Life safety issues, which include the use of fire-rated glazing products, will be discussed again when the International Code Council (ICC) holds its 2016 Committee Action Hearings. The hearings are slated for April 17–27 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky.

Thom Zaremba, code consultant for the Glazing Industry Code Council (GICC), says his group is supporting proposal ADM 16 to Chapter 1 of the International Building Code (IBC). Chapter 1 is the Administrative section and applies to all chapters of the IBC.

If adopted, ADM 16 would add the following language to Chapter 1 of the IBC:

101.3.1 Life safety – When considered as a whole, built environments shall be such that the life safety of building occupants, whether the public, fire fighters or emergency responders, does not depend on a single fire protection system, or fire-resistance-rated material, system or assembly.

Life safety features shall be diverse and, to the extent practicable, redundant in case any single life safety feature is ineffective, whether due to human action, inaction or system failure.”

According to Zaremba, GICC is supporting this proposal because the addition “states what is already being done in the International Building Code … [and] no additional changes to this precept need to be made … Since this is already a guiding precept of the code, it should be articulate amongst the purposes of the code.”

Zaremba also say GICC has pointed out that Section 4.5.1 of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, has a similar statement of precept.

In related codes news, several issues were not resolved during the ICC Group A hearings held in Long Beach, Calif., last year. This was due to failure of some automatic voting devices to count some votes. As a result, ICC recently put the proposals back up for Class A voters whose votes were not counted. FS1 and FS2, proposals which would delete or re-write IBC Section 703.4, are among the proposals that underwent this second series of corrective votes.

“If adopted, fire-rated glazing and, potentially, other fire-resistance construction materials could be adversely affected,” according to Zaremba. “Depending on the outcome of these proposals, the arguments advanced by some segments of the sprinkler industry might be enhanced in an effort to use automatic suppression devices instead of fire-resistance rated construction materials in some applications.”

The do-over vote, which ended January 24, changed the initial FS1 vote outcome in GICC’s favor. Rather than overturning the committee’s recommendation for disapproval, the do-over vote supported it by a vote of 59 to 55, or 52 percent to 48 percent.

As for FS2, those voting in Long Beach agreed with GICC and the committee recommendation for disapproval by a vote of 42 to 22. In the do-over, that result did not change, and the final vote was 72 in favor of disapproval (68 percent) and 34 opposed to disapproval (32 percent).

According to Zaremba, some public comments from the do-over may need to be voted. This will be done in a second vote to be taken at a time to be determined.