• 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...

  • State Fire Marshall Issues State Wide Fire Watch Certification Memorandum - Any Person Involved in Hot Work Activity in Massachusetts Requires Proper Certification

    News | Posted by Peter Harrod

    Following the City of Boston’s lead, Massachusetts now requires new provisions when hot work activity is performed in all buildings; from the start of construction/renovation to general building maintenance.  As previously discussed on this page, the new State of Massachusetts Fire Code (527CMR) comes into effect next month on January 1, 2018.  One key change in this version of the Code is that all individuals that are involved in any hot work activity will require proper...

  • Egress Convergence

    Code Compliance | Posted by Paul Moan

    What is “egress convergence” and when am I required to evaluate it?

    Egress capacities are typically evaluated on a floor-by-floor basis, with the occupant load of each story considered individually in calculating the required capacity.  The exception to this approach is where egress convergence results in two floors arriving at a component simultaneously:

    Egress convergence occurs where the means of egress from stories above and below converge at an intermediate level, with occupants...