1. #1
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    Default Code Development/NFPA/Sprinkers

    8/11 NFPA News Release

    The codes and standards development oversight body of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), known as the Standards Council, recently issued two of the Association’s key safety codes that will require fire sprinklers in all nursing homes, in new construction of one- and two-family dwellings, and in all new construction of nightclubs and like facilities, as well as for existing nightclubs and like facilities with capacities over 100.

    The provisions apply to the 2006 editions of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code ® and NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code ®; they go into effect on August 18.


    http://www.nfpa.org/newsReleaseDetai...8&itemID=25370

    What does this mean/how impact on the real world. (Perhaps George can hop in). How do various code bodies interact?

    I talked to the Iowa Fire Marshall. They tell me Jan 1 Iowa adopts the ICC www.iccsafe.org At present we have:
    Uniform Building Code, UBC (1994)
    National Electrical Code, NEC (1996)
    Uniform Mechanical Code, UMC (1994)
    Uniform Plumbing Code, UPC (1994)*
    Model Energy Code, MEC (1992)

    Only apply to gov't/public buildings. Nothing for Single family or residential. Unless other jurisdiction has adopted a code (including fire). Nothing that tells me what the change actually means to FD or jurisdiction.

    The ICC web site tells me Iowa uses (though apparently actually not yet) have adopted.
    2003 International Building Code
    2003 International Fire Code
    2003 International Fuel Gas Code
    2003 International Mechanical Code
    2003 International Residential Code

    I talked to fire code guy at ICC. As I understand it, ICC references NFPA 13 Sprinkler series in the IBC (maybe also IFC, I'm fuzzy on that; and not clear what is in IBC vs IFC). So unless the adopting jurisdiction modifies the IBC NFPA 13/13D/13R governs installation of sprinklers. However ICC does not use NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code ® and NFPA 5000®. At I understand it they write there own documents (I assume these are the IBC and IFC).

    NFPA site makes reference to the Comprehensive Consensus Codes® The future of public safety is in the Comprehensive Consensus Codes® (C3) set. The first of its kind, C3 is the result of model code developers bringing their expertise together to form one fully integrated, consensus-based code set. Blah Blah Blah Is the CCC just a competitor of the ICC?

    All are "models" adopting jurisdictions can change in any manner they desire during adoption. So if the make changes what impact in courts. See discussion of litigation on absence of working smoke detectors "Fire Chief" May 2005 pg 26. Claim that absense of detectors cause death of _____. Apparently tough to get past a jury. However if in adopting line out requirement sprinkers as in NFPA 101/5000 different scenerio as presence of sprinklers can be reasonably demonstrated to prevent death (Scottsdale etc)? And is it now "reasonable" (if adopting NFPA/CCC) to exclude the sprinkler requirements. IE "we did not NFPA 1901 so nothings says we needed enclosed cab in our new truck and that we can't carry guys on tailboard. So their death was just unfortunate".

    How do the Uniform Building Code, National Electrical Code, Uniform Mechanical Code, Uniform Plumbing Code, Model Energy Code work into this?

    NFPA writes the Electrical, IAMPO writes Plumbing and Mechanical.

    Is UBC written by ICC but is now renamed the UBC?

    ----------

    IN ANY CASE.

    For Opinions - Is requirement for 13R sprinklers for one/two family residences (new construction) appropriate? They work, they save lives and property, save firemen. May or may not reduce firedept manning/equipment. For George - may or may not reduce insurance expense. But significantly increase in construction cost. Of particularly high impact on the good old low/moderate income new homes which are a BIG push nationwide. In areas with high density of older homes (balloon frame or other) no impact. Are the old/existing homes fire trap (realitively speaking) or new home with truss roof? Should we be retrofitting existing homes (recent/truss const. or old old homes). As I recall 13R has no attic (trusses) sprinklers required (or fire stops?).

    In my rural area network fire/smoke detectors with dialers and residential sprinklers are more important that in the city. The early detection of a fire (alarms, detectors or neighbors) is crucial to saving the property and lives of the occupants. Paid depts in the city typically will be at the structure within 4 min of receiving the alarm. Vol dept and then in rural areas have to get to the fire station and then travel to the fire. So the response time, time during which the fire is growing, is much longer and early detection is even more critical. Given that rural depts are not going to be there for some period of time makes residential sprinklers extraordinarily valuable. In most residential fires the sprinkler will put out the fire before the fire dept is out of the station. Saving life and property. But push for residentil sprinklers has been in the city where FD is within blocks. Or IMO

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    Damn, that's alot of questions. Here's some thoughts.

    1. Early detection and suppression of fire is important everywhere. It is not MORE important anywhere. The first priority is to alert the occupants to the fire and give them enough time to get out. That has little to do with the fire being in an urban, suburban or rural setting.

    2. It is a myth that residential sprinklers "significantly increase" construction costs in one and two family residences. There are many effective, yet low cost installation tecnhniques that make this possible. It is important to completely understand that residential sprinklers are a totally different animal than a conventional automatic sprinkler system.

