PDA

View Full Version : State Legal Codes



oakhillshaunterTHEFEAR
02-10-2009, 11:31 PM
Ok guys i need help from the big boys here. I need to either be informed of or sent to a website with a list of all the codes(fire, building, etc.) of atleast CA. If you guys can help me with all of the states that would be the jackpot! Vincent This Time!

Allen H
02-10-2009, 11:42 PM
vince,
you are asking almost the impossible. Different cities, counties, and states all have different codes, hundreds of different codes. And different parts of the codes apply to different attractions, a tent show wont have the same regulations and codes as a permanent warehouse haunt.
You need to find a specific location then find out what codes apply to you.
Im married to a fire marshall, trust me its different everywhere.
location first then firecodes.
good luck,
Allen H

oakhillshaunterTHEFEAR
02-11-2009, 12:20 AM
actually that helps more than u think. thankyou. any more would be great! Viincent This Time!

Mike Goff
02-11-2009, 08:30 AM
I think that it would also be fair and relevant to point out that, each inspector interprets the code differently. Each has thier own pet peeves. Some are very easy to work with, and show a genuine interest in helping you make your attraction safer. Others will make you want to declare an armed revolution.
In 11 years I have worked with 7 different inspectors from 2 different districts, and they would all give you different answers to the same question.
3 steps to a good relationship with your inspector:
1. Diplomacy, make thier job easy
2. ALWAYS be honest and upfront
3. learn the code, know more than they do, and they will rarely question you.

rwrussom
02-11-2009, 11:23 AM
Vincent -

The above posts are both correct. Below is a site that has most of the states codes as PDFs That does not help too much because you have to know what too look for. Over the last year, much of the nation has gone to one code standard which helps, but many states, counties, and cites add there own tweaks. Then one code references other codes. The ADA is a Federal code that is often just referenced and in some cases added to. You need to know your occupancy type facility construction, and occupancy load to go very far. Use A-5 for the type where you are located. Without a good understanding of the code, leave the occupancy load to the officials to determine.
All that being said, in most places the fire marshal is god. It really wont matter what you do if he is not on board.
Being courteous and knowledgeable and bringing the interested parties on board early will do wonders.

Also, each jurisdiction have planning ordinances that effect you. There is no clearing house of those documents. You need to look at each location separately.

http://www.ada.gov/stdspdf.htm

http://bulk.resource.org/

http://bulk.resource.org/codes.gov/

As always, good luck.

geckofx
02-11-2009, 01:26 PM
Primarily what we are governed by is called the Life Safety Code. This is issued by the NFPA, it is the basis by which most AHJ's base their inspection of your attraction. Most state codes are also based on the Life Safety Code. Some states make addendum's to this code for their particular state. At the end of the day it is all up to your local AHJ so everything everyone else said above is certainly true, you are at their mercy. However this is a really good starting point and something most people don't really know.

The Life Safety Code is called NFPA 101 and can be viewed on their website, nfpa.org. Also if you can't meet a certain piece of the code, which trust me is going to happen, you can ask for a variance from your AHJ. It's basically saying, hey man I can't afford to do that, but I can do this. It makes you look really good when they show up and you have a good idea of what is going on. Don't ever start quoting code to them, at the end of the day the guy that is standing in your place is the ultimate authority, everything else is just guidelines.

oakhillshaunterTHEFEAR
02-11-2009, 03:18 PM
When i was building my house I had to deal with two separate inspectors. You guys are right about the authority. I understand how to handle both types. One was a bitch, excuse my language, and the other was a easy going guy. He gave me the list of things i needed to fix straight up and he was fine about. So I agree. About the list of codes. Seriously I don't care what help I get anything helps. All those links were very helpful Randy. And geckofx I'll need to learn your name and add you to my friends list. Once again thanks for all the info guys. Vincent This Time!

rwrussom
02-11-2009, 03:35 PM
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Cosed and standards is another example of codes that are often refernced without specific requirements discussed. This is what your local fire marshal will hang his hat on. I many cases there will be little wiggle room if an item is clearly defined in the code. In our applications, many field decisions need to be made by the inspector and your time spent building good will can pay off. While this is far from the only code that governs the attraction, it is the one that most effects the ongoing operation and can shut you down cold in a matter of minutes right in the middle of a preformance.

Mike Goff
02-11-2009, 05:26 PM
I am almost ashamed to say this, but it's true, so here goes...

If you run into the type of inspector that makes it obvious that the inspection process is about asserting his authority, masculinity, etc....
Leave something for him to find. Something small, that is not life threatening, yet something that is obvious. This will give him the opportunity to flaunt his manliness.
He's happy, his wife is happy and you can open your attraction. If you don't do this, he will look until he finds something.
Two years ago we set up a haunt at our county fair. On the first day of operation we experienced a 4 hour inspection on a 2000 sq. ft haunt. This haunt was a chainlink maze, in a flame retardant tent with steel perimeter walls. Hard wired fire alarm, and all wiring was in conduit. The only thing that could possibly burn was the clothes on my customers backs. The problem was that the inspector was intent on finding something and couldn't. This went on for 3 days after that. On the fifth day of operation, I discharged a fire extinguisher so that he could say he found something. That inspection lasted less than 15 minutes, we replaced the fire extinguisher and talked about how this could have happened, and that it was a good thing that he caught it before we opened. After that, we didn't have any problems. We have not and will not return to the fair.

rwrussom
02-11-2009, 05:48 PM
Good comment Mike.
I have experienced the same many times. I have run many construction projects over the years, both large and small and your comment holds true. Allowing the inspector to find something or "teach" you something for the future that would be a good idea to incorporate does wonders. I am not suggesting a distraction from a real issue, just a little genuflecting.

