openings are closed and sealed to prevent tampering and the release of vapors.
  4. Vehicles, boats or other motorcraft equipment are not fueled or defueled within the building.


The delayed effective date of this Rule is January 1, 2020.
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.
UpCodes note: Prior to January 1, 2020, this section was:

"Liquid- or gas-fueled vehicles, boats or other motorcraft shall not be located indoors except as follows:
  1. Batteries are disconnected.
  2. Fuel in fuel tanks does not exceed one-quarter tank or 5 gallons (19 L) (whichever is least).
  3. Fuel tanks and fill openings are closed and sealed to prevent tampering.
  4. Vehicles, boats or other motorcraft equipment are not fueled or defueled within the building."
Storage shall be in accordance with Sections 315.2 through 315.5.
A permit for miscellaneous combustible storage shall be required as set forth in Section 105.6.
Storage of materials in buildings shall be orderly and stacks shall be stable. Storage of combustible materials shall be separated from heaters or heating devices by distance or shielding so that ignition cannot occur.

315.3.1 Ceiling Clearance

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Storage shall be maintained 2 feet (610 mm) or more below the ceiling in nonsprinklered areas of buildings or not less than 18 inches (457 mm) below sprinkler head deflectors in sprinklered areas of buildings.
UpCodes note: The 2017-2021 Approved Amendments 201310-Fire Code has an update to this section:

Storage shall be maintained 2 feet (610 mm) or more below the ceiling in nonsprinklered areas of buildings or not less than 18 inches (457 mm) below sprinkler head deflectors in sprinklered areas of buildings.
Exceptions:
  1. The 2-foot (610 mm) ceiling clearance is not required for storage along walls in nonsprinklered areas of buildings.
  2. The 18-inch (457 mm) ceiling clearance is not required for storage along walls in areas of buildings equipped with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, 903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3.
The delayed effective date of this Rule is January 1, 2022.
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.
Combustible materials shall not be stored in exits or enclosures for stairways and ramps.
Combustible material shall not be stored in boiler rooms, mechanical rooms, electrical equipment rooms or in fire command centers as specified in Section 508.1.5.
Attic, under-floor and concealed spaces used for storage of combustible materials shall be protected on the storage side as required for 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction. Openings shall be protected by assemblies that are self-closing and are of noncombustible construction or solid wood core not less than 13/4 inches (44.5 mm) in thickness. Storage shall not be placed on exposed joists.

Exceptions:
  1. Areas protected by approved automatic sprinkler systems.
  2. Group R-3 and Group U occupancies.
Outside storage of combustible materials shall not be located within 10 feet (3048 mm) of a lot line.

Exceptions:
  1. The separation distance is allowed to be reduced to 3 feet (914 mm) for storage not exceeding 6 feet (1829 mm) in height.
  2. The separation distance is allowed to be reduced where the fire code official determines that no hazard to the adjoining property exists.
Where buildings are protected by automatic sprinklers, the outdoor storage, display and handling of combustible materials under eaves, canopies or other projections or overhangs are prohibited except where automatic sprinklers are installed under such eaves, canopies or other projections or overhangs.
Storage in the open shall not exceed 20 feet (6096 mm) in height.
Storage shall not be permitted in plenums. Abandoned material in plenums shall be deemed to be storage and shall be removed. Where located in plenums, the accessible portion of abandoned cables that are not identified for future use with a tag shall be deemed storage and shall be removed.
Trapdoors and scuttle covers, other than those that are within a dwelling unit or automatically operated, shall be kept closed at all times except when in use.
Vertical shafts shall be identified as required by this section.
Outside openings accessible to the fire department and that open directly on a hoistway or shaftway communicating between two or more floors in a building shall be plainly marked with the word SHAFTWAY in red letters not less than 6 inches (152 mm) high on a white background. Such warning signs shall be placed so as to be readily discernible from the outside of the building.
Door or window openings to a hoistway or shaftway from the interior of the building shall be plainly marked with the word SHAFTWAY in red letters not less than 6 inches (152 mm) high on a white background. Such warning signs shall be placed so as to be readily discernible.

