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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXXVII
INSURANCE
Chapter 633
FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL
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F.S. 633.202
633.202 Florida Fire Prevention Code.
(1) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt, by rule pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, the Florida Fire Prevention Code which shall contain or incorporate by reference all firesafety laws and rules that pertain to and govern the design, construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, and demolition of public and private buildings, structures, and facilities and the enforcement of such firesafety laws and rules. The State Fire Marshal shall adopt a new edition of the Florida Fire Prevention Code every third year.
(2) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt the current edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard 1, Fire Prevention Code but may not adopt a building, mechanical, or plumbing code. The State Fire Marshal shall adopt the current edition of the Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, current editions, by reference. The State Fire Marshal may modify the selected codes and standards as needed to accommodate the specific needs of the state. Standards or criteria in the selected codes shall be similarly incorporated by reference. The State Fire Marshal shall incorporate within sections of the Florida Fire Prevention Code provisions that address uniform firesafety standards as established in s. 633.206. The State Fire Marshal shall incorporate within sections of the Florida Fire Prevention Code provisions addressing regional and local concerns and variations.
(3) No later than 180 days before the triennial adoption of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, the State Fire Marshal shall notify each municipal, county, and special district fire department of the triennial code adoption and steps necessary for local amendments to be included within the code. No later than 120 days before the triennial adoption of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, each local jurisdiction shall provide the State Fire Marshal with copies of its local fire code amendments. The State Fire Marshal has the option to process local fire code amendments that are received less than 120 days before the adoption date of the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
(a) The State Fire Marshal shall review or cause the review of local amendments to determine:
1. If the local amendment should be adopted as a statewide provision;
2. That the local amendment does not provide a lesser degree of lifesafety than the code otherwise provides; and
3. That the local amendment does not reference a different edition of the national fire codes or other national standard than the edition provided or referenced in the uniform or minimum firesafety codes adopted by the State Fire Marshal or prescribed by statute.
(b) Any local amendment to the Florida Fire Prevention Code adopted by a local government shall be effective only until the adoption of the new edition of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, which shall be every third year. At such time, the State Fire Marshal shall adopt such amendment as part of the Florida Fire Prevention Code or rescind the amendment. The State Fire Marshal shall immediately notify the respective local government of the rescission of the amendment and the reason for the rescission. After receiving such notice, the respective local government may readopt the rescinded amendment. Incorporation of local amendments as regional and local concerns and variations shall be considered as adoption of an amendment pursuant to this section.
(4) The State Fire Marshal shall update, by rule adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, the Florida Fire Prevention Code every 3 years. Once initially adopted and subsequently updated, the Florida Fire Prevention Code shall be adopted for use statewide without adoptions by local governments. When updating the Florida Fire Prevention Code, the State Fire Marshal shall consider changes made by the national model fire codes incorporated into the Florida Fire Prevention Code, the State Fire Marshal’s own interpretations, declaratory statements, appellate decisions, and approved statewide and local technical amendments.
(5) Upon the conclusion of a triennial update to the Florida Fire Prevention Code and notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the State Fire Marshal may address the issues identified in this subsection by amending the Florida Fire Prevention Code, subject only to the rule adoption procedures of chapter 120. Following the approval of any amendments to the Florida Fire Prevention Code by the State Fire Marshal and publication on the State Fire Marshal’s website, authorities having jurisdiction to enforce the Florida Fire Prevention Code may enforce the amendments to the code. The State Fire Marshal may approve only amendments that are needed to address:
(a) Conflicts within the updated Florida Fire Prevention Code;
(b) Conflicts between the updated Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Florida Building Code adopted pursuant to chapter 553;
(c) The omission of Florida-specific amendments that were previously adopted in the Florida Fire Prevention Code; or
(d) Unintended results from the integration of Florida-specific amendments that were previously adopted with the model code.
(6) The Florida Fire Prevention Code does not apply to, and no code enforcement action shall be brought with respect to, zoning requirements or land use requirements. Additionally, a local code enforcement agency may not administer or enforce the Florida Fire Prevention Code to prevent the siting of any publicly owned facility, including, but not limited to, correctional facilities, juvenile justice facilities, or state universities, community colleges, or public education facilities. This section shall not be construed to prohibit local government from imposing built-in fire protection systems or fire-related infrastructure requirements needed to properly protect the intended facility.
(7) Any local amendment adopted by a local government must strengthen the Fire Prevention Code requirements of the minimum firesafety code.
(8) Within 30 days after a local government adopts a local amendment, the local government must transmit the amendment to the Florida Building Commission and the State Fire Marshal.
