Non-Regulated Facilities

Follow this section for either of the following conditions:

  • The building where you will be working does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Bureau of Fire Services (MBFS)
  • The building where you will be working falls under the jurisdiction of the MBFS, but the scope of work being performed does not require MBFS review in accordance with the State’s Administrative Rules

While MBFS does not require plan review submittals for cosmetic remodeling or maintenance projects, the U-M must still comply with all requirements found in the MBFS Administrative Rules for School, College, and University Fire Safety when conducting such work. For example:

  • Installing shelves on the wall of a classroom would be considered “cosmetic remodeling,” but the U-M remains responsible for assuring that the shelves do not obstruct a fire alarm speaker, horn, or strobe that is already installed on the same wall
  • Installing a new bulletin board in a corridor of an instructional facility would be considered “cosmetic remodeling,” but U-M remains responsible for assuring that the bulletin board meets the interior finish requirements of the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code

If a project does not require an MBFS submittal, or is occurring in a building that is not regulated by MBFS, but does meet any of the following criteria, plans and specifications must be submitted to EHS FSS for review:


The project affects the means of egress from the room, area, floor, or building, in any way. The means of egress is defined as, “a continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel from any occupied portion of a building or structure to a public way.  A means of egress consists of three separate and distinct parts: the exit access, the exit and the exit discharge.”

Exit access“that portion of a means of egress system that leads from any occupied portion of a building or structure to an exit.”
Exit“that portion of a means of egress system which is separated from other interior spaces of a building or structure by fire-resistance-rated construction and opening protectives as required to provide a protected path of egress travel between the exit access and the exit discharge. Exits include exterior exit doors at ground level, exit enclosures, exit passageways, exterior exit stairs, exterior exit ramps and horizontal exits.”
Exit discharge“that portion of a means of egress system between the termination of an exit and a public way.”

Proposed changes to any portion of the means of egress system must be submitted to FSS for review.  Proposed changes include:

  • Length or width of corridors
  • Swing of egress doors
  • Installation of new doors or demolition of existing doors
  • Arrangement of stairs, ramps, and associated landings, handrails or guards
  • Installation of new doors, gates, or turnstiles
  • Installation of new door hardware
  • Installation of delayed egress doors or access-controlled egress doors
  • Installation of fixed seating or other furnishings in exit access aisles, corridors, stairs, or other exit enclosures

For more information, refer to the EHS FSS Basic Requirements for Means of Egress guideline.

Life Safety Equipment

The project:

  • Involves demolition of existing life safety equipment
  • Affects the function of existing life safety equipment
  • Involves the installation of new life safety equipment
  • Involves any modification to equipment located in a building’s fire command center

Life safety equipment includes:

  • Fire alarm systems
  • Automatic sprinkler systems
  • Standpipe systems
  • Other fire extinguishing systems (such as kitchen exhaust hood fire suppression systems, carbon dioxide extinguishing systems, etc.)
  • Emergency lighting equipment
  • “exit” signs
  • Fire and smoke dampers
  • Emergency alarm systems
  • Smoke control systems

Fire-Resistance-Rated Assembly

The project involves demolition, construction, or modification of any fire-resistance-rated assembly.  Fire-resistance-rated assemblies may include exterior walls, fire walls, fire barriers, fire partitions, shaft enclosures, smoke barriers, smoke partitions, horizontal assemblies (floor/ceiling assemblies), and openings, penetrations, or joints in, through, or between such assemblies.


The project involves a change in the use or occupancy capacity of the space.  Examples would include finishing of previously unoccupied space, the conversion of any existing space, such as an office suite, into a space for public assembly (such as a conference room or lecture hall), conversion of offices to hotel rooms (or the reverse), conversion between retail space and any other use, the construction or renovation of new restaurant space, installation of stages, platforms, or motion picture projection rooms, construction of atriums or covered malls, or construction of a special amusement building or area.  You may refer to the EHS FSS “Basic Requirements for Means of Egress” guideline for further information.

Temporary Construction Barriers

The scope of work and/or location of the project will require the erection of temporary construction barriers to protect building occupants from dangers associated with the construction activity. See the EHS FSS “Guideline for Construction Barrier Requirements” for further information.

