Chapter 15.56
FIRE CODE

Sections:

15.56.010    Fire code – Established.

15.56.020    Amendments.

Prior legislation: Ords. 882, 944 and 1007.

15.56.010 Fire code – Established.

A. Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to adopt the 2019 California Fire Code, California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 9, as amended, to govern the safeguarding of life and property from fire, explosion hazards and hazardous conditions and to regulate the issuance of permits and collection of fees.

B. Authority. The ordinance codified in this chapter is adopted pursuant to Health and Safety Code Sections 17958, 17958.5, 17958.7 and 18941.5 which allow a county to adopt modifications or changes to the California Fire Code that are reasonably necessary because of local climatic, geological and topographical conditions.

C. Application and Adoption of the California Fire Code. Except as stated in this section or as amended in LEMC 15.56.020, all of the provisions of the 2019 California Fire Code, inclusive of all of the inclusions and exclusions set forth in each chapter’s matrix, are hereby adopted and shall apply to the unincorporated areas of Lake Elsinore. In addition, the following provisions that are excluded in the 2019 California Fire Code are hereby adopted: Chapter 1, Division II of the California Fire Code is hereby adopted, except that Section 103.2 is not adopted, and Chapters 3 and 25, and Sections 403.12, 503, and 510.2 are adopted. [Ord. 1419 § 12, 2019; Ord. 1365 § 15, 2016; Ord. 1318 § 18, 2013; Ord. 1287 § 15, 2010; Ord. 1087 § 2, 2002; Ord. 1051 § 2, 1999].

15.56.020 Amendments.

A. Scope and General Requirements.

1. Section 101.4 is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

101.4 Severability. If any provision, clause, sentence or paragraph of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions of this Ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby declared to be severable.

B. Applicability.

1. Section 102.5 of the California Fire Code is amended as follows:

102.5 Application of Residential Code. Where structures are designed and constructed in accordance with the California Residential Code, the provisions of this code shall apply as follows:

1. Construction and design provisions of this code pertaining to the exterior of the structure shall apply including, but not limited to, premises identification, fire apparatus access and water supplies. Where interior or exterior systems or devices are installed, construction permits required by Section 105.7 of this code shall apply.

2. Administrative, operational and maintenance provisions of this code shall apply.

3. Automatic fire sprinkler system requirements of this code shall apply to detached accessory buildings 5,000 square feet or greater in accordance with Section 903.2. The provisions contained in Section 903.2.18 of the California Fire Code or Section R309.6 of the California Residential Code may be used for the design of the automatic fire sprinkler system for detached private garages.

C. Department of Fire Prevention.

1. Sections 103.4 and 103.4.1 are deleted in their entirety and replaced with the following:

103.4 Liability. Any liability against the City of Lake Elsinore, Riverside County or any officer or employee for damages resulting from the discharge of their duties shall be as provided by law.

D. General Authority and Responsibilities.

1. A new Section 104.1.1 is added to Section 104.1 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

104.1.1 Authority of the Fire Chief and Fire Department.

1. The Fire Chief is authorized and directed to enforce all applicable State fire laws and provisions of this Ordinance and to perform such duties as directed by the City.

2. The Fire Chief is authorized to administer, interpret and enforce this ordinance. Under the Fire Chief’s direction, the Riverside County Fire Department is authorized to enforce Ordinances of the City Pertaining to the following:

2.1. The prevention of fires.

2.2. The suppression or extinguishment of dangerous or hazardous fires.

2.3. The storage use and handling of hazardous materials.

2.4. The installation and maintenance of automatic, manual and other private fire alarm systems and fire extinguishing equipment.

2.5. The maintenance and regulation of fire escapes.

2.6. The maintenance of fire protection and the elimination of fire hazards on land, in buildings, structures and other property, including those under construction.

2.7. The maintenance of means of egress.

2.8. The investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fire and unauthorized releases of hazardous materials.

3. The following persons are hereby authorized to interpret and enforce the provisions of this ordinance and to make arrests and issue citations as authorized by law:

3.1. The Unit Chief, Peace Officers and Public Officers of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

3.2. The Fire Chief, Peace Officers and Public Officers of the Riverside County Fire Department.

3.3. The Riverside County Sheriff and any deputy sheriff.

3.4. The Police Chief and any police officer of any city served by the Riverside County Fire Department.

3.5. Officers of the California Highway Patrol.

3.6. Code Officers of the City of Lake Elsinore.

3.7 Building Official and Building Officials Public Officers of the City of Lake Elsinore.

3.8. Peace Officers of the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

3.9. The law enforcement officer of the Federal Bureau of Land Management.

2. A new Section 104.6.5 is added to Section 104 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

104.6.5 Requests for Public Records. Request for copies of public and legal documents, photographs, and other records relating to department activities are available as authorized by law through the City Clerk; all document requests shall be in writing.

