Introduction to the International Building Code (IBC) - Fire and Life Safety

Upcoming dates (2)

Nov. 14-15, 2022

Madison, WI

Course Overview

This course is a must for professionals who plan, design, review, or inspect buildings to ensure public health and safety. Learn and understand essential code requirements, facilitate code compliance, and reduce costly project revisions.

Who Should Attend?

This course will benefit new users of the IBC, as well as experienced professionals seeking reinforcement, or interested in an update on the new changes. This includes:

  • Plan reviewers and code officials
  • Architects and related professionals
  • Engineers and technicians
  • Consultants and planners

Course Outline

Code Application

  • Scope and intent
  • Alternate methods and materials
  • Existing buildings

Building Classification

  • Occupancy classification
  • Type of construction

Automatic Sprinkler Systems

  • Fire areas
  • Where sprinklers are required
  • Sprinkler trade-offs

Building Location on Lot

  • Exterior wall ratings
  • Buildings on the same lot
  • Openings in exterior walls

Allowable Building Size

  • Allowable building height
  • Mezzanines
  • Allowable building area
  • Unlimited area buildings
  • Mixed occupancies

Fire and Smoke Protection Features

  • Fire-resistance ratings
  • Fire resistance-rated wall assemblies
  • Penetrations
  • Opening protectives
  • Fire and smoke dampers

Fire Protection Systems

  • Standpipe systems
  • Fire alarm systems

Interior Finishes

  • Walls and ceiling finishes
  • Floor finishes

Means of Egress

  • General egress components
  • Occupant load determination
  • Egress width
  • Accessible means of egress
  • Doors and stairways
  • Exit signs
  • Handrails and guardrails
  • Number and location of exits
  • Corridors
  • Horizontal exits
  • Exit discharge

Special Use Features

  • Stages and platforms
  • Hazardous materials

Miscellaneous Provisions

  • Interior environment
  • Safety glazing


  • Effective Use and Application of the IBC
  • Special Detailed Occupancy Requirements
  • Significant Changes in the 2018 IBC


“Doug and Mark did a great job making this course informative, yet still interesting and not boring. The students asked many questions, in which Doug & Mark interacted with the class great.”  

Alexis, River Valley Architects, Eau Claire, WI (November 2021)

“I thought the content covered was great and helpful. Doug is very knowledgeable about the code.”

Andrew, Lawson Fisher, South Bend, IN (May 2019)

“Thank you, Doug & Mark!  Will help w/ my career and ARE’s!”

Derek, Angus Young Associates, Stoughton, WI (May 2019)

"Very informative & great refresher on how to navigate IBC. The select 2018 changes were also easy-to-follow & insightful...Material & handouts were easy-to-follow. Douglas was engaging & kept things interesting. Overall, great course!"

Neha, Burnham Nationwide, Chicago, IL (May 2018)

"Doug is an amazing presenter, great charisma, makes time for questions. The guy is a machine!! 2 days presenting without a miss, unreal!"

Kyle, HGA Architects and Engineers, Port Washington, WI (May 2018) 

"Doug is extremely well versed in the code. I especially enjoyed the history of sections of the code or reasons why the committee made a certain decision."

Sean, CBRE Heery, Burlington, MA (May 2018)

"A lot of good information on understanding how the code was developed and why, which helps interpret the code...Not only learned about the code but also confirmed we are applying the code properly."

Steven, Studio K Architecture, Princeton, IL (May 2018)


Douglas Thornburg

Douglas W. Thornburg, AIA, CBO, is currently Vice-President and Technical Director of Products and Services for the International Code Council (ICC) where he provides administrative and technical leadership for the ICC product development activities. Doug creates and presents building code seminars nationally and has developed numerous educational texts and resource materials and was awarded ICC's inaugural Educator of the Year Award. Prior to employment with ICC, he was in private practice as a code consultant and educator on building codes for nine years. Doug also spent 10 years with the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) where he served as Vice-President/Education. A graduate of Kansas State University and a registered architect, Doug has over 36 years of experience in building code training and administration. He has authored a variety of code-related support publications, including the IBC Illustrated Handbook and the Significant Changes to the International Building Code.

Upcoming dates (2)

Program Director

Mark Malkin

Contact Us

Create a custom learning experience

We can deliver this course as an on-site learning experience tailored to your organization’s specific training needs.