Building Occupancy Classification
With the current business market boom in West Texas, folks are anxious to cash in on the rush. When people are looking at opening a business, one item that is constantly overlooked in the planning stages is what type of Occupancy Classification their location will require. While this is not exactly a thrilling topic, it will merit consideration in the planning of your business. That is where this quick guide will help.
First of all, know that the occupancy classification can affect several things. The one that we are going to discuss today is the fire alarm requirements. FYI, the following guidelines are from the 2009 IFC (International Fire Code) codebook.
There are several different types of occupancy classifications.
The types of the classifications are A, B, E, F, H, I, M, R, S, and U. There are subcategories for several of the mentioned occupancy groups.
The classification of A is for an Assembly. Some of the types of businesses with an A classification include theaters, night clubs, museums, stadiums, dance halls, restaurants and bars.
Group B is for Business occupancies. Some of the types of businesses with a B classification are banks, barber shops, post offices, and animal hospitals.
The E classification is for Educational facilities.
The F Classification is for Factory which includes aircraft manufacturing but not repairs, food processing, textiles, appliances, and bakeries to name a few.
Group H is a High-Hazard classification which will include businesses that handle toxic or highly toxic materials.
Group I classification is for Institutional businesses. Some of the types of businesses listed under the I classification are hospitals, nursing homes, jails, correctional centers, alcohol and drug centers, group homes, and half way houses.
Group M is for businesses that are classified as a mercantile. Some of the types of businesses that are under this classification are department stores, drug stores, sales rooms, retail or wholesale stores, and markets.
The R classification is for residential occupancies. Some of the types of businesses that are included in this group are motels, hotels, apartment houses, and dormitories.
The S classification is the Storage group. There are different levels of hazard under the storage classification. Some of the different types of storage under the storage classification are aerosols, books and paper rolls, lumber, furniture, glues, leather, upholstery, tires, batteries, food, metals, and gypsum board.
Group U classification is for miscellaneous buildings and structures that are not classified in any specific occupancy. Some examples of these are barns, private garages, greenhouses, carports, agricultural buildings, grain silos, livestock shelters, and stables.
A lot of information here… but how does it affect you?
Whether you realize it or not, a code-compliant fire alarm system will be a requirement at your business, and each of these classifications carries different requirements for that system. Knowing which classification your business will fall under is the first step toward knowing how to approach the fire alarm systems in your building.
If you have any questions about fire alarm systems, don’t hesitate tocontact us. We are West Texas’ premier fire alarm design and installation company and one of our experts will be able to answer any question you may have.