Fire & Life Safety Supplemental Rules & Regulations for New Construction & Significant Remodels

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1 DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY FIRE MARSHAL S OFFICE 9611 SE 36 TH ST Mercer Island, WA (206) direct; (206) FAX Rod Mandery, Fire Marshal Updated version: Fire & Life Safety Supplemental Rules & Regulations for New Construction & Significant Remodels PAGES: 1 to 12 Pursuant to The Uniform Fire Code, Article 1, Section Edition. Copies of the supplemental rules and administrative rulings are on file at City Hall. NOTE: These supplemental rules and administrative rulings do not reflect the entire code requirements. The Uniform Fire Code and NFPA Standards may be enforced in their entirety. When a supplemental rule conflicts with a general requirement, the more restrictive shall apply. The chief may modify any of these requirements when it is determined that adequate fire and life safety is provided. All devices or installations of fire protection equipment or systems shall have prior approval of the Fire Marshal for acceptance. ACCESS, FIRE LANES NOTE: The final acceptance of required access roads, fire lanes, driveways or roadways shall be the City of Mercer Island Civil Engineer or his/her assigns. The above descriptions are considered as fire access. Where Required When any portion of the facility or any portion of an exterior wall of the first story of the building is located more than 150 feet from fire apparatus access (where a fire engine can safely be parked as approved by the chief) measured by an approved route around the exterior of the building or facility, a fire apparatus access lane shall be provided. 1

2 SPECIFICATIONS: Turning Radius The minimum inside turning-radius for any corner or turn-around shall be no less than 30 feet. This is for a single-unit truck as defined in A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, AASHTO 1984 Edition. Fire apparatus is 30 feet bumper to bumper GVW. Imposed Loading The imposed load capacity shall be no less (depends on occupancy classification) than 50,000 GVW gross vehicle weight, for a large truck or small bus. Where aerial apparatus is required 75,000 GVW may be required with special set-up pads. Fire Apparatus Turn-Around Access roads shall have a turn-around for fire apparatus, when the private access road exceeds 150 feet in length. Single Family or R-3 Occupancies: Turn-around points shall be designed to accommodate at least a 30-foot long, two-axle fire engine. A 70-foot diameter cul-de-sac is required for up to two R-3 s. A 90-ft cul-de-sac for three or more R-3 occupancies and all other occupancies. NOTE: Other types of emergency vehicle turnaround pads may be accepted, PROVIDED additional approved fire and life safety features are included in the building. For Other Occupancy Types including R-1 Fire lanes and access shall be determined based upon the fire and life safety requirements of the building, as determined by the chief. Fire Lane Width Fire lanes and access roads serving no more than two R-3 occupancies: Fire apparatus access roads shall be no less than 20 feet in width. Exceptions are allowed if approved by the Fire Marshal, when additional fire protection features are provided. The Fire Marshal may approve the following provided additional fire and life safety features are installed: NO PARKING access roads serving no more than two R-3 structures may require an easement with a minimum width of 16 feet in total. 12 feet in width of pavement, with two well compacted, two-foot shoulders. Parking on one side will require a 30 foot wide roadway. Parking on both sides will require a 40 foot wide roadway. 2

3 An approved fire apparatus turn-around shall be required if the fire access road is exceeds 150 feet in length, as measured from the center of the access road at the City Street, down the access road. Fire lanes and access roads serving three or more R-3 structures: NO PARKING fire lanes serving more than two dwellings may require an easement of at least 30-feet in width, or as required by the chief and/or City Civil Engineer. A fire apparatus turn-around shall be required if the fire access road exceeds 150 feet in length, as measured from the center of the access road at the City Street, down the center of the access road. For parking to be allowed along the fire access roadway width will be increased per the City of Mercer Island Engineering Department. Fire lanes and access roads serving all Occupancy Types Other than R-3 : The minimum width shall be no less than 20 feet, exclusive of parking areas. The chief may require the fire access road width to be increased to accommodate fire suppression and rescue activities, based on the occupancy type and a determination of the life hazard. Access road requirements may be reduced PROVIDED the structure is protected with an approved fire sprinkler system in all areas (throughout). Lack of proper access is addressed in the Uniform Fire Code under the Special Hazards section of Article 10. When access is reduced, there shall be no provisions for elimination of fire sprinklers in small rooms. In addition the structure shall be protected under National Fire Protection Standard 13 including those buildings designated as R-1. GRADIENT: The maximum allowable fire access road slope is 20% as measured or approved by the City Civil Engineering Department. The slope of any required fire apparatus turn-around shall not exceed 10%. EXCEPTIONS: The Fire Marshal may accept short runs of very steep drives provided the building has built-in fire protection in the form of an approved fire sprinkler system. For grades exceeding 15%, the surface shall be Portland Cement concrete pavement, well brushed for traction and meeting the imposed loading requirement of GVW. For grades 15% or less, asphaltic concrete is acceptable, meeting the imposed loading requirement of GVW. 3

