Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Housing and Community Development
Board of Housing and Community Development
Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code [13 VAC 5 ‑ 51]
Action Update the Statewide Fire Prevention Code
Stage Final
Comment Period Ended on 6/29/2018
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6/28/18  10:26 pm
Commenter: Brian M. McGraw, P.E. Virginia State Fire Marshal

SFPC Adoption - Section 2306

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Brian McGraw and I am the State Fire Marshal for the Commonwealth of Virginia. As the individual responsible for enforcement of the SFPC in all state facilities and in all portions of the Commonwealth that do not have a local fire official (approximately 63% of the land mass of the Commonwealth) , I would like to add my name to the comments made by the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association.  I would also like to add the following technical concerns to the list already submitted by VFCA.

An area of confusion results from the language used when construction related provisions are removed.  In most of these instances, the proposed text requires that a system or component be “maintained in accordance with the applicable building code”.  For example, in the 2012 SFPC, Chapter 23, “Motor Fuel-Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages”, Section 2306.2.3 currently reads “Above-ground tanks shall not be used for the Storage of Class I, II or III liquid motor fuels, except as provided by this section”.  The proposed language for the 2015 SFPC reads “Above ground tanks located outside shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable building code” and deletes all references to above ground tanks being listed and labeled for their intended purpose.  USBC Section 406, Motor-Vehicle-Related Occupancies, contains no requirements or language related to above ground storage tanks.  So how does one maintain these tanks in accordance with the applicable building code?  USBC Section 406.7, Motor Fuel-Dispensing Facilities, requires compliance with the International Fire Code.  This is a perfect example of having two applicable fire codes and the potential for conflict between them.  Presumably, this is where the requirements related to above ground storage tanks come in based on when the installation was permitted and constructed.  However, the International Fire Code also contains maintenance provisions.  Since the proposed fire code language requires maintenance in accordance with the applicable building code and the building code requires compliance with the International Fire Code, which maintenance provisions take precedence? Those in the International Fire Code, a referenced standard, or those in the SFPC, a state adopted regulation?


Brian M. McGraw, P.E.

State Fire Marshal

Virginia Department of Fire Programs

CommentID: 65611