BCAB #1716 - Fire Hose Connections, Sentences 3.2.5.9.(1) & 3.2.5.10.(2)

September 20, 2012

BCAB #1716

Re: Fire Hose Connections, Sentences 3.2.5.9.(1) & 3.2.5.10.(2)

Project Description

The project in question is a large retail shopping centre. A podium structure containing parking and a large retail tenant covers most of the site with a series of buildings and open parking on top of the podium. An alternate solution has been agreed upon whereby egress is permitted between the large retail tenant and the adjacent parking garage through a 2 hr fire separation rather than the normal 2 hr or 4 hr fire wall. The complex is fully sprinklered and considered as one building for Code purposes.

Reason for Appeal

This appeal addresses two issues regarding the location of fire hose connections for this project:

1. Whether or not hose connections are required at the egress doors through the 2 hr fire separation between the retail tenant and the parking garage.

2. Whether or not hose connections are required within the floor area of the parking garage.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the BC Building Code does not incorporate all the requirements on NFPA 14. There are several modifications to NFPA 14, one of which exempts the need for hose connections within a floor area. The appellant therefore takes the position that the requirements of NFPA 14 for hose connections within the floor area do not apply.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that fire hose connections are required on both sides of the egress doors through the 2 hour fire separation between the retail tenant and the parking garage based on previous appeals 1645 and 1702. Additionally, the building official considers fire hose connections are needed throughout the parking garage in conformance with location requirements in NFPA 14. The lack of these interior hose connections would compromise fire fighting capabilities.

Appeal Board Decision #1716

It is the determination of the Board that the location of hose connections is governed by the Building Code which determines the applicable requirements of NFPA 14. Although Sentence 3.2.5.9.(1) requires standpipe and hose systems to be installed in conformance with NFPA 14, “Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems,” there are several exemptions, one of which, Sentence 3.2.5.10.(2), clearly states “hose connections are not required within a floor area.” This means the Building Code only requires hose connections within exit facilities.

The need for hose connections at the egress doors between the retail tenant and the parking garage is an issue related to the alternate solution and must be determined by the two parties involved. The means of egress routes for this project are not horizontal exits as defined by the Building Code and therefore previous appeals 1645 and 1702, which dealt with hose connections at horizontal exits, are not applicable.

George Humphrey, Chair