The provisions of this chapter shall govern the minimum conditions and standards for fire safety relating to structures and exterior premises, including fire safety facilities and equipment to be provided.
A safe, continuous and unobstructed path of travel shall be provided from any point in a building or structure to the public way. Means of egress shall comply with the International Fire Code.
The required width of aisles in accordance with the International Fire Code shall be unobstructed.
All means of egress doors shall be readily openable from the side from which egress is to be made without the need for keys, special knowledge or effort, except where the door hardware conforms to that permitted by the International Building Code.
Required emergency escape openings shall be maintained in accordance with the code in effect at the time of construction, and the following. Required emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools. Bars, grilles, grates or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings provided the minimum net clear opening size complies with the code that was in effect at the time of construction and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.
The required fire-resistance rating of fire-resistance-rated walls, fire stops, shaft enclosures, partitions and floors shall be maintained.
Required opening protectives shall be maintained in an operative condition. All fire and smokestop doors shall be maintained in operable condition. Fire doors and smoke barrier doors shall not be blocked or obstructed or otherwise made inoperable.
All systems, devices and equipment to detect a fire, actuate an alarm, or suppress or control a fire or any combination thereof shall be maintained in an operable condition at all times in accordance with the International Fire Code.
Inspection, testing and maintenance of automatic sprinkler systems shall be in accordance with NFPA 25.
Single- or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed and maintained in Group R or I-1 occupancies, regardless of occupant load at all of the following locations:
- On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.
- In each room used for sleeping purposes.
- In each story within a dwelling unit, including basements and cellars but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.
In Group R or I-1 occupancies, single-station smoke alarms shall receive their primary power from the building wiring provided that such wiring is served from a commercial source and shall be equipped with a battery backup. Smoke alarms shall emit a signal when the batteries are low. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than as required for overcurrent protection.
Exception: Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated in buildings where no construction is taking place, buildings that are not served from a commercial power source and in existing areas of buildings undergoing alterations or repairs that do not result in the removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available which could provide access for building wiring without the removal of interior finishes.
Where more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit in Group R or I-1 occupancies, the smoke alarms shall be interconnected in such a manner that the activation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. Physical interconnection of smoke alarms shall not be required where listed wireless alarms are installed and all alarms sound upon activation of one alarm. The alarm shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed.
- Interconnection is not required in buildings which are not undergoing alterations, repairs or construction of any kind.
- Smoke alarms in existing areas are not required to be interconnected where alterations or repairs do not result in the removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available which could provide access for interconnection without the removal of interior finishes.