Chapter 17.20
FIRE CODE

Sections:

17.20.010    Purpose – Adoption by reference.

17.20.020    IFC Chapter 1, Administration.

17.20.030    IFC Chapter 5, Fire service features.

17.20.040    Repealed.

17.20.050    IFC Chapter 9, Fire protection systems.

17.20.060    Repealed.

17.20.070    IFC Chapter 56, Explosives.

17.20.080    Geographic limits.

17.20.090    IFC appendices.

17.20.100    National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

17.20.110    IFC Chapter 36, Marinas.

17.20.010 Purpose – Adoption by reference.

This chapter is enacted as an exercise of the police power of the city for the benefit of the public at large. It is not intended to create a special relationship with any individual, or individuals, nor to identify and protect any particular class of persons. It is not the intent of this chapter to impose liability on the city for failure to perform any discretionary act. Rather, it is the intent of this chapter to place the obligation of complying with its requirements upon the owner and/or contractor.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to relieve from or to lessen the responsibility or liability of any person or persons for injury or damage to persons or property caused by or resulting from any defect of any nature in any construction work performed by said person or any construction equipment owned, controlled, operated or used by the contractor; nor shall the city of Bellingham or any officer, agent, or employee thereof incur or be held as assuming any liability by reason or in consequence of any permission, certificate of inspection, inspection or approval authorized herein, or issued or given as herein provided or by reasons or consequence of any things done or acts performed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

The International Fire Code, 2015 Edition, including Appendix Chapters B, F, H, and I, as amended by the state of Washington (Chapter 51-54A WAC), is hereby adopted by reference as the fire code of the city of Bellingham. A copy of the document is on file in the office of the finance director. It governs the safeguarding of life and property from fire and explosion hazards arising from the storage, handling and use of hazardous substances, materials and devices, and from conditions hazardous to life or property in the occupancy of buildings and premises as herein provided and provides for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor. Each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said fire code on file in the office of the city of Bellingham are hereby referred to, adopted, and made a part hereof, as if fully set out in this chapter, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes prescribed in BMC 17.20.020 through 17.20.110. [Ord. 2016-08-027 § 1; Ord. 2013-06-040 § 1; Ord. 2012-09-044 § 1; Ord. 2011-04-021; Ord. 2010-06-038; Ord. 2007-07-057; Ord. 2004-06-040].

17.20.020 IFC Chapter 1, Administration.

The following sections of Chapter 1 of the 2015 Edition of the IFC as adopted in BMC 17.20.010 are hereby amended as follows:

Section 101.1 Title. These regulations shall be known as the Fire Code of the City of Bellingham, hereinafter referred to as “this code.”

Section 103.1 General. The Life Safety Division is established within the jurisdiction under the direction of the fire code official. The function of the division shall be implementation, administration, and enforcement of the provisions of this code.

Section 104.3.1 Warrant. When the fire code official has first obtained a proper search warrant or other remedy provided by law to secure entry, an owner or occupant or person having charge, care or control of the building or premises shall not fail or neglect, after proper request is made as herein provided, to permit entry therein by the fire code official and/or designee(s) for the purpose of inspection and examination pursuant to this code.

Section 104.6 Official Records. The fire code official shall keep official records as required by Sections 104.6.1 through 104.6.4. Such official records shall be retained in accordance with the State of Washington Local Government Record Retention Schedules.

105.1.2.1 Inspection required. An inspection is required prior to initial operational permit issuance and shall occur annually before the operational permit may be renewed.

Section 105.2.2.1 Assistance From Other Agencies. Police and other enforcement agencies shall have authority to render necessary assistance in the enforcement of this code when requested to do so by the fire code official.

Section 105.2.3 Time Limitation of Application.

Section 105.2.3.1 Abandonment. Applications for which no permit is issued within 1 year following the date of application shall be considered abandoned and expired by limitation. Plans and other data submitted for review may thereafter be returned to the applicant or destroyed in accordance with State law by the fire code official. The fire code official may extend the time for action by the applicant for 1 period not exceeding 180 days. The applicant must request an extension on a form provided by the City and pay any established extension fee prior to the permit’s original expiration date.

Section 105.2.3.2 Inactivity. Applications may be cancelled for inactivity if an applicant fails to respond to the department’s written request for revisions, corrections, actions or additional information within 90 days of the date of request. The fire code official may extend the response period beyond 90 days if within the original 90-day time period the applicant provides and subsequently adheres to an approved schedule with specific target dates for submitting the full revisions, corrections or other information needed by the Department.

Section 105.2.3.3 Extension. The fire code official may extend the life of an application if any of the following conditions exist:

a. Compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act is in progress; or

b. Any other City review is in progress; provided, the applicant has submitted a complete response to City requests or the fire code official determines that unique or unusual circumstances exist that warrant additional time for such response, and the fire code official determines that the review is proceeding in a timely manner toward final City decision; or

c. Litigation against the City or applicant is in progress, the outcome of which may affect the validity or the provisions of any permit issued pursuant to such application.

Section 105.3.1 Expiration.

Section 105.3.1.1 Operational Permit. An operational permit shall remain in effect until reissued, renewed, or revoked or for such period of time as specified in the permit.

Section 105.3.1.2 Construction Permit. A construction permit shall expire 24 months from the date of issuance.

Section 105.3.2 Extensions and renewals.

Section 105.3.2.1 Extensions. The fire code official is authorized to approve a request for an extended expiration date where a construction schedule is provided by the applicant and approved prior to permit expiration.

Section 105.3.2.2 Renewals. Every permit which has been expired for less than 1 year may be renewed for a period of 1 year for an additional fee equal to 50% of the original permit fees as long as no changes have been made to the originally approved plans and a new fire code has not been adopted. For permits that have been expired for longer than 1 year, a new permit must be obtained and full new fees paid.

No permit shall be renewed more than once.

Section 105.3.2.2.1 Thirty-Day Renewals. The fire code official may authorize an extension to the expiration date up to 30 days beyond the written date of expiration with no additional fee when only the final inspection is remaining and all other work has been approved. If work required under a final inspection is not completed within the 30-day extension period, the permit shall expire.

