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Thread: Fire Codes Discussion Part 1

  1. #1
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    Fire Codes Discussion Part 1

    Well as part of my prep work for my case i decided what the heck i think I am competent enough to read and understand so why not read and understand the fire code.

    I thought i would share my findings for all to see and discuss and think about.

    My reasoning is past business experience taught me a serious life lesson, make sure you have read all the documents before you sign. And by all i mean everyone.

    I also have come to realize nothing replaces fact and your own take on the facts.

    That said i notice there are a variety of opinions on the matter of whether or not our shops fall into the category of requiring compliance with codes whether they be building codes or fire codes or any other code.

    Now we all benefit from safety talk and all appreciate the posting of people who have had accidents and survived to tell the story and serve as a constant reminder of how dangerous our tools can be.

    So i post here in pdf attachment a copy of the Objectives of our Fire code.Objectives of fire code.pdf

    Yeah i know this varies from one part of the world to the other but the principle remains the same.

    When i examine these objectives i find it hard to say " I aint gonna comply with that or i dont wanna comply with that" or any other negative rather than affirmative response.

    Why would you want to?

    The first 4 main topics in our codes objectives are

    1) Safety
    2) Fire Safety
    3) Safety in Use
    4) Health

    When i examine the simple wording next to each heading and their sub headings it seems to me any normal sensible person would want to ensure compliance to these objectives regardless of whether you run a business or what ever the premises are.

    I find it puzzling that in the case of our code, Farm Buildings are excluded.

    If i lived on a farm, far away from all sorts of safety support, I would be wanting to be extra compliant for my own (and that of my family) health and safety not for gov regulatory purposes.

    So as a starting point i ask you to consider, we spend money as woodworkers on all sorts, jigs, tools, consumables, books, courses, etc why is it so difficult for us to spend money on something that would ensure our health and safety.

    In trying to answer this question myself i guess part of it goes to the heart of what we believe is sensible and practical and likely to happen rather than theoretical which is what tends to happen when we talk dust and the whole concept of dust explosions.

    To that end only education will change our beliefs and that is my purpose here.

    Consider the following

    1) If a dust explosion were likely to take place in our hobby shops, you would most likely be the worst affected person since you would have to be inside it making the dust.
    2) If our shops caught on fire as a result of smoldering dust bin igniting, we would most likely be the biggest looser.
    3)Even i with a NN like i have would not like to be the cause of harm to my family or my neighbor would you like to cause others harm as a result of fire.


    I can only conclude that being of independent mind we do not like rules being imposed upon us by other parties or bodies such as the fire dept.

    Take seatbelts. There were seatbelts in cars for many years. Until we became aware of the pros and cons and saw facts related to their performance, we never used to wear them. Now we do it although reluctantly at times despite our knowledge of the odds.

    Same could be said of table saw guards or push sticks. Except that in the case of these usually you will only injure yourself. Where as in the case of fire you could cause serious injury to others.

    So in the interests of being better educated and informed i intend to work my way through the code and where i find myself of the opinion that it is out of date with more current facts challenge the relevant parties on the subject with the new facts.

    Hey there is no harm in debate right.

    I hope this provides you with some food for thought and spurs a little debate around the subject.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    10,604
    If I worried about every thing that could possibly go wrong, I doubt that I would ever accomplish anything.
    I take care that I am doing things the safest way reasonably possible. Do I take risks ? sure who doesn't.
    I don't worry that my RO sander is going to turn my basement into a fuel air bomb but i do have fire extinguishers around just in case.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    194
    Hi Rob,
    "Prep work for your case"? Going after the NN?

    I agree that the objectives are all good and worthy. But as they say, "the devil is in the details", so it will be interesting to see how they say these objectives should be satisfied. Often it seems that one set of regulations references another (and another) and pretty soon you have quite a stack of regulations to understand.

    Charlie

  4. #4
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    Cedar Rapids, IA
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    I would agree that a general reading of the objectives, one would readily agree they all make sense. As forming a lawful document, they are ambiguous at the root of their intention - "to limit the probability". I would be very wary of what the acceptable limited probability is and whether that limit is set in stone, arbitrarily decided upon by the investigator, or a NN.

  5. #5
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    Bellingham
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    Rob, I would think that it would be hard to have an general discussion on this topic without running afoul of the CoC's. You will quickly be delving into the forbidden realm of politics. The right of the individual vs the right of the group is the heart of conflict as I see it and many disagree on how it should be interpreted. I think we need to be careful here. You know how feel about it in my PM's to you, but I think that is where it should stay.

  6. #6
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    I agree with Bill. Where I live, there are no fire codes. Even in cities there may not be any restrictions on what a person can do in their private garage or basement shop. To discuss whether that is right or wrong is a potential CoC bomb.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
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    I agree that fire safety is a good thing and that it should be a goal for woodshop owners/users.

    But in the last couple related threads, you've brought up the concept of a "dust explosion". It's my understanding that yes, under the right combination of circumstances and conditions, wood dust can and will explode. But meeting those circumstances and conditions is not an easy or likely thing. Has anyone actually seen documented proof of a wood dust explosion happening in a home woodshop?
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Whoa there cowboys. Can we not discuss something here without getting into falling foul of the Coc.

    I aint concerned here with the issues pertaining to rights. More the logic of what the code contained in the preamble.

    For one i had never read a fire code before. When you approach it with a degree of calm rational logic rather than as a constitutional case surely if we read a book labeled "Good fire safety practices" as opposed to Fire Code you would think mmmmh this makes a lot of sense or not.
    cheers

  9. #9
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    NH
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    I find that there is a lot of codes, not just fire that are dreamed up by a suite and tie., that have no real bearing in the real work/living conditions. Like a dust explosion possible yes but you have better chances of getting hit by lightning every Friday for a year than causing one in your shop.
    But as code writers they have to error on the side of caution.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  10. #10
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    Rob, I agree that codes and such can be discussed without straying into the political minefield.

    But I just now read the Objectives you linked to earlier, and for the life of me, I'm not seeing anything of value there. It looks like it was sanctioned and developed by the Department of Redundancy Department, and yet it tells me nothing about fire safety. It's not even a meaningful table of contents for the code book. As a construction inspector in a past life, I've read my share of building and safety codes, and few of them are what I'd call fun or easy reading, but the Objectives document is about as information-free as any I've seen.

    This is not a slight directed toward you by any means, just an observation about the document.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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