Re: Fire Safety Regulations: Good or Bad?

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Thu Jul 05 2001 - 05:45:33 MDT

Steve Davies wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Lorrey <>
> >Steve Davies wrote:
> >
> >However, there is far more to building codes than just fire prevention:
> >earthquake, flood, hurricane, as well as simple accident prevention. The
> >building and fire codes that your local governments institute are not
> >conjured out of thin air. In fact, the original fire codes were, in
> >fact, instituted by insurance company fire chiefs and building
> >inspectors.
> That's what I said - the change in practice (which was indeed about more
> than fire hazard) was produced by purely private action - the other key
> groups are landlords and developers, hence the use of covenants long before
> any code is adopted, local or otherwise.

Landlords and developers are heinously negligent in the implementation,
and covenant requirements are non-existent unless mandated by a third
party: the insurance industry or local community. Anything they are not
required to do, they do not do, and they fight tooth and nail against
new building code additions that require expensive new systems or
expensive changes in structural design.

As for fire safety measures, they do mandate the most obvious and long
accepted measures: mandating smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and clear
fire lanes for evacuation, though most do so only due to the threat of
fines to themselves from quarterly or annual fire inspections if their
community has them. Note the money thing there....

> >Today, non governmental groups like the ICBO (International
> >Conference of Building Officials), BOCA, etc meet regularly to refine
> >their codes, which are called 'model codes': they have no weight of law,
> >but insurance companies rely on them, and most all state, county, and
> >local governments base their own building and fire codes on these model
> >codes, revising their own codes every 4-12 years as the groups issue new
> >versions with changes that have been debated and voted on by the members
> >from all over the country and the world.
> >
> >These codes are not instituted by fiat, they are not promulgated out of
> >thin air. They are typically studied with detailed scientific
> >experiments, with reports issued and significant peer review done before
> >conclusions are drawn and proposed code changes are written based upon
> >the newest research.
> >
> Indeed, in fact this happens much more widely. The commercial codes of most
> states of the US have been largely drawn up this way, as I understant it.

That is what I said.

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