Exception: Marking shall not be required on shaftway openings that are readily discernible as openings onto a shaftway by the construction or arrangement.
The intentional design or alteration of buildings to disable, injure, maim or kill intruders is prohibited. A person shall not install and use firearms, sharp or pointed objects, razor wire, explosives, flammable or combustible liquid containers, or dispensers containing highly toxic, toxic, irritant or other hazardous materials in a manner that could passively or actively disable, injure, maim or kill a fire fighter who forcibly enters a building for the purpose of controlling or extinguishing a fire, rescuing trapped occupants or rendering other emergency assistance.
Wires, cables, ropes, antennas, or other suspended obstructions installed on the roof of a building having a roof slope of less than 30 degrees (0.52 rad) shall not create an obstruction that is less than 7 feet (2133 mm) high above the surface of the roof.

Exceptions:
  1. Such obstruction shall be permitted where the wire, cable, rope, antenna or suspended obstruction is encased in a white, 2-inch (51 mm) minimum diameter plastic pipe or an approved equivalent.
  2. Such obstruction shall be permitted where there is a solid obstruction below such that accidentally walking into the wire, cable, rope, antenna or suspended obstruction is not possible.
Any security device or system that emits any medium that could obscure a means of egress in any building, structure or premise shall be prohibited.
Structures and outdoor storage underneath high-voltage transmission lines shall comply with Sections 316.6.1 and 316.6.2, respectively.
Structures shall not be constructed within the utility easement beneath high-voltage transmission lines.

Exception: Restrooms and unoccupied telecommunication structures of noncombustible construction less than 15 feet (4572 mm) in height.
Outdoor storage within the utility easement underneath high-voltage transmission lines shall be limited to noncombustible material. Storage of hazardous materials including, but not limited to, flammable and combustible liquids is prohibited.

Exception: Combustible storage, including vehicles and fuel storage for backup power equipment serving public utility equipment, is allowed, provided that a plan indicating the storage configuration is submitted and approved.

316.6.3 Parking

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Transient parking of passenger vehicles is allowed as follows:
  1. The utility provider grants permission to park within their easement or right of way;
  2. Each vehicle shall be 10,000 pounds or less gross vehicle weight;
  3. The lowest conductor of the transmission line shall be 25 feet (7620 mm) above the parking lot surface;
  4. The transmission line voltage shall be 230kv or less; and
  5. Transient parking is a time period of no more than 12 consecutive hours
Rooftop gardens and landscaped roofs shall be installed and maintained in accordance with Sections 317.2 through 317.5 and Sections 1505 and 1507.16 of the International Building Code.
Rooftop garden or landscaped roof areas shall not exceed 15,625 square feet (1450 m2) in size for any single area with a maximum dimension of 125 feet (39 m) in length or width. A minimum 6-foot-wide (1.8 m) clearance consisting of a Class A-rated roof system complying with ASTM E 108 or UL 790 shall be provided between adjacent rooftop gardens or landscaped roof areas.
For all vegetated roofing systems abutting combustible vertical surfaces, a Class A-rated roof system complying with ASTM E 108 or UL 790 shall be achieved for a minimum 6-foot-wide (1829 mm) continuous border placed around rooftop structures and all rooftop equipment including, but not limited to, mechanical and machine rooms, penthouses, skylights, roof vents, solar panels, antenna supports and building service equipment.
Vegetation shall be maintained in accordance with Sections 317.4.1 and 317.4.2.
Supplemental irrigation shall be provided to maintain levels of hydration necessary to keep green roof plants alive and to keep dry foliage to a minimum.
Excess biomass, such as overgrown vegetation, leaves and other dead and decaying material, shall be removed at regular intervals not less than two times per year.
The fire code official is authorized to require a maintenance plan for vegetation placed on roofs due to the size of a roof garden, materials used or where a fire hazard exists to the building or exposures due to the lack of maintenance.
Fueled equipment stored on roofs and used for the care and maintenance of vegetation on roofs shall be stored in accordance with Section 313.
Laundry carts with an individual capacity of 1 cubic yard [200 gallons (0.76 m3)] or more, used in laundries within Group B, E, F-1, I, M and R-1 occupancies, shall be constructed of noncombustible materials or materials having a peak rate of heat release not exceeding 300 kW/m2 at a flux of 50 kW/m2 where tested in a horizontal orientation in accordance with ASTM E 1354.

Exceptions:
  1. Laundry carts in areas protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system installed throughout in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
  2. Laundry carts in coin-operated laundries.

Section 319 Temporary Overflow Shelter

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

319.1 General

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Existing Group A-2 and A-3 occupancies shall be permitted to provide facilities for temporary overflow emergency shelters for the homeless provided that all of the following conditions are met and approved by the local building and fire code official.

