Article 9.

Building Code Council and Building Code.

§ 143-136.  Building Code Council created; membership, committees.

(a)        Creation; Membership; Terms. - There is hereby created a Building Code Council, which shall be composed of 17 members appointed by the Governor, consisting of the following:

(1)        Two licensed architects.

(2)        One licensed general contractor.

(3)        One licensed general contractor specializing in residential construction.

(4)        One licensed general contractor specializing in coastal residential construction.

(5)        One licensed engineer practicing structural engineering.

(6)        One licensed engineer practicing mechanical engineering.

(7)        One licensed engineer practicing electrical engineering.

(8)        One licensed plumbing and heating contractor.

(9)        One municipal or county building inspector.

(10)      One licensed liquid petroleum gas dealer/contractor involved in the design of natural and liquid petroleum gas systems who has expertise and experience in natural and liquid petroleum gas piping, venting and appliances.

(11)      One representative of the public who is not a member of the building construction industry.

(12)      One licensed electrical contractor.

(13)      One licensed engineer on the engineering staff of a State agency charged with approval of plans of State-owned buildings.

(14)      One municipal elected official or city manager.

(15)      One county commissioner or county manager.

(16)      One active member of the North Carolina fire service with expertise in fire safety, as recommended by the North Carolina State Firefighters' Association.

In selecting the municipal and county members, preference should be given to members who qualify as either a licensed architect, licensed engineer, or licensed general contractor. Of the members initially appointed by the Governor, three shall serve for terms of two years each, three shall serve for terms of four years each, and three shall serve for terms of six years each. Thereafter, all appointments shall be for terms of six years. The Governor may remove appointive members at any time. Neither the architect nor any of the above named engineers shall be engaged in the manufacture, promotion or sale of any building material, and any member who shall, during his term, cease to meet the qualifications for original appointment (through ceasing to be a practicing member of the profession indicated or otherwise) shall thereby forfeit his membership on the Council. In making new appointments or filling vacancies, the Governor shall ensure that minorities and women are represented on the Council.

The Governor may make appointments to fill the unexpired portions of any terms vacated by reason of death, resignation, or removal from office. In making such appointment, he shall preserve the composition of the Council required above.

(b)        Compensation. - Members of the Building Code Council other than any who are employees of the State shall receive seven dollars ($7.00) per day, including necessary time spent in traveling to and from their place of residence within the State to any place of meeting or while traveling on official business of the Council. In addition, all members shall receive mileage and subsistence according to State practice while going to and from any place of meeting, or when on official business of the Council.

(c)        Residential Code Committee Created; Duties. - Within the Building Code Council, there is hereby created a Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings Committee composed of seven members of the Building Code Council, specifically the licensed general contractor specializing in residential construction who shall serve as chairman of this committee; the licensed general contractor specializing in coastal residential construction; the licensed engineer practicing structural engineering; the licensed plumbing and heating contractor; the fire service representative; the municipal or county building inspector; and the licensed electrical contractor. This committee shall meet upon the call of its chairman to review any proposal for revision or amendment to the North Carolina State Building Code: Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, including provisions applicable to One- and Two-Family Dwellings from the NC Energy Code, NC Electrical Code, NC Fuel Gas Code, NC Plumbing Code, the NC Mechanical Code, the NC Existing Building Code, and any other code applicable to residential construction, and no revision or amendment to any of these codes applicable to residential construction may be considered by the Building Code Council unless recommended by this committee. This committee shall also oversee the process by which the Council conducts its revision pursuant to G.S. 143-138(d). This committee shall also consider any appeal or interpretation arising under G.S. 143-141 pertaining to North Carolina State Building Code: Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings and make a recommendation to the Building Code Council for disposition of the appeal or interpretation. In considering the recommendations of the committee related to revisions and amendments of the Building Code, nothing in this subsection shall prevent the Building Code Council from accepting, rejecting, or amending the recommendation, provided that any amendment to the recommendation must be germane.

(d)       Building Code Committee Created; Duties. - Within the Building Code Council, there is hereby created a Building Code Committee for all structures except those subject to the North Carolina State Building Code: Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings. The committee shall be composed of the following nine members of the Building Code Council:

(1)        One of the licensed architects appointed by the chairman of the Building Code Council.

(2)        The licensed engineer practicing mechanical engineering.

(3)        The licensed engineer practicing electrical engineering.

(4)        The licensed engineer practicing structural engineering.

(5)        The municipal elected official.

(6)        The fire service representative.

(7)        The municipal or county building inspector.

(8)        The State agency engineer.

(9)        The licensed general contractor.

The chairman of the Building Code Council shall call the first meeting of the Committee, at which meeting the Committee shall elect a chairman from among the members of the Committee as the first order of business. Thereafter, the Committee shall meet upon the call of the chairman to review any proposal for revision or amendment to the North Carolina State Building Code, including provisions applicable to the North Carolina Energy Code, the North Carolina Electrical Code, the North Carolina Fuel Gas Code, the North Carolina Plumbing Code, the North Carolina Mechanical Code, the North Carolina Existing Building Code, and any other code applicable to commercial or multi-family construction, and no revision or amendment to any of these codes applicable to commercial or multi-family construction may be considered by the Building Code Council unless recommended by this committee. This committee shall also oversee the process by which the Council conducts its revision of the codes applicable to commercial or multi-family construction pursuant to G.S. 143-138(d). This committee shall also consider any appeal or interpretation arising under G.S. 143-141 pertaining to codes applicable to commercial or multi-family construction and make a recommendation to the Building Code Council for disposition of the appeal or interpretation. In considering the recommendations of the committee related to revisions and amendments of the Building Code, nothing in this subsection shall prevent the Building Code Council from accepting, rejecting, or amending the recommendation, provided that any amendment to the recommendation must be germane.  (1957, c. 1138; 1965, c. 1145; 1969, c. 1229, s. 1; 1971, c. 323; 1979, c. 863; 1989, c. 25, s. 3; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 895, s. 2; 1998-57, s. 1; 2015-145, s. 5.1; 2016-51, s. 6; 2017-130, s. 5.)

 

§ 143-137.  Organization of Council; rules; meetings; staff; fiscal affairs.

(a)        First Meeting; Organization; Rules. - Within 30 days after its appointment, the Building Code Council shall meet on call of the Commissioner of Insurance. The Council shall elect from its appointive members a chairman and such other officers as it may choose, for such terms as it may designate in its rules. The Council shall adopt such rules not inconsistent herewith as it may deem necessary for the proper discharge of its duties. The chairman may appoint members to such committees as the work of the Council may require. In addition, the chairman shall establish and appoint ad hoc code revision committees to consider and prepare revisions and amendments to the Code volumes. Each ad hoc committee shall consist of members of the Council, licensed contractors, and design professionals most affected by the Code volume for which the ad hoc committee is responsible, and members of the public. The subcommittees shall meet upon the call of their respective chairs and shall report their recommendations to the Council.

(b)        Meetings. - The Council shall meet regularly, at least once every six months, at places and dates to be determined by the Council. Special meetings may be called by the chairman on his own initiative and must be called by him at the request of two or more members of the Council. All members shall be notified by the chairman in writing of the time and place of regular and special meetings at least seven days in advance of such meeting. Seven members shall constitute a quorum. All meetings shall be open to the public.

(c)        Staff. - Personnel of the Division of Engineering of the Department of Insurance shall serve as a staff for the Council. Such staff shall have the duties of

(1)        Keeping an accurate and complete record of all meetings, hearings, correspondence, laboratory studies, and technical work performed by or for the Council, and making these records available for public inspection at all reasonable times;

(2)        Handling correspondence for the Council.

(d)       Fiscal Affairs of the Council. - All funds for the operations of the Council and its staff shall be appropriated to the Department of Insurance for the use of the Council. All such funds shall be held in a separate or special account on the books of the Department of Insurance, with a separate financial designation or code number to be assigned by the Department of Administration or its agent. Expenditures for staff salaries and operating expenses shall be made in the same manner as the expenditure of any other Department of Insurance funds. The Department of Insurance may hire such additional personnel as may be necessary to handle the work of the Building Code Council, within the limits of funds appropriated for the Council and with the approval of the Council. (1957, c. 269, s. 1; c. 1138; 1987, c. 827, s. 219; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 975, s. 7; 1997-26, s. 4.)

 

§ 143-138.  North Carolina State Building Code.

(a)        Preparation and Adoption. - The Building Code Council may prepare and adopt, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, a North Carolina State Building Code. Before the adoption of the Code, or any part of the Code, the Council shall hold at least one public hearing. A notice of the public hearing shall be published in the North Carolina Register at least 15 days before the date of the hearing. Notwithstanding G.S. 150B-2(8a)h., the North Carolina State Building Code as adopted by the Building Code Council is a rule within the meaning of G.S. 150B-2(8a) and shall be adopted in accordance with the procedural requirements of Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

The Council shall request the Office of State Budget and Management to prepare a fiscal note for a proposed Code change that has a substantial economic impact, as defined in G.S. 150B-21.4(b1), or that increases the cost of residential housing by eighty dollars ($80.00) or more per housing unit. The change can become effective only in accordance with G.S. 143-138(d). Neither the Department of Insurance nor the Council shall be required to expend any monies to pay for the preparation of any fiscal note under this section by any person outside of the Department or Council unless the Department or Council contracts with a third-party vendor to prepare the fiscal note.

(b)        Contents of the Code. - The North Carolina State Building Code, as adopted by the Building Code Council, may include reasonable and suitable classifications of buildings and structures, both as to use and occupancy; general building restrictions as to location, height, and floor areas; rules for the lighting and ventilation of buildings and structures; requirements concerning means of egress from buildings and structures; requirements concerning means of ingress in buildings and structures; rules governing construction and precautions to be taken during construction; rules as to permissible materials, loads, and stresses; rules governing chimneys, heating appliances, elevators, and other facilities connected with the buildings and structures; rules governing plumbing, heating, air conditioning for the purpose of comfort cooling by the lowering of temperature, and electrical systems; and such other reasonable rules pertaining to the construction of buildings and structures and the installation of particular facilities therein as may be found reasonably necessary for the protection of the occupants of the building or structure, its neighbors, and members of the public at large.

(b1)      Fire Protection; Smoke Detectors. - The Code may regulate activities and conditions in buildings, structures, and premises that pose dangers of fire, explosion, or related hazards. Such fire prevention code provisions shall be considered the minimum standards necessary to preserve and protect public health and safety, subject to approval by the Council of more stringent provisions proposed by a municipality or county as provided in G.S. 143-138(e). These provisions may include regulations requiring the installation of either battery-operated or electrical smoke detectors in every dwelling unit used as rental property, regardless of the date of construction of the rental property. For dwelling units used as rental property constructed prior to 1975, smoke detectors shall have an Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., listing or other equivalent national testing laboratory approval, and shall be installed in accordance with either the standard of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the property owner shall retain or provide as proof of compliance.

(b2)      Carbon Monoxide Alarms. - The Code (i) may contain provisions requiring the installation of either battery-operated or electrical carbon monoxide alarms in every dwelling unit having a combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace, and in any dwelling unit having an attached garage and (ii) shall contain provisions requiring the installation of electrical carbon monoxide alarms at a lodging establishment. Violations of this subsection and rules adopted pursuant to this subsection shall be punishable in accordance with subsection (h) of this section and G.S. 143-139. In particular, the rules shall provide:

(1)        For dwelling units, carbon monoxide alarms shall be those listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory that is approved to test and certify to American National Standards Institute/Underwriters Laboratories Standards ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075 and shall be installed in accordance with either the standard of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the property owner shall retain or provide as proof of compliance. A carbon monoxide alarm may be combined with smoke detectors if the combined alarm does both of the following: (i) complies with ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075 for carbon monoxide alarms and ANSI/UL217 for smoke detectors; and (ii) emits an alarm in a manner that clearly differentiates between detecting the presence of carbon monoxide and the presence of smoke.