Section 105.6.16 Fire Hydrants and Valves. This section is not adopted by the City of Bellingham.

Section 105.6.32 Open Burning. This section is not adopted by the City of Bellingham.

105.6.49 Boathouse and Covered Boat Moorage. An operational permit is required for the operation of a boathouse and covered boathouse structures.

Section 105.7.21 Fire Apparatus Access Roads. A construction permit is required for the installation of or modification to a required fire apparatus access road. Maintenance performed in accordance with this code is not considered a modification and does not require a permit.

Section 106.2.3 Special Inspections. The fire code official is authorized to require special inspections for any permit by an approved agency at no cost to the City. The special inspector shall be a qualified person who shall demonstrate competence, to the satisfaction of the fire code official, for the inspection of the particular type of construction or operation requiring special inspection.

Section 106.2.3.1 Report Requirements. Special inspectors shall keep records of inspections. The special inspector shall furnish inspection reports to the fire code official. Reports shall indicate the work inspected was or was not completed in conformance to approved construction documents and nationally recognized referenced installation standards. Discrepancies shall be brought to the immediate attention of the contractor for correction. If they are not corrected, the discrepancies shall be brought to the attention of the fire code official prior to the completion of that phase of the work. A final report documenting required special inspections and correction of any discrepancies noted in the inspections shall be submitted at a point in time agreed upon prior to the start of the work by the applicant and the fire code official.

Section 108 – Hearing Examiner.

108.1 General. Appeals of orders, decisions, or determinations made by the fire code official relative to the application and interpretation of this code may be appealed to the City of Bellingham Hearing Examiner within 14 days of issuance of the order, decision, or determination.

108.2 Limitations on authority. An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this code or the rules legally adopted thereunder have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this code do not fully apply, or an equally good or better form of construction is proposed. The Hearing Examiner shall have no authority to waive requirements of this code.

Section 108.3 Qualifications. This section is not adopted by the City of Bellingham.

Section 109.4 Violation penalties. Persons who shall violate a provision of this code or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who shall erect, install, alter, repair or do work in violation of the approved construction documents or directive of the fire code official, or of a permit or certificate used under provisions of this code, shall be subject to the civil and criminal penalties described below:

1. Civil Violations and Penalties.

a. Any person who violates any provision of this code shall be subject to a civil infraction not to exceed $1,000 for each violation. The minimum civil penalty shall be $100.

b. Each violation of this code shall be a separate offense, and in the case of a continuing violation, each day’s continuance shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation.

c. Civil infractions under this code shall be issued and processed in accordance with RCW Chapter 7.80.

d. All civil infractions under this code shall be heard by Municipal Court.

2. Criminal Violations and Penalties.

a. Any person who intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or criminally negligently violates any provision of this code shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

b. Any person convicted of a crime under subsection a. above shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than 364 days. In no case shall such a violation be punished by a fine of less than $250.

3. Stop Work Orders.

a. Issuance of a stop work order shall not bar the imposition of a civil or criminal penalty under this code.

b. It is unlawful for any person with actual or constructive knowledge of the issuance of a stop work order pursuant to this code to do work or an activity prohibited by the order until the fire code official has removed or lifted the order and issued written authorization for the work or activity to be continued. Violation of a stop work order shall be a gross misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 364 days. Each day or part thereof during which any violation is committed shall constitute a separate offense.

c. The fire code official may immediately seek issuance of a criminal citation through the Bellingham Police Department where there is a violation of a stop work order. Any violator of a stop work order may be subject to arrest if the violation is committed in the presence of an officer per RCW 10.31.100.

4. Do Not Occupy Orders.

a. It is unlawful for any person with actual or constructive knowledge of the issuance of a “Do Not Occupy” order pursuant to this code to be physically present inside of any building or structure so posted unless the “Do Not Occupy” order specifically contains conditions for some use of the premises. Violation of a “Do Not Occupy” order shall be a gross misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 364 days. Each day or part thereof during which any violation is committed shall constitute a separate offense.

b. The fire code official may immediately seek issuance of a criminal citation through the Bellingham Police Department where there is a violation of a “Do Not Occupy” order. Any violator of a “Do Not Occupy” order may be subject to arrest if the violation is committed in the presence of an officer per RCW 10.31.100.

Section 109.5 Recovery of enforcement and other costs. The City may charge violators of this code the costs of enforcement, abatement, and bringing violations into compliance. The City may collect these costs by turning the debt over to a collection agency, filing a civil lawsuit, filing a lien against the property, or any other legal means.

Section 110.1.1 Unsafe conditions. Structures or existing equipment that are or hereafter become unsafe or deficient because of inadequate means of egress or which constitute a fire hazard, or are otherwise dangerous to human life or the public welfare, or which involve illegal or improper occupancy or inadequate maintenance, shall be deemed an unsafe condition. A vacant structure, which is not secured against unauthorized entry as required by Section 311, shall be deemed unsafe. Unsafe structures may be posted “Do Not Occupy” as deemed necessary by the fire code official to protect the safety of the public.

Section 111.4 Failure to comply. Any person who shall continue any work after having been served with a stop work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be subject to penalties as prescribed by Section 109.4.

Section 113.2 Schedule of permit fees. A fee for each permit shall be paid as required, in accordance with the schedule as established by City Council resolution.

Section 113.3 Work commencing before permit issuance. Any person who commences any work, activity or operation regulated by this code before obtaining the necessary permits shall be subject to fees and penalties required by this code in addition to the required permit fees.

Section 113.5 Refunds. The fire code official shall not authorize refunding of any fee except on written application filed by the original permittee not later than 180 days after the date of application in accordance with Sections 113.5.1 and 113.5.2.

Section 113.5.1 Construction Applications. The fire code official may authorize refunding of not more than 80 percent of the plan review fee paid when the application for a construction permit has been withdrawn or cancelled before any plan review services were provided.

Section 113.5.2 Construction Permits. The fire code official may authorize refunding of not more than 80 percent of the permit fee paid when the construction permit has been cancelled before expiration and no inspection services were provided.

