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2003 IFC Amendments

LOCAL AMENDMENTS TO THE
2003 EDITION OF THE INTERNATIONAL FIRE CODE

The following represents local amendments to the 2003 Edition of the International Fire Code, adopted by the City Council of the City of La Porte on February 12, 2007; in Ordinance number 1388-D. References are to additions, deletions, amendments, or replacement of 2003 Edition of the International Fire Code sections. Section numbers correspond to the numbering in the 2003 Edition of the International Fire Code.

CHAPTER 1 ADMINISTRATION

109.3 Violation penalties.
Amend by deleting this section and adding a new paragraph.

Persons who shall violate a provision of this code or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who shall erect, install, alter, repair or do work in violation of the approved construction documents or directive of the code official, shall be guilty of a violation and punishable by a fine. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.


111.4 Failure to comply.

Any person who shall continue any work after having been served with a stop work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be liable to a fine of not more than $500.00 dollars. Each and every day shall constitute a separate violation. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.

CHAPTER 2 DEFINITIONS

202 General Definitions.
Amend paragraph [B] Educational Group E, Day Care to read as follows:

The use of a building or structure, or portion thereof, for education, supervision or personal care services for more than five children older than 2-1/2 years of age, including children related to the staff, shall be classified as an E Occupancy.


Add the following definition for Service:

Service is the annual test, maintenance, or service defined and required by applicable fire equipment standards set forth in table 901.6.1.

CHAPTER 4 EMERGENCY PLANNING AND PREPAREDNESS

401.3.4 False Alarm Charges.
Amend by adding a new subsection 401.3.4

Except as otherwise provided herein, the owner of a building containing a fire protection, fire alarm, or other types of emergency notification systems, shall pay a charge in accordance with this section for each and every false alarm to which the fire department responds.

Exceptions:

  1. No charge for the first two false alarms within a calendar year.
  2. Each false alarm in excess of two during a calendar year will be charged a response fee of $200.00

As used by the section, “false alarm” means an alarm signal generated by a privately owned fire or emergency alarm system reporting an alarm for which no fire or emergency actually exists; it includes system malfunctions, faulty operation of detectors, and false alarms not classified above. It does not include those incidents where the detector or system operated as designed such as but not limited to, a smoke detector sounding from someone smoking under the detector or a manual pull station being pulled.

405.10 False alarms.
Amend by adding a new subsection 405.10 to read as follows:

False alarms may not count as a fire drill for the purpose of this section.

408.3.5 False alarms.
Amend by adding a new subsection 408.3.5 to read as follows:

False alarms may not count as a fire drill for the purpose of this section.

CHAPTER 5 FIRE SERVICE FEATURES

503.7 Fire Lane
Amend by adding a new subsection 503.7 to read as follows:

The Fire Marshal of the City of La Porte or designee is hereby authorized to designated fire lanes/fire zones on the property of shopping centers, nursing homes, hospitals, apartment complexes, town home complexes, schools and any other locations that he has deemed necessary to have fire lanes/fire zones.

The designation by the Fire Marshal of such lanes/fire zones shall never be held to make the City of La Porte responsible for the maintenance of such lanes on private property, but the owner of such property shall continue to be responsible for the maintenance for such areas.

Upon designation of such fire lane/fire zones pursuant to this code, the Fire Marshal shall give notice of such designation to the owner of such property, directing the owner to cause signs to be posted and/or curbs to be painted and/or stenciled.

The required signs and/or painted curb shall read "FIRE LANE" or "FIRE ZONE". The letter size should be not less than 3" in height and 1/2" in width.

The sign shall be a metal sign of standard size, with a weather resistant white background with red letters. The mounting and height information can be obtained from the City of La Porte Public Works and/or City of La Porte Police Department. The sign shall be installed not less than every 20 feet.

The curb shall be painted "Red" in color and/or the stenciled information, "FIRE ZONE" and/or "FIRE LANE" shall be stenciled in "White" colored letters. The stencil should not be less than 20 feet, apart on the curb.

