About this chapter: Chapter 4 addresses the human contribution to life safety in buildings when a fire or other emergency occurs. The requirements for continuous training and scheduled fire, evacuation and lockdown drills can be as important as the required periodic inspections and maintenance of built-in fire protection features. The level of preparation by the occupants also improves the emergency responders' abilities during an emergency. The International Building Code® focuses on built-in fire protection features, such as automatic sprinkler systems, fire-resistance-rated construction and properly designed egress systems, whereas this chapter fully addresses the human element.
Reporting of emergencies, coordination with emergency response forces, emergency plans and procedures for managing or responding to emergencies shall comply with the provisions of this section.
It shall be unlawful to interfere with, attempt to interfere with, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or restrict the mobility of or block the path of travel of a fire department emergency vehicle in any way, or to interfere with, attempt to interfere with, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or hamper any fire department operation.
In theaters, motion picture theaters, auditoriums and similar assembly occupancies in Group A used for noncontinuous programs, an audible announcement shall be made not more than 10 minutes prior to the start of each program to notify the occupants of the location of the exits to be used in the event of a fire or other emergency.
- Locations of patients who are rendered incapable of self-preservation.
- Maximum number of patients rendered incapable of self-preservation.
- Area and extent of each ambulatory care facility.
- Location of adjacent smoke compartments or refuge areas, where required.
- Path of travel to adjacent smoke compartments.
- Location of any special locking, delayed egress or access control arrangements.
The fire safety and evacuation plans required by Section 404 shall include a description of special staff actions. Plans shall include all of the following in addition to the requirements of Section 404.
- Procedures for evacuation for patients with needs for containment or restraint and post-evacuation containment, where present.
- A written plan for maintenance of the means of egress.
- Procedure for a defend-in-place strategy.
- Procedures for a full-floor or building evacuation, where necessary.
- Location and number of patient sleeping rooms and operating rooms.
- Location of adjacent smoke compartments or refuge areas.
- Path of travel to adjacent smoke compartments.
- Location of special locking, delayed egress or access control arrangements.
- Location of elevators utilized for patient movement in accordance with the fire safety plan, where provided.
- The movement of patients to safe areas or to the exterior of the building is not required.
- Where emergency evacuation drills are conducted after visiting hours or where patients or residents are expected to be asleep, a coded announcement shall be an acceptable alternative to audible alarms.
Group I-3 occupancies shall be provided with 24-hour staffing. An employee shall be within three floors or 300 feet (91 440 mm) horizontal distance of the access door of each resident housing area. In Group I-3 Conditions 3, 4 and 5, as defined in Chapter 2, the arrangement shall be such that the employee involved can start release of locks necessary for emergency evacuation or rescue and initiate other necessary emergency actions within 2 minutes of an alarm.
Exception: An employee shall not be required to be within three floors or 300 feet (91 440 mm) horizontal distance of the access door of each resident housing area in areas in which all locks are unlocked remotely and automatically in accordance with Section 408.4 of the International Building Code.
Upon discovery of a fire or suspected fire, hotel and motel employees shall perform the following duties:
- Activate the fire alarm system, where provided.
- Notify the public fire department.
- Take other action as previously instructed.
Emergency evacuation drills shall involve the actual evacuation of residents to a selected assembly point and shall provide residents with experience in exiting through all required exits. All required exits shall be used during emergency evacuation drills.
Exception: Actual exiting from emergency escape and rescue windows shall not be required. Opening the emergency escape and rescue window and signaling for help shall be an acceptable alternative.
- Each occupancy, including identification of tenant.
- Exits from each tenant space.
- 3.1. Fire department connections.
- 3.2. Fire command center.
- 3.3. Smoke management system controls.
- 3.4. Elevators, elevator machine rooms and controls.
- 3.5. Hose valve outlets.
- 3.6. Sprinkler and standpipe control valves.
- 3.7. Automatic fire-extinguishing system areas.
- 3.8. Automatic fire detector zones.
- 3.9. Fire barriers.
