Fire Codes Update

On April 15, 2014, the City Council approved Ordinance #2014-04. This ordinance is set to become effective September 1, 2014. The Fire Department realizes that some of these new provisions may impact your business. We have reviewed the new code and have put together a list of the top ten (10) significant changes, for commercial business operations.

  1. Schools and Assembly Areas
  2. Business Offices
  3. Engineering Design Standards
  4. Commercial Kitchen Hoods
  5. Sprinkler/Alarm Contractors
  6. Home Builders/Developers
  7. Fireworks Vendors

Top 3 Significant Changes for School Districts in the 2012 Fire Code

#1 Fire Extinguishers - Portable fire extinguishers shall be installed in the following locations.

  1. Fire Codes SchoolsIn new and existing Group A, B, E, F, H, I, M, R-1, R-2, R-4, and S occupancies.
  2. Exception - In new and existing Group A, B, and E occupancies equipped throughout with quick-response sprinklers, portable fire extinguishers shall be required only in locations specified in Items 2 through 6.
  3. Within 30 feet (9.144 m) of commercial cooking equipment.
  4. In areas where flammable or combustible liquids are stored, used, or dispensed.
  5. On each floor of structures under construction, except Group R-3 occupancies, in accordance with Section 1415.1.
  6. Where required by the sections indicated in Table 906.1.
  7. Special-hazard areas, including but not limited to laboratories, computer rooms and generator rooms, where required by the fire code official.
#2 LOCKDOWN PLANS - Evacuation and lockdown plans and associated drills shall comply with the 2012 Fire Code. Here are some of the highlights related to this section of the code:

Requirements - Group E Occupancies are required to prepare and maintain a Lockdown Plan. The Plan must include the following items:

  1. Lockdown Plans Emergency egress or escape routes and whether evacuation of the building is to be complete or, where approved, by selected floors or areas only.
  2. Procedures for employees who must remain to operate critical equipment before evacuating.
  3. Procedures for assisted rescue for persons unable to use the general means of egress unassisted.
  4. Procedures for accounting for employees and occupants after evacuation have been completed.
  5. Identification and assignment of personnel responsible for rescue or emergency medical aid.
  6. The preferred and any alternative means of notifying occupants of a fire or emergency.
  7. The preferred and any alternative means of reporting fires and other emergencies to the fire department or designated emergency response organization.
  8. Identification and assignment of personnel who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
  9. A description of the emergency voice/alarm communication system alert tone and preprogrammed voice messages, where provided.
Lockdown plan contents - Lockdown plans shall be approved by the fire code official and shall include the following:

  1. Accountability. The plan shall include accountability procedures for staff to report the presence or Initiation.
  2. The plan shall include instructions for reporting an emergency that requires a lockdown.
  3. The plan shall include an approved means of two-way communication between a central location and each secured area.
  4. The plan shall include a prearranged signal for returning to normal activity.
#3 EMERGENCY EVACUATION DRILLS - Emergency evacuation drills are required by the fire 2012 Fire Code. Here are some of the highlights related to this section of the code:

  1. Evacuation Drills The first emergency evacuation drill should be conducted within 10 days of the beginning of classes. If for some reason this can’t be met, written notification would need to be given to the fire code official.
  2. Monthly Fire Drills are required to be conducted, there are some exceptions that are given based on climate and weather. For details on that be sure to ask your inspector or call Fire Prevention directly.
  3. Fire drills should have unexpected times and under varying conditions to simulate unusual conditions that occur in case of a fire or emergency.
  4. It is required that the appropriate records are kept on fire drills. Below is a list that your inspector will ask that you provide:
    • Identity of the person conducting the drill.
    • Date and time of the drill.
    • Notification method used (PA, phones).
    • Staff members on duty and participating.
    • Number of occupants evacuated.
    • Special conditions simulated (lunch time, between class changes).
    • Problems encountered (PA didn’t work, couldn’t hear PA in certain section of school).
    • Weather conditions when occupants were evacuated.
    • Time required to accomplish complete evacuation.
  5. Prior notification is required to be given to the fire code official.