It is hereby declared to be unlawful to obstruct in any manner, including parking or standing any attended or unattended vehicle in any fire lane/fire zone as defined hereof, where the signs have been erected or the curbs have been painted and stenciled including pre-existing fire lane/fire zones with visibly erected signs and/or stenciled curbs reading “FIRE LANE” or “FIRE ZONE”

  • EXCEPTIONS:
  • Any authorized emergency vehicle conducting official emergency business.
  • Any marked vehicle of the United States Postal Service officially dispatching mail or any marked vehicle of a Parcel Post Delivery Service officially dispatching Parcel Post.
  • Any armored vehicle officially dispatching or picking up currency.

503.8 Violations
Amend by adding a new subsection 503.8 to read as follows:

It is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person, without lawful authority of the Fire Marshal to attempt to or in fact alter, deface, injure, knock down, or remove any sign and/or painted curb designating a fire lane/fire zone that has been erected and/or stenciled under the term of this code.

The Fire Marshal, any dully authorized representative, and/or any peace officer of the State of Texas may issue a summons or notice to appear in answer to a charge of any violation of this code. Such summons shall be issued on an official form (ticket book) acceptable to the City of La Porte.

Any person found guilty of a violation of this code shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine ranging from $1.00 to $2,000.00, as set by the City of La Porte Municipal Court. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

No owner, manager or person in charge of any premises served by a required fire lane/fire zone shall abandon or close any such fire lane/fire zone without permission of the Fire Marshal or designee.

508.3 Fire Flow
Amend by deleting the existing paragraph and replace with the following paragraph:

Water supplies for fire flow requirements for buildings or portions of buildings and facilities shall be calculated using the provisions of Appendix Chapter B and Table B105.1.

508.5.1 Installation
Amend by deleting the existing paragraph and replace with the following paragraph:

All required water mains and fire hydrants shall be installed as follows:

  1. Residential area fire hydrants shall be installed on a 6-inch or larger approved water main and placed so that no building is over 500 feet from a fire hydrant. Distance for hydrant placements shall be measured at curb line and/or access.

    EXCEPTIONS:

    • When in the opinion of the fire chief and fire marshal a water main and/or fire hydrant is not necessary due to the existence of built-in fire protection system(s);
    • When the Fire Chief and Fire Marshal have been notified in writing that pending water mains and fire hydrants are being installed in the vicinity, consistent with the terms of this code.
  2. Commercial and industrial area fire hydrants shall be installed on an 8-inch or larger approved water main and shall be placed so that no part of any building is over 300 feet from a fire hydrant. Distance for hydrant placements shall be measured at curb line and/or access corridor.

    EXCEPTIONS:

    • When in the opinion of the fire chief and fire marshal a water main and/or fire hydrant is not necessary due to the existence of built-in fire protection system(s); or
    • When the Fire Chief and Fire Marshal have been notified in writing that pending water mains and fire hydrants are being installed in the vicinity, consistent with the terms of this code.

508.5.4 Obstructions.
Amend by deleting the existing paragraph and replace with the following paragraph:

Posts, fences, vehicles, growth, trash, snow, storage and other materials or objects shall not be placed or kept near fire hydrants, fire department connections, or fire protection system control valves in a manner that would prevent such equipment or fire hydrants from being immediately discernible. The fire department shall not be deterred or hindered from gaining immediate access to fire protection equipment or fire hydrants. A 3-foot clear space shall be maintained around all fire hydrants, fire department connections, and fire protection control valves on private or public property.

CHAPTER 9 FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS

901.4 Installation of fire protection systems.
Amend by adding an exception at the end of this section.

Exception: Buildings temporarily closed due to seasonal operations may have their fire systems deactivated under the following conditions:

  1. Building is unoccupied.
  2. Building is properly secured.
  3. All utilities are disconnected and drained.
  4. The fire systems are certified as operational before the building is reoccupied.
  5. A 24-hour-a-day fire watch as defined in section 202 is provided during the interim between when utilities are reactivated and the fire systems are certified as operational.
  6. The fire department must be notified of such closure.
  7. A letter from the insurance carrier or, owner if self-insured, indicating knowledge of the closure is provided to the fire department.