(2)        For lodging establishments, including tourist homes that provide accommodations for seven or more continuous days (extended-stay establishments), and bed and breakfast inns and bed and breakfast homes as defined in G.S. 130A-247, carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed in every dwelling unit or sleeping unit having a combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace and in every dwelling unit or sleeping unit that shares a common wall, floor, or ceiling with a room having a combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace. Carbon monoxide alarms shall be (i) listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory that is approved to test and certify to American National Standards Institute/Underwriters Laboratories (ANSI/UL) Standards ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075, (ii) installed in accordance with either the standard of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the lodging establishment shall retain or provide as proof of compliance, (iii) receive primary power from the building's wiring, where such wiring is served from a commercial source, and (iv) receive power from a battery when primary power is interrupted. A carbon monoxide alarm may be combined with smoke detectors if the combined alarm complies with the requirements of this subdivision for carbon monoxide alarms and ANSI/UL217 for smoke alarms. In lieu of the carbon monoxide alarms required by this subsection, a carbon monoxide detection system, which includes carbon monoxide detectors and audible notification appliances installed and maintained in accordance with NFPA 720, shall be permitted. The carbon monoxide detectors shall be listed as complying with ANSI/UL2075. For purposes of this subsection, "lodging establishment" means any hotel, motel, tourist home, or other establishment permitted under authority of G.S. 130A-248 to provide lodging accommodations for pay to the public, and "combustion heater, appliance, or fireplace" means any heater, appliance, or fireplace that burns combustion fuels, including, but not limited to, natural or liquefied petroleum gas, fuel oil, kerosene, wood, or coal for heating, cooking, drying, or decorative purposes, including, but not limited to, space heaters, wall and ceiling heaters, ranges, ovens, stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters, and clothes dryers. For purposes of this subsection, candles and canned fuels are not considered to be combustion appliances.

(3)        The Building Code Council shall modify the NC State Building Code (Fire Prevention) to regulate the provisions of this subsection in new and existing lodging establishments, including hotels, motels, tourist homes that provide accommodations for seven or more continuous days (extended-stay establishments), and bed and breakfast inns and bed and breakfast homes as defined in G.S. 130A-247; provided nothing in this subsection shall prevent the Building Code Council from establishing more stringent rules regulating carbon monoxide alarms or detectors for new lodging establishments, including hotels, motels, tourist homes that provide accommodations for seven or more continuous days (extended-stay establishments), and bed and breakfast inns and bed and breakfast homes as defined in G.S. 130A-247. The Building Code Council shall modify the NC State Building Code (Fire Prevention) minimum inspection schedule to include annual inspections of new and existing lodging establishments, including hotels, motels, and tourist homes that provide accommodations for seven or more continuous days (extended-stay establishments), and bed and breakfast inns and bed and breakfast homes as defined in G.S. 130A-247 for the purpose of compliance with this subsection.

(4)        Upon discovery of a violation of this subsection that poses an imminent hazard and that is not corrected during an inspection of a lodging establishment subject to the provisions of G.S. 130A-248, the code official responsible for enforcing the NC State Building Code (Fire Prevention) shall immediately notify the local health director for the county in which the violation was discovered, or the local health director's designee, by verbal contact and shall also submit a written report documenting the violation of this subsection to the local health director for the county in which the violation was discovered, or the local health director's designee, on the next working day following the discovery of the violation. Within one working day of receipt of the written report documenting a violation of this subsection, the local health director for the county in which the violation was discovered, or the local health director's designee, shall investigate and take appropriate action regarding the permit for the lodging establishment, as provided in G.S. 130A-248. Lodging establishments having five or more rooms that are exempted from the requirements of G.S. 130A-248 by G.S. 130A-250 shall be subject to the penalties set forth in the NC State Building Code (Fire Prevention).

(5)        Upon discovery of a violation of this subsection that does not pose an imminent hazard and that is not corrected during an inspection of a lodging establishment subject to the provisions of G.S. 130A-248, the owner or operator of the lodging establishment shall have a correction period of three working days following the discovery of the violation to notify the code official responsible for enforcing the NC State Building Code (Fire Prevention) verbally or in writing that the violation has been corrected. If the code official receives such notification, the code official may reinspect the portions of the lodging establishment that contained violations, but any fees for reinspection shall not exceed the fee charged for the initial inspection. If the code official receives no such notification, or if a reinspection discovers that previous violations were not corrected, the code official shall submit a written report documenting the violation of this subsection to the local health director for the county in which the violation was discovered, or the local health director's designee, within three working days following the termination of the correction period or the reinspection, whichever is later. The local health director shall investigate and may take appropriate action regarding the permit for the lodging establishment, as provided in G.S. 130A-248. Lodging establishments having five or more rooms that are exempted from the requirements of G.S. 130A-248 by G.S. 130A-250 shall be subject to the penalties set forth in the NC State Building Code (Fire Prevention).

(6)        The requirements of subdivisions (2) through (5) of this subsection shall not apply to properties subject to the provisions of either G.S. 42-42 or G.S. 42A-31.

(b3)      Applicability of the Code. - Except as provided by subsections (b4) and (c1) of this section, the Code may contain provisions regulating every type of building or structure, wherever it might be situated in the State.

(b4)      Exclusion for Certain Farm Buildings. - Building rules do not apply to (i) farm buildings that are located outside the building-rules jurisdiction of any municipality, (ii) farm buildings that are located inside the building-rules jurisdiction of any municipality if the farm buildings are greenhouses or therapeutic equine facilities, (iii) a primitive camp, or (iv) a primitive farm building. For the purposes of this subsection:

(1)        For the purposes of this subdivision, a "farm building" means any nonresidential building or structure that is used for a bona fide farm purpose as provided in G.S. 153A-340. A "farm building" shall include:

a.         Any structure used or associated with equine activities, including, but not limited to, the care, management, boarding, or training of horses and the instruction and training of riders. Structures that are associated with equine activities include, but are not limited to, free standing or attached sheds, barns, or other structures that are utilized to store any equipment, tools, commodities, or other items that are maintained or used in conjunction with equine activities. The specific types of equine activities, structures, and uses set forth in this subdivision are for illustrative purposes, and should not be construed to limit, in any manner, the types of activities, structures, or uses that may be considered under this subsection as exempted from building rules. A farm building that might otherwise qualify for exemption from building rules shall remain subject only to an annual safety inspection by the applicable city or county building inspection department of any grandstand, bleachers, or other spectator-seating structures in the farm building. An annual safety inspection shall include an evaluation of the overall safety of spectator-seating structures as well as ensuring the spectator-seating structure's compliance with any building codes related to the construction of spectator-seating structures in effect at the time of the construction of the spectator-seating.

b.         Any structure used for the display and sale of produce, no more than 1,000 square feet in size, open to the public for no more than 180 days per year, and certified by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a Certified Roadside Farm Market.

c.         Any unoccupied structure built upon land owned by the State of North Carolina and administratively allocated to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or North Carolina State University which is used primarily for forestry production and research or agriculture production and research. The term "agriculture" has the same meaning as in G.S. 106-581.1. The term "unoccupied" does not exclude the keeping of livestock.

(1a)      A "farm building" shall not lose its status as a farm building because it is used for public or private events, including, but not limited to, weddings, receptions, meetings, demonstrations of farm activities, meals, and other events that are taking place on the farm because of its farm or rural setting.

(2)        A "greenhouse" is a structure that has a glass or plastic roof, has one or more glass or plastic walls, has an area over ninety-five percent (95%) of which is used to grow or cultivate plants, is built in accordance with the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association Structural Design manual, and is not used for retail sales. Additional provisions addressing distinct life safety hazards shall be approved by the local building-rules jurisdiction.

(2a)      A "therapeutic equine facility" is an equine facility as described in sub-subdivision (1)a. of this subsection operated by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that provides therapeutic equine-related activities for persons who are physically, intellectually, or emotionally challenged.

(3)        Repealed by Session Laws 2015-263, s. 34, effective September 30, 2015.

(4)        A "primitive camp" shall include any structure primarily used or associated with outdoor camping activities, including structures used for educational, instructional, or recreational purposes for campers and for management training, that are (i) not greater than 4,000 square feet in size and (ii) are not intended to be occupied for more than 24 hours consecutively. "Structures primarily used or associated with outdoor camping activities" include, but are not limited to, shelters, tree stands, outhouses, sheds, rustic cabins, campfire shelters, picnic shelters, tents, tepees or other indigenous huts, support buildings used only for administrative functions and not for activities involving campers or program participants, and any other structures that are utilized to store any equipment, tools, commodities, or other items that are maintained or used in conjunction with outdoor camping activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, or nature appreciation, regardless of material used for construction. The specific types of primitive camping activities, structures, and uses set forth in this subdivision are for illustrative purposes and should not be construed to limit, in any manner, the types of activities, structures, or uses that are exempted from building rules.

(5)        A "primitive farm building" shall include any structure used for activities, instruction, training, or reenactment of traditional or heritage farming practices. "Primitive farm buildings" include, but are not limited to, sheds, barns, outhouses, doghouses, or other structures that are utilized to store any equipment, tools, commodities, livestock, or other items supporting farm management. These specific types of farming activities, structures, and uses set forth by this subdivision are for illustrative purposes and should not be construed to limit in any manner the types of activities, structures, or uses that are exempted from building rules.

(6)        Repealed by Session Laws 2015-263, s. 34, effective September 30, 2015.

(b5)      Exclusion for Certain Minor Activities in Residential and Farm Structures. - No permit shall be required under the Code or any local variance thereof approved under subsection (e) for any construction, installation, repair, replacement, or alteration performed in accordance with the current edition of the North Carolina State Building Code and costing fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) or less in any single family residence or farm building unless the work involves any of the following:

(1)        The addition, repair, or replacement of load bearing structures. However, no permit is required for replacements of windows, doors, exterior siding, or the pickets, railings, stair treads, and decking of porches and exterior decks that otherwise meet the requirements of this subsection.

(2)        The addition or change in the design of plumbing. However, no permit is required for replacements otherwise meeting the requirements of this subsection that do not change size or capacity.

(3)        The addition, replacement or change in the design of heating, air conditioning, or electrical wiring, appliances, or equipment.

(4)        The use of materials not permitted by the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings.

(5)        The addition (excluding replacement) of roofing.

(b6)      No State Agency Permit. - No permit shall be required under the Code from any State agency for the construction of any building or structure, the total cost of which is less than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), except public or institutional buildings.

(b7)      Appendices. - For the information of users thereof, the Code shall include as appendices the following:

(1)        Any rules governing boilers adopted by the Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessels Rules,

(2)        Any rules relating to the safe operation of elevators adopted by the Commissioner of Labor, and

(3)        Any rules relating to sanitation adopted by the Commission for Public Health which the Building Code Council believes pertinent.

The Code may include references to such other rules of special types, such as those of the Medical Care Commission and the Department of Public Instruction as may be useful to persons using the Code. No rule issued by any agency other than the Building Code Council shall be construed as a part of the Code, nor supersede that Code, it being intended that they be presented with the Code for information only.

(b8)      Exclusion for Certain Utilities. - Nothing in this Article shall extend to or be construed as being applicable to the regulation of the design, construction, location, installation, or operation of (1) equipment for storing, handling, transporting, and utilizing liquefied petroleum gases for fuel purposes or anhydrous ammonia or other liquid fertilizers, except for liquefied petroleum gas from the outlet of the first stage pressure regulator to and including each liquefied petroleum gas utilization device within a building or structure covered by the Code, or (2) equipment or facilities, other than buildings, of a public utility, as defined in G.S. 62-3, a cable television company, or an electric or telephone membership corporation, including without limitation poles, towers, and other structures supporting electric, cable television, or communication lines.

(b9)      Exclusion for Industrial Machinery. - Nothing in this Article shall extend to or be construed as being applicable to the regulation of the design, construction, location, installation, or operation of industrial machinery. However, if during the building code inspection process, an electrical inspector has any concerns about the electrical safety of a piece of industrial machinery, the electrical inspector may refer that concern to the Occupational Safety and Health Division in the North Carolina Department of Labor but shall not withhold the certificate of occupancy nor mandate third-party testing of the industrial machinery based solely on this concern. For the purposes of this paragraph, "industrial machinery" means equipment and machinery used in a system of operations for the explicit purpose of producing a product or acquired by a State-supported center providing testing, research, and development services to manufacturing clients. The term does not include equipment that is permanently attached to or a component part of a building and related to general building services such as ventilation, heating and cooling, plumbing, fire suppression or prevention, and general electrical transmission.

(b10)    Replacement Water Heaters. -

(1)        Exclusion. - No permit shall be required under the Code or any local variant approved under subsection (e) of this section for replacement of water heaters in one- or two-family dwellings, provided (i) the energy use rate or thermal input is not greater than that of the water heater which is being replaced, and there is no change in fuel, energy source, location, or routing or sizing of venting and piping, (ii) the work is performed by a person or employee of a company licensed under G.S. 87-21 or pursuant to G.S. 87-21(i), and (iii) the replacement is installed in accordance with the current edition of the North Carolina State Building Code.

(2)        Energy efficiency. - The Code may contain rules concerning minimum efficiency requirements for replacement water heaters, which shall consider reasonable availability from manufacturers to meet installation space requirements and may contain rules concerning energy efficiency that require all hot water plumbing pipes that are larger than one-fourth of an inch to be insulated.

