Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MARCH 25TH. TWO DAYS OF TRAGEDY


 Family members and friends of victims gathered at a vigil Wednesday night to commemorate the 25th anniversary of a social club fire that killed almost 90 people. At the time, it was the biggest mass murder in U.S. history.

On March 25, 1990, a Cuban refugee named Julio Gonzalez tried to win back the woman who had spurned him. Gonzalez entered the Happy Land social club in the Bronx, which was humming with people — mostly immigrants — partying and dancing. His former live-in girlfriend, Lydia Feliciano, was checking coats, and they had a virulent argument. Gonzalez was thrown out.
In a rage, he returned just after 3 a.m., splashing gasoline on Happy Land's only guest exit and lighting two matches. Then he pulled down the metal front gate.
Within minutes, 87 people were dead.
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The fire was the worst in New York City since 146 workers died in a blaze at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in what is today's Greenwich Village. They were killed exactly 79 years earlier on March 25, 1911

Sunday, February 08, 2015

MY LOSS


My partner and companion of 16 years, Sandra Lee Stevens, has passed away.  She was the love of my life.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


PLAYING THE OCCUPANT LOAD GAME
Kelly P. Reynolds
Code Consulant
Occupant load can have a critical effect on what is required in a building.  It can determine use group, number of plumbing fixtures, number of exits, and fire protection system thresholds. The “rule of thumb” has been that if the building services more than 50 people, then a second exit is required. If the corridors serve less than 30 people, then no rating is required. But, those rules are not always the case.  Let us examine two examples for calculating occupancy load.

THE BASICS - There are 10 basic use group definitions in Chapter 3 of the IBC.  However, when calculating occupancy load, you must go to Table 1004.1.2 of the Code.  There you will notice that the use groups are expanded by “function of space”. The “occupant load factor” (floor area in sq. ft. per occupant) is then determined by gross or net figures. GROSS is measured within the exterior walls without deduction for corridors, stairways, closets or thickness of walls.  NET is the “actual occupied area” not including unoccupied accessory areas such as corridors, stairways, restrooms, equipment rooms and closets.  The NET references in Table 1004.1.2 are for assembly-type uses.

Ø  ACTUAL NUMBER  -  An automated pharmaceutical warehouse is 50,000 sq. ft.  However, there are only five people who work there in a control room.  They do not go into the warehouse because all products are bar coded and RFID marked.  Everything is stored and shipped by robotics.  Therefore, the actual occupant load is 5 persons. It would be posted and the exits and number of restrooms would be based on that “actual number”.

Ø  ALLOWABLE NUMBER -  A restaurant wants to avoid the fire sprinkler requirements for A Use Group of 100 or more persons. Based on the NET floor area using Table 1004.1.2, over 100 persons could occupy the restaurant. However, the owner claims he will not provide seating for that threshold number of 100 persons.  This concept is not permitted due to the fact of who is going to monitor the occupancy load when it is able to accommodate 100 or more persons?  The allowable number refers to the number of persons who could occupy the building.

These are some of the games played by building owners  to avoid  code threshold requirements.  Call me if you need further consulting on the situation at Kelly P. Reynolds - 1-800-950-2633 or e-mail: codexperts@aol.com

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Friday, October 10, 2014

NEW REALITY SHOW IN THE WORKS

I am currently working on writing a show for cable titled "THE INSPECTORS".

 The show would follow building and fire inspectors in schools, nightclubs, offices, and high hazard processes and identify the possible code violations. The viewer would follow them as the corrections are made.

As an added bonus, actual documentation (film slips, photos, newspaper stories) relating to the history of that particular code violation and how it came about would also be presented.
 
 For example, The Coconut Grove Fire in Boston 1942 that killed 492 persons because the exit doors swing into the exiting crowd instead of outward and the patrons were jammed and could not escape. More currently would be the Station Nightclub Fire in Rhode Island in 2003 that killed 100 persons because fireworks were ignited inside.

There are plenty of fires throughout history that lead to today’s code requirements that effect our everyday personal and professional lives.
 
Any suggestions or funny stories would be appreciated.
 
Thanks, Kelly


 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CHANGES TO THE 2015 I-CODES


WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE 2015 I-CODES

2015 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE

The 2015 I-Codes are being finalized.  Here are some of the major changes you will find in some of the 2015 International Codes.

·                                                                                      Installation of new construction fire alarm and detection systems upon any change of occupancy.

·                                                                                      Fire access elevators must be capable of accommodating 3,500 lbs and needs to fit a 24” X 84” stretcher.

·                                                                                      Groups I-1 and I-2 will now have Conditions 1 and 2 based on the level of care being provided.

·                                                                                      The smoke compartment size of Group I-2 was increased from 22,500 sq. ft. to 40,000 sq.ft.

·                                                                                      Group E (Educational) and first responder facilities located in “tornado alley ”must have a storm shelter.

·                                                                                      Chapter 34 (Existing Buildings) has been deleted from the IBC and is now part of the International Existing Building Code.

·                                                                                      Elevators requirements have been moved from Chapter 7 to Chapter 30 for all the code requirements.

·                                                                                                  Pedestrian walkways now have specific requirements instead of exceptions.

·                                                                                      Smoke barriers can terminate at other than the exterior walls when separating areas of refuge and elevator lobbies.

·                                                                                      HVAC ductwork can completely exit a shaft and re-enter another if they are protected by fire and smoke dampers.

·                                                                                      A new standard for foam plastic insulation where wind resistant pressure is required.

·                                                                                      The occupant load for Group M (Mercantile) will be 60 sq. ft. per occupant for all floors.

·        Accessible routes between stories were revised to reflect the provisions of the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design and U.S. Dept. of Justice regs.

 

·        Photovoltaic (PV) panels, modules and integrated products have been defined. New roof live-loads for  these PV installations (solar panels).

 

·        Inconsistencies between the 2012 IBC concrete requirements and the 2011 ACI 318 standard have removed duplicate requirements.

 

2015 International Residential Code

 

·        The prescriptive minimum size footing table is expanded for additional snow loads, soil bearing conditions and houses with built basements.

 

·        The wood joists and span tables reflect the lower spans for southern pine based on current reduced values.

 

·        Wood deck provisions expanded for additional prescriptive guidance for structural capacity joists, beams and posts.  Also, an alternative prescriptive lateral load connection was added.

·        Emergency escape windows, rescue openings, smoke and carbon monoxide detector requirements are re-written to provide clarity.

 

·        Straw bale and straw clay construction has been added to the appendices.

 

2015 International Mechanical Code

 

·        Condensate drain cleanout means and condensate pump interlocks have new requirements.

 

·        Make up air for kitchen exhaust systems has been clarified about the required damper and if make up air can be supplied naturally.

 

·        Bath and kitchen exhaust fan exhaust ducts will be limited in size to ensure intended fan performance.

 ·        For smaller sized ducts you can now use 30 gage sheet metal.

 

·        Duct sealing  requirements tightened to reduce air leaking in common used ductwork.

 

·        Return air requirements has  been re-written to eliminate confusing text and clarify the actual intent.

 

? I will give you other significant provisions to the 2015 I-Codes throughout the year.

 

 

 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

FREE ACCESS TO NFPA CODES

NFPA is making their fire codes and standards available online FREE.  Go to -www.nfpa.org/Free Access

If you want a copy of the Directory of NFPA Cpdes, just contact me at codexperts@aol.com for the FREE download.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

DEFINITION OF ETHICS

Ethics is when you do the right thing when no one is watching.