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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
1/26/2020

13VAC5-51-133.8. Ifc Chapter 7 Fire and Smoke Protection Features.

A. The following changes shall be made to Section 701, General:

1. Change Section 701.1 to read:

701.1 Scope. The provisions of this chapter shall govern maintenance of the materials, systems, and assemblies used for structural fire resistance and fire-resistance-rated construction separation of adjacent spaces to safeguard against the spread of fire and smoke within a building and the spread of fire to or from buildings.

2. Change Section 701.2 to read:

701.2 Unsafe conditions. Where any components in this chapter are not maintained and do not function as intended or do not have the fire resistance required by the code under which the building was constructed, remodeled or altered, such components or portion thereof shall be deemed an unsafe condition in accordance with Section 110.1.1. Components or portions thereof determined to be unsafe shall be repaired or replaced to conform to that code under which the building was constructed, remodeled, or altered or this chapter, as deemed appropriate by the fire code official.

Where the extent of the conditions of components is such that any building, structure, or portion thereof presents an imminent danger to the occupants of the building, structure, or portion thereof, the fire code official shall act in accordance with Section 110.5.

B. The following changes shall be made to Section 703, Fire-Resistance-Rated Construction:

1. Change Section 703.1 to read:

703.1 Maintenance. The required fire-resistance rating of fire-resistance-rated construction, including walls, firestops, shaft enclosures, partitions, smoke barriers, floors, fire-resistive coatings, and sprayed fire-resistant materials applied to structural members and fire-resistant joint systems, shall be maintained. Such elements shall be visually inspected by the owner annually and properly repaired, restored, or replaced where damaged, altered, breached, or penetrated. Records of inspections and repairs shall be maintained. Where concealed, such elements shall not be required to be visually inspected by the owner unless the concealed space is accessible by the removal or movement of a panel, access door, ceiling tile, or similar movable entry to the space. Openings made therein for the passage of pipes, electrical conduit, wires, ducts, air transfer openings, and holes made for any reason shall be protected with approved methods capable of resisting the passage of smoke and fire. Openings through fire-resistance-rated assemblies shall be protected by self-closing or automatic-closing doors of approved construction meeting the fire protection requirements for the assembly.

Exception: When requested by the building owner and approved by the fire official, the visual inspection required by 703.1 may be modified to a time period greater than annually based on the history of the previous inspections.

2. Change Section 703.1.1 to read:

703.1.1 Fireblocking and draftstopping. Required fireblocking and draftstopping in combustible concealed spaces shall be maintained to provide continuity and integrity of the construction.

3. Change Section 703.2.1 to read:

703.2.1 Testing. Opening protectives shall be inspected and tested annually in accordance with NFPA 80 to confirm proper operation and full closure. A written record shall be maintained and be available to the fire code official.

4. Change Section 703.2.2 to read:

703.2.2 Signs. Where required by the fire code official, a sign shall be permanently displayed on or near each fire door in letters not less than 1 inch (25 mm) high to read as follows:

1. For doors designed to be kept normally open: FIRE DOOR—DO NOT BLOCK.

2. For doors designed to be kept normally closed: FIRE DOOR—KEEP CLOSED.

5. Change Section 703.2.3 to read:

703.2.3 Hold-open devices and closers. Hold-open devices and automatic door closers, where provided, shall be maintained. During the period that such device is out of service for repairs, the door it operates shall remain in the closed position.

6. Add new Section 703.2.4 to read:

703.2.4 Door operation. Swinging fire doors shall close from the full-open position and latch automatically. The door closer shall exert enough force to close and latch the door from any partially open position.

C. The following changes shall be made to Section 704, Floor Openings and Shafts:

1. Change Section 704.1 to read:

704.1 Enclosure. New floor openings in existing buildings shall comply with the International Building Code.

2. Change Section 704.2 to read:

(N) 704.2 Opening protectives. Where openings are required to be protected, opening protectives and associated closing devices shall be maintained as self-closing or automatic-closing.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 30, Issue 16, eff. July 14, 2014; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. October 16, 2018.

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