Fire Codes • 75% of all codes deal with fire and life safety • Interior fire-related codes focus on protecting the occupant allowing time to evacuate during a fire. • The ultimate goal is to contain a fire to the room of origin. • Fire codes include provisions for both fire protection and smoke protection. • More people die from asphyxiation due to smoke than from burns.
Passive Systems • Focus on prohibiting and containing fires • Also known as prevention systems • Once in place, nothing else has to occur from them to be part of the control of a fire. • Fire and smoke barriers and partitions • Horizontal Assemblies (floors, ceilings) • Opening Protective (windows, doors) • Through-penetration (Firestops, dampers) • Finishes and furniture
Active Systems • These systems are considered active because they have to be activated in order to work. • Once called suppression systems, they are now called extinguishing systems • Detection systems • Extinguishing and suppression systems • Emergency lighting
Exiting Systems • Elements of a space or building that assists and direct occupants to a place of safety • Means of egress • Communication systems
Cities/states with their own Fire Codes • California • Boston • Massachusetts • New York City • Florida • New Jersey • New York State
Compartmentation • The overall concept of a Passive fire-protection method • Separation of areas in a building to control fire and smoke by the use of: • Wall Assemblies • Floor Assemblies • Ceiling Assemblies
Compartmentation • Compartments are created by fire-resistance-rated assemblies which include: • Fire walls • Fire barriers • Horizontal assemblies • Fire partitions • As a result, the fire can spread only a limited area before meeting resistance from rated assemblies.
Fire Walls • Fire walls are not usually “added” to an existing building. • Within or between buildings creating two or more separate buildings. • Also know as a party wall • Provides complete vertical separation of areas in a building. • Extends from the slab to the roof and from exterior wall to exterior wall. • Parapet is a fire wall that extends above the roof. • Rated 3 or 4 hours typically. Minimum is 2 hrs. • See table 706.4 for rating by occupancy (page 199) • Avoid penetrating a fire wall!
Barriers, Horizontal Assemblies and Fire Partitions • Fire Barriers are walls that have a fire-resistant rating and must be continuous from floor to ceiling assembly. (extends thru a suspended ceiling). Joints are sealed and the number of doors, windows are limited. • Horizontal assemblies serve the same function as fire barriers and extends horizontally from one rated wall to another.
Fire Partitions • Fire partitions are similar to fire barriers but have less restrictive requirements. It does not always have to be a full enclosure from floor to ceiling above. • Typically 1 hour rating • Example is an exit access corridor • New construction should identify barriers and partitions at 30’ intervals. • See figure 5.3 page 202
Occupancy Separation • When more than one occupancy exists in a building it is considered a mixed or multiple occupancy. • Each occupancy must be separated from the other by a fire barrier or horizontal assembly.
Example : Non-sprinklered Refer to figure 5.6 page 206 Example: Page 205 Business adjacent to Assembly required 2 hour occupancy separation wall (non-sprinklered) What if a storage (S-2) occupancy was located below the business occupancy?
Tenant Separation • Known as a demising wall • Codes no longer require a rated separation between tenants of the same occupancy • Exceptions: Tenants within a covered mall are required to be separated by a fire partition.
Dwelling and Sleeping Unit Separation • Typically required to be separated by fire partitions • Hotels, dormitory, apartment buildings • Typically 1 hour
Incidental Accessory Occupancies • Machine rooms and storage rooms are considered incidental use rooms. • Must be enclosed by fire barriers • Storage rooms over 100 sq. feet are required to be separated by a fire barrier with a rating of 1 hour or to be sprinklered. • See table 5.8
Vertical Shaft Enclosures • Elevators, dumbwaiters, mechanical chases, stairwells • Rating is determined by the number of floors • Typically 1 or 2 hour rating • Exit stair of 3 stories or less are 1 hour while 4 or more stories are 2-hour rated. • These walls are typically continuous from floor to underside of the roof deck. • See figure 5.9
Summary of typical ratings • Exit Stairs: 1 hour (3 or less floors) • Exit Stairs: 2 hours (above 4 floors) • Horizontal Exits: 2 hours and wall must extend to exterior walls • Area of refuge: 1 hour min. • Exit Access Corridors: ½ to 1 hour • Exit passageways: 2 hours
Smoke Barriers and Smoke Partitions • Another type of passive fire protection system • Barriers provide higher degree of protections than smoke partitions • Barriers restrict the movement or passage of smoke and gases • Barriers must be continuous and sealed completely at all joints
Smoke Barriers and Smoke Partitions • Smoke barriers use automatic release door closures and smoke dampers in mechanical ducts. Cannot install recessed lighting, speakers, etc in ceilings. • Smoke partitions can terminate at suspended ceilings and penetrations such as speakers and recessed lighting are allowed
Opening Protectives • An opening protective is a rated assembly that prevents the spread of fire or smoke through an opening in a rated wall. • Typically a door or window • Doors are assigned fire-protection ratings.
