Op-Ed: Utah Building Codes Aren’t Fireproof

CodeWatcher Grenfell Tower fire lesson for Utah life safety codes

Make sure your municipality’s life safety codes are not being eroded in the name of cost savings or expedient building.

Bryan Romney a licensed, NCARB board certified architect and an International Code Council certified building official wrote an eye-opening op-ed piece in the Deseret News. In it, he says that the Grenfell Tower apartment fire that killed 72 people in London could happen in Utah (or anywhere) if life safety codes continue to be chipped away.

Why should Utahns be concerned about a fire in England? Because, following in British footsteps, the Utah Homebuilders Association representative stated on the record during the 2018 legislative hearing for HB346 their desire to “avoid the review process” completely, noting that a plan stamped by an architect and engineer was “sound” and therefore a review by an outside building official was unnecessary, even for high-rise apartments. This cavalier attitude was reiterated by the committee chairman, who demanded an example where the lack of a plan review by a building official ever resulted in a fire in a high-rise apartment. This is a direct response to the chairman.

Read the full story here.

Photo credit: Natalie Oxford, Creative Commons