[Ord. 2016-08-027 § 2; Ord. 2013-06-040 § 2; Ord. 2013-02-006 § 18; Ord. 2012-09-044 § 2; Ord. 2010-06-038; Ord. 2009-04-010; Ord. 2007-07-057; Ord. 2004-06-040].

17.20.030 IFC Chapter 5, Fire service features.

The following sections of Chapter 5 of the 2015 Edition of the IFC as adopted by BMC 17.20.010 are hereby amended as follows:

Section 503.1 Where Required. Fire apparatus access roads shall be provided and maintained in accordance with Sections 503.1.1 through 503.1.8 or as approved by the fire code official.

Section 503.1.1 Buildings and Facilities. Approved fire apparatus access roads shall be provided for every facility, building or portion of a building hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction with the exception of R-3 additions which do not increase the existing building area by more than 50%. The fire apparatus access road shall comply with the requirements of this section and shall extend to within 150 ft. (45,720 mm) of all portions of the facility and all portions of the exterior walls of the first story of the building as measured by an approved route around the exterior of the building or facility.

Exception: The fire code official is authorized to increase the dimension of 150 ft. (45,720 mm) where:

1. The building is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, 903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3; and

2. Fire apparatus access roads cannot be installed because of location on property, topography, waterways, nonnegotiable grades or other similar conditions, and an approved alternative means of fire protection is provided; or

3. There are not more than two Group R-3 or Group U occupancies.

Section 503.1.2 Additional Access. The fire code official is authorized to require more than one fire apparatus access road based on the potential for impairment of a single road by vehicle congestion, condition of terrain, climatic conditions or other factors that could limit access.

Section 503.1.3 High-Piled Storage. Fire department vehicle access to buildings used for high-piled combustible storage shall comply with the applicable provisions of Chapter 32.

Section 503.1.4 Buildings Exceeding 30 feet in Height. Buildings or portions of buildings or facilities exceeding 30 feet (9,144mm) in height above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access shall be provided with:

1. An approved fire apparatus access road capable of accommodating fire department aerial apparatus in accordance with Section 503.7; and

2. Two separate and approved fire apparatus access roads for each structure in accordance with Section 503.2.9.

For purposes of this section, the highest roof surface shall be determined by measurement to the eave of a pitched roof, the intersection of the roof to the exterior wall, or the top of parapet walls, whichever is greater.

Section 503.1.5 Buildings Exceeding 62,000 square feet in area. Buildings or facilities having a gross building area of more than 62,000 square feet (5,760 m2) shall be provided with two separate and approved fire apparatus access roads.

Exception: Projects having a gross building area of up to 124,000 square feet (11,520 m2) that have a single approved fire apparatus access road when all buildings are equipped throughout with approved automatic sprinkler systems.

Section 503.1.6 Projects Having More Than 100 Multi-Family Dwelling Units. Multiple-family residential projects having more than 100 dwelling units shall be equipped throughout with two separate and approved fire apparatus access roads.

Exception: Projects having up to 200 dwelling units may have a single approved fire apparatus access road when all buildings, including nonresidential occupancies, are equipped throughout with approved automatic sprinkler systems installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

Section 503.1.7 Projects Having More Than 200 Multi-Family Dwelling Units. Multiple-family residential projects having more than 200 dwelling units shall be provided with two separate and approved fire apparatus access roads regardless of whether they are equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system.

Section 503.1.8 One- or Two-Family Dwelling Residential Developments. Developments of one- or two-family dwellings where the number of dwelling units exceeds 30 shall be provided with two separate and approved fire apparatus access roads and shall meet the requirements of Section 503.2.9.

Exceptions:

1. Where there are more than 30 dwelling units on a single public or private fire apparatus access road and all dwelling units are equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, 903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3, access from two directions shall not be required.

2. The number of dwelling units on a single fire apparatus access road shall not be increased unless fire apparatus access roads will connect with future development, as determined by the fire code official.

Section 503.2 Specifications. Fire apparatus access roads shall be installed and arranged in accordance with Sections 503.2.1 through 503.2.10.

Section 503.2.1 Dimensions. Fire apparatus access roads shall have an unobstructed width of not less than 20 ft. (6,096 mm), and an unobstructed vertical clearance of not less than 13 ft. 6 in. (4,115 mm); or as approved by the fire code official.

Exceptions:

1. In the Lake Whatcom Watershed, as designated by the City, fire apparatus access roads shall have an unobstructed width of not less than 18 ft.;

2. Approved security gates in accordance with Section 503.6;

3. Approved aerial fire apparatus access roads in accordance with Section 503.7;

4. Fire apparatus access roads serving up to two single-family dwellings or a single two-family dwelling may reduce the access road width to 12 feet as long as the access road does not exceed 150 feet in length;

5. Dead-end fire apparatus access roads exceeding 500 feet in length shall meet the requirements of Section 503.2.5.2; or

6. Fire apparatus access roads within 20 feet (6,096mm) of a fire hydrant shall meet the requirements of Section 503.8.

Section 503.2.2 Authority. The fire code official shall have the authority to require an increase in the minimum access widths where they are inadequate for fire or rescue operations.

Section 503.2.3 Surface and loading. Fire apparatus access roads shall be designed and maintained to support the imposed loads of fire apparatus weighing at least 75,000 pounds (34,050 kg) and shall be surfaced with asphalt, concrete or other approved all-weather surface.

Exception: Fire apparatus access roads serving one or more, one- and two-family, and Group U structures may be surfaced with an engineered gravel surface.

Section 503.2.4 Turning radius. The required inside turning radius of a fire apparatus access road shall be 28 feet.

Exception: Roads with a width greater than 24 feet may have an inside turning radius of 25 feet.

Section 503.2.5 Dead ends. Dead-end fire apparatus access roads in excess of 150 feet (45,720 mm) in length shall also meet the requirements of Sections 503.2.5.1 and 503.2.5.2.

Section 503.2.5.1 Approved turnarounds. The following types of turnarounds, as diagramed in Figure 503.2.5.1, are approved.