(9) The State Fire Marshal shall make rules that implement this section and ss. 633.104 and 633.208 for the purpose of accomplishing the objectives set forth in those sections.
(10) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, if a county or a municipality within that county adopts an ordinance providing for a local amendment to the Florida Fire Prevention Code and that amendment provides a higher level of protection to the public than the level specified in the Florida Fire Prevention Code, the local amendment becomes effective without approval of the State Fire Marshal and is not rescinded pursuant to this section, provided that the ordinance meets one or more of the following criteria:
(a) The local authority has adopted, by ordinance, a fire service facilities and operation plan that outlines goals and objectives for related equipment, personnel, and capital improvement needs of the local authority related to the specific amendment for the next 5 years;
(b) The local authority has adopted, by ordinance, a provision requiring proportionate reduction in, or rebate or waivers of, impact or other fees or assessments levied on buildings that are built or modified in compliance with the more stringent firesafety standards required by the local amendment; or
(c) The local authority has adopted, by ordinance, a growth management plan that requires buildings and structures to be equipped with more stringent firesafety requirements required by the local amendment when these firesafety requirements are used as the basis for planning infrastructure development, uses, or housing densities.

Except as provided in s. 633.206, the local appeals process shall be the venue if there is a dispute between parties affected by the provisions of the more stringent local firesafety amendment adopted as part of the Florida Fire Prevention Code pursuant to the authority in this subsection. Local amendments adopted pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed local or regional variations and published as such in the Florida Fire Prevention Code. The act of publishing locally adopted firesafety amendments to the Florida Fire Prevention Code may not be construed to mean that the State Fire Marshal approves or denies the authenticity or appropriateness of the locally adopted firesafety provision, and the burden of protecting the local firesafety amendment remains solely with the adopting local governmental authority.

(11) The design of interior stairways within dwelling units, including stair tread width and riser height, landings, handrails, and guards, must be consistent with chapter 10 of the Florida Building Code.
(12)(a) The State Fire Marshal shall issue an expedited declaratory statement relating to interpretations of the Florida Fire Prevention Code according to the following guidelines:
1. The declaratory statement shall be rendered in accordance with s. 120.565, except that a final decision must be issued by the State Fire Marshal within 45 days after the division’s receipt of a petition seeking an expedited declaratory statement. The State Fire Marshal shall give notice of the petition and the expedited declaratory statement or the denial of the petition in the next available issue of the Florida Administrative Register after the petition is filed and after the statement or denial is rendered.
2. The petitioner must be the owner of the disputed project or the owner’s representative.
3. The petition for an expedited declaratory statement must be:
a. Related to an active project that is under construction or must have been submitted for a permit.
b. The subject of a written notice citing a specific provision of the Florida Fire Prevention Code which is in dispute.
c. Limited to a single question that is capable of being answered with a “yes” or “no” response.
(b) A petition for a declaratory statement which does not meet all of the requirements of this subsection must be denied without prejudice. This subsection does not affect the right of the petitioner as a substantially affected person to seek a declaratory statement under s. 633.104(6).
(13) A condominium, cooperative, or multifamily residential building that is less than four stories in height and has an exterior corridor providing a means of egress is exempt from installing a manual fire alarm system as required in s. 9.6 of the most recent edition of the Life Safety Code adopted in the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
(14) The Legislature finds that the electronic filing of construction plans will increase governmental efficiency, reduce costs, and increase timeliness of processing permits. If the fire code administrator or fire official provides for electronic filing, any construction plans, drawings, specifications, reports, final documents, or documents prepared or issued by a licensee may be dated and electronically signed and sealed by the licensee in accordance with part I of chapter 668, and may be transmitted electronically to the fire code administrator or fire official for approval.
(15) For one-story or two-story structures that are less than 10,000 square feet, whose occupancy is defined in the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code as business or mercantile, a fire official shall enforce the wall fire-rating provisions for occupancy separation as defined in the Florida Building Code.
(16)(a) As used in this subsection, the term:
1. “Agricultural pole barn” means a nonresidential farm building in which 70 percent or more of the perimeter walls are permanently open and allow free ingress and egress.
2. “Drone port” has the same meaning as provided in s. 330.41(2).
3. “Nonresidential farm building” has the same meaning as provided in s. 604.50.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law:
1. A nonresidential farm building in which the occupancy is limited by the property owner to no more than 35 persons is exempt from the Florida Fire Prevention Code, including the national codes and Life Safety Code incorporated by reference.
