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B & F Technical Code Services, Inc.

News and Media Page

In addition to the latest news from B & F Technical Code Services, journalists, editors and Web masters can find free tools and content related to the model building codes. Everything here is free to use:


BFCA to offer Free Classes

BFCA to offer Free Classes to out-of-work inspectors and plan reviewers

Meeting and Conference Room Rentals

We are happy to now offer Meeting and Conference room rentals

BEST-LAID PLANS

Five Common Mistakes that Could Get Your Sprinkler Plan Rejected

B & F REMINDS DEVELOPERS, MUNICIPALITIES NEW STATE ENERGY CODES GO INTO EFFECT

B & F Technical Code Services, Inc., reminds municipalities, building designers and developers that the new Illinois State Energy Code goes into effect April 8, 2006. All new commercial buildings and all commercial buildings undergoing renovations, alterations, repairs, or construction of an addition requiring a building permit must adhere to the specifications of the new code.


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Code Industry Needs a More Proactive, Positive Approach

Recently I presented a training session at a local building department for their Building Safety Week activities. They had a speaker each day during the event.

The topics and audiences were different each day, and one day they held an open question and answer session. My hat goes off to the Village of Oak Park for striving to make the week a success. They made every attempt to provide information to local builders, contractors, design professionals, homeowners, and the general public.

Their efforts were proactive. By getting information into the hands of these groups, they will have a better and safer community. They made access to the correct information easier and less threatening to obtain.

I feel like they do. Our industry needs to change to have a more proactive, positive approach. An informed community will make the correct choices when given the opportunity.

There should be an additional change. This information should be made available all year long. A monthly or weekly meeting can provide contractors, design professionals, or the general public with the information they need at the time they need it. This includes our schools. If we teach our children what is correct, it will help them throughout their lives. This will make the community safer for everyone, now and in the future.

So congratulations to all the departments that started the process with a Building Safety Week program. It can start small and grow. To all those who have not yet started, it's time to consider adding a Building Safety Week to your budgets for next year. Your efforts today will pay off in the future.


Richard A. Piccolo is president of B & F Technical Code Services, Inc. With more than 30 years in the building code and fire industry, Mr. Piccolo is a Master Code Professional, a Certified Building Official, a Certified Fire Official, a Certified Property Maintenance Inspector, a Certified Building Inspector, a Certified Plans Examiner, an Illinois Certified Fire Inspector and a Certified Firefighter III. He has helped write building and fire codes for the state of Illinois as well as a number of municipalities.

Archived Columns
Code Industry Needs a More Proactive, Positive Approach

An informed community will make the correct choices when given the opportunity.

A Code Success Story

If you know a first responder, firefighter, are one or have been one, you might recall some out-of-the-ordinary emergency calls. But there are the kind you never forget.

The Pendulum Swings, Conditions Change

For a long time, the pendulum on accessibility requirements was still because there were no standard requirements for accessibility.

Do Not Forget Masonry During Inspections

As with other types of construction, masonry is subject to inspection and must also comply with applicable codes and standards.

Louisiana: Stay Focused, Stay the Course

The urgent need to have regulation in place will not elimintate the obstacles.

Make the Season Merry, Bright and Safe

Holidays should be filled with sugarplums and twinkles, but we can't forget safety. Stealing the beauty of the season like the Grinch is not my intention. A safe season is a peaceful, enjoyable season. Accidents are preventable. As professionals we ensure compliance but sometimes forget it in our own homes.

ADA Still Needs a Voice for Change

Like many early Sunday mornings since becoming empty-nesters, my wife and I were having our breakfast at a small neighbor- hood restaurant. From a window, we saw a rather large, wheelchair bound woman struggling to get inside.

Communities Affected by Katrinia Should Make Proactive Start

Changing or amending codes to achieve reliable construction may be what is needed to maximize the structural integrity to withstand a catastrophic event.

Security or Safety?

When I was a new in this industry, as a fire inspector, the use of keyed locks or dead bolts were common. It took time and hard work to educate business and property owners about the value of a safe means of egress. We can all list tragedies where inadequate non-compliant means of egress was the cause.

Keep Pools Safe for Everyone

The International Residential Code has the requirements in place to ensure above and below ground pools are installed safely to provide protection to children from pools. A properly installed guard will prevent children from entering a pool unsupervised. The IRC has the construction requirements for guards and gates. . .

Thorough Code Deserves Thorough Enforcement

Many building officials do not realize how all-inclusive the International Fire Code is. It covers areas such as general precautions against fire, and indoor displays to fire service features, fire apparatus access roads, and hazards to firefighters. One of the most important chapters covers emergency planning and preparedness and requires evacuation plans for many occupancies.. . .

Building Officials: Look to Fire Departments on Promoting Safety Weeks

By following the Fire Department's lead, Building Departments and officials can use Building Safety Week to promote building safety awareness in the same way Fire Prevention Week has been used. . .

IBC Should Look Closer at Schools' Sprinkler Requirementss

Loss suffered by a community as a result of a school fire, the danger faced by children, and the devastation shared by children and adults should incite lowering of the 20,000 sq. ft. mandate.

Residential Inspections Bring Safety Home

The purpose of an inspection is to bring everyone involved in the construction process together on the same page.



If you would like to include an article from The President's Desk on your Web site, please send an email to .


