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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
9/28/2021

13VAC5-51-133.5. IFC Chapter 6 Building Services and Systems.

A. The following changes shall be made to Section 601, General:

1. Change Section 601.1 to read:

601.1 Scope. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the operation and maintenance of fuel-fired appliances and heating systems, electrical systems and equipment, mechanical refrigeration systems, elevator recall, and commercial kitchen equipment.

2. Change Section 601.2 to read:

601.2 Permits. Permits shall be obtained for refrigeration systems as set forth in Section 107.2.

B. The following changes shall be made to Section 603, Fuel-Fired Appliances:

1. Change Section 603.1 to read:

603.1 Installation. The installation of nonportable fuel gas appliances and systems shall comply with the applicable building code. The use of all other fuel-fired appliances, other than internal combustion engines, oil lamps and portable devices such as blow torches, melting pots and weed burners, shall comply with this section.

2. Change Section 603.1.1 to read:

603.1.1 Manufacturer's instructions. Appliances shall be installed, operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and applicable federal, state, and local rules and regulations. Where it becomes necessary to change, modify, or alter a manufacturer's instructions in any way, written approval shall first be obtained from the manufacturer.

3. Delete Section 603.1.2.

4. Change Section 603.1.3 to read:

603.1.3 Electrical wiring and equipment. Electrical wiring and equipment used in connection with oil-burning equipment shall be maintained in accordance with Section 604 and the applicable NFPA 70 standard.

5. Change Section 603.1.5 to read:

603.1.5 Access. Appliances shall be readily accessible for cleaning hot surfaces; removing burners; replacing motors, controls, air filters, chimney connectors, draft regulators, and other working parts; and for adjusting, cleaning, and lubricating parts.

6. Change Section 603.1.6 to read:

603.1.6 Testing, diagrams and instructions. Following servicing or maintenance of oil-burning equipment, operation and combustion performance tests shall be conducted to determine that the burner is in proper operating condition and that all accessory equipment, controls, and safety devices function properly.

7. Change Section 603.1.6.1 to read:

603.1.6.1 Diagrams. Two copies of diagrams showing the main oil lines and controlling valves shall be provided, one copy of which shall be posted at the oil-burning equipment and another at an approved location that will be accessible in case of emergency.

8. Change Section 603.2 to read:

603.2 Chimneys. Masonry, metal, and factory-built chimneys shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code and NFPA 211.

9. Change Section 603.3 to read:

603.3 Fuel oil storage systems. Fuel oil storage systems shall be maintained in accordance with this section and the applicable building code.

10. Change Section 603.3.1 to read:

603.3.1 Fuel oil storage in outside, aboveground tanks. Where connected to a fuel-oil piping system, the maximum amount of fuel oil storage allowed outside above ground without additional protection shall be 660 gallons (2498 L) unless otherwise installed in accordance with the applicable building code. The storage of fuel oil above ground in quantities exceeding 660 gallons (2498 L) shall be maintained in accordance with NFPA 31.

11. Change Section 603.3.2 to read:

603.3.2 Fuel oil storage inside buildings. Fuel oil storage inside buildings shall be maintained in accordance with this section and the applicable building code.

12. Change Section 603.3.2.1 to read:

603.3.2.1 Quantity limits. One or more fuel oil storage tanks containing Class II or III combustible liquid shall be permitted to be stored in a building. Unless otherwise approved by the applicable building code, the aggregate capacity of all tanks shall not exceed the following:

660 gallons (2498 L) in unsprinklered buildings, where stored in a tank complying with UL 80, UL 142 or UL 2085.

1,320 gallons (4996 L) in buildings equipped with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with the applicable NFPA 13 standard, where stored in a tank complying with UL 142.

3,000 gallons (11 356 L) where stored in protected aboveground tanks complying with UL 2085 and Section 5704.2.9.7 and the room is protected by an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with the applicable NFPA 13 standard.

13. Change Section 603.3.2.2 to read:

603.3.2.2 Restricted use and connection. Tanks subject to Section 603.3.2 shall be used only to supply fuel oil to fuel-burning equipment, generators or fire pumps installed in accordance with the applicable building code. Connections between tanks and equipment supplied by such tanks shall be maintained as closed piping systems.

