What are Fire Codes and Why are They Important?

A lit match burns a piece of paper with code on itIf you’re buying or building a commercial structure, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the fire codes in your state and municipality. This is true not just so your building passes all inspections, but for the safety of those who will inhabit it. If you’re unfamiliar with fire codes, here’s a few things to know:

What are They?

Fire codes are a set of standards that are created and enforced by a government body for the purpose of fire prevention and safety. Fire codes can be extensive and not every aspect of them will be applicable to your business.

How Do They Work?

Fire codes are like most laws in that they are not exactly the same in every state, town or city. The International Code Council, which wrote and now updates the International Fire Code and the National Fire Protection Association, which created its own fire code, update and revise their codes continually to ensure they’re as up to date with new fire-prevention technology as possible.

These then serve as a baseline for states, which create their own laws based on the new information or adopt the regulations without revision. For example, here in Florida, the State Fire Marshall updates a new fire prevention code every three years. These are then enforced at the local and county level. Counties, special districts and municipalities can then also create their own amendments, which only apply to those communities.

What Do They Entail?

Fire codes tend to be lengthy due to the variety of structures they cover and the consistent advances in fire prevention technology. Some universal codes owners of commercial buildings should pay attention to include how many fire extinguishers they should have on hand, whether or not they need a sprinkler system, anything related to a fire alarm system and how many exits are required.

Staying compliant with fire codes is important, so if you feel the need to upgrade your company’s fire safety equipment to do so, Life Safety Consultants can help you do just that. We sell the best fire-safety tools, such as fire alarm parts, smoke detectors, pull covers and more. Call 1-888-557-0558 to learn more about our products.

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