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RULE §111.21Fire Protection Policy

(a) Purpose. To establish guidelines for the protection from fire and smoke of the Texas Capitol, the Capitol extension, and the General Land Office and their occupants. To create a safe environment for persons performing construction work in the buildings and for the public.

(b) Oversight. The policy will be administrated by the Capitol fire marshal at the direction of the executive director and the State Fire Marshal's Office.

(c) Standard Procedures. The Capitol fire marshal shall:

  (1) perform regular inspections of the premises to identify and correct conditions within the buildings which may create fire safety concerns;

  (2) oversee routine testing of all fire alarm systems, smoke management systems, and fire suppression systems. Such tests shall be performed at least annually and as often as needed to assure full operation of all systems in an emergency;

  (3) perform regular assessments of all fire evacuation plans and schedule regular training and drills for building occupants;

  (4) advise the executive director of any unsafe conditions which exist and cannot be routinely corrected;

  (5) assure that all trash receptacles are constructed of fire resistant material approved by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or Factory Mutual System (FM);

  (6) routinely collect and keep on file Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) listing hazardous materials in State Preservation Board controlled buildings and maintain an accessible file of MSDS sheets.

(d) Fire watch procedures.

  (1) Purpose. To provide safety guidelines for state personnel and outside contractors who will be performing work involving open flames, sparks, generation of high temperature, or highly combustible materials within or near the buildings.

  (2) Guidelines. In instances in which construction or repairs involve open flames, sparks, or the use of highly combustible materials, a fire watch will be established. The most current fire safety procedures and standards will be applied. Personnel and contractor must meet the requirements established in NFPA 51-B as a minimum, but other currently accepted fire safety procedures shall also apply. Basic procedure shall include but are not limited to the following.

    (A) The area shall be cleared of all removable combustible materials.

    (B) The floor shall be swept clean within a minimum of 10 feet of the work area.

    (C) The wall and floor opening in the area will be appropriately sealed to prevent spread to adjacent areas.

    (D) The ducts to the areas will be sealed or shut down.

    (E) Fire watchers shall have adequate fire extinguishing equipment readily available and shall be trained in their use.

    (F) Fire watchers shall be trained in the use of the building alarm systems. They shall be familiar with the facilities and with the fire evacuation plan.

    (G) The fire watch shall be maintained after the completion of the work for a period of time adequate to assure that no risk remains.

    (H) The work site shall be inspected by the fire watcher(s) at two-hour and four-hour intervals following the completion of work.

  (3) Permits and supervision.

    (A) Projects and contracts of less than $100,000. The Capitol fire marshal shall issue a permit for any activity involving a potential fire hazard and shall implement appropriate fire watch procedures. A permit signed by the fire marshal shall serve as authorization to proceed. The fire marshal shall designate trained fire watchers to oversee the activity.

    (B) Contracts of $100,000 or more. The contractor shall submit a proposed fire protection program for the review and approval of the Capitol fire marshal. The program shall include fire watch procedures as well as routine fire prevention procedures in compliance with this policy and commonly accepted fire prevention standards. Upon approval of the fire protection program by the Capitol fire marshal, the contractor shall assume the responsibility for the implementation and oversight of the program with periodic review by the fire marshal. The contractor shall issue fire watch permits and assume responsibility for enforcing this policy.

Source Note: The provisions of this §111.21 adopted to be effective May 7, 1992, 17 TexReg 2979; amended to be effective April 12, 1994, 19 TexReg 2197; amended to be effective April 30, 2000, 25 TexReg 3527

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