Process Complete: Maryland adopts latest fire codes

Thursday, February 1, 2007

ANNAPOLIS, Md.--After an exhaustive review, the state of Maryland, effective Jan. 1, has adopted three of the latest National Fire Protection Association codes: NFPA 1, the Uniform Fire Code; NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code; and NFPA 101, the Life Safety Code.
"It went through a comprehensive review process," said W. Faron Taylor, deputy state fire marshal. The State Fire Prevention Commission began its review about one year ago, "and they looked at each and every change from the previous edition."
The commission, which has the authority to approve the codes, held "numerous public hearings addressing any and all concerns," Taylor said. There are nine members on the commission and they include representatives from industry, engineering and the general public.
Among the codes approved, NFPA 1 addresses basic fire prevention requirements and references or extracts the fire prevention and protection aspects of many other NFPA codes and standards. NFPA 101 sets minimum building design, construction, operation, and maintenance requirements.
Ray Lonabaugh, Mid-Atlantic regional director for the National Fire Sprinkler Association, said Maryland is one of the states on the forefront of fire protection.
"Maryland is ahead of the game with residential sprinkler ordinances," he said. Five out of Maryland's 23 counties require all new homes to be sprinklered.
Sprinklers have been required in all multi-family homes since 1991 and in all new townhomes since 1992.