Common Fire Safety Compliance Issues

fire Life Safety Update Web

I.  Storage and Ceiling Clearance

In sprinklered areas, there must be 18 inches of clearance that spans across the ceiling in an invisible plane beneath all sprinkler heads. In non sprinklered areas, there must be 24 inches of clearance that spans across the ceiling in an invisible plane beneath the ceiling. The picture on the left shows incorrect storage for a sprinklered room and the picture on the right show the correct storage. One exception: storage on built in fixtures/cabinets contiguous to walls may reach the ceiling as long is it does not interfere with sprinkler heads.

Wrong Ceiling Clearance Sized               Correct Ceiling Clearance sized

II.  Use of Door Wedges

Using wedges to prop open doors violates the Uniform Fire Code. Fire rated corridor doors include doors affixed with an automatic closer and/or fire rating stamp.  Any door affixed with a closer or rating stamp must remain un-wedged. These fire resistant doors must always be closed when not in use to contain potential fire and smoke within buildings. In newer buildings such as Genentech Hall, wedges prevent closure of automatic doors during fires.  Laboratory doors should also remain shut to ensure proper ventilation of the room and contain nuisance fumes and odors.

Door Wedge 1                              Door Wedge 2

III.  Open (in use) Chemical Containers

The UCSF Campus Fire Marshal does not permit any open chemical containers to be stored outside of approved flammable cabinets when not in use.

For questions and comments, please contact:

Tim Brey

Fire Marshal


Heber Barrera-Vite

Fire Life Safety Inspector