Fire Safety

Plan Review

Interior Finish Review Process

When a renovation project involves ONLY interior finish upgrades, as defined below, it is not necessary to submit plans to OSEH Fire Safety Services for review. However, the interior finish must meet applicable code requirements. In order to assure that these requirements are being met, Construction Services will submit a monthly summary to OSEH Fire Safety Services containing details regarding the location of each interior finish upgrade project and the materials used. An example of the form used for this submittal appears at the bottom of this page.

If interior finish upgrades are part of a larger project involving other work, plans should be submitted in accordance with the OSEH Fire Safety Services Plan Review Guideline.

The Michigan Bureau of Fire Services generally considers interior finish upgrades to be "cosmetic remodeling." "Cosmetic remodeling" is defined as follows:

"Cosmetic remodeling" means surface changes solely to the wall, floor, and ceiling that do not decrease the fire rating of the wall, floor, or ceiling, including the replacement of windows and doors.

While MBFS does not require the University to submit plans for projects that involve only cosmetic remodeling, the University is obligated to assure that such projects are in compliance with the codes and standards adopted by the MBFS, primarily the 1997 edition of the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code. The University also complies with the interior finish requirements of the 2006 edition of the Michigan Building Code. In buildings that fall under the jurisdiction of MBFS, the University must comply with the requirements of both the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and the Michigan Building Code, whichever is stricter. The requirements will vary depending on the occupancy classification of the building (see summary below). In buildings that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the MBFS, the University complies solely with the requirements of the Michigan Building Code.

OSEH Fire Safety Services will review the monthly interior finish submittal from Construction Services in accordance with the applicable Code for the building in question. If you are unsure if the building where you are performing the interior finish upgrade falls under the jurisdiction of the MBFS, please consult the list published by Architecture, Engineering, and Construction at the end of their "Codes and Regulatory Agencies" Design Guideline.

Please note that this guideline applies to interior wall and ceiling finish, which is defined as, “the exposed interior surfaces of buildings, including but not limited to: fixed or moveable walls and partitions; toilet room privacy partitions; columns; ceilings; and interior wainscoting, paneling or other finish applied structurally or for decoration, acoustical correction, surface insulation, structural fire resistance or similar purposes, but not including trim.” This guideline also refers to NFPA 101 Life Safety Code requirements for furniture and mattresses in certain types of buildings. This guideline is NOT meant to cover code requirements related to expanded vinyl wall coverings, foam plastic, pyroxylin plastic, or textile wall and ceiling finishes. The use of these materials is generally discouraged. If these materials will be used, NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and/or Michigan Building Code requirements, as applicable, must be met. The Codes should be consulted for further guidance in these cases.

Summary of NFPA 101 Interior Finish Requirements

Business Occupancy: Interior wall and ceiling finish shall be Class A or Class B in exits and enclosed corridors furnishing access to exits; and Class A, Class B, or Class C in all other areas. If the building is equipped with automatic sprinkler protection, Class C interior finish may be used in all areas. Interior floor finish shall be Class I or Class II in corridors and exits.

Assembly Occupancy: Interior wall and ceiling finish materials shall be Class A or Class B in all corridors and lobbies, and shall be Class A in enclosed stairways. Interior wall and ceiling finish materials shall be Class A or Class B in general assembly areas having occupant loads of more than 300, and shall be Class A, Class B, or Class C in assembly areas having occupant loads of 300 or fewer. Screens on which pictures are projected shall comply with the requirements of Class A or Class B interior finish.

In an assembly occupancy equipped with automatic sprinkler protection, Class C interior wall and ceiling finish materials are permitted in any location where Class B is required, and Class B interior wall and ceiling finish materials are permitted in any location where Class A is required.

Fabric and films used for decorative purposes, all draperies and curtains, and similar furnishings must meet the flame resistance requirements of NFPA 701, Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame-Resistant Textiles and Films.

Health Care Occupancy: Interior wall and ceiling finish materials must be Class A or Class B in all areas. However, walls and ceilings are permitted to have Class A, B, or C interior finish in individual rooms with an occupancy capacity of 4 persons or fewer, and corridor wall finish up to 4 feet in height that is restricted to the lower half of the wall is permitted to be Class A, B, or C.

Draperies, curtains (excluding shower curtains, but including cubicle curtains), and other loosely hanging fabrics and films serving as furnishings or decorations in health care occupancies must meet the flame resistance requirements of NFPA 701, Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame-Resistant Textiles and Films.

Upholstered furniture and mattresses must also meet specified requirements, based on NFPA 260, NFPA 261, NFPA 266, 16 CFR 1632, ASTME E1537, and ASTME E1590. Due to the length and complexity of these requirements, they will not be repeated in this summary. However, the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and the referenced standards must be consulted prior to installing upholstered furniture or mattresses in a health care occupancy.

Hotel or Dormitory Occupancy: Interior wall and ceiling finish materials must be Class A in exit enclosures, Class A or B in lobbies and corridors, and Class A, B, or C in all other spaces. If the building is equipped with automatic sprinkler protection, Class A or B is allowed in exit enclosures, and Class A, B or C is allowed in all other areas. Class I or Class II interior floor finish is required in exits and corridors if the building is not equipped with automatic sprinkler protection.

Draperies, curtains, and similar loosely hanging furnishings and decorations must meet the flame resistance requirements of NFPA 701, Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame-Resistant Textiles and Films.

Summary of Michigan Building Code Interior Finish Requirements

Michigan Building Code requirements for interior finish are summarized in Table 803.5. Click here to view.

Click here for the Monthly Interior Finish Submittal Form - Attach Manufacturer's Data Sheet or Affidavits to this form.