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About this chapter: Codes, by their very nature, are technical documents. Every word, term and punctuation mark can add to or change the meaning of a technical requirement. It is necessary to maintain a consensus on the specific meaning of each term contained in the code. Chapter 2 performs this function by stating clearly what specific terms mean for the purpose of the code.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this code, have the meanings shown in this chapter.
Words stated in the present tense include the future; words stated in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; and the singular number includes the plural and the plural the singular.
Where terms are not defined in this code and are defined in other International Codes, such terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them as in those codes.
Where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this section, such terms shall have their ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies.
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE. A building or structure used to shelter or support any material, equipment, chattel or occupancy other than a habitable building.
[A] APPROVED. Acceptable to the code official.
[A] BUILDING. Any structure intended for supporting or sheltering any occupancy.
[A] BUILDING OFFICIAL. The officer or other designated authority charged with the administration and enforcement of the International Building Code, or the building official's duly authorized representative.
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION. Written documentation that the project or work for which a permit was issued has been completed in conformance with requirements of this code.
[A] CODE OFFICIAL. The official designated by the jurisdiction to interpret and enforce this code, or the code official's authorized representative.
CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER. A set of weather conditions (usually a combination of low relative humidity and wind) whose effects on fire behavior make control difficult and threaten fire fighter safety.
DEFENSIBLE SPACE. An area either natural or man-made, where material capable of allowing a fire to spread unchecked has been treated, cleared or modified to slow the rate and intensity of an advancing wildfire and to create an area for fire suppression operations to occur.
DRIVEWAY. A vehicular ingress and egress route that serves no more than two buildings or structures, not including accessory structures, or more than five dwelling units.
[BG] DWELLING. A building that contains one or two dwelling units used, intended or designed to be used, rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied for living purposes.
[F] FIRE CHIEF. The chief officer or the chief officer's authorized representative of the fire department serving the jurisdiction.
FIRE FLOW CALCULATION AREA. The floor area, in square feet (square meters), used to determine the adequate water supply.
FIRE PROTECTION PLAN. A document prepared for a specific project or development proposed for the wildland-urban interface area. It describes ways to minimize and mitigate the fire problems created by the project or development, with the purpose of reducing impact on the community's fire protection delivery system.
FIRE WEATHER. Weather conditions favorable to the ignition and rapid spread of fire. In wildfires, this generally includes high temperatures combined with strong winds and low humidity. See "Critical fire weather."
FIRE-RESISTANCE-RATED CONSTRUCTION. The use of materials and systems in the design and construction of a building or structure to safeguard against the spread of fire within a building or structure and the spread of fire to or from buildings or structures to the wildland-urban interface area.
[BG] FLAME SPREAD INDEX. A comparative measure, expressed as a dimensionless number, derived from visual measurements of the spread of flame versus time for a material tested in accordance with ASTM E84.
FUEL BREAK. An area, strategically located for fighting anticipated fires, where the native vegetation has been permanently modified or replaced so that fires burning into it can be more easily controlled. Fuel breaks divide fire-prone areas into smaller areas for easier fire control and to provide access for fire fighting.
FUEL, HEAVY. Vegetation consisting of round wood 3 to 8 inches (76 to 203 mm) in diameter. See Fuel Models G, I, J, K and U described in Appendix D.
FUEL, LIGHT. Vegetation consisting of herbaceous plants and round wood less than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) in diameter. See Fuel Models A, C, E, L, N, P, R and S described in Appendix D.
FUEL, MEDIUM. Vegetation consisting of round wood 1/4 to 3 inches (6.4 mm to 76 mm) in diameter. See Fuel Models B, D, F, H, O, Q and T described in Appendix D.
FUEL MODIFICATION. A method of modifying fuel load by reducing the amount of nonfire-resistive vegetation or altering the type of vegetation to reduce the fuel load.
FUEL MOSAIC. A fuel modification system that provides for the creation of islands and irregular boundaries to reduce the visual and ecological impact of fuel modification.
FUEL-LOADING. The oven-dry weight of fuels in a given area, usually expressed in pounds per acre (lb/a) (kg/ha). Fuel-loading may be referenced to fuel size or timelag categories, and may include surface fuels or total fuels.
GREEN BELT. A fuel break designated for a use other than fire protection.
IGNITION-RESISTANT BUILDING MATERIAL. A type of building material that resists ignition or sustained flaming combustion sufficiently so as to reduce losses from wildland-urban interface conflagrations under worst-case weather and fuel conditions with wildfire exposure of burning embers and small flames, as prescribed in Section 503.
IGNITION-RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION, CLASS 1. A schedule of additional requirements for construction in wildland-urban interface areas based on extreme fire hazard.
IGNITION-RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION, CLASS 2. A schedule of additional requirements for construction in wildland-urban interface areas based on high fire hazard.
IGNITION-RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION, CLASS 3. A schedule of additional requirements for construction in wildland-urban interface areas based on moderate fire hazard.
LOG WALL CONSTRUCTION. A type of construction in which exterior walls are constructed of solid wood members and where the smallest horizontal dimension of each solid wood member is at least 6 inches (152 mm).
MULTILAYERED GLAZED PANELS. Window or door assemblies that consist of two or more independently glazed panels installed parallel to each other, having a sealed air gap in between, within a frame designed to fill completely the window or door opening in which the assembly is intended to be installed.
NONCOMBUSTIBLE. As applied to building construction material means a material that, in the form in which it is used, is either one of the following:
  1. Material of which no part will ignite and burn when subjected to fire. Any material conforming to ASTM E 136 shall be considered noncombustible within the meaning of this section.
  2. Material having a structural base of noncombustible material as defined in Item 1 above, with a surfacing material not over 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) thick, which has a flame spread index of 50 or less. Flame spread index as used herein refers to a flame spread index obtained according to tests conducted as specified in ASTM E84 or UL 723.
"Noncombustible" does not apply to surface finish materials. Material required to be noncombustible for reduced clearances to flues, heating appliances or other sources of high temperature shall refer to material conforming to Item 1. No material shall be classified as noncombustible that is subject to increase in combustibility or flame spread index, beyond the limits herein established, through the effects of age, moisture or other atmospheric condition.
NONCOMBUSTIBLE ROOF COVERING. A roof covering consisting of any of the following:
  1. Cement shingles or sheets.
  2. Exposed concrete slab roof.
  3. Ferrous or copper shingles or sheets.
  4. Slate shingles.
  5. Clay or concrete roofing tile.
  6. Approved roof covering of noncombustible material.
SLOPE. The variation of terrain from the horizontal; the number of feet (meters) rise or fall per 100 feet (30 480 mm) measured horizontally, expressed as a percentage.
[A] STRUCTURE. That which is built or constructed.
[Z] SUBDIVISION. The division of a tract, lot or parcel of land into two or more lots, plats, sites or other divisions of land.
TREE CROWN. The primary and secondary branches growing out from the main stem, together with twigs and foliage.
UNENCLOSED ACCESSORY STRUCTURE. An accessory structure without a complete exterior wall system enclosing the area under roof or floor above.
WILDFIRE. An uncontrolled fire spreading through vegetative fuels, exposing and possibly consuming structures.
WILDLAND. An area in which development is essentially nonexistent, except for roads, railroads, power lines and similar facilities.
WILDLAND-URBAN INTERFACE AREA. That geographical area where structures and other human development meets or intermingles with wildland or vegetative fuels.