Section 503.2.5.2 Road width. Dead-end fire apparatus roadways greater than 501 feet shall have a road width of 26 feet.

Exception: Dead-end fire apparatus roadways greater than 750 feet shall have an approved road width.

Section 503.2.6 Bridges and Elevated Surfaces. Where a bridge or an elevated surface is part of a fire apparatus access road, the bridge shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with AASHTO HB-17. Bridges and elevated surfaces shall be designed for a live load sufficient to carry the imposed loads of fire apparatus. Vehicle load limits shall be posted at both entrances to bridges when required by the fire code official. Where elevated surfaces designed for emergency vehicle use are adjacent to surfaces which are not designed for such use, approved barriers, approved signs or both shall be installed and maintained when required by the fire code official.

Section 503.2.7 Grade. Fire apparatus access roads shall not exceed 12% in grade.

Exception 1: Grades greater than 12% up to and including grades of 15% are approved if the building is protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system.

Exception 2: Roads constructed before January 1, 2011 with road segments that are: (1) less than 200 feet in length, (2) average grade is less than or equal to 15%, (3) straight, and (4) road segments are separated by at least 100 feet of road with grade not exceeding 12%.

Exception 3: The following arterials are exempt from the grade calculations of this section: Alabama St., Yew St., and Barkley Blvd.

Exception 4: Existing structures regulated by the International Residential Code are exempt from this section.

Exception 5: Building permit applications for single-family dwellings located in subdivisions that received preliminary plat approval prior to April 29, 2011.

Section 503.2.7.1. Prohibited Grade. Grades exceeding 15% are prohibited unless approved by the fire code official.

Section 503.2.8 Angles of Approach and Departure. The angles of approach and departure for fire apparatus access roads shall be within the limits established by the fire code official based on the fire department’s apparatus.

Section 503.2.9 Remoteness. Where two access roads are required, they shall be placed a distance apart equal to not less than one half of the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the property or area to be served, measured in a straight line between accesses.

Section 503.2.10 Underground Structures. Installation of underground structures under or within 10 feet of fire apparatus access roads shall be designed to accommodate the point load design criteria in accordance with Section 503.7.4, unless approved by the fire code official.

Section 503.3 Marking. Where required by the fire code official, approved signs or other approved notices shall be provided for fire apparatus access roads to identify such roads or prohibit the obstruction thereof. Signs or notices shall be maintained in a clean and legible condition at all times and replaced or repaired when necessary to provide adequate visibility.

Section 503.4 Obstruction of Fire Apparatus Access Roads. Fire apparatus access roads shall not be obstructed in any manner, including the parking of vehicles. The minimum widths and clearances established in Section 503.2.1 shall be maintained at all times.

Section 503.7 Aerial Fire Apparatus Access Roads. Aerial fire apparatus access roads shall meet the requirements of Sections 503.7.1 through 503.7.3.

Section 503.7.1 Obstructions. Overhead utility and power lines shall not be located within the aerial fire apparatus access roadway. Trees, luminaries, and other obstructions shall not be located between the structure and the aerial fire apparatus access roadway unless approved by the fire code official.

Section 503.7.2 Width. Aerial fire apparatus access roads shall have a minimum unobstructed width of 26 feet (7,925mm), exclusive of shoulders, in the immediate vicinity of any building or portion of building more than 30 feet (9,144mm) in height.

Section 503.7.3 Proximity to Building. At least one of the required access routes meeting this condition shall be located within a minimum of 15 feet (4,572 mm) and a maximum of 30 feet (9,144 mm) from the building, and shall be positioned parallel to one entire side of the building.

Section 503.7.4 Point Load. Aerial fire apparatus access roads shall be designed with a surface capable of an outrigger point load of 44,928 pounds over an area of 24 inches by 24 inches square (4.0 square feet).

Section 503.7.5 Slope. Aerial fire apparatus access roads shall be designed with a longitudinal slope less than 10% and a lateral slope less than 13% unless approved by the fire code official.

Section 503.8 Fire Hydrant. Where a fire hydrant is located on a fire apparatus access road, the minimum road width shall be 26 feet (7,925 mm), exclusive of shoulders, for a distance 20 feet (6,096mm) before and after the operating nut.

Section 507.3 Fire Flow. Fire flow requirements for buildings or portions of buildings and facilities shall be determined by use of Appendix B.

Exceptions:

1. Fire flow is not required for structures under 500 square feet with a B, U or R-1 occupancy where structures are at least 30 feet from any other structure and are used only for recreation.

2. A portion of a one- or two-family building hereafter constructed, which does not increase the existing building gross areas over 3,600 feet.

Section 507.5 Fire Hydrant Systems. Fire hydrant systems shall comply with Sections 507.5.1 through 507.5.12.

Section 507.5.1 Where Required. When a portion of the facility or building hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction, fire hydrants and mains shall be provided in accordance with Section 507.

Exception: A portion of a one- or two-family building hereafter constructed, which does not exceed 800 square feet.

Section 507.5.1.2. Calculation Method. The minimum number of fire hydrants available to a building shall not be less than one for every 1,000 gallons or fraction thereof, based on the required fire flow of Section 507.3.

Exception: Fire flow quantities up to 1,500 gallons will require only one fire hydrant.

Section 507.5.1.3. Number Available. The total number of fire hydrants will be determined by new and existing fire hydrants on-site or on nearby streets accessible to fire apparatus without crossing divided roads and arterials unless approved by the fire code official.

Section 507.5.1.4 Average Spacing. The average spacing between fire hydrants, as measured along the roadway, shall not exceed 300 feet along fire apparatus access roads.

Exception: The average spacing, as measured along the roadway, may be increased to 500 feet along fire apparatus access roads serving one- and two-family developments.

Section 507.5.1.5 Maximum Distance. The maximum distance to a fire hydrant from any point of a fire apparatus access road shall not exceed 150 feet as measured along the roadway.

Exceptions:

1. The maximum distance to a fire hydrant from any point of a fire apparatus access road serving one- and two-family developments may be increased to 250 feet as measured along the roadway.

