Category: Blog Posts

Group A Hearings for ICC Code Development Complete

For the first time in its code development cycle, the ICC has made an online, cloud-based system available for code collaboration. Open the to the general public, the 2015 Committee Action Hearings for Group A ended at approximately 7 pm on Monday, April 27. The unofficial results can be viewed here, which breaks the fire codes down by section and lists the Committee Action.

Next up: the official committee action results, followed by the opening of the Assembly Floor Motion Voting period in May.

The proposed changes to the 2015 Group A Codes discussed by Committee are also available online for review.

 

Princeton, NJ Mayor Calls for Changes to Current Fire Code

Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert sent a letter to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), outlining recommendations for changes to the current code for multi-family housing, in a bid to improve fire safety.

The DCA is reviewing New Jersey’s construction and fire codes, with input from state municipalities. Interest has been high in the aftermath of a devastating apartment fire in Edgewater, especially as the developer, AvalonBay, is currently building a new rental complex on the former site of the Princeton Hospital. Of particular concernĀ  is the current code’s use of lightweight wood construction for multi-family units, which allowed for the quick spread of fire and widespread damage sustained in the Edgewater fire.

 

Sunrise Beach, MO to update Fire Code

A small village in Missouri with a progressive Fire Protection District, Sunrise Beach, has just held its first reading of proposed updated to the current fire code. Citing the safety of citizens and an effort to improve the district’s insurance service organization rating, Fire Chief Dennis Reilly spearheaded the effort to revise the building code.

The board plans to formally adopt the new ordinances March 23, with an effective date of June 23, 2015.

New York Considers Lifting Gas Station Fire Suppression System Requirement

The New York State Code Council is considering lifting the statewide requirement for fire suppression systems in gas stations. Hung overhead, the systems have heat detectors that respond to any sudden rise in temperature by releasing a spray of fire-retardant chemicals. Fire officials credit these systems for saving lives – whether the fire is fully extinguished or suppressed, the system buys first responders and firefighters additional response time, and bystanders have more opportunity to escape.

The state has not taken an official position, but points out the measure has never been included in the International Fire Code. The vote is expected to occur on February 2. 2015.

Texas Scrutinizes State Fire Code Exemptions

Following a deadly fire at the Wedgwood senior living apartments in San Antonion, City leaders announced they will be scrutinizing an existing exemption for fire sprinkler systems in older buildings. Though the city adopted a new code requiring sprinkler systems in new buildings, Wedgwood and other buildings were grandfathered in and therefore exempt. The City manager has announced the reevaluation of the codes and Mayor Tim Howell has suggested they go above code if necessary. Sprinkler systems can subdue fires before they rage out of control, giving residents more time to escape. The fire at Wedgwood claimed the lives of six seniors and hospitalized dozens more, and many seniors were left unaccounted for as they fled the burning building.