1.3 Fire Protection Codes and Standards:
A. The Public Buildings Amendment Act (PL 100-678) requires all federal agencies to follow the
latest editions of nationally recognized fire and life safety codes. It also requires federal
agencies to give local fire protection officials the opportunity to review and comment on
projects for compliance with local regulations and compatibility with local fire fighting
practices. All reviews by local fire protection officials are to be at no cost to the Government.
Designers should meet with local fire authorities during early stages of design to incorporate
local requirements to the extent practical; however, recommendations made by local officials
should be reviewed for adequacy, cost, and nationally accepted practice before being
incorporated into project design.
B. VA has adopted the National Fire Codes (NFC) published by the National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA), which establish a minimum acceptable level of life safety and property
protection. Life safety requirements are specifically addressed in the Life Safety Code,
NFPA 101. Where conflicts exist between codes, the designer shall follow the code specified
in the text under the subject section of this manual. Fire Protection design shall be based on
the latest editions of the NFC at the Date of Award of the contract to the
Architectural/Engineering (A/E) firm (or Design/Build firm). Under special circumstances,
the VA will require compliance with a more recent code edition when significant changes to
the code have occurred between the Date of Award to the A/E and the Date of Award to the
prime contractor for construction.
Note: Special circumstances would include a situation where a designed project sat
"on the shelf" for an extended period of time, or where a significant change to the code
was made and where incorporating that change would improve safety in the opinion of
C. Fire protection features not addressed by the NFC shall be designed to comply with
requirements of the latest edition of the Uniform Building Code (UBC) or as otherwise
addressed in this manual. Other references are listed in Appendix B.
D. Strict compliance to codes and standards is mandatory for new construction. If equivalent
protection is proposed by the designer for renovations, submit requests and supporting
rationale through the respective Network Safety Manager or SFPE to the Safety and Fire
Protection Engineer (10NB) in VA Central Office.
1.4 Fire Protection During Construction:
A. Coordinate with the facility prior to and concurrent with design.
B. Fire protection during construction shall comply with VA Master Construction Specification
(VAMCS) 01010, General Requiremnets. (Note: VAMCS 01010, General Requiremnets
addresses NFPA 241, JCAHO Interim Life Safety Measures, Hot Work Permits, etc.)