(b11)    School Seclusion Rooms. - No State, county, or local building code or regulation shall prohibit the use of special locking mechanisms for seclusion rooms in the public schools approved under G.S. 115C-391.1(e)(1)e., provided that the special locking mechanism shall be constructed so that it will engage only when a key, knob, handle, button, or other similar device is being held in position by a person, and provided further that, if the mechanism is electrically or electronically controlled, it automatically disengages when the building's fire alarm is activated. Upon release of the locking mechanism by a supervising adult, the door must be able to be opened readily.

(b12)    Cisterns. - The Code may include rules pertaining to the construction or renovation of residential or commercial buildings and structures that permit the use of cisterns to provide water for flushing toilets and for outdoor irrigation. No State, county, or local building code or regulation shall prohibit the use of cisterns to provide water for flushing toilets and for outdoor irrigation. As used in this subsection, "cistern" means a storage tank that is watertight; has smooth interior surfaces and enclosed lids; is fabricated from nonreactive materials such as reinforced concrete, galvanized steel, or plastic; is designed to collect rainfall from a catchment area; may be installed indoors or outdoors; and is located underground, at ground level, or on elevated stands.

(b13)    Migrant Housing. - The Council shall provide for an exemption from any requirements in the fire prevention code for installation of an automatic sprinkler system applicable to buildings meeting all of the following:

(1)        Has one floor.

(2)        Meets all requirements of 29 C.F.R. § 1910.142, as amended.

(3)        Meets all requirements of Article 19 of Chapter 95 of the General Statutes and rules implementing that Article.

For purposes of this subsection, "migrant housing" and "migrant" shall be defined as in G.S. 95-223.

(b14)    Exclusion for Routine Maintenance of Pumps and Dispensers. - No permit shall be required under the Code or any local variant approved under subsection (e) of this section for routine maintenance on fuel dispensing pumps and other dispensing devices. For purposes of this subsection, "routine maintenance" includes repair or replacement of hoses, O-rings, nozzles, or emergency breakaways.

(b15)    Exclusion from Energy Code Requirements for Existing Commercial Buildings. - The alteration of commercial buildings and structures that received a certificate of occupancy prior to January 1, 2012, may be subject to the rules pertaining to energy efficiency and energy conservation that were in effect on December 31, 2011. The addition to commercial buildings and structures that received a certificate of occupancy prior to January 1, 2012, may be subject to the rules pertaining to energy efficiency and energy conservation that were in effect on December 31, 2011, so long as the addition does not increase the building area of the existing commercial building or structure to more than one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the building area of the commercial building or structure as it was in existence on December 31, 2011. For the purpose of this subsection, the term "commercial buildings and structures" shall include all structures and buildings that are not classified as a Group R occupancy by the Building Code Council.

(b16)    Exclusion for Electrical Devices and Lighting Fixtures. - No permit shall be required under the Code or any local variant approved under subsection (e) of this section for the repair or replacement of dishwashers, disposals, water heaters, electrical devices, or lighting fixtures in residential or commercial structures, provided that all of the following apply:

(1)        The repair or replacement does not require the addition or relocation of electrical wiring.

(2)        The work is performed by a person or employee of a company licensed under G.S. 87-43.

(3)        The repair or replacement is performed in accordance with the current edition of the North Carolina State Building Code.

(b17)    Exclusion for Private Drinking Water Well Installation, Construction, Maintenance, and Repair. - No permit shall be required under the Code or any local variant approved under subsection (e) of this section for the electrical and plumbing activities associated with the installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of a private drinking water well when all of the following apply:

(1)        The work is performed by a contractor certified under Article 7A of Chapter 87 of the General Statutes under the terms of a permit issued by the local health department pursuant to G.S. 87-97.

(2)        The scope of work includes only the connection or disconnection of a well system to either the plumbing served by the well system or the electrical service that serves the well system. For purposes of this subsection, a well system includes the well, the pressure tank, the pressure switch, and all plumbing and electrical equipment in the well and between the well, pressure tank, and pressure switch.

(b18)    Exclusion From Energy Efficiency Code Requirements for Certain Use and Occupancy Classifications. - The Council shall provide for an exemption from any requirements in the energy efficiency standards pursuant to Chapter 13 of the 2012 North Carolina Building Code and the 2012 Energy Conservation Code, and any subsequent amendments to the Building Code and Energy Conservation Code, for the following use and occupancy classifications pursuant to Chapter 3 of the 2012 North Carolina Building Code: Section 306, Factory Group F; Section 311, Storage Group S; and Section 312, Utility and Miscellaneous Group U. This exclusion shall apply to the entire floor area of any structure for which the primary use or occupancy is listed herein.

(b19)    Exclusion From Energy Efficiency Code Requirements for Residential Garages. - The Council shall provide for an exemption for detached and attached garages located on the same lot as a dwelling from any requirements in the energy efficiency standards pursuant to Chapter 11 of the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Chapter 4 of the North Carolina Energy Conservation Code.

(c)        Standards to Be Followed in Adopting the Code. - All regulations contained in the North Carolina State Building Code shall have a reasonable and substantial connection with the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare, and their provisions shall be construed reasonably to those ends. Requirements of the Code shall conform to good engineering practice. The Council may use as guidance, but is not required to adopt, the requirements of the International Building Code of the International Code Council, the Standard Building Code of the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., the Uniform Building Code of the International Conference of Building Officials, the National Building Code of the Building Officials and Code Administrators, Inc., the National Electric Code, the Life Safety Code, the National Fuel Gas Code, the Fire Prevention Code of the National Fire Protection Association, the Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, and the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and standards promulgated by the American National Standards Institute, Standards Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., and similar national or international agencies engaged in research concerning strength of materials, safe design, and other factors bearing upon health and safety.

(c1)      Exemptions for Private Clubs and Religious Organizations. - The North Carolina State Building Code and the standards for the installation and maintenance of limited-use or limited-access hydraulic elevators under this Article shall not apply to private clubs or establishments exempted from coverage under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000a, et seq., or to religious organizations or entities controlled by religious organizations, including places of worship. A nonreligious organization or entity that leases space from a religious organization or entity is not exempt under this subsection.

(d)       Amendments of the Code. - Subject to the procedures set forth in G.S. 143-136(c) and (d), the Building Code Council may periodically revise and amend the North Carolina State Building Code, either on its own motion or upon application from any citizen, State agency, or political subdivision of the State. In addition to the periodic revisions or amendments made by the Council, the Council shall, following the procedure set forth in G.S. 143-136(c), revise the North Carolina State Building Code: Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, including provisions applicable to One- and Two-Family Dwellings from the NC Energy Code, NC Electrical Code, NC Fuel Gas Code, NC Plumbing Code, and NC Mechanical Code only every six years, to become effective the first day of January of the following year, with at least six months between adoption and effective date. The first six-year revision under this subsection shall be adopted to become effective January 1, 2019, and every six years thereafter. In adopting any amendment, the Council shall comply with the same procedural requirements and the same standards set forth above for adoption of the Code. The Council, through the Department of Insurance, shall publish in the North Carolina Register all appeal decisions made by the Council and all formal opinions at least semiannually. The Council, through the Department of Insurance, shall also publish at least semiannually in the North Carolina Register a statement providing the accurate Web site address and information on how to find additional commentary and interpretation of the Code.

(e)        Effect upon Local Codes. - Except as otherwise provided in this section, the North Carolina State Building Code shall apply throughout the State, from the time of its adoption. Approved rules shall become effective in accordance with G.S. 150B-21.3. However, any political subdivision of the State may adopt a fire prevention code and floodplain management regulations within its jurisdiction. The territorial jurisdiction of any municipality or county for this purpose, unless otherwise specified by the General Assembly, shall be as follows: Municipal jurisdiction shall include all areas within the corporate limits of the municipality and extraterritorial jurisdiction areas established as provided in G.S. 160A-360 or a local act; county jurisdiction shall include all other areas of the county. No such code or regulations, other than floodplain management regulations and those permitted by G.S. 160A-436, shall be effective until they have been officially approved by the Building Code Council as providing adequate minimum standards to preserve and protect health and safety, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) above. Local floodplain regulations may regulate all types and uses of buildings or structures located in flood hazard areas identified by local, State, and federal agencies, and include provisions governing substantial improvements, substantial damage, cumulative substantial improvements, lowest floor elevation, protection of mechanical and electrical systems, foundation construction, anchorage, acceptable flood resistant materials, and other measures the political subdivision deems necessary considering the characteristics of its flood hazards and vulnerability. In the absence of approval by the Building Code Council, or in the event that approval is withdrawn, local fire prevention codes and regulations shall have no force and effect. Provided any local regulations approved by the local governing body which are found by the Council to be more stringent than the adopted statewide fire prevention code and which are found to regulate only activities and conditions in buildings, structures, and premises that pose dangers of fire, explosion or related hazards, and are not matters in conflict with the State Building Code, shall be approved. Local governments may enforce the fire prevention code of the State Building Code using civil remedies authorized under G.S. 143-139, 153A-123, and 160A-175. If the Commissioner of Insurance or other State official with responsibility for enforcement of the Code institutes a civil action pursuant to G.S. 143-139, a local government may not institute a civil action under G.S. 143-139, 153A-123, or 160A-175 based upon the same violation. Appeals from the assessment or imposition of such civil remedies shall be as provided in G.S. 160A-434.

A local government may not adopt any ordinance in conflict with the exemption provided by subsection (c1) of this section. No local ordinance or regulation shall be construed to limit the exemption provided by subsection (c1) of this section.

(f)        Repealed by Session Laws 1989, c. 681, s. 3.

(g)        Publication and Distribution of Code. - The Building Code Council shall cause to be printed, after adoption by the Council, the North Carolina State Building Code and each amendment thereto. It shall, at the State's expense, distribute copies of the Code and each amendment to State and local governmental officials, departments, agencies, and educational institutions, as is set out in the table below. (Those marked by an asterisk will receive copies only on written request to the Council.)

OFFICIAL OR AGENCY                                                                        NUMBER OF COPIES

State Departments and Officials

Governor.............................................................................................................. 1

Lieutenant Governor........................................................................................... 1

Auditor................................................................................................................ 1

Treasurer.............................................................................................................. 1

Secretary of State................................................................................................ 1

Superintendent of Public Instruction................................................................... 1

Attorney General (Library).................................................................................. 1

Commissioner of Agriculture.............................................................................. 1

Commissioner of Labor....................................................................................... 1

Commissioner of Insurance................................................................................. 1

Department of Environmental Quality................................................................ 1

Department of Health and Human Services........................................................ 1

Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the

Department of Public Safety.......................................................................... 1

Board of Transportation....................................................................................... 1

Utilities Commission........................................................................................... 1

Department of Administration............................................................................ 1

Clerk of the Supreme Court................................................................................ 1

Clerk of the Court of Appeals............................................................................. 1

Department of Natural and Cultural Resources [State Library].......................... 1

Supreme Court Library........................................................................................ 1

Legislative Library.............................................................................................. 1

Office of Administrative Hearings...................................................................... 1

Rules Review Commission.................................................................................. 1

Schools

All state-supported colleges and universities

in the State of North Carolina...................................................................... * 1 each

Local Officials

Clerks of the Superior Courts.............................................................................. 1 each

Chief Building Inspector of each incorporated

municipality or county................................................................................. 1

In addition, the Building Code Council shall make additional copies available at such price as it shall deem reasonable to members of the general public. The proceeds from sales of the Building Code shall be credited to the Insurance Regulatory Fund under G.S. 58-6-25.

(h)        Violations. - Any person who shall be adjudged to have violated this Article or the North Carolina State Building Code, except for violations of occupancy limits established by either, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and shall upon conviction only be liable to a fine, not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00), for each offense. Each 30 days that such violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. Violation of occupancy limits established pursuant to the North Carolina State Building Code shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor. Any violation incurred more than one year after another conviction for violation of the occupancy limits shall be treated as a first offense for purposes of establishing and imposing penalties.

(i)         Section 1008 of Chapter X of Volume 1 of the North Carolina State Building Code, Title "Special Safety to Life Requirements Applicable to Existing High-Rise Buildings" as adopted by the North Carolina State Building Code Council on March 9, 1976, as ratified and adopted as follows:

SECTION 1008-SPECIAL SAFETY TO LIFE REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO EXISTING HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS

1008 - GENERAL.

