Bismarck to update building and fire codes

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Bismarck is addressing a building and fire code update ordinance at Tuesday's City Commission meeting.

Some say building and fire codes can be hard to follow but can mean a lot when it comes to your safety. City staff and local contractors have been meeting about four issues that held up the ordinance.

"We felt that it was a really productive conversation, and that we gained consensus around some of those issues that were raised," said Ben Ehreth, community development director.

One was egress windows, which the state says can be up to 48 inches off the floor inside.

"Looking at a lot of the national research that had been done, that 44 inch sill height is easier for emergency service providers, particularly fire fighters in full gear to get into and more importantly to get out of," said Ehreth.

Another rule that will change is the amount of space between buildings.

"In state code that was proposed to shift from five feet to three feet from exterior wall to property line. We as staff conceded and we felt comfortable making that change," said Ehreth.

The code changes will be discussed in a public hearing for anyone to voice their own opinions.

The commissioners will also look at cost estimates on the 43rd Avenue reconstruction at the meeting.