BCAB #1266 - Electrical Wiring Penetrating Fire Separations, Sentences 18.104.22.168.(1), (2) & (3), Article 22.214.171.124.
November 21, 1991
Re: Electrical Wiring Penetrating Fire Separations, Sentences 126.96.36.199.(1), (2) & (3), Article 188.8.131.52.
A wood frame apartment building constructed under Part 3 of the Building Code.
Reason for Appeal
Sentences 184.108.40.206.(1), (2) & (3) and Article 220.127.116.11. control the penetration of fire resistant wall and floor assemblies by services such as electrical wires and conduit. Providing wires are enclosed in noncombustible conduit there is basically no restriction in Part 3 or Part 9 with penetrating fire rated walls and floors. Combustible wiring not in metal conduit and not exceeding 25 mm in diameter is permitted by Sentence 18.104.22.168.(3) to penetrate walls but not floors whereas Article 22.214.171.124. allows penetration of any fire separation.
In a wood framed Part 3 building, the appellant has followed Part 9 practice of penetrating fire rated walls and floors with standard NMD-90 nylon covered electrical conductors. He considers the inconsistency in requirements between Part 3 and Part 9 buildings of the same construction type to be unreasonable and feels that design and installation conforming to Article 126.96.36.199.should be acceptable.
Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that the Code is quite clear and does not permit combustible wiring to wholly or partly penetrate a horizontal fire separation in a Part 3 building unless contained in noncombustible conduit or it is shown that the penetration conforms to the fire resistance test, ULC S-101.
Appeal Board Decision #1266
Although the Board members agree there is a difference between Part 3 and Part 9 of the Code regarding penetration of fire rated floor assemblies by wiring with combustible insulation or jacketing the Board cannot change the Code or allow a variance from it. The Board considers that Article 188.8.131.52. prohibits wiring with combustible insulation or jacketing from partly or wholly penetrating fire rated floors (horizontal fire separations) unless contained in noncombustible conduit. As this building is designed and constructed under Part 3 the conduit is required.
George R. Humphrey, Chair