ICC Amends Fire Extinguisher Code Based on Improved Electronic Monitoring


In a move that’s expected to save countless hours of personnel time for businesses across the country, the International Code Council (ICC) voted to amend its International Fire Code (IFC) requiring physical inspections and maintenance of fire extinguishers from annually to only once every three years if the extinguishers are electronically monitored. The ICC made its decision during the Final Action Hearings held in conjunction with the ICC Annual Conference in Detroit, Michigan, September 25 through October 3, 2005. The code change takes effect in January.

Greg Rogers, President of the Washington State Association of Fire Marshals, which proposed the change to the ICC stated, “Electronically monitored fire extinguishers would be more reliable than their non-monitored counterparts. Their increased safety was the key that led us to endorse the change.”

The ICC allowed electronic monitoring of fire extinguishers in lieu of 30-day physical inspections at the start of 2005. This new amendment of IFC Section 906.2 (2004 Supplement) is another leap forward for electronic monitoring of extinguishers, as it changes required maintenance and inspections from once a year to once every three years.

“Our membership determined that constant electronic monitoring is an improvement over manual inspections,” said, Jim Tidwell, Vice President Fire Service Activities, International Code Council. “They concluded that a three-year inspection is a reasonable back-up measure to the monitoring technology. Overall the intent is to improve the reliability of fire extinguishers and safety for building occupants.”

ICC and National Fire Protection Association Codes require commercial occupancies, including office buildings, hospitals, schools, and hotels, to have fire extinguishers on-site. Moreover, they require 30-day physical inspections of pressure, presence and obstruction to access for each and every extinguisher. These same codes further require that each year an outside firm must come in and conduct similar inspections and maintenance.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
How to use IPD; 2017 Commissioning Giants; CFDs and harmonic mitigation; Eight steps to determine plumbing system requirements
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me