4 IMPOSED LOADING (ROAD CAPACITY GVW) The access roads shall be designed for an imposed load of at least 50,000 pounds GVW and up to 75,000 pounds GVW for a three-axle aerial ladder truck. (for commercial occupancies). The City of Mercer Island Civil Engineer shall approve the design. Applies to bridges. An engineering report for bridges is required. Access roads for very large structures may be required to carry imposed loading of aerial apparatus and include special serial set-up pads constructed of concrete. All turn around pads must be designed to carry the imposed load required. Important: Inability to comply with the requirements for emergency vehicle access would be cause for denial of the project unless substantial additional fire and life safety features are included in the building. Each project site shall be evaluated for life and safety needs based upon the unique characteristics found. ALSO SEE: The Uniform Fire Code, 1997 Edition, Article 10, Section , Special Hazards. FIRE SPRINKLERS Fire Sprinkler Requirements are based on FIRE AREA from the 1997 Edition of the Uniform Fire Code, Appendix III and UFC Article 10, Section and Contact the Fire Marshal for the latest Development Design Standards for Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems. Approved fire sprinkler systems shall be required for the following conditions: Single Family R-3 STRUCTURES up to and including 9,999 SQUARE FEET. All Type V-N wood frame structures, designated as R-3, as defined in the 1997 Edition of the Uniform Building Code shall be protected with an approved fire sprinkler system as determined by the chief if one or more of the following conditions apply. Additional requirements may be imposed dependant upon the severity of access or lack of fire flow. 1. A new or significantly remodeled R-3 structure that has difficult or no access to currently operated fire apparatus, regardless of size, as determined by the chief. 2. Inability to provide required fire flow in gallons per minute from the nearest fire hydrant, as determined by the chief. 3. Excessive distance from fire hydrants (more than 300 feet) that provide required fire flow, as determined by the chief. 4

5 4. The owner/contractor is unable to provide an approved fire apparatus turn-around if the private fire access road exceeds 150 feet in length, as determined by the chief. NOTE: A lesser turn around is still required, but with fire sprinklers is minimal. 5. Imposed loading of the access road cannot be verified or maintained. 6. A new one or two family wood frame R-3 that exceeds 5,000 square feet of FIRE AREA as defined in Appendix III, 1997 Uniform Fire Code regardless of access or water supply conditions. * There are certain conditions that may require a four-head design such as in an attached garage when access is severe. See Residential Fire Sprinkler Design Standards. NOTE: Any modifications of the requirements for access may be accepted, provided the building is protected with an approved fire sprinkler system, as determined by the chief. Additional requirements may be imposed dependant upon the severity of access or lack of fire flow. FDC. A fire department pumper connection to boost fire sprinkler performance may be required depending on available fire flow and access difficulties. See sprinkler design standards. WATER SUPPLY. 2 supply and meter required. Garage sprinklers are required if the attached garage has occupied space over it. ALL BUILDINGS 10,000 SQUARE FEET AND OVER Code reference is Uniform Fire Code, Division III, Appendix III-A and III-B, 1997 Edition. Hazardous occupancies shall be protected per the Uniform Fire Code and or NFPA Standards. R-3 buildings exceeding 10,000 square feet shall be protected with an NFPA 13 system. OTHER OCCUPANCIES All occupancies exceeding 10, 000 square feet shall be protected with an approved fire sprinkler system. This requirement shall be implemented for existing structures that change occupancy designation when in the opinion of the chief the occupancy type is more hazardous and for all NEW construction. The system shall conform to NFPA 13 Standards. Note: Fire flow for these large structures becomes a problematic issue, thus approved Fire Sprinkler Systems are required to reduce the fire flow requirement and the number of additional fire hydrants required. Built-in protection reduces the risk to manageable levels for the local fire department. EXCEPTION: H Occupancies shall be protected as per Uniform Fire Code or NFPA Standards. 5

