In order to interpret the code requirements for a particular jurisdiction, it’s crucial to know which codes have been adopted. Most states adopt a model building code, with or without state-specific modifications. This information can often be located by doing an online search – for example, Massachusetts State Building Code or New York City Fire Code.
The International Code Council’s website provides links to information about ICC code adoptions for US states and also some other countries, AND…ICCsafe.org now has a publicACCESS page where you can click on a state to read the ICC codes that have been adopted. You can even use the search feature in your browser (try Ctrl-F) to search the codes!
In some cases these publications include the state modifications and for some states those modifications are in a separate document (usually available on the state’s website), so check to make sure you’ve got all of the information for your project’s jurisdiction.
NFPA allows free access to read the codes and standards on their website – NFPA.org.
Or you can use NFPA LINK which allows you to search the NFPA codes and standards for what you need, add bookmarks, notes, etc. NFPA offers a two-week free trial for this service.
There is another great resource for finding model code and state code information, as well as requirements from the referenced standards. The site is called UpCodes, and offers a basic level of free access, as well as a monthly or annual subscription.