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A Thorough Code Deserves Thorough Enforcement

The 2003 Edition of the International Fire Code is a great document that compliments the other codes. Its enforcement with the other 2003 ICC codes provide an essential set of requirements for occupant safety.

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.

Think of a safe building as a pyramid with every aspect of the code as one of the pyramid blocks. In order for the structure to be strong and safe, it is necessary that all blocks or components be in place. In my opinion, a certificate of occupancy should not be issued unless emergency planning and preparedness is in place.

Unfortunately, lack of planning and preparedness has been evident in some recent fire losses. It is imperative all code officials (building and fire) utilize all the parts of the International Fire Code. They provide for a fire safe structure for all occupants.


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.
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