New Legislation Clarifies Fire Code Requirements for City of Chicago Buildings

July 17, 2019

The Department of Buildings is pleased to announce that Governor Pritzker recently signed Public Act 101-0082 which clarifies that the Fire Prevention and Safety Rules adopted by the Office of the State Fire Marshal (State Fire Code) do not apply within the City of Chicago except with respect to State-owned buildings or State licensed facilities, such as day care and health care facilities. The city worked closely with the State Fire Marshal to develop and pass this important legislation. It is effective immediately.

In the past, architects, engineers, and building owners have received conflicting guidance from the city and state about how to comply with both the State Fire Code and Chicago Building Code. This legislation clarifies that only the Chicago Building Code applies to most privately-owned buildings.

Buildings containing State-licensed facilities, such as day care centers, nursing homes, and hospitals, must still comply with both city and state requirements. The Department’s ongoing efforts to modernize the Chicago Construction Codes will bring these requirements into closer alignment, although important differences remain to address Chicago's unique urban density. The Department of Buildings and the Fire Department's Fire Prevention Bureau are available to advise on compliance with the Chicago Construction Codes.

Please note: the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is in the process of updating the State Fire Code based on the 2015 edition of NFPA 101. For projects subject to the State Fire Code, OSFM offers free voluntary plan review services.

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