14. Change Section 603.3.2.3 to read:

603.3.2.3 Applicability of maximum allowable quantity and control area requirements. The quantity of combustible liquid stored in tanks subject to Section 603.3.2 shall not be counted toward the maximum allowable quantity set forth in Table 5003.1.1(1), and such tanks shall not be required to be located in a control area when there are such allowances under the applicable building code.

15. Change Section 603.3.2.4 and 603.3.2.6 and delete Sections 603.3.2.5:

Change Sections 603.3.2.4 and 603.3.2.6 to read:

603.3.2.4 Installation. New or modified tanks and piping systems shall be approved by the Building Official in accordance with the applicable building code.

603.3.2.6 Spill control. Where provided or required in accordance with the applicable building code, spill control shall be maintained in accordance with Section 5703.4 and the applicable building code.

16. Change Section 603.3.2.7 to read:

603.3.2.7 Tanks in basements. Tanks in basements shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

17. Change Section 603.3.3 to read:

603.3.3 Underground storage of fuel oil. Underground storage tanks used for the storage of fuel oil shall be maintained and operated in accordance with the applicable building code and the applicable NFPA 31 standard.

18. Change Section 603.5 to read:

603.5 Heating appliances. Heating appliances shall be listed and shall comply with Sections 603.5.1 and 603.5.2.

19. Change Section 603.5.1 to read:

603.5.1 Guard against contact. The heating element or combustion chamber guard shall be maintained so as to prevent accidental contact by persons or material to the extent required by the applicable building code.

20. Change Section 603.5.2 to read:

603.5.2 Heating appliance maintenance. Heating appliances shall be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, the applicable building code, and the applicable NFPA 31 standard.

21. Change Section 603.6 to read:

603.6 Chimneys and appliances. Chimneys, incinerators, smokestacks or similar devices for conveying smoke or hot gases to the outer air and the stoves, furnaces, fireboxes or boilers to which such devices are connected shall be maintained according to manufacturer's instructions, comply with the applicable building code, and be maintained so as to not create a fire hazard.

22. Change Section 603.6.1 to read:

603.6.1 Masonry chimneys. Masonry chimneys that, upon inspection, are found to be without a flue liner and that have open mortar joints that will permit smoke or gases to be discharged into the building or that are cracked as to be dangerous shall be repaired in accordance with the applicable building code.

23. Change Section 603.6.2 to read:

603.6.2 Metal chimneys. Metal chimneys or supports that are damaged or corroded shall be repaired or replaced.

24. Change Section 603.6.4 to read:

603.6.4 Factory-built chimneys. Existing factory-built chimneys or their supports that are damaged or corroded shall be repaired or replaced.

25. Change Section 603.6.5 to read:

603.6.5 Connectors. Existing chimney and vent connectors or their supports that are damaged or corroded shall be repaired or replaced.

26. Add a note to Section 603.7 to read:

Note: The fire code official may request a copy of the latest certificate of inspection from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry for boilers and pressure vessels subject to such requirements. When the certificate is not available, the fire code official shall notify the Department of Labor and Industry to ensure that the required maintenance and testing is performed in accordance the Virginia Boiler and Pressure Vessel Regulations (16VAC25-50).

27. Change Section 603.8 to read:

603.8 Incinerators. Commercial, industrial and residential-type incinerators and chimneys shall be installed in accordance with the applicable building code and maintained.

28. Change Section 603.8.1 to read:

603.8.1 Residential incinerators. Residential incinerators not regulated by the applicable building code shall be of an approved type.

29. Change Section 603.8.2 to read:

603.8.2 Spark arrestor. Incinerators not regulated by the applicable building code shall be equipped with an effective means for arresting sparks.

30. Delete Section 603.8.6.

C. The following changes shall be made to Section 604, Electric Equipment, Wiring, and Hazards:

1. Change Section 604.2 to read:

604.2 Illumination. Illumination shall be maintained for service equipment areas, motor control centers, and electrical panelboards.

2. Change Section 604.9 to read:

604.9 Temporary wiring. Temporary wiring for electrical power and lighting installations not regulated by the applicable building code is allowed for a period not to exceed 90 days. Temporary wiring methods shall meet the applicable provisions of NFPA 70.

Exception: Temporary wiring for electrical power and lighting installations is allowed during periods of construction, remodeling, repair, or demolition of buildings, structures, equipment, or similar activities.

