Lancaster City Hall 2018

Lancaster City Hall

When: Lancaster City Council meeting, Jan. 12.

What happened: Plans to update the city’s fire prevention regulations moved forward with the first reading of an ordinance adopting the 2015 International Fire Code. The change will better synchronize the efforts of city fire marshals and building code officials, who operate using the 2015 versions of the International Building Code. The two codes are intended to be complimentary.

Why it matters: The IBC contains provisions intended to make the design and construction of buildings safer. The fire code deals more with the safe operation of a building once it is completed and occupied. For example, the building code sets guidelines for number, size and location of exits, while the fire code requires those exits to be unblocked. Because the changes deal primarily with construction standards, potential impact would be on new properties or buildings under construction or being remodeled.

Quotable: “There are some minor modifications throughout the code when you are talking about fire marshals who go out and do the inspections. Certain things under construction may have changed a little bit,” city fire chief Scott Little told council’s public safety committee during a Jan. 4 meeting where the changes were discussed.

Background: The fire code was developed by the International Code Council, an organization formed by the Council of American Building Officials to consolidate what was once three separate, regional sets of building regulations into a consistent, nationwide set of standards. Lancaster is updating the 2015 version because that is the latest version adopted by the state.

What is next: Council is expected to approve the change at its Jan. 26 meeting.

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