3. A new Section 104.12 is added to Section 104 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

104.12 Authority of the Fire Chief to close hazardous fire areas. Except upon National Forest Land, the Fire Chief is authorized to determine and announce the closure of any hazardous fire area or portion thereof. Any closure by the Fire Chief for a period of more than 15 calendar days must be approved by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors within 15 calendar days of the Fire Chief’s original order of closure. Upon such closure, no person shall go in or be upon any hazardous fire area, except upon the public roadways and inhabited areas. During such closure, the Fire Chief shall erect and maintain at all entrances to the closed area sufficient signs giving notice of closure. This section shall not prohibit residents or owners of private property within any closed area, or their invitees, from going in or being upon their lands. This section shall not apply to any entry, in the course of duty, by a peace officer, duly authorized public officer or fire department personnel. For the purpose of this section, “hazardous fire area” shall mean public or private land that is covered with grass, grain, brush or forest and situated in a location that makes suppression difficult resulting in great damage. Such areas are designated on Hazardous Fire Area maps filed with the office of the Fire Chief.

E. Fees.

1. Section 106.2 is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

106.2 Schedule of permit fees. Fees for services and permits shall be as set forth in Chapter 3.40 of the LEMC.

2. A new Section 106.6 is added to Section 106 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

106.6 Cost recovery. Fire suppression, investigation, rescue or emergency medical costs are recoverable in accordance with Health and Safety Code Sections 13009 and 13009.1, as may be amended from time to time. Additionally, any person who negligently, intentionally or in violation of law causes an emergency response, including, but not limited to, a traffic accident, spill of toxic or flammable fluids or chemicals is liable for the costs of securing such emergency, including those costs pursuant to Government Code Section 53150, et seq, as may be amended from time to time. Any expense incurred by the Riverside County Fire Department for securing such emergency shall constitute a debt of such person and shall be collectable by Riverside County in the same manner as in the case of an obligation under contract, express or implied.

F. Board of Appeals.

1. Section 109.1 of the California Fire Code is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

109.1 Board of appeals established. The Board of Appeals shall be the City Manager. If he or she determines an outside board is needed, he or she shall designate an outside hearing officer to hear the appeal. The Fire Chief shall be notified of any appeal and the Fire Chief or designee shall be in attendance at the appeal hearing. Depending on the subject of the appeal, specialized expertise may be solicited, at the expense of the applicant, for the purpose of providing input to the Appeals Board.

G. Violations.

1. Section 110.4 is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

110.4 Violation and penalties. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association of persons to violate any provision of this ordinance, or to violate the provisions of any permit granted pursuant to this code. Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions or failing to comply with any of the mandatory requirements of the Ordinances of Lake Elsinore shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor under the Ordinances of the City shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not to exceed one hundred eighty days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of any provision of the Ordinances of the City is committed, continued, or permitted by any such person, and shall be punished accordingly.

H. Definitions.

1. Section 202 of the California Fire Code is amended to add the following definitions:

FIRE CHIEF. The Fire Chief of Riverside County or the Fire Chief’s designee.

I. General Requirements.

1. Section 308.1.6.3 of the California Fire Code is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

308.1.6.3 Sky lanterns or similar devices. A person shall not release or cause to be released a sky lantern or similar device.

J. Fire Apparatus Access Roads.

1. Section 503.2.1 is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

503.2.1 Dimensions. Fire apparatus roads shall have an unobstructed width of not less than 24 feet, exclusive of shoulders, except for approved security gates in accordance with Section 503.6 and an unobstructed vertical clearance of not less than 13 feet 6 inches. For additional requirements or alternatives see Riverside County Fire Department Standards and Policies, as may be amended from time to time.

2. Section 503.2.2 is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

503.2.2 Authority. The Fire Code Official shall be the only authority authorized to designate, require, or permit modifications to the required access widths where they are inadequate for fire or rescue operations.

