Administrative Code

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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

13VAC5-51-132. IFC Chapter 4 Emergency Planning and Preparedness.

A. The following change shall be made to Section 401, General:

Add Section 401.1.1 to read:

401.1.1 State Regulated Care Facilities. When a state license is required by the Virginia Department of Social Services; Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; Virginia Department of Education; or Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice to operate, SRCF shall comply with this section and the provisions of Section 404.

B. The following changes shall be made to Section 403, Emergency Preparedness Requirements:

1. Add Section 403.1.1 to read:

403.1.1 Maintaining occupant load posting. Occupant load postings required by the building code are required to be maintained.

2. Add Sections 403.2.2.1, 403., and 403. to read:

403.2.2.1 Night clubs. Night clubs shall comply with Sections 403. and 403.

403. Audible announcements. Audible announcements shall be made to the occupants no longer than 10 minutes prior to the start of the entertainment and at each intermission to notify the occupants of the location of the exits to be used in the event of a fire or other emergency.

403. Occupant load count. Upon request of the fire code official, the owner or operator, or both, will be required to keep a running count of the occupant load to provide to the fire code official during performance hours of operation, entertainment hours of operation, or both.

3. Change Section 403.8.3.2 to read:

403.8.3.2 Employee staffing. Group I-3 occupancies shall be provided with 24-hour staffing. An employee shall be within three floors or 300 feet (91,440 mm) horizontal distance of the access door of each resident housing area. In Group I-3 Conditions 3, 4, and 5, as defined in Chapter 2, the arrangement shall be such that the employee involved can start release of locks necessary for emergency evacuation or rescue and initiate other necessary emergency actions within 2 minutes of an alarm.

Exception: An employee shall not be required to be within three floors or 300 feet (91,440 mm) horizontal distance of the access door of each resident housing area in areas in which all locks are unlocked remotely and automatically in accordance with the applicable building code.

4. Change Section 403.10 to read:

403.10 Group R occupancies. Group R occupancies shall comply with Sections 403.10.1 through 403.10.4.

5. Add Section 403.10.4 to read:

403.10.4 Groups R-3 and R-5 lodging facilities. An approved fire safety and evacuation plan in accordance with Section 404 shall be prepared and maintained for Groups R-3 and R-5 bed and breakfast and other transient boarding facilities that are either proprietor or non-proprietor occupied.

6. Change Section 403.11 to read:

403.11 Special uses. Special uses shall be in accordance with Sections 403.11.1 through 403.11.6.

7. Change Section 403.11.1.4 to read:

403.11.1.4 Lease plan revisions. The lease plans shall be revised annually or as often as necessary to keep them current. Modifications or changes in tenants or occupancies shall not be made without prior approval of the fire code official.

8. Add Section 403.11.6 to read:

403.11.6 SRCF. An approved fire safety and evacuation plan in accordance with Section 404 shall be prepared and maintained for SRCFs.

C. The following changes shall be made to Section 404, Fire Safety, Evacuation and Lockdown Plans:

1. Change Item 4.4 of Section 404.2.3.1 to read:

4.4. A description of how locking means and methods are in compliance with the requirements of the VCC and the applicable provisions of this code for egress and accessibility.

2. Change Section 404.4.1 to read:

404.4.1 Distribution. The fire safety and evacuation plans shall be distributed to the tenants and building service employees by the owner or owner's agent. Tenants shall distribute to their employees applicable parts of the fire safety plan affecting the employees' actions in the event of a fire or other emergency. Fire safety and evacuation plans shall be made available by the proprietor of Groups R-3 and R-5 bed and breakfast and other transient boarding facilities to transient guests upon their arrival or are present in each transient guest room.

D. The following changes shall be made to Section 405, Emergency Evacuation Drills

1. Change Section 405.1 to read:

405.1 General. Emergency evacuation drills complying with Sections 405.2 through 405.9 shall be conducted at least annually where fire safety and evacuation plans are required by Section 403 or when required by the fire code official. Drills shall be designed in cooperation with the local authorities.

Exception: Emergency evacuation drills shall not be conducted in school buildings during periods of mandatory testing required by the Virginia Board of Education.

2. Add the following row to Table 405.2 and change Footnote d to read:

Group or Occupancy



Group R SRCF except hospice


All occupants

d. Emergency evacuation drills in Group R-2 college and university buildings shall be in accordance with Section 403.10.2.1. Emergency evacuation drills are required in Group R-2 occupancies that are designed or developed and marketed to senior citizens 55 years of age or older in accordance with 42 USC § 3607(b)(2). Other Group R-2 occupancies do not require routine emergency evacuation drills but shall be in accordance with Section 403.10.2.2.

3. Add Section 405.2.1 to read:

405.2.1 High-rise buildings. Fire exit drills shall be conducted annually by building staff personnel or the owner of the building in accordance with the fire safety plan and shall not affect other current occupants.

E. The following change shall be made to Section 406, Employee Training and Response Procedures:

Add Section 406.3.4.1 to read:

406.3.4.1 Emergency supplemental hardware training. Where a facility has installed approved emergency supplemental hardware, employees shall be trained on their assigned duties and procedures for the use of such device. Records of in-service training shall be made available to the fire code official upon request.

F. The following changes shall be made:

407.2 Safety data sheets. Safety data sheets (SDS) for all hazardous materials shall be either readily available on the premises as a paper copy or readily retrievable by electronic access.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 25, eff. October 1, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 3, eff. November 16, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 20, eff. July 12, 2006; Volume 24, Issue 14, eff. May 1, 2008; Volume 27, Issue 2, 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; Volume 37, Issue 14, eff. July 1, 2021.

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