Common Fire Code Violations

INDEX

Introduction

All state owned buildings (including schools, buildings and grounds) fall under the jurisdiction of the OFFICE OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL, and are all subject to the laws, codes, regulations and inspections set forth by the state and federal government.

Fire marshals inspect schools, buildings and structures for fire and safety violations, using the Uniform Building code, Uniform Fire code, State laws and regulations and other codes mandated and adopted by the State of Utah and United States Federal government.

Acts such as arson, vandalism, tampering or altering fire alarm devices or equipment, fire extinguishers, or any other life safety item is in direct violation of these laws and codes. Included are such things as playing with matches or lighters, removal or defacement of life safety devices, false alarms, and bomb threats are a few common violations. These violations whether they are misdemeanors or felonies, SHALL NOT be dealt with IN-HOUSE by staff or administration. When such crimes are committed, the police will be contacted and those involved will be turned over to that department. Failure to follow these rules could result in being charged with obstruction of justice and or being charged as an accomplice to the crime.


DECORATIVE MATERIALS

BLOCKED EXITS
CHAINED DOORS
CLEARANCES
CLASSROOM DOORS (OPENING/CLOSING)
DEAD BOLTS
DEAD END CORRIDORS
DECORATIVE MATERIALS
DUMPSTERS
EXTENSION CORDS
FIRE DRILLS
FLAMMABLE LIQUID STORAGE
OPEN FLAMES IN BUILDINGS
STORAGE IN BUILDINGS
VEHICLE PARKING


DECORATIVE MATERIALS
Uniform Fire Code: 1103

General:
A. Drapes, hanging curtains, drops and other decorative material, including Christmas trees, that would tend to increase the fire and panic hazard, shall be made from material which is non flammable, or shall be treated and maintained in a flame-retardant condition by means of a flame- retardant solution or a process approved by the Authority having Jurisdiction. Exit doors, exit lights, fire alarm panels, pull stations, smoke detectors, heat detectors, fire sprinkler system and components, fire extinguishers and equipment. Nor shall their locations be concealed or obstructed in any manner..

B. Maintenance of flame- retardant treatments. Treatments used to accomplish flame retardation shall be renewed as often as necessary to maintain the flame-retardation effect according to manufactures specifications.

C. Flammable material coverage. No more than 25% of any wall in a classroom shall be covered with a flammable material. In a corridor there may be only a 4 foot by 8 foot section of a corridor wall covered, with a 50 foot separation of wall space between each section.

D. Hanging decorations. Nothing shall be hung from any ceiling that made of a flammable material whether that decoration is to be permanent or temporary (such as for a dance).

DOORS
Uniform Building Code: 1004.3.4.3.2.1

Corridor doors:
Corridors doors are fire rated and shall not be altered or modified without being done by a factory or factory authorized company. This includes cutting in windows, vents, louvers or any other device that may alter the integrity of a door.

Open Doors:
Doors may be held open by approved means only.

1. Friction hold open door closers are approved on classroom doors only.
Exception: Classrooms with flammable gas, flammable liquids, such as shops, science rooms, chemistry rooms or similar classrooms that may contain a hazardous environment.

2. Wedges. Wedges or other similar devices used to hold a door open are not approved and shall not be used. Doors shall not be propped open with any device (including, but not limited to wastebaskets, chalkboard erasers, student desks, chairs). All open classroom doors must be held open ONLY by friction devices installed on the doors.

BLOCKED EXITS
Uniform Fire Code: 1203

Exit Obstructions:

A. Obstructions, including storage, shall not be placed within the required width of an exit (corridor), except projections permitted by the building code. Exits shall not be obstructed in any manner and shall remain free of any material or obstruction, where its presence would hinder or render the exit hazardous.

B. Aisles. Aisles leading to required exits shall be provided from all portions of the building. The width and spacing of aisles shall be maintained as required by the Building and Fire code.

C. Use of Exit Ways. Interior and exterior stairways, smoke proof enclosures, hallways, corridors, vestibules, balconies and bridges leading to a stairway or exit shall not be used in any way that will obstruct their use as an exit or that will present a hazardous condition during egress. This also includes holding CLASSES within a corridor or hallway.

STORAGE IN BUILDINGS
Uniform Fire Code: 902

Storage in buildings.

Ceiling clearance:
Storage of combustible materials in buildings shall be orderly and maintained not less than 2 feet from the ceiling and not less than 18 inches below sprinkler head deflectors. Cabinets may extend to the ceiling with DOORS covering the top of the cabinets to at least 24 inches below the ceiling.

Exits:
Combustible material shall not be stored in exits or exit enclosures.

Equipment rooms:
Combustible material shall not be stored in BOILER rooms, MECHANICAL rooms or ELECTRICAL rooms.

Attic, under-floor, and concealed spaces:
Attic, under-floor, and concealed spaces used for storage of combustible material shall be protected on the storage side as required for one-hour fire-resistive construction. Openings shall be protected by assemblies that are self-closing and are of noncombustible construction or solid wood core not less than 1-3/4 inch in thickness. Storage shall not be placed on exposed joists.

Fueled equipment:
Fueled equipment, including but not limited to motorcycles, mopeds, lawn-care equipment and portable cooking equipment, shall not be stored, operated or repaired within a building.

Exceptions:
1. Building or room constructed for such use in accordance with the Building Code.
2. When permitted by the other provisions of this code. The Authority having Jurisdiction is authorized to require removal of such equipment from any location when the presence of such equipment is determined to be hazardous.