(a)        Applicability. - Within a reasonable time, as fixed by "written order" of the building official, and except as otherwise provided in subsection (j) of this section every building the [then] existing, that qualifies for classification under Table 1008.1 shall be considered to be a high-rise building and shall be provided with safety to life facilities as hereinafter specified. All other buildings shall be considered as low-rise. NOTE: The requirements of Section 1008 shall be considered as minimum requirements to provide for reasonable safety to life requirements for existing buildings and where possible, the owner and designer should consider the provisions of Section 506 applicable to new high-rise buildings.

(b)        Notification of Building Owner. - The Department of Insurance will send copies of amendments adopted to all local building officials with the suggestion that all local building officials transmit to applicable building owners in their jurisdiction copies of adopted amendments, within six months from the date the amendments are adopted, with the request that each building owner respond to the local building official how he plans to comply with these requirements within a reasonable time.

NOTE: Suggested reasonable time and procedures for owners to respond to the building official's request is as follows:

(1)        The building owner shall, upon receipt of written request from the building official on compliance procedures within a reasonable time, submit an overall plan required by 1008(c) below within one year and within the time period specified in the approved overall plan, but not to exceed five years after the overall plan is approved, accomplish compliance with this section, as evidenced by completion of the work in accordance with approved working drawings and specifications and by issuance of a new Certificate of Compliance by the building official covering the work. Upon approval of building owner's overall plan, the building official shall issue a "written order", as per 1008(a) above, to comply with Section 1008 in accordance with the approved overall plan.

(2)        The building official may permit time extensions beyond five years to accomplish compliance in accordance with the overall plan when the owner can show just cause for such extension of time at the time the overall plan is approved.

(3)        The local building official shall send second request notices as per 1008(b) to building owners who have made no response to the request at the end of six months and a third request notice to no response building owners at the end of nine months.

(4)        If the building owner makes no response to any of the three requests for information on how the owner plans to comply with Section 1008 within 12 months from the first request, the building official shall issue a "written order" to the building owner to provide his building with the safety to life facilities as required by this section and to submit an overall plan specified by (1) above within six months with the five-year time period starting on the date of the "written order".

(5)        For purposes of this section, the Construction Section of the Division of Health Service Regulation, Department of Health and Human Services, will notify all non-State owned I-Institutional buildings requiring licensure by the Division of Health Service Regulation and coordinate compliance requirements with the Department of Insurance and the local building official.

(c)        Submission of Plans and Time Schedule for Completing Work. - Plans and specifications, but not necessarily working drawings covering the work necessary to bring the building into compliance with this section shall be submitted to the building official within a reasonable time. (See suggested time in NOTE of Section 1008(b) above). A time schedule for accomplishing the work, including the preparation of working drawings and specifications shall be included. Some of the work may require longer periods of time to accomplish than others, and this shall be reflected in the plan and schedule.

NOTE: Suggested Time Period For Compliance:

SUGGESTED TIME PERIOD FOR COMPLIANCE         

CLASS I  CLASS II        CLASS III      TIME FOR

ITEM                                         (SECTION) (SECTION)    (SECTION)    COMPLETION

-----------------------------------------------------

Signs in Elevator Lobbies

and Elevator Cabs                      1008.2(h)      1008.3(h)         1008.4(h)         180 days

Emergency Evacuation

 Plan                                           1008(b)         NOTE:                                    180 days

Corridor Smoke Detectors

 (Includes alternative

door closers)                               1008.2(c)      1008.3(c)         1008.4(c)         1 year

Manual Fire Alarm                    1008.2(a)      1008.3(a)         1008.4(a)         1 year

Voice Communication

 System Required                       1008.2(b)      1008.3(b)         1008.4(b)         2 years

Smoke Detectors

 Required                                   1008.2(c)      1008.3(c)         1008.4(c)         1 year

Protection and Fire

 Stopping for Vertical

 Shafts                                        1008.2(f)      1008.3(f)         1008.4(f)         3 years

Special Exit

 Requirements-Number,

 Location and Illum-

ination to be in

 accordance with

 Section 1007                             1008.2(e)      1008.3(e)         1008.4(e)         3 years

Emergency Electrical

 Power Supply                            1008.2(d)     1008.3(d)        1008.4(d)        4 years

Special Exit Facilities

 Required                                   1008.2(e)      1008.3(e)         1008.4(e)         5 years

Compartmentation for

 Institutional

 Buildings                                   1008.2(f)      1008.3(f)         1008.4(f)         5 years

Emergency Elevator

 Requirements                            1008.2(h)      1008.3(h)         1008.4(h)         5 years

Central Alarm Facility

 Required                                                          1008.3(i)        1008.4(i)          5 years

Areas of Refuge Required

 on Every Eighth Floor                                                             1008.4(j)        5 years

Smoke Venting                                                                        1008.4(k)       5 years

Fire Protection of

 Electrical Conductors                                                             1008.4(l)        5 years

Sprinkler System

 Required                                                                                  1008.4(m)      5 years

 

(d)       Building Official Notification of Department of Insurance. - The building official shall send copies of written notices he sends to building owners to the Engineering and Building Codes Division for their files and also shall file an annual report by August 15th of each year covering the past fiscal year setting forth the work accomplished under the provisions of this section.

(e)        Construction Changes and Design of Life Safety Equipment. - Plans and specifications which contain construction changes and design of life safety equipment requirements to comply with provisions of this section shall be prepared by a registered architect in accordance with provisions of Chapter 83A of the General Statutes or by a registered engineer in accordance with provisions of Chapter 89C of the General Statutes or by both an architect and engineer particularly qualified by training and experience for the type of work involved. Such plans and specifications shall be submitted to the Engineering and Building Codes Division of the Department of Insurance for approval. Plans and specifications for I-Institutional buildings licensed by the Division of Health Service Regulation as noted in (b) above shall be submitted to the Construction Section of that Division for review and approval.

(f)        Filing of Test Reports and Maintenance on Life Safety Equipment. - The engineer performing the design for the electrical and mechanical equipment, including sprinkler systems, must file the test results with the Engineering and Building Codes Division of the Department of Insurance, or to the agency designated by the Department of Insurance, that such systems have been tested to indicate that they function in accordance with the standards specified in this section and according to design criteria. These test results shall be a prerequisite for the Certificate of Compliance required by (b) above. Test results for I-Institutional shall be filed with the Construction Section, Division of Health Service Regulation. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the owners of Class I, II and III buildings to maintain smoke detection, fire detection, fire control, smoke removal and venting as required by this section and similar emergency systems in proper operating condition at all times. Certification of full tests and inspections of all emergency systems shall be provided by the owner annually to the fire department.

(g)        Applicability of Chapter X and Conflicts with Other Sections. - The requirements of this section shall be in addition to those of Sections 1001 through 1007; and in case of conflict, the requirements affording the higher degree of safety to life shall apply, as determined by the building official.

(h)        Classes of Buildings and Occupancy Classifications. - Buildings shall be classified as Class I, II or III according to Table 1008.1. In the case of mixed occupancies, for this purpose, the classification shall be the most restrictive one resulting from the application of the most prevalent occupancies to Table 1008.1.

FOOTNOTE: Emergency Plan. - Owners, operators, tenants, administrators or managers of high-rise buildings should consult with the fire authority having jurisdiction and establish procedures which shall include but not necessarily be limited to the following:

(1)        Assignment of a responsible person to work with the fire authority in the establishment, implementation and maintenance of the emergency pre-fire plan.

(2)        Emergency plan procedures shall be supplied to all tenants and shall be posted conspicuously in each hotel guest room, each office area, and each schoolroom.

(3)        Submission to the local fire authority of an annual renewal or amended emergency plan.

(4)        Plan should be completed as soon as possible.

1008.1 - ALL EXISTING BUILDINGS SHALL BE CLASSIFIED AS CLASS I, II AND III ACCORDING TO TABLE 1008.1.

TABLE 1008.1

Scope

            Scope

                                                                                                         OCCUPIED FLOOR

CLASS (1)         OCCUPANCY                                           ABOVE AVERAGE GRADE

                           GROUP (3)(4)                                          EXCEEDING HEIGHT (2)

Group R-Residential                                    60' but less than

                           Group B-Business                                        120' above average

                           Group E-Educational                                   grade or 6 but less

CLASS I            Group A-Assembly                                      than 12 stories above

                           Group H-Hazardous average grade.

                           Group I-Institutional-Restrained  1

                           Group I-Institutional-Unrestrained              36' but less than 60' above

average grade or 3 but less

                                                                                                than 6 stories above average

                                                                                                grade.

                           Group R-Residential                                    120' but less than

                           Group B-Business                                        250' above average

                           Group E-Educational                                   grade or 12 but less

CLASS II           Group A-Assembly                                      than 25 stories

                           Group H-Hazardous                                     above average grade.

Group I-Institutional-Restrained

                           Group I-Institutional-Unrestrained              60' but less than 250' above

                                                                                                average grade or 6 but less

                                                                                                than 25 stories above

                                                                                                average grade.

                           Group R-Residential                                    250' or 25 stories

                           Group B-Business                                        above average grade.

CLASS III         Group E-Educational

                           Group I-Institutional

                           Group A-Assembly

                           Group H-Hazardous

NOTE 1: The entire building shall comply with this section when the building has an occupied floor above the height specified, except that portions of the buildings which do not exceed the height specified are exempt from this section, subject to the following provisions:

(a)        Low-rise portions of Class I buildings must be separated from high-rise portions by one-hour construction.

(b)        Low-rise portions of Class II and III buildings must be separated from high-rise portions by two-hour construction.

(c)        Any required exit from the high-rise portion which passes through the low-rise portions must be separated from the low-rise portion by the two-hour construction.

NOTE 2: The height described in Table 1008.1 shall be measured between the average grade outside the building and the finished floor of the top occupied story.

NOTE 3: Public parking decks meeting the requirements of Section 412.7 and less than 75 feet in height are exempt from the requirements of this section when there is no other occupancy above or below such deck.

NOTE 4: Special purpose equipment buildings, such as telephone equipment buildings housing the equipment only, with personnel occupant load limited to persons required to maintain the equipment may be exempt from any or all of these requirements at the discretion of the Engineering and Building Codes Division provided such special purpose equipment building is separated from other portions of the building by two-hour fire rated construction.

1008.2-REQUIREMENTS FOR EXISTING CLASS I BUILDINGS.

All Class I buildings shall be provided with the following:

(a)        An approved manual fire alarm system, meeting the requirements of Section 1125 and applicable portions of NFPA 71, 72A, 72B, 72C or 72D, shall be provided unless the building is fully sprinklered or equipped with an approved automatic fire detection system connected to the fire department.

(b)        All Class I buildings shall meet the requirements of Sections 1001-1007.

(c)        Smoke Detectors Required. - At least one approved listed smoke detector tested in accordance with UL-167, capable of detecting visible and invisible particles of combustion shall be installed as follows:

(1)        All buildings classified as institutional, residential and assembly occupancies shall be provided with listed smoke detectors in all required exit corridors spaced no further than 60' on center or more than 15' from any wall. Exterior corridors open to the outside are not required to comply with this requirement. If the corridor walls have one-hour fire resistance rating with all openings protected with 1-3/4 inch solid wood core or hollow metal door or equivalent and all corridor doors are equipped with approved self-closing devices, the smoke detectors in the corridor may be omitted. Detectors in corridors may be omitted when each dwelling unit is equipped with smoke detectors which activate the alarm system.

(2)        In every mechanical equipment, boiler, electrical equipment, elevator equipment or similar room unless the room is sprinklered or the room is separated from other areas by two-hour fire resistance construction with all openings therein protected with approved fire dampers and Class B fire doors. (Approved listed fire (heat) detectors may be submitted for these rooms.)

(3)        In the return air portion of every air conditioning and mechanical ventilation system that serves more than one floor.

(4)        The activation of any detector shall activate the alarm system, and shall cause such other operations as required by this Code.

(5)        The annunciator shall be located near the main entrance or in a central alarm and control facility.

NOTE 1: Limited area sprinklers may be supplied from the domestic water system provided the domestic water system is designed to support the design flow of the largest number of sprinklers in any one of the enclosed areas. When supplied by the domestic water system, the maximum number of sprinklers in any one enclosed room or area shall not exceed 20 sprinklers which must totally protect the room or area.

(d)       Emergency Electrical Power Supply. - An emergency electrical power supply shall be provided to supply the following for a period of not less than two hours. An emergency electrical power supply may consist of generators, batteries, a minimum of two remote connections to the public utility grid supplied by multiple generating stations, a combination of the above.

(1)        Emergency, exit and elevator cab lighting.

(2)        Emergency illumination for corridors, stairs, etc.

