The Fire department for Construction broken into 5 sections much the way the Building department is broken into Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Etc. The Sections of the Fire Dept. are Suppression (Mechanical/Plumbing - Anything the puts out fire E.G.: Sprinklers), Alarm (Electrical and other - Detects and tells you about the fire), HazMat (Methyl Ethel Bad Stuff, Flammable Liquids and such), Architectural (General - How and why it's Built), and Site (Planning – Getting permission to build. General access, water supply, and other site restraints).
The Fire Department provides comments through the Planning Department and they issue the approval for site review. The Approval is your permission from the City Council to proceed. However, the general comments made in “Memorandum” format are serious warnings of problems that may exist with the project. As this is a conceptual stage of the project, the comments tend to be generic in nature. These comments should be used as a checklist during design/development. Also, most projects change somewhat as the detailed design commences. The Access and Water issues may be impacted by changes, and must be revisited with the Fire Department. Remember that during Architectural Plan review, the emphasis will be on the Building Plans, not the site. However, site problems will become obvious at the time of inspection and moving foundations tends to be a real problem!
Set up the meeting and be prepared to submit 2 sets of plans through your Planning Representative to the city’s Fire Plans Examiner for review. Although all specific fire issues can be addressed to and discussed with the Fire Plans Examiner, the Planning Project Manager must always be kept informed by the designer and has final say on all aspects of the project.
Note: The number of plans indicated is in addition to those required for other operations.
Architectural rules the roost. You get a Permit card with your approved architectural review called the Fire Department Inspection Card (FDIC), which is the Fire Department’s Building Permit. This card is broken into 4 sections; Fire Protection Systems; Fire Alarm-Detection Systems; Hazardous Materials Section; and Fire Department-Final Inspection. These Sections are further broken down into specific Inspections. All Inspections within the first 3 Sections marked as required by an X, also require a separate permit submittal from a state licensed specialized installation sub-contractor (Sprinkler, Fire Alarm, Fuel Piping, Etc., contractor)(See below). Protection, Alarm, and HazMat Systems submittals will not be reviewed at this time. However, they will be stated as required. You must submit simultaneously for your Architectural HazMat review. The Top 3 Sections of the FDIC must be finaled prior to the FDIC “Fire department-Final Inspection” sign off for completion of the Fire Department Documents.
Again, you may be able to set up the meeting and be prepared to submit 3 sets of plans to the Fire Plans Examiner for review. Note: The number of plans indicated is in addition to those required for other operations.
HazMat will also add comments to the Architectural review, which is why three sets of plans are needed. Then the installation professional hired to complete the specialized HazMat portion(s) of the project will be required to submit plans directly to HazMat at City Hall for the individual installation permit(s) required, if any.
All Hazmat inspections must be finaled prior to the FDIC “Fire department-Final Inspection”.
Suppression and Alarm
Life safety has to be performed by specialized professionals per State law. Hence, each Life Safety System Element gets its own permit. This could be a lot of permits depending on how many systems are required to be installed. The specialized, licensed professional that will perform the installation must submit these permits. The submittal(s) cannot be made until the FDIC has been issued. The installation professional(s) hired to complete the specialized Life Safety portion(s) of the project will be required to submit plans directly to the Fire Plans Examiner at City Hall for the individual installation permit(s) required, if any.
All “Protection and Alarm” inspections must be finaled prior to the FDIC “Fire department-Final Inspection”.