Change is inevitable. Change can be good or bad, depending on your perspective and how the change affects you. For instance, the need for change may come unannounced: catastrophic failure of a roof or boiler; a water pipe failure that’s flooded part of the building. These are considered negative changes.

However, here is one of the known changes that affect fire safety planning that are coming on the horizon: New BC Building Code

The next edition of the British Columbia Building, Plumbing, and Fire Codes (BC Codes) is scheduled for targeted consultation in 2017.  An appropriate transition period will apply before the next edition of the BC Codes comes into effect.  The 2012 BC Codes will continue to be in effect for building projects where permits were applied for before the effective date of the next edition of the BC Codes.

Preliminary review of the model 2015 National Building Codes, upon which the BC Codes will be substantially based, has revealed several areas of significant change.

~ excerpt from “Next Edition of BC Building Codes” from AIBC website

Over the last dozen years, we have had two building code revisions, which drastically changed the fire alarm installation process, both in technology and cost. As technology has progressed, building codes have embraced the advances made in detection and notification, making systems more reliable and comprehensive than ever. With the new building code upon us, there are sure to be new measures and advances that will be implemented, but at what cost?

The most recent update was in 2012, but the new code is on the horizon. This means that any strata that has electrical fire alarm upgrade drawings in hand, or the desire to upgrade before the new code comes into play, can do so with their existing drawings and current code standards. This applies to all drawings dated 2012 and newer. Those without plans in hand at this time, who want to take advantage of the current code standards and costs before the code changes, still have time to do so. All drawings generated January 2017 and beyond will reflect the new building code requirements, with the new standards and costs associated with those changes.

Given the technological and cost increases that we have seen during the past code revisions, we have no reason to believe that we won’t see similar changes this time around. As such, we encourage stratas and other building owners to balance the pros and cons of cost and safety at this time, before the cost of safety increases.

When it doubt, remember the “Serenity Prayer”:

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

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