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Addison adopts International Fire Code



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March 02, 2011 - Addison Township is now up to code.

Fire code that is.

At the Addison Township Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22, the board voted 7-0 in favor of updating the townships' fire code from the Building Officials Code Authority (BOCA) language to the International Fire Code.

Addison Fire Chief Jerry Morawski said he realized after he became the township's interim fire chief the fire code needed to be updated.

The township had been operating under BOCA since 1993. However, it was discovered over this past summer that BOCA no longer existed; it became part of the International Code Council, which put together the IFC.

"The International Fire Code is what Michigan and most of the towns and villages adopted because it coincides with the Michigan Building Code, which we have to have here dictated through the state," Morawski said.

"While it can be adopted independently from other codes, its strength is that it is written to work hand in hand with the Building Department codes and eliminates costly construction changes that occur due to conflict between the current fire codes and the building codes," Morawski said in a letter to the board.

Township Trustee Linda Gerik told the board during her time in the Building Department, everything was already based on the IFC.

"I don't know how we can't have one without the other," she said.

According to Morawski, the new fire code is just an update of the previous code.

He said the main difference between the two codes is in the IFC, the township's liability is lessened.

The only piece the township omitted from implementing was the burning ordinance because Morawski thinks the township already has a solid burning ordinance.

"Instead of being redundant, we just omitted that one out of there and kept what we have now," he said.

The new fire code will go into effect 30 days from when the township adopted it.

"This is definitely the right step, and being a citizen in our town, this definitely needs to be updated," Morawski said.

Morawski thanked publicly the many people who helped him work on this, Assistant Fire Chief John Beach, the fire board and Addison Township trustee Ed Brakefield.

"We went through this line by line, chief and I, and when I got through with it and marked it up, it was actually a great improvement to what we had," Brakefield said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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