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

13VAC5-51-21. Section 102 Applicability.

A. 102.1 General. The provisions of the SFPC shall apply to all matters affecting or relating to structures, processes, and premises as set forth in Section 101. The SFPC shall supersede any fire prevention regulations previously adopted by a local government or other political subdivision.

B. 102.1.1 Change of occupancy. No change of occupancy shall be made in any building or structure unless such building or structure is made to comply with the requirements of the USBC as determined by the building official.

C. 102.2 Application to pre-1973 buildings and structures. Buildings and structures constructed prior to the USBC (1973) shall comply with the maintenance requirements of the SFPC to the extent that equipment, systems, devices, and safeguards which were provided and approved when constructed shall be maintained. Such buildings and structures, if subject to the state fire and public building regulations (Virginia Public Building Safety Regulations, VR 394-01-05) in effect prior to March 31, 1986, shall also be maintained in accordance with those regulations.

D. 102.3 Application to post-1973 buildings and structures. Buildings and structures constructed under any edition of the USBC shall comply with the maintenance requirements of the SFPC to the extent that equipment, systems, devices, and safeguards which were provided and approved when constructed shall be maintained.

E. 102.4 Referenced codes and standards. The codes and standards referenced in the IFC shall be those listed in Chapter 80 and considered part of the requirements of the SFPC to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where differences occur between the provisions of this code and the referenced standards, the provisions of this code shall apply.

F. 102.5 State-owned buildings and structures. The SFPC shall be applicable to all state-owned buildings and structures in the manner and extent described in § 27-99 of the Code of Virginia and the State Fire Marshal shall have the authority to enforce this code in state-owned buildings and structures as is prescribed in §§ 27-98 and 27-99 of the Code of Virginia.

G. 102.6 Relationship to USBC. In accordance with §§ 27-34.4, 36-105.1, and 36-119.1 of the Code of Virginia, the USBC does not supersede the provisions of this code that prescribe standards to be complied with in existing buildings and structures, provided that this code shall not impose requirements that are more restrictive than those of the USBC under which the buildings or structures were constructed. Subsequent alteration, enlargement, rehabilitation, repair, or conversion of the occupancy classification of such buildings and structures shall be subject to the construction and rehabilitation provisions of the USBC. Inspection of buildings other than state-owned buildings under construction and the review and approval of building plans for these structures for enforcement of the USBC shall be the sole responsibility of the appropriate local building inspectors.

Upon completion of such structures, responsibility for fire safety protection shall pass to the local fire marshal or official designated by the locality to enforce this code in those localities that enforce the SFPC or to the State Fire Marshal in those localities that do not enforce this code.

H. 102.7 Inspections for USBC requirements. The fire official shall require that existing structures subject to the requirements of the applicable retrofitting provisions relating to the fire protection equipment and system requirements of the USBC, Part II, Existing Buildings, Section 1101, comply with the provisions located therein.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 20, eff. September 15, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 25, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 22, Issue 3, eff. November 16, 2005; 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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