2. An agricultural pole barn is exempt from the Florida Fire Prevention Code, including the national codes and the Life Safety Code incorporated by reference.
3. Except for an agricultural pole barn, a structure on a farm, as defined in s. 823.14(3)(c), which is used by an owner for agritourism activity, as defined in s. 570.86, for which the owner receives consideration must be classified in one of the following classes:
a. Class 1: A nonresidential farm building that is used by the owner 12 or fewer times per year for agritourism activity with up to 100 persons occupying the structure at one time. A structure in this class is subject to annual inspection for classification by the local authority having jurisdiction. This class is not subject to the Florida Fire Prevention Code but is subject to rules adopted by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to this section.
b. Class 2: A nonresidential farm building that is used by the owner for agritourism activity with up to 300 persons occupying the structure at one time. A structure in this class is subject to annual inspection for classification by the local authority having jurisdiction. This class is not subject to the Florida Fire Prevention Code but is subject to rules adopted by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to this section.
c. Class 3: A structure or facility that is used primarily for housing, sheltering, or otherwise accommodating members of the general public. A structure or facility in this class is subject to annual inspection for classification by the local authority having jurisdiction. This class is subject to the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
4. A drone port is exempt from provisions of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, including national codes and the Life Safety Code incorporated by reference, concerning fire protection systems as defined in s. 633.102.
(c) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt rules to administer this section, including, but not limited to:
1. The use of alternative lifesafety and fire prevention standards for structures in Classes 1 and 2;
2. Notification and inspection requirements for structures in Classes 1 and 2;
3. The application of the Florida Fire Prevention Code for structures in Class 3; and
4. Any other standards or rules deemed necessary in order to facilitate the use of structures for agritourism activities.
(17) A tent up to 900 square feet is exempt from the Florida Fire Prevention Code, including the national codes incorporated by reference.
(18)(a) The local authority having jurisdiction shall determine the minimum radio signal strength for fire department communications in all new and existing buildings. Two-way radio communication enhancement systems or equivalent systems may be used to comply with the minimum radio signal strength requirements. However, two-way radio communication enhancement systems or equivalent systems are not required in apartment buildings 75 feet or less in height that are constructed using wood framing, provided that the building has less than 150 dwelling units and that all dwelling units discharge to the exterior or to a corridor that leads directly to an exit as defined by the Florida Building Code. Evidence of wood frame construction shall be shown by the owner providing building permit documentation which identifies the construction type as wood frame. Existing high-rise buildings as defined by the Florida Building Code are not required to comply with minimum radio strength for fire department communications and two-way radio communication enhancement systems as required by the Florida Fire Prevention Code until January 1, 2025. However, by January 1, 2024, an existing high-rise building that is not in compliance with the requirements for minimum radio strength for fire department communications must apply for an appropriate permit for the required installation with the local government agency having jurisdiction and must demonstrate that the building will become compliant by January 1, 2025. Existing high-rise apartment buildings are not required to comply until January 1, 2025. However, existing high-rise apartment buildings are required to apply for the appropriate permit for the required communications installation by January 1, 2024.
(b) Except as provided in this subsection, all new and existing buildings must meet the minimum radio signal strength requirements for public safety agency communications as provided in the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
(c) The local authority having jurisdiction as defined in the Florida Fire Prevention Code may require:
1. The installation of a two-way radio communication enhancement system in a new or existing building if the interior of the building does not meet the minimum radio signal strength as required in the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
2. An assessment of a new or existing building’s interior radio coverage and signal strength, for purposes of determining the need for a two-way radio communication enhancement system within the building, not more frequently than once every 3 years for an existing high-rise building and an existing building having more than 12,000 total gross square feet and once every 5 years for all other existing buildings, unless:
a. Such building undergoes Level III building alteration or rehabilitation as defined in the Florida Building Code;
b. Such building undergoes reconstruction as determined by the Florida Fire Prevention Code;
c. A public safety agency reports to the local authority having jurisdiction that the agency’s communication devices failed to function correctly inside a building due to poor signal coverage; or
d. A building is determined to be an imminent life safety threat to first responders.
(d) Any modification to an existing system or any installation of a new system must have the express consent of the frequency licenseholder of the frequencies for which the system is intended to amplify. The consent must be maintained in a recordable format that can be presented to a Federal Communications Commission representative or other relevant agency investigating radio interference.
(e) If public safety agency communications signal strength or delivered audio quality, as defined in the Florida Fire Prevention Code, is determined by the local authority having jurisdiction to be inadequate at the exterior of the building, a two-way radio communication enhancement system or minimum radio strength assessment is not required.
