In accordance with §§ 27-34.4, 36-105.1, and 36-119.1 of the Code of Virginia, the USBC does not supersede the provisions of this code that prescribe standards to be complied with in existing buildings and structures, provided that this code shall not impose requirements that are more restrictive than those of the USBC under which the buildings or structures were constructed. Subsequent alteration, enlargement, rehabilitation, repair, or conversion of the occupancy classification of such buildings and structures shall be subject to the construction and rehabilitation provisions of the USBC. Inspection of buildings other than state-owned buildings under construction and the review and approval of building plans for these structures for enforcement of the USBC shall be the sole responsibility of the appropriate local building inspectors.
Upon completion of such structures, responsibility for fire safety protection shall pass to the local fire marshal or official designated by the locality to enforce this code in those localities that enforce the SFPC or to the State Fire Marshal in those localities that do not enforce this code.
The following document is adopted and incorporated by reference to be an enforceable part of the SFPC:
The International Fire Code—2018 edition, hereinafter referred to as "IFC," published by the International Code Council, Inc., 500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20001-2070, 1-888 422-7233.
The appendices in the IFC are not considered part of the IFC for the purposes of Section 103.1.
Note: Section 101.5 references authority contained in the Code of Virginia for local fire prevention regulations that may be evaluated by localities to determine whether provisions in the IFC appendices may be considered for local fire prevention regulations.
All requirements of the referenced codes and standards that relate to fees, non-operational permits not specifically required by Section 107.2, unsafe notices, disputes, condemnation, inspections, scope of enforcement and all other procedural, and administrative matters are deleted and replaced by the provisions of Chapter 1 of the SFPC.
Exception: The scope of referenced codes and standards referenced by the SFPC that relate to the maintenance, testing and inspection requirements or limitations shall be enforceable.
The SFPC contains provisions adopted by the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development (BHCD), some of which delete, change or amend provisions of the IFC and referenced standards. Where conflicts occur between such changed provisions and the unchanged provisions of the IFC and referenced standards, the provisions changed by the BHCD shall govern.
Note: The IFC and its referenced standards contain some areas of regulation outside of the scope of the SFPC, as established by the BHCD and under state law. Where conflicts have been readily noted, changes have been made to the IFC and its referenced standards to bring it within the scope of authority; however, in some areas, judgment will have to be made as to whether the provisions of the IFC and its referenced standards are fully applicable.
Each enforcing agency shall have an executive official in charge, hereinafter referred to as the "fire official."
Note: Fire officials are subject to sanctions in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).
The permanent or acting fire official shall obtain certification from the BHCD in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21) within one year after permanent or acting appointment.
Exception: A fire official appointed prior to April 1, 1994, continuously employed by the same local governing body as the fire official shall comply with required DHCD training under the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).
The local governing body or its designee may utilize one or more technical assistants who, in the absence of the fire official, shall have the powers and perform the duties of the fire official.
Note: Technical assistants are subject to sanctions in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).
All technical assistants employed by or under contract to an enforcing agency for enforcing the SFPC shall be certified in the appropriate subject area in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21) within one and one-half years after permanent or acting appointment. When required by a locality to have two or more certifications, the remaining certifications shall be obtained within 3 years from the date of such requirement.
Exception: Any technical assistant continuously employed by or continuously under contract to the same enforcing agency for enforcing the SFPC since before April 1, 1994, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section; however, such exempt technical assistant shall comply with required DHCD training under Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).
Note: Continuing education and periodic training requirements for DHCD certifications are set out in the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).
The fire official may grant modifications to any provision of the SFPC upon application by the owner or the owner's agent provided the spirit and intent of the SFPC are observed and public health, welfare, and safety are assured.
Note: The current editions of many nationally recognized model codes and standards are referenced by the SFPC. Future amendments to such codes and standards do not automatically become part of the SFPC; however, the fire official should consider such amendments in deciding whether a modification request should be granted.
Operational permits may be required by the fire official as permitted under the SFPC in accordance with Table 107.2, except that the fire official shall require permits for the manufacturing, storage, handling, use, and sale of explosives. In accordance with Section 5601.2.3.1, an application for a permit to manufacture, store, handle, use, or sell explosives shall only be made by a designated individual.
