Throwback Thursday! 2012 Fire Code Adoption. Back When Fire Escapes First Became Subject to Specific Examination Requirements

CHANGE TYPE: New

CHANGE SUMMARY: Existing exterior fire escapes require an inspection by a registered design professional or persons acceptable to the fi re code official no more than every 5 years.

2012 CODE: 1104.16.5 Materials and Strength. Components of fire escape stairs shall be constructed of noncombustible materials. Fire escape stairs and balconies shall support the dead load plus a live load of not less than 100 pounds per square foot(4.78 kN/m2). Fire escape stairs and balconies shall be provided with a top and intermediate handrail on each side. The fire code official is authorized to require testing or other satisfactory evidence that an existing fire escape stair meets the requirements of this section.

1104.16.5.1 Examination.
Fire escape stairs and balconies shall be examined for structural adequacy and safety, in accordance with Section 1104.16.5, by a registered design professional or others acceptable to the fire code official every five years, or as required by the fire code official. An inspection report shall be submitted to the fire code official after such examination.

CHANGE SIGNIFICANCE: Building fire escapes are a means-of-egress component in many existing multiple-story buildings. Neither the IBC nor IFC contains a specific definition as to what actually constitutes a fire escape, and in previous editions of the codes, they did not establish a frequency for their inspection. The IBC provisions for existing building in Section 3406.1.2 only permits a fire escape as a means-of-egress component in existing buildings and limits the installation of new fire escapes on existing buildings when the building code official determines they are necessary based on the substantiation by the registered design professional that exterior stairways cannot be used due to the lot line limiting the size of the stair, or conditions where the fire escapes could impact the egress path in sidewalks, alleys, or roads at grade. Additionally,new fire escapes, when allowed by the building code official, cannot utilize ladders or windows as a means of egress component. Fire escapes are typically prohibited in new construction.

A new requirement in Section 1104.16.5.1 establishes an inspection frequency for fire escapes and balconies erected on existing buildings. By design, fire escapes present a lot of concern to code officials because the stairs, ladders, balconies, and mechanical fasteners are commonly constructed of carbon or galvanized steel, which will rust if not properly maintained. Rust is a metal oxide that corrodes and damages carbon or galvanized steel and reduces its strength. The evaluation is necessary to
confirm that this exterior stair egress component satisfies a minimum design load requirement prescribed in Section 1104.16.5, is properly maintained, and is available for service in the event of an emergency that requires the occupants to egress the building. Unless otherwise specified by the fire code official, the 2012 IFC requires an inspection of fire escapes and their balconies every 5 years.

Fire escapes are now subject to specific examination requirements. 1104.16.5.1.

128 PART 3 ■ Building and Equipment Design Features
The individual evaluating fire escapes is required to be a registered design professional or an individual approved by the fire code official. The evaluation should include a review of the requirements in ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, including the requirements in Section 13.4 for mechanical fasteners and Section 4.4 for handrails and grab bars. If adopted by the jurisdiction, the individual performing the inspection should also review the ASCE 7 Appendix  11B requirements for existing buildings.

2012 International Fire Code Significant Changes Edition

7 On Your Side helps man whose satellite dish blocked fire escape

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 07:11PM
By Michael Finney

In San Francisco, a recent inspection revealed a hazard that had been there for 15 years, so 7 On Your Side’s Michael Finney helped get it removed.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Horrific fires like the Ghost Ship tragedy in Oakland have focused attention on potential fire code violations. In San Francisco, a recent inspection revealed a hazard that had been there for 15 years, so 7 On Your Side’s Michael Finney helped get it removed.

You may not think a satellite TV dish could be a problem. But, it was blocking a fire escape at a seven story apartment building. Our viewer says he’s been worrying about it for years. He came to me for help.

“The dish itself blocked the fire escape,” Harry Campbell said.

It’s hard enough for Campbell to climb onto his fire escape.

“I’d open the window like this,” Campbell showed us.

He has to crawl out a little window. “These fire escapes are not for the faint of heart,” Imagine how much harder it would be if a big satellite TV dish was propped in the window. A dish actually was bolted onto the window sill in Campbell’s apartment. It extended out to the railing of the fire escape.

“Someone trying to get from there to here would have to go under the dish like this,” Campbell said.

It blocked what was already a daunting escape route, down steep stairs, traffic rushing below, and possibly a fire chasing you from behind.

“It was beyond scary. It’s been like having a powder keg outside your window.”

He says DirecTV installed the dish over his objections. That was 15 years ago.

“He said that was the best place for installation. He came in, assessed it, put it there and he was gone,” Campbell said.

Campbell says he kept asking DirecTV to move the dish onto the roof, but the company never responded. Luckily there was never a fire, but for years he worried.

