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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 13. Housing
Agency 5. Department of Housing and Community Development
Chapter 51. Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code
1/27/2020

13VAC5-51-101. Section 110 Unsafe Conditions.

A. 110.1 General. The fire official shall order the following dangerous or hazardous conditions or materials to be removed or remedied in accordance with the SFPC:

1. Dangerous conditions which are liable to cause or contribute to the spread of fire in or on said premises, building or structure, or to endanger the occupants thereof.

2. Conditions which would interfere with the efficiency and use of any fire protection equipment.

3. Obstructions to or on fire escapes, stairs, passageways, doors or windows, which are liable to interfere with the egress of occupants or the operation of the fire department in case of fire.

4. Accumulations of dust or waste material in air conditioning or ventilating systems or grease in kitchen or other exhaust ducts.

5. Accumulations of grease on kitchen cooking equipment, or oil, grease or dirt upon, under or around any mechanical equipment.

6. Accumulations of rubbish, waste, paper, boxes, shavings, or other combustible materials, or excessive storage of any combustible material.

7. Hazardous conditions arising from defective or improperly used or installed electrical wiring, equipment or appliances.

8. Hazardous conditions arising from defective or improperly used or installed equipment for handling or using combustible, explosive or otherwise hazardous materials.

9. Dangerous or unlawful amounts of combustible, explosive or otherwise hazardous materials.

10. All equipment, materials, processes or operations which are in violation of the provisions and intent of this code.

B. 110.2 Maintenance. The owner shall be responsible for the safe and proper maintenance of any structure, premises or lot. In all structures, the fire protection equipment, means of egress, alarms, devices and safeguards shall be maintained in a safe and proper operating condition as required by the SFPC and applicable referenced standards.

C. 110.3 Occupant responsibility. If a building occupant creates conditions in violation of this code, by virtue of storage, handling and use of substances, materials, devices and appliances, such occupant shall be held responsible for the abatement of said hazardous conditions.

D. 110.4 Unsafe structures. All structures that are or shall hereafter become unsafe or deficient in adequate exit facilities or which constitute a fire hazard, or are otherwise dangerous to human life or the public welfare, or by reason of illegal or improper use, occupancy or maintenance or which have sustained structural damage by reason of fire, explosion, or natural disaster shall be deemed unsafe structures. A vacant structure, or portion of a structure, unguarded or open at door or window shall be deemed a fire hazard and unsafe within the meaning of this code. Unsafe structures shall be reported to the building official or building maintenance official who shall take appropriate action under the provisions of the USBC to secure abatement. Subsequently, the fire official may request the legal counsel of the local governing body to institute the appropriate proceedings for an injunction against the continued use and occupancy of the structure until such time as conditions have been remedied.

E. 110.5 Evacuation. When, in the fire official's opinion, there is actual and potential danger to the occupants or those in the proximity of any structure or premises because of unsafe structural conditions, or inadequacy of any means of egress, the presence of explosives, explosive fumes or vapors, or the presence of toxic fumes, gases or materials, the fire official may order the immediate evacuation of the structure or premises. All notified occupants shall immediately leave the structure or premises and no person shall enter until authorized by the fire official.

F. 110.6 Unlawful continuance. Any person who refuses to leave, interferes with the evacuation of other occupants or continues any operation after having been given an evacuation order shall be in violation of this code.

Exception: Any person performing work directed by the fire official to be performed to remove an alleged violation or unsafe condition.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 16, Issue 20, eff. September 15, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 25, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. October 16, 2018.

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