WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) — Faster and more efficient emergency building evacuations are among the improvements expected from 17 U.S. building and fire code changes.
The changes were approved recently by the International Code Council based on recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST said the recommendations came from its investigation of the collapse of New York’s World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
The changes will be incorporated into the 2012 edition of the International Building Code and the International Fire Code — both models used as the basis for building and fire regulations across the United States.
“The 17 new code changes include important safety improvements to the existing requirements for elevators in tall buildings used during an emergency by occupants evacuating and firefighters entering, and provisions to ensure that emergency radio communications will effectively serve first responders throughout their local communities,” NIST officials said.
“With their adoption and reaffirmation over two code cycles, we believe that the safety improvements stimulated by the NIST … investigation are now well integrated within the mainstream of U.S. building and fire codes,” said World Trade Center Lead Investigator Shyam Sunder.
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