“That sort of situation could lend itself to potentially tragic consequences,” Campbell said.

Finally this year a fire marshal ordered the dish removed, but DirecTV said harry would have to pay $50 to relocate it, or more if the move was complicated. Harry didn’t want to pay saying it was DirecTV’s fault for putting it there in the first place.

“And the light bulb went on and I said to myself I have to call 7 On Your Side,” Campbell said.

We contacted DirecTV, and its parent company AT&T responded, but would not say why DirecTV put the dish in the fire escape. “We were glad to resolve these issues and we apologize for any inconvenience,” AT&T told us.

DirecTV did move the dish up to the roof at no charge to Harry.

“Seven On Your Side, I praise you. You are the bomb.”

Harry says he hopes he never needs to use the fire escape, but he’ll be able to climb out a little faster now. He can also see the skyline outside that window for the first time in 15 years.

Source: Copyright ©2017 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.

2 Escape Torch Lake House Fire

Fire heavily damaged a home on Fort Wayne’s southwest side early Monday.

An adult and teenager were able to escape the fire before crews arrived.

At 6:15 a.m., the Fort Wayne Fire Department was called to 3522 Torch Lake Drive.

When crews arrived, they found flames coming from the back of the two-story home.

The fire broke through the roof not long after firefighters arrived because of flames in the attic, the fire department said.

The blaze is under investigation.

Woman killed in downtown crash

A woman died in a two-vehicle crash late Sunday in downtown Fort Wayne.

City police said a southbound vehicle struck a westbound vehicle at South Clinton Street and East Washington Boulevard.

The woman died at the scene. Her name will be released by the coroner.

Minors arrested at Lake Wawasee

Eighteen minors were arrested Sunday by Indiana conservation officers on charges of illegal possession and consumption of alcohol on the Lake Wawasee sandbar.

Officers received a complaint of a large party on the sandbar with several teen­agers illegally consuming alcohol, according to a news release. Two officers observed several violations taking place on five boats that were tied together.

The officers were participating in Operation Dry Water, a national awareness campaign about boating under the influence of alcohol.

Alcohol contributes to more than half of Indiana boating fatalities. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.

Source: Indiana Journal Gazette

Exclusive Video: Bronx Apartment Fire Leaves 10 Injured, Fire Escape Saves Lives

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nearly a dozen people are recovering from injuries and several families are without a home after a Bronx apartment building went up in flame on Monday.

The fire started just before noon on 163rd Street in the Melrose section.

Exclusive video obtained by CBS2 shows people scrambling down a fire escape and leaping to the ground.

More than 100 firefighters responded. Two of them suffered minor injuries, along with one police officer, who cut his hand on broken glass trying to rescue children.

Seven civilians were also injured, one seriously.

Many of the residents say their smoke alarms never went off, and if it weren’t for heroes in the neighborhood, this could have been much worse, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.

Cellphone video captured people climbing down ladders to escape the giant flames from the second floor of the building on 163rd Street.

“A lot of people were jumping off the fire escape also when they got to the second-floor landing,” said witness Peter Ortega. “It was really scary. It was really intense.”

“I saw a fireman come out with a lady in his arms,” said Hellen Matos. “I think she got burnt really bad.”

There were also heroes in the crowd. Alex Piniero, a security guard across the street, smelled smoke and ran in to save whoever he could.

“I seen a kid in the third floor screaming for his mom, but I run upstairs and I grabbed him, put him in my arms, I ran outside,” he said. “And then I saw a lady — she just fainted right in my arms in the first floor, and I carried her out.”

People had to knock on neighbors’ doors just to get everyone out because the fire alarms were not working, residents said.

“Somebody said ‘fire, fire!’ so I run. I start knocking doors,” one resident said.

“There was no fire alarms that rang, so no one on the fifth floor would have known if no one went knocking,” Matos said.

The landlord told CBS2 the fire alarms and sprinklers were working fine.

“There are fire extinguishers in every apartment,” he said.

The cause of fire is under investigation.

Source: CBS 2 New York

Residents escape 3-alarm apartment fire likely caused by fireworks

BOISE – Boise Fire Department officials say fireworks are likely the cause of a three-alarm apartment fire early Wednesday morning at the Edgewater Apartments off State Street in Boise.

Firefighters responded to reports of a fire at the complex shortly after 2:30 a.m.

When crews arrived, heavy fire was visible from the third floor of a building. Officials said the fire started on a second story balcony and burned up into the unit above and into an attic.

Five units were damaged.

One person suffered smoke inhalation as a result of the fire. No other injuries were reported.

The Boise Fire Burnout Fund is helping eight displaced families.

Officials believe fireworks are to blame, and said they received reports of teenagers setting off fireworks nearby prior to the fire. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.