6 SIGNIFICANT REMODEL REQUIREMENTS All Occupancy Types: A higher level of fire and life safety fire protection shall be required when: The remodel construction project causes the Type V-N structure to exceed 5000 square feet of FIRE AREA (TOTAL SQUARE FOOTAGE, NO DEDUCTIONS), or A more than 50% increase in Fire Area square footage is proposed, or Construction costs of the remodel project exceed 50% of the current assessed valuation of the existing structure. A more restrictive occupancy use is requested. Fire flow is inadequate to deliver the required fire flow amount in gallons per minute. CAUTION! Plans are accepted based on the minimal requirements for the given square footage of the project. If a building plan is submitted, and the space is under the threshold for fire sprinklers, adding space over the threshold may be cause to the building to be fire sprinkler retrofitted throughout. The chief shall determine the level of protection and the type of fire and life safety systems to be installed based upon the unique characteristics and requirements of each site and project. SPECIAL CONDITIONS NFPA 13,13R and 13D DESIGN APPLICATIONS Contact the Fire Marshal before bidding any project for specific design details. Obtain the latest DEVELOPMENT DESIGN STANDARDS from the Fire Marshal for residential sprinkler systems. NFPA 13D Residential Life Safety Systems (up to 9999 square feet) ATTACHED GARAGES: Any Type V-N, R structure required to be protected by fire sprinklers with occupied space above an attached garage (U-1 Occupancy) will require extended coverage dry pendant or dry pipe side-wall head fire sprinklers in the attached garage (if unheated). Heated garage spaces may be covered as per NFPA wet pipe systems. The Fire Marshal may require an FDC and a minimum four-head design for garage areas with fully occupied space above the footprint of the garage. Dry type sprinkler heads, antifreeze systems or dry pipe systems shall be installed in all unheated areas including storage, garage, combustible space or other areas including attics as determined by the chief. Drains shall be plumbed per the required NFPA Standard. For 13-R systems in single family dwellings a 1 drainpipe of approved materials is required. All test/drain pipes shall terminate into an approved catch basin, dry well or other suitable drain or an area at least 3 feet from the foundations of the structure. If a floor drain is used, such drain must be able to receive the full flow of the test/drain pipe under full system pressure. 6

7 Any Type V-N unprotected wood frame structure shall be protected with approved fire sprinklers, regardless of size when access is deemed by the fire chief as difficult or poor. The chief shall determine the level of protection based upon the unique characteristics of the site and structure, evaluating the difficulty of fire and rescue potential. NFPA 13D & R bathroom sprinkler head exemption may be denied when access is deficient and or combustible cabinetry and a bathtub are installed or combustible plastic tub or shower units are installed. NOTE: The Uniform Fire Code refers to FIRE AREA which is used to determine requirements and includes all usable space under the roof whether finished or not, including attached garage and any unheated storage areas. NOTE: Crawl space is considered as usable storage area when a hard floor is installed AND the floor to ceiling height exceeds 18 inches. Storage areas shall be required to be fire sprinkler protected. See UBC definition of crawl space. Sprinkler controls are to be installed in a heated area that is easily accessible. Do not install sprinkler controls in unheated areas of garages or crawl spaces. Controls must be easily and rapidly accessible. The back-flow preventer must be installed in a location that will not be damaged by water. Easy access for testing back-flow preventer is required. The backflow device shall be installed with at least 4 inches of clearance on all sides and the top and enough clearance for a bucket to be placed under the device for testing and repair. Sprinkler controls installed in unheated areas shall be provided a heat source and adequately insulated against freezing. PIPING REQUIREMENTS. When CPVC pipe is used for fire sprinklers, it must be installed per the manufacturers' requirements and it s UL listing. CPVC pipe may not be installed under open wood truss or wood beams. The piping must be protected with plaster and lath, gypsum board (3/8 minimum) or plywood (1/2 minimum) or ceiling tiles with a mass not less than.35 pounds per square foot. CPVC pipe can be used exposed only, under smooth, flat, horizontal ceilings with approved sprinkler heads in light hazard areas only. CPVC pipe may not be used for combustible concealed space protection. If the ceiling will not be finished smooth and flat, an approved metal sprinkler pipe shall be used. 7