2. The maximum distance to a fire hydrant from any point of a fire apparatus access road serving up to two single-family dwellings or a single two-family dwelling may be increased to 400 feet as measured along the roadway.

Section 507.5.1.6 Divided Roadways. Hydrants shall be provided on each side of the street and be arranged on an alternating basis, providing, on each side of the street that the hydrants meet the requirements of Sections 507.5.1.4 and 507.5.1.5.

Section 507.5.1.7 Arterials. Hydrants shall be provided on each side of the street and be arranged on an alternating basis, providing, on each side of the street that the hydrants meet the requirements of Sections 507.5.1.4 and 507.5.1.5.

Section 507.5.1.8 Transportation Hazards. Where new water mains are extended along streets where hydrants are not needed for protection of structures or similar fire problems, fire hydrants shall be provided at a spacing not to exceed 1,000 feet to provide for transportation hazards.

Section 510.1 Emergency responder radio coverage in new or altered buildings. All new or existing buildings undergoing an addition, change of use, or includes a remodel area exceeding 75% of the structure's existing floor area shall have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building based upon the existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems of the jurisdiction at the exterior of the building. This section shall not require improvement of the existing public safety communication systems.

Exceptions:

1. Where approved by the building official and the fire code official, a wired communication system in accordance with Section 907.2.13.2 shall be permitted to be installed or maintained instead of an approved radio coverage system.

2. This section shall not apply to any buildings with 5,000 square feet or less of total square footage in size and where the entire building is above ground.

3. This section shall not apply to R occupancies that meet all of the following requirements:

a. Building is of Type V construction

b. Building is 4 stories or less

c. Each of the dwelling units exits directly to the outside (no interior hallways).

d. All portions of the building are above ground.

4. Where it is determined by the fire code official that the radio coverage system is not needed.

5. In facilities where emergency responder radio coverage is required and such systems, components or equipment required could have a negative impact on the normal operations of that facility, the fire code official shall have the authority to accept an automatically activated emergency responder radio coverage system.

[Ord. 2016-08-027 § 3; Ord. 2013-06-040 § 3; Ord. 2011-04-021; Ord. 2010-06-038; Ord. 2007-07-057; Ord. 2004-06-040].

17.20.040 IFC Chapter 6, Building services and systems.

Repealed by Ord. 2013-06-040. [Ord. 2010-06-038; Ord. 2007-07-057; Ord. 2004-06-040].

17.20.050 IFC Chapter 9, Fire protection systems.

The following sections of Chapter 9 of the 2015 Edition of the IFC as adopted by BMC 17.20.010 are hereby amended as follows:

Section 901.4.7 Additions or Changes of Use. Additions or changes of use to existing buildings which would result in a nonconforming building shall be considered as new construction and meet the requirements of this chapter. Subject to the approval of the fire chief, and with approved guarantees, a phasing plan of up to five years is permitted on sprinkler systems only.

Section 903.3.9 Riser Room Access. Risers shall be located in a dedicated room with an exterior door, lighting, temperature monitoring, and heat for the room.

Section 903.3.10 Temperature Monitoring. Temperature monitoring shall be installed when required by the fire code official.

Section 903.4.4 Sprinkler Zones. Automatic sprinkler systems shall be equipped to provide a separate alarm zone for each floor.

    Exception: Where the Fire Code Official determines that a multi-floor zone can be allowed.

Section 907.1.4 False Alarms. In the event of more than two false alarms in any 90-day period, the Fire Code Official may charge a fee for fire department response as specified below:

False Alarms

Fee

First and second

No fee

Third and additional

$250 each

EXCEPTION: False alarms resulting from the failure of a fire alarm service technician notifying the central, proprietary or remote monitoring station shall be billed at the rate of $250 for each occurrence.

Section 907.1.4.1 Definition. For the purpose of this section, a false alarm shall be defined as any unintentional activation of the fire alarm or detection system which is the result of improper installation, maintenance or use of that system.

Section 907.1.4.2 Signs. Fire alarm system control units shall be provided with an approved sign indicating such fees will be imposed.

Section 907.6.7 Control Panel Location. Fire alarm control panels shall be located in the riser room, if present, or in an approved location.

[Ord. 2016-08-027 § 4; Ord. 2013-06-040 § 5; Ord. 2010-06-038; Ord. 2007-07-057; Ord. 2004-06-040].

17.20.060 IFC Chapter 30, Compressed gases.

Repealed by Ord. 2013-06-040. [Ord. 2010-06-038; Ord. 2007-07-057].

17.20.070 IFC Chapter 56, Explosives.

The following sections of Chapter 56 of the 2015 Edition of the IFC as adopted by BMC 17.20.010 are hereby amended as follows:

5601.1 Scope. The provisions of this chapter shall govern the possession, manufacture, storage, handling, sale and use of explosives, explosive materials, and small arms ammunition. The manufacture, storage, handling, sale and use of fireworks shall be governed by chapter 70.77 RCW, chapter 212-17 WAC and Bellingham Municipal Code Section 10.24.130.

Exceptions:

1. The Armed Forces of the United States, Coast Guard or National Guard.

2. Explosives in forms prescribed by the official United States Pharmacopoeia.

3. The possession, storage and use of small arms ammunition when packaged in accordance with DOT packaging requirements.

4. The possession, storage and use of not more than 1 pound (0.454 kg) of commercially manufactured sporting black powder, 20 pounds (9 kg) of smokeless powder and 10,000 small arms primers for hand loading of small arms ammunition for personal consumption.

5. The use of explosive materials by federal, state and local regulatory, law enforcement and fire agencies acting in their official capacities.

6. Special industrial explosive devices, which in the aggregate contain less than 50 pounds (23 kg) of explosive materials.

7. The possession, storage and use of blank industrial-power load cartridges when packaged in accordance with DOT packaging regulations.

8. Transportation in accordance with DOT 49 C.F.R. Parts 100-178.

9. Items preempted by federal regulations.

[Ord. 2016-08-027 § 5; Ord. 2013-06-040 § 7; Ord. 2010-06-038; Ord. 2007-07-057].

