A week ago Friday (May 5), I attended the monthly meeting of the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission (FP&BSC). I know no one likes more meetings, and certainly long meetings, but there is important information that is learned monthly at these meetings. I'd like to share some of that information this week, and encourage you to follow the actions of the commission - they have strong influence and input into our daily jobs. Here are some bullet points of relevant and important information for you:
- Commission information, including agendas, meeting minutes, and other information discussed below can be found here: https://www.in.gov/dhs/boards-and-commissions/. ;
- Beginning next month, Commission meetings will once again be held in downtown Indianapolis at the Indiana Government Center South (they have been help in Plainfield for the past several years). You can also join the meeting virtually each month, if you are unable to attend in person: from the link above, select Meeting Materials, then Public Notice for the month of the meeting. Because the meetings are also streamed virtually, they are now recorded, and you can view recordings of past meetings, beginning from the middle of 2022. On the link above, scroll down to "Minutes" and click on "View Meeting Recordings".
- Each month, the State Building Commissioner (Craig Burgess) presents interpretations on various complex code questions that have arisen. In May, for example, he presented in interpretation on the reuse of decommissioned elevator hoistways, and important to us, some clarification on the dwelling-garage fire separation in the 2020 Residential Code. You can find the monthly interpretations in the meeting agenda each month, or a complete list, organized by code, can be found here: https://www.in.gov/dhs/boards-and-commissions/non-rule-policy-documentsinterpretations-of-the-commissions-rules/. ; Did you know, for example, that an interpretation was issued that states that live fire training facilities are not Class 1 structures?
- A number of current rules are being re-adopted - the complete list can be found in the agenda of the May meeting at the link above. Administrative rules expire every 7 years, and therefore, must be re-adopted if they must remain effective. The re-adoption process does not allow the rule to be changed in any way. As mentioned last week, one of the rules that is currently being re-adopted is NFPA 1126. We have expressed our concern with the age of the referenced standard (2001 edition), and have recommended that it be updated.
- A long discussion was held regarding HEA 1575, and the impact to both the commission and local jurisdictions. Because we will devote a future email update to legislative changes in 2023, I will not cover the HEA 1575 changes here, other than to say that the current commission appointments will expire on July 31, and as of August 1 the governor must appoint 10 new members of the commission. Stay tuned for much more information regarding this in coming weeks and months.
- Of course, the commission also hears variance requests each month. I always learn new information each month in viewing the variance requests, and hearing the discussion, whether it be a code that I did not know existed, or a different way to interpret a code that I had not thought of.
I strongly encourage you to attend commission meetings when you can, and in person if at all possible. The information leaned, and the networking that occurs, is always valuable information. The next commission meeting will be Tuesday, June 6 at 0900.
Until next week,
Darrel Cross, President