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March 26, 2019 12:49 am

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International Fire Code Officials Send Written Warning That Ramifications Of Saugatuck Township Changes To Its Fire Code "Could Be Astronomical In Loss Of Life. Life Including Individuals And Firefighters."

Officials of the top national organization overseeing the use of the International Fire Code (IFC) used by all 50 states,”Coul;d the federal government and others across the U.S., says the recent changes Saugatuck Township officials have made to the fire code and adopted results in life-threatening risk to township residents and also to local firefighters as well.

Saugatuck Township Fire District Chief Greg Janik had asked the International Code Council (ICC) to review the recent amendments that the Saugatuck Township Board of Trustees adopted after a couple of developers complained about the fire department’s use of the IFC to set rules and policies on how and what developers must comply with when building local homes and businesses.

The main concern of the developers appeared to be the construction costs involved as a result of then-required fire-protection codes.

Janik has been vocal about the threat the township fire code amendments have created saying he fears for local residents’ and business owners lives along with members of his own fire department due to the changes which township officials made over his objections.

In some instances, Janik, who has been called one of the top fire officials in Michigan by state government officials, also said he wasn’t even consulted or asked his opinion on some aspects of the changes on the fire code-related changes the township officials made.

Now, the nationally respected ICC has reviewed those changes and have issued a damning statement that serves as a warning to all Saugatuck Township residents and business owners.

The ICC response by Terrell Stripling, ICC Technical Staff/Education, states:

“As far my perspective on this subject, I tread gently. The intent of the (IFC) code is not for (more than) 5 homes in a subdivision. It is intended for individual dwelling units.

“Modification of the IFC defeats the intent if the change is not equal to or greater than the intent of the code.

“Therefore the ramifications of these changes could be astronomical in loss of life. Life including individuals and firefighters. So circumventing the code with less than equal is not advisable.”

(The above highlighted words were highlighted in the ICC response).

Saugatuck Township Supervisor Chris Roerig was asked to respond to the ICC findings. He told The Local Observer:

“Due to your time frame we are unable to provide an effective response until we can speak with Mr. Stripling,” said Roerig.

The International Code Council is a member-focused association with over 64,000 members. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures.

Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.

* * *
The International Codes®, or I-Codes®, published by ICC, provide minimum safeguards for people at home, at school and in the workplace. The I-Codes are a complete set of comprehensive, coordinated building safety and fire prevention codes. Building codes benefit public safety and support the industry’s need for one set of codes without regional limitations.

Fifty states and the District of Columbia have adopted the I-Codes at the state or jurisdictional level. Federal agencies including the Architect of the Capitol, General Services Administration, National Park Service, Department of State, U.S. Forest Service and the Veterans Administration also enforce the I-Codes.

The Department of Defense references the International Building Code® for constructing military facilities, including those that house U.S. troops around the world and at home.

International Fire Code Officials Send Written Warning That Ramifications Of Saugatuck Township Changes To Its Fire Code “Could Be Astronomical In Loss Of Life. Life Including Individuals And Firefighters.”

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