City of Columbia amends sprinkler installation code

Six current businesses exempted

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia City Council amended its fire code Monday to require more businesses to have sprinkler systems, but exempted six establishments. 

The International Fire Code has been updated to require all restaurants, bars and nightclubs that serve alcohol and have an occupancy of 300 or more to have automatic fire sprinkler systems.

Five businesses in Columbia would have had to update their systems before the amendment was passed:

  • Flat Branch Brewery, 115 S. Fifth St.
  • Olive Garden, 1300 I-70 Drive S.W.
  • Campus Bar and Grill, 304 S. Ninth St.
  • Yin Yang Night Club, 128 E. Nifong Blvd.
  • Grand Cru, 2600 S. Providence Rd.
  • Tropical Liqueurs, 3805 S. Providence Rd.

After the council's decision to amend the code, those six restaurants will not have to install the sprinklers.

"We recommended that that language only be applied towards new businesses and exclude existing businesses," Columbia Fire Department Assistant Chief Brad Fraizer said.

Fraizer said the city considered "our inspection program, existing life safety systems in those buildings and their means of egress capacity."

But new businesses would have to install the automatic fire system sprinklers.

If a new business that meets the requirements moved into a building that already meets requirements but does not have the sprinklers, such as Flat Branch, the new business would not have to install the sprinklers, Fraizer said. But if that new business moved into a new building or something with lesser requirements, such as an office space, it would be required to install the sprinklers.

The change stems from a 2003 fire at a nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, that killed 100 people and injured 230 others.

The fire happened as a result of a pyrotechnics show. But Fraizer said pyrotechnics shows are not allowed in Columbia.

Fraizer said the city took this into account when amending the code.

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