News Details
New Fire and Building Codes Go Into Effect January 1, 2008
The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the first reading of Building and Fire Codes that would go into effect for all projects submitted for approval starting on January 1, 2008. Both codes are based on new state codes, with local amendments added to improve safety. 

For years, the Uniform Fire Code and the Uniform Building Code were the national models used as the basis for State codes.  These model codes were augmented by State amendments. In turn, municipalities, including Long Beach, added more restrictive amendments based on climatic, topographic, or geologic/seismic findings. 

This year, both Uniform codes have been replaced with the International Fire Code and the International Building Code as the model codes for the California Fire Code and the California Building Code, respectively.  Also adopted were electrical, mechanical, and plumbing codes, as well as the California Historical Building code. State codes are binding, regardless of whether they are strengthened by the amendment process. 

Local amendments to the California Fire Code would include:

  • All new commercial, industrial and nonresidential buildings that require two or more exits, or that are greater than 3,000 square feet, shall be protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
  • All new multi-family (3 or more units) residential, hotels, motels and similar buildings shall be protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
  • All new single-family dwellings and duplexes greater than 4,000 square feet or more than two-stories in height shall be protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
  • All existing multi-family residential, hotels, motels and high-rise buildings shall upgrade the existing fire alarm system to current code, at the time of replacement of the existing non-functioning fire alarm control panel.
  • Partial automatic sprinkler systems are not allowed. Where automatic sprinkler systems are required to be installed by this section, or by any other sections in this code, the automatic sprinkler system shall be installed throughout the entire building.
  • Fire apparatus access roads shall have an unobstructed width of not less than 26 feet, and an unobstructed vertical clearance of 15 feet. 

  • Fire apparatus access roads shall have a minimum inside turning radius of 28 feet.
Local amendments to the California Building Code would include structural design requirements that will improve the performance of buildings during an earthquake. 

Final approval is scheduled at the next regular City Council meeting. 

For more information on the Fire Code, call 570.7086. For more information on the Building Code, visit