    3. It is almost impossible for me to answer your code questions. Some state codes adopt certain codes by reference in full, in part, or in full with some exceptions. Some may argue, but it is far more important to have A code in place than to get bogged down in what that code is.

    4. Yes, there are "competing" codes. For the most part, the codes are very consistent. There are nuances that make one code better in some circumstances than another. However, for practical purposes, they are all the same.

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    On my way to lunch today, I passed by 2 homes being put together as they are modular pieces of junk coming off trailers. Do normal building codes apply to modulars or are there different codes? I can't imagine (but anything is possible) these would ever come with sprinkler systems. I know the 2 going in here don't have them.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Damn, that's alot of questions. Here's some thoughts.

    1. Early detection and suppression of fire is important everywhere. It is not MORE important anywhere. The first priority is to alert the occupants to the fire and give them enough time to get out. That has little to do with the fire being in an urban, suburban or rural setting. Granted I'll restate then. Early detection in rural less likely in the absence of fire alarms w/dialers as there are few neighbors and minimal driveby traffic. Residential Sprinklers have greater impact in rural/vol fire districts due to what is typically delayed arrival of the FD compared to urban areas

    2. It is a myth that residential sprinklers "significantly increase" construction costs in one and two family residences. There are many effective, yet low cost installation tecnhniques that make this possible. It is important to completely understand that residential sprinklers are a totally different animal than a conventional automatic sprinkler system. Depends on where you sit. USFA website (Scottsdale data I assume) says $1.50/ft2. Which could range from +3% for a "valuebilt" house to 1% for a McMansion. That is more than cost to put on a "permanent"/fire resistant steel roof vs. asphalt shingles or to install cement siding vs. vinyl siding. Neither of which homeowners typically are will to agree to. I installed both on my residence. In Iowa I could not find a sprinkler installer (pathetic) to quote a 13D or 13R installation. All they do are 13. No code requirement or demand for anything else. My FY04 fire prevention grant app for for a demonstration grant for rural 13R installations (well based). Dear John on that. $50000+ trailers w/1t pickups more important I guess.
    3. It is almost impossible for me to answer your code questions. Some state codes adopt certain codes by reference in full, in part, or in full with some exceptions. Some may argue, but it is far more important to have A code in place than to get bogged down in what that code is.I'm more trying to figure out what the relationship of NFPA stuff is to the other code agencies (and if their is any logic). Or perhaps what jursidictions use the CCC (in particular the fire portions). IE does the new version of 101/5000 requiring residentail sprinklers going to have much relevance. Reviewing the ICC and NFPA website you would conclude BOTH cover most of the known world which is obviously not the case.
    4. Yes, there are "competing" codes. For the most part, the codes are very consistent. There are nuances that make one code better in some circumstances than another. However, for practical purposes, they are all the same.
    I did learn that UBC was renamed to IBC due to a merger to create the ICC. So apparently minimal changes from UBC to IBC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    On my way to lunch today, I passed by 2 homes being put together as they are modular pieces of junk coming off trailers. Do normal building codes apply to modulars or are there different codes? I can't imagine (but anything is possible) these would ever come with sprinkler systems. I know the 2 going in here don't have them.
    Whoa. Huge misconception about modulars.

    I live in a a modular. A modular is not a double wide. A modular is a bigger version of a stick built house. I have 2' x 6' walls and 2' x 10' joists. All of the lumber is bigger so the house can withstand the rigors of driving it over the road. It is more square and is usually better built than a site built home. My house is over insulated (insulation between the first and second floor) and is tight as a clam's *** (water tight).

    My modular was built in PA. The modular is inspected in the factory before it leaves. My plans indicate, and the stickers confirm, that my modular met the most stringent standards of about 14 state codes. So yes they have to meet code and yes it is possible that they could come with sprinkler systems (builder talked me out of one twelve years ago. Bad move on my part). They come with heated floors, tray ceilings, etc. so there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why they could not come with a sprinkler system.

    Mobile homes and double wides are different stories.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    On my way to lunch today, I passed by 2 homes being put together as they are modular pieces of junk coming off trailers. Do normal building codes apply to modulars or are there different codes? I can't imagine (but anything is possible) these would ever come with sprinkler systems. I know the 2 going in here don't have them.
    HUD regulated manufactured homes (used to be called mobile homes/arkansas mansions). Modular homes are stickbuilt in a factory (vs on you lot) then multiple modules assemble on your foundation. Typically better built that a stickbilt constructed on you lot. The 2 types are (at least in Iowa) are treated very differently by gov't and banks. Mobile/manufactured homes taxed as portable personal property like a car, bank loans about the same. Modular is a house is a house.

    None are likely to have a sprinkler system (at present) but I would see no reason CPVC piping and sprinkler heads could not be installed in either. Would be interesting to know how Scottsdale treats mobile homes.

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    I wrote an article on Mobile Homes for...well another major fire service magazine. It is in the archive section of their site. While interviewing people who build these homes I was struck by the poor quality of what was being put out. Structurally deficient in far too many areas. I wanted to do the entire article on just that....