17.20.080 Geographic limits.

The geographic limits referred to in certain sections of the 2015 International Fire Code are hereby established as follows:

The limits referred to in Section 5806.2 of the International Fire Code in which the storage of flammable cryogenic fluids is prohibited are hereby established as those zones designated residential single, residential multi, commercial, planned residential, planned commercial, and institutional by the land use development ordinance, BMC Title 20.

The limits referred to in Section 5704.2.9.6.1 of the International Fire Code in which the storage of Class I and II liquids in above ground tanks outside of buildings is prohibited are hereby established as those zones designated residential single, residential multi, commercial, planned residential, planned commercial, and institutional by the land use development ordinance, BMC Title 20.

The limits referred to in Section 5706.2.4.4 of the International Fire Code in which the storage of Class I and II liquids in above ground tanks is prohibited are hereby established as those zones designated residential single, residential multi, commercial, planned residential, planned commercial, and institutional by the land use development ordinance, BMC Title 20.

The limits referred to in Section 6104.2 of the International Fire Code, in which storage of liquefied petroleum gas is restricted, are hereby established as those zones designated residential single, residential multi, commercial, planned residential, planned commercial, and institutional by the land use development ordinance, BMC Title 20. [Ord. 2016-08-027 § 6; Ord. 2013-06-040 § 8; Ord. 2010-06-038; Ord. 2007-07-057].

17.20.090 IFC appendices.

The following appendices of the 2015 Edition of the IFC as adopted by BMC 17.20.010 are hereby amended as follows:

Section B104.1 General. The fire flow calculation area shall be the total floor area of all floor levels within the exterior walls, and under the horizontal projections of the roof of a building, including basements and attached garages, except as modified in Section B104.3.

Section B104.2 Area separation. Portions of buildings which are separated by 4-hour firewalls without openings, constructed in accordance with the International Building Code, are allowed to be considered as separate fire-flow calculation areas.

[Ord. 2016-08-027 § 7; Ord. 2013-06-040 § 9; Ord. 2010-06-038; Ord. 2007-07-057].

17.20.100 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

The following referenced standards of Chapter 47 of the 2015 Edition of the International Fire Code as adopted by BMC 17.20.010 are amended by modifying the effective date to reflect the most current edition for these identified National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards:

A. NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

B. NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes.

C. NFPA 13R, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Residential Occupancies up to and Including Four Stories in Height.

D. NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipes and Hose Systems.

E. NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection.

F. NFPA 24, Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances.

G. NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.

H. NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.

I. NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.

J. NFPA 111, Standard on Stored Electrical Energy Emergency and Standby Power Systems. [Ord. 2016-08-027 § 8; Ord. 2013-06-040 § 10; Ord. 2010-06-038].

17.20.110 IFC Chapter 36, Marinas.

Chapter 36 of the 2015 Edition of the IFC as adopted by BMC 17.20.010 is hereby amended as follows:

SECTION 3601: SCOPE

3601.1 Scope.

Marina facilities shall be in accordance with this chapter.

3601.1.2 Permits.

For permits to operate marine motor fuel-dispensing stations, application of flammable or combustible finishes, boathouse, covered boat moorage, and hot works, see Section 105.6.

3601.1.3 Existing conditions.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to conditions existing prior to the adoption of this Code.

3601.1.3.1 Compliance.

The owner of a marina or part thereof with an identified deficiency pursuant to Section 3604.9 shall submit to the fire code official, within 120 days of receiving a Notice of Violation, a written concept design and firm schedule for complying with the requirements of this chapter.

3601.1.3.2 Time limits.

The time schedule for compliance shall be measured from the date of the fire code official’s approval of the concept design and firm schedule for each marina or part thereof. The time schedule must not exceed 5 years.

3601.2 Plans and approvals.

Plans for marina fire protection facilities shall be approved prior to installation. The work shall be subject to final inspection and approval after installation.

SECTION 3602: DEFINITIONS

3602.1 Definitions.

The following words and terms shall, for the purpose of this chapter and as used elsewhere in this code, have the meanings shown herein.

BERTH. The water space to be occupied by a boat or other vessel alongside or between bulkheads, piers, piles, fixed and floating docks, or any similar access structure. (See also the definition of Slip)

MULTI-PARTY BOATHOUSE. An independently floating structure which encloses more than one vessel and is connected to float system pilings. A multi-party boathouse is considered to be covered boat moorage.

COVERED BOAT MOORAGE is a pier or system of floating or fixed access ways to which vessels on water may be secured and any portion of which are covered by a roof.

FINGER FLOAT. A system of floats extending from the lateral walkway to provide access to moored vessels. Finger floats are typically narrower than a lateral walkway.

FLOAT. A floating structure normally used as a point of transfer for passengers and goods, or both, for mooring purposes.

GRAVITY-OPERATED-DROP-OUT-VENTS are automatic smoke and heat vents containing heat-sensitive glazing designed to shrink and drop out of the vent openings when exposed to fire.

INDIVIDUAL BOATHOUSE. An independently floating structure designed to be moored to a main float system to enclose and protect a vessel. An individual boathouse is capable of being moved on water, but is typically moored to a float system for long periods of time.

LATERAL WALKWAY. A system of floats extending from the main walkway to provide access to vessel moorage and/or finger floats. Lateral walkways are typically narrower than a main walkway.

MAIN WALKWAY. A system of floats extending from the shore to provide vessel moorage and/or access to the lateral walkway and finger floats.

MARINA. Any portion of the ocean or inland water, either naturally or artificially protected, for the mooring, servicing or safety of vessels and shall include artificially protected works, the public or private lands ashore, and structures or facilities provided within the enclosed body of water and ashore for the mooring or servicing of vessels or the servicing of their crews or passengers.

PIER. A structure built over the water, supported by pillars or piles, and used as a landing place, pleasure pavilion or similar purpose.

SLIP. A berthing space between or adjacent to piers, wharves, or docks; the water areas associated with boat moorage. (See also the definition of Berth)

VESSEL. A motorized watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation.

