Landlord/Owner Responsibilities

The International Fire Code (IFC) as adopted by the City of Springfield, requires landlords and property owners to take certain steps to protect residents of rental properties. IFC Section 907.2.10.2.1 All one and two family rental properties within the jurisdiction are required to adhere to the Section R314.3 of the 2018 IRC, as adopted by the City of Springfield, "It shall be the property owners' responsibility to provide and maintain these smoke alarms according to the individual manufacturers guidelines".  Doing so could not only protect your investment, but potentially save lives as well!

Please note: some code requirements vary based on the type or age of your building.  For more information on your property, contact the Community Risk Reduction division of the Springfield Fire Department or view the fire code online.  Please note:  the City of Springfield has adopted amendments to this fire code.

Sprinkler Systems

 

Sprinkler systems are the single greatest way to save lives and reduce property damage. While not all properties are required to install them, the Springfield Fire Department strongly recommends all property owners consider making the investment.

If you have a sprinkler system, follow these requirements:
 
  • Make sure the system is annually tested and maintained by a qualified company, approved by the Springfield Fire Department.
  • Check gauges for pressure on the system. Make sure control valves are in the open position and electronically supervised.
  • Sprinkler heads should not be painted or blocked by fixtures. Maintain 18" of clearance from all sprinkler heads. 
  • Make sure you have a sprinkler system tool box located on the wall near the riser that includes  include 6 extra sprinkler heads and a wrench.
  • Sprinkler system should have a current inspection tag. 

Fire Department Connections

  • Check that FDC caps are in place.
  • Can be plastic or locking.
  • Make sure access to FDC is in plain view. Have signage added if difficult to locate.  There should be a 3’ minimum clearance around FDC.

Fire Alarms



  • Check the status of the fire alarm. Make sure the system is annually tested and maintained by a vendor registered with the Springfield Fire Department.  Make sure it is not in trouble mode. Make sure it has not been silenced. Finally, ensure all lights are green.

Address and Apartment Numbers

  • Make sure address numbers are visible from the street.  Addresses should be visible on the front and back of the building. 
  • Make sure buildings are numbered or lettered clearly – should be at least 4 inches in height and in numerical form.  
  • Make sure each individual apartment is numbered and lettered clearly. 

Exiting and Egress

  exit   

  • Exit signs should be illuminated. 
  • Check egress lights and exit signs for battery operation monthly.
  • Keep stairways free of obstructions and storage.
  • Hallways and stairs should be illuminated at all times.
  • Make sure furniture and personal items are not being stored in the hallways. Combustible materials cannot be stored under stairs.
  • Exit doors can be locked from the outside for security purposes, but must be operable from the inside without a key, tools, or special knowledge.  The doors should only take one motion to open. 
  • Internal hallway doors and stairwell doors can be fire rated and should not be propped open.
  • Make sure fire escapes are in good condition and structurally sound.
  • Consider installing a Knox Box for easy entry by first responders.

BBQ Grills



  • Must be located at least 10 feet from all combustible structures.  
  • May not be used on balconies unless the entire building is protected by a fire sprinkler system, including the balconies.
  • Consider banning storage on balconies/breezeways.
  • Cannot be stored under combustible stairways.  

Fire Extinguishers

  • A portable fire extinguisher must be provided and properly maintained. Fire extinguishers can be in the common areas (hallways) or on the exterior of the building.
  • There must be an extinguisher on each level and within 75’ of the front door to each apartment.
  • These extinguishers must be at a minimum 2A:10BC, hung properly with annual inspection tag.
  • Fire extinguishers can be in each apartment instead of in the common areas. The extinguisher should be located near the kitchen. These extinguishers must be at a minimum 1A:10BC, hung properly with annual inspection tag.

Smoke Alarms

  • installalarmolderadultc3_7 A minimum of one smoke alarm must be installed in each dwelling, on each level.  The alarm should be placed outside of the bedroom(s). See IFC R314.3 for additional information.  
  • Properties built after 2000 must also have additional alarms shared on each level and in each bedroom. The Springfield Fire Department recommends all properties follow these guidelines, regardless of age.
  • The building owner should test smoke alarms at least once a year.
  • Include a signed statement with lease stating you installed the alarm and the tenant must maintain it.