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fire code - permit rejected

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  • fire code - permit rejected

    I am building a Pompeii pizza oven 15 ft from my house. My permit was turned down because the international fire code defines pizza oven as a recreational fire. It actuall defines a recreational fire as anything that is not contained in a fireplace, firepit, BBQ etc. Anybody have any info, suggestions ??? I am going to appeal this decision but I need some good info. Here's reply

    Mr. Cooper:

    After reviewing the installation instructions available from Forno Bravo the manufacturer of the oven you are proposing to construct I have determined the following:

    A chimney system will be required (See page 11 of the instructions) http://www.pizzapizzan.com/oven%20plans.pdf
    International Fire Code 2009 (IFC) defines recreational fires as [a]n outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes. The construction of a pizza oven as you described fits this definition. Therefore the requirements of IFC 307.4.2 shall apply.
    IFC Section 307.4.2 requires recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure. Therefore I would not approve your proposed pizza oven to be constructed where indicated on the submitted site plan (14 feet from the structure).

  • #2
    Re: fire code - permit rejected

    It means you will have to move it or design a chimney system to code.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: fire code - permit rejected

      Your oven will work without a chimney....Just a bit more smoky

      What if your oven exceeded the '36 inch' criteria....Which set of rules apply then? Is a cooking oven really a 'recreational fire'?

      You have your work cut out for you, it seems the evaluator has set his authority against you. Good luck
      Last edited by Lburou; 01-24-2012, 09:20 AM.
      Lee B.
      DFW area, Texas, USA

      If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
      Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
      An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

      I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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      • #4
        Re: fire code - permit rejected

        The inspector is saying that since the FB stack does not meet code, it has t be considered as a recreational fire. Build the chimney to code and it is fine, or move it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: fire code - permit rejected

          when I submitted plans I wasn't sure how I was going to finish chimney - stainless or masonry- so I just said finish height would be about 7 feet. The plans were not rejected because I didn't have chimney - they were rejected because a "recreational fire" has to be at least 25 ft from combustible material- ie my house. Slab is poured and stand is built - no moving at this point. have to appeal based on exclusionary definition of recreational fire - if it's not in a fireplace, BBQ, or pit, then it's recreational. Maybe i'll have to re-submit plans calling it pizza fireplace or pizza pit. I'm also putting in outdoor fireplace with an open exposed area of 1224 sq. inches vs. 250 sq. inches for pizza oven. In addition pizza oven has no flue but does have a shroud-like tunnel in the landing area. These are the best arguments I can come up with. Anybody got anything else???

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          • #6
            Re: fire code - permit rejected

            Why wouldn't the pizza oven qualify as an "outdoor fireplace"?

            From all the outdoor fireplaces I've seen, a pizza oven would be even more contained and presumably, safer as far as distance from house would be concerned.

            Seems like the worst scenario would be that you'd have to have a chimney to code, like Tscarborough notes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: fire code - permit rejected

              thanks, yeah building chimney to code is a piece of cake. Getting variance or appeal is going to take some work.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: fire code - permit rejected

                Larry, I am a contractor and I deal with building officials all the time.

                First off ...International Fire Code 2009 (IFC) defines recreational fires as [a]n outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes. The construction of a pizza oven as you described fits this definition.

                Therefor a WFO is not a recreational fire. I agree with your argurment a recreational fire is a campfire and if it gets bigger than 3' wide and 2' tall then it's considered a bonfire.

                IFC code 307.4.3 talks about an allowance for Portable fireplaces with in 15 feet of the structure. But a WFO is not a portable fireplace.

                In fact the IFC does not specifically address WFO's therefore should not be restricted by the IFC.

                What type of permit are you trying to get... a burn permit or a building permit? A WFO shoud not require a burn permit otherwise you would need new permit every time you wanted to cook a pizza. Most states and counties don't require a building permit for structures unless they are larger then 100 square feet in size. Once again a WFO does not count a building structure. The only time a WFO should be affected by building codes if it's in or attached to a structure (building with a roof)

                When you appeal this I would ask them the code requirements if you were going to build this in the house. We know that would be closer then 25 feet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: fire code - permit rejected

                  I'm with Faith on this one, but I'm a lawyer rather than a contractor. Your fuel source is contained by the oven itself, ergo, it does not meet the "recreational fire" definition. Call it a "propane fired enclosed outdoor oven" and see where that gets you. After all, you could put a propane burner in it. You can build these things inside houses, for heaven's sake.

                  I walked into our building and zoning department and sat down with the permitting folks. They didn't require a permit. Sometimes the personal touch is all you need. WFOs aren't common animals at building and zoning offices, so the people may default to "no" until you explain it. My building department wanted to push it into the "outdoor firepit" category until I explained more. I finally got the answer of "it's not covered by the code, so you don't need a permit."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: fire code - permit rejected

                    I went and personally talked to the fire marshall in our area with a detailed site plan and the conclusion was 10' from the house, 10' from property line and 10' from combustables all around. He killed by firepit plan, they are 25' from combustables, the back yard was not big enough.

                    Derk

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                    • #11
                      Re: fire code - permit rejected

                      Be very careful discussing codes on the internet. Codes are extremely variable and entirely local. The only one that matters is the one you personally are subject to.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: fire code - permit rejected

                        Very true about the codes BUT the reason for the rejection was do to an IFC code (International Fire Code) I have that book on my shelf. Local codes and ordinances will supersede the IFC only if they are more strict.

                        Dealing with these people (building officials) on a regular basis I will tell you some are very smart and know their stuff and others are dumb as dirt. I think this official missed the part of the code that he himself quoted. Clearly. But they are the final say on the matter. So it's best to have things worked out before a build.

                        The information I provided was based on an International Fire Code and is the core of the regulations. This information is open to the public and is available on the internet if you know where to look. I think it's important to discuss these codes because they can affect people wanting to build a WFO at there homes. Unfortunately the IFC is a bit behind the times and have not specifically addressed WFO which is a relatively new and growing thing. Until that time it's important that we know and understand these codes, know where to find local amendments, so that people can safely operate there WFO.

                        I'll bet that official even with building plans in hand has no idea how a WFO works. So when you go and have a sit down with the official and you know of the codes that relate to WFO and know how a WFO operates it would be much easier to have your permit accepted. And by us having discussion on codes could bring up important points and important questions for both the WFO builder and the building official.

                        The codes really are not that variable but their interpretation from one official to another can vary greatly.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: fire code - permit rejected

                          Originally posted by Faith In Virginia View Post
                          The codes really are not that variable but their interpretation from one official to another can vary greatly.
                          In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. I deal with this in my industry all the time. Codes have gray area (or not sometimes, I think), but from one inspector to the next you get completely different interpretations.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: fire code - permit rejected

                            I did not have to have a permit for my oven, nor do I have to adhere to any codes or restrictions other than burn bans. 250 yards from my back door, I would have had to have a permit and would fall under very restrictive amended codes.

                            Codes are not variable, but amended codes and enforcement are. Do what your local inspector requires or be prepared for a long and aggravating fight that you will probably lose.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: fire code - permit rejected

                              i have a question if a person makes a WFO on a mobile stand you would not need a permit , correct since it is not a permanant structure ????
                              i am thinking of going this route i dont want to have to deal with the city....
                              sigpic

                              Mike

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