D. The following changes shall be made to Section 605, Mechanical Refrigeration:

1. Change Sections 605.1 and 605.1.2 and delete Section 605.1.1.

Sections 605.1 and 605.1.2 to read:

605.1 Scope. Refrigeration systems shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

605.1.2 Ammonia refrigeration. Refrigeration systems using ammonia refrigerant and the buildings in which such systems are installed shall comply with the applicable operating procedures of IIAR 7. Decommissioning of ammonia refrigeration systems shall comply with IIAR-8 and the applicable building code.

2. Change Section 605.2 to read:

605.2 Refrigerants. The use and purity of new, recovered, and reclaimed refrigerants shall be in accordance with the applicable building code.

3. Change Section 605.3 to read:

605.3 Refrigerant classification. Refrigerants shall be classified in accordance with the applicable building code.

4. Change Section 605.4 to read:

605.4 Change in refrigerant type. A change in the type of refrigerant in a refrigeration system shall be approved by the Building Official in accordance with the applicable building code.

5. Change Section 605.6 to read:

605.6 Testing of equipment. Refrigeration equipment and systems having a refrigerant circuit containing more than 220 pounds (100 kg) of Group A1 or 30 pounds (14 kg) of any other group refrigerant shall be subject to periodic testing in accordance with Section 605.6.1. Records of tests shall be maintained. Tests of emergency devices or systems required by the applicable building code shall be conducted by persons trained and qualified in refrigeration systems.

6. Change Section 605.7 to read:

605.7 Emergency signs. Refrigeration units or systems having a refrigerant circuit containing more than 220 pounds (100 kg) of Group A1 or 30 pounds (14 kg) of any other group refrigerant shall be provided with approved emergency signs, charts and labels in accordance with NFPA 704. Hazard signs shall be in accordance with the applicable building code for the classification of refrigerants listed therein.

7. Change Sections 605.8 and 605.8.1 to read:

605.8 Refrigerant detection. Refrigerant detection systems shall be maintained. Where ammonia is used as the refrigerant, detection shall comply with IIAR 2. Detectors and alarms shall be maintained in approved locations. The detector shall transmit a signal to an approved location. For refrigerants other than ammonia, refrigerant detection shall comply with Section 605.8.1.

605.8.1 Refrigerants other than ammonia. Refrigerant detection systems required by the applicable building code shall be maintained. Detectors and alarms required by the applicable building code shall be maintained in approved locations. Unless otherwise permitted by the applicable building code, detection of a refrigerant concentration exceeding the upper detection limit or 25% of the lower flammable limit (LFL), whichever is lower, shall stop refrigerant equipment in the machinery room.

8. Change Section 605.9 to read:

605.9 Remote controls. Remote controls of the mechanical equipment and appliances located in the machinery room shall be maintained and remain accessible in accordance with the applicable building code at all times.

9. Change Section 605.9.1 to read:

605.9.1 Refrigeration system emergency shutoff. Where a clearly identified switch of an approved type is required by the applicable building code to provide off-only control of refrigerant compressors, refrigerant pumps and normally closed automatic refrigerant valves located in the machinery room, the switch shall be maintained as approved. Unless otherwise permitted by the applicable building code, this equipment shall be maintained to automatically shut off when the refrigerant vapor concentration in the machinery room exceeds the vapor detector's upper detection limit or 25% of the LEL, whichever is lower.

10. Change Section 605.9.2 to read:

605.9.2 Ventilation system. Ventilation system switches shall be clearly identified and maintained in an approved manner.

11. Change Section 605.10 to read:

605.10 Emergency pressure control system. Emergency pressure control system provided for permanently installed refrigeration systems containing more than 6.6 pounds (3 kg) of flammable, toxic or highly toxic refrigerant or ammonia shall be maintained as installed in accordance with the applicable building code and this code.

12. Change Section 605.10.1 to read:

605.10.1 Automatic crossover valves. Automatic crossover valves shall be maintained as installed in accordance with the applicable building code.

13. Change Section 605.10.1.1 to read:

605.10.1.1 Overpressure limit set point. Automatic crossover valves shall be arranged and maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

14. Change Section 605.10.1.2 to read:

605.10.1.2 Manual operation. Where provided or required in accordance with the applicable building code, manual operation of the automatic crossover valve shall be maintained.

