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TRUSS MARKING RULE

Jeff Rogo; FAA Government Affairs Director


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On December 13, 2009 the State of Florida Fire Marshal’s Office adopted a new requirement (69A- 60.0081) for commercial buildings. This new rule requires that new signage be affixed to all buildings with roof or floor trusses defined as “light frame”. The intention is to forewarn a first responder to potential danger of a roof or sub-floor collapse in the event of a major fire event. This new rule will apply to the vast majority of apartment communities, clubhouses, maintenance shops, etc.

The Truss Marking rule requires that all buildings be in compliance no later than March 13, 2010, and there is no grandfather provision.

Definitions & Technical Details

 

Light Frame Construction: A type of construction whose primary structural elements are formed by a system of repetitive wood or light gauge steel framing members.

 

Signage Requirements: Maltese Cross measuring 8 inches horizontally and 8 inches vertically, of a bright red reflective color. (See sample images and explanations below.)

 

 

 

(Truss Marking – Continued)
 
Sign Placement: (condensed from Truss Marking rule’s official language)
 
 The approved symbol shall be placed within 24 inches to the left of the main entry door.
 
 Be permanently attached to the face of the structure on a contrasting background, or be mounted on a contrasting base material which is then permanently attached to the face of the structure.
 
 The distance above the grade, walking surface or the finished floor to the bottom of the symbol shall be not less than 4 feet (48 in.) and not more than 6 feet (72 in.).
 
 In multiple tenant structures…the authority having jurisdiction [local fire marshal] is authorized to require that other main entry doors be marked with an approved symbol…In such structures, approved symbols shall be marked on one side of the structure only and spaced not closer than 100 feet or at each end of the structure when such structure is less than 100 feet in length.
 
Recommendations & Cautionary Statement:
 
The new rule leaves enforcement up to the “local authority” which is more often than not, the local fire marshal. A few provisions in the Truss Marking Rule leave room for ambiguity and individual interpretation of what is required. As such, we strongly urge you to contact the fire marshal in your jurisdiction for their guidance prior to affixing the signage to your buildings.
 
A few local governments have advised owners to delay compliance with the rule while they petition the state for more information. In these circumstances we highly recommend that you ask for something in writing from the proper authority advising you to delay. While this will not completely relieve you of liability it will show that an effort to comply was made.
 
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact SEFAA or Jeff Rogo, FAA Government Affairs Director. South East Florida Apartment Association Jeff Rogo / Florida Apartment Association
Tel: 561-447-0696 Tel: 813-882-0222
Email: info@sefaa.org Email: jeff.rogo@gmsgroup.org
Web: www.sefaa.org Web: www.fl-apartments.org
 
Sources: 69A-60.008 – Notice Required for Structures With Light-Frame Truss-type Construction

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