Menasha_Town of

2013 Wisconsin Act 270 establishes a uniform commercial building code in Wisconsin, while allowing municipalities to grandfather fire detection, prevention, and suppression ordinances that relate to the construction, alteration, or addition to a public building or building that is a place of employment.

Grandfathered Ordinances for Town of Menasha


(2) Primary Code Adoption. This Code shall be known as the Town of Menasha Fire Prevention Code.This Code adopts, but is not limited to the State of Wisconsin, Division of Safety and Buildings Administrative Codes (Commerce), the Wisconsin Enrolled Building Code, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) incorporated standards and codes as published in the National Fire Codes (NFC), and the International Fire Code®-2009 (IFC) shall be adopted in place of Commerce Chapter 14, Subchapter I section 14.001(2)(a) save and except those portions such as are hereinafter deleted, modified, or amended by any Section of this ordinance. The same, including any future modifications or amendments, are hereby adopted and incorporated as fully as if set out at length herein. Not less than two (2) copies of the adopted issue of the International Fire Code and the adopted standards and codes of the National Fire Codes shall be filed in the office of the Fire Department and the provisions thereof shall be controlling within the limits of the Town of Menasha. Any facility whose design and construction occurred before the effective date of this code is governed by the codes in effect at the time of design and/or construction. The provisions in Commerce Chapter 14 and the International Fire Code will apply to the use and operation of all public buildings and places of employment that exist on or afterh the effective date of this ordinance.

(16) The provisions of the Town of Menasha Fire Prevention Code shall apply equally to both public and private property, and it shall apply to all structures and their occupancies, except as otherwise specified.


(1) System Control Location. All Fire Detection and Suppression controls shall be located in an accessible location for the Fire Department.

(2) Smoke Detectors. Refer to the State of Wisconsin, Division of Safety and Buildings Administrative Codes, the Wisconsin Enrolled Building Code, and codes in effect at the time of construction for installation and the International Fire Code for maintenance.

(d) Buildings and areas where required. Every building constructed or structurally altered shall have an approved automatic sprinkler system installed and maintained when occupied in whole or part for the following purposes.

IFC Chapter 9, Section 903, Automatic Sprinkler Systems:

a. ADD: IFC Section 903.2: Basements in excess of one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet in buildings other than residential facilities. Alternative to the above may be:

1) Basement area is compartmentalized with two-hour rated walls so that the basement areas are less than one thousand five hundred (1,500) and a one-hour rated, floor-ceiling assembly.

a) Fire Department access openings are provided so that:

1- No part of the basement is further than seventy-five (75) feet from an opening.

2- The basement shall be provided with openings of at least twenty (20) square feet in each fifty (50) lineal feet of exterior wall of the basement, on at least one (1) side of the building.

b) Dimension openings shall be a minimum of thirty (30) inches and the bottom of the opening shall not be more than fo1ty-eight (48) inches above the floor.

c) The openings shall be accessible to the Fire Depa1tment from the exterior and shall be unobstructed to allow fire fighting and rescue operations.

c. DELETE: which generate finely divided combustible waste or which use finely divided combustible materials.

(f) Assembly (Group A):

1. ADD: IFC Section 903.2.1: Automatic sprinklers are to be installed throughout all such buildings of non-fire resistive construction if such place of assembly is located above the first floor, whether or not there is a stage.

2. ADD: IFC Section 903.2.1: Automatic sprinklers are to be installed throughout all basement areas used for assembly and exiting stairways from such assembly area.

4. ADD: IFC Section 903.2.1. In every Group A where a proscenium curtain is required, automatic sprinklers shall be provided under the stage, under the stage roof, and in the dressing rooms but not in the automatic smoke outlet.

(h) Storage (Group S -2): ADD: IFC Section 903.2.9

1. Throughout all closed parking ramps or structures which are used for public parking of passenger vehicles.

2. Facilities for repairing or fueling vehicles within the structure are prohibited.

(i) Application to existing buildings. Where the Fire Chief finds that by reason of a change in use, construction addition or renovation an existing building constitutes a severe fire hazard to its occupants or to adjoining property, the provisions of this section shall apply.

(k) Alternative materials and methods.