(3)        Emergency Alarms and Detection Systems. - Power supply for fire alarm and fire detection. Emergency power does not need to be connected to fire alarm or detection systems when they are equipped with their own emergency power supply from float or trickle charge battery in accordance with NFPA standards.

(e)        Special Exit Requirements. - Exits and exitways shall meet the following requirements:

(1)        Protection of Stairways Required. - All required exit stairways shall be enclosed with noncombustible one-hour fire rated construction with a minimum of 1 3/4 inch solid core wood door or hollow metal door or 20 minute UL listed doors as entrance thereto. (See Section 1007.5).

(2)        Number and Location of Exits. - All required exit stairways shall meet the requirements of Section 1007 to provide for proper number and location and proper fire rated enclosures and illumination of and designation for means of egress.

(3)        Exit Outlets. - Each required exit stair shall exit directly outside or through a separate one-hour fire rated corridor with no openings except the necessary openings to exit into the fire rated corridor and from the fire rated corridor and such openings shall be protected with 1 3/4 inch solid wood core or hollow metal door or equivalent unless the exit floor level and all floors below are equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system meeting the requirements of NFPA No. 13.

(f)        Smoke Compartments Required for I-Institutional Buildings. - Each occupied floor shall be divided into at least two compartments with each compartment containing not more than 30 institutional occupants. Such compartments shall be subdivided with one-half hour fire rated partitions which shall extend from outside wall to outside wall and from floor to and through any concealed space to the floor slab or roof above and meet the following requirements:

(1)        Maximum area of any smoke compartment shall be not more than 22,500 square feet in area with both length and width limited to 150 feet.

(2)        At least one smoke partition per floor regardless of building size forming two smoke zones of approximately equal size.

(3)        All doors located in smoke partitions shall be properly gasketed to insure a substantial barrier to the passage of smoke and gases.

(4)        All doors located in smoke partitions shall be no less than 1¾ inch thick solid core wood doors with UL, 1/4 inch wire glass panel in metal frames. This glass panel shall be a minimum of 100 square inches and a maximum of 720 square inches.

(5)        Every door located in a smoke partition shall be equipped with an automatic closer. Doors that are normally held in the open position shall be equipped with an electrical device that shall, upon actuation of the fire alarm or smoke detection system in an adjacent zone, close the doors in that smoke partition.

(6)        Glass in all corridor walls shall be 1/4", UL approved, wire glass in metal frames in pieces not to exceed 1296 square inches.

(7)        Doors to all patient rooms and treatment areas shall be a minimum of 1 3/4 inch solid core wood doors except in fully sprinklered buildings.

(g)        Publication and Distribution of Code. - The Building Code Council shall cause to be printed, after adoption by the Council, the North Carolina State Building Code and each amendment thereto. It shall, at the State's expense, distribute copies of the Code and each amendment to State and local governmental officials, departments, agencies, and educational institutions, as is set out in the table below. (Those marked by an asterisk will receive copies only on written request to the Council.)

OFFICIAL OR AGENCY                                                       NUMBER OF COPIES

State Departments and Officials                                                                                  

Governor ................................................................................................................ 1

Lieutenant Governor............................................................................................... 1

Auditor ................................................................................................................... 1

Treasurer ................................................................................................................ 1

Secretary of State ................................................................................................... 1

Superintendent of Public Instruction ..................................................................... 1

Attorney General (Library) .................................................................................... 1

Commissioner of Agriculture ................................................................................ 1

Commissioner of Labor ......................................................................................... 1

Commissioner of Insurance ................................................................................... 1

Department of Environment and Natural Resources ............................................. 1

Department of Health and Human Services ........................................................... 1

Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the

Department of Public Safety............................................................................... 1

Board of Transportation.......................................................................................... 1

Utilities Commission ............................................................................................. 1

Department of Administration ............................................................................... 1

Clerk of the Supreme Court ................................................................................... 1

Clerk of the Court of Appeals ................................................................................ 1

Department of Natural and Cultural Resources [State Library]............................. 1

Supreme Court Library .......................................................................................... 1

Legislative Library.................................................................................................. 1

Office of Administrative Hearings ......................................................................... 1

Rules Review Commission..................................................................................... 1

Schools

All state-supported colleges and universities in the State of North

Carolina...................................................................................................... *1 each

Local Officials

Clerks of the Superior Courts................................................................................. 1 each

Chief Building Inspector of each incorporated

municipality or county................................................................................. 1

 

In addition, the Building Code Council shall make additional copies available at such price as it shall deem reasonable to members of the general public. The proceeds from sales of the Building Code shall be credited to the Insurance Regulatory Fund under G.S. 58-6-25.

(h)        Signs in Elevator Lobbies and Elevator Cabs. - Each elevator lobby call station on each floor shall have an emergency sign located adjacent to the call button and each elevator cab shall have an emergency sign located adjacent to the floor status indicator. The required emergency sign shall be readable at all times and shall be a minimum of 1/2" high block letters with the words: "IN CASE OF FIRE DO NOT USE ELEVATOR - USE THE EXIT STAIRS" or other words to this effect.

1008.3 - REQUIREMENTS FOR EXISTING CLASS II BUILDINGS.

All Class II buildings must meet the following requirements:

(a)        Manual Fire Alarm. - Provide manual fire alarm system in accordance with Section 1008.2(a). In addition, buildings so equipped with sprinkler alarm system or automatic fire detection system must have at least one manual fire alarm station near an exit on each floor as a part of such sprinkler or automatic fire detection and alarm system. Such manual fire alarm systems shall report a fire by floor.

(b)        Voice Communication System Required. - An approved voice communication system or systems operated from the central alarm and control facilities shall be provided and shall consist of the following:

(1)        One-Way Voice Communication Public Address System Required. - A one-way voice communication system shall be established on a selective basis which can be heard clearly by all occupants in all exit stairways, elevators, elevator lobbies, corridors, assembly rooms and tenant spaces.

NOTE 1: This system shall function so that in the event of one circuit or speaker being damaged or out of service, the remainder of the system shall continue to be operable.

NOTE 2: This system shall include provisions for silencing the fire alarm devices when the loud speakers are in use, but only after the fire alarm devices have operated initially for not less than 15 seconds.

(c)        Smoke Detectors Required. - Smoke detectors are required as per Section 1008.2(c). The following are additional requirements:

(1)        Storage rooms larger than 24 square feet or having a maximum dimension of over eight feet shall be provided with approved fire detectors or smoke detectors installed in an approved manner unless the room is sprinklered.

(2)        The actuation of any detectors shall activate the fire alarm system.

(d)       Emergency Electrical Power Supply. - An emergency electrical power supply shall be provided to supply the following for a period of not less than two hours. An emergency electrical power supply may consist of generators, batteries, a minimum of two remote connections to the public utility grid supplied by multiple generating stations, a combination of the above. Power supply shall furnish power for items listed in Section 1008.2(d) and the following:

(1)        Pressurization Fans. - Fans to provide required pressurization, smoke venting or smoke control for stairways.

(2)        Elevators. - The designated emergency elevator.

(e)        Special Exit Facilities Required. - The following exit facilities are required:

(1)        The special exit facilities required in 1008.2(e) are required. All required exit stairways shall be enclosed with noncombustible two-hour fire rated construction with a minimum of 1 1/2 hour Class B-labeled doors as entrance thereto: (See Section 1007.5).

(2)        Smoke-Free Stairways Required. - At least one stairway shall be a smoke free stairway in accordance with Section 1104.2 or at least one stairway shall be pressurized to between 0.15 inch and 0.35 inch water column pressure with all doors closed. Smoke-free stairs and pressurized stairs shall be identified with signs containing letters a minimum of ½ inch high containing the words "PRIMARY EXIT STAIRS" unless all stairs are smoke free or pressurized. Approved exterior stairways meeting the requirements of Chapter XI or approved existing fire escapes meeting the requirements of Chapter X with all openings within 10 feet protected with wire glass or other properly designed stairs protected to assure similar smoke-free vertical egress may be permitted. All required exit stairways shall also meet the requirements of Section 1008.2(e).

(3)        If stairway doors are locked from the stairway side, keys shall be provided to unlock all stairway doors on every eighth floor leading into the remainder of the building and the key shall be located in a glass enclosure adjacent to the door at each floor level (which may sound an alarm when the glass is broken). When the key unlocks the door, the hardware shall be of the type that remains unlocked after the key is removed. Other means, approved by the building official may be approved to enable occupants and fire fighters to readily unlock stairway doors on every eighth floor that may be locked from the stairwell side. The requirements of this section may be eliminated in smoke-free stairs and pressurized stairs provided fire department access keys are provided in locations acceptable to the local fire authority.

(f)        Compartmentation for I-Institutional Buildings Required. - See Section 1008.2(f).

(g)        Protection and Fire Stopping for Vertical Shafts. - All vertical shafts extending more than one floor including elevator shafts, plumbing shafts, electrical shafts and other vertical openings shall be protected with noncombustible two-hour fire rated construction with Class B-labeled door except for elevator doors which shall be hollow metal or equivalent. All vertical shafts which are not so enclosed must be fire stopped at each floor slab with noncombustible materials having a fire resistance rating of not less than two hours to provide an effective barrier to the passage of smoke, heat and gases from floor to floor through such shaft.

EXCEPTION: Shaft wall openings protected in accordance with NFPA No. 90A and openings connected to metal ducts equipped with approved fire dampers within the shaft wall opening do not need any additional protection.

(h)        Emergency Elevator Requirements.

(1)        Elevator Recall. - Each elevator shall be provided with an approved manual return. When actuated, all cars taking a minimum of one car at a time, in each group of elevators having common lobby, shall return directly at normal car speed to the main floor lobby, or to a smoke-free lobby leading most directly to the outside. Cars that are out of service are exempt from this requirement. The manual return shall be located at the main floor lobby.

NOTE: Manually operated cars are considered to be in compliance with this provision if each car is equipped with an audible or visual alarm to signal the operator to return to the designated level.

(2)        Identification of Emergency Elevator. - At least one elevator shall be identified as the emergency elevator and shall serve all floor levels. NOTE: This elevator will have a manual control in the cab which will override all other controls including floor call buttons and door controls.

(3)        Signs in Elevator Lobbies and Elevator Cabs. - Each elevator lobby call station on each floor shall have an emergency sign located adjacent to the call button and each elevator cab shall have an emergency sign located adjacent to the floor status indicator. These required emergency signs shall be readable at all times and shall be a minimum of 1/2 inch high block letters with the words: "IN CASE OF FIRE DO NOT USE ELEVATOR - USE THE EXIT STAIRS" or other words to this effect.

(i)         Central Alarm Facility Required. - A central alarm facility accessible at all times to fire department personnel or attended 24 hours a day, shall be provided and shall contain the following:

(1)        Facilities to automatically transmit manual and automatic alarm signals to the fire department either directly or through a signal monitoring service.

(2)        Public service telephone.

(3)        Fire detection and alarm systems annunciator panels to indicate the type of signal and the floor or zone from which the fire alarm is received. These signals shall be both audible and visual with a silence switch for the audible.

NOTE: Detectors in HVAC systems used for fan shut down need not be annunciated.

(4)        Master keys for access from all stairways to all floors.

(5)        One-way voice emergency communications system controls.

1008.4 - REQUIREMENTS FOR EXISTING CLASS III BUILDINGS.

All Class III Buildings shall be provided with the following:

(a)        Manual Fire Alarm System. - A manual fire alarm system meeting the requirements of Section 1008.3(a).

(b)        Voice Communication System Required. - An approved voice communication system or systems operated from the central alarm and control facilities shall be provided and shall consist of the following:

(1)        One-Way Voice Communication Public Address System Required. - A one-way voice communication system shall be established on a selective or general basis which can be heard clearly by all occupants in all elevators, elevator lobbies, corridors, and rooms or tenant spaces exceeding 1,000 sq. ft. in area.

NOTE 1: This system shall be designed so that in the event of one circuit or speaker being damaged or out of service the remainder of the system shall continue to be operable.

NOTE 2: This system shall include provisions for silencing the fire alarm devices when the loud speakers are in use, but only after the fire alarm devices have operated initially for not less than 15 seconds.

(2)        Two-way system for use by both fire fighters and occupants at every fifth level in stairways and in all elevators.

(3)        Within the stairs at levels not equipped with two-way voice communications, signs indicating the location of the nearest two-way device shall be provided.

NOTE: The one-way and two-way voice communication systems may be combined.

(c)        Smoke Detectors Required. - Approved listed smoke detectors shall be installed in accordance with Section 1008.3(c) and in addition, such detectors shall terminate at the central alarm and control facility and be so designed that it will indicate the fire floor or the zone on the fire floor.