MidnightEvil
02-12-2009, 01:41 AM
Hey Vince

Here in CA you relay need to check with each individual city.
Some city's don't even use the latest code book, the city of LA
is always using the code book that's about 2 or 3 years old.
Every city I work in, the first thing I ask is what year code
book there using.

Over the past 35 years, I wired new building from the O.C. to
Chico north of Sacramento and every city is it's own little world.

I know you built your own house. But now you won't be doing residential,
you will be doing commercial construction. Now that's a hole new ball game.

Some city's won't even let you pull a construction permit, only
a lichened contractor can pull it. But with some, it won't be a problem.

Some city's you can do your own drawings, other city's you
you will need engineered drawings

So the best thing to do is, find a location then check with the city it's in
and find out there requirements. Do this before you sign the lease or
put it in the lease "pending city approval"

Code books are not cheap. My hard back NEC was about $82
the IBC runs about $105 and the NFPA 101 $96
The best thing to do is go to the library and check it out.

Hope this helps

PS here is a link to LA County Fire requirements 2003 most still apply
http://www.midnightevil.com/LA_Fire/HH_Requirements.pdf
http://www.midnightevil.com/LA_Fire/HH_Memo18.doc
http://www.midnightevil.com/LA_Fire/REVISED_Memo18.doc

oakhillshaunterTHEFEAR
02-12-2009, 08:59 AM
Hmm. That is a really big help. Where can I get those books to purchase? I need to start collecting all of the necessary legal things. And too bad I can't build it myself being non residential and all that sucks. Oh well check on my new thread and comment whether there are any codes that pertain to that sort of structure. Plus midnight I need to add you as a friend. Vincent This Time!

MidnightEvil
02-12-2009, 05:21 PM
You can get code books at
http://www.amazon.com/
http://www.constructionbook.com

mbudenske
03-16-2009, 10:16 PM
Virtually every city has a web site. I just did a quick check of the web site for my home town and there are clicks to the various codes.


that should give you a start and it will be free.

If I have a question, I contact the inspectors before I start the project. We get inspected by fire and the city code enforcement officer.

I spent the time to actually read all the codes that pertain to my little town. (I also took the on line fire fighter's safety course at our community college.) If the codes aren't on line they are free to view in the various offices. You can usually make copies for a nominal charge. You don't need to copy the whole book, just the parts that pertain to you.

If the city is using something like the ubc (universal building code -- I think -- that is a national standard and there is a web site.) Your city people can direct you to the national web site. This is pretty common in smaller communities -- to just adop the national codes.

A lot of fire departments have adopted the national fire code. There is a web site that is free. Check with the local offices and they should be able to just give you the web sites.

You shouldn't have to spend any money getting this information.

JamBam
03-18-2009, 06:44 AM
AS most have stated including Mike G

""I think that it would also be fair and relevant to point out that, each inspector interprets the code differently. Each has thier own pet peeves. Some are very easy to work with, and show a genuine interest in helping you make your attraction safer. Others will make you want to declare an armed revolution.
In 11 years I have worked with 7 different inspectors from 2 different districts, and they would all give you different answers to the same question.
3 steps to a good relationship with your inspector:
1. Diplomacy, make thier job easy
2. ALWAYS be honest and upfront
3. learn the code, know more than they do, and they will rarely question you.""

We have had the same issue of new inspectors many years, and the issue of finding something. One year the inspector even said, "I can't give you a permit until I find something" We had several items for him to use, but we had to point them out for him.

Another year, we had three state and one city inspector show up. They had a NEW form they inspected with and it only had 85 points of fire code on it, and it was in fire code verbage as well. We had many issues and were opening the next night. I stayed calm, asked the spokesperson to explain the items cited in actual terms and I wrote them next to the fire code verbage. I asked him if he would be in the area the next day as I would be ready for the inspection in late afternoon. The others with him headed for the door and acted like I was crazy because of all they had cited.

We worked through the night, he inspected the next afternoon, and then proceeded to tell me to add two more smoke detectors while he went and called all the others to tell them we had corrected all items. He came back in the building 30 minutes later, test the smoke detectors (which all have to be wired together and alarm together), and issued our permit. As he left he commented we surprised him by getting everything done.

As a side note: I met a friend for some green beer last night and he was excited about his building permit. It is for a new house he is building after tearing down the current one. The process was nearly complete. He went to the county and tried to get his permits. They told him the septic permit was out of their jurisdiction as he lived on the property of his campground. They told him to contact his state inspector. The guy returned his call at 10 am, stating he had slept in, but told him on the phone he approved it, let the county know to call him if they had any questions, and a letter wasn't needed.

You just never know.