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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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34 Pa. Code § 49.1. Definitions.

§ 49.1. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter and Chapters 50—59, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Act—The act of April 27, 1927 (P. L. 465, No. 299) (35 P. S. § §  1221—1235) referred to as the Fire and Panic Act.

   Addition—An extension or enlargement of a building.

   Agriculture—The art of cultivating the soil, producing and harvesting crops and raising livestock.

   Aisle—The clear width and length of an area which is provided for ingress or egress between rows of seats, or between rows of seats and wall, or between desks, tables, counters, machines, or other equipment or materials, or between such articles or materials and a wall.

   Alteration—Any change, modification or rearrangement of a building which affects this chapter and Chapters 50—59.

   Apartment—A room or suite of rooms with sanitation facilities and with or without cooking facilities, and occupied as the home or residence of a single family, individual or group of individuals.

   Approved—Accepted by the Department. Designs, equipment and devices which have been listed by Underwriters Laboratories or approved by Factory Mutual or other testing laboratory accepted by the Board which meets this chapter and Chapters 50—59 shall be considered approved by the Department.

   Attic—An uninhabited space between the top of the ceiling framing of the top habitable story and the roof framing and walls constituting a part of the enclosure of the space.

   Automatic closing device—An approved device attached to a door and frame which automatically causes a door to return to the closed position.

   Automatic fire alarm system—A system designed to detect products of combustion and provide automatic notification to building occupants. It shall be composed of detection devices, alarms, power source, wiring, control panel and other related components as necessary.

   Automatic fire detection device for the hearing-impaired—A device designed to detect products of combustion and provide automatic notification to hearing-impaired persons by visual signals or other methods approved by the Department.

   Balcony—A floor level open to the floor below. A floor level shall be considered a story when it exceeds 1/3 of the area of the floor it is open to. A space enclosed with floor to ceiling partitions shall be considered a story except for toilet facilities and incidental rooms which are not occupied.

   Basement—A floor level completely below grade or floor level in which more than 2/3 of the perimeter walls are below grade. A wall shall be considered below grade where the dimension from the first floor line to the finished grade is 5 feet or less, and the slope of the finished grade extending 10 feet from the building walls does not exceed 30%.

   Bearing wall—A wall which supports a vertical load in addition to its own weight.

   Boiler room—A room which houses one or more boilers.

   Building—A structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering a use or occupancy. Portions of a structure may be considered separate buildings when the following conditions are met:

     (i)   Each portion is separated by 2-hour fire walls.

     (ii)   Not less than 50% of the required exits discharge directly to grade.

   Combustible—Capable of igniting and continuing to burn or glow at or below a temperature of 1200°F.

   Cubic content of a building—The cubic space as calculated by using the architectural volume of buildings, D101-1980 published by The American Institute of Architects.

   Danger of imminent harm—The existence of conditions in buildings which are either so inadequately equipped with exit facilities, so structurally unstable, so clearly unsuitable for the use or occupancy to which it is put or was designed, or so inadequately maintained that an immediate and clear probability of death or serious injury exists to those employed, accomodated, housed, or assembled there in the case of fire or panic.

   Duct—A tube, pipe, conduit or passageway used to convey air, gases or vapors.

   Elevator—A car, cage or platform raised or lowered vertically in permanent guides or rails, including the necessary operating mechanism, used to transport persons or materials.

   Emergency communications center—A consolidated communications dispatch center established by counties, or other units of local government, for the reporting of police, fire, medical or other emergency situations.

   Escalator—A moving continuous inclined stairway or runway used for raising or lowering persons.

   Exit—That portion of a means of egress which is separated from other spaces of the building or structure by construction or equipment as required to provide a way of travel to the exit discharge.

   Exit access—The portion of a means of egress which leads to an exit.

   Exit discharge—The portion of a means of egress between the termination of an exit and a safe area of refuge outside of the building or structure which has direct access to a public street or thoroughfare or an open area with unrestricted access to a public street or thoroughfare.

   Farm building—A building used for the production or storage, or both, of agricultural products, or used in the storage of farm equipment.

   Fire alarm system—See ‘‘manual fire alarm system.’’

   Fire damper—An automatic self-closing noncombustible barrier designed to prevent the passage of air, gases, smoke or fire through an opening, duct or plenum chamber.

   Fire door assembly—An assembly of components which includes doors, frames, latches, self-closing devices and other appropriate hardware which has been given an assembly rating by an approved testing agency. The assembly rating is void when any of the required components are omitted or altered.

   Fire exit hardware—A device designed to provide quick release of a door. The device shall be listed for panic release and labeled fire doors.

   Fire partition—An interior partition having a minimum 1-hour fireresistive rating. Fire partitions are intended to restrict the spread of fire but are not necessarily continuous through stories nor extended through the roof. Openings shall be protected by at least a 3/4-hour C label door assembly.

   Fireresistive construction—The type of construction in which the walls, floors, roof and structural members are steel, iron, masonry, concrete or other noncombustible materials meeting all of the requirements of §  50.11(a) (relating to construction tables).

