#11  
Old 01-27-2012, 01:58 PM
Tscarborough's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default 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.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2012, 03:11 PM
Faith In Virginia's Avatar
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Default 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.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2012, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: fire code - permit rejected

Quote:
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.
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2012, 06:20 PM
Tscarborough's Avatar
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Default 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.
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  #15  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:17 PM
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Default 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....
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  #16  
Old 02-05-2012, 11:59 AM
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Location: usa
Posts: 3
Default Re: fire code - permit rejected

I live in New Jersey and when I inquired about the permits for an oven I was told that I would need zoning, building and a variance (nothing in our code for a wood fired oven). The total cost would be atleast $600 proably more due to the variance. To avoid this I found out that an appliance on a movable stand diidn't need anything, ie. a grill, a chimnea. So now I'm building a metal stand with wheels to support my oven. It will roll into a space in my outdoor kitchen along with a grill creating my non-permanent kitchen. F*** the Man.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2012, 08:19 PM
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Location: Thousand Oaks,CA
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Default Re: fire code - permit rejected

Fcifone,

That's exactly what I did.

Scott D.
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2012, 05:11 PM
Serf
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 4
Default Re: fire code - permit rejected

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faith In Virginia View Post
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.
given the variability in inspectors' judgement, what are the chances that a project is OKed by one and then [say after somebody complains after the WFO is built] found not acceptable by another?
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  #19  
Old 03-02-2012, 09:51 AM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: fire code - permit rejected

I too disagree with the inspector's reading of the code. The clear intent of that code section is to regulate uncontained fires such as those in firepits. Several examples are listed of types of containment...but the intent of the code is not that such list of examples is exclusive.

I did a quick net search and found that San Bernadino County, CA and some of the cities within that county (Big Bear Lake) include "outdoor bread or pizza oven" within the definition of BBQ for purposes of the IFC. That makes sense. I would guess that most other municipalities have done the same...when the issue was examined.

The idea of placing this within the category of fire pit rather than fireplace is nuts. I'd look hard at following the appeal process associated with his decision. I'd also get as big a list as possible of other municipalities who have determined that a pizza oven is equivalent to a BBQ...that could be persuasive. (It's worth noting that large areas of San Bernadino County and all of Big Bear Lake are in the middle of a forrest which is regularly hit with forrest fires...if they are OK with Pizza Ovens anybody should be.

When dealing with these people be nice, polite, etc. Walk in well-armed with data showing why your build is like a BBQ or outdooor fireplace.

The following cut and paste contains some good info. Commentaries are often done by regulatory or rule-making bodies to clarify things.

"The 2006 International Fire Code Commentary offers clarification on open burning. In the
commentary section it includes:
“A recent innovation that is sometimes treated as open burning is the patio
fireplace. These devices function similar to a masonry or factory-built indoor
fireplace except that they are portable, outdoor, solid fuel-burning patio fireplaces
designed to provide ambiance and warmth in outdoor settings. They come in many
styles and are typically constructed of steel with heavy-duty screening around the
firebox, although some types are made of concrete or clay with a small hearth
opening and are equipped with a short chimney or a chimney opening in the top.
The design will typically include a stand to elevate the firebox above the surface
upon which it is placed to provide clearance to combustible
8/20/09
El Segundo Fire Department
Fire Prevention Interpretation # 09-2
California Fire Code Section 307
Open Burning and Recreational Fires
Page 2
materials. These devices do not constitute the type of burning intended to be
regulated by Section 307, examples of which could include disposal of brush,
construction rubbish or household waste by open burning. As with any type of heatproducing
device, patio fireplaces should be used with caution, paying close
attention to proximity to combustible materials and buildings or structures and
constant attendance during times of use. Stoves, incinerators or other controlled
burning devices which would include patio fireplaces do not fall under the openburning
regulations.”
It is the policy of the Fire Prevention Division that portable patio fireplaces and chimneas,
when used, do not constitute open burning and are not subject to the regulations set forth
in Section 307. However, general fire safety must be maintained and in accordance with
Appendix Chapter 1, Section 102.8, Matters not provided for. The operator of a portable
patio fireplace and/or chimnea must comply with the following fire safety regulations:
1. No rubbish, trash, or brush can be burned. Incidental paper use for kindling and the
paper wrapping for a “Dura-Flame” type log is permitted.
2. The portable patio fireplaces and/or chimnea cannot be operated under a canopy,
patio cover, porch or other structure.
3. The portable fireplace must be a minimum 5 feet from a building or combustible
fence.
4. The portable patio fireplaces and/or chimnea must have a spark arrestor (screen)
on the flue to arrest sparks. The screen must have a maximum 1/16 inch opening.
5. The portable patio fireplaces and/or chimnea must be in constant attendance when
used.
...

End of excerpt.

Finally, you guys who are getting permits should quit calling these things "wood fired ovens". That sounds scary and unfamiliar. Call them BBQ's or outdoor fireplace ovens. Or something.


Go get 'em.

Bill



“[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).
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  #20  
Old 03-02-2012, 12:16 PM
deejayoh's Avatar
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Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,379
Default Re: fire code - permit rejected

I think the issue here is that the inspector has no code that is relevant to the outdoor pizza oven/fireplace/bbq - whatever you choose to call it. The section they cited pretty clearly does not apply to a WFO - as a matter of fact it seems to specifically exclude them, because it relates to an outdoor fire, which is defined 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

Well, your fire is contained in an outdoor fireplace. A third grader could reason out that this doesn't apply. Not so a city employee, I guess.

We have the same issue here in Seattle. Outdoor fireplaces fall under the fire code, not the building code - and the fire code doesn't really address them.

This article covers the issue and I think the same interpretation is fair for your locality:
Seattle Fire Code – Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits | Shepherd Stoneworks Blog
I must say that the language in the code is quite vague as it pertains to enclosed fireplaces and barbeques. There are very specific rules in regards to open fires and fires contained in portable, store-bought pits, but regulations seem to exclude permanent cooking and heating structures. The code refers to Recreational Fire which is described as a fire “that is not contained in an outdoor fireplace, grill or barbecue pit.”

This raises a few questions: What comprises an “outdoor fireplace” or a “barbeque” for that matter? Is a fire pit with no chimney considered a fireplace, and if not, can a steel screen suffice to classify it as enclosed? How close can a firepit/chimneystack be to your house or other structures?

At any rate, there does not seem to be any mention of outdoor fireplace design in either building or fire codes in Seattle or Washington State.
Based on what I read, I did not ask about a permit. If there is no relevant code, there is no need for a permit. Kind of like digging a hole in your backyard. You don't need a permit. Easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission.
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