Exception: Such permits shall not be required for the storage of explosives or blasting agents by the Virginia Department of State Police provided notification to the fire official is made annually by the Chief Arson Investigator listing all storage locations.
|DESCRIPTION||PERMIT REQUIRED (yes or no)||PERMIT FEE||INSPECTION FEE|
|Aerosol products. An operational permit is required to manufacture, store or handle an aggregate quantity of Level 2 or Level 3 aerosol products in excess of 500 pounds (227 kg) net weight.|
|Amusement buildings. An operational permit is required to operate a special amusement building.|
|Aviation facilities. An operational permit is required to use a Group H or Group S occupancy for aircraft servicing or repair and aircraft fuel-servicing vehicles. Additional permits required by other sections of this code include, but are not limited to, hot work, hazardous materials and flammable or combustible finishes.|
|Carnivals and fairs. An operational permit is required to conduct a carnival or fair.|
|Cellulose nitrate film. An operational permit is required to store, handle or use cellulose nitrate film in a Group A occupancy.|
|Combustible dust-producing operations. An operational permit is required to operate a grain elevator, flour starch mill, feed mill, or a plant pulverizing aluminum, coal, cocoa, magnesium, spices or sugar, or other operations producing combustible dusts as defined in Chapter 2.|
|Combustible fibers. An operational permit is required for the storage and handling of combustible fibers in quantities greater than 100 cubic feet (2.8 m3). |
Exception: An operational permit is not required for agricultural storage.
|Commercial Cooking. An operational permit is required for the operation of commercial cooking appliances in occupancies other than assembly occupancies or dwellings.|
|Compressed gas. An operational permit is required for the storage, use or handling at normal temperature and pressure (NTP) of compressed gases in excess of the amounts listed below. |
Exception: Vehicles equipped for and using compressed gas as a fuel for propelling the vehicle.
For SI: 1 cubic foot = 0.02832 m3.
|Covered and open mall buildings. An operational permit is required for: |
|Cryogenic fluids. An operational permit is required to produce, store, transport on site, use, handle or dispense cryogenic fluids in excess of the amounts listed below. |
|Cutting and welding. An operational permit is required to conduct cutting or welding operations within the jurisdiction.|
|Dry cleaning plants. An operational permit is required to engage in the business of dry cleaning or to change to a more hazardous cleaning solvent used in existing dry cleaning equipment.|
|Exhibits and trade shows. An operational permit is required to operate exhibits and trade shows.|
|Explosives, fireworks, and pyrotechnics. An operational permit is required for the storage, handling, sale or use of any quantity of explosive, explosive materials, fireworks, pyrotechnic special effects, or pyrotechnic special effects material within the scope of Chapter 56. |
Exception: Storage in Group R-3 or R-5 occupancies of smokeless propellant, black powder and small arms primers for personal use, not for resale, and in accordance with the quantity limitations and conditions set forth in Section 5601.1, Exceptions 4 and 12.
|Explosives, restricted manufacture. An operational permit is required for the restricted manufacture of explosives within the scope of Chapter 56.|
|Explosives, unrestricted manufacture. An operational permit is required for the unrestricted manufacture of explosives within the scope of Chapter 56.|
|Fire hydrants and valves. An operational permit is required to use or operate fire hydrants or valves intended for fire suppression purposes that are installed on water systems and accessible to a fire apparatus access road that is open to or generally used by the public. |
Flammable and combustible liquids. An operational permit is required:
|Floor finishing. An operational permit is required for floor finishing or surfacing operations exceeding 350 square feet (33 m2) using Class I or Class II liquids.|
|Fruit and crop ripening. An operational permit is required to operate a fruit-ripening or crop-ripening facility or conduct a fruit-ripening process using ethylene gas.|
|Fumigation, thermal, and insecticidal fogging. An operational permit is required to operate a business of fumigation, thermal, or insecticidal fogging and to maintain a room, vault or chamber in which a toxic or flammable fumigant is used.|
|Hazardous materials. An operational permit is required to store, transport on site, dispense, use or handle hazardous materials in excess of the amounts listed below. |
For SI: 1 gallon = 3.785 L, 1 pound = 0.454 kg.
|HPM facilities. An operational permit is required to store, handle or use hazardous production materials.|
|High piled storage. An operational permit is required to use a building or portion thereof as a high-piled storage area exceeding 500 square feet (46 m2).|
|Hot work operations. An operational permit is required for hot work including, but not limited to: |
|Industrial ovens. An operational permit is required for operation of industrial ovens regulated by Chapter 30.|
|Lumber yards and woodworking plants. An operational|
|permit is required for the storage or processing of lumber exceeding 100,000 board feet (8,333 ft3) (236 m3).|
|Liquid-fueled or gas-fueled vehicles or equipment in assembly buildings. An operational permit is required to display, operate or demonstrate liquid-fueled or gas-fueled vehicles or equipment in assembly buildings.|
|LP-gas. An operational permit is required for: |
|Magnesium. An operational permit is required to melt, cast, heat treat or grind more than 10 pounds (4.54 kg) of magnesium.|
|Miscellaneous combustible storage. An operational permit is required to store in any building or upon any premises in excess of 2,500 cubic feet (71 m3) gross volume of combustible empty packing cases, boxes, barrels or similar containers, rubber tires, rubber, cork or similar combustible material.|
|Mobile food preparation vehicles. A permit is required for mobile food preparation vehicles equipped with appliances that produce smoke or grease laden vapors. |
Exception: Recreational vehicles used for private recreation.
|Open burning. An operational permit is required for the kindling or maintaining of an open fire or a fire on any public street, alley, road, or other public or private ground. Instructions and stipulations of the permit shall be adhered to. |
Exception: Recreational fires.
|Open flames and candles. An operational permit is required to use open flames or candles in connection with assembly areas, dining areas of restaurants or drinking establishments.|
|Open flames and torches. An operational permit is required to remove paint with a torch, or to use a torch or open-flame device in a wildfire risk area.|
|Organic coatings. An operational permit is required for any organic-coating manufacturing operation producing more than 1 gallon (4 L) of an organic coating in one day.|
|Places of assembly. An operational permit is required to operate a place of assembly.|
|Plant extraction systems. An operational permit is required to use plant extraction systems.|
|Private fire hydrants. An operational permit is required for the removal from service, use or operation of private fire hydrants.|
|Pyrotechnic special effects material. An operational permit is required for use and handling of pyrotechnic special effects material.|
|Pyroxylin plastics. An operational permit is required for storage or handling of more than 25 pounds (11 kg) of cellulose nitrate (pyroxylin) plastics and for the assembly or manufacture of articles involving pyroxylin plastics.|
|Refrigeration equipment. An operational permit is required to operate a mechanical refrigeration unit or system regulated by Chapter 6.|
|Repair garages and service stations. An operational permit is required for operation of repair garages and automotive, marine and fleet service stations.|
|Rooftop heliports. An operational permit is required for the operation of a rooftop heliport.|
|SRCFs. An operational permit is required for the operation of a State-Regulated Care Facility where inspection by the fire official is required by state licensing regulations|
|Spraying or dipping. An operational permit is required to conduct a spraying or dipping operation utilizing flammable or combustible liquids or the application of combustible powders regulated by Chapter 24.|
|Storage of scrap tires and tire byproducts. An operational permit is required to establish, conduct or maintain storage of scrap tires and tire byproducts that exceeds 2,500 cubic feet (71 m3) of total volume of scrap tires and for indoor storage of tires and tire byproducts.|
|Temporary membrane structures and tents. An operational permit is required to operate an air-supported temporary membrane structure or a tent. |
|Tire-rebuilding plants. An operational permit is required for the operation and maintenance of a tire-rebuilding plant.|
|Waste handling. An operational permit is required for the operation of wrecking yards, junk yards and waste material-handling facilities.|
|Wood products. An operational permit is required to store chips, hogged material, lumber or plywood in excess of 200 cubic feet (6 m3).|
107.11 State Fire Marshal's Office Permit Fees for Explosives, Blasting Agents, Theatrical Flame Effects, and Fireworks
Complete permit applications shall be submitted to and received by the State Fire Marshal's Office not less than 15 days prior to the planned use or event. A $500 expedited handling fee will be assessed on all permit applications submitted less than 15 days prior to the planned use or event. Inspection fees will be assessed at a rate of $60 per staff member per hour during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and at a rate of $90 per hour at all other times (nights, weekends, holidays). State Fire Marshal's Office permit fees shall be as follows:
Fees for compliance inspections performed by the State Fire Marshal's office shall be as follows:
A permit shall not be issued until the designated fees have been paid.
