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

13VAC5-51-61. Section 106 Duties and powers of the fire official.

A. 106.1 General. The fire official shall enforce the provisions of the SFPC as provided herein and as interpreted by the State Review Board in accordance with § 36-118 of the Code of Virginia.

B. 106.2 Delegation of duties and powers. The fire official may delegate duties and powers subject to any limitations imposed by the local governing body. The fire official shall be responsible that any powers and duties delegated are carried out in accordance with this code.

C. 106.3 Inspections. The fire official is authorized to conduct such inspections as are deemed necessary to determine the extent of compliance with the provisions of this code and to approve reports of inspection by approved agencies or individuals in accordance with the fire official's written policy. All reports of such inspections by approved agencies or individuals shall be prepared and submitted in writing for review and approval. Inspection reports shall be certified by a responsible officer of such approved agency or by the responsible individual. The fire official is authorized to engage such expert opinion as deemed necessary to report upon unusual, detailed or complex technical issues in accordance with local policies.

D. 106.3.1 Observations. When, during an inspection, the fire official or an authorized representative observes an apparent or actual violation of another law, ordinance or code not within the official's authority to enforce, such official shall report the findings to the official having jurisdiction in order that such official may institute the necessary measures.

E. 106.4 Alternatives. The SFPC provisions are not intended to prevent the use of any safeguards used to protect life and property from the hazards of fire or explosion that are not specifically prescribed by the SFPC, provided that such alternative safeguards comply with the intent of the SFPC. The alternative safeguard offered shall be, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.

F. 106.5 Modifications. The fire official may grant modifications to any provision of the SFPC upon application by the owner or the owner's agent provided the spirit and intent of the SFPC are observed and public health, welfare, and safety are assured.

Note: The current editions of many nationally recognized model codes and standards are referenced by the SFPC. Future amendments to such codes and standards do not automatically become part of the SFPC; however, the fire official should consider such amendments in deciding whether a modification request should be granted.

G. 106.5.1 Supporting data. The fire official shall require that sufficient technical data be submitted to substantiate the proposed use of any alternative. If it is determined that the evidence presented is satisfactory proof of performance for the use intended, the fire official shall approve the use of such alternative subject to the requirements of this code. The fire official may require and consider a statement from a professional engineer, architect or other competent person as to the equivalency of the proposed modification.

H. 106.5.2 Decision. The application for modification and the final decision of the fire official shall be in writing and shall be recorded in the permanent records of the local enforcing agency.

I. 106.6 Notices and orders. The fire official shall issue all necessary notices or orders to ensure compliance with the SFPC.

J. 106.7 Department records. The fire official shall keep official records of applications received, permits and certificates issued, fees collected, reports of inspections, and notices and orders issued. Such records shall be retained in the official records or disposed of in accordance with General Schedule Number Seventeen available from The Library of Virginia.

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 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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