Commission considers new building and fire codes for Columbia
COLUMBIA - The Building Construction Codes Commission discussed international changes in building and maintenance codes that may benefit Columbia.
Wednesday's meeting focused specifically on code changes pertaining to the buildings owned by landlords and lived in by tenants. Most of those changes had to do with fire codes, something Commissioner Rob Jackson said is necessary.
"There's three of us in the room right now, and I'm sure all three of us have burned something and set the smoke alarms off," Jackson said.
Specifically the changes concern the dimensions that smoke detectors must be kept from showers and appliances to prevent false 911 signals.
A representative from the Columbia Fire Department said during the meeting that type of change is important because dispatching firefighters to false fires is just as dangerous as an actual fire. A false alarm will keep firefighters from not being able to get to the actual fires.
Other changes discussed were the costs of demolition and emergency repairs as well as adjusting the language in a current local amendment that does not allow unlicensed vehicles in yards.
Jackson said he understands residents may feel all of these changes are a lot to take, but it's all about safety.
"We're not out to put a burden on the community or landlords that own and operate properties, but we do want our renters to be safe," Jackson said.
The proposed new codes were only discussed in part during this meeting and will continue to be discussed in a series of meetings in the coming months, before multiple committees take the changes to the city council for final approval.