If you operate a bar or music venue, you already realize the fire marshal can close down your business for a variety of reasons. For example, the allowed capacity is one person for every 7 square feet of space if the property is sprinklered, or 142 people per 1,000 square feet. Property not sprinklered requires 15 square feet per person, or a capacity of 66 people per 1,000 square feet. Even the juke box at F and M's on Tchoupitoulas draws a crowd bigger than that.
Regulations come from a National Fire Code, The Americans for Disabilities Act, The Uniform Construction Code Council and The American National Standards Institute. There is also Energy Code Compliance. In charge of implementing the law is Butch Browning, the Louisiana Fire Marshal, who created the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Online Manual which draws from Louisana law under Titles 14, 22, 23, and 40 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.
The Fire Marshall publishes an Annual Report and monthly Interpretive Memos covering topics such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems, emergency evacuation and the kitchen environment. You can get a Plan Review by an architect at the Fire Marshal's Office, and they have satellite offices all over the state. Just call 225-925-4920.
Copyright 2012. #firecode