   Fireresistive rating—The time in hours that material or construction will withstand fire exposure as determined by a fire test made in conformity with the ‘‘Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials.’’ (ASTM E119).

   Fire-retardant treated wood

     (i)   A wood product treated by an approved pressure process to meet the standards of ASTM test designation E-84 Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, to have a flamespread classification of 25 or less and to show no evidence of significant progressive combustion when the test is continued for 30 minutes. The flame front shall not progress more than 10 1/2 feet beyond the center line of the burners at any time during the test.

     (ii)   Fire-retardant wood products shall bear identification showing the fire hazard classification thereof issued by an approved agency having a re-examination service.

     (iii)   Where fire-retardant treated wood products are to be subjected to sustained high humidity or exposed to weather, they shall be further identified as to indicate that there is no increase in the listed flamespread classification as defined in this section when subjected to ASTM D2898 Standards Methods for Accelerated Weathering of Fire-Retardant Treated Wood for Fire Testing.

     (iv)   Subsequent to treatment, fire-retardant treated lumber and plywood shall be dried to a moisture content of 19% or less for lumber and 15% or less for plywood.

   Firestopping—A barrier designed to retard the spread of fire in concealed spaces which contain combustible construction, such as attics, walls, partitions, floor framing and spaces above ceilings.

   Fire wall—A wall constructed of noncombustible materials having a 2-hour or greater fireresistive rating and adequate structural stability to restrict the spread of fire. Openings shall be protected by rated label door assemblies appropriate for the hourly fireresistive rating of the wall. Fire walls shall extend to the underside of the roof sheathing.

   Flame spread rating—The measurement of flame spread on a surface as determined by tests conducted in conformity with NFPA 255, 1979.

   Floor area—The surface area included within surrounding walls of a building, except vent shafts, elevator shafts, courts, fire towers and the like.

   General alarm—An alarm condition that is signaled throughout the building or a fire zone of a structure.

   Heat detector—A device which detects abnormally high temperature or rate-of-temperature rise.

   High rise building—A building that has an exterior face which exceeds 75 feet when measured from ground level to five feet above the highest occupiable floor level.

   Historic building—A building or structure listed as an historic building or structure by the Historic and Museum Commission.

   Horizontal exit—A passageway through a 2-hour fire wall from one structure or building to another structure or building, or area of refuge within the same building.

   Imminent harm—See ‘‘danger of imminent harm.’’

   Initiating device—A device that is capable of being operated manually or automatically for the purpose of reporting alarms to building occupants.

   Intercommunicating stairway—A stairway which connects two or more floor levels of a building. It may be open to one floor level. It is not required to discharge directly to grade.

   Interior finish—The exposed interior surfaces of a building. Paint, wallpaper not more than 1/28 inch thick, and similar wall finishes having no greater fire hazard than wallpaper shall not be considered interior finishes.

   Label—An identifying mark or symbol attached to equipment or materials listing the approved organization that maintains periodic inspection of production to insure compliance with appropriate standards or performance.

   Large personal care home—See ‘‘personal care home.’’

   Listed—Equipment or materials included in a list published by approved organizations concerned with product evaluation. The listing states either that the equipment or material meets appropriate standards or has been tested and found suitable for use in specified manner.

   Living unit—A suite of rooms with sanitation facilities, cooking facilities and common living areas which are used as a home, residence or temporary lodging.

   Manual fire alarm system—A system that consists of manual pull stations, signaling devices, power source, control panel and other related components which is designed to provide notification to all building occupants.

   Means of egress—A continuous and unobstructed way of travel from any point in a building or structure to a safe area of refuge outside of the building or structure.

   Mezzanine—A floor level open to the floor below. A floor level shall be considered a story when it exceeds 1/3 of the area of the floor it is open to. A space enclosed with floor to ceiling partitions shall be considered a story except for toilet facilities and incidental rooms which are not occupied.

   Noncombustible—Incapable of igniting and continuing to burn or glow at or below a temperature of 1200°F.

   Noncombustible construction—The type of construction in which all structural members including walls, floors, roofs and their supports are steel, iron, masonry, concrete or other noncombustible materials having a minimum fireresistive rating as indicated in §  50.11(b).

   Ordinary construction—The type of construction in which the exterior walls are of masonry, concrete or other noncombustible material meeting §  50.11(c).

   Panic hardware—A device designed to provide quick release of an exit door. Panic hardware shall not be used on doors which are required to be a part of a fire door assembly such as stair tower doors.

   Penthouse—A structure built above a roof. The use is limited to the housing of machinery, mechanical equipment and stairways. A penthouse shall not be construed as being a story.

   Personal care home—A premise that is approved and licensed as a personal care boarding home by the Department of Public Welfare in which food, shelter and personal assistance or supervision are provided for a period exceeding 24 hours for four or more residents who are not relatives of the operator or owner and who require assistance or supervision in such matters as dressing, bathing, diet or medication prescribed for self-administration. Personal care homes shall be separated into small personal care homes (four through eight residents) and large personal care homes (nine or more residents).

   Presignal alarm—An alarm which only causes selected signalling units to operate in designated areas.