2. The Fire Chief on notice to the Community Development Department may approve any alternate material or method, provided that the proposed design, use or operation satisfactorily complies with the intent of this code and that the material, method of work performance or operation is, for the purpose intended at least equivalent of that prescribed in this section in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety, provided, however, that any approval under the authority herein contained shall be subject to the approval of the building official whenever the alternate material or method involves matters regulated by the state building code.

3. The Fire Chief may require tests as proof of compliance with the intent of this section, such tests to be made by an approved agency at the expense of the person requesting approval of the alternate material or method of construction.

4. If technical expertise is unavailable within the department because of new technology, process, products, facilities, materials and uses attending the design, operation or use of a building or premises subject to the inspection of the department, the Fire Chief may require the owner or the person in possession or control of the building or premises to provide without charge to the department, a technical opinion and report. The opinion and report shall be prepared by a qualified engineer, specialist, laboratory, or fire-safety organization, acceptable to the Fire Chief and the owner and shall analyze the fire safety properties of design, operation or use of the building or premises and the facilities and appurtenances situated thereon, and prescribe the necessary recommended changes.

(4) Standpipes

(b) Installation standard. International Fire Code Section 905.2 shall apply.


(1) Except as hereinafter provided, automatic fire sprinklers, smoke detectors and standpipes need not be installed in buildings which existed or were under construction before this ordinance became effective unless such installation was required by a previous ordinance, administrative regulation or state statute.

(2) Where a building is expanded or remodeled and the building as remodeled or expanded is of a size, a type, or a use, which, were the building then to be constructed, would be subject to the provisions of Sections 5.11, the following subsections shall apply:

(a) The entire building shall be made to conform to the requirements of sections 5 .11 if more than 50% of the gross interior area of the building is remodeled or added to the building.

(e) In determining the foregoing percentages successive additions, expansions, or remodeling, if made within a period of two (2) years shall be considered aggregated and treated as a single expansion or addition.

(3) Regardless of any percentage set forth in Section 5.12 (2) if the additional, expanded, or remodeled area is of a size, is of a type, or is for a use which is subject to the provisions of Section 5 .11, the additional, expanded, or remodeled area must conform to the requirements of such Sections.

(4) Regardless of any percentage set forth in Section 5.12 (2) where any dwelling is remodeled or expanded and the quotient obtained by dividing the total cost of the expansion, addition, or the remodeling by the total number of dwelling units in the building equals or exceeds $1,000.00, the entire building shall be made to conform to the requirements of Section 5.11.

(6) Where at the time of its construction a building or any part thereof is excepted from the requirements of Section 5.11 by reason of its proposed or intended use and subsequent to construction the use of such a building or part thereof is changed in such way that the reason for the exception no longer exists, the entire building or area as the case may be, shall be made to conform with the requirements of the Wisconsin Enrolled Building Code.

(7) If the use of an existing building or structure is changed and the requirements for the new use are more stringent than those for the previous use, the building or structure shall be made to comply with the requirements for the new use as provided by this ordinance.


Scope: The provisions of this section identify those requirements for Fire Department access in areas under construction.

IFC Chapter 14 Fire Safety During Construction and Demolition, Section 141 1, Means of Egress:

(1) SUBSTITUTE: During the course of construction, any major alteration, or demolition of any building:

(a) Access for Equipment. Access for use of heavy fire fighting equipment shall be provided to the immediate job site at the strut of construction and maintained until all construction is completed.

(b) Access to Fire Hydrants. Free access from the street to fire hydrants, and to outside connections for standpipes, sprinklers, or other fire extinguishing equipment, whether permanent or temporary, shall be provided and maintained at all times. Protective pedestrian walkways shall not be so constructed as to impede ready access to hydrants. No material or construction shall be placed within ten (10) feet of such hydrants or connections, not between them and the centerline of the street.

(c) Access to First Aid Fire Equipment. During building operations, free access to permanent, temporary or portable first aid fire equipment shall be maintained at all times.

(d) Stairways. In all buildings over 50 feet in height, at least one stairway shall be provided in usable condition at all times. This stairway shall be extended upward as each floor is installed in new construction.

(e) Fire Department Access to Premises. Arrangements shall be made so that the Fire Department will have immediate access to the premises when called.