319.1.1 Occupant Load and Age

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The maximum number of homeless occupants is 20 individuals who are ambulatory. The homeless occupants must be 18 years of age or older.

Exception: Occupants may be less than 18 years of age if the temporary shelter meets all of the following:
  1. Is intended to serve homeless families with children and their parents or other legal guardian;
  2. Consists of a group of churches or other nonprofit religious entities that have agreed to host the shelter occupants on the premises of each church or religious entity on a rotating basis; and
  3. Equipped with smoke detectors meeting applicable code provisions for such devices in all sleeping areas.

319.1.2 Construction Type

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The building must be of Type I, II, or III construction.

319.1.3 Staff

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The temporary overflow emergency shelter must be staffed by a minimum of two individuals, 21 years of age or older, trained in accordance with Chapter 4 of the North Carolina Fire Code and at least one trained individual shall be awake to monitor the sleeping room and restrooms throughout the time the facility is occupied by the homeless.

319.1.4 Fire Alarm and Detection Systems

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Functioning smoke detection and a local fire alarm system in accordance with Section 907.2.8 shall be provided throughout the sleeping room and exit access corridors and stairs of the temporary overflow emergency shelter.

     The building owner shall submit documentation illustrating that the fire alarm system is approved and that all emergency batteries have been tested and are operational.

319.1.5 Means of Egress

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
There shall be a minimum of two separate code compliant means of egress serving the temporary overflow emergency shelter. An evacuation route approved by the local building and fire code officials shall be posted and be in compliance with Sections 403 and 404 of this code.

319.1.5.1 Illumination

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The temporary overflow emergency shelter sleeping room and exit access corridors and stairs shall have unswitched illumination and emergency powered illumination with a duration of not less than 90 minutes.

319.1.6 Automatic Sprinkler System

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
No fire protection sprinkler system is required in accordance with Section 903.2.8, Exception 2.

319.1.7 Ventilation and Temperature Control

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Heating, cooling, and ventilation must be provided by equipment installed and approved for such use. Use of space heaters shall be prohibited.

319.1.8 Fire Extinguishers

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
There must be an adequate number of fire extinguishers to serve the temporary overflow emergency shelter as determined by the local fire marshal. Travel distance to an approved fire extinguisher shall not exceed 50 feet (15 240 mm). Minimum rating of extinguishers shall be 3A:40B:C.

319.1.9 Occupant Restrictions

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
No smoking is permitted in the temporary overflow emergency shelter.

319.1.10 Permits

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Temporary overflow emergency shelters must be approved by the local code official for occupancy by issuance of an approved occupancy permit. Life Safety drawings of the temporary overflow emergency shelter sealed by a registered design professional must be provided for local code official review and approval.

     Occupancy of a temporary overflow emergency shelter shall be for a maximum of 150 calendar days within any 365-day time span.

319.1.11 Accessibility

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
For temporary overflow emergency shelters, compliance with the North Carolina Building Code, Chapter 11 and Section 1009 is not required provided that the local jurisdiction has other shelter facilities that are accessible by the disabled.

Section 320 Group E in Churches, Private Schools and Public Schools

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

320.1 Group E in Churches, Private Schools and Public Schools

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Rooms used for first grade children and younger shall be located on the level of exit discharge. Rooms used for second grade children shall not be located more than one story above the level of exit discharge.

Section 321 Temporary Sleeping Units for Disaster Relief Workers

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The delayed effective date of this Rule is January 1, 2021.
The Statutory authority for Rule-making is G. S. 143-136; 143-138.

321.1 General

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
This section shall apply to temporary use of existing buildings for purposes of providing sleeping units for volunteer disaster relief workers supporting a disaster declaration issued by the Governor of North Carolina. Existing buildings shall be permitted to provide temporary sleeping facilities for disaster relief workers provided that all the provisions of this section are met and approved by the local code officials.

Facilities complying with 321 shall not require compliance with other provisions of this code or the Building Code.
Exception: Buildings containing the following occupancies or uses shall not be used for temporary sleeping units for disaster relief workers:
  1. Group F
  2. Group H
  3. Group S-1 vehicle repair garage
  4. Group S-1 bulk tire storage
  5. Woodworking operations

321.2 Permit Required

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
An operational permit as designated in 105.6.49 shall be required.

