Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NC Building Code Council to look into code changes to minimize fire risks like the one that destroyed the Metropolitan Apartments in Raleigh

The cause of the fire is still under investigation

By Jonah Kaplan
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 06:19PM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The men and women who manage North Carolina's Building Code will soon get the chance to make any changes provoked by the fire in downtown Raleigh.

"If you're asking could something be done during construction to minimize something like this happening, that's what I would look at," contractor David Smith, a member of the 17-person NC Building Code Council. Smith told ABC11 council members are eager to learn more about the cause of the fire that torched the Metropolitan Apartments still under construction. "I promise you the Building Code council will address it and try to come up with a solution to keep it from happening again."

The members of the council are appointed to six year terms by the governor. They represent different trades like plumbing and electric, plus general contractors and members of the public. The code, based on international standards, is updated and reprinted every six years, with the newest version expected in 2018.

Couple watches as downtown Raleigh fire engulfs building (ABC11 Photographer/Adolfo Ibarra)

North Carolina's building codes are governed by international standards, mandating that all wood-framed apartment complexes have tested and approved sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers at specified locations, access to exits, and-repellent doors that resists flames by at least two hours.

The doors, however, cannot be installed until the walls are finished - which is why Metropolitan did not have those protections in place.

For more information on building and fire codes, visit:

To propose any changes to the building code, visit: