ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Fire Code 2018 (IFC 2018)

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.

User note:

About this chapter: Chapter 7 provides requirements to maintain the fire-resistance ratings of building elements and to limit fire spread. Section 701 addresses the maintenance of and owner's responsibility for construction elements such as fire barriers and smoke barriers. The rest of the chapter deals with various aspects that also must be maintained to achieve overall fire resistance of the main fire- and smoke-resistive features. These include penetrations, joint protection, door and window openings, and duct and air transfer opening protection.

The provisions of this chapter shall govern the inspection and maintenance of the materials, systems and assemblies used for structural fire resistance, fire-resistance rated construction separation of adjacent spaces and construction installed to resist the passage of smoke to safeguard against the spread of fire and smoke within a building and the spread of fire to or from buildings. New buildings shall comply with the International Building Code.

The fire-resistance rating of the following fire-resistance-rated construction shall be maintained:

  1. Structural members.
  2. Exterior walls.
  3. Fire walls, fire barriers, fire partitions.
  4. Horizontal assemblies.
  5. Shaft enclosures.
The hanging and displaying of salable goods and other decorative materials from acoustical ceiling systems that are part of a fire-resistance-rated horizontal assembly shall be prohibited.
The fire-resistance rating and smoke-resistant characteristics of smoke barriers shall be maintained.
The smoke-resistant characteristics of smoke partitions shall be maintained.
Materials, systems and devices used to repair or protect breaches and openings in fire-resistance-rated construction and construction installed to resist the passage of smoke shall be maintained in accordance with Sections 703 through 707.
The owner shall maintain an inventory of all required fire-resistance-rated construction, construction installed to resist the passage of smoke and the construction included in Sections 703 through 707. Such construction shall be visually inspected by the owner annually and properly repaired, restored or replaced where damaged, altered, breached or penetrated. Records of inspections and repairs shall be maintained. Where concealed, such elements shall not be required to be visually inspected by the owner unless the concealed space is accessible by the removal or movement of a panel, access door, ceiling tile or similar movable entry to the space.

F- 701.6.1 Periodic Inspection of Dampers

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Where ready access to required fire dampers, smoke dampers and combination fire/smoke dampers is available, such dampers shall be inspected and certified in accordance with Sections F-701.6.1.1 through F-701.6.1.5 where installed in the following locations:

  1. Special Assembly Occupancies, including any exit enclosures providing a means of egress from spaces containing such occupancies.
  2. Group I-2 occupancies, including any exit enclosures providing a means of egress from spaces containing such occupancies.
  3. Vertical ventilation shafts located within high-rise buildings where the shaft has a minimum fire resistance rating of one-hour.
In this section, ready access shall mean that the damper has been provided with a means of access, which is large enough to permit inspection and maintenance of the damper and its operating parts in accordance with the Building Code at the time of construction.

Exception: This Section shall not apply to the inspection of dampers that are part of a smoke control system as regulated by Section F-901.6.4.9.

F- 701.6.1.1 Inspection Methods

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Inspection and testing shall be performed to ensure the following:
  1. Unobstructed access to the damper shall be verified and corrected as required.
  2. An operation test of the damper shall verify that the damper closes and that there is no damper interference due to rusted, bent, misaligned or damaged frame or blades, or defective hinges or parts.
  3. The damper frame shall not be penetrated by any foreign objects that would affect fire damper operations.
  4. The damper shall not be blocked from closure in any way.
  5. The fusible link (if applicable) shall be reinstalled after the completion of the operation testing.
  6. If the fusible link (if applicable) is damaged or painted, it shall be replaced with a link of the same size, temperature and load rating.

F- 701.6.1.2 Qualifications of Contractors

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Any contractor who conducts periodic inspection of required fire dampers, smoke dampers and combination fire/smoke dampers shall be licensed in one of the following categories in accordance with Chapter 9-1000301 of The Philadelphia Code:
  1. Master Plumber (9-1003)
  2. Contractor (9-1004)
  3. Fire Suppression System Contractor (9-1005)
  4. Electrical Contractor (9-1006)

F- 701.6.1.3 Qualifications of Inspectors

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Any individual performing periodic inspection of required fire dampers, smoke dampers and combination fire/smoke dampers shall be a Sheet Metal Systems Technician, certified by the Department of Licenses and Inspections pursuant to Chapter 9-3000 of The Philadelphia Code. The Technician shall also hold a certification from the Sheet Metal Industry International Certification Board (ICB) as a Fire Life Safety Level 1 or Level 2 Technician, or a similar certification from an independent personal certification program approved by the Department.

F- 701.6.1.4 Frequency

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Each fire damper, smoke damper and combination fire/smoke damper with ready access shall be inspected upon initial installation and thereafter every four years, except in Group I-2 occupancies where the frequency shall be every six years.

F- 701.6.1.4.1 Initial Inspection

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The initial inspection and certification of each fire damper, smoke damper and combination fire/smoke damper, installed prior to the effective date of this Ordinance, and regulated by this Section, shall be completed by January 1, 2020.

