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CS/CS/CS/SB 1122 — Florida Fire Prevention Code

by Rules Committee; Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee; Community Affairs Committee; and Senators Simpson and Dean

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Community Affairs Committee (CA)

The Florida Fire Prevention Code (FFPC) is a complex set of fire code provisions enforced by the local fire official within each county, municipality, and special fire district in the state. CS/CS/CS/SB 1122 makes two changes to the statutes governing the application of the FFPC. 

First, the bill addresses an apparent discrepancy between the FFPC and the Florida Building Code that currently requires upgrades of multiuse commercial buildings whenever a mercantile use (for the display and sale of merchandise) adjoins a business use (for the transaction of business other than mercantile). The FFPC requires a two-hour fire rated wall or partition between these two use groups while the building code does not. The bill provides that for structures of less than three stories and 10,000 square feet, a fire official shall enforce the less stringent wall fire-rating provisions found in the building code. 

Second, the bill exempts certain structures on agricultural lands from the FFPC. Existing law already exempts “farm outbuildings” from the FFPC. The bill provides an additional exemption for structures in which the occupancy is limited to no more than 35 persons, which are part of a “farming or ranching operation,” and which are situated on property classified as agricultural for property tax purposes. The bill provides that such structures may not be used by the public for direct sales or as an educational outreach facility. Moreover, under no circumstances may the structures be used for either residential or assembly occupancies.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2013.

Vote: Senate 36-0; House 114-0