321.3 Short-Term Occupancy

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Short-term occupancies meeting the requirements of this section shall be permitted in existing buildings that have a current certificate of occupancy and connected electrical service. Use of a building or portion thereof for a short-term occupancy shall not exceed two days within 30 consecutive days.

321.3.1 Fire Alarm and Detection Systems

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Functioning smoke detection as required for the existing building or single station battery operated smoke alarms where no system exists shall be provided throughout the sleeping room, exit access corridors, and stairs serving the sleeping units per 907.2.11. Carbon monoxide detection devices shall be provided as required by 915.1.4 when fuel fired appliances are present.

321.3.2 Ventilation and Temperature Control

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Heating, cooling, and ventilation must be provided by equipment installed and approved for such use. Use of portable space heaters shall be prohibited.

321.3.3 Plumbing Fixtures

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Plumbing fixtures shall be provided as required for Group R-2 by the NC Plumbing Code, Section 403 for the number of disaster relief workers occupying the building. Temporary facilities are permitted as approved by the local code official.

321.3.4 Accessibility

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Sleeping units for temporary disaster relief workers complying with the NC Building Code, Chapter 11 and Section 1009 are not required provided that the building owner or supporting organization has other sleeping facilities that are accessible by the disabled within the same jurisdiction as the temporary sleeping units.

321.4 Long-Term Occupancy

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Long-term occupancies meeting the requirements of this section and 321.3 shall be permitted in existing buildings that have a current certificate of occupancy and connected electrical service. Long-term occupancies are for periods exceeding Short-term occupancy as designated in Section 321.3 with a maximum of 180 consecutive calendar days. The local fire official may extend the initial time period up to an additional 180-day period as often as needed if the building owner or his or her designee provides documentation satisfactory to the local fire official that an extension of time is necessary to support local disaster relief efforts and the fire official verifies that the building remains in compliance with this section.

321.4.1 Occupant Load and Age

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The maximum number of disaster relief workers permitted in the occupancy is 20 ambulatory individuals. The disaster relief workers must be 18 years of age or older.
Exception: Occupants may be less than 18 years of age if the sleeping unit meets all of the following conditions:
  1. Is intended to serve disaster relief worker families with children and their parents or other legal guardian; and
  2. Is equipped with smoke alarms meeting applicable code provisions for such devices in all sleeping areas.

321.4.2 Staff

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The sleeping units must be staffed by a minimum of two individuals of 21 years of age or older trained in accordance with Chapter 4 of the NC Fire Code and at least one trained individual shall be awake to monitor the sleeping room and restrooms throughout the time the facility is occupied by the disaster relief workers.

321.4.3 Fire Alarm and Detection Systems

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Functioning smoke detection as required for the existing building or single station smoke alarms where no system exists shall be provided throughout the sleeping room, exit access corridors, and stairs serving the sleeping units per 907.2.11.

Carbon monoxide detection devices shall be provided as required by 915.1.4 when fuel fired appliances are present.

Building owner or his or her designee shall submit documentation illustrating that the smoke alarm is approved and that all emergency batteries have been tested and are operational.

321.4.4 Fire Extinguishers

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
There must be an adequate number of fire extinguishers to serve the sleeping units as determined by the local fire code official. Travel distance to an approved fire extinguisher shall not exceed 50 feet. Minimum rating of extinguishers shall be 3A-40BC.

321.4.5 Automatic Sprinkler System

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
No fire protection sprinkler system is required per 903.2.8, Exception #6. Any existing fire sprinkler system shall be operational.
Exception: Sprinkler system required by 321.4.7.

321.4.6 Means of Egress

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
There shall be a minimum of two separate code compliant means of egress serving the sleeping units. An evacuation route approved by the local fire code officials shall be posted and be in compliance with Sections 401, 403, 404, and 406 of the NC Fire Code. 

321.4.6.1 Illumination

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The disaster relief workers sleeping rooms and exit access corridors and stairs shall have unswitched illumination and emergency powered illumination with a duration of not less than 90- minutes.

321.4.7 Location of Sleeping Units

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Sleeping units above or below the level of exit discharge are required to have a fire sprinkler system complying with 903.3 or an automatic smoke detection system complying with 907.2.8.2.

321.4.8 Occupant Restrictions

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
  1. No smoking shall be permitted in the facility.
  2. Candles, incense and similar open-flame-producing items shall not be allowed within the sleeping units or areas immediately adjacent to the sleeping units.
  3. No temporary cooking equipment shall be permitted in the facility.
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