GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 11 (UPI) -- World Trade Center recommendations for emergency evacuations from buildings are the basis for a new set of fire codes, U.S. officials said.
Shyam Sunder, World Trade Center lead investigator, said 17 major building and fire code changes approved recently by the International Code Council are based on recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's investigation of the collapses of World Trade Center twin towers and World Trade Center 7 in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.
The code changes include safety improvement requirements for elevators in tall buildings used during an emergency by occupants evacuating and firefighters entering, and provisions to ensure that emergency radio communications will work among first responders.
The changes will be incorporated into the 2012 edition of the International Building Code and the International Fire Code, a state-of-the-art model code used as the basis for building and fire regulations promulgated and enforced by U.S. state and local jurisdictions. Jurisdictions have the option of incorporating some or all of the code's provisions, Sunder said.
"With their adoption and reaffirmation over two code cycles, we believe that the safety improvements stimulated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology's World Trade Center investigation are now well integrated within the mainstream of U.S. building and fire codes," Sunder said.