(d)       Amendments of the Code. - Subject to the procedures set forth in G.S. 143-136(c) and (d), the Building Code Council may periodically revise and amend the North Carolina State Building Code, either on its own motion or upon application from any citizen, State agency, or political subdivision of the State. In addition to the periodic revisions or amendments made by the Council, the Council shall, following the procedure set forth in G.S. 143-136(c), revise the North Carolina State Building Code: Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, including provisions applicable to One- and Two-Family Dwellings from the NC Energy Code, NC Electrical Code, NC Fuel Gas Code, NC Plumbing Code, and NC Mechanical Code only every six years, to become effective the first day of January of the following year, with at least six months between adoption and effective date. The first six-year revision under this subsection shall be adopted to become effective January 1, 2019, and every six years thereafter. In adopting any amendment, the Council shall comply with the same procedural requirements and the same standards set forth above for adoption of the Code. The Council, through the Department of Insurance, shall publish in the North Carolina Register all appeal decisions made by the Council and all formal opinions at least semiannually. The Council, through the Department of Insurance, shall also publish at least semiannually in the North Carolina Register a statement providing the accurate Web site address and information on how to find additional commentary and interpretation of the Code.

(e)        Special Exit Requirements. - All exits and exitways shall meet the requirements of Section 1008.3(e).

(f)        Compartmentation of Institutional Buildings Required. - See Section 1008.2(f).

(g)        Protection and Fire Stopping for Vertical Shafts. - Same as Class II buildings. See Section 1008.3(g).

(h)        Emergency Elevator Requirements.

(1)        Primary Emergency Elevator. - At least one elevator serving all floors shall be identified as the emergency elevator with identification signs both outside and inside the elevator and shall be provided with emergency power to meet the requirements of Section 1008.3(c).

NOTE: This elevator will have a manual control in the cab which will override all other controls including floor call buttons and door controls.

(2)        Elevator Recall. - Each elevator shall be provided with an approved manual return. When actuated, all cars taking a minimum of one car at a time, in each group of elevators having common lobby, shall return directly at normal car speed to the main floor lobby or to a smoke-free lobby leading most directly to the outside. Cars that are out of service are exempt from this requirement. The manual return shall be located at the main floor lobby.

NOTE: Manually operated cars are considered to be in compliance with this provision if each car is equipped with an audible or visual alarm to signal the operator to return to the designated level.

(3)        Signs in Elevator Lobbies and Elevator Cabs. - Each elevator lobby call station on each floor shall have an emergency sign located adjacent to the call button and each elevator cab shall have an emergency sign located adjacent to the floor status indicator. These required emergency signs shall be readable at all times and have a minimum of ½" high block letters with the words: "IN CASE OF FIRE, UNLESS OTHERWISE INSTRUCTED, DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR - USE THE EXIT STAIRS" or other words to this effect.

(4)        Machine Room Protection. - When elevator equipment located above the hoistway is subject to damage from smoke particulate matter, cable slots entering the machine room shall be sleeved beneath the machine room floor to inhibit the passage of smoke into the machine room.

(5)        Secondary Emergency Elevator. - At least one elevator located in separate shaft from the Primary Emergency Elevator shall be identified as the "Secondary Emergency Elevator" with identification signs both outside and inside the elevator. It will serve all occupied floors above 250 feet and shall have all the same facilities as the primary elevator and will be capable of being transferred to the emergency power system.

NOTE: Emergency power supply can be sized for nonsimultaneous use of the primary and secondary emergency elevators.

(i)         Central Alarm and Control Facilities Required.

(1)        A central alarm facility accessible at all times to Fire Department personnel or attended 24 hours a day, shall be provided. The facility shall be located on a completely sprinklered floor or shall be enclosed in two-hour fire resistive construction. Openings are permitted if protected by listed 1 1/2 hour Class B-labeled closures or water curtain devices capable of a minimum discharge of three gpm per lineal foot of opening. The facility shall contain the following:

(i)         Facilities to automatically transmit manual and automatic alarm signals to the fire department either directly or through a signal monitoring service.

(ii)        Public service telephone.

(iii)       Direct communication to the control facility.

(iv)       Controls for the voice communication systems.

(v)        Fire detection and alarm system annunciator panels to indicate the type of signal and the floor or zone from which the fire alarm is received, those signals, shall be both audible and visual with a silence switch for the audible.

NOTE: Detectors in HVAC systems used for fan shut down need not be annunciated.

(2)        A control facility (fire department command station) shall be provided at or near the fire department response point and shall contain the following:

(i)         Elevator status indicator.

NOTE: Not required in buildings where there is a status indicator at the main elevator lobby.

(ii)        Master keys for access from all stairways to all floors.

(iii)       Controls for the two-way communication system.

(iv)       Fire detection and alarm system annunciator panels to indicate the type of signal and the floor or zone from which the fire alarm is received.

(v)        Direct communication to the central alarm facility.

(3)        The central alarm and control facilities may be combined in a single approved location. If combined, the duplication of facilities and the direct communication system between the two may be deleted.

(j)         Areas of Refuge Required. - Class III buildings shall be provided with a designated "area of refuge" at the 250 ft. level and on at least every eighth floor or fraction thereof above that level to be designed so that occupants above the 250 ft. level can enter at all times and be safely accommodated in floor areas meeting the following requirements unless the building is completely sprinklered:

(1)        Identification and Size. - These areas of refuge shall be identified on the plans and in the building as necessary. The area of refuge shall provide not less than 3 sq. ft. per occupant for the total number of occupants served by the area based on the occupancy content calculated by Section 1105. A minimum of two percent (2%) of the number of occupants on each floor shall be assumed to be handicapped and no less than 16 sq. ft. per handicapped occupant shall be provided. Smoke proof stairways meeting the requirements of Section 1104.2 and pressurized stairways meeting the requirements of Section 1108.3(e)(2) may be used for ambulatory occupants at the rate of 3 sq. ft. of area of treads and landings per person, but in no case shall the stairs count for more than one-third of the total occupants. Doors leading to designated areas of refuge from stairways or other areas of the building shall not have locking hardware or shall be automatically unlocked upon receipt of any manual or automatic fire alarm signal.

(2)        Pressurized. - The area of refuge shall be pressurized with 100% fresh air utilizing the maximum capacity of existing mechanical building air conditioning system without recirculation from other areas or other acceptable means of providing fresh air into the area.

(3)        Fire Resistive Separation. - Walls, partitions, floor assemblies and roof assemblies separating the area of refuge from the remainder of the building shall be noncombustible and have a fire resistance rating of not less than one hour. Duct penetrations shall be protected as required for penetrations of shafts. Metallic piping and metallic conduit may penetrate or pass through the separation only if the openings around the piping or conduit are sealed on each side of the penetrations with impervious noncombustible materials to prevent the transfer of smoke or combustion gases from one side of the separation to the other. The fire door serving as a horizontal exit between compartments shall be so installed, fitted and gasketed to provide a barrier to the passage of smoke.

(4)        Access Corridors. - Any corridor leading to each designated area of refuge shall be protected as required by Sections 1104 and 702. The capacity of an access corridor leading to an area of refuge shall be based on 150 persons per unit width as defined in Section 1105.2. An access corridor may not be less than 44 inches in width. The width shall be determined by the occupant content of the most densely populated floor served. Corridors with one-hour fire resistive separation may be utilized for area of refuge at the rate of three sq. ft. per ambulatory occupant provided a minimum of one cubic ft. per minute of outside air per square foot of floor area is introduced by the air conditioning system.

(5)        Penetrations. - The continuity of the fire resistance at the juncture of exterior walls and floors must be maintained.

(k)        Smoke Venting. - Smoke venting shall be accomplished by one of the following methods in nonsprinklered buildings:

(1)        In a nonsprinklered building, the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system shall be arranged to exhaust the floor of alarm origin at its maximum exhausting capacity without recirculating air from the floor of alarm origin to any other floor. The system may be arranged to accomplish this either automatically or manually. If the air conditioning system is also used to pressurize the areas of refuge, this function shall not be compromised by using the system for smoke removal.

(2)        Venting facilities shall be provided at the rate of 20 square feet per 100 lineal feet or 10 square feet per 50 lineal feet of exterior wall in each story and distributed around the perimeter at not more than 50 or 100 foot intervals openable from within the fire floor. Such panels and their controls shall be clearly identified.

(3)        Any combination of the above two methods or other approved designs which will produce equivalent results and which is acceptable to the building official.

(l)         Fire Protection of Electrical Conductors. - New electrical conductors furnishing power for pressurization fans for stairways, power for emergency elevators and fire pumps required by Section 1008.4(d) shall be protected by a two-hour fire rated horizontal or vertical enclosure or structural element which does not contain any combustible materials. Such protection shall begin at the source of the electrical power and extend to the floor level on which the emergency equipment is located. It shall also extend to the emergency equipment to the extent that the construction of the building components on that floor permits. New electrical conductors in metal raceways located within a two-hour fire rated assembly without any combustible therein are exempt from this requirement.

(m)       Automatic Sprinkler Systems Required.

(1)        All areas which are classified as Group M-mercantile and Group H-hazardous shall be completely protected with an automatic sprinkler system.

(2)        All areas used for commercial or institutional food preparation and storage facilities adjacent thereto shall be provided with an automatic sprinkler system.

(3)        An area used for storage or handling of hazardous substances shall be provided with an automatic sprinkler system.

(4)        All laboratories and vocational shops in Group E, Educational shall be provided with an automatic sprinkler system.

(5)        Sprinkler systems shall be in strict accordance with NFPA No. 13 and the following requirements:

The sprinkler system must be equipped with a water flow and supervisory signal system that will transmit automatically a water flow signal directly to the fire department or to an independent signal monitoring service satisfactory to the fire department.

(j)         Subsection (i) of this section does not apply to business occupancy buildings as defined in the North Carolina State Building Code except that evacuation plans as required on page 8, lines 2 through 16 [Section 1008, footnote following subsection (h)], and smoke detectors as required for Class I Buildings as required by Section 1008.2, page 11, lines 5 through 21 [Section 1008.2, subdivision (c)(1)]; Class II Buildings as required by Section 1008.3, page 17, lines 17 through 28 and page 18, lines 1 through 10 [Section 1008.3, subsections (c) and (d)]; and Class III Buildings, as required by Section 1008.4, lines 21 through 25 [Section 1008.4, subsection (c)] shall not be exempted from operation of this act as applied to business occupancy buildings, except that the Council shall adopt rules that allow a business occupancy building built prior to 1953 to have a single exit to remain if the building complies with the Building Code on or before December 31, 2006.

(j1)       A nonbusiness occupancy building built prior to the adoption of the 1953 Building Code that is not in compliance with Section 402.1.3.5 of Volume IX of the Building Code or Section 3407.2.2 of Volume I of the Building Code must comply with the applicable sections by December 31, 2006.

(j2)       Repealed by Session Laws 2014-79, s. 5, effective July 22, 2014.

(k)        For purposes of use in the Code, the term "Family Care Home" shall mean an adult care home having two to six residents.

(l)         When any question arises as to any provision of the Code, judicial notice shall be taken of that provision of the Code.  (1957, c. 1138; 1969, c. 567; c. 1229, ss. 2-6; 1971, c. 1100, ss. 1, 2; 1973, c. 476, ss. 84, 128, 138, 152; c. 507, s. 5; 1981, c. 677, s. 3; c. 713, ss. 1, 2; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1282, s. 20.2D; c. 1348, s. 1; 1983, c. 614, s. 3; 1985, c. 576, s. 1; c. 622, s. 2; c. 666, s. 39; 1989, c. 25, s. 2; c. 681, ss. 2, 3, 9, 10, 18, 19; c. 727, ss. 157, 158; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 895, s. 1; 1993, c. 329, ss. 1, 3; c. 539, s. 1009; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 111, s. 1; c. 242, s. 1; c. 507, s. 27.8(r); c. 535, s. 30; 1997-26, ss. 1-3, 5; 1997-443, ss. 11A.93, 11A.94, 11A.118(a), 11A.119(a); 1998-57, s. 2; 1998-172, s. 1; 1998-202, s. 4(u); 1999-456, s. 40; 2000-137, s. 4(x); 2000-140, s. 93.1(a); 2001-141, ss. 1, 2, 3, 4; 2001-421, ss. 1.1, 1.2, 1.5; 2001-424, s. 12.2(b); 2002-144, s. 5; 2003-221, s. 6; 2003-284, s. 22.2; 2004-124, ss. 21.1, 21.2; 2005-205, s. 6; 2007-182, ss. 1, 2; 2007-529, s. 1; 2007-542, s. 1; 2008-176, s. 2; 2008-219, s. 1; 2009-79, s. 1(a)-(c); 2009-243, s. 1; 2009-532, s. 1; 2009-570, s. 18; 2010-97, s. 6(b); 2011-145, s. 19.1(mm); 2011-364, s. 1; 2012-34, s. 1; 2012-187, s. 16.1; 2013-75, s. 1; 2013-118, ss. 2, 3; 2013-206, s. 2; 2013-265, s. 18; 2013-413, ss. 19(a), 41; 2014-79, s. 5; 2014-90, s. 1; 2014-115, s. 17; 2014-120, s. 22(c); 2015-145, ss. 4.1, 5.2; 2015-241, s. 14.30(s), (u); 2015-263, s. 34; 2016-113, s. 13(a); 2017-10, s. 1.3(b); 2017-108, s. 8(b); 2017-130, s. 8(a); 2017-212, s. 8.11; 2017-186, s. 2(aaaaaa); 2018-65, s. 2(a).)