Tenant identification shall be provided for secondary exits from occupied tenant spaces that lead to an exit corridor or directly to the exterior of the building. Tenant identification shall be posted on the exterior side of the exit or exit access door and shall identify the business name and address using plainly legible letters and numbers that contrast with their background.
Exception: Tenant identification is not required for anchor stores.
- The high-piled storage area exceeds 500,000 square feet (46 450 m2) for Class I-IV commodities.
- The high-piled storage area exceeds 300,000 square feet (27 870 m2) for high-hazard commodities.
- The high-piled storage is located in a Group H occupancy.
- The high-piled storage is located in a Group F occupancy with an occupant load of 500 or more persons or more than 100 persons above or below the lowest level of exit discharge.
- The high-piled storage is located in a Group M occupancy with an occupant load of 500 or more persons or more than 100 persons above or below the lowest level of exit discharge.
- Where required by the fire code official for other high-piled storage areas.
On-duty fire watch personnel shall have the following responsibilities:
- Keep diligent watch for fires, obstructions to means of egress and other hazards.
- Take prompt measures for remediation of hazards and extinguishment of fires that occur.
- Take prompt measures to assist in the evacuation of the public from the structures.
Where the fire code official determines that an indoor or outdoor gathering of persons has an adverse impact on public safety through diminished access to buildings, structures, fire hydrants and fire apparatus access roads or where such gatherings adversely affect public safety services of any kind, the fire code official shall have the authority to order the development of or prescribe a public safety plan that provides an approved level of public safety and addresses the following items:
- Emergency vehicle ingress and egress.
- Fire protection.
- Emergency egress or escape routes.
- Emergency medical services.
- Public assembly areas.
- The directing of both attendees and vehicles, including the parking of vehicles.
- Vendor and food concession distribution.
- The need for the presence of law enforcement.
- The need for fire and emergency medical services personnel.
- The need for a weather monitoring person.
Not fewer than two trained crowd managers, and not fewer than one trained crowd manager for each 250 persons or portion thereof, shall be provided for the gathering.
- Outdoor events with fewer than 1,000 persons in attendance shall not require crowd managers.
- Assembly occupancies used exclusively for religious worship with an occupant load not exceeding 1,000 shall not require crowd managers.
- The number of crowd managers shall be reduced where, in the opinion of the fire code official, the fire protection provided by the facility and the nature of the event warrant a reduction.
The duties of crowd managers shall include, but not be limited to:
- Conduct an inspection of the area of responsibility and identify and address any egress barriers.
- Conduct an inspection of the area of responsibility to identify and mitigate any fire hazards.
- Verify compliance with all permit conditions, including those governing pyrotechnics and other special effects.
- Direct and assist the event attendees in evacuation during an emergency.
- Assist emergency response personnel where requested.
- Other duties required by the fire code official.
- Other duties as specified in the fire safety plan.
Fire evacuation plans shall include the following:
- Emergency egress or escape routes and whether evacuation of the building is to be complete by selected floors or areas only or with a defend-in-place response.
- Procedures for employees who must remain to operate critical equipment before evacuating.
- Procedures for the use of elevators to evacuate the building where occupant evacuation elevators complying with Section 3008 of the International Building Code are provided.
- Procedures for assisted rescue for persons unable to use the general means of egress unassisted.
- Procedures for accounting for employees and occupants after evacuation has been completed.
- Identification and assignment of personnel responsible for rescue or emergency medical aid.
- The preferred and any alternative means of notifying occupants of a fire or emergency.
- The preferred and any alternative means of reporting fires and other emergencies to the fire department or designated emergency response organization.
- Identification and assignment of personnel who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
- A description of the emergency voice/alarm communication system alert tone and preprogrammed voice messages, where provided.
Fire safety plans shall include the following:
- The procedure for reporting a fire or other emergency.
- 2.1. Procedures for notifying occupants, including areas with a private mode alarm system.
- 2.2. Procedures for occupants under a defend-in-place response.