F- 701.6.1.5 Certification Reporting

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
All inspections shall be documented by the Contractor on a certification form established by the fire code official indicating the locations of the fire damper, smoke damper and combination fire/smoke damper inspected, date of inspection, name of inspector and Sheet Metal Technician Certification number of the inspector. The report must be presented by the Contractor to the building owner upon completion and shall be maintained on the property and made available for inspection upon request by the fire code official. The report shall also be submitted to the Department of Licenses and Inspections who may, by regulation, establish a fee to be paid upon submission of the report.

F- 701.6.1.6 Submission of Deficiencies

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
When deficiencies are not corrected within ninety (90) days, the Contractor performing the required inspections and testing shall submit a list of deficiencies that preclude inspection certification of the dampers, in an approved form to the fire code official.

Where any components in this chapter are not maintained and do not function as intended or do not have the fire resistance or the resistance to the passage of smoke required by the code under which the building was constructed, remodeled or altered, such component(s) or portion thereof shall be deemed an unsafe condition, in accordance with Section 111.1.1. Components or portions thereof determined to be unsafe shall be repaired or replaced to conform to that code under which the building was constructed, remodeled, altered or this chapter, as deemed appropriate by the fire code official.

Where the condition of components is such that any building, structure or portion thereof presents an imminent danger to the occupants of the building, structure or portion thereof, the fire code official shall act in accordance with Section 111.2.

Materials and firestop systems used to protect membrane and through penetrations in fire-resistance-rated construction and construction installed to resist the passage of smoke shall be maintained. The materials and firestop systems shall be securely attached to or bonded to the construction being penetrated with no openings visible through or into the cavity of the construction. Where the system design number is known, the system shall be inspected to the listing criteria and manufacturer's installation instructions.

Where required when the building was originally constructed, materials and systems used to protect joints and voids in the following locations shall be maintained. The materials and systems shall be securely attached to or bonded to the adjacent construction, without openings visible through the construction.

  1. Joints in or between fire-resistance-rated walls, floors or floor/ceiling assemblies and roof or roof/ceiling assemblies.
  2. Joints in smoke barriers.
  3. Voids at the intersection of a horizontal floor assembly and an exterior curtain wall.
  4. Voids at the intersection of a horizontal smoke barrier and an exterior curtain wall.
  5. Voids at the intersection of a nonfire-resistance-rated floor assembly and an exterior curtain wall.
  6. Voids at the intersection of a vertical fire barrier and an exterior curtain wall.
  7. Voids at the intersection of a vertical fire barrier and a nonfire-resistance-rated roof assembly.

Unprotected joints and voids do not need to be protected where such joints and voids were not required to be protected when the building was originally constructed.

Where openings are required to be protected, opening protectives shall be maintained self-closing or automatic-closing by smoke detection. Existing fusible-link-type automatic door-closing devices are permitted if the fusible link rating does not exceed 135°F (57°C).
Where required when the building was originally constructed, opening protectives installed in fire-resistance-rated assemblies, smoke barriers and smoke partitions shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with this section.
Opening protectives in fire-resistance-rated assemblies shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with NFPA 80. Opening protectives in smoke barriers shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with NFPA 80 and NFPA 105. Openings in smoke partitions shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with NFPA 105. Fire doors and smoke and draft control doors shall not be blocked, obstructed, or otherwise made inoperable. Fusible links shall be replaced promptly whenever fused or damaged. Opening protectives and smoke and draft control doors shall not be modified.
Where approved by the fire code official, the application of field-applied labels associated with the maintenance of opening protectives shall follow the requirements of the approved third-party certification organization accredited for listing the opening protective.

Where required by the fire code official, a sign shall be permanently displayed on or near each fire door in letters not less than 1 inch (25 mm) high to read as follows:

  1. For doors designed to be kept normally open: FIRE DOOR—DO NOT BLOCK.
  2. For doors designed to be kept normally closed: FIRE DOOR—KEEP CLOSED.
Hold-open devices and automatic door closers, where provided, shall be maintained. During the period that such device is out of service for repairs, the door it operates shall remain in the closed position.
Swinging fire doors shall close from the full-open position and latch automatically.
Smoke-activated doors shall be maintained to self-close or automatically close upon detection of smoke. Existing fusible-link-type automatic door-closing devices are permitted if the fusible link rating does not exceed 135°F (57°C).
Horizontal and vertical sliding and rolling fire doors shall be inspected and tested annually to confirm proper operation and full closure. Records of inspections and testing shall be maintained.
Dampers protecting ducts and air transfer openings shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with NFPA 80 and NFPA 105. Other products or materials used to protect the openings for ducts and air transfer openings shall be securely attached to or bonded to the construction containing the duct or air transfer opening, without visible openings through or into the cavity of the construction. Any damaged products or materials protecting duct and air transfer openings shall be repaired, restored or replaced.
Unprotected duct and air transfer openings in fire-resistance-rated construction and construction installed to resist the passage of smoke shall be protected so as to comply with requirements that were in effect when the building was constructed.
Required fireblocking and draftstopping in combustible concealed spaces shall be maintained to provide continuity and integrity of the construction.
UpCodes Premium
Leverage the most sophisticated code compliance platform.
TRY FREE FOR TWO WEEKS VISIT PRICING