Article VII - Fire Safety Requirements
Scope. The provisions of this section shall govern the minimum conditions and standards for fire safety
relating to structures and exterior premises, including fire safety facilities and equipment to be provided.
Responsibility. The owner of the premises shall provide and maintain such fire safety facilities and
equipment in compliance with these requirements. A person shall not occupy as owner- occupant or
permit another person to occupy any premises that do not comply with the requirements of this section.
§ 48-72. Means of Egress
General. A safe, continuous and unobstructed path of travel shall be provided from any point in a
building or structure outside to the public way. Means of egress shall comply with the North Carolina
Fire Prevention Code.
Aisles. The required width of aisles in accordance with the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code shall be
Locked Doors. All means of egress doors shall be readily operable from the side from which egress is to
be made without the need for keys, special knowledge or effort, except where the door hardware
conforms to that permitted by the North Carolina Building Code.
Emergency Escape Openings. Required emergency escape openings shall be maintained in accordance
with the Code in effect at the time of construction, and the following. Required emergency escape and
rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools. Bars,
grilles, grates or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings
provided the minimum net clear opening size complies with the Code that was in effect at the time of
construction and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key,
tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.
§ 48-73. Fire-Resistance Ratings
Fire-Resistance-Rated Assemblies. The required fire-resistance rating of fire-resistance-rated walls, fire
stops, shaft enclosures, partitions and floors shall be maintained.
Opening Protective. Required opening protective shall be maintained in an operative condition. All fire
and smokestop doors shall be maintained in operable condition. Fire doors and smoke barrier doors
shall not be blocked or obstructed or otherwise made inoperable.
48-74. Fire Protection Systems
General. All systems, devices and equipment to detect a fire, actuate an alarm, or suppress or control a
fire or any combination thereof shall be maintained in an operable condition at all times in accordance
with the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code.
Smoke Alarms. Single or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed and maintained per the
Residences constructed prior to June 30, 1999 shall have one battery operated smoke alarm for
each floor of the dwelling unit.
Residences constructed on or after June 30, 1999 shall have one smoke alarm in each bedroom,
one smoke alarm within 10 feet of every sleeping area, and at least one smoke alarm on each floor,
including basements, but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. Such smoke alarms
shall be electrically operated with a battery backup power source.
All residential dwelling units shall maintain required smoke alarm and fire protection systems
required by the N.C. State Building Code applicable at the time of construction or otherwise
applicable State law or regulation.
For rental dwelling units, the owner shall provide the required smoke alarms, consistent with this
ordinance and state law. This shall include functioning smoke alarms with the initial occupancy by
a tenant. Tenants shall be required to maintain the batteries for smoke alarms as required by state
Power source. When an electrical power source is required, single-station smoke alarms shall receive
their primary power from the building wiring provided that such wiring is served from a commercial
source and shall be equipped with a battery backup. Smoke alarms shall emit a signal when the batteries
are low. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than as required for over
Interconnection. For residential dwellings built after June 30, 1999 where more than one smoke alarm is
required to be installed, the smoke alarms shall be interconnected in such a manner that the activation of
one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. The alarm shall be clearly audible in all
bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors