Taming the Fire Environment: More Proposed Code Changes for Atlantic City Hearing

Final Code Hearing / Proposed Change / Vol.3

“Taming the Fire Environment” will be posting Building and Fire Code Proposals for the upcoming ICC Final Code Hearing in Atlantic City (10/02-10/05) that impacts the fireground:

1.      Code Section: F346-13 Appendix-K (New), 508.1.5 (underline indicates new text)

Proponent: Adolf Zubia. Chairman IAFC Fire and Life Safety Section, representing ICC Fire Code Action Committee (azubiamia@yahoo.com)

Section Overview:  Appendix-K Requirements for Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems

Sections:

·         K101 General – Scope.  Firefighter’s air replenishment system (FARS) shall be proved in accordance with this appendix.  The adopting ordinance shall specify building characteristic or special hazards that establish thresholds triggering a requirement for the installation of a FARS.  The requirement shall be based upon the fire department’s capability of replenishing firefighter breathing air during sustained emergency operations.. Consideration shall include:………

·         K102 Definitions….

·         K103 Permits……

·         K104 Design and Installation……

·         K105 Acceptance Test…..

·         K106 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance…….

Reason:  The approval was based on the committee’s judgment that the proposal generally provides a good option and flexibility for jurisdictions in determining where such a system would be required and includes adequate design, installation, testing, inspection and maintenance criteria.  The committee expressed several concerns.  First, it was suggested that if a fire department mobile air supply is providing the air to the system (per K104.5), then the air monitoring system (K105.15) should not be required.  Second, concern was expressed based on testimony that the proposal could be considered propriety because it is unclear if there is more than a single source for the equipment for the systems.  Finally, cabinet installation details were not provided and could violate ADA rules.

Committee Action: Approved as Submitted

The Challenge:  Contemporary fire protection philosophy is based on the idea of "risk mitigation." Instead merely recognizing that a risk exists, fire departments have a challenge in making sure that risk reduction measures be applied at the early planning stages. For specific types of fire risks this particular methodology can be used to reduce the impact upon a community by providing a means of assuring an effective and efficient use of local fire fighting resources when emergency events occur. It provides a tool for making the building a safer place for firefighters to operate and occupants to remain safe.

2.      Code Section: F347-13 Appendix-K (New) (underline indicates new text)

Proponent: Adolf Zubia. Chairman IAFC Fire and Life Safety Section, representing ICC Fire Code Action Committee (azubiamia@yahoo.com)

Section Overview:  Appendix-K High-Rise Buildings – Retroactive Automatic Sprinkler Requirement

Sections:

K101 Scope.    K101.1 An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in all existing high-rise buildings in accordance with the installation requirements and compliance schedule of this appendix.

K102 Where Required                          K102.2 High-Rise buildings. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 of the International Fire Code shall be provided throughout the existing high-rise buildings.

Exceptions

1.       Airport traffic control towers

2.       Open parking structures

3.       Group U Occupancies

4.       Occupancies in Group F-2

K103 Compliance       K103.1 Compliance Schedule. Building owners shall file a compliance schedule with the fire code official no later than 365 days after the first effective date of this code. The compliance schedule shall not exceed 12 years for an automatic sprinkler system retrofit.

K-104  Referenced Standards             ICC IFC-15       International Fire Code….K102.1……

Reason:  This proposal provides model code text for adoption by jurisdictions that choose to require existing high-rise buildings to be retrofitted with fire sprinklers….. Existing high-rise buildings that are not protected with fire sprinklers represent a significant hazard to the occupants and firefighters…….

Committee Action: Approved as Submitted

The Challenge: High-rise fires in a residential occupancy occur more often in this occupancy that other types of high-rise buildings.  The risk to both occupant and firefighter safety is greatly increase in non-sprinkled high-rise environments.

To read more about these code proposals go to:

2012-2014 Code development Cycle Group-B:

http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/codes/Pages/12-14-Proposed-Group-B.aspx

Public Comments Agenda:

http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/codes/Pages/2013-FAA.aspx

See you at the hearings and be safe out there.

Jack J. MurphyJACK J. MURPHY, MA, is a fire marshal (ret.), a former deputy chief and currently serves as a deputy fire coordinator for the N.J. Div. of Fire Safety (Bergen Region).  He is the Chairman of the New York City High-Rise Fire Safety Directors Assoc., a member of the NFPA High-Rise Building Safety Advisory and 1620-Pre-Incident Planning Committees. He has published various fire service articles and authored: RICS; Rapid Incident Command System Field Handbook; the "Pre-Incident Planning" chapter of the Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II; and co-authored, "Bridging the Gap: Fire Safety and Green Buildings."  He is a Fire Engineering contributing editor, a FDIC executive advisory board member, and received the 2012 Fire Engineering Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award.

MORE JACK J. MURPHY

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