VEHICLE PARKING
Uniform Fire Code: 1213

The code requires an un-obstructed path of egress to a street or public way.
Grand County School District has adopted the States enforcement that, NO VEHICLE SHALL BE PARKED WITHIN 20 FEET OF AN EXTERIOR DOOR.

CHAINED DOORS
Uniform Fire Code: 1207.3

Locking devices. Exit doors shall be openable from the inside without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort. Exit doors shall NOT be locked, chained, bolted, barred, latched or otherwise rendered unusable. All locking devices shall be of an approved type.
It is illegal to render an exit door unusable.

DEAD END CORRIDORS
Uniform Building Code:1006.2.2
Uniform Fire Code:1208

Access to Exits:
When more than one exit is required, they shall be so arranged that it is possible to go in either direction from any point in a corridor to a separate exit, except for dead end corridors not exceeding 20 feet in length. Dead end corridors exceeding 20 feet in length shall have a separate exit.
Any device used to construct a dead end corridor such as gates, railings, furniture or any other material or equipment caused to create a dead end corridor is prohibited.

DUMPSTERS
Uniform Fire Code: 1103

Rubbish within Dumpsters. Dumpsters and containers with an individual capacity of 1.5 cubic yards (40.5 cubic feet) or more shall not be stored in buildings or placed within 5 feet of combustible walls, openings or combustible roof eave lines.

EXCEPTIONS. 1. Areas containing dumpsters or containers protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system. Structures of Types I and II fire-resistive construction used for dumpster or container storage located not less than 10 feet from other buildings.

State Fire Marshal requires at least 20 feet from buildings with eaves or overhangs.

EXTENSION CORDS
Uniform Fire Code: 8506

Extension cords. General: Extension cords shall not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
1. Extension cords shall only be used with portable appliances while such appliances are in immediate use.
2. Power Supply. Extension cords shall be plugged directly into an approved receptacle, power tap or multiplug adapter and shall, except for approved multiplug extension cords, serve only one portable appliance.
3. Amperage. The amperage of the extension cord shall not be less than the rated capacity of the portable appliance supplied by the cord.
4. Maintenance. The extension cords shall be maintained in good condition without splices, deterioration or damage.
5. Grounding. Extension cords shall be grounded when servicing grounded portable appliances.
6. Installation. Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be affixed to structures; extend through walls, ceilings, floors, under doors or floor coverings; or be subject to environmental or physical damage.

ZIP CORD (2 wire non-grounding) are NOT approve and shall not be used.

DEAD BOLTS
Uniform Building Code: 1003.3.1.8
Uniform Fire Code: 1207.3

Locking devices:
Exit doors shall be openable from the inside without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort. Exit doors shall not be locked, chained, bolted, latched or otherwise rendered unusable.

All locking devices shall be of an approved type:
Dead bolts shall not be used. Exception: Storage rooms that are not occupied (closets).
LOCKING DEVICE REQUIRING MORE THAN ONE ACTION TO OPERATE ARE ILLEGAL.

OPEN FLAMES IN BUILDINGS
Uniform Fire Code: 2501.17

Candles and other open-flame devices shall not be used in places of assembly, or drinking or dining establishments.
Open flames include; birthday candles, lighters, matches, torches or any other means of open flame.

Exception: Buildings or rooms approved, such as Industrial arts, shops or garages.

FIRE DRILLS
Uniform Fire Code: 1303.3.3

Fire Drills in Educational Occupancies.

Fire drills in Group E Occupancies shall be conducted in accordance with the following:

1. Fire drills shall be conducted at least once each month of operation.
Exception; During severe weather, fire drills are allowed to be postponed when approved by the Authority having Jurisdiction.

2. A record of all required fire drills shall be kept by the person in charge of the occupancy and forwarded to the GCSD District Office and the Fire Department. Records of fire drills shall include the time and date of each drill held, the name of the person conducting such drill and the time required to vacate the building.

3. Fire drill shall include complete evacuation of ALL personnel from the building or portion thereof used for educational purposes.

4. The Fire Department will be notified prior to each fire drill. Please call 259-xxxx

5. Fire drills are to be activated by use of a fire alarm device (smoke detector, heat detector, pull station, etc). The fire alarm system is to be exercised by using a different device every time a fire drill is conducted. A fire drill shall not be activated by the use of a FIRE DRILL switch..

6. RECALL. School bells or sounds that are used in every day operation of the school SHALL NOT BE USED TO RECALL STUDENTS AND STAFF BACK INTO THE BUILDING.
Doing so could bring people into a burning building.

CLEARANCES
Uniform Fire Code: 8509

Access to Electrical panels, Fire alarm panels, and Switchboards.

1. General. Work space around panels and switchboards shall be provided and maintained as required by the Electrical Code. Such space shall not be used for storage.

2. Access. A clear and unobstructed means of access with a minimum width of 30 inches and minimum height of 78 inches shall be maintained from the operating face of the switchboard or panel to an aisle or corridor.

FLAMMABLE LIQUID STORAGE
Uniform Fire Code: 7902.5.7.2

1. Flammable and combustible liquids are allowed to be used for maintenance purposes and operation of equipment when stored in cabinets which comply with the Fire Code. Quantities not exceeding 10 gallons are allowed to be stored outside of a cabinet when in approved containers and approved locations.

2. When quantities exceed 10 gallons an approved flammable liquid storage cabinet shall be used.


Any inquiry regarding these codes, code violations, questions or concern please contact: