CHAPTER 15.06
AUTOMATIC FIRE SPRINKLER AND ALARM SYSTEMS

Section

15.06.010    Purpose

15.06.020    Definitions in general

15.06.030    Automatic fire sprinkler systems – Required

15.06.040    PVC or CPVC piping for residential fire sprinkler systems

15.06.050    Exemptions and waivers

15.06.060    Annual inspection

15.06.070    [Reserved]

15.06.080    Fire alarm systems defined and required

15.06.090    Violations

15.06.010 PURPOSE.

A.    The California Fire Code, 2013 Edition, as modified and amended from time to time, establishes certain standards for automatic fire extinguishing systems. A copy of the code, in its latest form, is on file in the office of the Fire Chief.

B.    The purpose of this chapter is to provide regulations establishing minimum standards for automatic fire sprinkler systems where the standards are not specifically covered by the California Fire Code. Where specific standards are provided by the California Fire Code and provide a greater degree of fire protection than the provisions of this chapter, those standards shall apply. In those cases where the California Fire Code, 2013 Edition, does not provide specific standards, the terms of this chapter shall apply.

C.    The intent of this chapter is to apply those fire protection standards which will provide the residents and property owners of the City the greatest degree of fire protection which is reasonable under the circumstances. All buildings are subject to the provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. 916, § 3, passed 08-24-2015)

15.06.020 DEFINITIONS IN GENERAL.

Definitions contained in the California Fire Code shall apply to this chapter unless specifically amended. Whenever any of the following names or terms are used in any of the compilations adopted by reference by this chapter, such names or terms shall have the following meanings:

APPEAL AUTHORITY. As defined in Chapter 1.06.

BUILDING. Any building or group of buildings that requires a sprinkler under this chapter or the California Fire Code.

SPRINKLER VALUATION FORM. A form completed by the project applicant and submitted concurrently with the application for the building permit. The sprinkler valuation form identifies the market value of all proposed work on the project, not just those components of the project that are subject to a building permit approval. The value of work completed includes, but is not limited to, all structural, electrical and mechanical systems as well as all interior and exterior finishes.

VALUATION. The value of repairs, maintenance and remodel work as determined by the Fire Marshal or a third-party cost estimator.

VALUE. The value of completing all repairs, maintenance and remodel work. This includes the cost of materials and labor and profit and overhead. The value is the price charged to a client for work completed by a licensed independent contractor.

(Ord. 916, § 3, passed 08-24-2015)

15.06.030 AUTOMATIC FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS – REQUIRED.

A.    All new buildings shall have an automatic fire sprinkler system installed, unless specifically exempted in accordance with § 15.06.050.

B.    Buildings in existence prior to the adoption of this code shall be subject to the requirements for automatic fire sprinkler systems upon the change of occupancy to a higher hazard level as defined by the Fire Marshal.

C.    Existing commercial and multifamily buildings which are remodeled, added to, or altered, including maintenance and repair activities, when the valuation cost of such work within any 36-month period exceeds $75,000, shall have an automatic fire sprinkler system installed. The sprinkler system shall be connected with water service as determined by the Director of Public Works. Roof replacement costs will not be calculated into the $75,000 limit. Determination of the valuation of work completed shall proceed as follows:

1.    The applicant shall submit the value of all work on the sprinkler valuation form with the building permit.

2.    The Fire Marshal shall: (a) review the form at the time of the building permit submittal, and (b) review the project at the time of the building permit final to determine if the valuation of the proposed work and all work completed within the past 3 years exceeds the $75,000 threshold.

3.    If the project valuation exceeds the threshold, the Fire Marshal shall require installation of fire sprinklers per this chapter prior to approval of the final inspection for the building permit.

4.    If an applicant disputes the valuation of the project by the Fire Marshal, the applicant may appeal the project to the appeal authority.

5.    During the appeal process the applicant shall provide: (a) a cost estimate, prepared by a licensed architect; and/or (b) all invoices and receipts from the project’s licensed contractor; and/or (c) all material receipts and timesheets for the project to the appeal authority. In the event that the applicant is unable or unwilling to provide detailed cost data, or if the City determines that the data is provided by an entity with a conflict of interest with regard to the project, the applicant shall pay for a third party contractor/cost estimator (selected by the City) to prepare a valuation of the work.

6.    In the absence of evidence proving that the value of the work is less than $75,000, the appeal will be denied and fire sprinklers will be installed as required by the Fire Marshal prior to the final of the building permit for the project.

(Ord. 916, § 3, passed 08-24-2015)

15.06.040 PVC OR CPVC PIPING FOR RESIDENTIAL FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS.

Every new residential building may install an engineered automatic fire sprinkler system using PVC or CPVC piping as specified in N.F.P.A. 13D and California State Fire Marshal suggested standards for the design, installation and automatic fire sprinkler systems for 1- and 2-family dwellings. Use of PVC or CPVC piping for multi-residential automatic fire sprinkler systems shall include in the design of this system automatic fire sprinklers within all attic areas if any portion of the attic measures more than 24 inches from ceiling to roof sheathing. Use of PVC or CPVC piping for multi-residential automatic fire sprinkler systems shall include U-L approved “rapid or quick acting” sprinklers.

(Ord. 916, § 3, passed 08-24-2015)

15.06.050 EXEMPTIONS AND WAIVERS.

A.    All 1- and 2-family dwellings and “U” occupancies are exempted from the requirement to install automatic fire sprinkler systems.

B.    The Fire Chief may grant exemptions for the automatic fire sprinkler system requirements for new construction by placing such conditions upon construction and/or use of the building so as to reduce the fire risk to a diminished level and by making a finding that the use of structure would present low or no fire risk. Examples:

1.    Portable fire extinguisher or Class 2 standpipe installation;

2.    Providing 1-hour resistive occupancy separation for equipment rooms;

3.    Sprinklers undesirable because of nature of the contents in the room/area, the items being noncombustible or not exposed to other rooms/areas.

(Ord. 916, § 3, passed 08-24-2015)

15.06.060 ANNUAL INSPECTION.

The owner of any building in which automatic fire alarm systems or fire sprinkler systems have been installed shall have the systems inspected annually and shall provide a report of the inspection to the Fire Chief.

(Ord. 916, § 3, passed 08-24-2015)

15.06.070 [RESERVED].

(Ord. 916, § 3, passed 08-24-2015)

15.06.080 FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS DEFINED AND REQUIRED.

A.    FIRE ALARM SYSTEM means all devices, controls, and circuits, together with the energy necessary to sound the alarm, electrically supervise the system, and activate the alarm bells, trouble bells or trouble signals.

B.    Every new building shall have installed an approved, automatically operated fire alarm system designed to warn all occupants simultaneously. In addition, the Fire Chief may require that this system be monitored in the manager’s quarters and/or by a supervising station as defined in NFPA 72. The Fire Chief may also require the installation of a manually operated fire alarm system.

C.    All required fire alarm systems shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 72.

D.    Exceptions to this section are all 1- and 2-family dwellings and “U” occupancies. These exceptions do not apply to 1- and 2-family dwellings within a building that otherwise requires an alarm system (i.e., commercial occupancy below a dwelling).

(Ord. 916, § 3, passed 08-24-2015)

15.06.090 VIOLATIONS.

Failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter is hereby declared to be unlawful and a public nuisance, and shall be subject to the remedies and penalties established by Chapter 6.12.

(Ord. 916, § 3, passed 08-24-2015)