8 WATER SUPPLY. Underground pipe and FDC (pumper connection lines) shall be of approved materials only and listed for underground sprinkler service. FDC and supply shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 24. A straight-through check-valve and an automatic drain are required. Two-head design systems. Fire lines for residential applications shall be a minimum 2 inside diameter (approved) pipe for a two-head design fire sprinkler system. May be a combined domestic supply line. No valves are allowed on the fire sprinkler side unless they are listed indicating valves that are supervised. Four-head design systems. Fire lines for residential applications shall be a minimum of 2 inside diameter (approved) pipe for a four-head designed system. May be a combined domestic supply line. No valves are allowed on the fire sprinkler side unless they are listed indicating valves that are supervised. NFPA 13R sprinklers are not allowed for multi-family structures with four or more units. NFPA 13, Multi-family and Commercial systems. Fire sprinkler supply shall conform to City of Mercer Island, NFPA 24 and 13 and Washington State Patrol/Fire Protection Bureau requirements. OTHER APPROVED AUTOMATIC EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS MAY BE REQUIRED FOR THE PROTECTION OF SPECIAL HAZARDS OR OCCUPANCIES. PERMITS ARE REQUIRED AND PLANS SHALL BE SUBMITTED, REVIEWED AND RETURNED TO THE FIRE PROTECTION CONTRACTOR BEFORE INSTALLATION COMMENCES. Manual and Automatic Fire Alarm Systems FIRE ALARM General Automatic detection shall conform to City of Mercer Island Ordinance in addition to the following items. Manual and automatic fire alarm systems shall be installed per the Building Code, Fire Code, NFPA 72 and City of Mercer Island ire Marshal requirements. Fire alarm signals shall be sent by approved means to a UL listed Central Station receiver located in Western Washington, USA. Plans for any residential or commercial system shall be submitted to the Fire Marshal for review before the installation is allowed to commence. 8

9 SMOKE/HEAT DETECTION IN BUILDINGS WITH FIRE SPRINKLERS. RESIDENTIAL R-3: Uniform Building Code Chapter 3, R-3 Smoke Detection requirements are acceptable, provided the building is equipped with approved automatic sprinklers that are provided with an approved electric flow switch for water flow alarm. NOTE: Certain severe access or low fire flow conditions would require a more sophisticated alarm system even with fire sprinklers. NON-MONITORED Water flow alarm shall be a horns or sirens audible throughout the home and an exterior bell, horn or siren installed in an approved location. Audible devices shall be installed on each level of the home in a central location. 55-dBa sound pressure is required for water-flow audible alarm behind closed sleeping room doors. WATER FLOW Residential: Water flow alarm is required. Audibility required is 15 decibels above ambient noise level behind EACH closed bedroom door or 55 dba. Contact the FIRE MARSHAL for details. Monitoring may be required depending upon the risk. An approved exterior alarm is required in addition to the interior alarm. OTHER OCCUPANCIES The Uniform Building Code, Uniform Fire Code (1997 editions) and NFPA Edition shall be the code of reference for fire detection/notification systems. Automatic monitoring is required for all fire sprinkler systems per the Uniform Fire Code. AUTOMATIC SMOKE/HEAT DETECTION (FIRE SPRINKLERS NOT REQUIRED). R-3 OCCUPANCIES NEW AND REMODELED Type V-N structures may be required to have installed a low voltage detection/notification system for early fire warning. This would include the following: A.) Smoke detection shall be included throughout the living area. B.) Heat detectors shall be required in the kitchen, attic and the garage if it is attached. Type V-N structures less than 3,600 square feet, that are not required to be sprinklered, shall be equipped with ICBO, Uniform Building Code smoke detection. C.) When an automatic fire alarm system is required in lieu of a sprinkler system, it shall be designed and installed and monitored as a commercial low voltage system per NFPA 72. 9