3. A new Section 503.6.1 is added to Section 503.6 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

503.6.1 Automatic opener. New motorized gates shall be provided with means to be automatically opened remotely by emergency vehicle in accordance with Riverside County Fire Department standards and Policies, as may be amended from time to time.

Exception: Gates serving individual one- and two-family dwelling.

4. A new Section 503.7 is added to Section 503 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

503.7 Parking, Loading and passenger drop-off areas. On private properties, where fire apparatus access roads are utilized for parallel parking, loading or unloading or utilized for passenger drop-off or pick-up, an additional eight (8) feet of width shall be added to the minimum required width for the fire apparatus access road.

K. Fire Protection Water Supplies.

1. A new Section 507.5.7 is added to Section 507 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

507.5.7 Fire hydrant size and outlets. As determined by the fire code official, fire hydrant sizes and outlets shall be based on the following:

a. Residential Standard – one (1) four (4) inch outlet and one (1) two and half (2 1/2) inch outlet.

b. Super Hydrant Standard – one (1) four (4) inch outlet and two (2) two and one half (2 1/2) inch outlet.

c. Super Hydrant Enhanced – two (2) four (4) inch outlet and one (1) two and one half (2 1/2) inch outlet.

2. A new Section 507.5.8 is added to Section 507 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

507.5.8 Fire hydrant street marker. Fire hydrant locations shall be visually indicated in accordance with Riverside County Fire Department Technical Policy 06-11, as may be amended from time to time. Any hydrant marker damaged or removed during the course of street construction or repair shall be immediately replaced by the contractor, developer or person responsible for removal or damage.

L. Fire Command Center.

1. Section 508.1 of the California Fire Code is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

508.1 General. Where required by other sections of this code and in all buildings classified as high-rise buildings by the California Building Code, in buildings greater than 300,000 square feet in area and in Group I-2 occupancies having occupied floors located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access, a fire command center for fire department operations shall be provided and comply with Sections 508.1.1 through 508.1.6.

2. Section 508.1.1 of the California Fire Code is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

508.1.1 Location and access. The fire command center shall be located adjacent to the main lobby and shall be accessible from fire department vehicular access or as approved by the fire code official. The room shall have direct access from the building exterior at the lowest level of fire department access.

3. Section 508.1.3 of the California Fire Code is amended to add the following:

Exception: A fire command center solely required because a building is greater than 300,000 square feet in area shall be a minimum of 96 square feet (9 m2) with a minimum dimension of 8 feet (2438 mm).

4. Section 508.1.6 of the California Fire Code is amended to add the following:

Exception: A fire command center solely required because a building is greater than 300,000 square feet in area shall comply with NFPA 72 and contain the features set forth in Section 508.1.6 subsections 5, 8, 10, 12, 13 and 14. The features set forth in Section 508.1.6 subsections 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 shall be required when such building contains systems or functions related to these features.

5. A new Section 508.1.8 is added to Section 508 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

508.1.8 Fire command center identification. The fire command center shall be identified by a permanent easily visible sign stating, “Fire Dept. Command Center,” located on the door to the fire command center.

L. Fire Protection and Utility Equipment Identification and Location.

1. Section 509.2.1 of the California Fire Code is amended to add the following:

509.2.1 Minimum clearances. A 3-foot (914 mm) clear space shall be maintained exterior fire protection system control valves, or any other exterior fire protection system component that may require immediate access, except as otherwise required or approved.

M. Mechanical Refrigeration.

1. Section 606.10.1.2 of the California Fire Code is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

606.10.1.2 Manual operation. When required by the Fire Code Official, automatic crossover valves shall be capable of manual operation. The manual valves shall be located in an approved location immediately outside of the machinery room in a secure metal box or equivalent and marked as Emergency Controls.

N. Automatic Sprinkler Systems.

1. Section 903.2 of the California Fire Code is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

903.2 Where required. Automatic Fire Sprinklers shall be provided for the following:

1. In all new buildings and structures which are 5,000 square feet or greater, an approved automatic sprinkler system shall be provided regardless of occupancy classification. Where the California Fire Code is requiring more restrictive requirements in Sections 903.2.1 – 903.2.20, the more restrictive requirement shall take precedence.

2. Any existing building shall retrofit with automatic fire sprinklers when a structure exceeds 5,000 square feet and changes are made to the building including any of the following; change of occupancy, removal of an existing Fire Wall as defined by the California Building Code, or additions are made to the original building square footage.

