On Sept. 1, Harris County's new fire code goes into effect. Harris County Commissioners Court adopted the 2018 International Fire Code, with Harris County Amendments, on April 23, 2019. The new code was adopted in an effort to safeguard the community with the latest fire and life safety codes and standards for both existing structures and new construction.
"The newly adopted fire code grants HCFMO the authority to issue operational permits, provides clear regulations regarding fire and life safety hazards in existing businesses, and gives additional enforcement tools when needed to gain compliance," said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen. "Adoption of the updated code allows Harris County to continue being a regional leader in fire and life safety through code administration."
The updated Harris County Fire Code allows HCFMO to issue operational permits. This allows the county access to a wider variety of businesses and processes previously unattended. The purpose is to protect the lives and property of the people of Harris County by working with companies closely to accomplish safety objectives. In an effort to assist businesses across Harris County, the operational permits section will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2020.
This adoption also includes Chapter 11 of the 2018 International Fire Code, a baseline for fire and life safety standards in existing buildings that do not meet requirements for new construction. This helps ensure existing buildings are fire-safe, without business owners incurring excessive renovation costs.
Contractors, property owners, business owners, and business organizations can read the adopted code on hcfmo.net and email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (713) 274-1700 to ask questions to better understand how this code will affect them.