901.4.5 Marking of Fire Protection Equipment.
Amend by adding a ne section to rewad as follows:

Fire Department connection devices for building sprinkler systems in new and existing buildings shall be identified by the installation of approved reflective markers or signs installed above the device in an unobstructed location at approximately 7 feet above grade.

901.9 Damage protection.
Add a new subsection to read as follows:

When exposed to probable vehicular damage due to proximity to alleys, driveways or parking areas, standpipes, post indicator valves and sprinkler system or standpipe system, connections shall be protected in an approved manner.

903.2.2 Group E.
Delete paragraph and substitute with the following:

An automatic sprinkler system must be provided throughout all Group E occupancies. An automatic sprinkler system shall also be provided for every portion of educational buildings below the level of exit discharge. The use of fire walls does not establish a separate building for purposes of this section.

Exceptions:

  1. Buildings with E occupancies having an occupant load of 49 or less.
  2. Day care uses not otherwise requiring an automatic sprinkler system by other provisions of the code.

Day care uses that are licensed to care for more than 5 persons between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. shall be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system designed and installed in accordance with section 903.3.1.3 or an approved equivalent system. This includes children related to the staff.

903.2.7 Group R.
Amend this section by adding an exception:

Bed and breakfast occupancies with five rentable sleeping rooms or less do not require an automatic suppression system.

903.2.7.1 Group R-1.
Add new subsection to read as follows:

An Automatic sprinkler system or a residential sprinkler system installed in accordance with section 903.3.1.2 must be provided throughout all buildings with a group R-1 fire area. Group R-1 shall have 100% automatic sprinkler coverage throughout all buildings and spaces.

Exception:
Where guest rooms are not more than three stories above the lowest level of discharge and each guestroom has at least one door leading directly to an exterior exit access that leads directly to an approved exit.

903.2.7.2 Group R-2.
Add new subsection to read as follows:

An automatic sprinkler system or a residential sprinkler system installed in accordance with section 903.3.1.2 shall be provided throughout all buildings with a group R-2 fire area that are more than two stories in height, including basement, or have more than sixteen dwelling units or sleeping units. Group R-2 shall have 100% automatic sprinkler coverage throughout all buildings and spaces.

903.2.7.3 Group R-4.
Add new subsection to read as follows:

An automatic sprinkler system or a residential sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.2 shall be provided throughout all buildings with a Group R-4 fire area.

907.1.1 Construction Documents.
Amend by adding a new item to read as follows:

  • 12. System riser diagram

907.2.3 Group E.
Amend this section by adding a second paragraph to read as follows:

Rooms used for sleeping or napping purposes within a day care use of Group E Occupancies must be provided with smoke detectors that comply with section 907.2.10.1.2.

CHAPTER 11 AVIATION FACILITIES

1106.3 Construction of aircraft-fueling vehicles and accessories.
Amend by adding an exception at the end of this section.

Exception:
A vehicle or trailer tank with a capacity of 250 gallons or less may be used for non-commercial refueling of private non-commercial aircraft if the following requirements are met:

  1. The tank is placarded with no smoking signs, type of fuel contained in the tank and the tank capacity;
  2. The tank and all appurtenances used in the fueling operation are listed and approved for the specific purposes; and
  3. Electrical bonding is provided as required under section 1106.3.7.>

CHAPTER 22 MOTOR FUEL-DISPENSING FACILITIES AND REPAIR GARAGES

2206.2.3 Above ground tanks located outside, above grade.
Amend by adding an item five (5) at the end of this section.

  1. Approved above ground atmospheric tanks may be used without a special enclosure or fire rating if the following criteria are met:

    • Tanks must be located as required for “other tanks” by table 2206.2.3; and,
    • Tanks must be enclosed by a six-foot high industrial type chain link fence with a minimum of two access gates located at opposite sides of the enclosure, each gate must be at least at least 36 inches wide. There must be a minimum working distance of five feet between the tank and the fence.

2206.7.7.1 Leak detection.
Amend by adding an exception to read:

Exception:
A leak detection device is not required if the underground piping is an extra-heavy stell wall with all welded joints, dielectric coating, and cathodic protection.