“I see one of the City’s primary jobs as helping to improve our business climate, allowing the private sector to grow and create jobs. Changes like these can make the difference between a project moving ahead or becoming stalled through overly burdensome regulation,” says Mayor Condon. “I am appreciative of the work of the Fire Department to propose these modifications and to the City Council for approving these amendments.”
On July 19th, 2012 Spokane Mayor David Condon signed into law a new ordinance that amends a number of Spokane fire codes to encourage business development. Though the fire codes are created to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, Mayor Condon believes that when too stringent, they can cause business expansion and growth to stall.
To help reduce the high costs associate with fire codes, the following amendments have been made to Spokane Fire Code:
• Increases the allowable distance to a fire hydrant for an un-sprinkled building to 500 feet, from 250 feet now. Buildings with sprinklers can now be 750 feet from a hydrant. This means fewer projects would have to put in new hydrants, minimizing overall development costs.
• Allows buildings to receive credit for fire hydrants that are on the opposite side a four-lane street or a street with a median divider, as long as they are within the allowable distance. This was not allowed previously and again reduces the need for new hydrants.
• Allows for smaller driveways in residential areas if there is an on-site location with an adequate turning radius for a fire truck. This could help encourage infill development within residential areas with site access issues.
• Allows building owners to use smoke-detection equipment in elevators instead of more expense heat-detection equipment and associated shunt trip equipment.
• Increases the allowable distance between a fire hydrant and the Fire Department connection for new standpipe or fire sprinkler systems to 500 feet from 150 feet. These connections allow firefighters to use the sprinkler or standpipe system to help fight a fire and increasing the distance provides greater flexibility on a project and possible reduced costs.
• Adds an approved alternative to fire sprinkling in existing basements. This provision provides an option for building or business owners that could avoid costs on some rehabilitation or remodeling projects.
To find out how your business could benefit from these changes, contact us here.