WHARF. A structure or bulkhead constructed of wood, stone, concrete or similar material built at the shore of a harbor, lake or river for vessels to lie alongside of, and to anchor piers or floats.

SECTION 3603: GENERAL PRECAUTIONS

3603.1 Combustible debris.

Combustible debris and rubbish shall not be deposited or accumulated on land beneath marina structures, piers or wharves.

3603.2 Sources of ignition.

Open-flame devices used for lighting or decoration on the exterior of a vessel, float, pier or wharf, under covered boat moorage, or within a boathouse shall be prohibited.

3603.2.1 Smoking restrictions.

Smoking is prohibited in all areas where fuels and other flammable and combustible liquids and gases are stored or dispensed, under covered boat moorage, within boat houses, and in other such locations as marina management or the fire code official designate. Smoking signs shall be consistent with Section 310.

3603.3 Flammable or combustible liquid spills.

Spills of flammable or combustible liquids at or upon the water shall be reported immediately to the fire department or jurisdictional authorities.

3603.4 Rubbish containers.

Metal containers with tight-fitting or self-closing lids shall be provided for the temporary storage of combustible trash or rubbish.

3603.5 Electrical equipment.

Electrical equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with its listing, Section 605 and Chapter 5 of NFPA 303 as required for wet, damp and hazardous locations.

3603.6 Berthing and storage.

Berthing and storage shall be in accordance with Chapter 7 of NFPA 303.

3603.7 Slip identification.

Slips and mooring spaces shall be individually identified by an approved numeric or alphabetic designator. Space designators shall be posted at the space. Signs indicating the space designators located on finger piers and floats shall be posted at the base of all piers, finger piers, floats and finger floats.

3603.8 Fuel dispensing.

Fuel dispensing from portable containers to vessels shall be prohibited.

Exception: At approved marine motor fuel-dispensing facilities.

3603.9 Fuel storage.

The maximum allowable quantity of fuel which may be stored within an individual boathouse or covered boat moorage shall be in accordance with Sections 3603.9.1 and 3603.9.2.

Exception: Fuel stored on the vessel.

3603.9.1 Flammable and combustible liquids.

The maximum allowable quantity of flammable or combustible liquids is limited to five gallons for each berth.

3603.9.2 Flammable Gases.

The maximum allowable quantity of flammable gases is limited to 20 pounds for each berth.

3603.10 Means of egress.

The means of egress system for individual boathouses and covered boat moorage shall be in accordance with Sections 3603.10.1 through 3603.10.6.

3603.10.1 General means of egress.

The requirements of Sections 1003.2 through 1003.6 shall apply to all three elements of the means of egress system.

3603.10.2 Minimum required egress width.

The means of egress width shall not be less than 36 inches.

3603.10.3 Doors.

Means of egress doors shall meet the requirements of this section. Doors serving a means of egress system shall meet the requirements of this section. Doors provided for egress purposes in numbers greater than required by this code shall meet the requirements of this section.

Means of egress doors shall be readily distinguishable from the adjacent construction and finishes such that the doors are easily recognizable as doors. Mirrors or similar reflecting materials shall not be used on means of egress doors. Means of egress doors shall not be concealed by curtains, drapes, decorations or similar materials.

3603.10.3.1 Size of doors.

The minimum width of each door opening shall provide a clear width of 32 inches (813 mm). Clear openings of doorways with swinging doors shall be measured between the face of the door and the stop, with the door open 90 degrees (1.57 rad). Where this section requires a minimum clear width of 32 inches (813 mm) and a door opening includes two door leaves without a mullion, one leaf shall provide a clear opening width of 32 inches (813 mm). The maximum width of a swinging door leaf shall be 48 inches (1219 mm) nominal. The height of door openings shall not be less than 80 inches (2032 mm).

3603.10.3.2 Projections into clear width.

There shall not be projections into the required clear width lower than 34 inches (864 mm) above the floor or ground. Projections into the clear opening width between 34 inches (864 mm) and 80 inches (2032 mm) above the floor or ground shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm).

Exception: Door closers and door stops shall be permitted to be 78 inches (1980 mm) minimum above the floor.

3603.10.3.3 Door swing.

Egress doors shall be of the pivoted or side-hinged swinging type.

3603.10.3.4 Door opening force.

The force for pushing or pulling open interior swinging egress doors, other than fire doors, shall not exceed 5 pounds. The door latch shall release when subjected to a 15-pound force. The door shall be set in motion when subjected to a 30-pound force. The door shall swing to a full-open position when subjected to a 15-pound force.

3603.10.3.5 Location of applied forces.

Forces shall be applied to the latch side of the door.

3603.10.3.6 Floor elevation.

There shall be a floor or landing on each side of a door. Such floor or landing shall be at the same elevation on each side of the door. Landings shall be level except for exterior landings, which are permitted to have a slope not to exceed 0.25 units vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent slope).

3603.10.3.7 Door operations.

Except as specifically permitted by this section egress doors shall be readily operable from the egress side without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.

3603.10.3.7.1 Hardware.

Door handles shall not require tight grasping, tight pinching or twisting of the wrist to operate.

3603.10.3.7.2 Hardware height.

Door handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operating devices shall be installed 34 inches (864 mm) minimum and 48 inches (1219 mm) maximum above the finished floor. Locks used only for security purposes and not used for normal operation are permitted at any height.

3603.10.3.7.3 Bolt locks.

Single-cylinder keyed deadbolts are allowed.

3603.10.3.8 Number of exit doors required.

A minimum of one exit door shall be provided in each 50 lineal feet (15240 mm), or fraction thereof, of the longest exterior wall or as approved. The required exit doors shall be distributed such that the lineal distance between adjacent exit doors does not exceed 50 feet (15240 mm) and shall not be directly across the pier, float system or access way from another boathouse or covered boat moorage exit door.

3603.10.4 Exit signs.

Exit doors shall be marked by an approved exit sign readily visible from any direction of egress travel.

Exception: Boathouses and covered boat moorage with one exit.

3603.10.5 Identification.

An approved sign shall be provided on the exterior of the boathouse and covered boat moorage which identifies the slip or slips within.

