Codes & Standards
Codes and standards are the guiding force behind the hearth and barbecue industry. There are building codes, fire prevention codes, safety standards, construction standards and much more. In the following pages you will be able to research which codes and standards relate to your area of interest and where to get more detailed information. Also, you will be able to determine when that code or standard may be updated or when there will be a meeting of a task force related to it.
Before you get started...
Codes are typically legal documents that have the force of groups such as the International Code Council (ICC) behind it and are enforced by such groups through building inspectors.
Standards are guidance documents, often written by experts in their field. They are created by Standards Development Organizations (SDO's) with Code Groups looking to the SDO's for guidance in writing code.
Click the links below to learn more about codes that are important to HPBA membership:
- International Residential Code, International Building Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Energy Conservation Code, International Mechanical Code: http://www.iccsafe.org/Pages/default.aspx
- International Code Council (ICC) 700 National Green Building Standard: http://www.nahb.org/page.aspx/generic/sectionID=2510
- ICC Codes - Adoption by state: http://www.iccsafe.org/gr/Documents/stateadoptions.pdf
- ICC Codes - Adoption by state with interactive map: http://www.iccsafe.org/gr/Pages/adoptions.aspx
Would you like to become more involved?
Sign up on CSA Group's Community of Interest website at: https://community.csagroup.org/welcome
- After you sign up please visit the Fuel Burning community section for information relevant to HPBA members.
2015 Codes and Standards Currently Under Revision:
Last update 9/14/2015
- NFPA 211—restricting the use of replacement products on fireplaces.
Following an unusually circuitous balloting process, all problem items in the most recent National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211 ballot have now been resolved. As you may recall, the NFPA 211 Committee had several proposals that were threatening the use of aftermarket products for repair and replacement of existing fireplaces,chimneys and accessories, as well as proposals to restrict new installations, in particular of gas log sets in new fireplaces.
In the maintenance portion of the standard, the committee will now allow for the approval by a Qualified Agency (such as NFI or CSIA). The first draft language created by the NFPA 211 Committee for the maintenance portion of the standard only allowed listed and approved products or approval by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ/Building Inspector). Without this wider approval authority, confusion could arise. For example, in situations where installations include products from a manufacturer who later went out of business, and/or the original parts became unavailable, fireplaces would be condemned for lack of relevant parts, even though comparable parts are available on the market.The adopted change gives those Qualified Agencies the ability to make educated decisions on the use of comparable parts.
For the new installation portion of the proposals, the Committee's first draft proposed language would have unnecessarily restricted the installation of a number of products due to a requirement that products be listed and approved for "specific fireplaces." This would have required all gas log sets, for example, to be listed and approved for each fireplace for which they could be installed. Up to this point, the requirements for gas logs in UL 127 fireplaces were typically limited only by Btu output. HPBA saw this as unnecessary and overly restrictive. After two ballots carrying proposed changes in language were defeated, the end result is the same. The existing language that has been in the code for over 15 years will stay in effect.
The initial effort to modify the 2015 Edition of the National Fuel Gas Code (ANSZ223.1/NFPA 54) that will culminate into the 2018 Edition has started. All comments received in July have been assembled and distributed to 3 different Advisory Panels for initial recommendations. The three NFPA 54/ASC Z223 Advisory Panels are scheduled to meet on September 14-17, 2015, meetings in Atlanta and the agendas and submitted support materials are available at www.aga.org at this link and at www.nfpa.org/54. Please note that there are a total of 154 Public Inputs, the most submitted in many cycles. They have been assigned according to the subject matter (Piping Panel, Equipment Panel and Venting Panel). Three of them (global standards updates) will be held for the full committee meeting in October. They break down as follows:
- Piping Panel: 87
- Equipment Panel: 37
- Venting Panel: 27
- Unassigned: 3
The 3 Advisory Panel recommendations on each proposal will then be sent to the full Z223.1/NFPA 54 Committee for their consideration. The full committee meeting will make a recommendation on each proposal at their meeting on October 13-15 (details to be coming) in the San Francisco area. The full committee’s recommendations will be published for another round of public review. A number of the proposals are troublesome for fuel gas installations and will need to be addressed during the review process.
Gasketed Fireplace Issue (IRC 2009 & IRC 2012):
HPBA is concerned with the number of municipalities and states that are now adopting or have adopted either the 2009 or the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC). Contained in the 2009 IRC is the requirement to use gasketed fireplace doors. The code states: R1001.13 Fireplaces. New wood-burning fireplaces shall have gasketed doors and outdoor combustion air. HPBA was able to get this constraint out of the 2012 IRC, but it lived on in a section referred to as “the checklist.” After attempting to get the requirement removed from the 2012 IRC by stating the safety hazard involved (by requiring something that would be a violation of the safety standard of UL 127 fireplaces and a possible fire hazard), we were turned down by the International Code Council (ICC). HPBA was finally able to get all language regarding “gasketed doors” removed from the 2015 IRC.
This is a dangerous requirement. UL 127 fireplaces are typically not tested with gasketed fireplace doors and the addition of these products may cause heat buildup within the unit for which they are not tested. In fact, the word “gasket” or “gasketed” are not contained within the UL 127 Standard. This can very easily create operational concerns due to excess heat buildup.
It is essential that, when confronted with this issue by a local building official (Authority Having Jurisdiction or “AHJ”),your approach should be that the gasketed door requirement ran contrary to manufacturers’ installation instructions and was a safety concern of the manufacturers installation instructions and that it has (as of the 2015 code) been removed as a requirement.