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larrycooper 01-24-2012 07:31 AM

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).

Tscarborough 01-24-2012 07:46 AM

Re: fire code - permit rejected
 
It means you will have to move it or design a chimney system to code.

Lburou 01-24-2012 08:09 AM

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 :)

Tscarborough 01-24-2012 08:18 AM

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.

larrycooper 01-24-2012 10:53 AM

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???

GreenBldr 01-25-2012 07:56 AM

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.

larrycooper 01-25-2012 08:57 AM

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.

Faith In Virginia 01-25-2012 10:12 AM

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.

azatty 01-26-2012 06:14 AM

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."

Derkp 01-27-2012 01:49 PM

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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