Presented by Bryan Hanson Poudre Fire Authority Colorado Certified School Inspector ICC Fire Inspector I Fire Suppression System Inspector Firefighter/Engineer/EMT School Fire Safety: Why do we have School Inspections? What are “Fire Codes” and how do they apply to schools. Objectives Become familiar with the International Fire Code (IFC) regulations regarding the use of combustible decorative materials, artwork, and teaching materials in Educational Occupancies. Objectives Become familiar with the IFC regulations regarding Fire Protection Systems, Electrical Wiring Hazards, Fire Resistive, Construction, and General Precautions against Fire in Educational Occupancies. Objectives Become familiar with the IFC regulations regarding corridors, exit aisles, and exit doors in Educational Occupancies. Objectives cont. To understand the steps taken when infractions are found Corrections and Timeline Actions taken for “failure to comply” Intent of the Fire Code Intent: “The purpose of these codes are to establish the minimum requirements consistent with nationally recognized good practice for providing a reasonable level of life safety and property protection from the hazards of fire, explosion or dangerous conditions in new and existing buildings, and to provide safety to the firefighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.” Source: IFC Section 101.3 *All references will be taken out of the International Fire Code 2006 edition Code Requirements The 2006 International Fire Code (IFC) has general requirements that apply to most occupancy types, as well as specific code requirements that apply to Educational Occupancies. Some of these codes relate specifically to corridors, while others are general requirements. Why do we have school inspections? Inspection of the schools are: Fire Safety Inspections! To keep the occupants and firefighters Safe inside and while exiting the building To educate school personnel When do you, Teachers, Principals or Custodians get ready for school inspections? Fire Safety is year round. Not just the 2 months the inspectors are making their rounds. It is up to you to keep the school safe when occupied. The Issues Some classrooms and corridors in the district exceed the permissible amounts of combustible materials placed on walls and ceilings, creating an increased level of fire risk. Some classrooms in the district have created conditions that reduce the ability for occupants to either recognize or easily access means of egress doors. Issues cont. Some corridors in the district do not meet the minimum clear width of egress routs. Storage of combustible materials. Breaks in Fire resistive construction. Issues cont. Electrical equipment and wiring hazards (workspace clearance, unapproved/unprotected power taps, temporary wiring). Obstructed fire protection equipment. Fire evacuation plans. Storage in mechanical rooms. Combustible Materials Issues Definitions Decorative Materials: All materials applied over the building interior finish for decorative, acoustical or other effect (such as curtains, draperies, fabrics, streamers, and surface coverings), and all other materials utilized for decorative effect (such as batting, cloth, cotton, hay, stalks, straw, vines, leaves, trees, moss and similar items), including foam plastics and material containing foam plastics. Source: 2006 IFC section 202 Code Requirements General Requirement - Combustible Decorative Materials: The permissible amount of decorative materials shall not exceed 10 percent (10%) of the aggregate area of walls and ceilings. This requirement applies to office areas, classrooms, corridors, etc. in most types of occupancies, including Educational Occupancies, but does not pertain to artwork and teaching materials. Source: 2006 IFC section 807.1.2 Definitions Artwork and Teaching Materials: While not specifically defined by the 2006 International Fire Code, this refers to items used or created by students and/or teachers for the purpose of learning that are made in part or in whole with combustible materials (as defined in the previous slide) which are displayed on walls or ceilings in Educational Occupancies. Source: 2006 International Fire Code and Commentary section 807.4.3.2 Code Requirements Specific Requirement – Artwork: Artwork and teaching materials shall be limited on the walls of corridors not to more than 20 percent (20%) of the wall area. Artwork, teaching materials, and other combustible decorative materials are not permitted on the ceilings in corridors. These requirements are specific to means of egress corridors in Educational Occupancies. Source: 2006 IFC section 807.4.3.2 Excessive Combustible Materials in Classrooms: Exceeds 10% area of combustible materials on walls and ceiling area. Partial tent- delaying the response of the sprinkler activation due to heat buildup at the top. Temporary display only, and must be flame retardant The fabric exceeds the permissible amount of decorative materials of the corridor walls Alternative Solution: Flame retardant fabric Excessive Combustible Materials in Corridors: Exceeds 20% combustible material wall area coverage in a corridor. Exceeding the 20% allotment of combustible material on corridor walls Alternative Solutions Use rolls of pre-treated fire-retardant construction paper. Use accent paint colors on walls, if approved by the District, instead of applying combustible decorative materials and wall coverings. Use tack strips to mount artwork and teaching materials to walls. Alternative Solutions: Tack Strips Alternative Solutions: Flame-Retardant Paper Possible Alternative Solutions: Murals on walls or Plexiglas covered art work Although these are not solutions for every corridor, just different options Exiting Issues Code Requirements Specific Requirement - Storage in corridors and lobbies: Clothing and personal effects shall not be stored in corridors and lobbies. Exceptions: Corridors protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system. Corridors protected by an approved smoke detection system. Storage in metal lockers, provided the minimum require egress width is maintained. Source: 2006 IFC section 807.4.3.1 Code Requirements Exit Doors: Means of egress doors shall be readily distinguishable from the adjacent construction and finishes such that the doors are easily recognizable as doors. Means of egress doors shall not be concealed by curtains, drapes, decorations, or similar materials. Source: IFC section 1008.1 Exit Door (continued) Not only is this door difficult to indentify, but access to it is partially obstructed. Obscured Exit Door This exit door could be very difficult to locate, especially to