2013 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 29 - Public Safety and State Police
Chapter 541 - Building, Fire and Demolition Codes. Fire Marshals and Fire Hazards. Safety of Public and Other Structures
Section 29-315 - (Formerly Sec. 29-44c). Fire extinguishing system required for certain buildings.


CT Gen Stat § 29-315 (2013) What's This?

(a)(1) When any building is to be built having more than four stories and is to be used for human occupancy, such building shall have an automatic fire extinguishing system approved by the State Fire Marshal on each floor.

(2) When any building is (A) to be built as an educational occupancy, (B) eligible for a school building project grant pursuant to chapter 173, and (C) put out to bid on or after July 1, 2004, such building shall have an automatic fire extinguishing system approved by the State Fire Marshal on each floor. As used in this subsection, “educational occupancy” has the same meaning as provided in the Fire Safety Code.

(3) The State Fire Marshal and the State Building Inspector may jointly grant variations or exemptions from, or approve equivalent or alternate compliance with, the requirement in subdivision (2) of this subsection, where strict compliance with such requirement would entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship or is otherwise adjudged unwarranted, provided (A) any such variation or exemption or approved equivalent or alternate compliance shall, in the opinion of the State Fire Marshal and the State Building Inspector, secure the public safety, and (B) the municipality in which such educational occupancy is located complies with all other fire safety requirements in the Fire Safety Code and the State Building Code with respect to such occupancy. If either the State Fire Marshal or the State Building Inspector determines that a variation or exemption from, or an equivalent or alternate compliance with, said subdivision (2) should not be permitted, no such variation or exemption, or equivalent or alternate compliance shall be granted or approved. Any determination made pursuant to this subdivision by the State Fire Marshal and the State Building Inspector shall be in writing. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the State Fire Marshal or the State Building Inspector, or both, may appeal to the Codes and Standards Committee no later than fourteen days after issuance of the decision. Any person aggrieved by any ruling of the Codes and Standards Committee may appeal to the superior court for the judicial district wherein such occupancy is located.

(b) Each hotel or motel having six or more guest rooms and providing sleeping accommodations for more than sixteen persons for which a building permit for new occupancy is issued on or after January 1, 1987, shall have an automatic fire extinguishing system installed on each floor in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Construction Services.

(c) Not later than October 1, 1992, each hotel or motel having more than four stories shall have an automatic fire extinguishing system approved by the State Fire Marshal on each floor.

(d) (1) Not later than January 1, 1995, each residential building having more than four stories and occupied primarily by elderly persons shall have an automatic fire extinguishing system approved by the State Fire Marshal on each floor. Not later than January 1, 1994, the owner or manager of or agency responsible for such residential building shall submit plans for the installation of such system, signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer, to the local fire marshal within whose jurisdiction such building is located or to the State Fire Marshal, as the case may be. For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase “occupied primarily by elderly persons” means that on October 1, 1993, or on the date of any inspection, if later, a minimum of eighty per cent of the dwelling units available for human occupancy in a residential building have at least one resident who has attained the age of sixty-five years.

(2) Each residential building having more than twelve living units and occupied primarily by elderly persons, as defined in subdivision (1) of this subsection, or designed to be so occupied, for which a building permit for new occupancy is issued or which is substantially renovated on or after January 1, 1997, shall have an automatic fire extinguishing system approved by the State Fire Marshal on each floor.

(e) No building inspector shall grant a building permit unless a fire extinguishing system as required by subsection (a) or (b) of this section is included in the final, approved building plans and no fire marshal or building inspector shall permit occupancy of such a building unless such fire extinguishing system is installed and operable. The State Fire Marshal may require fire extinguishing systems approved by him to be installed in other occupancies where they are required in the interest of safety because of special occupancy hazards.

(f) (1) Not later than July 31, 2006, each chronic and convalescent nursing home or rest home with nursing supervision licensed pursuant to chapter 368v shall have a complete automatic fire extinguishing system approved by the State Fire Marshal installed throughout such chronic and convalescent nursing home or rest home with nursing supervision. Not later than July 1, 2004, the owner or authorized agent of each such home shall submit plans for the installation of such system, signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer, to the local fire marshal and building official within whose jurisdiction such home is located or to the State Fire Marshal, as the case may be, and shall apply for a building permit for the installation of such system. The owner or authorized agent shall notify the Department of Public Health of such submission.

