Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code Development/Rewrite Process Update

Posted & filed under News.

Your Support is Needed!


As you probably have heard, the SFPC process was officially suspended on July 15, 2018.  During the July 30, 2018 Board of Housing and Community Development (BHCD) meeting Chair Carr made a point of stating that the need is for the Fire Service to provide specific language that the BHCD may consider at their September 7, 2018 meeting.

This is again an opportunity to have the proposed edits and updates re-evaluated by the Board of Housing and Community Development.   The VFPA and all other statewide fire organizations stand in opposition to the proposed code changes in their current format.  We believe that the changes that are proposed will weaken the Fire Prevention Code and reduce public safety.  For this reason, the VFPA have posted a proposal which removes the most egregious issues with the updates to the SFPC.   We would like you to consider adding your name as a signatory.

In order to review our proposal and add your comments, visit the “Public Comment Forums” page that addresses the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code [13 VAC 5 – 51]. This page allows you to view existing comments and add new comments.

Comments can be reviewed and made here:  Town Hall Comments


Approve the seventeen (17) proposed code changes found in Book 5 – Part 1 – Tabs 1 & 3 (Attachment “A”), to the existing Proposed SFPC as printed in the Virginia  Register  February 20, 2017.  These are the Statewide Fire Prevention Code proposals which were approved in October 2017 and this will ultimately undo the controversial and problematic SFPC rewrite changes that the BHCD had previously passed by a small margin.


The Proposed Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC) that was presented to, and passed by,  the Board of Housing and Community Development (BHCD) on December 19, 2016 contains the :

  • The base document of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC) is the 2015 International Fire Code (ICF)
  • The current Virginia amendments to the SFPC
  • And Three (3) SFPC proposals recommended by the Workgroups as Consensus for approval as presented in Book 1 – Part 1  — Tab 2 of the Virginia Fire Services Board and Board of Housing and Community Development 2015 Code Change Cycle (October 24, 2016)

These proposed regulations are not in question and are the base document for which the BHCD must consider any further proposed regulations.

During the September 18, 2017 Virginia Fire Services Board and Board of Housing and Community Development SFPC Proposals recommended by the Workgroups as Consensus for approval were presented in Book 5 – Part 1 — Tab 1.  These fifteen (15) consensus proposals have been fully vetted through the workgroups, and have withstood the scrutiny of the stakeholders as being proper to be adopted.

Further during the BHCD meeting to consider these consensus based proposals there were two (2) other non-consensus SFPC proposals that the BHCD chose to adopt and they are found in Book 5 – Part 1 —  Tab 3 :  proposal number F-107.11 “State Fire Marshal’s Office permit fees for explosives, blasting agents, theatrical flame effects, and fireworks” and proposal number F-507.5.1 “Where required” which allows for two exceptions to the requirement for a fire hydrant/water supply system when building and/or rehabilitating single family homes.  We understand that the BHCD, after a great deal of conversation, debate, and research feels that these are necessary and those also are acceptable inclusions into the Final SFPC that is to be adopted.

If you would like to review  the proposed code changes as outlined in the Final Version of Book 5-1, click the link below:

 Book 5-1 FINAL 090817_.pdf


Please take a few minutes to support the legislative efforts of the VFPA by reviewing the updates and commenting on the issues. You may write your own comments individually or you may choose to use boilerplate language such as:

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for the opportunity to recommend to the Board of Housing and Community Development specific code language to be considered during final stage of the 2015 Statewide Fire Prevention Code Change Cycle.  As an advocate for the safety of all Virginians, I would like to add my name in support of the proposal made by the Virginia Fire Prevention Association.





Click Here to Submit Your Comments


VFPA is also encouraging your attendance and support at the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development Meeting being held on September 7, 2018 at 10:00am.  This meeting will take place at the Virginia Housing Center located at 4224 Cox Road, Glen Allen VA 23060

VFPA thanks you in advance for your continued support and we hope to see you at the meeting!