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The Florida Statutes

The 1999 Florida Statutes

Title XXXVII
INSURANCE
Chapter 633
Fire Prevention and Control
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1633.025  Minimum firesafety standards.--

(1)  Each municipality, county, and special district with firesafety responsibilities shall adopt minimum firesafety standards which shall operate in conjunction with the state minimum building code adopted by such local jurisdiction as required by s. 553.73. The minimum firesafety standards shall not apply to buildings and structures subject to the uniform firesafety standards under s. 633.022 and buildings and structures subject to the minimum firesafety standards adopted pursuant to s. 394.879.

(2)  Pursuant to subsection (1), each municipality, county, and special district with firesafety responsibilities shall adopt and enforce the codes specified in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), or paragraph (d) as the minimum firesafety code:

(a)  The Standard Fire Prevention Code, 1985 edition or subsequent edition, as adopted by the Southern Building Code Congress International.

(b)  The EPCOT Fire Prevention Code.

(c)  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Pamphlet 1, 1985 edition or subsequent edition.

(d)  The South Florida Fire Prevention Code, subject to the provisions of subsection (4).

(3)  In addition, each municipality, county, and special district with firesafety responsibilities shall adopt National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code, 1985 edition or subsequent edition, as part of the minimum firesafety code.

(4)  It is the intent of the Legislature that a South Florida Fire Prevention Code be promulgated as a further option to counties, municipalities, and special districts with firesafety responsibilities as an alternative to the firesafety codes specified in paragraphs (2)(a), (b), and (c). In the event that an appropriate South Florida Fire Prevention Code is submitted by the Broward County Board of Rules and Appeals or the Dade County Board of Rules and Appeals to the Legislature by March 1, 1988, such code or codes shall be deemed to be an alternative to the firesafety codes specified in paragraphs (2)(a), (b), and (c) as of July 1, 1988, unless the Legislature expressly prohibits the use of such code. Until July 1, 1988, Dade and Broward Counties may use the firesafety standards within their current Fire Prevention Code as an alternative. In the event Dade or Broward County fails to adopt a South Florida Fire Prevention Code as of July 1, 1988, then such county shall be subject to subsections (2), (3), and (6).

(5)  Such codes shall be minimum codes and a municipality, county, or special district with firesafety responsibilities may adopt more stringent firesafety standards. Such county, municipality, or special district may establish alternative requirements to those requirements which are required under the minimum firesafety standards on a case-by-case basis, in order to meet special situations arising from historic, geographic, or unusual conditions, if the alternative requirements result in a level of protection to life, safety, or property equal to or greater than the applicable minimum firesafety standards. For the purpose of this subsection, the term "historic" means that the building or structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places of the United States Department of the Interior.

(6)  The minimum firesafety standards that counties, municipalities, and special districts are required to adopt pursuant to this section shall be adopted by January 1, 1988. No municipality or county or special district shall be required to amend an ordinance which presently complies with this section. In the event that any such local governmental entity fails to adopt minimum firesafety standards by January 1, 1988, the minimum firesafety standards shall consist of the Standard Fire Prevention Code, 1985 edition, and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code, 1985 edition.

(7)  The new building or structure provisions enumerated within the firesafety code adopted pursuant to this section shall apply only to buildings or structures for which the building permit is issued on or after January 1, 1988. Subject to the provisions of subsection (8), the existing building or structure provisions enumerated within the firesafety code adopted pursuant to this section shall apply to buildings or structures for which the building permit was issued or the building or structure was constructed prior to January 1, 1988.

(8)  With regard to existing buildings, the Legislature recognizes that it is not always practical to apply any or all of the provisions of the minimum firesafety code and that physical limitations may require disproportionate effort or expense with little increase in lifesafety. Prior to applying the minimum firesafety code to an existing building, the local fire official shall determine that a threat to lifesafety or property exists. If a threat to lifesafety or property exists, the fire official shall apply the applicable firesafety code for existing buildings to the extent practical to assure a reasonable degree of lifesafety and safety of property or the fire official shall fashion a reasonable alternative which affords an equivalent degree of lifesafety and safety of property. The decision of the local fire official may be appealed to the local administrative board described in s. 553.73.

(9)  Nothing herein shall preclude a municipality, county, or special district from requiring a structure to be maintained in accordance with the applicable firesafety code.

(10)  With respect to standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code, 1985 edition, s. 19-3.4.2.1, those standards shall not apply to structures having direct access to the outside from each living unit and having three stories or less.

(11)  With respect to standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code, 1985 edition, s. 19-3.4.4.1, battery operated smoke detectors shall be considered as an approved detection device for buildings having direct access to the outside from each living unit and having three stories or less.

History.--s. 6, ch. 87-287; s. 1, ch. 88-362; s. 8, ch. 91-110; s. 2, ch. 91-189; s. 8, ch. 95-379; s. 59, ch. 98-287.

