East / Regional Reports

Rhode Island Takes Steps To Utilize Building Code

QUINCY, MA — The state of Rhode Island is moving forward with the adoption of a key chapter of the draft NFPA 5000, calling it the first building code being developed through a process accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

At a Jan. 22, 2002 joint meeting, several Rhode Island state commissions approved the use of the existing buildings provisions of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) building code’s current draft to address safety issues in buildings that are more than 10 years old. The commissions included the Rhode Island Building Code Commission, the state’s Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review, and the Rhode Island Joint Committee on the Rehabilitation Building Code for Existing Buildings and Structures.

Existing building provisions in the current draft of NFPA 5000 are designed to help states and local communities encourage the continued use or reuse of existing buildings and structures. The provisions allow for repairs, renovations, reconstruction, and other changes that maintain or improve safety in existing structures.

The proposed NFPA building code is scheduled to be presented to NFPA’s membership in May. The current draft, including the existing building provisions, is available for public review at the association’s website, www.nfpa.org. When finalized, the code will be a key element of a full set of integrated, consensus-based safety codes and standards. That set of codes is being developed by NFPA and its partners, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA).

All NFPA safety codes and standards are developed through an ANSI-accredited process, the association said. The 300 technical committees responsible for developing and updating all NFPA codes and standards include 6,000 volunteers, representing enforcing authorities, installation and maintenance, labor, research and testing, insurance, special experts, consumers, and other users.

All NFPA members have the opportunity to vote before the document is published, the association said.

Developer of the National Electrical Code®, the Life Safety Code®, and 300 other codes and standards through a full, open-consensus process, NFPA is currently developing NFPA 5000, Building Code™, a consensus-based building code. NFPA also produces educational curricula.

Publication date: 02/25/2002

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