About this chapter: Chapter 7 establishes fire safety requirements for existing structures by containing requirements for means of egress, including path of travel, required egress width, means of egress doors and emergency escape openings, and for the maintenance of fire-resistance-rated assemblies, fire protection systems, and carbon monoxide alarm and detection systems.
Where required by the 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:
- For doors designed to be kept normally open: FIRE DOOR — DO NOT BLOCK.
- For doors designed to be kept normally closed: FIRE DOOR — KEEP CLOSED.
Fire protection systems shall be inspected, maintained and tested in accordance with the following International Fire Code requirements.
- Automatic sprinkler systems, see Section 903.5.
- Automatic fire-extinguishing systems protecting commercial cooking systems, see Section 904.12.5.
- Automatic water mist extinguishing systems, see Section 904.11.
- Carbon dioxide extinguishing systems, see Section 904.8.
- Carbon monoxide alarms and carbon monoxide detection systems, see Section 915.6.
- Clean-agent extinguishing systems, see Section 904.10.
- Dry-chemical extinguishing systems, see Section 904.6.
- Fire alarm and fire detection systems, see Section 907.8.
- Fire department connections, see Sections 912.4 and 912.7.
- Fire pumps, see Section 913.5.
- Foam extinguishing systems, see Section 904.7.
- Halon extinguishing systems, see Section 904.9.
- Single- and multiple-station smoke alarms, see Section 907.10.
- Smoke and heat vents and mechanical smoke removal systems, see Section 910.5.
- Smoke control systems, see Section 909.20.
- Wet-chemical extinguishing systems, see Section 904.5.
Fire protection systems shall be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with the referenced standards listed in Table 704.2 and as required in this section.
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM MAINTENANCE STANDARDS
|Portable fire extinguishers||NFPA 10|
|Carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing system||NFPA 12|
|Halon 1301 fire-extinguishing systems||NFPA 12A|
|Dry-chemical extinguishing systems||NFPA 17|
|Wet-chemical extinguishing systems||NFPA 17A|
|Water-based fire protection systems||NFPA 25|
|Fire alarm systems||NFPA 72|
|Smoke and heat vents||NFPA 204|
|Water-mist systems||NFPA 750|
|Clean-agent extinguishing systems||NFPA 2001|
Ready access to fire department connections shall be maintained at all times and without obstruction by fences, bushes, trees, walls or any other fixed or movable object. Access to fire department connections shall be approved by the fire chief.
Exception: Fences, where provided with an access gate equipped with a sign complying with the legend requirements of Section 912.5 of the International Fire Code and a means of emergency operation. The gate and the means of emergency operation shall be approved by the fire chief and maintained operational at all times.
Existing Group I-1 and R occupancies shall be provided with single-station smoke alarms in accordance with Sections 704.6.1.1 through 704.6.1.4. Interconnection and power sources shall be in accordance with Sections 704.6.2 and 704.6.3.
- Where the code that was in effect at the time of construction required smoke alarms and smoke alarms complying with those requirements are already provided.
- Where smoke alarms have been installed in occupancies and dwellings that were not required to have them at the time of construction, additional smoke alarms shall not be required provided that the existing smoke alarms comply with requirements that were in effect at the time of installation.
- Where smoke detectors connected to a fire alarm system have been installed as a substitute for smoke alarms.
Single- or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed in all of the following locations in Group R-1:
- In sleeping areas.
- In every room in the path of the means of egress from the sleeping area to the door leading from the sleeping unit.
- In each story within the sleeping unit, including basements. For sleeping 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.
Singleor multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed and maintained in Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 and I-1 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 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.
- Ionization smoke alarms shall not be installed less than 20 feet (6096 m) horizontally from a permanently installed cooking appliance.
- Ionization smoke alarms with an alarm-silencing switch shall not be installed less than 10 feet (3048 mm) horizontally from a permanently installed cooking appliance.
- Photoelectric smoke alarms shall not be installed less than 6 feet (1829 mm) horizontally from a permanently installed cooking appliance.
Where more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling or sleeping unit, 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 that 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 that could provide access for interconnection without the removal of interior finishes.
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 with integral strobes that are not equipped with battery backup shall be connected to an emergency electrical system. 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.
- Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated in existing buildings where construction is not taking place.
- Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated in buildings that are not served from a commercial power source.
- Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated in existing areas of buildings undergoing alterations or repairs that do not result in the removal of interior walls or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available that could provide access for building wiring without the removal of interior finishes.
Smoke detectors listed in accordance with UL 268 and provided as part of the building's fire alarm system shall be an acceptable alternative to single- and multiple-station smoke alarms and shall comply with the following:
- The fire alarm system shall comply with all applicable requirements in Section 907 of the International Fire Code.
- Activation of a smoke detector in a dwelling or sleeping unit shall initiate alarm notification in the dwelling or sleeping unit in accordance with Section 907.5.2 of the International Fire Code.
- Activation of a smoke detector in a dwelling or sleeping unit shall not activate alarm notification appliances outside of the dwelling or sleeping unit, provided that a supervisory signal is generated and monitored in accordance with Section 907.6.6 of the International Fire Code.