New Roofing Law

New Roofing Law

A fireproof roofing ordinance characterized by Fire Chief Thomas R. Murphy as “the most constructive piece of fire prevention legislation in years,” was adopted December 27th by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The ordinance, passed after nearly two hours of debate, contains two important provisions:

It enlarges the area in which fire-resistant roofing must be used, to cover virtually the entire city, excepting only a small district south of Mission street.

It provides that when existing roofs of non-resistant material are damaged to the extent of twenty per cent of their area, they must be entirely replaced with legal roofing. The previous limit was forty per cent.

Passage of the ordinance came at the close of the 18 months campaign by Fire Chief Murphy and the Board of Fire Wardens. The section extending the area was adopted unanimously. Five supervisors voted against the section reducing the mandatory forty per cent provision to the much more drastic twenty per cent requirement.

Through this action of the board, the fireproof roof district now includes the Marina; Richmond, Sunset, West of Twin Peaks, and all of the Mission district except the industrial area, as well as the downtown section and Western addition. which were already within the fireproof area.

Witlvn the boundaries of the fireproof district all new structures must he provided with approved roofs of tar and gravel, composition shingles, tile, sheet metal, slate, asbestos, or similar flame resisting substances.

Chief Murphy refused to agree to any modification of the twenty per cent provision. Henceforth when any roof in the district is damaged from any cause to the extent of twenty per cent or more of its area, the Board of Works will refuse to issue a permit for repairs. The roof must be completely replaced, with approved fire resistant covering.

The ordinance will become effective early in the new year, if it goes through the normal routine.

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