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residential fire sprinklers, clarification

From: domainremoved <Henry>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:28:34 -0800

Honorable council members,

First, Ron LaFrance has correctly noted that it is not the building department that uses percentage of floor area as a trigger for requirements; I should have referred to our Planning Division.

Second, I attach the section of the fire code that concerns me, 903.6.1.1. Paragraph A refers to added or remodeled Gross Floor Area as the trigger to require sprinklers in any building or structure; it does not define what constitutes an alteration, and this must be reasonably understood before the ordinance is adopted.

There is a definition of Substantial Alteration in Section 202 which includes areas adjacent to any structural alteration, such as adding a column or moving a bearing wall; I believe this could be excessive in an ranch house that has a bearing wall down the middle. It also refers to removal of electrical, water or or waste line from the building - but the later are necessary (sometimes required by the utility) if even a small addition is planned over the service route, and electrical if upgraded to a new panel would be a removal. I urge you not to use Substantial Alteration as the trigger.

You might request a definition specifically for Alteration of and Existing Building. This definition could include structural changes and areas IMMEDIATELY adjacent, excluding columns.

You might also request a clarification of Addition so that covered porches are excluded.


Henry Riggs
Received on Tue Jan 27 2015 - 12:22:43 PST

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