A New Fire Code in MA
WHAT IS THIS NEW FIRE CODE AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR LAB BUILDINGS?
On December 9, 2022, Massachusetts adopted a new Fire Code. The code is an amended version of the 2021 Edition of NFPA 1. While it will impact multiple areas of fire protection and life safety, it is a significant change for the life sciences industry and, in particular, lab buildings.
The State amended the code to include Section 188.8.131.52.1 (we’ve linked the full amended section here) for lab buildings, which specifically requires the building management company to maintain up-to-date, accurate hazardous materials inventory statements, and emergency action plans. This language mirrors the current requirements in cities like Boston and Watertown, which already require Building Hazardous Material Management Plans (Building 414 Reports) as well as Tenant Compliance Reports (Tenant 414 Reports).
THE IMPACT ON BUILDING MANAGEMENT COMPANIES
What does this mean to building management companies? First, the level of documentation is no longer required on a city-by-city basis. It is required for all laboratory buildings in Massachusetts. Second, the code requires the documentation to be accurate and up to date (updated annually – or more frequently if required by the fire official). Maintaining all documentation is now identified as the responsibility of the building management company.
Our team has been working with Boston and Watertown since the inception of the requirements in these cities, and our clients have found these reports to be a valuable tool for managing their buildings. We are happy to discuss how we can help you and your portfolio comply with these new requirements. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have additional information about our code consulting services here.