Door and Window Assemblies • Door Assemblies consists of door, frame and hardware and is tested as an entire unit. • Solid Core or Hollow Metal • Self-closing (closer) • Rated from 20 min. to 3-hour • Fire exit hardware similar to panic bar • Window assemblies consist of the frame, rated glazing, and hardware. • Glazing has the ability to stay in place under pressure of hose streams and the ability to resist heat transfer • Hollow metal frames are typical
Glazing options • Wire glass (non-safety or safety) Laminated with a film • Tempered glass – used in 1 hour walls and should not be used near sprinkler heads due to impact. • Glass block- used in walls with a maximum of 1 hour rating. • Laminated glass – two pieces of glass laminated together – good for impact resistance and can be sand blasted to create decorations • NOTE: check code requirements for size limitations of glazing
Fire Protection Systems (Active systems) Chapter 6
Fire Protection Systems • Overall aim of the fire-protection system is to detect a fire in a building or space, warn the occupants, and suppress the fire until the fire department arrives. • Detection Systems (Initiating devices – heat and smoke) • Alarms Systems • Extinguishing Systems
Detection Systems • Smoke detectors • Battery operated are not allowed • 30 feet apart and at least 4” from wall • Keep away from vents and return units • Heat detectors (changes in heat) • Manual fire alarms • Adjacent to each required exit • Maximum of 60” from Latch side of door • 48” maximum AFF • Must be red in color
Alarm Systems • Used to make occupants aware that something unusual is occuring • Fire • Toxic spills • Sever weather • Bomb threats
Visual and Audible Alarms • Alarms must use both visual and audible notification methods • Visual alarms are required by ADA (strobes) • Visual alarms are provided in all public use areas such as restrooms, corridors, lobbies, meeting rooms, break rooms, examination rooms and classrooms. • Audible alarms are installed in the natural path of travel and at each required exit from the building
Extinguishing Systems • Once known as suppression systems • Fire extinguishers • Standpipes • Fire hoses • Sprinkler systems
Fire Extinguishers • Surface mounted or recessed in the wall for ADA compliance • Required in commercial kitchens, breakrooms, buildings under construction, computer rooms, generator rooms. • No occupant can be more than 75 feet from a fire extinguisher • Located along normal path of travel • Must be mounted within ADA reach ranges
Standpipes and Fire Hoses • Glass enclosed cabinet with a folded fire hose • Large diameter pipes with connections for fire hose hookup.
Sprinkler Systems • Heat sensitive • Newer systems are zoned • Building codes and the LSC will specify when an automatic sprinkler system is required. • Required for assemblies, healthcare, and hazardous • Covers 90 – 200 sq. foot per head • 12 – 15 feet apart • Engineers will determine the type and layout • Allow 18” clearance below the sprinkler deflector. • Assembly, Healthcare, and Hazardous occupancies typically require sprinklers
Alternative Extinguishing • When water should not be used: • Greece fires • Near large electrical equipment • Computer/telephone equipment rooms • Examples: • Wet-chemical • Dry-chemical • Foam • Carbon dioxide • Halon (no longer used in new buildings)
Plumbing and Mechanical Requirements Chapter 7
Number of Plumbing Fixtures • Table 7.1 on page 280 identifies the number of: (based on occupancy loads) • Round any fractions up • Water closets • Lavatories • Bathtubs or showers • Drinking fountains
Example • School with 680 occupants • Table states: waterclosets and lavatories are 1 per 50 • 680 / 50 = 13.6 or 14 • Drinking fountains are 1 per 100 680/100 = 6.8 or 7 • 1 service sink is required
Planning • Male / female ratios: if not specified, divide the number equally • You can combine restroom into one common room as long as path of travel does not exceed 500 feet • Private bath facility cannot be deducted from requirement • Unisex allowed in smaller sq. footages and occupancies and must be accessible. • Can provide two toilet separate facilities for employees and customers
Water Closets • Required for every floor. • Elongate bowl with hinged seat and open front • Min. of 15” to side wall and at least 21” in front of bowl (non-accessible) • Accessible toilets require at least 18” (range of 16 – 18”) • Toilet height is 17 – 19 inches • Typical accessible space is 60 x 56”
Urinals • Not required for every occupancy • Typically found in schools, restaurants, clubs, lounges, transportation terminals, auditoriums, theaters and churches. • When used, they are substituted for one or more of the required water closets • Privacy panels are required when more than one urinal is used. • Provide a 30 x 48 space in front of accessible urinal
Lavatories • Codes require fewer lavatories than toilets. • Sensor-type help reduce water consumption • Level handles, push type or automatic • One lavatory must be accessible on each floor • Accessible space 30 x 48” • Hot water pipes must be covered with a removable panel
Sinks • Included service sinks, utility sinks, kitchen sinks, laundry basins • Most occupancies require a janitors sink which does not have to be accessible. • Breakroom sinks should be accessible: 34” AFF, 25” deep max with a 30 x 48” front approach and 19” deep kneespace • Can use doors that open and and provide clearance with covered pipes.
Drinking Fountains • Required on each floor of a building • Some allow water coolers to substitute – verify with the code official first. • Cannot be inside a public toilet room or the vestibule leading to the toilet • Usually located in the hallway outside the restroom area • Caution: protruding object rule: Not more than 4” into path of travel • Alcoves must be a minimum of 36” wide and provide at least 30 x 48” clear floor space
Bathtubs • Rarely required by pluming codes • Showers can be used to replace a tub • Most common in hotels, dormitories, apartment buildings and institutional facilities • Accessible tubs require hand-held shower sprays (60” hose), a seat, grab bars, clear floor space of 30 x 48”
Showers • Used in hotels, and institutional facilities as well as gymnasiums, health clubs, and in some manufacturing plants where people are exposed to skin contamination. • Accessible showers are either transfer or roll-in type • Transfer: 36 x 36 minimum with 36 x 48 clear floor area and a fixed or folding shower seat. • Roll-in: 30 x 60” with 36 x 60” clear floor space (seats are optional)
Toilet and Bathing Facilities • Privacy from outside is required – should not be able to look directly into a toilet facility • Use a vestibule or walls to provide privacy. • Doors must have a closure
Single Toilet Facilities • Must be accessible • Doors swinging into accessible restrooms or stalls cannot reduce the clear floor space required at the sink or interfere with the turning space. Always draw in the clear floor space and turning circle to indicate compliance.