10 DETECTION/NOTIFICATION FOR OCCUPANCIES OTHER THAN R-3 (all other occupancies) PLANS. Submit plans with details and drawing in accordance with NFPA 72 and the Building and Fire Codes to the City of Mercer Island Fire Marshal located at City Hall in Mercer Island. A fully supervised NFPA 72 smoke and heat detection system is required throughout, if the FIRE AREA exceeds 3000 square feet. ADA (American Disabilities Act) horn-strobes are required for all normally occupied areas. Strobes only, may be installed in restrooms provided audibility is adequate from horns outside of restrooms. Zones shall be pre-approved and shall include a water flow event zone if the building is equipped with fire sprinklers AND ALL TAMPER AND OTHER REQUIRED NOTIFICATIONS AS PER THE LATEST EDITION OF the Building Code, Fire Code, NFPA 72 and the Mercer Island Fire Marshals Office. A PERMIT IS REQUIRED FOR FIRE DETECTION/NOTIFICATION SYSTEMS. PLANS MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE City of Mercer Island Fire Marshal. Important Notice! PLANS SHALL BE APPROVED AND RETURNED TO THE INSTALLING CONTRACTOR WITH COMMENTS BEFORE ANY INSTALLATION COMMENCES. FIRE FLOW AND FIRE HYDRANT REQUIREMENTS Fire hydrants shall be installed for all new construction when required by the Fire Marshal. DO NOT Field Locate any fire hydrant or any other valve or fire department connection of device. Prior approval for location must be obtained from the Fire Division or the Fire Marshal before installing. Minimum spacing shall be one hydrant for each 300 feet or fraction thereof for hydrants installed on City of Mercer Island streets. The chief shall render the final decision regarding number and placement of hydrants. Hydrants required on site, shall conform to the Uniform Fire Code Appendix Division III, Table III-B. The chief shall determine the number and location of fire hydrants One fire hydrant for each 1,000 gallons per minute of needed fire flow or fraction thereof is required. This requirement may be partially waived by installing an approved automatic fire sprinkler system. One fire hydrant shall be installed for exclusive supply of the pumper connection to the sprinkler system and shall not be counted, as fire hydrants required for general building fire protection. The chief may use the latest edition of the model Fire Code adopted by the City of Mercer Island and its Appendices to determine hydrant numbers and locations and or fire flows or the National Fire Academy Fire Flow Formula. Fire-flows less than 1,500 gpm shall limit the construction size and type unless the structure is protected with an approved fire sprinkler system. Significant remodels (>500 square feet) or large additions (>500 square feet) may be required to conform to new construction requirements for fire flow and fire hydrant installation. Approved means acceptable to the Authority Having Jurisdiction. 10

11 FIRE PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS SCOPE. Fire protection and life safety requirements are determined for each particular situation, given its unique nature. Items considered are the specific unique characteristics of the site; the difficulty encountered of fire suppression/rescue for the project and the unique difficult access situations occurring on Mercer Island. The requirements are designed to provide the owner and occupants of the structure with the best chance for escape during a fire, given the unique characteristics of the location and building. The built-in fire protection features are a cost saving measure and should reduce fire insurance premiums. The cost of overall fire risk to the community is reduced. The cost for additional municipal personnel and resources is controlled. The property owner has the ability to assist in her/his own safety with less reliance on tax supported public safety. Finally, the safety of the local fire fighting teams is greatly enhanced with the addition of built-in fire protection features. TO THE OWNER/CONTRACTOR/ARCHITECT: Preparing a bid. Fire protection system sub-contractors should always call or contact the Fire Marshal regarding special requirements for each project before bidding. Licensing All sprinkler contractors MUST posses a current and relative license by the Washington State Patrol/Fire Protection Bureau (State Fire Marshal s Office) for sprinkler design and installation. Sprinkler company not installing underground supply. A separate underground sprinkler supply contractor shall have a current Fire Protection Bureau Level U license. PLANS are to be stamped (each sheet) and signed by the license holder. Properly stamped and signed plans shall be submitted to the Fire Marshal s Office (at City Hall) before any installation commences. QUESTIONS? CALL (206) , Fire Marshal. Department of Public Safety Fire Marshal s Office 9611 SE 36th St. Mercer Island, WA

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