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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

13VAC5-51-130. Ifc Section 202 Definitions.

A. Add the following definitions to read:

Applicable building code. The local or statewide building code and referenced standards in effect at the time the building or portion thereof was constructed, altered, renovated, or underwent a change of occupancy. See Section 103 for the application of the code.

Background clearance card or BCC. An identification card issued to an individual who is not a certified blaster or pyrotechnician and is responsible management or an employee of a company, corporation, firm, or other entity, solely for the purpose of submitting an application to the fire official for a permit to manufacture, use, handle, store, or sell explosive materials; or conduct a fireworks display. A person to whom a BCC has been issued can fulfill the role of a designated individual on an application for a permit to manufacture, use, handle, store, or sell explosive materials; or on an application for a permit to design, setup, and conduct a fireworks display.

Blaster, restricted. Any person engaging in the use of explosives or blasting agents utilizing five pounds (2.25 kg) or less per blasting operation and using instantaneous detonators. A certified restricted blaster can fulfill the role of a designated individual on an application for permit to manufacture, use, handle, store, or sell explosive materials.

Blaster, unrestricted. Any person engaging in the use of explosives or blasting agents without the limit to the amount of explosives or blasting agents or type of detonator. A certified unrestricted blaster can fulfill the role of a designated individual on an application for permit to manufacture, use, handle, store, or sell explosive materials.

Chemical fume hood. A ventilated enclosure designed to contain and exhaust fumes, gases, vapors, mists, and particulate matter generated within the hood.

Design. For the purposes of a fireworks display, either inside a building or structure or outdoors, it shall mean the pyrotechnician who will be in attendance and makes the final artistic determination for the placement of fireworks and ground display pieces suitable for the display site.

Designated individual. A person who is in possession of a BCC issued by the SFMO, certified by the SFMO as a pyrotechnician, or a restricted or unrestricted blaster, any of whom are responsible for ensuring compliance with state law and regulations relating to blasting agents and explosives and applying for explosives or firework permits; is at least 21 years of age; and demonstrates the capability to effectively communicate safety messages verbally and in writing in the English language.

DHCD. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Explosive manufacturing. Mixing, blending, extruding, assembling articles, disassembling, chemical synthesis, and other functions involved in making a product or device that is intended to explode.

Laboratory suite. A fire-rated enclosed laboratory area that will provide one or more laboratory spaces, within a Group B educational occupancy, that are permitted to include ancillary uses such as offices, bathrooms, and corridors that are contiguous with the laboratory area and are constructed in accordance with Section 430.3 of the USBC, Part I, Construction.

LBFPCA. Local Board of Fire Prevention Code Appeals.

Local government, local governing body or locality. The governing body of any county, city, or town, other political subdivision and state agency in this Commonwealth charged with the enforcement of the SFPC under state law.

Maintained. To keep unimpaired in an appropriate condition, operation, and continuance as installed in accordance with the applicable building code, or as previously approved, and in accordance with the applicable operational and maintenance provisions of this code.

Mobile food preparation vehicles. Vehicles and enclosed trailers able to be occupied by persons during cooking operations that contain cooking equipment that utilize open flames or produce smoke or grease laden vapors for the purpose of preparing and serving food to the public. Vehicles used for private recreation shall not be considered mobile food preparation vehicles.

Night club. Any building or portion thereof in which the main use is a place of public assembly that provides exhibition, performance or other forms or entertainment; serves alcoholic beverages; and provides music and space for dancing.

Permissible fireworks. Any sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh's serpents, caps for pistols, or pinwheels commonly known as whirligigs or spinning jennies.

Pyrotechnician (firework operator). Any person supervising or engaged in the design, setup, or conducting of any fireworks display, either inside a building or outdoors. A certified pyrotechnician can fulfill the role of a designated individual on an application for a permit for a fireworks display.

Pyrotechnician, aerial. A person supervising or engaged in the design, setup, or conducting of an outdoor aerial fireworks display performed in accordance with the regulations as set forth in this code and NFPA 1123, a referenced standard for fireworks displays.

Pyrotechnician, proximate. A person supervising or engaged in the design, setup, or conducting of a fireworks display, either inside a building or outdoors, performed in accordance with the regulations as set forth in this code and NFPA 1126, a referenced standard for the use of pyrotechnics before a proximate audience.

Reactive target. A target designator intended to be shot at with a firearm and is purchased or obtained through a commercial or retail outlet, is comprised of two or more components in presized quantities of 1 pound (0.453592 kg) or less that are advertised and sold together with instructions on how to combine the components or create a target that explodes upon impact. Also known as exploding targets.

Responsible management. A person who is any of the following:

1. The sole proprietor of a sole proprietorship.

2. The partners of a general partnership.

3. The managing partners of a limited partnership.

4. The officers or directors of a corporation.

5. The managers or members of a limited liability company.

6. The managers, officers or directors of an association.

7. Individuals in other business entities recognized under the laws of the Commonwealth as having a fiduciary responsibility to the firm.

