Significant changes to the 2018 International Fire Code
The 2018 Significant Changes guides are available for the International Building, Residential, Fire, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes. This valuable series can help any code user save time by zeroing in on the most critical changes in the 2018 International Codes (I-Codes). The Code Council’s technical experts provide summaries, analysis and graphics for these changes making them clear and easy to understand.
2018 International Fire Code
An addition to Section 2306.7.3.1 (Protection from Vehicle Impact) states that the fire code official has the authority to require additional vehicle impact protection at fuel dispensing facilities.
Fuel-dispensing facilities have changed over the past 10–20 years. Many facilities are larger than the previous generations of service stations and there is more on-site traffic because of dispensing operations being combined with mercantile operations. This has led to layouts that do not fit the traditional “wait in line” concept for fueling. The trend to self-service has prompted vehicles navigating through fueling areas, backing up into available fueling positions, and more traffic hazards. In these facilities, the fire code official is now authorized to require additional impact protection.
The IFC provides options on the method of vehicle impact protection. The designer has options of a 6-inch raised curb, guard posts, or other approved equivalent methods. The industry standard is to place impact protection at the end of a row of pumps or provide a 6-inch curb. The 6-inch raised dispenser mounting island provides protection for a parallel vehicle impact and pushes the tire away prior to impact. However, this does not protect against a perpendicular or angled vehicle impact to the island-type dispenser. Impacts from an angular strike are becoming more frequent resulting from jockeying for position.
The new section gives the fire code official the authority to require additional protection, but does not mandate it. There are often designs and layouts where additional protection would not be deemed necessary. The reference to Section 312 provides the flexibility to accept alternative methods of providing vehicle impact protection.
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