Fort Dodge moves toward new fire code

Architects and developers working on buildings in Fort Dodge may soon have to comply with an updated fire code.

The City Council on Monday approved the first reading of a measure that would switch the community from the 2012 version of the International Fire Code to the 2018 version.

The measure will have to be approved two more times to become law.

Fort Dodge residents won’t notice anything different if the new code is adopted, according to Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter. He said architects, builders, developers and people who design sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems will be impacted by it.

Hergenreter is recommending that the council adopt the code mostly as it was written by the International Code Council. However, he is recommending that one provision be dropped.

That provision would require that a sprinkler system be installed in any existing bar or restaurant that can seat 300 or more people. That provision would have impacted two businesses: the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites, 1518 Third Ave. N.W., and the Eagles Ballroom on First Avenue North. Hergenreter said any new restaurant or bar that could seat that many people would have to install a sprinkler system.

Fort Dodge has had fire codes or fire prevention ordinances on the books since 1904, Hergenreter said.

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