This post has been a long time coming….
A while back, I had an opportunity to sit in on a contractor coffee forum hosted by Northwest Fire, the local fire department where I live.
I would like to thank Trina Motto, Public Relations, and others at Northwestfire for helping me with the accuracy of my information. I do, however, ask that you properly verify any information before applying anything in this post. Disclaimer: The information in this post is in no way endorsed by Northwest Fire or nwfirefighter.
Here is some of what I learned at the forum.
One of the things talked about during the forum was a policy modification to the 2012 international fire code section: 1103.5.3.
“The Northwest Fire District has adopted and enforces the 2012 International Fire Code with local amendments that establishes the minimum fire and life safety requirements for a wide range of activities within the District.”
The 2012 International Fire Code (IFC)had previously been amended by NWFD to require an automatic sprinkler system be installed throughout existing buildings or residential occupancies where the square footage of the new *fire area* is greater than 25% of the total fire area of the existing structure and the total fire area (new and existing is not equal to the fire flow required by Appendix B of the code.
*Fire area is the total area under roof including patios, garages, etc. Fire area is the aggregate sum of all floors.*
This has proven to be restrictive and cost prohibitive to homeowners making relatively small modifications and additions to their properties.
Section 118.104.22.168 was amended to read:
An automatic sprinkler system shall be provided throughout existing one and two family dwellings undergoing a fire area increase where all of the following apply:
1. The square footage of the new fire area is equal to or greater than 50% of the total fire area of the existing structure.
2. The new combined fire area (new and existing) exceeds 3600 square feet.
3. The existing fire flow for the combined fire area (new and existing) does not meet the minimum fire flow required by Appendix B of the code.
Second buildings on the property, if less than 5 feet from existing, count as part of the existing structure.
Another thing that was talked about was the consistency in the licensure of installers as related to the installation of fire protection equipment.
The following Arizona Registrar of Contractor’s licensures will be required and accepted by Northwest Fire in regards to the installation of fire protection equipment and a certified installer must be on site for all intermediate and final inspections.
Install / Repair / Service Underground:
A, A-12, L-16, L-37, K-16, K-37, K-80, KA
CR Licenses: C-16, C-37, CR-16, CR-37, CR-8
Install / Repair / Service Aboveground, (Fire Sprinklers, Foam, Wet & Dry Chem, Standpipe, Halon & CO2):
L-16, K-16, C-16(Residential)
CR Licenses: C-16, CR-16, R-16
Fire Alarm & Detection Equipment:
Commercial: K-11, K-16, K-67, L-11, L-16, L-67
CR Licenses: CR-11, CR-16, CR-67, C-11, C-16
Residential: C-11, C-12, C-16, K-11, K-16, K-67
CR Licenses: R-11, R-16, CR-11, CR-16, CR-67
CR Licenses: C-16, CR-16
Install Only: (As Approved by Fire Marshal)
Breathing Air Devices:
C-4, C-16, C-37, C-74, C-77
Third party inspection reports are accepted. All records and reports shall be maintained on site for minimum of three years.
One of the many things NWFD is working on is getting together with local building officials to reach and take care of buildings that may have fallen through the cracks in terms of being compliant with fire code.
NWFD is working towards Co-Compliance & Co-Enforcement with the town of Marana.
Northwest Fire strives for open communication with members of their community. It is also their goal to ensure the safety & well-being of those in the community.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you… There are 6 to 7 field inspectors with NWFD.
NWFD fire inspectors are not meant to be quality control. They are there to make sure that fire prevention equipment is installed correctly. Often times, however, they end up being quality control inspection. This often times happens when pre-checks are not done or not done properly.
Another tidbit: Effective July 2016 – NWFD Will no longer provide plan reviews or construction inspections on behalf of Mountain Vista Fire Department, as MVFD will be taking over their own inspections.
As always, Stay Alert & Stay Safe.