Proposed International Fire Code changes could have major impact on construction projects

AGC NYS received a call recently from a State construction agency about proposed (and likely imminent) changes to the IFC (International Fire Code) which would be applicable in NYS as part of the adapted International Building Code. He wanted to give a heads up and discuss approach when it passes. The proposed changes include a requirement for a fire watch on all projects 40 feet in height and exceeding 40,000 sq ft during all nonworking hours. It will also require a Site Safety Director designated by the owner and the owner will be required to develop and submit a site safety plan to be approved prior to issuance of a building permit. It is unclear at this point whether these owner duties can be delegated to a contractor, designer or construction manager but would imagine that, at the least, the fire watch duties would be delegated to the contractor. It would be AGC’s view at this point that, since the code applies to the owner, they would need to affirmatively and clearly delegate those duties in the specifications. Stay tuned for updates.

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