Understanding the Life Safety Code Requirements for Buildings

Almost every building owner is likely familiar with the life safety code requirements for his or her building(s). In case you are reading this and are not familiar with, or do not completely understand the life safety code requirements for buildings, perhaps this blog will help. First, the Life Safety Code, also known as the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 101, is a United States adopted consensus standard concerning the rules, regulations, and requirements for buildings nationwide. The National Fire Protection Association is responsible for its administration and publication, and is trademarked and copyrighted by the NFPA. The Life Safety Code is reviewed and revised every three years. However, and the Life Safety Code’s title likely makes this next part confusing, it is not a legal binding code, is not published as a requirement of law, and has no statutory authority. The Life Safety Code is meant to serve as a standard, or optimal guideline for building safety, and all buildings and structures are expected to comply.

Regarding the contents of the Life Safety Code building requirements, it addresses the construction, occupancy, and protection needs and features deemed necessary to minimize and neutralize any potential threats of danger to life should an unforeseen event as such should materialize. These threats of danger include a fire breakout where smoke, fire, and heat present an apparent threat of danger, among other potential threats. Amendments and revisions can be made to the Life Safety Code by the NFPA.

The Life Safety Code applies to both existing buildings and new structures. When a revision of the code by the NFPA becomes adopted, existing buildings have a grace period before they are expected to comply. Even though the Life Safety Code has statutory limitations, local building inspectors, fire departments, fire marshals, and other bodies and authorities having jurisdiction in the area where the building is located can enforce the code. Regardless of official adoption as lawfully mandated regulations, the Life Safety Code provides a valuable source of pertinent information to the prevention of accidents, and as a guideline of what to do when faced with a life threatening hazard. Moreover, because the Life Safety Code is deemed as a valuable resource for determining liability in accidents, the code is used by insurance companies to evaluate risks and set rates, along with assessing the level of compliance by a building after an incident occurs.

For more detailed information regarding the Life Safety Code requirements for buildings, contact GloBrite Systems. GloBrite’s professionals have a full grasp and understanding of the Life Safety Code requirements as it pertains to buildings, and can help buildings owners or those individuals responsible for code understanding and upkeep discern relevant regulations described in the code. Get your building in compliance, optimize the safety of your building’s occupants, and save yourself the trouble of having to deal with regulators.

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