Certification of School Building Fire Safety Provisions (BCAL-5043) Supplemental Questions

By signing the Certification of School Building Fire Safety Provisions (BCAL-5043), you are certifying that any changes to the building since the school’s original fire safety approval have been reviewed and approved by the state fire marshal or Bureau of Fire Services and that the parts of the building that have not been changed are in compliance with the applicable rules for existing school buildings. Review the following questions prior to signing the BCAL-5043 to ensure you understand some of the applicable rules for existing school buildings. Note: This is not an all-inclusive list. For all of the requirements of the applicable rules for existing school buildings, contact the Bureau of Fire Services.

  1. Is the portion of the building being proposed to serve child care children separated from the rest of the building by 2-hour fire resistive construction? If other types of occupancies occur in the same building that houses an educational occupancy*, then one of the following provisions must be met:
  • The mixed uses must be completely separated, both horizontally and vertically, by 2-hour fire separation walls or floor/ceiling assemblies, or both.
  • The school must apply the provisions of the code for the more restrictive of the separate occupancies to the entire facility.

*Educational occupancies do not include any of the following:

  • A part or full-day preschool.
  • A child care center.
  • A kindergarten-only building.
  • A building that houses a combination of child care and kindergarten unless the classrooms are operated under the authority of a school system.

 

  1. Are all rooms to be normally occupied by preschool-age children on the first or main floor? The fire safety code for schools does not permit rooms for preschool, kindergarten, or first-grade students above or below the story of exit discharge.
     
  2. Are all rooms that are larger than 250 square feet that are used for classroom or other educational purposes or normally subject to student occupancy, provided with at least 1 outside window for emergency rescue or ventilation? Do all such windows provide a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet? NOTE: Some exceptions might apply.
     
  3. Is the building protected with an approved fire alarm system? Is the fire alarm system being serviced annually?
     
  4. Are the self-closing mechanisms on all stairway doors properly adjusted to fully close the doors without assistance?
     
  5. Are all stairway doors being kept in their fully closed position or are they automatic closing and interconnected with the fire alarm?
     
  6. Are all egress doors, including outside exit doors, doors to individual classrooms, lavatory doors, etc. equipped with hardware that requires only a single motion to open from the inside even if the doors are locked? Are sliding bolts, hook and eye devices or other supplemental locking mechanisms being used on any doors used by students?
     
  7. Do all egress doors open freely without the need for excessive force? Binding doors, dragging doors or doors otherwise difficult to open are not permitted in a means of egress.
     
  8. Are there furnishings, carts, cots, etc. in any location which may fall or be easily pushed into the required path of travel to exit the building?
     
  9. Are all exits properly marked with approved EXIT signs?
     
  10. Are there any cork or fiberboard bulletin boards in place? If so, have they been coated to achieve the minimum required ratings of Class III in rooms and Class II in any portion of the means of egress?
     
  11. Are teachers using textiles, plastic or vinyl to cover up storage and/or resource materials, to subdivide program use areas, or to cover bulletin boards? If so, plastics and vinyl must be removed or verified as meeting the requirements of NFPA-701 and textiles must be removed or verified as meeting the requirements of NFPA 701 or treated with an approved flame retardant.
     
  12. Are teachers suspending any artwork or other combustible, non-flame-proofed materials or decorations from or near the ceilings? If so, these must be removed.
     
  13. Is more than 20% of any wall space covered with combustible, non-flame-proofed decorations? If so, the wall space covered with these types of items must be reduced to 20% or less.
     
  14. Are there textile decorations on the walls (e.g., quilts, cloth wall-hangings, etc.)? If so, the textile decorations must be removed or verified as meeting the requirements of NFPA 701 or treated with an approved flame retardant.
     
  15. Have any rooms been converted from a previous use into storage areas? If so, do the enclosures meet the fire resistive wall, ceiling and door requirements?
     
  16. Are there any openings in the walls or ceilings of storage rooms or custodial closets, including around any pipes, ducts, conduit, or any other object that penetrates the walls or ceiling of such rooms that are not properly fire-stopped? If so, these must be filled with minimum 1-hour fire rated or intumescent caulk or other approved fire stopping material. Note: Most fire-blocking foams are not suitable for this purpose.
     
  17. Are there self-closing devices on all required fire doors, e.g., doors to storage rooms, boiler rooms, custodial closets or other hazardous areas? If not, these need to be added.
     
  18. Are the self-closing mechanisms the doors to all storage rooms and mechanical rooms properly adjusted to fully close and latch from any open position without assistance? Have any such self-closing devices been removed? If these aren’t working properly or have been removed, these need to be fixed or added.
     
  19. Are there any un-protected openings or openings around any pipes, ducts, conduit, or any other object that penetrates the walls or ceiling of boiler rooms or other hazardous rooms? If so, these must be filled with minimum 1-hour fire rated or intumescent caulk or other approved fire stopping material. Note: Most fire-blocking foams are not suitable for this purpose.
     
  20. Are there any combustibles (e.g., wood, cardboard, plastic, rubber, leather, cloth, paints, floor finishes, etc.) stored in furnace or boiler rooms or in any other room that houses fuel-fired equipment, such as a fuel-fired water heater? If so, these items must be removed.
     
  21. Are there any flammable gases, gasoline or gasoline-powered equipment, in heat plant rooms or exit ways? If so, these items must be moved.
     
  22. Have boilers been inspected by a qualified boiler inspector? Is the certificate of boiler inspection current? If not, you must obtain an inspection.
     
  23. Do doors to furnace rooms, boiler rooms, or fuel-fired water heater rooms fully close and latch without assistance? If not, these must be fixed.
     
  24. Are the kitchen hood suppression systems being serviced two times per year? If not, it must be serviced.
     
  25. Are the filters, grease extractors, or range hood itself clean of any buildup of grease? If not, these items need to be cleaned.
     
  26. Are there portable fire extinguishers on each floor level; in or immediately outside of any room that houses fuel-fired equipment; in or immediately outside of any kitchen (residential or commercial) and within a 75-foot travel distance of all other points within your building? If not, these need to be added.
     
  27. Are fire extinguishers tagged with a current service tag by a qualified extinguisher firm? Did the service technician initial the tags as required? If not, they need to be serviced and properly tagged.
     
  28. Are there any open circuit breaker slots (no circuit breaker and no, or unapproved, cover over the open slot)? If so, these need to be corrected.
     
  29. Are there any open electrical junction boxes, spliced wires, loose or hanging wiring, loose or hanging fixtures anywhere in your building? If so, these items must be repaired.
     
  30. Are there any electrical extension cords in use in long-term use in the building? If so, these need to be removed.
     
  31. Do your classrooms or office areas contain more resource materials than that amount necessary for the day-to-day operations of the room they are in? If so, the excess resource materials must be removed and placed inside of approved cabinetry or inside of approved storage room(s).
     
  32. Are there any clothes dryers in the building? Do dryers have a metal vent? Are they vented completely to the exterior of the building? If not, the vents need to be corrected.