15. Delete 605.10.1.3.

16. Change Section 605.10.2 to read:

605.10.2 Automatic emergency stop. An automatic emergency stop feature shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

17. Delete Section 605.10.2.1.

18. Delete Section 605.10.2.2.

19. Change Section 605.12 to read:

605.12 Discharge and termination of pressure relief and purge systems. Pressure relief devices, fusible plugs and purge systems discharging to the atmosphere from refrigeration systems containing flammable, toxic or highly toxic refrigerants or ammonia shall be maintained in accordance with Sections 605.12.2 through 605.12.4.

20. Change Section 605.12.1 to read:

605.12.1 Fusible plugs and rupture members. Unless otherwise required by the applicable building code, discharge piping and devices connected to the discharge side of a fusible plug or rupture member shall have provisions to prevent plugging the pipe in the event the fusible plug or rupture member functions.

21. Change Section 605.12.2 to read:

605.12.2 Flammable refrigerants. Unless otherwise regulated by the applicable building code, systems containing more than 6.6 pounds (3 kg) of flammable refrigerants having a density equal to or greater than the density of air shall discharge vapor to the atmosphere only through an approved treatment system in accordance with Section 605.12.5 or a flaring system in accordance with Section 605.12.6. Systems containing more than 6.6 pounds (3 kg) of flammable refrigerants having a density less than the density of air shall be permitted to discharge vapor to the atmosphere provided that the point of discharge is located outside of the structure at not less than 15 feet (4572 mm) above the adjoining grade level and not less than 20 feet (6096 mm) from any window, ventilation opening, or exit.

22. Change Section 605.12.3 to read:

605.12.3 Toxic and highly toxic refrigerants. Systems containing more than 6.6 pounds (3 kg) of toxic or highly toxic refrigerants that discharge vapor to the atmosphere shall discharge through a treatment system, flaring system, or other approved system in accordance with the applicable building code.

23. Change Section 605.12.4 to read:

605.12.4 Ammonia refrigerant. Systems containing more than 6.6 pounds (3 kg) of ammonia refrigerant that discharge vapor to the atmosphere shall discharge through a treatment system, flaring systems, ammonia diffusion systems, or other approved system in accordance with the applicable building code.

Exception: Ammonia/water absorption systems containing less than 22 pounds (10kg) of ammonia and for which the ammonia circuit is located entirely outdoors.

24. Change Sections 605.12.5 through 605.12.7 to read:

605.12.5 Treatment systems. Unless otherwise approved by the applicable building code, treatment systems shall be maintained and operated to reduce the allowable discharge concentration of the refrigerant gas to not more than 50% of the IDLH at the point of exhaust. Treatment systems shall be operated and maintained in accordance with Chapter 60 and the applicable building code.

605.12.6 Flaring systems. Flaring systems for incineration of flammable refrigerants shall be operated and maintained to incinerate the entire discharge. The products of refrigerant incineration shall not pose health or environmental hazards. Where required by the applicable building code, standby fuel, such as LP-gas, and standby power shall be maintained to have the capacity to operate for the required time for complete incineration of refrigerant in the system and any additional capacity required by the applicable building code. Standby electrical power, where required to complete the incineration process, shall be maintained in accordance with Section 1203.

605.12.7 Ammonia diffusion systems. Ammonia diffusion systems shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

25. Change Section 605.13 to read:

605.13 Mechanical ventilation exhaust. Treatment systems required by the applicable building code for exhaust from mechanical ventilation systems serving refrigeration machinery rooms containing flammable, toxic or highly toxic refrigerants, other than ammonia, capable of exceeding 25% of the LFL or 50% of the IDLH shall be operated and maintained.

Exception: Refrigeration systems containing Group A2L complying with Section 605.17.

26. Change Section 605.16 to read:

605.16 Electrical equipment. The hazardous location classification as determined in accordance with the applicable building code and the applicable NFPA 70 standard of refrigeration machinery rooms where refrigerants of Groups A2, A3, B2 and B3 are used, shall be maintained.

27. Change Sections 605.17 through 605.17.2 to read:

605.17 Special requirements for Group A2L refrigerant machinery rooms. Machinery rooms with systems containing Group A2L refrigerants shall comply with Sections 605.17.1 through 605.17.3.

Exception: Machinery rooms conforming to the Class 1, Division 2 hazardous location classification requirements of NFPA 70.

