|Action||Update the Statewide Fire Prevention Code|
|Comment Period||Ends 6/29/2018|
Support of the VFPA and VFCA comments and opposition to the process and proposed changes
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed updates and changes to the Statewide Fire Prevention Code. My name is Andrew Wilson and I have served as both Building Official and Fire Official/Fire Marshal of the City of Fairfax for over 20 years. In total I have over 30 years experience in the field of fire prevention. During my career I have spent many hours in code development meetings at the state and national levels on building and fire related codes. I have never experienced as much discord as was shown during the process to develop the proposed changes to the Statewide Fire Prevention Code.I am extremely disappointed in the way this process was conducted and I believe that the proposed re-write significantly reduces our ability to ensure fire and life safety in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
As an experienced fire investigator, I beliebve I have an understanding of the causes and consequences of hostile fire that many involved in the development of thie proposed changes obviously do not. In most localities, when the building has been built, the Building Official's work is done. The Fire Offical is handed a product and is expected to ensure that it is safe and is maintained. I am fortunate to work in a locality where the regulation of new construction is the responsibility of the Fire Department. I was profoundly disappointed to observe the level of discord that exists between the Building official and Fire Marshal in many localities, which was evident during the code development process.
The safety and security of the general public is one of the most important functions of any goverment. If we are unable to come together and accomplish this, we will have failed the people we serve.
I support the comments expresed by the Virginia Fire Prevention Association and the Virginia Fire Chief's Associaiton.
Thank you for your time and attention to this important issue.