new visitors in the room Excessive Decorations & Combustible Materials on Exit Doors / Doors blocked open: Doors should not be decorated and should not be blocked open while vacant. Do you see the exit doors? The International Fire Code states that all egress doors must be readily distinguishable from the adjacent construction. The mural painting on these doors (in another school district) is a clear violation of this code requirement. Most people would have a difficult time identifying these doors in the event of an emergency evacuation. Code Requirements Required exit accesses, exits or exit discharges shall be continuously maintained free from obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or other emergencies including the accumulation of Snow and Ice. Source: IFC 2006 Section 1028.2-1028.3 These are both Primary Exits Exit Doors: Exits shall be unobstructed at all times. Source: IFC section 1015.2 These doors are not broken. Exit Doors: Exits shall be unobstructed at all times. Source: IFC section 1015.2 Code Requirements Corridor Width: The minimum width shall be 72 inches in Educational Occupancies with a corridor having a capacity of 100 or more. Source: IFC section 1017.2 Corridor unobstructed width is only 36 inches in places, less in others Obstructed Exit Doors and Corridor: Combustible materials at the exit doors and 72” corridor not maintained. Obstructed Corridor: 72” corridor not maintained. Each one of these exit way’s has the possibility to dump 100 students with teachers into them at any time This corridor maintains its 72” width and having everything to one side it also maintains an unobstructed path of egress Definitions Fire Protection System: Approved devices, equipment and systems used to detect a fire, activate an alarm, extinguish or control a fire. Source: IFC Section 902 Code Requirements Portable or fixed fire-extinguishing systems or devices and fire-warning systems shall not be rendered inoperative or inaccessible except as necessary during emergencies, maintenance, repairs, alterations, drills or prescribed testing. Source: IFC Section 107.4 Inaccessible alarm pull station Portable Fire Extinguishers shall not be obstructed or obscured from view Source: IFC Section 906.6 The door to this cabinet will not open far enough to get the extinguisher out if needed Code Requirements Fire-Resistance-Rated Construction: The required fire-resistance-rated construction shall be maintained and properly repaired or replaced when damaged, with approved methods capable of resisting the passage of smoke and fire. Source: IFC Section 703.1 This is a breached fire rated ceiling Tiles need to be in place at all times to maintain the rating Miscellaneous Combustible Materials Storage Ceiling clearance: Storage shall be maintained 2 feet or more below the ceiling in non sprinkled areas of buildings or a minimum of 18 inches below sprinkler head deflectors in sprinkled area of buildings. Source: IFC Section 315.2.1 The water cone has no chance to spread laterally Need to maintain 18” below the head. Miscellaneous Combustible Materials Storage Means of Egress: Combustible materials shall not be stored in exits or exit enclosures. Source: IFC Section 315.2.2 Equipment Rooms: Combustible material shall not be stored in boiler rooms, mechanical rooms or electrical equipment rooms. Source: IFC Section 315.2.3 Combustible storage in an electrical equipment room. The door with the red sign leads to another mechanical room. The same door leading to the mechanical room Electrical Equipment, Wiring and Hazards Working space and clearance: A working space of not less than 30 inches in width, 36 inches in depth and 78 inches in height shall be provided in front of electrical service equipment. No storage of any materials shall be located within the designated working space. Source: IFC Section 605.3 No storage in the designated work space of less than 30”x36”x72” Combustible storage in electrical equipment rooms Portable Electric Space Heaters Portable electric space heaters shall not be operated within 3 feet of any combustible materials. Portable electric space heaters shall be operated only in locations for which they are listed. Portable electric space heaters shall not be plugged into extension cords. Source: IFC Section 605.10.3 – 605.10.4 Portable electric space heaters shall not be operated within 36” of combustible material Electrical Equipment, Wiring and Hazards Multiplug Adapter, such as cube adapters, unfused plug strips or any other devices not complying with the ICC Electrical Code shall be prohibited. Source: IFC Section 605.4.1 Un-fused Plug strip Un-fused Multi Plug Adapter Power tap design: Relocatable power taps shall be of the polarized or grounded type, equipped with over current protection, and shall be listed in accordance with UL 1363 Source: IFC Section 605.4.1 Power Supply: Relocatable power taps shall be directly connected to a permanently installed receptacle Source: IFC Section 605.4.2 This is also known as “Piggyback power taps” Correct Solution Extension cords shall serve one portable appliance Extension Cords Extension cords shall be plugged directly into an approved receptacle, power tap or multiplug adapter and shall serve only one appliance. Extension cord ampacity shall not be less than the rated capacity of the portable appliance supplied by the cord. Source: IFC Sections 605.5.1 – 605.5.2 Extension Cords Extension cords shall be maintained in good condition without splices, deterioration or damage. Extension cords shall be grounded when serving grounded portable appliances. Source: IFC Sections 605.5.3 – 605.5.4 Extension Cord cont. Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be a substitute for permanent wiring. Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be affixed to structures, extended through walls, ceilings or floors, or under doors or floor coverings, nor shall such cords be subject to environmental physical damage. Source: IFC Section 605.5 Bridge to protect the power cord Relocatable power taps shall be directly connected to a permanently installed receptacle Power taps shall plug into the wall outlets. Silver power tap is overloaded Cords shall not pass through doors, walls ect. Temporary Wiring Temporary wiring for electrical power and lighting installations is allowed for a period not to exceed 90 days. This includes extension cords in place of temporary wiring. Source: IFC Section 605.9 Fire Evacuation Plans Fireevacuation plans should be placed, if possible, on the primary exit door. Beware of Exit Traps Questions, comments, or ideas? Thank you!
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