Commercial Checklist for New Buildings

The Urbandale Fire Department provides the following Commercial Construction Checklist. Questions? Contact the Urbandale Fire Department at 515-278-3970, or by email. Download the Commercial Checklist (PDF).

Commercial Construction Checklist - New Buildings

The following is based on the 2018 International Fire Code (IFC) and the Urbandale Fire Department's Fire Code Supplement for IFC 2018. This checklist is a summary of Fire Code requirements for new buildings in the City of Urbandale. Some items may not apply to you, or there may be additional Fire Code requirements that apply also.

  1. The site plan must be 20 or 30 scale to determine turning radius. Fire apparatus access road with asphalt, concrete or other approved driving surface capable of supporting the imposed load of fire apparatus weighing at least 75,000 pounds is required before construction.
  2. An architectural drawing in the following formats shall be provided for pre-planning purposes. The following formats are preferred for outside footprints: Auto Cad, .DWG, .DXF. The following items are needed: building site plan and floor plan(s) to include parking lot, interior walls, doors, stairwells, and elevators.
  3. Fire apparatus access roads shall have an unobstructed width of not less than 20 feet except for approved security gates and an unobstructed vertical clearance of not less than 14 feet. Refer to Urbandale Fire Department Fire Code Supplement for IFC 2018 for additional access road requirements.
  4. Fire hydrants to be installed with grade mark on fire hydrant at finish grade and steamer connection to face parking lot or access road for fire apparatus hook-up. Fire lanes may be designated if necessary. Only UFD approved signs are allowed.
  5. Life safety systems shall be tagged with a "West Metro" inspection tag.
  6. The address is to be posted on the street side of the building as a minimum. Refer to Fire Code Supplement Section 505.1 for requirements.
  7. A Knox Box is required and can be recessed or surface mounted. The contractor must get a form from the Fire Department to order the box. Location is to be determined by the Fire Department.
  8. The fire hydrant supporting the Fire Department connection for sprinklered buildings must be within 100 driving feet of the connection on hard surface. The Fire Department connection shall be located not less than 18 in. from the bottom of the cap(s) and not more than 3 feet from the top of the cap(s) above the level of the adjacent grade or access level. The Code Official for just cause may grant deviation to this height.
  9. The fire sprinkler riser must be in a room separated from the electrical room and/or any electrical panels and equipment other than equipment necessary for the fire sprinkler system or fire alarm system. An exterior door is preferred. The system shall be flow tested and monitored prior to the final inspection. The Fire Department connection must be shown on the construction plan. Refer to UFD Supplement for IFC 2018 for building fire sprinkler requirements. The fire sprinkler system shall be approved prior to installation.
  10. Fire extinguishers shall be 5 pound ABC in sprinkled buildings and 10 pound ABC in non-sprinkled buildings. Travel distance for low hazard occupancy is 75 feet. Check with the Fire Department for other type of occupancy requirements. Extinguishers for Type 1 hoods must be compatible with the hood system.
  11. Exit signs on battery backup or on emergency generator system. Combination exit signs and emergency lights are not allowed. In addition to standard height exit signs, low-level exit signs shall be provided in all interior exit corridors serving guest rooms of hotels/motels in group R, division 1 occupancies. The bottom of the sign shall not be less than 6 inches or more than 8 inches above the floor level. For exit doors, the signs shall be on the door or adjacent to the door with the closest edge of the sign within 4 inches of the door frame. Exit signs shall be the LED type.
  12. Emergency lights shall provide 1 foot-candle illumination at floor level for egress travel. Dual beam are preferred. A photometric plan may be required. Emergency lights are required in all restrooms with more than 1 fixture and/or handicap accessible. Exterior emergency lights are required at all designed exits. Emergency lights must be separated from exit signs by a minimum of 6 feet.
  13. The fire alarm system shall be an addressable system (more than 8 devices) and shall have point identification to the WestCom Dispatch Center. All devices are to be tied into the building fire alarm system. A weatherproof strobe light (110 candela at 75 degrees, 75 candela at -30 degrees) tied into the building fire alarm system shall be mounted directly above the Fire Department connection, 7-10 feet in height from the finish grade. The fire alarm system shall be approved by the Fire Department prior to installation. Refer to IFC 2006 supplement for additional requirements for Group R occupancies.
  14. Where corridors and/or hallways are used as a path of egress and protected by fire sprinkler systems, they shall also be protected by photoelectric smoke detectors tied to the building fire alarm system.
  15. Fire-rated corridor doors. The door and hardware schedule shall be provided on the plans. The rated door assembly shall include appropriate rating of door and frame, ball bearing hinges, closer, smoke gasket and rated latch assembly. Spring hinges are not allowed. Designed exterior doors shall be keyed for Fire Department access and have a handle.
  16. Installation of a generator shall be limited to a maximum of 1,500 gallons of type II fuel in a NFPA/UL compliant sub-base tank, quantities greater than 1,500 but less than 5,001 gallons of a type II fuel shall be stored in an approved vaulted tank. Aggregate maximum is 5,000 gallons. A keyed switch to shut down the generator shall be located at the remote annunciator panel or fire panel. Exact location to be determined by the Code Official.
  17. Elevators shall be governed by the Iowa State Code. Contact the state elevator inspector for questions.
  18. Magnetic locking devices are not allowed on places of assembly. Contact the Fire Marshal, if allowed, for special requirements.
  19. Type 1 Hoods - Contact the Fire Department for special requirements.
  20. Clean agent extinguishing systems - Contact the Fire Department for special requirements.
  21. Gates securing fire apparatus access roads shall comply with all of the following criteria:

    • The minimum gate width shall accommodate a 14' clear drive lane width.
    • Gates shall be of the swinging or sliding type.
    • Construction of the gate shall be of material that allow for manual operation by one person.
    • Gate components shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times and replaced or repaired when defective.
    • Electric gates shall be equipped with a means of opening the gate by Fire Department personnel for emergency access. Emergency opening devices shall be approved by the Code Official.
    • Manual opening gates shall not be locked with a padlock of chain unless they are capable of being opened by means of forcible entry tools.
    • Locking device specifications shall be submitted for approval by the Code Officials.
  1. Jon Rech

    Fire Marshal

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