(2) On or before July 1, 2005, and quarterly thereafter, each chronic and convalescent nursing home or rest home with nursing supervision licensed pursuant to chapter 368v shall submit a report to the local fire marshal describing progress in installing the automatic fire extinguishing systems required under subsection (a) of this section. In preparing such report each such nursing home or rest home shall conduct a facility risk analysis. Such analysis shall include, but not be limited to, an analysis of the following factors: Type of construction, number of stories and residents, safeguards in the facility, types of patients, travel distance to exits and arrangement of means of egress. After review of the report, the local fire marshal may require the nursing home or rest home to implement alternative fire safety measures to reduce the level of risk to occupants before installation of automatic fire sprinklers is completed.

(g) Any person who fails to install an automatic fire extinguishing system in violation of any provision of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each day such violation continues. The Attorney General, upon request of the State Fire Marshal, shall institute a civil action to recover such penalty.

(P.A. 73-375; P.A. 81-381, S. 2, 4; P.A. 86-163, S. 1, 3; P.A. 88-80; 88-304, S. 1, 6, 7; P.A. 91-282, S. 1; P.A. 93-106, S. 1, 2; P.A. 96-138; P.A. 01-173, S. 66, 67; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3, S. 92; P.A. 05-31, S. 1; 05-187, S. 1; 05-272, S. 37; P.A. 11-51, S. 90.)

History: P.A. 81-381 made minor changes in wording; Sec. 29-44c transferred to Sec. 29-315 in 1983; P.A. 86-163 divided section into Subsecs. and required the installation of automatic fire extinguishing system in hotels and motels; P.A. 88-80 amended Subsec. (b), limiting application of provision to hotels or motels having six or more guest rooms and providing sleeping accommodations for more than sixteen; P.A. 88-304 inserted new Subsec. (c), requiring installation of automatic fire extinguishing systems in hotels and motels having more than four stories and in housing for the elderly having more than four stories, relettered former subsection as Subsec. (d) and changed effective date of P.A. 88-80 from October 1, 1988, to July 1, 1988; P.A. 91-282 amended Subsec. (c) to add a definition of “occupied primarily by elderly persons”; P.A. 93-106 transferred from Subsec. (c) to (d) provision requiring installation of automatic fire extinguishing system in housing for the elderly, postponed installation requirement from October 1, 1993, to January 1, 1995, required owner or manager of or agency responsible for such residential building to submit plans for installation of system to local or state fire marshal by January 1, 1994, and relettered former Subsec. (d) as (e), effective July 12, 1993; P.A. 96-138 subdivided Subsec. (d) into Subdivs., adding requirement of automatic fire extinguishing system in housing for the elderly with more than twelve units beginning January 1, 1997; P.A. 01-173 amended Subsec. (a) to designate existing provisions as Subdiv. (1) and to add Subdiv. (2) re educational occupancy, effective July 1, 2001; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3 added Subsec. (f) requiring automatic fire extinguishing systems in licensed chronic and convalescent nursing homes and rest homes with nursing supervision and added Subsec. (g) re civil penalty for violation of section, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 05-31 amended Subsec. (a)(2) to make technical changes in definition of “educational occupancy”, and added new Subsec. (a)(3) allowing State Fire Marshal and State Building Inspector to jointly grant variations or exemptions from, or approve equivalent or alternate compliance with, requirement that educational occupancy have an automatic fire extinguishing system installed, effective May 2, 2005; P.A. 05-187 amended Subsec. (f) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (1) and amending same by postponing date for installation of automatic fire extinguishing systems in nursing and rest homes from July 1, 2005, to July 31, 2006, requiring that complete systems be installed throughout the nursing and rest homes instead of on each floor and that the owner notify the Commissioner of Public Health of submission of plan for installation, and by adding Subdiv. (2) re submission of quarterly progress reports on installation, effective June 30, 2005; P.A. 05-272 amended Subsec. (f)(1) by clarifying requirement that approved fire extinguishing system be installed throughout chronic and convalescent nursing homes and rest homes with nursing supervision and requiring Department of Public Health, rather than Commissioner of Public Health, to be notified of plan for installation of system, effective July 13, 2005; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Construction Services” in Subsec. (b), effective July 1, 2011.

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