International Fire Code Agrees to Defer Ammonia Issues to IIAR

By Michael Garry, Jun 30, 2021, 17:28 1 minute reading

IFC is the last of the fire and mechanical model codes to do so.

Jeff Shapiro at bottom right; Eric Smith of IIAR is above him

The International Fire Code (IFC) has tentatively approved a proposal for the 2024 edition of its model code – still subject to public comments – to defer all matters related to ammonia refrigeration, including safety, to IIAR (International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration) standards, according to Jeffrey Shapiro, IIAR’s model codes consultant and president of International Code Consultants.

Shapiro shared this news at the IIAR’s annual conference, held online last week.

IFC was the last of the fire and mechanical model codes to make the decision to defer to the IIAR in regard to ammonia.

“This is a huge win,” said Shapiro. “It allows us to reach our goal of being in control of our regulatory destiny.” 

Over the past five years, IIAR has been working to make IIAR the source of code regulations for the ammonia refrigeration industry among model code bodies. As of the 2021 model codes, the International Mechanical Code (IMC), ASHRAE-15, the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), all agreed to defer to IIAR-2 and other IIAR standards “as the entire basis of regulating ammonia,” said Shapiro.

IPC was the most difficult to persuade, noted Shapiro. “It was beneficial to have a track record of others approving the change before we asked the International Fire Code to approve it.”

Shapiro cautioned that the proposal, while tentatively approved, is still subject to public comments that could change the outcome. “We need to be diligent,” he said.

Also, building codes still apply to ammonia refrigeration safety, he noted.


This is a huge win. It allows us to reach our goal of being in control of our regulatory destiny.” 
– Jeffrey Shapiro, International Code Consultants





By Michael Garry

Jun 30, 2021, 17:28




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