    As to codes local jurisdictions often allow exceptions to the "code". That was the most frustrating experience I had as a fire marshal. People would come in to get a variance and would then be exempt from certain parts of the code.
    Last edited by JackTee09; 08-13-2005 at 08:58 AM.
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    In San Diego County one day I was shown a modular way out in the sticks, along with a steel garage building. Both were required to have sprinklers and a big water tank, mainly because being out in the boondocks like that, the county wants to have structure fires extinguished before they have a chance to get out of the house and cause a destructive wildland fire. So it can be done in a modular. Since modulars are built to the customer's spec anyway, I would not be surprised if at least some factories offered the option to pre-plumb for sprinklers

    Also from working in construction I might add I am not impressed with modular homes either. Any supposed overbuilt to withstand the rigors of the road, well, the rigors of the road take it out of the house anyway. Nails start to pull and lots of work has to be done on site to bring it back to the way it should be. Houses were not made to be shaken and I like to build them on a foundation and leave them where they sit. Also aesthetically they still look like trailers. To me a trailer is a trailer

    Birken
    Last edited by BirkenVogt; 08-12-2005 at 06:23 PM.

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    Code adoption varies a lot from state to state, and sometimes even community to community. The state of California, for example, has used the old UFC (now IFC) for some time. The state adopts some or all of the code, adds its own provisions and calls it the California State Fire Code. Individual communities have to follow the requirements of this code, but can add their own requirements above and beyond the state code. For example, my town requires sprinklers for all new residential construction and certain renovations/additions (based on percentage of the original square footage) which is above and beyond the state code.

    California was going to shift from the old UFC/IFC over to the new UFC (NFPA 1...the name change gets kinda confusing and is a long story), but recently decided to go back to the old due.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    George, thanks for posting about the modulars....... Some people don't realize the difference between a Manufactured Home and a Modular Home. Many times you can't tell a home is a mod unless it was pointed out to you........

    In fact, Weruj has one, too...... Same as George's........ 2x6 walls, etc.......
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirkenVogt
    In San Diego County one day I was shown a modular way out in the sticks, along with a steel garage building. Both were required to have sprinklers and a big water tank, mainly because being out in the boondocks like that, the county wants to have structure fires extinguished before they have a chance to get out of the house and cause a destructive wildland fire. So it can be done in a modular. Since modulars are built to the customer's spec anyway, I would not be surprised if at least some factories offered the option to pre-plumb for sprinklers

    Also from working in construction I might add I am not impressed with modular homes either. Any supposed overbuilt to withstand the rigors of the road, well, the rigors of the road take it out of the house anyway. Nails start to pull and lots of work has to be done on site to bring it back to the way it should be. Houses were not made to be shaken and I like to build them on a foundation and leave them where they sit. Also aesthetically they still look like trailers. To me a trailer is a trailer

    Birken
    Since you are in the construction biz, I am not surprised you do not like modulars. But the things you are describing haven't happened in my home. The only on-site problem they had was a window that broke during transit. Any other problems that I had were caused by the on-site subs. Things like putting the driveway in the wrong place, putting the well pump in wrong, putting the deck footings in too close to the house. The modular has been the only thing that made the project worthwhile.

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    Yeah - in my previous post I made reference to modular when I meant Mobile. I have corrected it.
    Jacktee

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    You have much better quality modular homes than this one. The ceiling/floor joists are 2x8. The walls are 2x4. On one section, they were using 2 come-a-longs to "re-square" it. I'm not in the construction business, but I know enough to recognize when I see "low quality construction". The truss peaked roof, which was brought in on 2 trailers, is also 2x6's. I have a message in to our building department asking about this, but have not heard back yet.

    Modulars are not very common in my town at all. There are a few, but rare.

    I'm sure, like everything else, you get what you pay for with these things. Low price, low quality, higher price, higher quality.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BirkenVogt
    Also aesthetically they still look like trailers. To me a trailer is a trailer

    Birken
    Modular Colonial


    Doesn't look like a trailer to me.... again modular vs. mobile are two distinctly different worlds!

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    Also aesthetically they still look like trailers. To me a trailer is a trailer
    It's dangerous to approach construction with preconceived ideas about how things will look.
    Jacktee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    You have much better quality modular homes than this one. The ceiling/floor joists are 2x8. The walls are 2x4. On one section, they were using 2 come-a-longs to "re-square" it. I'm not in the construction business, but I know enough to recognize when I see "low quality construction". The truss peaked roof, which was brought in on 2 trailers, is also 2x6's. I have a message in to our building department asking about this, but have not heard back yet.

    Modulars are not very common in my town at all. There are a few, but rare.

    I'm sure, like everything else, you get what you pay for with these things. Low price, low quality, higher price, higher quality.
    It still has to meet all NJ codes. Check with the Construction Official. Make him aware of the problem. This sounds fishy.

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    It still has to meet all NJ codes.
    That was my biggest question. Are there separate codes for "modulars" vs built-in-place. Thank you gentlemen, been some good discussion.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    That was my biggest question. Are there separate codes for "modulars" vs built-in-place. Thank you gentlemen, been some good discussion.
    No. A SFD is a SFD.

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