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More BFCA News

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B & F Technical Code Services, Inc. — The latest news and information from B & F Technical Code Services' news department. http://www.bftechcs.com/info/news/bf_feed.xml. [Valid RSS]
BFCA — Upcoming classes and other news from the Building and Fire Code Academy. http://www.bfcacademy.com/news/bfcaclassfeed.xml [Valid RSS]
From the President's Desk — Commentary on building code news by the Richard A. Piccolo, president of B & F Code Services, Inc. http://bftechcs.com/info/news/prez_desk.xml [Valid RSS]

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The photos listed below are available to Web designers and journalists. All the photos are in JPG format, have a resolution of 300 dpi and are available in three pixel sizes.

To download, click on the link that corresponds to the size photo you want. A pop-up window with the full size image will appear. Right click on the photo, select save as and save the image to your desktop or elsewhere on your c: drive.


Management Photos
Richard A. Piccolo Portrait
Richard A. Piccolo Portrait
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Ken Garrett Portrait
Ken Garrett Portrait
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Richard A. Piccolo Teaching
Richard A. Piccolo Teaching
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Ken Garrett Inspecting
Ken Garrett Inspecting
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Richard Blondin Portrait
Richard Blondin Portrait
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Richard Blondin Inspecting
Richard Blondin Inspecting
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Roger Fox Portrait
Roger Fox Portrait
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Commercial Inspection Photos
HVAC/Ductwork Inspection
HVAC/Ductwork Inspection
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Inspector Near Window
Inspector Near Window
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Checking Insulation
Checking Insulation
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Inspector Near Window
Inspector Near Window
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Residential Sprinkler Seminar, Aug. 26, 2005
Plaque presented to The Village of Hoffman Estates Fire Department, Fire Chief Kevin Rynders and the Fire Prevention Bureau commemorating the village’s 1,000th sprinklered home.
Plaque presented to The Village of Hoffman Estates Fire Department, Fire Chief Kevin Rynders and the Fire Prevention Bureau commemorating the village’s 1,000th sprinklered home.
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The Hoffman Estates Fire Department helped with the demonstration. In addition to setting the fires, two trucks and several fire fighters were stationed close by.
The Hoffman Estates Fire Department helped with the demonstration. In addition to setting the fires, two trucks and several fire fighters were stationed close by.
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Hoffman Estates Fire Department provided the equipment and personnel to ensure the safety of those who watched the deomonstration.
Hoffman Estates Fire Department provided the equipment and personnel to ensure the safety of those who watched the deomonstration.
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Hoffman Estates Fire Fighter takes a break prior to the demonstration.
Hoffman Estates Fire Fighter takes a break prior to the demonstration.
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Every precaution was taken prior to and during the demonstration. Local fire fighters in full gear, waited nearby, to control any problems that could arise.
Every precaution was taken prior to and during the demonstration. Local fire fighters in full gear, waited nearby, to control any problems that could arise.
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Student observing Richard A. Piccolo's presentation on fire sprinklers.
Student observing Richard A. Piccolo's presentation on fire sprinklers.
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The seminar was presented to a packed house of 96 fire inspectors and community leaders.
The seminar was presented to a packed house of 96 fire inspectors and community leaders.
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Richard A. Piccolo, BFCA president and former fire fighters, is a master code professional and an expert in the model building codes. He tells the audience that his home is equipped with residential fire sprinklers.
Richard A. Piccolo, BFCA president and former fire fighters, is a master code professional and an expert in the model building codes. He tells the audience that his home is equipped with residential fire sprinklers.
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Venders were able to display their products and literature during the event. Local fire inspectors and municipal officials had opportunities to meet one-on-one with the venders to talk about code compliance.
Venders were able to display their products and literature during the event. Local fire inspectors and municipal officials had opportunities to meet one-on-one with the venders to talk about code compliance.
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A view of the unsprinkled 8 x 8 foot room prior to the fire.
A view of the unsprinkled 8 x 8 foot room prior to the fire.
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The same rooom, roughly 20 seconds after the flames first became visible.
The same rooom, roughly 20 seconds after the flames first became visible.
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Approximately one minute into the fire, the curtains were completely ablaze and smoke it difficult to see very far into the room.
Approximately one minute into the fire, the curtains were completely ablaze and smoke it difficult to see very far into the room.
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Hoffman Estates Fire Fighters extinguished the blaze less than three minutes after it started.
Hoffman Estates Fire Fighters extinguished the blaze less than three minutes after it started.
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A view of the damage after the fire was extinguished.
A view of the damage after the fire was extinguished.
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A view of the room containing fire sprinklers. Notice it is the same size and furnished the same as the unsprinkled room.
A view of the room containing fire sprinklers. Notice it is the same size and furnished the same as the unsprinkled room.
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This photo was taken approximately 40 seconds after the flames first became visible, just prior to the sprinkler being activated.
This photo was taken approximately 40 seconds after the flames first became visible, just prior to the sprinkler being activated.
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This is a view of the room just after the sprinkler was activated.
This is a view of the room just after the sprinkler was activated. This time, the room is mostly filled with steam, as opposed to smoke.
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Hoffman Estates Fire Fighters secured the room after the fire, making sure there were no smoldering materials.
Hoffman Estates Fire Fighters secured the room after the fire, making sure there were no smoldering materials. They did not need to extinguish any part of the sprinklered room.
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Once ensuring the area was safe, Hoffman Estates Fire Fighers allowed spectators to move in for a closer look at the damage.
Once ensuring the area was safe, Hoffman Estates Fire Fighers allowed spectators to move in for a closer look at the damage.
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B & F Technical Code Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 957648
2401 W. Hassell Road., Suite 1550
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
  Phone: (847) 490-1443
  Toll-Free (800) 232-5523
  Fax: (847) 490-1476