BCAB #1570 - Fire Separation of Drive-Through Reception Area at Auto Dealership, Sentence 3.3.5.6.(1)

July 18, 2002

BCAB #1570

Re: Fire Separation of Drive-Through Reception Area at Auto Dealership, Sentence 3.3.5.6.(1)

Project Description

The project in question is a new auto sales and service dealership. Included in the project is an indoor "service write-up" or reception area for up to six vehicles where service technicians discuss servicing requirements with the vehicles’ owners. New vehicles may also be delivered in this area. Vehicles are not stored and no service work is performed in this area.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.3.5.6.(1) requires a storage garage to be separated from other occupancies by a 1.5 hr fire separation. The code does directly address vehicle drive-through facilities.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant contends that Sentence 3.3.5.6.(1) does not apply because the reception area does not conform to the definition of a storage garage. Previous appeals #1520 and #1521 support this contention.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that although the drive-through is not a storage garage it should not be considered ancillary to the adjacent showroom and customer lounge due to the very significant fire risk presented by vehicles in need of service or repair. A safety risk in excess of that anticipated by the Code for this occupancy could be imposed on the building and its occupants and a fire separation should be provided.

Appeal Board Decision #1570

The intended use of the drive-through reception is for vehicle/customer reception. It is not intended for storage, repair, or testing of motor vehicles. It is the determination of the Board that the subject drive-through reception is not a storage garage. Therefore, a fire separation with a fire resistance rating of 1.5 hrs between the drive-through reception and the adjacent showroom is not required.

George Humphrey, Chair