(f) If a local authority having jurisdiction modifies its public safety emergency communication system such that modifications to existing two-way radio communication enhancement system installations are required, the local authority having jurisdiction must give owners of the existing two-way radio communication enhancement systems at least 180 days’ notice before requiring any modification.
(g) Notwithstanding paragraph (f), a local authority having jurisdiction that requires an existing building to retrofit its two-way radio communication enhancement system after the effective dates in paragraph (a) must give the building owner at least 1 year to complete the retrofit. The 1-year period begins when the local authority having jurisdiction cites the building owner with a notice of code violation in accordance with chapter 162.
(h) The following occupancies or buildings are not required to meet minimum radio signal strength requirements or have a radio signal strength assessment for public safety agency communications:
1. One- and two-family dwellings and townhouses.
2. Buildings having less than 12,000 total gross square feet with no underground areas.
3. Apartments and transient public lodging establishments that are less than three stories high and that have direct access from the apartment or guest area to an exterior means of egress.
4. Wood frame apartment buildings that are not required to install two-way radio communication enhancement systems or equivalent systems pursuant to paragraph (a).
(i) The provisions of s. 633.208 and this section which authorize local adoption of more stringent requirements than those specified in the Florida Fire Prevention Code and minimum firesafety codes do not apply to the requirements in this subsection. The local authority having jurisdiction may not enforce requirements that are more stringent than those specified in the Florida Fire Prevention Code and this subsection with respect to the requirement for, design of, or installation of a two-way radio communication enhancement system.
(j) The State Fire Marshal shall incorporate this subsection into the Florida Fire Prevention Code and may adopt rules to implement, interpret, and enforce this subsection.
(19) Areas of refuge shall be provided if required by the Florida Building Code, Accessibility. Required portions of an area of refuge shall be accessible from the space they serve by an accessible means of egress.
(20)(a) In apartment occupancies with enclosed corridors served by interior or exterior exit stairs, doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers, which stand upright on their own and do not leak liquids when standing upright, must be allowed in exit access corridors when all of the following conditions exist:
1. The maximum doorstep refuse and recycling collection container size does not exceed 13 gallons.
2. Waste, which is in a doorstep refuse and recycling collection container, is not placed in the exit access corridors for single periods exceeding 5 hours.
3. Doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers do not occupy the exit access corridors for single periods exceeding 12 hours.
4. Doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers do not reduce the means of egress width below that required under NFPA Life Safety Code 101:31, as adopted under the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
5. Management staff have written policies and procedures in place and enforce them to ensure compliance with this paragraph, and, upon request, provide a copy of such policies and procedures to the authority having jurisdiction.
(b) In apartment occupancies with open-air corridors or balconies served by exterior exit stairs, doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers, which stand upright on their own and do not leak liquids when standing upright, must be allowed in exit access corridors when all of the following conditions exist:
1. The maximum doorstep refuse and recycling collection container size does not exceed 27 gallons.
2. Waste, which is in a doorstep refuse and recycling collection container, is not placed in the exit access corridors for single periods exceeding 5 hours.
3. Doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers do not reduce the means of egress width below that required under NFPA Life Safety Code 101:31, as adopted under the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
4. Management staff have written policies and procedures in place and enforce them to ensure compliance with this paragraph, and, upon request, provide a copy of such policies and procedures to the authority having jurisdiction.
(c) The authority having jurisdiction may approve alternative containers and storage arrangements that are demonstrated to provide an equivalent level of safety to that provided under paragraphs (a) and (b).
History.s. 58, ch. 98-287; ss. 102, 103, ch. 2000-141; s. 43, ch. 2001-186; s. 123, ch. 2005-2; s. 23, ch. 2005-147; s. 7, ch. 2006-65; s. 4, ch. 2008-192; s. 6, ch. 2010-174; s. 47, ch. 2010-176; s. 1, ch. 2011-196; s. 17, ch. 2012-13; s. 54, ch. 2013-14; s. 1, ch. 2013-134; s. 21, ch. 2013-183; s. 27, ch. 2014-154; s. 1, ch. 2016-83; s. 27, ch. 2016-129; s. 1, ch. 2018-152; s. 4, ch. 2021-7; s. 25, ch. 2021-113; s. 1, ch. 2021-130; s. 55, ch. 2022-4; s. 1, ch. 2022-210; s. 3, ch. 2023-137; s. 2, ch. 2023-296.
Note.Former s. 633.0215.