ICC I-CODE IFGC COMM
I-Codes with Commentaries: IFGC – International Fuel Gas Code with Commentary
|Publication Date:||1 January 2015|
The law of building regulation is grounded on the police power of the state. It is used so that the state may legislate for the general welfare of its citizens. This power enables passage of such laws as a fuel gas code. It is from the police power delegated by the state legislature that local governments are able to enact building regulations. If the state legislature has limited this power in any way, the municipality may not exceed these limitations. Although the municipality may not further delegate its police power (e.g., by delegating the burden of determining code compliance with the building owner, contractor or architect), it may turn over the administration of building regulations to a municipal official, such as a code official, if he or she is given sufficient criteria to clearly establish the basis for decisions concerning whether or not a proposed building, including its fuel gas systems, conforms to the code.
Chapter 1 is largely concerned with maintaining "due process of law" in enforcing the performance criteria contained in the code. Only through careful observation of the administrative provisions can the code official reasonably hope to demonstrate that "equal protection under the law" has been established. Although it is generally assumed that the administrative and enforcement sections of a code are geared toward the code official, this is not entirely true. The provisions also establish the rights and privileges of the registered design professional, the contractor and the building owner. The position of the code official is merely to review the proposed and completed work and determine whether a fuel gas installation conforms to the code requirements. The registered design professional is responsible for the design of a safe, sanitary fuel gas system. The contractor is responsible for installing the system in strict accordance with the plans.
During the course of the construction of a fuel gas system, the code official reviews the activity to verify that the spirit and intent of the law are being met and that the fuel gas system provides adequate protection of public health. As a public servant, the code official enforces the code without bias. Every individual is guaranteed equal enforcement of the code. Furthermore, design professionals, contractors and building owners have the right of due process for any requirement in the code.
A fuel gas code, like any other code, is intended to be adopted as a legally enforceable document to safeguard health, safety, property and public welfare. A fuel gas code cannot be effective without adequate provisions for its administration and enforcement. The official charged with the administration and enforcement of fuel gas regulations has a great responsibility, and with this responsibility goes authority. No matter how detailed the fuel gas code may be, the code official must, to some extent, exercise judgment in determining compliance. The code official has the responsibility of establishing that the homes in which the citizens of the community reside and the buildings in which they work are designed and constructed to be reasonably free from hazards associated with the presence and use of fuel gas appliances, appurtenances, fixtures and systems. The code intends to establish a minimum acceptable level of safety.