Retroactive Poneting of Commercial Buildings

 

 

LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT
FIRE PREVENTION BUREAU

Offical seal of Los Angeles Fire Department

RETROACTIVE PONETING OF COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

 

On August 23, 1978 the Los Angeles City Council passed Ordinance No. 151,389. This retroactive Ordinance requires that all commercial buildings over two stories in height and less than 75 feet in height comply with the minimum shaft enclosure and exit requirements of the Building Code.


Although this Ordinance affects company as well as Fire Prevention Bureau occupancies, the Fire Prevention Bureau will make an inspection of all applicable occupancies in order to compile a list of all buildings which are affected by this
Ordinance.


If there is any immediate life hazard condition found in a company occupancy, the Fire Prevention Bureau will notify the concerned company directly for necessary action.  After the Fire Prevention Bureau completes inspection of a company’s first-in district, a list of all the applicable occupancies will be forwarded to the concerned company for notation on their 173 cards.


In order to insure uniformity of application of Ordinance No. 142,713, the following guidelines are to be followed by Conservation Bureau personnel.


A. Section 91.1302 (b) L.A.M.C. — SCOPE


1. The requirements of the new Ordinance shall be app1ied only to buildings erected, prior to January 1, 1943. The requirements shall also supercede all Board and Department approvals which were granted prior to the effective date of the Ordinance and which are now in conflict.


B. Section 91.1302 (c) L.A.M.C. — CORRIDOR WALLS AND OPENINGS


1. The term “in good condition” as it relates to corridor walls and shaft enclosure walls means that the existing construction has not been damaged or has not substantially deteriorated. Where existing
 construction has been damaged, “in kind” repairs may be made as allowed in Section 91.1603 (b) and 91.0103 (d) L.A.M.C.


2. Transom or similar openings may be closed with one hour construction (5/8-inch Gypsum board over both the corridor and room sides of the transom). This is the required wall rating, even though a higher wall rating
may be existing. The Gypsum board shall cover all cracks and openings into the room. Bathtub access panels, located in the lower half of a corridor wall, may be protected by either metal clading or one layer of
5/8-inch Gypsum board.


3. Where corridor wails are constructed of one hour construction or better, all door openings from public corridors to guest rooms and dwelling units shall be protected by Class “C” fire doors or Fire Department approved
equivalent. Replacement of door jamb is not required. Door stops must cover the side and head jamb cracks by at least 1/4-inch and provide a reasonably tight fit.


4. Where corridor walls are constructed of wood lath and plaster, a 1 3/8-inch solid core door with stops that cover the side and head jamb cracks by at least 1/4-inch and provide a reasonably tight fit shall he considered
as meeting the requirements of this Section. In lieu of a 1 3/8-inch solid core door, existing panel doors may be used, if they are altered to meet a standard approved by the Fire Department. (See attached sheet)


C. Section 91.1302 (d) L.A.M.C. - SHAFT ENCLOSURE


1. Stairwell shaft enclosures or alternates are not required when exempted under Exception No.1 of Section 91.1705 (b) M.C. and Exception No. 2 of Section 91.4917 (a) M.C.


2. Stairwell shaft enclosure requirements shall apply to all other shaft openings which would he required to be enclosed by current Code requirements. Existing nonconforming shaft enclosures shall be accepted if in good repair.


3. All door openings into the shaft enclosure, including dwelling unit and guest room doors, shall be protected by self-closing Class “B” fire doors and assemblies.  Required exit doors from dwelling units or guest rooms may open into a
shaft enclosure.

D. Section 91.1302 (e) L.A.M.C. - EXISTING CONDITIONS


1. Standpipe Cabinets and Hoses. Existing wet standpipes or hose cabinets will not be required to be relocated nor will additional wet standpipes orhose cabinets be required in those cases where new fire protective door openings are provided in compliance with this new Fire Safety Ordinance.


2. Hallway and Stairway Ventilation. The installation of partitions and doorsto comply with the requirements of this new Fire Safety Ordinance shall not necessitate the providing of additional hallway or stairway ventilation. 


FIRE DEPARTMENT APPROVED METHODS OF ALTERING DOORS TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 9l.l302 (c) M.C. WHEN CORRIDOR WALLS ARE CONSTRUCTED OF WOOD LATH AND PLASTER


Method No. 1 (28 Minute Protection)


Panels covered on one side with 1/4-inch sheet rock set in sheet rock compound with edges between sheet rock and horizontal or vertical stiles filled with sheet rock compound. Cover sheet rock with one sheet of galvanized window screen mesh lapped on stiles 3/4—inch and perimeter nailed with #4 box nails at four inches on center. Cover sheet rock and screen mesh with 1/4—inch plywood panel. The plywood need not extend to the outer edges of the door stiles and. any nominal attachment will be accepted.


Method No. 2 (29 Minute Protection)


Panels covered on one side with 1/2—inch sheet rock set in sheet rock compound with edges between sheet rock and horizontal or vertical stiles filled with sheet rock compound. Cover sheet rock with one sheet of galvanized window screen mesh lapped on stiles 3/4—inch and perimeter nailed with #4 box nails at four inches on center. Cover sheet rock and screen mesh with 1/8-inch plywood panel. The plywood need not extend to the outer edges of the door stiles and any nominal attachment will be accepted.


Method No. 3 (33 Minute Protection)


Panels covered on one side with 1/2—inch sheet rock set in sheet rock compound with edges between sheet rock and horizontal or vertical stiles filled with sheet rock compound. Cover sheet rock with 1/4-inch plywood panel. The plywood need not extend to the outer edges of the door stiles and any nominal attachment will be accepted.

Call for sheet rock and wire mesh inspection before applying plywood cover panel. Protection may be provided on either the corridor or room side of the door.

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