Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 52 Pa.B. 4384 (July 30, 2022).

34 Pa. Code § 49.2. Jurisdiction and effective dates.

§ 49.2. Jurisdiction and effective dates.

 (a)  Chapters 49—59 apply to all classes of buildings as listed in paragraphs (1)—(5) which have four or more persons housed, employed or assembled as defined in each occupancy group listed in §  50.1 (relating to occupancy groups) and Chapters 49—59 are effective for all buildings which have plans approved on or after May 19, 1984, except that buildings for which design or construction contracts are entered into prior to May 19, 1984, shall be governed by the chapters in effect at the time the contracts were entered into.

   (1)  Class I buildings. Factories, power plants, mercantile buildings, hotels, office buildings, hospitals, asylums, public and private institutions, convalescent and nursing homes, schools, colleges, school and college auditoriums and gymnasiums when used for public assemblages, airports, airport buildings, airplane hangars, dormitories, warehouses, garages, farm buildings, except farm buildings occupied by less than ten employes, which are used for the production or storage, or both, of agricultural products, or used in the storage of farm equipment by the owner or tenant of the building and other buildings specified by the Department not enumerated in Classes II, III, IV and V wherein persons are employed, housed or assembled except farm buildings excluded in Chapters 49—59.

   (2)  Class II buildings. Theatres and motion picture theatres.

   (3)  Class III buildings. Public halls, dance halls, banquet halls, lodge halls, churches, skating rinks, armory halls or other auditoriums in which the public assembles, not used for one or more of the other purposes mentioned in the act.

   (4)  Class IV buildings. Tenement houses, apartment houses, apartment hotels, club houses, lodging houses and rooming houses.

   (5)  Class V buildings. Grandstands, stadiums and amphitheatres and summer theatres.

 (b)  Chapters 49—59 do not apply to single family residences, buildings or structures which are used for group habitation in which living units or apartments are not mixed vertically, farm buildings occupied by less than ten employes, which are used for the production or storage, or both, of agricultural products, or used in the storage of farm equipment by the owner or tenant of the building, and the buildings with less than four persons housed, employed or assembled throughout the building.

 (c)  Chapters 49—59 do not apply to buildings within cities of the First Class, Second Class and Second Class A, as provided in section 15 of the act (35 P. S. §  1235), except that § §  49.21, 50.58 and 55.53 (relating to reimbursement of municipalities for installation of teletypewriters; inspection and maintenance of detection devices in apartments; and automatic fire detection devices for the hearing-impaired), and § §  55.52, 56.52 and 57.52 (relating to automatic systems; required; and automatic alarms) applicable to Class IV buildings, apply throughout this Commonwealth, as provided in sections 3.1, 3.2 and 3.4 of the act (35 P. S. § §  1223.1, 1223.2 and 1223.4). In cities of the First Class, Second Class and Second Class A, § §  50.58, 55.52, 55.53, 56.52 and 57.52 shall be enforced by the city.

 (d)  Chapters 49—59 do not apply to buildings built prior to April 27, 1927, when the following apply:

   (1)  The building does not constitute danger of imminent harm to the occupants.

   (2)  The building complies with the exiting requirements of this title.

   (3)  The occupancy and use of the building has not changed since April 27, 1927.

   (4)  The building has not been altered since April 27, 1927.

 (e)  Chapters 49—59 do not limit the power and authority of local municipalities to adopt and enforce additional or more stringent regulations.

 (f)  Retroactivity. The only provisions of these chapters that have retroactive applicability for existing buildings are the installation of automatic fire alarm systems in C-2, C-3 and C-4 occupancies. Existing buildings such as hotels, motels, apartments, dormitories and other buildings listed in occupancy divisions C-2, C-3 and C-4 will be required to install automatic fire alarm systems as required by §  55.52, §  56.52 or §  57.52 by May 19, 1989.

 (g)  Existing hotels, motels, lodging houses, boarding homes and similar facilities shall comply with §  55.53 by February 4, 1993. Existing buildings subject to §  55.52(b) shall comply with that subsection by February 4, 1993. The management of hotels and motels shall comply with §  49.20 (relating to information concerning protection from fire) by October 7, 1992. This subsection supersedes subsection (f) to the extent existing buildings are required to comply with § §  49.20, 55.52(b) and 55.53.


   The provisions of this §  49.2 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 (89022) and (118037).

Notes of Decisions


   Although the Department of Labor and Industry Industrial Board did not have jurisdiction over single family residences, the Department could enforce the Fire and Panic Act (35 P. S. § §  1221—1235), against a tax collector who maintained a public office in the residence. Gnarra v. Department of Labor and Industry, 658 A.2d 844 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995); appeal dismissed 672 A.2d 1318 (Pa. 1996).


   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).

No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.