 

§ 143-138.1.  Introduction and instruction of the North Carolina Building Code; posting of written commentaries and interpretations on Department of Insurance Web site.

(a)        Prior to the effective date of Code changes pursuant to G.S. 143-138, the State Building Code Council and Department of Insurance shall provide for instructional classes for the various trades affected by the Code. The Department of Insurance shall develop the curriculum for each class but shall consult the affected licensing boards and trade organizations. The curriculum shall include explanations of the rationale and need for each Code amendment or revision. Classes may also be conducted by, on behalf of, or in cooperation with licensing boards, trade associations, and professional societies. The Department of Insurance may charge fees sufficient to recover the costs it incurs under this section. The Council shall ensure that courses are accessible to persons throughout the State.

(b)        The Department of Insurance shall post and maintain on that portion of its Web site devoted to the Building Code Council written commentaries and written interpretations made and given by staff to the Council and the Department for each section of the North Carolina Building Code within 10 business days of issuance.  (1997-26, s. 6; 2013-118, s. 3.5; 2015-145, s. 6.2.)

 

§ 143-139.  Enforcement of Building Code.

(a)        Procedural Requirements. - Subject to the provisions set forth herein, the Building Code Council shall adopt such procedural requirements in the North Carolina State Building Code as shall appear reasonably necessary for adequate enforcement of the Code while safeguarding the rights of persons subject to the Code.

(b)        General Building Regulations. - The Insurance Commissioner shall have general authority, through the Division of Engineering of the Department of Insurance, to supervise, administer, and enforce all sections of the North Carolina State Building Code pertaining to plumbing, electrical systems, general building restrictions and regulations, heating and air conditioning, fire protection, and the construction of buildings generally, except those sections of the Code, the enforcement of which is specifically allocated to other agencies by subsections (c) through (e) below. In the exercise of the duty to supervise, administer, and enforce the North Carolina State Building Code (including local building codes which have superseded the State Building Code in a particular political subdivision pursuant to G.S. 143-138(e)), the Commissioner, through the Division of Engineering, shall:

(1)        Cooperate with local officials and local inspectors duly appointed by the governing body of any municipality or board of county commissioners pursuant to Part 5 of Article 19 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes or Part 4 of Article 18 of Chapter 153A of the General Statutes, or any other applicable statutory authority.

(2)        In accordance with G.S. 143-139.4, timely assign a Code-enforcement official from the marketplace pool established under G.S. 143-151.12(9)a. to conduct any plumbing, electrical systems, general building restrictions and regulations, heating and air-conditioning, or general construction inspection required by the North Carolina State Building Code.

(b1)      Remedies. - In case any building or structure is maintained, erected, constructed, or reconstructed or its purpose altered, so that it becomes in violation of this Article or of the North Carolina State Building Code, either the local enforcement officer or the State Commissioner of Insurance or other State official with responsibility under this section may, in addition to other remedies, institute any appropriate action or proceeding to: (i) prevent the unlawful maintenance, erection, construction, or reconstruction or alteration of purpose, or overcrowding, (ii) restrain, correct, or abate the violation, or (iii) prevent the occupancy or use of the building, structure, or land until the violation is corrected. In addition to the civil remedies set out in G.S. 160A-175 and G.S. 153A-123, a county, city, or other political subdivision authorized to enforce the North Carolina State Building Code within its jurisdiction may, for the purposes stated in (i) through (iii) of this subsection, levy a civil penalty for violation of the fire prevention code of the North Carolina State Building Code, which penalty may be recovered in a civil action in the nature of debt if the offender does not pay the penalty within a prescribed period of time after the offender has been cited for the violation. If the Commissioner or other State official institutes an action or proceeding under this section, a county, city, or other political subdivision may not institute a civil action under this section based upon the same violation. Appeals from the imposition of any remedy set forth herein, including the imposition of a civil penalty by a county, city, or other political subdivision, shall be as provided in G.S. 160A-434.

(c)        Boilers. - The Bureau of Boiler Inspection of the Department of Labor shall have general supervision of the administration and enforcement of those sections of the North Carolina State Building Code which pertain to boilers of the types enumerated in Article 7 of Chapter 95 of the General Statutes.

(d)       Elevators. - The Department of Labor shall have general supervision of the administration and enforcement of those sections of the North Carolina State Building Code which pertain to elevators, moving stairways, and amusement devices such as merry-go-rounds, roller coasters, Ferris wheels, etc.

(e)        State Buildings. - With respect to State buildings, the Department of Administration shall have general supervision, through the Office of State Construction, of the administration and enforcement of all sections of the North Carolina State Building Code pertaining to plumbing, electrical systems, general building restrictions and regulations, heating and air conditioning, fire protection, and the construction of buildings generally, except those sections of the Code the enforcement of which is specifically allocated to other agencies by subsections (c) and (d) of this section, and shall also exercise all remedies as provided in subsection (b1) of this section. The Department of Administration shall be the only agency with the authority to seek remedies pursuant to this section with respect to State buildings. Except as provided herein, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to abrogate the authority of the Commissioner of Insurance under G.S. 58-31-40 or any other provision of law.  (1957, c. 1138; 1963, c. 811; 1989, c. 681, s. 11; 1993, c. 329, s. 2; 2009-474, ss. 3, 4; 2018-29, s. 2(b).)

 

§ 143-139.1.  Certification of manufactured buildings, structures or components by recognized independent testing laboratory; minimum standards for modular homes.

(a)        Certification. - The State Building Code may provide, in circumstances deemed appropriate by the Building Code Council, for testing, evaluation, inspection, and certification of buildings, structures or components manufactured off the site on which they are to be erected, by a recognized independent testing laboratory having follow-up inspection services approved by the Building Code Council. Approval of such buildings, structures or components shall be evidenced by labels or seals acceptable to the Council. All building units, structures or components bearing such labels or seals shall be deemed to meet the requirements of the State Building Code and this Article without further inspection or payment of fees, except as may be required for the enforcement of the Code relative to the connection of units and components and enforcement of local ordinances governing zoning, utility connections, and foundations permits. The Building Code Council shall adopt and may amend from time to time such reasonable and appropriate rules and regulations as it deems necessary for approval of agencies offering such testing, evaluation, inspection, and certification services and for overseeing their operations. Such rules and regulations shall include provisions to insure that such agencies are independent and free of any potential conflicts of interest which might influence their judgment in exercising their functions under the Code. Such rules and regulations may include a schedule of reasonable fees to cover administrative expenses in approving and overseeing operations of such agencies and may require the posting of a bond or other security satisfactory to the Council guaranteeing faithful performance of duties under the Code.

The Building Code Council may also adopt rules to insure that any person that is not licensed, in accordance with G.S. 87-1, and that undertakes to erect a North Carolina labeled manufactured modular building, meets the manufacturer's installation instructions and applicable provisions of the State Building Code. Any such person, before securing a permit to erect a modular building, shall provide the code enforcement official proof that he has in force for each modular building to be erected a $5,000 surety bond insuring compliance with the regulations of the State Building Code governing installation of modular buildings.

(b)        Minimum Standards for Modular Homes. - To qualify for a label or seal under subsection (a) of this section, a single-family modular home must meet or exceed the following construction and design standards:

(1)        Roof pitch. - For homes with a single predominant roofline, the pitch of the roof shall be no less than five feet rise for every 12 feet of run.

(2)        Eave projection. - The eave projections of the roof shall be no less than 10 inches, which may not include a gutter around the perimeter of the home, unless the roof pitch is 8/12 or greater.

(3)        Exterior wall. - The minimum height of the exterior wall shall be at least seven feet six inches for the first story.

(4)        Siding and roofing materials. - The materials and texture for the exterior materials shall be compatible in composition, appearance, and durability to the exterior materials commonly used in standard residential construction.

(5)        Foundations. - The home shall be designed to require foundation supports around the perimeter. The supports may be in the form of piers, pier and curtain wall, piling foundations, a perimeter wall, or other approved perimeter supports. (1971, c. 1099; 1989, c. 653, s. 2; 2003-400, s. 17.)

 

§ 143-139.2.  Enforcement of insulation requirements; certificate for occupancy; no electric service without compliance.

(a)        In addition to other enforcement provisions set forth in this Chapter, no single family or multi-unit residential building on which construction is begun in North Carolina on or after January 1, 1978, shall be occupied until it has been certified as being in compliance with the minimum insulation standards for residential construction, as prescribed in the North Carolina State Building Code or as approved by the Building Code Council as provided in G.S. 143-138(e).

(b)        No public supplier of electric service, including regulated public utilities, municipal electric service and electric membership corporations, shall connect for electric service to an occupant any residential building on which construction is begun on or after January 1, 1978, unless said building complies with the insulation requirements of the North Carolina State Building Code or of local building codes approved by the Building Codes Council as provided in G.S. 143-138(e), and has been certified for occupancy in compliance with the minimum insulation standards of the North Carolina State Building Code or of any local modification approved as provided in G.S. 143-138(e), by a person designated as an inspector pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(c)        This section shall apply only in any county or city that elects to enforce the insulation and energy utilization standards of the State Building Code pursuant to G.S. 143-151.27. (1977, c. 792, s. 7;  1983, c. 377, s. 1.)

 

§ 143-139.3.  Inspection of liquified petroleum gas piping systems for residential structures.

If the test required under the North Carolina State Building Code for a liquified petroleum gas piping system serving a one or two-family residential dwelling is not performed by a qualified code enforcement official, as defined in G.S. 143-151.8(a)(5), the contractor who installed the system shall verify that the system complies with the test requirements and shall certify the results, in writing, to the code official. (1993, c. 356, s. 3.)

 

§ 143-139.4.  Certain building inspections by State.

(a)        When a permit holder has been informed by a local inspection department that any inspection has not been, or will not be, conducted within two business days after first requested, the permit holder may request in writing that the Commissioner assign personnel to conduct the inspection.

(b)        Any written request by a permit holder to the Commissioner to assign personnel to conduct an inspection shall be submitted to the Commissioner, and such submission may be made electronically or by facsimile. The submission shall be on a form adopted by the Commissioner, which shall at a minimum contain all of the following:

(1)        The permit holder's name and contact information and, if the requestor is someone other than the permit holder, the name and contact information of the requestor.

(2)        A copy of the building permit for the property to be inspected.

(3)        Documentation of the date and time of the initial request to the local inspection department. Documentation shall include the type of inspection requested, the address of the property to be inspected, and the individual or individuals to whom this information and inspection request was directed, and the name of the requestor.

(4)        Documentation as to whether the local inspection department informed the requestor that the local inspection department would be unable to conduct the inspection within two business days, if applicable.

(5)        Documentation as to whether the local inspection department has failed to conduct the requested inspection within two business days of the initial request to the local inspection department.

(c)        Local inspection departments shall maintain a record of each inspection request. The record shall include the date and time the request is received, the type of inspection requested, the address of the property to be inspected, the person to whom the request was directed, and the name of the requestor if the requestor is someone other than the permit holder. A local inspection department may, upon receipt of an inspection request, inform the requestor that it will be unable to conduct the inspection within the next two business days and such information shall be noted in the record.

(d)       Inspection requests received after 12:00 noon shall be deemed to have been received on the next business day.

(e)        Prior to making any assignment of Code-enforcement officials from the marketplace pool established under G.S. 143-151.12(9)a., the Commissioner shall verify all of the following to the Commissioner's satisfaction:

(1)        That the permit holder desires the inspection to be completed.

(2)        That the local inspection department received an inspection request for the property.

(3)        That the inspection has not yet been conducted and the reasons for the failure to conduct the inspection.

(4)        Any other information the Commissioner deems relevant to determining whether to assign personnel to conduct the requested inspection.

