Cost-Benefit Analysis of Fire Code Compliance

Fire Prevention and Code Enforcement Assignment Instructions

Fire code violations have increased in your area over the past two years. Local business owners are complaining to city officials about the fines and costs to mitigate the code violations. The chief has asked you to conduct a cost–benefit analysis of fire code compliance. This analysis should provide an overview of non-enforcement versus enforcement of the fire code.Try to research the number of commercial fires that occur within your jurisdiction, and determine if the fires could have been prevented if fire codes were enforced.

Cost Benefit Analysis for Adhering to Fire Code

Cost benefit analysis need evaluating the costs of maintenance, running, and installing features defined by the fire code system in preventing cases of fire incidences or reducing their impact, compared to the cost of handling fire related injuries, properties destructions, and fatalities. Adherence to fire codes increase the construction cost by dictating on the materials that should be used during construction. For instance, if one needs to use wood interior, he or she may be required to use logs that burn slowly compared to thin wood. There is also cost of setting up fire prevention system such as smoke or heat detector. This also includes the cost of setting up effective fire intervention system such as sprinkler system among other fire distinguishing mechanisms. This could be considerably expensive and in a way, it can all to the construction cost in a great way. However, the cost incurred in putting fire prevention measures is not comparable to the cost of losing the entire building or good part of the building to fire (Hasofer & Thomas, 2008).

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The cost adhering to the fire code is by far less than the cost of losing life or treating a number of individuals that are severely injured by the fire. When fire codes are adhered to, the structure owner reduces the chances of experiencing severe damages from any fire incident. The prevention measures ensure that the fire management authority is notified of any incident of fire before it is severe and hence it is able to contain the fire before serious damages are incurred. The employment of fire intervention measures ensure that the fire is contained before it becomes unmanageable. This generally means that there could never be serious losses from fire incidents in the building.

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In the worst case, lack of adherence to fire code may result to complete burning of the structure and collapsing of some parts due to fire destruction. This means, one may need to rebuild the entire structure to restore it. The fire can cause death which is hard to compensate as it is hard to value life in monetary form. There is also the cost of treating the injured individual, the value of suffering and pain, reduction of quality of life after the injury, the social cost and the value of lost time. The rate of injuries, fatalities, and properties destruction without the right fire intervention and fire prevention measures over ten times more compared to where suitable measures were these measures are installed (Hasofer & Thomas, 2008).   

Fire Incidences in Kentucky

According to the 2016 statistics, there has been a total of over 500 fire incidences reported in Kentucky that year. The incidences recorded 70.8% of death and 85.4% of injuries. The commercial building resulted to 4.1% of fire deaths and 7.6% injuries. The rest was contributed by residential building (U.S. Fire Administration, 2016). In most cases, these fire incidences could have been prevented if the building owners had adhered with fore code, especially the intervention measures.

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Although most had smoke alarm system, majority did not have any early fire intervention system that would reduce the chances of fire spreading. This means that adherence to the set fire could would prevent severe cases of fire incidences in Kentucky.

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