When we think of laws, it’s commonly understood that each state/county/city will have its own set which can sometimes widely vary. In the realm of Fire Codes, this reality is no different. Effectively, this allows each AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) full reign of any codes deemed to be essential in managing their fire safety standards and protocols. All the while, the ICC (International Code Council) authors of the IFC (International Fire Code) and the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) authors of NFPA 72 and NFPA 1221 keep updating and revising their codes to keep up to date with the latest fire prevention technologies. As with most laws, these codes serve as a baseline for states before they are ratified in their local congress. Some other states might ratify these codes as laws with no revisions or changes to their contents.
Code Interpretation and Your AHJ
The landscape is scattered with different interpretations of the code, which can leave anyone researching these codes mixed up by similar verbiage containing different implementations. These differences can be seen in the following examples. In the case of Minnesota, the state implements a revised version of the IFC whereas Section 510 is relegated to Appendix P. This then allows specific AHJ’s within the state to choose to either adopt or reject adoption of Appendix P; allowing these AHJ to go without requiring an ERRCS system unless directly specified by them on a building-by-building basis. Then on the other side of the spectrum, you have Los Angeles, California which has some of the strictest and up-to-date codes out of all states. This allows L.A. to stay ahead of the curve with their code interpretation, setting the requirements to implement an ERRCS system as per the latest IFC and NFPA.
Other states including Wisconsin, sidestep some of these codes completely, choosing instead to rely on NFPA 72 as their set of guidelines. This enforces the most detailed interpretation of these codes, requiring UL 2524 compliance for repeaters not seen in the IFC.
Ensure Your Building Meets Fire Code and Life Safety Standards
While correctly interpreting these codes can take time and familiarity with the language and terms used therein, the skilled team at CC&N has many years of experience with code compliance. Our experts will properly interpret the codes for your jurisdiction and follow the letter of the law. CC&N’s Premier DAS team is committed to meeting the needs of our clients and AHJ alike to provide the best system as per the AHJ’s requirements.