3603.10.6 Key safe.

An approved key safe shall be installed in an approved location on all multi-party boathouses. The safe shall contain the key or keys to all exterior and interior doors.

3603.10.7 Maintenance.

The means of egress shall be maintained in accordance with Section 1030.

SECTION 3604: FIRE PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

3604.1 General.

Piers, marinas and wharves with facilities for mooring or servicing five or more vessels, and marine motor fuel-dispensing facilities shall be equipped with fire protection equipment in accordance with Sections 3604.2 through 3604.10.

3604.2 Standpipes.

Marinas shall be equipped throughout with Class I manual, dry standpipe systems in accordance with NFPA 14 and Sections 3604.2.1 through 3604.2.8.

3604.2.1 Identification of standpipe outlets.

Standpipe hose connection locations shall be clearly identified by a flag or other approved means designed to be readily visible from the pier accessing the float system.

3604.2.2 Outlet location.

Standpipe systems shall be provided with outlets located such that no point on the pier, float system, or fixed access way exceeds 150 feet from a standpipe outlet.

3604.2.3 Appurtenances.

Hose racks, hoses, and standpipe cabinets shall not be required on the pier or float system.

3604.2.4 Flow rate.

Supply piping for standpipes shall be sized for the minimum flow rate for Class I horizontal systems.

Exception: When approved, supply piping for standpipes may be sized for the minimum flow rate for Class II systems.

3604.2.5 Pressure.

Minimum hose outlet pressure shall be 130 psi while delivering the flow rate identified in Section 3602.2.4.

Exception: Approved existing standpipe systems.

3604.2.6 Material.

Approved plastic pipe may be used if installed underwater or other approved method of protection from fire is provided.

3604.2.7 Flexible connections.

Flexible connections shall be permitted on floating piers where approved.

3604.2.8 Sectional valves.

The system shall be equipped with sectional valves in approved locations.

3604.3 Access and water supply.

Piers and wharves shall be provided with fire apparatus access roads and water-supply systems with on-site fire hydrants when required by the fire code official. At least one fire hydrant capable of providing 1,500 gpm shall be provided within an approved distance of standpipe supply connections.

3604.4 Portable fire extinguishers.

One 4A:40B:C: fire extinguisher shall be provided at each required standpipe outlet. Additional portable fire extinguishers, suitable for the hazards involved, shall be provided and maintained in accordance with Section 906.

3604.5 Communications.

A telephone not requiring a coin to operate or other approved, clearly identified means to notify the fire department shall be provided on the site in a location approved by the fire code official.

3604.6 Emergency operations staging areas.

Space shall be provided on all float systems for the staging of emergency equipment. Emergency operation staging areas shall provide a minimum of 4 feet wide by 10 feet long (1219 mm by 3048 mm) clear area exclusive of walkways and shall be located at each standpipe hose connection. Emergency operation staging areas shall be provided with a curb or barrier having a minimum height of 4 inches (102 mm) and maximum space between the bottom edge and the surface of the staging area of 2 inches (51 mm) on the outboard sides of the staging area.

An approved sign reading FIRE EQUIPMENT STAGING AREA—KEEP CLEAR shall be provided at each staging area.

3604.7 Smoke and heat vents.

Approved automatic smoke and heat vents shall be provided in all covered boat moorage areas and boathouse structures.

Exception: Smoke and heat vents are not required in areas protected by automatic sprinklers.

3607.1 Design and installation.

Where smoke and heat vents are required they shall be installed near the roof peak, evenly distributed and arranged so that at least one vent is over each covered berth. The effective vent area shall be calculated using a ratio of one square foot of vent to every fifteen square feet of covered berth area (1:15). Each vent shall provide a minimum opening size of 4 ft. x 4 ft.

3604.7.1.1 Smoke and heat vents.

Smoke and heat vents shall operate automatically by actuation of a heat responsive device rated at between 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 220 degrees Fahrenheit above ambient.

Exception: Gravity-operated-drop-out vents

3604.7.1.2 Gravity-operated-drop-out vents.

Gravity-operated-drop-out vents shall fully open within 5 minutes after the vent cavity is exposed to a simulated fire represented by a time-temperature gradient that reaches an air temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit within 5 minutes.

3604.8 Draft curtains.

Draft curtains shall be provided in covered boat moorage areas exceeding 2,500 square feet in area, excluding roof overhangs.

Exception: Draft curtains are not required in areas protected by automatic sprinklers.

3604.8.1 Draft curtain construction.

Draft curtains shall be constructed of sheet metal, gypsum board or other approved materials that provide equivalent performance to resist the passage of smoke. Joints and connections shall be smoke tight.

3604.8.2 Draft curtain location and depth.

The maximum area protected by draft curtains shall not exceed 2,000 square feet or two slips or berths, whichever is smaller. Draft curtains shall have a minimum depth of 4 feet and shall not extend closer than 8 feet to the walking surface of the pier.

3604.9 Automatic sprinkler systems.

Automatic sprinklers shall be provided throughout new and existing multi-party covered boat moorage and multi-party boathouse structures in accordance with Chapter 9.

Exception: Multi-party covered boat moorage or boathouse structures not exceeding 2,500 sq. ft. (743 m2) in area and separated by at least 16 feet from another multi-party covered boat moorage or multi-party boathouse structure.

3604.9.1 Density.

The sprinkler system shall be designed and installed in accordance with Section 903 and NFPA Standard 13 for Extra Hazard Group 2 occupancy.

3604.9.2 Monitoring.

Sprinkler system shall be monitored in accordance with Section 903.

3604.9.3 Notification.

Notification appliances shall be installed throughout the structure in accordance with Section 907.6.2.

3604.10 Fire department connections.

Fire department connections shall be installed in accordance with Section 912.

SECTION 3605: MARINE MOTOR FUEL-DISPENSING FACILITIES

3605.1 Fuel dispensing.

Marine motor fuel-dispensing facilities shall be in accordance with Chapter 23.

[Ord. 2016-08-027 § 9; Ord. 2013-06-040 § 11; Ord. 2012-09-044 § 3].