1Note.--Section 59, ch. 98-287, amended s. 633.025, effective January 1, 2001, to read:

633.025  Minimum firesafety standards.--

(1)  The Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code adopted by the Department of Insurance, which shall operate in conjunction with the Florida Building Code, shall be deemed adopted by each municipality, county, and special district with firesafety responsibilities. The minimum firesafety codes shall not apply to buildings and structures subject to the uniform firesafety standards under s. 633.022 and buildings and structures subject to the minimum firesafety standards adopted pursuant to s. 394.879.

(2)  Pursuant to subsection (1), each municipality, county, and special district with firesafety responsibilities shall enforce the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code as the minimum firesafety code required by this section.

(3)  The most current edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code, adopted by the Department of Insurance, shall be deemed to be adopted by each municipality, county, and special district with firesafety responsibilities as part of the minimum firesafety code.

(4)  Such codes shall be minimum codes and a municipality, county, or special district with firesafety responsibilities may adopt more stringent firesafety standards, subject to the requirements of this subsection. Such county, municipality, or special district may establish alternative requirements to those requirements which are required under the minimum firesafety standards on a case-by-case basis, in order to meet special situations arising from historic, geographic, or unusual conditions, if the alternative requirements result in a level of protection to life, safety, or property equal to or greater than the applicable minimum firesafety standards. For the purpose of this subsection, the term "historic" means that the building or structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places of the United States Department of the Interior.

(a)  The local governing body shall determine, following a public hearing which has been advertised in a newspaper of general circulation at least 10 days before the hearing, if there is a need to strengthen the requirements of the minimum firesafety code adopted by such governing body. The determination must be based upon a review of local conditions by the local governing body, which review demonstrates that local conditions justify more stringent requirements than those specified in the minimum firesafety code for the protection of life and property or justify requirements that meet special situations arising from historic, geographic, or unusual conditions.

(b)  Such additional requirements shall not be discriminatory as to materials, products, or construction techniques of demonstrated capabilities.

(c)  Paragraphs (a) and (b) apply solely to the local enforcing agency's adoption of requirements more stringent than those specified in the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code that have the effect of amending building construction standards. Upon request, the enforcing agency shall provide a person making application for a building permit, or any state agency or board with construction-related regulation responsibilities, a listing of all such requirements and codes.

(d)  A local government which adopts amendments to the minimum firesafety code must provide a procedure by which the validity of such amendments may be challenged by any substantially affected party to test the amendment's compliance with the provisions of this section.

1.  Unless the local government agrees to stay enforcement of the amendment, or other good cause is shown, the challenging party shall be entitled to a hearing on the challenge within 45 days.

2.  For purposes of such challenge, the burden of proof shall be on the challenging party, but the amendment shall not be presumed to be valid or invalid.


A substantially affected person may appeal, to the Department of Insurance, the local government's resolution of the challenge, and the department shall determine if the amendment complies with this section. Actions of the department are subject to judicial review pursuant to s. 120.68. The department shall consider reports of the Florida Building Commission, pursuant to 2part VII of chapter 533, when evaluating building code enforcement.

(5)  The new building or structure provisions enumerated within the firesafety code adopted pursuant to this section shall apply only to buildings or structures for which the building permit is issued on or after the effective date of this act. Subject to the provisions of subsection (6), the existing building or structure provisions enumerated within the firesafety code adopted pursuant to this section shall apply to buildings or structures for which the building permit was issued or the building or structure was constructed prior to the effective date of this act.

(6)  With regard to existing buildings, the Legislature recognizes that it is not always practical to apply any or all of the provisions of the minimum firesafety code and that physical limitations may require disproportionate effort or expense with little increase in lifesafety. Prior to applying the minimum firesafety code to an existing building, the local fire official shall determine that a threat to lifesafety or property exists. If a threat to lifesafety or property exists, the fire official shall apply the applicable firesafety code for existing buildings to the extent practical to assure a reasonable degree of lifesafety and safety of property or the fire official shall fashion a reasonable alternative which affords an equivalent degree of lifesafety and safety of property. The decision of the local fire official may be appealed to the local administrative board described in s. 553.73.

(7)  Nothing herein shall preclude a municipality, county, or special district from requiring a structure to be maintained in accordance with the applicable firesafety code.

(8)  Battery operated smoke detectors shall be considered as an approved detection device for residential buildings having direct access to the outside from each living unit and having three stories or less.

(9)  The provisions of the Life Safety Code shall not apply to newly constructed one-family and two-family dwellings. However, fire sprinkler protection may be permitted by local government in lieu of other fire protection-related development requirements in such structures.

2Note.--Chapter 533, which relates to mining wastes, is not divided into parts; the correct reference may be to part VII of chapter 553.