New Fire Ordinances for SoBoCo
The ordinance is setting new standards for growing communities. To make buildings and subdivisions safer, the Southern Boone County fire district decided after 25 years it was time to enact a new set of fire safety codes, and that is good news for both businesses and homeowners in the growing area. For Fire Marshal Clayton Farr Jr., checking sprinkler systems is just part of his job, even before the new ordinance. With new fire safety standards in place, he says his job is now more focused.
"We have a single reference, a single reference point in the fire code and it will allow buildings to be built in a safe fashion," said Farr.
New guidelines will regulate everything from sprinkler systems to building fire evacuation plans to walls strong enough to contain a fire once it starts. The ordinance also helps plan for newly built subdivisions in the area, meaning having wide enough roads for emergency vehicles, good water supply and efficient turn around radius for vehicles. Fire officals say the area didn't really need local regulations before this year.
"The Southern Boone County Fire District in contrast to most other fire departments in Boone County is an all volunteer firefighters," said Farr. "Therefore it was deemed not appropriate, it was deemed not possible to have a fire code in place."
But now fire officials say the code is needed because of the area's growing population.
"We adopted standards which will hopefully make the structures safer, less likely to burn and which will enhance the ability of the folks inside the structure to get out safely," said Jim Cunningham, President of Southern Boone Fire District.
The new ordinance is already in effect and contractors need to follow the new guidelines. Older buildings and companies are not included in the new codes, but can call or request a Fire Marshal to inspect their older structures as needed.