605.17.1 Refrigerant detection system. Refrigerant detection systems in machinery rooms shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code.

605.17.2 Emergency ventilation system operation. An emergency ventilation system shall be maintained to operate at the minimum exhaust rate specified in accordance with the applicable building code. Means to manually shut down the system shall be maintained.

28. Delete Table 605.17.2 and change Section 605.17.3 to read:

605.17.3 Emergency ventilation system discharge. Where required by the applicable building code, the point of discharge to the atmosphere shall remain located outside of the structure and away from any window, ventilation opening, or exit.

E. The following changes shall be made to Section 606, Elevator Operation, Maintenance, and Fire Service Keys:

1. Change Section 606.1 to read:

606.1 Operation. Existing elevators with a travel distance of 25 feet (7620 mm) or more shall comply with the requirements of Section 606.5 and the USBC, Part III, Maintenance.

2. Change Section 606.2 to read:

606.2 Standby power. In buildings and structures where standby power is required or furnished to operate an elevator, standby power shall be maintained in accordance with Section 1203. Operation of the system shall be in accordance with Sections 606.2.1 through 606.2.4.

3. Change Section 606.2.4 to read:

606.2.4 Machine room ventilation. Where standby power is connected to elevators, the machine room ventilation or air conditioning shall remain connected to the standby power source in accordance with the applicable building code.

4. Change Section 606.4 to read:

606.4 Fire service access elevator lobbies. Where fire service access elevators are required by the applicable building code, fire service access elevator lobbies shall be maintained free of storage and furniture.

5. Change Section 606.5 to read:

606.5 Occupant evacuation elevator lobbies. Where occupant evacuation elevators are provided in accordance with the applicable building code, occupant evacuation elevator lobbies shall be maintained free of storage and furniture.

6. Change Section 606.6 to read:

606.6 Water protection of hoistway enclosures. Methods to prevent water from infiltrating into a hoistway enclosure required by the applicable building code shall be maintained.

F. The following changes shall be made to Section 607, Commercial Kitchen Hoods:

1. Change Section 607.1 to read:

607.1 General. Commercial kitchen exhaust hoods shall comply with the requirements of this Section.

2. Change Section 607.2 to read:

607.2 Where required. A Type I hood shall be installed at or above all commercial cooking appliances and domestic cooking appliances used for commercial purposes that produce grease vapors in mobile food preparation vehicles.

Exception: A Type I hood shall not be required for an electric cooking appliance where an approved testing agency provides documentation that the appliance effluent contains 5 mg/m3 or less of grease when tested at an exhaust flow rate of 500 cfm (0.236 m3/s) in accordance with UL 710B.

3. Change Section 607.3.3.3 to read:

607.3.3.3 Records. Records for inspections shall state the individual and company performing the inspection, a description of the inspection, and when the inspection took place. Records for cleanings shall state the individual and company performing the cleaning and when the cleaning took place. Such records shall be completed after each inspection or cleaning and maintained for a minimum of three years and be copied to the fire code official upon request.

4. Change Section 607.3.3.3.1 to read:

607.3.3.3.1 Tags. Where a commercial kitchen hood or duct system is inspected or cleaned, a tag containing the service provider name, address, telephone number and date of service shall be provided in a conspicuous location. Prior tags shall be covered or removed.

Exception: Where records required by Section 607.3.3.3 are maintained on the premises.

G. The following change shall be made to Section 608, Commercial Kitchen Cooking Oil Storage:

Change Section 608.7 to read:

608.7 Electrical equipment. Electrical equipment used for the operation of cooking oil storage systems shall comply be maintained in accordance with NFPA 70.

H. The following changes shall be made:

609.2 Commercial cooking operations. Where ventilation is provided or required by the applicable building code at or above all commercial cooking appliances and domestic cooking appliances used for commercial purposes that produce grease vapors, ventilation shall be operated and maintained. The fire code official is not authorized to require alteration or installation of a ventilation hood in accordance with SFPC Section 102.6.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 3, eff. November 16, 2005; amended, Virginia Register 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 27, Issue 12, eff. March 1, 2011; Volume 30, Issue 16, eff. July 14, 2014; Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. October 16, 2018; Volume 35, Issue 4, eff. October 16, 2018; Volume 37, Issue 14, eff. July 1, 2021.

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