Restricted explosives manufacturing. When an individual engaged in the incidental manufacture or production of explosive materials composed of commercially available components that are packaged or marketed for the purpose of producing explosive materials, including reactive targets, at a location not within the definition of unrestricted explosives manufacture; is for immediate use at the site of incidental explosives manufacturing or production without residual storage; and does not involve or include the bulk mixing and delivery vehicles that are within the scope of NFPA 495.

Sole proprietor. A person or individual, not a corporation, who is trading under his own name or under an assumed or fictitious name pursuant to the provisions of §§ 59.1-69 through 59.1-76 of the Code of Virginia.

Special expert. An individual who has demonstrated qualifications in a specific area, outside the practice of architecture or engineering, through education, training, and experience.

State Fire Marshal. The State Fire Marshal as provided for by § 9.1-206 of the Code of Virginia.

State Regulated Care Facility (SRCF). A building with an occupancy in Group R-2, R-3, R-4, or R-5 occupied by persons in the care of others where program oversight is provided by the Virginia Department of Social Services, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Virginia Department of Education or the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.

State Review Board. The Virginia State Building Code Technical Review Board as established under § 36-108 of the Code of Virginia.

Teaching and research laboratory. A building or portion of a building where hazardous materials are stored, used, and handled for the purpose of testing, analysis, teaching, research, or developmental activities on a nonproduction basis rather than in a manufacturing process.

Technical Assistant. Any person employed by or under an extended contract to a local enforcing agency for enforcing the SFPC. For the purposes of this definition, an extended contract shall be a contract with an aggregate term of 18 months or longer.

Unrestricted explosives manufacturing. When any company, person, or group of persons engaged in the business of manufacturing or producing explosive materials at a fixed site or facility for the purpose of commercial sale, use, or distribution of explosives.

USBC. The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63).

B. Add the following definition under the term "Occupancy Classification--Residential Group R" to read:

Residential Group R-5. Detached one and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories high with separate means of egress and their accessory structures. The terms "R-5" and "one and two-family dwelling" where used in this code shall be interchangeable.

C. Change the following definitions to read:

Approved. Acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.

Automatic fire-extinguishing system. An approved system of devices and equipment that automatically detects a fire and discharges an approved fire-extinguishing agent onto or in the area of a fire. Such system shall include an automatic sprinkler system, unless otherwise expressly stated.

Change of occupancy. Either of the following shall be considered a change of occupancy where the current VCC requires a greater degree of accessibility, structural strength, fire protection, means of egress, ventilation, or sanitation than that which is existing in the current building or structure:

1. Any change in the occupancy classification of a building or structure.

2. Any change in the purpose of, or change in the level of activity within, a building or structure.

Note: The use and occupancy classification of a building or structure shall be determined in accordance with Chapter 3 of the VCC.

Fire code official. The officer or other designated authority charged with administration and enforcement of this code, or a duly authorized representative. For the purpose of this code, the terms "code official" and "fire official" shall have the same meaning as the term "fire code official" and, in addition, such official shall have the powers outlined in § 27-98.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Fireworks. Any firecracker, torpedo, skyrocket, or other substance or object, of whatever form or construction, that contains any explosive or inflammable compound or substance and is intended, or commonly known, as fireworks and that explodes, rises into the air or travels laterally, or fires projectiles into the air. Fireworks shall not include automobile flares, paper caps containing not more than the average of 0.25 grain (16 mg) of explosive content per cap or toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns, or other devices utilizing such caps and items commonly known as party poppers, pop rocks, and snap-n-pops. Fireworks may be further delineated and referred to as:

Fireworks, 1.4G (formerly known as Class C, Common Fireworks). Small fireworks devices containing restricted amounts of pyrotechnic composition designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion. Such 1.4G fireworks that comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation DOTn for Fireworks, UN0336, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as set forth in CPSC 16 CFR Parts 1500 and 1507, are not explosive materials for the purpose of this code.

Fireworks, 1.3G (formerly Class B, Special Fireworks). Large fireworks devices, which are explosive materials, intended for the use in fireworks displays and designed to produce audible or visible effects by combustion, deflagration, or detonation. Such 1.3G fireworks include, but are not limited to, firecrackers containing more than 130 milligrams (2 grains) of explosive composition, aerial shells containing more than 40 grams of pyrotechnic composition, and other display pieces that exceed the limits for classification as 1.4G fireworks. Such 1.3G fireworks are also described as Fireworks, UN0335 by the DOTn.

Smokeless propellants. Solid propellants, commonly referred to as smokeless powders or any propellant classified by DOTn as a smokeless propellant in accordance with NA3178, Smokeless Powder for Small Arms, used in small arms ammunition, firearms, cannons, rockets, propellant-actuated devices, and similar articles.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 13, Issue 12, eff. April 15, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 20, eff. September 15, 2000; Volume 16, Issue 23, eff. September 15, 2000; Volume 17, Issue 07, eff. January 17, 2001; Volume 19, Issue 25, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 22, Issue 03, eff. November 16, 2005; Volume 24, Issue 14, eff. May 1, 2008; Volume 27, Issue 02, eff. March 1, 2011; Change in Effective Date, 27:5 VA.R. 533 November 8, 2010; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 16, eff. July 14, 2014; Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. October 16, 2018.

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