• Shaftway Signage - Fire Fighter Safety

    Code Compliance | Posted by Caitlin Gamache

    527 CMR and 780 CMR both require every outside opening accessible to the fire department that opens directly on any hoistway or shaftway communicating between two or more floors be plainly marked with a sign.  The sign must have red letters on a white background that reads “SHAFTWAY” with letters that are at least 6 inches high.  All required signage must be readily visible from the outside of the building.  The purpose of the requirement is to warn responding personnel that...

  • Massachusetts Permitting 101 - Fire Protection Systems

    Code Compliance | Posted by Chad Farrell
    The permit process can often be a challenging endeavor and one that can often impact project timeframes bottom lines. Understanding the required documentation at each step along the permitting process can help mitigate unnecessary pitfalls that are commonly felt by the applicant.

    In Massachusetts, the document submittal process includes three (3) tiers of submittals per 780 CMR §901.2.1, Massachusetts State Building Code:
    • Tier I – Construction Documents
    • Tier II - Shop Drawings
    • Tier III - Record...
  • City of Providence Requires NFPA 241 Documentation at Time of Permit

    Code Compliance | Posted by Peter Harrod


    The City of Providence has been expecting Construction Fire Safety Plans as part of their permit submission process for years.  They have recognized that many disasters (fires, explosions and other mishaps resulting in injury or loss of life) have occurred during demolition and construction.  The Rhode Island Fire Code (RIFC) & NFPA 241 are in place to prevent same or reduce negative outcome if an emergency occurs.  The City of Providence is expecting to receive NFPA...

  • When Are Building Permits Required in Massachusetts?

    Code Compliance | Posted by Carl Nelson

    The requirements for building permits are often overlooked and misunderstood. 780 CMR, Massachusetts State Building Code, Section 105 addresses when building permits are required. Building permits are essential to help ensure that work is being completed correctly and safely. It is illegal and unlawful to complete work without first filing an application with the building official and obtaining the required permit, unless the work is otherwise exempt.

    In general, a permit is required for most...

  • How to Measure the Clear Egress Width of a Stairway

    Code Compliance | Posted by Rebecca Barolli
    Tags: 780 CMR

    Under the Massachusetts State Building Code, 780 CMR, the width of a stairway is typically measured from outside stringer to outside stringer.  Stairways are required to have a minimum width of 44”.  Handrails are permitted to project into the required minimum width by a maximum of 4 ” on each side of the stair.

    If a floor has a total occupant load of less than 50 people, the minimum width of a stairway can be reduced to 36”.

    In non-sprinklered buildings, stairways serving as an...