- 2.3. Procedures for evacuating occupants, including those who need evacuation assistance.
- 3.1. The occupancy assembly point.
- 3.2. The locations of fire hydrants.
- 3.3. The normal routes of fire department vehicle access.
- 4.1. Exits.
- 4.2. Primary evacuation routes.
- 4.3. Secondary evacuation routes.
- 4.4.1. Areas of refuge.
- 4.4.2. Exterior areas for assisted rescue.
- 4.5. Refuge areas associated with smoke barriers and horizontal exits.
- 4.6. Manual fire alarm boxes.
- 4.7. Portable fire extinguishers.
- 4.8. Occupant-use hose stations.
- 4.9. Fire alarm annunciators and controls.
- A list of major fire hazards associated with the normal use and occupancy of the premises, including maintenance and housekeeping procedures.
- Identification and assignment of personnel responsible for maintenance of systems and equipment installed to prevent or control fires.
- Identification and assignment of personnel responsible for maintenance, housekeeping and controlling fuel hazard sources.
Lockdown plans shall include the following:
- Identification of individuals authorized to issue a lockdown order.
- Security measures used during normal operations, when the building is occupied, that could adversely affect egress or fire department operations.
- A description of identified emergency and security threats addressed by the plan, including specific lockdown procedures to be implemented for each threat condition.
- 4.1. The means of notifying occupants of a lockdown event, which shall be distinct from the fire alarm signal.
- 4.2. Identification of each door or other access point that will be secured.
- 4.3. A description of the means or methods used to secure doors and other access points.
- 4.4. A description of how locking means and methods are in compliance with the requirements of this code for egress and accessibility.
- Procedures for reporting to the fire department any lockdown condition affecting egress or fire department operations.
- Procedures for determining and reporting the presence or absence of occupants to emergency response agencies during a lockdown.
- Means for providing two-way communication between a central location and each area subject to being secured during a lockdown.
- Identification of the prearranged signal for terminating the lockdown.
- Identification of individuals authorized to issue a lockdown termination order.
- Procedures for unlocking doors and verifying that the means of egress has been returned to normal operations upon termination of the lockdown.
- Training procedures and frequency of lockdown plan drills.
Required emergency evacuation drills shall be held at the intervals specified in Table 405.2 or more frequently where necessary to familiarize all occupants with the drill procedure.
FIRE AND EVACUATION DRILL FREQUENCY AND PARTICIPATION
|GROUP OR OCCUPANCY||FREQUENCY||PARTICIPATION|
|Group Bb||Annually||All occupants|
|Ambulatory care facilities)||Quarterly on each shifta||Employees|
|Group Bb (Clinic, outpatient)||Annually||Employees|
|Group E||Monthlya||All occupants|
|Group I-1||Semiannually on each shifta||All occupants|
|Group I-2||Quarterly on each shifta||Employees|
|Group I-3||Quarterly on each shifta||Employees|
|Group I-4||Monthly on each shifta||All occupants|
|Group R-1||Quarterly on each shift||Employees|
|Group R-2d||Four annually||All occupants|
|Group R-4||Semiannually on each shifta||All occupants|
- In severe climates, the fire code official shall have the authority to modify the emergency evacuation drill frequency.
- Emergency evacuation drills are required in Group B buildings having an occupant load of 500 or more persons or more than 100 persons above or below the lowest level of exit discharge.
- Emergency evacuation drills are required in ambulatory care facilities in accordance with Section 403.3.
- Emergency evacuation drills in Group R-2 college and university buildings shall be in accordance with Section 403.10.2.1. Other Group R-2 occupancies shall be in accordance with Section 403.10.2.2.
Records shall be maintained of required emergency evacuation drills and include the following information:
- Identity of the person conducting the drill.
- Date and time of the drill.
- Notification method used.
- Employees on duty and participating.
- Number of occupants evacuated.
- Special conditions simulated.
- Problems encountered.
- Weather conditions when occupants were evacuated.
- Time required to accomplish complete evacuation.