Source: © 2017 KTVB-TV

2 kids rescued from fire escape at 2-alarm Providence fire

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Several children were rescued from a two-alarm house fire Sunday morning in Providence.

According to firefighters, the fire was reported at about 10:20 a.m. at a three-story building at 8 Denison St. When firefighters arrived they immediately saw two children on the fire escape on the second floor and went to work getting them down.

The two children rescued from the fire escape and four other children who lived in the building were taken to Hasbro hospital as a precaution, fire officials said. One firefighter suffered a hand injury and was also taken to the hospital.

The fire appears to have started in and been mostly contained to the basement, but the cause hasn’t yet been determined.

Five adults lived in the home, three on the first floor and two on the second, but none of them were hurt. Two dogs were removed from the building; firefighters said both were expected to survive although one required oxygen at the scene.

While crews were wrapping up, another fire was reported at 18 Barrows Street. Fire officials said that was a porch fire that was quickly extinguished.

Source: WPRI 12 News

A fire fighter climbs up the fire escape ladder outside Famous Familiga Pizza to join others battling the blaze

A fire tore through a luxury Greenwich Village apartment building on Wednesday after an ‘explosion’ on the sixth floor.
Plumes of smoke billowed from The Hamilton at 60 East 9th street after the blast at around 5.45pm.
Forty-four FDNY vehicles raced to the scene and hoisted fire fighters on to the roof to tackle the blaze from above.
Nearly 200 fire fighters and EMTs responded to the situation. It is not yet clear how exactly the fire was started or if anyone has been hurt.

Stretchers were seen being brought in to the building but has not emerged.

An FDNY spokesman could not give further details on Wednesday evening.
‘It’s a developing situation, so far there are no injuries reported but it is developing,’ they said.
The entire building was being evacuated on Wednesday night. A source inside earlier told DailyMail.com the explosion happened on the sixth floor and said fire crews were trying the flames.

It is understood to have occupied the entirety of the top floor – which is spread over two wings – and the building’s attic.
Fire fighters were seen punching through windows on the top floors of the building to allow some of the heat to escape.
Crowds cheered and gasped as glass from the upper windows shattered. The smell of burning materials wafted in to office buildings surrounding the area.

Fire fighters on the ground extended the safety perimeter numerous times as they continued to work at the scene on Wednesday afternoon.
The 8th street subway station which services the N, Q, R, and W lines, was closed shortly after the incident as was Astor Place which services the 6 train.
Apartments in the building range from $525,000 studios to two-bedroom units costing $1.25million.
Initial reports indicated that the blaze may have started in Famous Famiglia Pizza next door.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4648824/Explosion-Greenwich-Village-apartment-building.html#ixzz4lLf7TjPS
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Ottumwa, Iowa Addresses Courthouse Fire Safety

OTTUMWA, IOWA— The initial report from a consulting firm’s May site visit has the county wondering what additional work will have to precede the replacement of windows in the courthouse.

In March the county board of supervisors agreed to have Chairman Jerry Parker contact Victor Amoroso of A and J Associates for recommendations on replacing windows in the courthouse. “There are certain things we can and cannot do,” said Parker, because the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Amoroso and architect Douglas Steinmetz examined the windows in May. Parker told supervisors last week that Steinmetz and Amoroso “found some things they thought we might want to address before we do the windows.”

Two concerns that Parker mentioned were sand in the fifth floor front window and sporadic fire protection.

Sand in the fifth floor front window may indicate that the masonry is pulling apart, Steinmetz’s report says. Photographs and observations made at the time of the site visit were inconclusive though there does appear to be an area of missing exterior mortar, Steinmetz said.

According to the report, exploratory construction will be needed to evaluate the situation. In addition, the missing center pier at this window will have to be reconstructed. “This will help with structural concerns and also reduce the glass area helping to reduce solar gain in the office located by this window,” the report says.

Steinmetz called the fire protection system at the courthouse “spotty.” “System does not provide full coverage along designated exit routes,” his report says.

County Auditor Kelly Spurgeon told supervisors last week that the courthouse is inspected every year, and she doesn’t understand why the deficiency hasn’t been mentioned before.

“It might be good to have the fire inspector look at it,” said Parker at the May 30 board meeting.

Supervisor Greg Kenning suggested that the county address the sprinkler issue before proceeding with the window project.

Supervisors instructed Spurgeon to look into Steinmetz’s concerns in collaboration with courthouse Building Maintenance Manager Andrew Birch.

“I still haven’t read the report yet,” said Spurgeon Monday. Her office is busy with fiscal budgets this time of year. Spurgeon said the courthouse is inspected every year, and spotty coverage of the sprinkler system has never been brought to her attention.