Exception: Unless required elsewhere in this code or the California Building Code, automatic fire sprinkler systems shall not be required for the following:

1. Detached Group U occupancies used for agricultural purposes constructed in accordance with the California Building Code.

2. Detached non-combustible equestrian arena shade canopies that are open on all sides and used for riding only - no commercial, assembly or storage uses.

3. Detached fabric or non-combustible shade structures that are open on all sides and used to shade playground equipment, temporary storage of vehicles and dining areas with no cooking.

4. Where determined by the Fire Chief that no major life safety hazard exists, and the fuel load does not pose a significant threat to firefighter safety or to other structures or property, automatic fire sprinklers may be exempted.

One- and two-family dwellings shall have an automatic fire sprinkler system regardless of square footage in accordance with the California Residential Code. Fire sprinkler systems shall be installed in mobile homes, manufactured homes and multifamily manufactured homes with two dwelling units in accordance with Title 25 of the California Code of Regulations.

The following exceptions in the California Fire Code shall not be allowed:

a. Exception in Section 903.2.3.

b. Exception 2 in Section 903.2.11.3.

2. A new Section 903.3.5.3 is added to Section 903 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

903.3.5.3 Hydraulically calculated systems. The design of hydraulically calculated fire sprinkler systems shall not exceed 90 percent of the water supply capacity.

O. Designation of High-Piled Storage Areas.

1. A new Section is added to Section 3204.2 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

3204.2.1 Minimum requirements for client leased or occupant owned warehouses. Designs of an automatic sprinkler system for client leased or occupant owned buildings containing high pile storage shall be based on the requirements of NFPA 13. The responsible fire protection engineer shall perform a survey of the building to determine commodity classification, storage configuration, building height and other information related to the development of an appropriate sprinkler system design. The fire protection engineer shall also make reasonable efforts to meet with the building owner or operator to understand seasonal or customer related fluctuations to the stored commodities, storage height, and configuration. The sprinkler design shall be based on the most demanding requirements determined through the onsite survey and discussions with the building owner or operator. The technical report shall describe the basis for determining the commodity and sprinkler design selection, how the commodities will be isolated or separated, and include references to the design document(s). If a specific fire test is used as the basis of design, a copy of the fire test report shall be provided at the time of plan review.

P. Fire Hazard Severity Zones.

1. A new Section 4904.3 is added to Section 4904 of the California Fire Code to read as follows:

4904.3 High Fire Hazard Severity Zone Maps. In accordance with Government Code Sections 51175 through 51189, Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones are designated as shown on a map titled Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones, dated December 24, 2009, and retained on file at the office of the Fire Chief, which supersedes other maps previously adopted by Riverside County designating high fire hazard areas.

Q. Appendix B.

1. Table B105.2 of the California Fire Code is amended as follows:

TABLE B105.2

REQUIRED FIRE-FLOW FOR BUILDINGS OTHER THAN ONE- AND TWO-FAMILY DWELLINGS, GROUP R-3 AND R-4 BUILDINGS AND TOWNHOUSES

AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEM (Design Standard)

MINIMUM FIRE-FLOW (gallons per minute)

FLOW DURATION (hours)

No automatic sprinkler system

Value in Table B105.1(2)

Duration in Table B105.1(2)

Section 903.3.1.1 of the California Fire Code

50% of the value in Table B105.1(2)a

Duration in Table B105.1(2) at the reduced flow rate

Section 903.3.1.2 of the California Fire Code

50% of the value in Table B105.1(2)b

Duration in Table B105.1(2) at the reduced flow rate

For SI: 1 gallon per minute = 3.785 L/m.

a. The reduced fire-flow shall be not less than 1,000 gallons per minute.

b. The reduced fire-flow shall be not less than 1,500 gallons per minute.

R. Appendix C.

1. Section C103.1 is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

C103.1 Hydrant spacing. Fire apparatus access roads and public streets providing required access to buildings in accordance with Section 503 of the International Fire Code shall be provided with one or more fire hydrants, as determined by Section C102.1. Where more than one fire hydrant is required, the distance between required fire hydrants shall be in accordance with Sections C103.2 and C103.3. Fire hydrants shall also be provided at street intersections.

[Ord. 1419 § 12, 2019; Ord. 1365 § 15, 2016; Ord. 1318 § 19, 2013; Ord. 1287 § 16, 2010; Ord. 1087 § 2, 2002; Ord. 1051 § 2, 1999].