(f)        If the Commissioner assigns a Code-enforcement official from the marketplace pool established under G.S. 143-151.12(9)a. to conduct the requested inspection, the Commissioner shall notify the local inspection department and the local inspection department shall, prior to the inspection, provide the Commissioner with information regarding any outstanding building permits and previously conducted inspections on those outstanding building permits for that property. The local inspection department may also provide the Commissioner with information regarding other properties with outstanding building permits and inspections by the same permit holder or requestor.

(g)        Not later than one business day after the receipt of the report, the Commissioner shall provide an electronic copy of the report of any inspection conducted by a marketplace pool Code-enforcement official under G.S. 143-151.12(9)a. to all of the following:

(1)        The local inspection department.

(2)        The permit holder.

(3)        The requestor, if not the permit holder.

(h)        For the requested services performed by a Code-enforcement official under this section, the Commissioner shall charge the permit holder a fee as set by the Commissioner under G.S. 58-2-40(1a). The fee shall be paid to the Commissioner no later than 30 days after completion of the requested inspection.

(i)         Any claim alleging negligence by a Code-enforcement official from the marketplace pool established under G.S. 143-151.12(9)a. arising out of and in the course of the duty to conduct an inspection under this section shall constitute a claim against this State and shall be brought under and adjudicated according to and in compliance with the terms of Article 31 of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

(j)         Notwithstanding its issuance of a certificate of occupancy, a city or county, its inspection department, and its inspectors shall be discharged and released from any liabilities, duties, and responsibilities imposed under the General Statutes or in common law from any claim arising out of or attributed to any inspection performed pursuant to this section by a marketplace pool Code-enforcement official under G.S. 143-151.12(9)a.

(k)        As used in this section, the following terms mean:

(1)        Inspection. - An inspection required by the North Carolina State Building Code in any of the following categories:

a.         Plumbing.

b.         Electrical systems.

c.         General building restrictions and regulations.

d.         Heating and air-conditioning.

e.         General construction inspection.

(2)        Local inspection department. - Any county, city, or joint agency performing State Building Code inspections under Article 18 of Chapter 153A of the General Statutes or Article 19 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes.

(3)        Requestor. - The permit holder, or an individual acting on behalf of the permit holder, who made an initial request for an inspection to a local inspection department.  (2018-29, s. 2(c).)

 

§ 143-140.  Hearings before enforcement agencies as to questions under Building Code.

(a)        Any person desiring to raise any question under this Article or under the North Carolina State Building Code shall be entitled to a technical interpretation from the appropriate enforcement agency, as designated in the preceding section. Upon request in writing by any such person, the enforcement agency through an appropriate official shall within a reasonable time provide a written interpretation, setting forth the facts found, the decision reached, and the reasons therefor. In the event of dissatisfaction with such decision, the person affected shall have the options of:

(1)        Appealing to the Building Code Council or

(2)        Appealing directly to the Superior Court, as provided in G.S. 143-141.

(b)        If an interpretation under this section or under G.S. 143-141(b) changes after a building permit is issued, the permit applicant may choose which version of the interpretation will apply to the permit, unless such a choice would cause harm to life or property.  (1957, c. 1138; 1989, c. 681, s. 4; 2017-130, s. 6.)

 

§ 143-140.1.  Appeals of alternative design construction and methods.

Alternative designs and construction shall follow the State Building Code. In the event of a dispute between a local authority having jurisdiction and the designer or owner-representative regarding alternative designs and construction, and notwithstanding any other section within this Article, appeals by the designer or owner-representative on matters pertaining to alternative design construction or methods shall be heard by the Department of Insurance Engineering Division. The Department of Insurance Engineering Division shall issue its decision regarding an appeal filed under this section within 10 business days. The Commissioner of Insurance shall adopt rules in furtherance of this section. (2007-507, s. 18.)

 

§ 143-141.  Appeals to Building Code Council.

(a)        Method of Appeal. - Whenever any person desires to take an appeal to the Building Code Council from the decision of a State enforcement agency relating to any matter under this Article or under the North Carolina State Building Code, he shall within 30 days after such decision give written notice to the Building Code Council through the Division of Engineering of the Department of Insurance that he desires to take an appeal. A copy of such notice shall be filed at the same time with the enforcement agency from which the appeal is taken. The chairman of the Building Code Council shall fix a reasonable time and place for a hearing, giving reasonable notice to the appellant and to the enforcement agency. Such hearing shall be not later than the next regular meeting of the Council. The Building Code Council shall thereupon conduct a full and complete hearing as to the matters in controversy, after which it shall within a reasonable time give a written decision setting forth its findings of fact and its conclusions.

(b)        Interpretations of the Code. - The Building Code Council shall have the duty, in hearing appeals, to give interpretations of such provisions of the Building Code as shall be pertinent to the matter at issue. Where the Council finds that an enforcement agency was in error in its interpretation of the Code, it shall remand the case to the agency with instructions to take such action as it directs. Interpretations by the Council and local enforcement officials shall be based on a reasonable construction of the Code provisions.

(c)        Variations of the Code. - Where the Building Code Council finds on appeal that materials or methods of construction proposed to be used are as good as those required by the Code, it shall remand the case to the enforcement agency with instructions to permit the use of such materials or methods of construction. The Council shall thereupon immediately initiate procedures for amending the Code as necessary to permit the use of such materials or methods of construction.

(c1)      Posting on Department Web Site. - The Department of Insurance shall post and maintain on that portion of its Web site devoted to the Building Code Council all appeal decisions, interpretations, and variations of the Code issued by the Council within 10 business days of issuance.

(d)       Further Appeals to the Courts. - Whenever any person desires to take an appeal from a decision of the Building Code Council or from the decision of an enforcement agency (with or without an appeal to the Building Code Council), he may take an appeal either to the Wake County Superior Court or to the superior court of the county in which the proposed building is to be situated, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.  (1957, c. 1138; 1973, c. 1331, s. 3; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 1997-26, s. 7; 2015-145, s. 6.1.)

 

§ 143-142.  Further duties of the Building Code Council.

(a)        Recommended Statutory Changes. - It shall be the duty of the Building Code Council to make a thorough study of the building laws of the State, including both the statutes enacted by the General Assembly and the rules and regulations adopted by State and local agencies. On the basis of such study, the Council shall recommend to the 1959 and subsequent General Assemblies desirable statutory changes to simplify and improve such laws.

(b)        Recommend Changes in Enforcement Procedures. - It shall be the duty of the Building Code Council to make a thorough and continuing study of the manner in which the building laws of the State are enforced by State, local, and private agencies. On the basis of such studies, the Council may recommend to the General Assembly any statutory changes necessary to improve and simplify the enforcement machinery. The Council may also advise State agencies as to any changes in administrative practices which could be made to improve the enforcement of building laws without statutory changes. (1957, c. 1138.)

 

§ 143-143.  Effect on certain existing laws.

Nothing in this Article shall be construed as abrogating or otherwise affecting the power of any State department or agency to promulgate regulations, make inspections, or approve plans in accordance with any other applicable provisions of law not in conflict with the provisions herein. (1957, c. 1138.)

 

§ 143-143.1.  Repealed by Session Laws 1971, c. 882, s. 1.

 

§ 143-143.2.  Electric wiring of houses, buildings, and structures.

The electric wiring of houses or buildings for lighting or for other purposes shall conform to the requirements of the State Building Code, which includes the National Electric Code and any amendments and supplements thereto as adopted and approved by the State Building Code Council, and any other applicable State and local laws. In order to protect the property of citizens from the dangers incident to defective electric wiring of buildings, it shall be unlawful for any firm or corporation to allow any electric current for use in any newly erected building to be turned on without first having had an inspection made of the wiring by the appropriate official electrical inspector or inspection department and having received from that inspector or department a certificate approving the wiring of such building. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation engaged in the business of selling electricity to furnish initially any electric current for use in any building, unless said building shall have first been inspected by the appropriate official electrical inspector or inspection department and a certificate given as above provided. In the event that there is no legally appointed inspector or inspection department with jurisdiction over the property involved, the two preceding sentences shall have no force or effect.  As used in this section, "building" includes any structure. (1905, c. 506, s. 23; Rev., s. 3001; C.S., s. 2763; 1969, c. 1229, s. 7; 1989, c. 681, s. 20.)

 

§ 143-143.3.  Temporary toilet facilities at construction sites.

(a)        Suitable toilet facilities shall be provided and maintained in a sanitary condition during construction.  An adequate number of facilities must be provided for the number of employees at the construction site.  There shall be at least one facility for every two contiguous construction sites.  Such facilities may be portable, enclosed, chemically treated, tank-tight units.  Portable toilets shall be enclosed, screened, and weatherproofed with internal latches.  Temporary toilet facilities need not be provided on-site for crews on a job site for no more than one working day and having transportation readily available to nearby toilet facilities.

(b)        It shall be the duty of the Building Code Council to establish standards to carry out the provisions of subsection (a) of this section not inconsistent with the requirements for toilet facilities at construction sites established pursuant to federal occupational safety and health rules. (1993, c. 528.)

 

§ 143-143.4.  Door lock exemption for certain businesses.

(a)        Notwithstanding this Article or any other law to the contrary, any business entity licensed to sell automatic weapons as a federal firearms dealer that is in the business of selling firearms or ammunition and that operates a firing range which rents firearms and sells ammunition shall be exempt from the door lock requirements of Chapter 10 of Volume 1 of the North Carolina State Building Code when issued a permit to that effect by the Department of Insurance in accordance with this section.

(b)        The Department of Insurance shall issue a permit to a business entity specified in subsection (a) of this section for an exemption from the door lock requirements of Chapter 10 of Volume 1 of the North Carolina State Building Code if all of the following conditions are met:

(1)        The building or facility in which business is conducted has a sales floor and customer occupancy space that is contained on one floor and is no larger than 15,000 square feet of retail sales space. Retail sales space is that area where firearms or ammunition are displayed and merchandised for sale to the public.

(2)        The building or facility in which business is conducted is equipped with an approved smoke, fire, and break-in alarm system installed and operated in accordance with rules adopted by the Department of Insurance. An approved smoke, fire, or break-in alarm system does not have to include an automatic door unlocking mechanism triggered when the smoke, fire, or break-in alarm system is triggered.

(3)        The owner or operator of the business will provide to all applicable employees within 10 days of the issuance of the permit under this section or at the time the employee is hired, whichever time is later, a written facility locking plan applicable for the close of business each day.

(4)        Each entrance to the building or facility in which business is conducted is posted with a sign conspicuously located that warns that the building is exempt from the door lock requirements of the State Building Code, and that after business hours the building or facility's doors will remain locked from the inside even in the case of fire.

(5)        Payment of a permit fee of five hundred dollars ($500.00) to the Department of Insurance.

(c)        The Department of Insurance shall file a copy of the permit issued in accordance with subsection (b) of this section with all local law enforcement and fire protection agencies that provide protection for the business entity.

(d)       The Department of Insurance shall be responsible for any inspections necessary for the issuance of permits under this section and, in conjunction with local inspection departments, shall be responsible for periodic inspections to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section. The Department of Insurance may contract with local inspection departments to conduct inspections under this subsection.

(e)        The Department of Insurance shall revoke a permit issued under this section upon a finding that the requirements for the original issuance of the permit are not being complied with.

(f)        Appeals of decisions of the Department of Insurance regarding the issuance or revocation of permits under this section shall be in accordance with Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(g)        For the purposes of this section, "business entity" has the same meaning as in G.S. 59-102.

(h)        In addition to the provisions of G.S. 143-138(h), the owner or operator of any business entity who is issued a permit as a door lock exempt business in accordance with subsection (b) of this section who fails to comply with the permit requirements of subsection (b) of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the first offense, one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the second offense, and five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the third and subsequent offenses, except when the building or facility in which business is conducted is in compliance with the door lock requirements of Chapter 10 of Volume 1 of the North Carolina State Building Code. Penalties authorized in this subsection shall be imposed by the city or county in which the violation occurs. Each day the building or facility in which business is conducted is not in compliance with the provisions of this subsection constitutes a separate offense.

(i)         The Department of Insurance shall adopt rules to implement this section. (2001-324, s. 1.)

 

§ 143-143.5.  Access to toilets in shopping malls.

Notwithstanding any other law or rule, a horizontal travel distance of 300 feet for access to public use toilets in covered mall buildings shall be allowed. (2004-199, s. 37(a); 2005-289, s. 2.)

 

§ 143-143.6.  Expired pursuant to Session Laws 2007-82, s. 2, effective July 1, 2009.

 

§ 143-143.7: Reserved for future codification purposes.