Parker said Monday that there are no sprinklers on the fifth floor of the courthouse. “We don’t know that they are required to be there,” he said. The floor is used only for storage.

Parker said the county also has questions about some fire escapes and exit routes. “Some of the bolts going into that old stone are loose,” said Parker. If the fire escapes are needed, their stability will have to be addressed.

Another issue supervisors want to address involves the escape route through the main courtroom on the third floor. “We keep that door locked,” Parker said. “They were afraid people visiting the courthouse could slip a weapon in there, so we were required to keep that door locked.”

However, the courtroom is designated as an escape route, Parker said. If the fire inspector requires that access to the courtroom be unrestricted for fire safety, the county will not be able to keep the courtroom locked as law enforcement requested.

Anyone in the courtroom has an escape route, Parker said, but when court is not in session, the room is locked, and a different escape route has to be used.

Parker said that he’s contacted Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller to request that the city’s fire inspector look into the issues addressed in the Steinmetz’s report.

Source: Ottumwa Courier
Reporter Winona Whitaker can be contacted at wwhitaker@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @courierwinona.

A Look At Oakland’s Warehouse Fire, Fire Escapes Would Have Made The Difference…

Yesterday
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on charges in the Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people in December (all times local):

5 p.m.

The lead attorney representing relatives of half of people who died in a massive warehouse fire says the families are pleased with criminal charges filed against the men who authorities say turned the building into an illegal artists’ collective.

Attorney Mary Alexander said, however, she’s disappointed the owner of the building hasn’t been charged. Alexander said she believes the owner is just as responsible as the two men arrested on charges of illegally converting the warehouse to house upward of two dozen people.

Derick Almena and Max Harris were charged Monday with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of three dozen people who died in the Dec. 2 fire in Oakland.

Alameda County prosecutors declined to discuss whether more people would be charged, but they did say their investigation was closed.

Alexander and several other attorneys represent the families of 18 victims who are suing Almena, Harris, the building’s owner and others for wrongful death.

___

2:40 p.m.

Attorneys for a man who ran the Ghost Ship warehouse, where 36 people died in a massive fire, say their client is being made a scapegoat as prosecutors blame him for the deaths in Oakland.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced Monday that warehouse operator Derick Almena had been charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors say he rented out space in the illegally converted warehouse and “knowingly created a firetrap” with no way to escape.

Almena’s attorneys said in a statement that the charges “represent no less than a miscarriage of justice.”

Max Harris, who also lived at the Ghost Ship and is accused of organizing a dance party on the night of the fire, faces the same charges.

Each defendant could face up to 39 years in prison if convicted.

___

1:25 p.m.

The Alameda County district attorney says she has filed 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter against two men in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed three dozen people in December in Oakland, California.

District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced the charges on Monday against Derick Almena, saying he rented out space in the illegally converted warehouse, and Max Harris, who is accused of planning an unpermitted party.

Both men were arrested earlier Monday.

Prosecutors say so much evidence was destroyed in the blaze that a specific cause of the fire will likely never be known.

O’Malley says the organizers were reckless and “knowingly created a firetrap with inadequate means of escape.” She says one way out of the building was blocked.

O’Malley says each defendant could face up to 39 years in prison if convicted.

___

10:40 a.m.:

A source close to the investigation tells The Associated Press that two men have been arrested and will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 partygoers in Oakland.

The Alameda County district attorney says she will formally announce charges later Monday.

The person says Derick Almena and Max Harris will each be charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The source was not authorized to publicly discuss the charges and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Authorities say Almena leased the warehouse and illegally sublet space for artists to live and work. He also held for-profit concerts at the warehouse, which authorities say was not licensed for entertainment.

Harris lived at the Ghost Ship and is accused of helping plan the December concert where the fire broke out.

“If the Oakland Building would’ve been equipped with exterior Fire Escapes, countless of lives would have been saved that day” – Fire Protection Engineer Gabriel Cabrera with the City of Dallas, who has been keeping a close eye on the aftermath of this tragedy mentions as he is made aware of the legal proceedings made by Alameda County officials.

Source: AP News

Residents flee down fire escapes as fire tears through Brooklyn building

EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) — A third-alarm fire tore through a row of apartments on the side of a four-story building in Brooklyn.

According to fire marshals, the fire at 832 Linden Blvd., in Brooklyn on Tuesday was accidental, sparked by an electrical strip. Smoke alarms were not operational.

The flames broke out at Linden Boulevard and East 53rd Street in East Flatbush around 4:30 p.m.

Flames were shooting out the top of the structure, sending huge plumes of black smoke into the sky.

Firefighters quickly got the blaze under control, but residents could be seen from climbing down fire escapes to the street below.

All residents were evacuated safely, and no injuries were reported.

About 30 residents were left homeless. The rest of the building was reoccupied.