   Protected heavy timber construction—The type of construction in which the exterior walls, floors, roof and structural members are of masonry, reinforced concrete or other approved noncombustible materials and heavy timber members of minimum nominal sizes specified in §  50.11(c).

   Remodeled—See ‘‘alteration.’’

   Resident—A person, unrelated to the owner or operator, who resides in a facility in return for consideration.

   Revision—Changes to an open plan approval which does not add square footage or cubic footage to a building.

   Selective coded—An alarm system in which each initiating device causes the signalling units to operate a specific number of preprogrammed pulses that is indicative of the device that caused the alarm. Each alarm initiating device has its own code.

   Self-closing doors—Doors which, when opened and released, return to the closed position.

   Shaft—A vertical opening or passage through one or more floors of a building, or through a floor and the roof.

   Single-station detection device—A device capable of detecting products of combustion and providing an alarm to occupants which is not interconnected or linked by wiring or wireless communication with other detection devices or a building fire alarm system.

   Small personal care home—See ‘‘personal care home.’’

   Smoke barrier—A partition or wall with self-closing doors, constructed in a manner which will retard the passage of smoke.

   Smoke detector—A device which detects the visible or invisible particles of combustion.

   Stage—A partially enclosed portion of building which is designed or used for the presentation of plays, demonstrations or other entertainment wherein scenery, drops or other effects may be installed or used, and where the distance between the top of the proscenium opening and the ceiling of the stage is more than 5 feet.

   Stair tower—A stairway which is separated from all floors or areas of a building by construction having a fire-resistive rating. Stair towers shall include all vertical and horizontal travel required to lead to grade by an exit discharge.

   Stairway—One or more flights of stairs and the necessary landings and platforms connecting them to form a continuous and uninterrupted passage from one floor to another.

   Standpipe—A wet or dry fire line in a general vertical position installed exclusively for fire fighting, extending to each story of a building and having a hose outlet in each story.

   Story—The portion of a building which is between one floor level and the next higher floor level or roof. If a mezzanine or balcony floor area exceeds 1/3 of the area of the floor it is open to, it shall be considered a story. Floor levels meeting the definition of basement, attic or penthouse shall not be considered stories.

   Supervised—Electronic monitoring to determine the functional condition of a system.

   Teletypewriter—A device, also referred to as a telecommunications device for the deaf, or TDD, resembling a typewriter that is used to send and receive telephone signals and which permits telephone communication with deaf persons.

   Veneered wall—A wall having a non load bearing facing of masonry or other materials securely attached to the backing but not bonded so as to exert a common reaction under load.

   Winders—See ‘‘winding stair.’’

   Winding stair—A stair where the angle between the longitudinal edges or sides of the tread exceeds 10 degrees.

   Wood frame construction—The type of construction in which the structural parts and materials are of wood or are dependent upon wood frame for support; the term also includes construction having a noncombustible exterior veneer.

   Zone coded—An alarm system in which each initiating device in a general area is connected as a single zone. When any one of the devices is actuated, signalling units operate a specific number of preprogrammed pulses that is indicative of the general area or zone the alarm was initiated in.

Source

   The provisions of this §  49.1 adopted May 18, 1984, effective May 19, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 1765; amended August 7, 1992, effective August 8, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 4091. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (159593) to (159594) and (89017) to (89022).

Notes of Decisions

   Automatic Sprinklers

   The regulations exempt cities of the first class from complying with Chapters 49—59, which require high rise buildings to have an automatic sprinkler system. A city of the first class has a population of 1 million or more under 53 P. S. §  101 (1993). Because Philadelphia was a city of the first class the city was not bound by the Pennsylvania Code provisions. In re One Meridian Plaza Fire Litig., No. 91-2171 Consolidated with Nos. 91-2172, 91-2226, 91-2227, 91-2374, 91-2545, 91-2546, 91-2547, 1994 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 4343 (E. D. Pa. April 6, 1994), summary judgment denied, No. 91-2171, 1994 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 5532, Prod. Liab. Rep. (CCH) para. 13918 (E. D. Pa. April 29, 1994).

   Mezzanine

   The second-level room used as an office by the dentist is enclosed with floor to ceiling partitions on three sides and is only open to the lower floor on the fourth side where a stairway leads to the floor below. This second-level structure is not sufficiently open to the floor below to qualify as a ‘‘mezzanine’’ under this regulation. Indeed, to qualify as a ‘‘mezzanine,’’ a second level must be sufficiently open so that occupants of the second level can easily observe or hear fire and panic on the floor below. That is not the case where occupants of the second level can only see the first floor from the top of the stairway and where three floor-to-ceiling partitions hinder the occupants’ ability to hear sound from the lower floor. Valimont v. Department of Labor and Industry, 667 A.2d 759 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995).

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  51.72 (relating to automatic sprinkler systems); 34 Pa. Code §  52.72 (relating to automatic sprinkler systems); and 34 Pa. Code §  58.72 (relating to automatic sprinkler systems); and 34 Pa. Code §  60.1 (relating to definitions).



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