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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

Failure to install a firewall in a building

Even though installing a firewall in your building is an additional cost when there is a common boundary line with another existing building it is important to do so.

Section 7 of Republic Act (RA) 9514, otherwise known as "Fire Code of the Philippines," provides:

"SECTION 7. Inspections, Safety Measures, Fire Safety, Constructions and Protective and/or Warning Systems. – As may be defined and provided in the rules and regulations, owners, administrators or occupants of buildings, structures and their premises or facilities and other responsible persons shall be required to comply with the following, as may be appropriate:

"d. Provision on Fire Safety Construction, Protective and Warning System – Owners, occupants or administrator or buildings, structures and their premises or facilities, except such other buildings or structures as may be exempted in the rules and regulations to be promulgated under Section 5 hereof, shall incorporate and provide therein fire safety construction, protective and warning system, and shall develop and implement fire safety programs, to wit:

"(3) Fire walls to separate adjoining buildings, or warehouses and storage areas from other occupancies in the same building;

"In this regard, Sections and of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the aforesaid law provide, viz:

"SECTION Schedule of Fees and Fines. –

"3. Failure to provide the following safety construction protective and warning systems as required in Section 7, paragraph (d) of Republic Act No. 9514. xxx

"c. Fire walls to separate adjoining alarms fee, or alarms fees and storage areas from other occupancies in the same building. Php 25,000.00 to Php 37,000.00. xxx


"2. Punitive Penalties

"a. In case of willful failure to correct the deficiency or abate the fire hazard as provided in the preceding subsection, the violator shall, upon conviction, be punished by:

"i. Imprisonment of not less than six (6) months nor more than six (6) years, or

"ii. By a fine of not more than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or

"iii. Both such fine and imprisonment."

Pursuant to the aforementioned provisions of the law, a fire wall is required to be installed between two adjoining buildings. It is likewise stated in the accompanying IRR that violation of the fire wall requirement shall be meted with the penalty of a fine that may be imposed by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in the amount of not less than P25,000 and not more than P37,000.

If it is proven in court that the violation is intentional, such an act is punishable by imprisonment of not less than six months and not more than six years, a fine of not more than P100,000, or both imprisonment and fine.

Thus, if your building is indeed required to have a firewall, it is highly advisable to construct the same, even if it will entail additional cost, in order to avoid the punitive penalties, both fines and imprisonment, that may arise from violating the provisions of RA 9514.

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