Hazardous Materials Storage or Hazardous Process

The project involves installation of equipment related to hazardous materials storage or any hazardous process.  This includes projects involving renovation of laboratories, construction of new laboratory space, combustible dust producing operations (such as wood shops), and spaces used for application of flammable finishes (such as paint spray booths), industrial ovens, motor vehicle fuel dispensing facilities, motor vehicle repair facilities, high-piled combustible storage, installation of tents, canopies, or other membrane structures, construction of space designated for hot work or welding, and spaces for use, storage, or handling of hazardous materials, aerosols, combustible fibers, compressed gases, corrosive materials, cryogenic fluids, explosives, fireworks, flammable and combustible liquids, flammable gases, flammable solids, highly toxic and toxic materials, liquefied petroleum gases, organic peroxides, oxidizers, pyrophoric materials, pyroxylin plastics, unstable (reactive) materials, and water-reactive solids and liquids.  More information regarding the requirements buildings and spaces where these materials are located can be found in the International Fire Code and various NFPA standards.  EHS can provide guidance for such projects.

When submitting plans and specifications to EHS FSS, the submittal should include a brief written description of the proposed scope of work, along with all of the following (if applicable):

  • Fire protection system shop drawings (must also be submitted to Factory Mutual)
  • The location of existing fire suppression devices or systems in the project area that will remain
  • Fire alarm system shop drawings (must also be submitted to Factory Mutual)
  • The location of existing fire alarm devices in the project area that will remain
  • A complete floor plan of the area being constructed or renovated, drawn accurately and to scale
  • The use of each room
  • The wall construction, including the fire-resistance rating
  • The location of any fuel-fired equipment
  • The type, size, and location of fire extinguishers
  • The location of existing and new emergency lighting fixtures
  • The location of existing and new “exit” signs
  • The location of existing and new fire and/or smoke dampers, and any connection between a fire alarm system and HVAC equipment and/or an engineered smoke control system
  • Emergency alarm system shop drawings.  Emergency alarm systems include toxic gas detection systems (and similar systems), but DO NOT include burglar or security alarm systems. However, burglary and security alarm systems should be reviewed with the Department of Public Safety & Security prior to installation.
  • Any relevant information regarding egress door locking arrangements, modifications to egress door hardware, the installation of delayed egress locks, access controlled egress doors, sliding doors, power operated doors, turnstiles, or gates
  • The proposed layout of furnishings and equipment in the space
  • The location and composition of any required temporary construction barrier
  • The location and nature of any proposed hazardous material use, dispensing, storage, or process area. Further documentation will be required depending on the nature of the hazard, in accordance with any applicable Code, Standard, law, or regulation

Any other drawing, specification, or information deemed necessary in the judgment of the designer or specifically requested by EHS FSS.

Plans DO NOT need to be submitted to EHS FSS for any of the following:

  • Tool or storage sheds less than 120 square feet in size, and fences or retaining walls located outside of a building.  However, such structures must not block fire lanes or building exits, and will generally require review by the Exterior Elements Design Review Committee.
  • Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above the adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and not part of an accessible route.  However, projects that affect existing fire lanes or fire department access to a building must be reviewed by FSS, and review by the Exterior Elements Design Review Committee may be required.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.  This exception DOES NOT apply to fabric, foam plastic, or other similar wall or ceiling finishes.  Also, cabinets and other casework must not block means of egress.  If there is a question regarding the means of egress, plans must be submitted to FSS for review.  Projects involving installation of fabric, foam plastic, or other similar wall or ceiling finishes must be performed in conformance with the EHS Fire Safety Services Interior Finish Review Process.
  • Non-fixed and moveable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.  This exception does NOT apply to any fixture or furnishing located in an egress corridor or egress stair. Any installation in a corridor or stair must be reviewed by FSS.
  • Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, and not occupied by the public.
  • Swings or other playground equipment. However, such installations must be reviewed by the University department responsible for the area in question (such as University Housing), and may also require review by University Risk Management.
  • Electrical work involving only minor repairs to existing equipment, including replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.  However, all electrical work should be reviewed and inspected in accordance with the requirements of the EHS Code Inspection Group.  Also, any installation of equipment in corridors or egress stairs, or that may potentially obstruct the means of egress from any space, must be reviewed by FSS.
  • Installation of portable heating appliances, portable ventilation equipment, portable cooling units, and self-contained refrigeration systems containing 10 pounds or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of 1 horsepower or less.  However, all portable heating appliances should conform to the EHS Fire Safety Services Space Heater Guideline, and all walk-in refrigerator and/or freezer installations must be reviewed.  Mechanical work may also require review and inspection in accordance with the requirements of the EHS Code Inspection Group.
  • The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and shall be reviewed and inspected by the EHS Code Inspection Group, and/or the City of Ann Public Services Department, as applicable depending on the nature and location of the installation.  Review by EHS Environmental Protection and Permitting may also be required.

The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.  Installation of new fixtures does not require FSS review or inspection, but will require inspection by the EHS Code Inspection Group.

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