Exception: The fire official may authorize delayed payment of fees.
Operational permits may be required by the fire official in accordance with Table 107.2. The fire official shall require operational permits for the manufacturing, storage, handling, use and sale of explosives. Issued permits shall be kept on the premises designated therein at all times and shall be readily available for inspection by the fire official.
An operational permit shall constitute permission to maintain, store or handle materials; or to conduct processes in accordance with the SFPC, and shall not be construed as authority to omit or amend any of the provisions of this code.
Note: The building official issues permits to install equipment utilized in connection with such activities or to install or modify any fire protection system or equipment or any other construction, equipment installation or modification.
The fire official is authorized to revoke an operational permit issued under the provisions of this code when it is found by inspection or otherwise that there has been a false statement or misrepresentation as to the material facts in the application or documents on which the permit or approval was based including, but not limited to, any one of the following:
The fire official may inspect all structures and premises for the purposes of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fire, contribute to the spread of fire, interfere with firefighting operations, endanger life, or any violations of the provisions or intent of the SFPC.
Exception: Single-family dwellings and dwelling units in two-family and multiple-family dwellings and farm structures shall be exempt from routine inspections. This exemption shall not preclude the fire official from conducting routine inspections in Group R-3 or Group R-5 occupancies operating as a commercial bed and breakfast as outlined in Section 310.2 of the USBC or inspecting under § 27-98.2 of the Code of Virginia for hazardous conditions relating to explosives, flammable and combustible conditions, and hazardous materials.
The fire official may enter any structure or premises at any reasonable time to inspect subject to constitutional restrictions on unreasonable searches and seizures. If entry is refused or not obtained, the fire official may pursue recourse as provided by law.
Note: Specific authorization and procedures for inspections and issuing warrants are set out in §§ 27-98.1 through 27-98.5 of the Code of Virginia and shall be taken into consideration.
The fire official shall coordinate inspections and administrative orders with any other state and local agencies having related inspection authority, and shall coordinate those inspections required by the USBC for new construction when involving provisions of the amended IFC so that the owners and occupants will not be subjected to numerous inspections or conflicting orders.
The fire official shall order the following dangerous or hazardous conditions or materials found to be noncompliant with provisions found within the subsequent sections of this code to be removed or remedied in accordance with the SFPC:
Any person who refuses to leave, interferes with the evacuation of other occupants or continues any operation after having been given an evacuation order shall be in violation of this code.
Exception: Any person performing work directed by the fire official to be performed to remove an alleged violation or unsafe condition.
Notices of violation issued under Section 111.1 shall indicate the right of appeal by referencing the appeals section of this code.
The owner of a structure, the owner's agent or any other person involved in the maintenance of the structure, or activity, may appeal a decision of the fire official concerning the application of the SFPC or the fire official's refusal to grant modification under Section 106.5 to the provisions of the SFPC. The appeal shall first lie to the LBFPCA and then to the State Review Board except that appeals concerning the application of the SFPC or refusal to grant modifications by the State Fire Marshal shall be made directly to the State Review Board. The appeal shall be submitted to the LBFPCA within 14 calendar days of the application of the SFPC. The application shall contain the name and address of the owner of the structure and the person appealing if not the owner. A copy of the written decision of the fire official shall be submitted along with the application for appeal and maintained as part of the record. The application shall be stamped or otherwise marked by the LBFPCA to indicate the date received. Failure to submit an application for appeal within the time limit established by this section shall constitute acceptance of the fire official's decision.
Note: In accordance with § 27-98 of the Code of Virginia, any local fire code may provide for an appeal to a local board of appeals. If no local board of appeals exists, the State Review Board shall hear appeals of any local fire code violation.